County to apply for Urban Redevelopment designation (Oct. 4, 2011)
Rockdale County's Urban Redevelopment Plan has been chosen as one of five projects that the Atlanta Regional Commission will assist through their Community Choices team this year.
The ARC will help the county with the planning process for the Urban Redevelopment Area by providing additional analysis, explained Marshall Walker, director of the county's Planning and Zoning department. This includes an audit on the visioning process for the Urban Redevelopment Plan process and a report with recommended actions.
"The Community Choices will perform an audit on results from the visioning as part of the Urban Redevelopment Plan process and the County's current zoning for the area mentioned in the application. The final deliverable should be a report detailing the results of this analysis with recommended actions."
"We're very excited to get this assistance because it will accelerate the implementation of the Urban Redevelopment Plan," said county planner Catherine Mercier-Baggett.
Rockdale adopted the Urban Redevelopment Plan in November 2011 for the nearly 2,000 acres of industrial area between Sigman Road, Rockbridge Industrial Road, Covington Highway, and the city/county border. An area inside the Urban Redevelopment Area was designated by the state starting January 2012 as an Opportunity Zone, where businesses that create jobs can receive tax credits.
The Urban Redevelopment Plan aims to fix up blighted areas by stimulating private investment. It's also a step in getting tax credits through the Opportunity Zone programs, and to apply to various other sources of funding.
The ARC will provide planning and technical assistance to five communities around the region, helping them reach their respective quality-growth visions. The communities and projects selected for ARC assistance in 2013 are:
Rockdale County - The Community Choices team will carry out an audit of the County's zoning ordinance as it relates to results from community meetings on its Urban Redevelopment Plan. The final deliverable will be an in-depth report sharing inconsistencies between the zoning ordinance and planning documents, along with detailed recommendations for action.
Clayton County - The Community Choices team will assist with a strategic review of county redevelopment needs and planning documents with a specific focus on Tara Boulevard.
City of Fayetteville - The Community Choices team will perform an audit of the City's current zoning as it relates to results from a recent charrette on an area slated for the development of a film studio. The final deliverable will be a report detailing any conflicts and recommended actions to resolve them.
City of Lithonia - The Community Choices team will work with the agency's Research & Analytics Division to develop a mobile tool to conduct a detailed housing inventory. As part of this project, citizen volunteers will be trained to assist with the inventory. The final deliverable will be a report detailing the results of the inventory, along with the relevant files so that the City may keep the data current.
City of Stockbridge - The Community Choices team will provide assistance with rewriting the City's sign ordinance. A local stakeholder committee will be formed to help guide the development of the ordinance. The final deliverable will be a new, updated ordinance.
"Our assistance with this exceptional list of projects represents ARC's commitment to help local governments implement their plans in efficient ways," said Jane Hayse, Director of ARC's Center for Livable Communities. "And it doesn't stop here. The lessons we learn through the Community Choices program will also be passed on to other communities in the future."
The Community Choices program provides a broad range of tools, resources and technical assistance to help communities shape more vibrant futures. The goal is to assist local governments with making appropriate, long-term decisions about where, when and how they should grow in order to achieve their community's unique vision.
For more information on the Community Choices program, visit www.atlantaregional.com/communitychoices.
For more information on Rockdale's Urban Redevelopment Area plan, go to http://www.rockdalecounty.org/docs/URP_pubhearing_pres.pdf