ARC Working on Regional Resource Plan

As a Regional Commission, ARC must prepare and adopt a Regional Plan to meet both federal transportation planning rules and also minimum standards and procedures for regional planning developed by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA).  One component of this Regional Plan, as required under DCA rules, mandates the development of a plan for the protection and management of regional resources and a review of activities potentially impacting these resources. ARC is currently underway in the development of this Regional Resource Plan and Regionally Important Resources Map for the 10‐county area of the Atlanta region (Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale Counties).

With the wealth of historic, cultural and natural resources in the Atlanta Region, the Regional Resource Plan is designed to enhance the protection and management of these amenities while planning for their place as a part of our sustainable future.  Resources identified as Regionally Important will be incorporated as Areas Requiring Special Attention in ARC’s Plan 2040 and the plan will be used to coordinate activities and planning of local governments, land trusts and conservation or environmental protection groups’ activities in the region, and state agencies toward protection and management of the identified Regionally Important Resources.

The Atlanta Regional Commission, as the regional planning and intergovernmental coordination agency for the metro area, engages in a continuous program of research, study and planning of numerous matters affecting the region. As a Regional Commission, ARC must prepare and adopt a Regional Plan to meet both federal transportation planning rules and also minimum standards and procedures for regional planning developed by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA). 

One component of this Regional Plan, as required under DCA rules, mandates the development of a plan for the protection and management of regional resources and a review of activities potentially impacting these resources. ARC is currently underway in the development of this Regional Resource Plan and Regionally Important Resources Map for the 10‐county area of the Atlanta region (Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale Counties). In support of other agency initiatives ARC is also interested in resources identified in the additional 10 counties within the non‐attainment area for air quality (Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Coweta, Forsyth, Hall, Newton, Paulding, Spalding, and Walton Counties). Generally, the focus of the plan is on the core 10‐county area served by the ARC, with the exception of limited multi‐jurisdictional resources that overlap the core boundary.

 With the wealth of historic, cultural and natural resources in the Atlanta Region, the Regional Resource Plan is designed to enhance the protection and management of these amenities while planning for their place as a part of our sustainable future.  Resources identified as Regionally Important will be incorporated as Areas Requiring Special Attention in ARC’s Plan 2040 and the plan will be used to coordinate activities and planning of local governments, land trusts and conservation or environmental protection groups’ activities in the region, and state agencies toward protection and management of the identified Regionally Important Resources.

Pursuant to Rules of the Department of Community Affairs, Chapter 110-12-4, Regionally Important Resources are defined as “any natural or cultural resource area identified for protection by a Regional Commission following the minimum requirements established by the Department.”  ARC facilitated a nomination process for Regionally Important Resources that resulted in over 150 nominations from local governments, non-profit agencies, and private citizens.  Many of these nominations included multiple resources, resulting in the consideration of hundreds of individual resources.  Beyond the nomination process, numerous opportunities were created for stakeholder input through plan briefings and presentations.  After reviewing all nominations, researching the work of other local, state, and federal agencies, and considering input from regional stakeholders, three categories of resources were identified.

  • Areas of Conservation and/or Recreational Value
  • Historic and Cultural Resources
  • Areas of Scenic and/ or Agricultural Value

Using DCA’s Rules for Regionally Important Resources, as well as six criteria approved by the ARC Board, resources were evaluated in regard to their Value and Vulnerability within the context of the Atlanta Region.  Consideration is also given to Guidance for Appropriate Development Practices and General Policies and Protection Measures to promote the stewardship of these resources.  To this end, ARC has identified general Management Strategies to guide its involvement in the stewardship of these resources and support the work of local governments in developing their community green infrastructure network. 

In addition to the work that ARC has done with mapping the Region’s Greenspace Inventory and developing a Green Infrastructure Toolkit, the Regional Resource Plan furthers the work being done on the local, regional, state and federal levels to preserve environmental resources, historic sites, and unique cultural landscapes. With the articulated goal of fostering a continuous green infrastructure network, the Regional Resource Plan promotes balanced growth and sustainable development practices to enhance the quality of life in communities throughout the region.  A copy of the draft plan documents, including the Regionally Important Resources Map, can be found at the Plan 2040 page at http://www.atlantaregional.com/transportation/plan-2040. For more information, please contact Allison Duncan at (404) 463-3284.

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