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Coastal communities for all ages - Coastal Regional Commission

The Coastal Regional Commission, in its regional plan, included work activities for undertaking a survey to gauge the “age readiness” of communities throughout its region and holding charrettes aimed at age-ready communities. To do this, they sponsored a Community for All Ages charrette in Hinesville in February, 2012. Hinesville has an enhanced need for aging readiness because if it’s increasing number of retired military personnel (baby boomers). In a community that has always had a lower than normal age demographics, little effort had been placed on serving the aging population. The charrette was timely in assisting local leadership in making decisions that contributed to meeting present and future needs. Since the charrette was conducted, the following projects have been secured for the Memorial Drive District: Armstrong Atlantic State University will build a new Liberty Center to be completed January, 2015; a new Public Library development will be completed in 2014; a Senior Housing Tax Credit Project was approved using a location recommended for such a project in the charrette; a new VA Clinic will open in 2014; and, Central Avenue improvements are in-progress. Meetings with property owners for follow-up development are being held.
Coastal RC Comprehensive Asset Database

In order for local governments to develop, implement or incorporate adaptation and mitigation strategies/plans or policies, it is important to know how current developed areas will respond to potential hazardous scenarios.
The CRC established a comprehensive asset database used by coastal communities to model hazardous scenarios utilizing a nationally-accepted modeling tool HAZUS-MH. DCA developed a data translation model, procedures and workflow for county property assessment data to create HAZUS-ready countywide, building inventory maps with details sufficient to model damages and losses due to flood and hurricane winds. The completion of parcel translations and the utilization of the WinGAP translations on the coastal counties enabled HAZUS modeling of the entire coast.
The completion of the Coastal FIRMs and the developing RISK mapping combined with the successful CRC GIS repository and service publishing created an opportunity to support regional communities with their decision support needs.
The final translators were completed in July 2016 providing building inventories for the coastal area, and the extended products of land use, addressing, and parcels. The byproduct of sustaining a regional parcel dataset for Hazard Mitigation is economic development support, land use planning, and normalizing jurisdictional data for more diverse decision support opportunities
Lupita McClenning
Director of Planning and Govt. Svcs.
Coastal Regional Commission

Coastal Regional Commission Practicum Series

Beginning in 2012, the Coastal Regional Commission has hosted a series of trainings that focus on the best practices for addressing the local government performance standards included in their regional plan. The plan itself states that “Our aim is to advocate and promote good policy and professional practice by keeping policy-makers abreast of innovative approaches and sustainable practices.” The Regional Commission fulfils this goal by offering a series of practicums each year for the residents and local governments in Coastal Georgia. They have covered such topics as: design guidelines; transportation; aging in place; livable communities; and, the National Flood insurance Program. The CRC anticipates 5 to 6 practicums during the 2014-2015 timeframe, including topics such as: Broadband & Community Planning, Zoning Procedures & Economic Development; Healthy Communities & Healthy Economy; Community Rating System, Long Range Transportation Planning and GIS & Resilient Community Planning. Lupita McClenning
Director of Planning & Government Services
Coastal Regional Commission
Darien Riverfront Park

Beginning with its comprehensive plan in the early 1990s, the City of Darien and McIntosh County have made plans for sensitive development along the river front in Darien. The Darien Multi-Use master plan was developed in 2009 and promoted the idea of providing environmentally sound access for local residents and visitors to the Darien and Cathead Rivers, while also supporting the eco-tourism industry, and creating an opportunity to provide education on the coastal marsh ecosystem and local history. Since 2009, the City has implemented several of the projects including restoration of the City Dock near Waterfront Park, development of the Butler Docks and Kayak Launch on Butler Island, and construction of a wildlife viewing tower and trail. These projects were all made possible through CDBG Redevelopment Fund dollars used to assist Darien in preserving this historic riverfront, with further Coastal Incentive Grant Awards.  
Effingham County Recycling Facility

Effingham County Commissioners are leading by example with the 2012 implementation of a county-wide curbside recycling program, as called for in their comprehensive plan. The recycling program collects household recyclables throughout the County. The County has also installed a centrally located recycling facility for convenience where they accept plastics, glass, metals, and paper. Comprehensive Plan
Garden City's Resiliency Audit

