Community Choices Online Studio

Planning needs vary from one jurisdiction to the next. And they encompass a multitude of issues, from water resources to transportation and housing.

The Community Choices team has worked with local governments for ten years on projects aimed at making the Atlanta region a better place to live. Feel free to look through our past projects and check back to see progress on new projects. For more information, please contact Stephen Causby at scausby@atlantaregional.com.

Projects for Year 2014

Atlanta Beltline – ARC staff led a team to develop measures, metrics and indicators to monitor the impact of the Westside Beltline Trail.

City of Atlanta (Washington Park) – The Community Choices team provided a historic survey and background information on historic structures in the commercial node at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Joseph E. Lowery Drive in Atlanta.
Washington Park Historic Survey (PDF)

Cumberland CID/Cobb County – The Community Choices team worked with the Cumberland CID and Wonderroot to develop a process for launching a community-based art project.

DeKalb County – ARC staff provided the County with a summary of data from adopted plans -- comprehensive plans, the Unified Growth Policy Map, and recommendations from Livable Centers Initiative studies -- on density allowances throughout the County.
DeKalb County Density Review (PDF)

Douglas County – The Community Choices team is convening a group of stakeholders to plan for the future of the State Route 166 corridor in Douglas County. A goal of the project is to protect natural resources and view sheds by encouraging compatible land uses.

City of Lithonia – The Community Choices team, advised by a group of local business owners and residents, reviewed and rewrote the City's ordinance governing signage. A primary goal was to facilitate high-quality development within the area.

Georgia State University – ARC staff will provide data and technical assistance to support a campus-wide bicycle plan.

City of Morrow – ARC staff led a process by which local stakeholders examined the City's current sign ordinance and suggested changes to align with current plans.

Town of Tyrone – ARC staff assisted the Town by facilitating meetings of key stakeholders to find a best-fit occupant for the former Tyrone Elementary School. The project culminated in a workshop with 30 community leaders examining potential re-use options and the implications of each.
Tyrone School Reuse Report (PDF)
Tyrone School Reuse Workshop Boards (PDF)

City of Union City – The Community Choices team assembled a GIS-powered inventory of all the City's commercial and industrial parcels. Tax data, zoning, and key features were included in this inventory and will be used by the City to market priority sites.
Union City Inventory Report (PDF)

Projects for Year 2013

City of Fayetteville
The Community Choices team assisted in creating new zoning language for a district that will cover much of the newly visioned West Fayetteville community.

City of Lithonia - Recipient of 2013 GPA Planning Award
ARC and the City of Lithonia collaborated on a comprehensive housing survey conducted in the summer of 2013. Crafted through the use of enhanced technology, staff collected data on iPads using a web-based tool that can be easily updated in the future. The final deliverable is an interactive map application, database of housing conditions, and report summarizing the findings and next steps.
Lithonia Housing Inventory Report (PDF)

Rockdale County
The Community Choices team conducted a visioning workshop for stakeholders in the Urban Redevelopment Plan area, then performed a comprehensive audit on the County's zoning and development standards based on input from the workshop. The County was presented with a report detailing next steps of action to implement the broader vision for the area. 
Rockdale County URP Visioning Report (PDF)

City of Stockbridge - ADOPTED NOVEMBER 2013
The Community Choices team reviewed the City's sign ordinance, convened a group of stakeholders and performed a re-write of the entire ordinance based on feedback. The updated ordinance regulates modern signage, provides consistent standards, and helps implement the community's vision for future growth.
Stockbridge Sign Ordinance (PDF)

Projects for Year 2012

City of Duluth
The Community Choices team provided assistance with simplifying the City's regulations for properties in the downtown area by condensing the overlay district standards and zoning into one comprehensive document. This new code will provide much clearer guidance for developers and property owners.

City of Lithonia - PRESENTED FEBRUARY 2013
The Community Choices team reviewed the Main Street Overlay District in view of the City's adopted plans and provided recommendations on further coordination and implementation measures. The team also researched next steps for the Blueprints work and provided detailed suggestions for moving forward.
Lithonia Report (PDF)

City of Morrow - PRESENTED NOV 2012, FEB 2013
The Community Choices team conducted an audit of the City's commercial zoning districts and provided recommendations for implementation in a phased approach. These recommendations build off the City's comprehensive plan, multiple LCI studies, and a ULI TAP report. Assistance was also given to City Council on options for an entire zoning rewrite.
Morrow Report - Zoning Rewrite Options (PDF)
Morrow Report - Commercial Districts Audit (PDF)

City of Pine Lake - APPROVED NOVEMBER 2012
The Community Choices team carried out a quality growth audit, comparing the City’s comprehensive plan and other planning documents to its adopted ordinances and policies. Recommendations for further coordination were provided to City Council.
Pine Lake Report (PDF)

