Welcome to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs

Community Planning Institute (CPI)

Program Description


The DCA Office of Planning and Environmental Management, in partnership with the Georgia Planning Association, offers a series of classes called the Community Planning Institute to Georgia’s planning commissioners, elected officials and local government staff. The Institute provides information about planning for land use, growth and development, as well as for efficient management of local water resources.

Upcoming Class


CPI: Preparing and Implementing your Comprehensive Plan


October 4-5, 2017

Hyatt Regency Savannah

CPI is an element of DCA's Fall Conference


The Community Planning Institute has applied to the Georgia Planning Association for AICP CM Credits.


To register for CPI:


PlanFirst communities please use code pfirst

Regional Commissions please use code rcommission

For these codes, you must select individual item registration.


Hotel information:

We have reserved a block of rooms for this conference at the Hyatt Regency Savannah.  The group room rate is $164, and the deadline for reserving rooms is September 15, 2017.  Please make your reservations as soon as possible even though all awards have not yet been announced.  You may call the hotel direct and mention the DCASAV.  The link and code for the block of rooms is as follows:



Class Agenda

Class Presentation Handouts

Bios of Presenters

Best Practices in Community Engagement

Best Practices in Community Implementation

Planning for Housing

Planning Essentials

Rules for Local Community Planning

Tools for Implementation

City of Vienna PlanFirst


You may be eligible for a scholarship for your Planning CPI Class through the Denise Abbound Memorial Fund, Georgia Planning Memorial Foundation at The Georgia Planning Association website.   Fill out a  Scholarship_Application or

more information is available at:

The Georgia Planning Memorial Foundation


The Community Planning Institute consists of three classes:

  • Preparing and Implementing your Comprehensive Plan is a 2-day class that covers the local planning process. This class provides:
    • An overview of the importance of community planning– why we plan and who should be involved;
    • A review of Georgia’s planning requirements; 
    • How to engage your constituents in envisioning and planning for their future;
    • Plan implementation tools, including successful examples from PlanFirst communities;
    • Other plan implementation tools such as zoning or form-based codes. 
  • Managing your water resources is an overview of Georgia’s water resources and what local governments can do to wisely use and protect these resources. The day starts with a brief history of water planning in Georgia, followed by an overview of state and regional water issues. After lunch, the session includes best practices for stormwater management. The day ends with an overview of better wastewater management practices, and a hands-on activity to put the day’s lessons into useful perspective.
  • Principles for Integrating Planning for Hazard Mitigation and Land Use provides an overview of the importance of planning to enable quicker recovery from future natural disaster events. This session includes best practices for hazard mitigation in the context of land use planning (including GIS mapping.), and discussion of proposed model zoning code sections and how to apply them. It explains the benefits of proactive land use planning by local governments to both enable better recovery efforts and diminish the negative impacts of such a hazard event on your community. (This class is not currently being offered. If you would like to view an earlier presentation click here or to learn more about this effort click here.)  



Contact Information

For more information about Planning and Environmental Management, please contact the Office of Planning and Environmental Management at 404-679-5279

Georgia Department of Community Affairs
60 Executive Park South, N.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30329-2231