Strategic & Long Range Planning
The Strategic & Long-Range Planning Department serves as liaison with businesses, developers, chambers of commerce, the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission, local governments, state agencies, community organizations and the general public regarding the development of strategic planning, transportation planning, service delivery strategy, the Future Land Use Plan, and local government facilities.
The department provides support for existing and prospective businesses and developers and coordinates referrals to appropriate county departments. The director meets with developers and businesses to expedite and facilitate development processes, procedures, and other related matters in the county and assists them with complying with all local codes.
The director of this department confers with the Board of Commissioners and the County's Development Authority on development activity and other related issues, and assists in business and industrial park infrastructure planning. The director evaluates development proposals and infrastructure improvement plans; assists with cost/benefit analysis; and coordinates compliance with the comprehensive plan and other strategic & long-range plans adopted by the Board of Commissioners.
Some other areas the department is involved in include developing and amending the county comprehensive plan and participation on regional planning organizations and committees. The director also assists the Board of Commissioners with coordination of the county's land use plan, water, wastewater and transportation master plans, and coordinates maintenance and administration of the unified development code.
The Strategic & Long-Range Planning Director serves on the Technical Coordinating Committee of the Madison Athens-Clarke Oconee Regional Transportation Study (MACORTS) and as an alternate on the MACORTS Policy Committee.
Street Light Tax Districts: The Strategic & Long-Range Planning Department works together with citizens who wish to set up street light tax districts within their subdivisions. With input from the power companies, the Strategic & Long-Range Planning Department reviews lighting plans, processes the necessary paperwork, publishes a notice in the newspaper, and forwards all applicable information to the Board of Commissioners. Once the street light district has been approved by the Board and the lights installed, the Strategic & Long-Range Planning Department notifies applicable departments and posts the annual "per lot rates" with the Clerk of Courts for reference in real estate closings.
Special Tax Districts
The Strategic & Long-Range Planning Department also assists citizens who wish to establish a special tax district for water system improvements or other infrastructure improvements within their community.
The Strategic & Long-Range Planning staff works with the Oconee County Utility Department or other appropriate departments to establish the boundaries, level of service, and cost of such improvements. The department processes the necessary paperwork, publishes a notice in the newspaper, and forwards all applicable information to the Board of Commissioners. Once the special tax district has been approved by the Board, the Strategic & Long-Range Planning staff assists the Oconee County Utility Department or other appropriate departments with coordinating design, scheduling, bidding and other functions necessary to install the infrastructure improvements. Upon completion of these improvements, the Strategic & Long-Range Planning Department notifies applicable departments and posts the annual "per lot rate" with the Clerk of Courts for reference in real estate closings.
Long Range Planning
The Strategic & Long-Range Planning Department assists the Board of Commissioners in preparation and updating of the Comprehensive Plan as required by State Law. The Comprehensive Plan is the long-range statement of how and where growth and development in the community is to be located in the future. It is adopted by ordinance, and includes a number of "elements" (or chapters) related to the social, economic, and physical aspects of future development. Each of the elements includes a number of goals, objectives, and policies that are to be applied to public and private land development. Some of the elements also include future conditions maps (such as the future land use map, and the long-range transportation plan maps). All local land development regulations (such as zoning, subdivision regulations, and environmental ordinances) are to be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.