City of Powder Springs - PRESENTED MARCH 2013
The Community Choices team provided a thorough review of the City’s development and permitting processes and recommendations for system improvement. This process included a comparison to three peer local governments and interviews with local business owners.
Powder Springs Report
(PDF)

Projects for Year 2011

City of Alpharetta
The Community Choices team developed an inventory of vacant commercial properties within the City and provided options for their potential reuse based on national best practices and the City's comprehensive plan. This document currently helps guide development decisions on these parcels.
Alpharetta Report (PDF)

Cobb County - PRESENTED AUGUST 2012
The Community Choices team reviewed Cobb County's green building & conservation measures, compared them to national best practices in peer communities and provided information on how the county might move forward in incentivizing further measures among private development.
Cobb Report (PDF)

City of Fairburn - ADOPTED JUNE 2012
The Community Choices team facilitated public meetings to determine how the City's vision for the US 29 corrdior (Broad Street) might be best implemented. The team worked with citizens, business owners, consultants and city officials to develop an overlay district that provides sensitive design and site planning guidance for parcels along the corridor.
Fairburn Overlay (PDF)

City of Hampton - ADOPTED APRIL 2012
The Community Choices team conducted a review of all planning documents to ensure coordination with the goals of the City’s comprehensive plan and recently completed Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) study. Specific recommendations were provided on how to resolve conflicts.
Hampton Report (PDF)

City of Norcross - ADOPTED MARCH 2012
The Community Choices team conducted best practices research on a range of economic development-related topics. The City adopted the report and is using it as a resource to help guide decision making.
Norcross Report (PDF)

City of Union City - PRESENTED JUNE 2012
The Community Choices team performed an in-depth review of the City’s planning related documents, with special attention paid to how the City’s code and ordinances promote “transit-readiness”.
Union City Report (PDF)

 

Projects for Year 2010

Clayton County - PRESENTED MARCH 2011
The Community Choices team conducted a land use analysis and review of the Highway 42 overlay district regulations for Clayton County. The final report inventories existing conditions, best planning practices for corridors, market information for parcels along the corridor and possible next steps for redevelopment.
Clayton County Report
 (PDF)

City of College Park - ADOPTED AUGUST 2011
The Community Choices team is writing a set of downtown design guidelines, which will provide guidance on how development within the downtown area should look and relate to the street and pedestrians.
College Park Design Guidelines (PDF)

City of Hapeville - ADOPTED NOVEMBER 2011
The Community Choices team is revising the current sign ordinance to better suit the needs and development types of the City of Hapeville. The new ordinance will be based on character areas in anticipation of future development, rather than on current zoning categories.
Hapeville Sign Ordinance (PDF)

City of McDonough - PRESENTED FEBRUARY 2011
The Community Choices team carried out a quality growth audit, reviewing all of the City's planning-related documents for internal consistency. Principles of Active Living by Design and Lifelong Communities were also used in this review.
McDonough Report (PDF)

City of Roswell - ADOPTED APRIL 2012
The Community Choices team is working with elected officials and a stakeholder group to write a set of regulations that will implement the vision identified in the 2009 Groveway Community Charrette.
Roswell Code (PDF)

Projects for Year 2009

City of Avondale Estates - adopted September 2010
The Community Choices team reviewed the city's sign ordinance and worked with a team of stakeholders to propose changes to facilitate quality growth.
Avondale Estates Ordinance (PDF)

Cobb County - presented December 2009
Cobb County has adopted the region's first Complete Streets policy. The Community Choices team created an implementation plan for the policy, giving the county a menu of options on how to move forward.
Cobb County Report (PDF)

DeKalb County - adopted November 2011
The Community Choices team drafted a compatible use overlay district for the Greater Hidden Hills area, focusing mainly on commercial nodes that show great potential for redevelopment.
DeKalb Overlay (PDF)

City of Fayetteville - presented November 2009
The Community Choices team carried out a quality growth audit, ensuring that the city's plans and ordinances align with the adopted comprehensive plan. 
Fayetteville Report (PDF)

Henry County - presented January 2010
The Community Choices team conducted a quality growth audit comparing the recently adopted Unified Land Development Code with the goals of the comprehensive plan.
Henry County Report (PDF)

Newton County  - adopted March 2010
The Community Choices team created a mixed use district for a portion of the 278 Livable Centers Initiative study area. This project is a direct recommendation from the LCI study.
Newton County Ordinance (PDF)

City of Roswell - presented January 2010
The Community Choices team facilitated a two-day charrette in September, guiding future development of several blocks adjacent to the City Hall and drawing from the area's recent LCI study.
Roswell Report (PDF)

