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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions:

Who can complete the DRI Online Forms?
  • As part of its responsibilities, the local government is required to complete and submit the two required DRI forms. This occurs when an applicant (industry, business, or developer) requests some type of local government action related to a project (e.g., a request for rezoning, zoning variance, permit, hookup to a water or sewer system, master or site plan approval, or entering into a contract) and it appears that the proposed development (or, for multi-phased projects, the complete development) may exceed the thresholds established for that development type.
Why didn't I get an email confirmation of my DRI submittal?
  • In order for the online system to work properly, a legitimate email address must be correctly entered into the form under the heading of “Local Government Information”. Also, you can only enter one email address in the input box.
Thresholds:

Which development thresholds does a local government use when a DRI project is located in more than one DRI Tier?
  • The local government should use the tier for the county where the majority of the project is located.
If a city that is in multiple counties is going to submit a proposed DRI, which thresholds do they use?
  • The city will need to use the thresholds for the county in which the project is located. If located in more then one county, the thresholds for the county that contains the largest portion of the project must be used.
Which development thresholds does a local government use when a DRI project is located in more than one DRI Tier?
  • The local government should use the tier for the county where the majority of the project is located.
If an existing large development is completely demolished and a new project of comparable size that would be above a DRI threshold is proposed to be rebuilt on the same site, is the new project considered a DRI and subject to regional review?

  • A precedent has been set by the Omni/Phillips Arena project in Downtown Atlanta that occurred in the mid-1990's. In this case, the Omni was torn down and the new Phillips Arena was built to replace it. Both the Omni and the Phillips Arena projects were above the DRI threshold for "Attractions and Recreational Facilities" and the Phillips Arena project was considered a DRI and subsequently went through the DRI review process.

    The basis for the determination that the new arena was a DRI subject to regional review hinged on two primary factors. First, the Phillips Arena project was larger in size than the older Omni development and therefore, the new arena would have a higher potential for causing intergovernmental effects. Secondly, there would be a time lag between when the first development [the Omni in this case] was torn down and when the new project [Phillips Arena] was built. In the case of larger development projects like DRIs this rebuilding process can take multiple years. During the interim period, the infrastructure capacity used by the previous development [e. g. transportation, water, sewer, etc.] could be eroded by other growth/development in the project's area to the point where it could be inadequate to serve the new arena once it was completed. Given these factors, the Phillips Arena project was considered a DRI and went through the review process.
DRI Applications:

A developer has submitted a project to the local government requesting local action. The local government determines it could be a DRI and submits an Initial DRI Information form (Form 1) to the appropriate RDC for review. Just before the scheduled pre-application conference, the developer wants to postpone the meeting because they are waiting for additional data and analysis. Can the RDC postpone the DRI process?

  • The RDC should require the developer to submit this postponement request in writing to the local government. The local government should then submit the request, along with its letter, to the RDC. The RDC should then prepare a letter that goes out to all parties that received the Form 1 and officially withdraw the application.
What steps should the RDC take if the applicant has submitted an Initial DRI Information form (Form 1) and then requests to withdraw the application?

  • The RDC should require the developer to submit this request in writing to the local government. The local government should then submit the request, along with its letter, to the RDC. The RDC should then prepare a letter that goes out to all parties that received the Form 1 and officially withdraw the application.
How can an RDC receive a copy of a completed DRI Review Initiation Request (Form 2) form before its officially submitted?

  • The DRI Online Application System is automatically designed so that when an applicant/local government submits a Form it is automatically delivered by email to the appropriate reviewing agencies. In other words, DCA does not receive the form first and then email it out to the RDC and/or GRTA. An alternative is for the RDC to request from the applicant/local government at the pre-application meeting to see a ‘draft’ Form 2 prior to its online submittal.
Local Government Action:

An Initial DRI Information form (Form 1) was submitted to the RDC for a proposed DRI. The RDC determined the project was a DRI that warranted regional review. However, after Form 1 was submitted, the developer received a local variance (by the Board of Appeals) to reduce the number of required parking spaces, which consequently, put the project under the DRI threshold. Does the project still need to go through the DRI review process?
  • In this case, the local government inappropriately took action that furthered the development. The RDC should inform the local government and DCA of this error in writing and continue the review accordingly.
Is a local government exempt from the DRI review process if that local government is the applicant?
  • The DRI review process is based on the project not the applicant, therefore, the local government would not be exempt from the review process.
Clarify the term “official legislative or administrative action” and whether such action by a local government Planning Commission would constitute such action.
  • It is our interpretation that action by a local government Planning Commission, which is an official advisory body of the local government itself, would constitute an official action under the terms of the DRI Rules. Therefore, such action would constitute a violation of our DRI Rules. It is the intent of Section 110-12-3-.04(1)(c) to ensure that DRI projects are not advanced or furthered by a local government until the DRI review process is complete. Action taken by a local planning commission to approve or deny such a project would, in our opinion, cause a prejudice or predetermined course of action relative to the final disposition of a project. If such a prejudice is created prior to the completion of the DRI review on a project, it will undermine the effectiveness and benefits of the overall DRI review process.
Clarify the phrase “placing consideration of these items on a future agenda for formal action” as its used in Section 110-12-3-.04(1)(c) of the DRI Rules.
  • When Section 110-12-3-.04(1)(c) is viewed in its overall context, it is clear that local governments are instructed not to take any action to advance or further a DRI project until the results of the DRI review are completed and the local government has had adequate time to consider the findings of the DRI review process. Therefore, action related to a DRI project should not be placed on the agenda of a Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, etc. unless the meeting where action is proposed will be held after the DRI process is completed. The DRI review process has a predictable time frame and reliable projections for establishing a future meeting date can be made. In no instance should a local government place a DRI project on an agenda for a meeting of a planning commission, etc. when the meeting in question will occur prior to the projected date the DRI review process will be complete.
GRTA:

Does a DRI have to go through GRTA review if only a portion of the development lies in a county within GRTA’s jurisdiction?
  • Only if the larger portion of the development is within a GRTA county, which means that the initiating county is a GRTA county.
If an RDC determines a proposed project is a DRI but does not warrant regional review, can GRTA still require the applicant go through its review process?
  • The DRI Rules specify that “If the RDC determines that the project does not warrant regional review, the RDC shall inform the local government of its determination and the RDC’s DRI review process is terminated. However, such a finding shall not affect whether a proposed project qualifies as a DRI and shall not affect GRTA’s authority pursuant to O.C.G.A 50-32-14.
Save For A Later Day:

How can the DRI process be triggered for a new reservoir if no local permit is required?
  • At this time, DCA is researching the answer to this question.