Following goals and activities highlighted in their 2016 comprehensive plan update, the City of Garden City conducted a “Safe Growth Audit.” This audit is a community-specific planning tool that allowed the City to evaluate community plans, policies and ordinances as well as its capital improvement programs to ensure hazards and vulnerabilities were taken into consideration.
The primary objectives of “safe growth” are to influence development, improve protection measures, and enhance design standards as they relate to the hazard resiliency of a community.
The City used the Safe Growth Audit as a means to evaluate the comprehensive plan to determine the degree to which resiliency planning was considered, where it best fits based on local planning requirements, and how it can be implemented.
The City incorporated the results of the Safe Growth audit into its 2016 comprehensive planning efforts. More specifically, a section on resilience and specific implementation activities were included in the Short-Term Work Plan to increase resiliency to potential coastal hazards.
Resilient communities minimize any disaster’s disruption to everyday life and their local economies. Resilient communities are not only prepared to help prevent or minimize the loss or damage to life, property, and the environment, but they also have the ability to quickly return citizens to work, reopen businesses, and restore other essential services needed for a full and timely economic recovery.
Lupita McClenning
Director of Planning and Govt. Svcs.
Coastal Regional Commission
Leadership SE Georgia

The Coastal Regional Commission (CRC), in its regional plan, included the work activity of administering a regional leadership development program throughout coastal Georgia. In January 2010, the CRC agreed to serve as the agency for the Leadership SE Georgia program. In this leadership program, public officials, policymakers, influential thinkers and practitioners meet to confront challenges, explore new paths for moving forward and formulate leadership strategies on how best to meet the reality of today’s challenges. Participants of Leadership SE Georgia experience all of the region- its issues, opportunities and hidden gems- in engaging ways. The mission is to leverage regional resources through collective leadership to improve the quality of life in southeast Georgia. As a part of this process, the Leadership SE Georgia program focuses on the region’s capacity to actively address challenges and successfully capitalize on the region’s opportunities. It explores key issues common to every jurisdiction in the region, how those issues might impact the future and possible strategies to address those issues. The program is designed to develop a more informed perspective on the relationship between individual counties and communities within the region. The program also strives to increase participant’s knowledge about SE Georgia, including demographics, economic indicators, the environment and other valuable resources.  
Savannah Intermodal Transportation Center

For more than 15 years, Savannah and Chatham County have envisioned an intermodal transit facility in downtown Savannah, serving tourists and residents alike. Throughout its Tricentennial Plan, and subsequent updates, Savannah and Chatham County evaluated options for creating this intermodal center. The facility had its groundbreaking February 2012 and its grand opening in October 2013. Located in conjunction with the Greyhound station in downtown Savannah, the Joe Murray Rivers, Jr. Intermodal Transit Center links the inter-county transit offerings of Chatham Area Transit (CAT) with interstate transportation of the Greyhound buses. In addition, the Center provides a home-base for the CAT bike-sharing program, provides mobility options, and links the Savannah International Airport with downtown Savannah. The new multimodal center improves access to jobs and tourist sites throughout Savannah and Chatham County, which makes the community more attractive for visitors as well as new businesses.
St. Marys waterfront public access development

The City of St. Marys’ Comprehensive Plan, in its Quality Resource Conservation Implementation Measure, states "Review opportunities to acquire properties that are suitable for providing public access to rivers, streams and marshes." The site that the City purchased overlooks the St. Marys River, with views across the river/marsh to the Atlantic Ocean and has been available for public purpose only once before in the city’s history. The site was acquired by the City and is being developed in stages with DNR permit approved docks for public use and an extension to the City’s Gilman Park to further the goal and vision of providing perpetual public access to the water front and dock.

The City has received various grant funds for these public improvements. The City proposes to develop the remainder of the property into a small hotel with conference center to provide additional economic stimulus to our distressed downtown. The section noted in the comp plan was vital to ensuring public acceptance of this purchase and development.

St. Marys' Maritime Heritage District Ordinance

The history and economy of St. Marys is inextricably associated with the St. Marys River and Atlantic Ocean: shipping, fishing, shrimping, transportation, War of 1812 and Civil War waterborne battles, smuggling, and - more recently - tourism to the Cumberland Island National Seashore and the Kings Bay Submarine Base. In its comprehensive plan, the City of St. Marys states that the City will “promote and protect the historic waterfront district as a significant community resource, enhancing both the sense of place and the quality of life for residents and tourists alike.” This plan also stresses in several ways the importance of this historic waterfront district to the City’s economic well-being and future. To that end, after a 3-year process, the City of St. Marys adopted an overlay district ordinance establishing a Maritime Heritage District. The implementation of this district plan preserves, protects, and celebrates this connection to the rich maritime past, and will move them a step closer to interesting one or more tall ships in making the City of St. Marys their destination of choice, thus adding to their tourism economy.

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