Projects for Year 2008

City of Acworth - completed March 2009
The Community Choices team researched economic development incentives that meet the city's specific needs for redevelopment and provided a report detailing available incentives and funding sources.
Acworth Report (PDF)

City of Alpharetta - presented October 2008
The Community Choices team completed a report summarizing steps the city could take to plan for its aging population. The report addresses areas of housing, transportation, healthy lifestyles and information and access. An Older Adult Inventory of Services was also created specifically for Alpharetta to serve as a quick reference tool for the city's aging population. 
Alpharetta Report (PDF) 
Alpharetta Older Adult Inventory of Services (PDF)

City of Auburn - adopted October 2008
The Community Choices team created an overlay ordinance for the downtown area of Auburn with the input of a team of community members, elected officials and local business owners. This ordinance was presented to the Mayor and City Council. Rezoning efforts are also underway to facilitate development of the downtown area.
Auburn Ordinance (PDF)

City of Ball Ground - presented March 2009
The Community Choices team drafted new sign and tree ordinances for the city to facilitate quality development. 
Ball Ground Sign Ordinance (PDF) 
Ball Ground Tree Protection Ordinance (PDF)

City of Chamblee
The Community Choices team reviewed the Chamblee green building ordinance, researched plans for its implementation and compiled a report outlining potential implementation mechanisms and peer models.
Chamblee Report (PDF)

City of Griffin - adopted June 2009
The Community Choices team performed a quality growth audit on all planning documents to ensure coordination among the city's comprehensive plan, downtown master plan, zoning ordinance and LCI study.
Griffin Report (PDF)

City of Norcross - presented September 2008
The Community Choices team completed a quality growth audit for the city, checking several planning documents and the zoning ordinance for conflicts.
Norcross Report (PDF)

City of Stone Mountain - adopted December 2008
The Community Choices team assisted the Planning & Zoning Committee in rewriting the zoning ordinance to reflect character area designations in recent planning documents. 
Stone Mountain Ordinance (PDF) 

Projects for Year 2007

DeKalb County - adopted February 2008
The Community Choices team developed an overlay ordinance for the downtown area of Tucker including elements of parking, open space requirements and urban design features. 
DeKalb Ordinance (PDF)

City of Griffin - adopted August 2008
The Community Choices team, with the input of a committee of community members, created a set of design guidelines for the Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) area covering elements of streetscape, architecture, signage and lighting. The guidelines have been written into the city's development regulations. 
Griffin Report (PDF)

City of Kennesaw - presented August 2008
The Community Choices team assisted the City of Kennesaw with researching and developing a strategy for incentivizing redevelopment that supports the city’s existing planning goals.
Kennesaw Report (PDF)

City of Marietta - presented August 2007
The Community Choices team completed a comprehensive review of the development review process and provided the city with a full outline of each specific process from start to finish as well as a one-page flowchart to distribute to applicants.
Marietta Report (PDF)

City of Sugar Hill - adopted January 2009
The Community Choices team reviewed all planning documents and created an implementation strategy for the downtown master plan. 
Sugar Hill Report (PDF)

City of Woodstock - presented October 2007
The Community Choices team analyzed four overlay districts in the city for possible overlaps and presented recommendations for moving forward with quality growth objectives.
Woodstock Report (PDF)

Projects for Year 2006

City of Auburn - presented March 2007
The Community Choices team facilitated a comprehensive visioning process which includes elements of housing, employment and park space. 
Auburn Report (PDF)

City of Douglasville - adopted June 2007
The Community Choices team created a zoning overlay for the LCI area encompassing areas of parking, pedestrian access, streetscape and sidewalks, street trees, signage and building placement.
Douglasville Report (PDF)

City of Kennesaw - presented July 2007
The Community Choices team formulated a set of comprehensive design guidelines to be in effect throughout parts of the city not included in the historic downtown. Elements addressed are landscaping, architecture, signage and lighting. 
Kennesaw Report (PDF)

City of Clarkston - presented December 2006
The Community Choices team completed a review of all planning documents and formulated an implementation strategy that coordinates the objectives and guidelines of all documents. 
Clarkston Report (PDF)

City of Holly Springs - presented December 2006
The Community Choices team conducted a quality growth audit of all planning documents and put forth recommendations that would enhance future coordination and implementation efforts. 
Holly Springs Report (PDF)

Projects for Year 2005

Henry County - adopted December 2006
The Community Choices team assisted in formulating an ordinance that covers design guidelines and access management regulations for the Highway 20 ("Bruton Smith Parkway") corridor from McDonough to Hampton. 
Henry County Ordinance (PDF)

Cherokee County / Bells Ferry - adopted 2006
The Community Choices team reviewed the 2006 Bells Ferry LCI study and all county ordinances to develop an implementation plan for the LCI. 
Cherokee/Bells Ferry Report (PDF) 

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