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Land Development Regulations for Small Governments

The regional plan for the Southern Georgia Regional Commission notes the lack of adequate and consistent land use regulations throughout their region, and the need to develop these regulations for local governments. The RC has addressed this activity in their work program through development of such regulations for several communities including the very small city of Broxton, population 1,185. This community previously did not have an adopted zoning map nor did it have zoning regulations or even subdivision regulations, however, it had included development of such ordinances in its 2 most recent comprehensive plans. The need to develop such ordinances was increased when a Dollar Store located in the city on a less than suitable property with questionable access and much citizen opposition. Because the City had no zoning regulations or map, it did not have the tools to direct the developer to a more suitable parcel or even impose conditions. Upon recognizing the need to furnish development guidance within the City to attract quality development on suitable parcels and minimize adverse impacts on neighboring properties, while still being able to provide opportunity for jobs and increase the tax base, the City of Broxton voted to contract with SGRC for a simple zoning ordinance. This new ordinance is consistent with Coffee County's new Land Development Code and implemented by Coffee County in a multi-jurisdictional cooperative project. The Council has held several workshops, developed a parcel based zoning map and a simple, but effective zoning ordinance for the City. Initiatives such as this, by the smallest of communities with the help of counties and the regional commissions, to provide a quality of life to its residents and businesses through a new zoning code, deserve recognition.
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