Jackson County Rezones Residential Land for Ag and Conservation

Jackson County, Ga made the news recently. Accompanying the housing market crash, the County was faced with a plethora of vacant lots and half complete or abandoned subdivisions – a situation unfortunately not uncommon in many communities across the nation, and in our region. Faced with this reality, and the concurrent urging of many county residents who feared the expanding suburban nature of the county was resulting in the loss of important natural resources, county planners contemplated what strategy would best contest these forces.

The result:  reclassify 50,000 acres of land slated for future residential development to either conservation land or agriculture use.  Not only will this help the County control their growth and expansion in the future, as opposed to the virtually unbridled suburban-style development the County was zoned for, but this was also done to help balance the County’s budget. When County staff began crunching the numbers and looking at the situation the County would be faced with should most of the land zoned for residential develop, they realized that there was no way the county could afford the infrastructure to support houses there, and the decision became an easy one.

An interesting and thought-provoking approach by a County south of Atlanta – read the article here and tell us what you think.

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