Archive for December, 2010

PLAN 2040 Update and New Documents Available on Website

December 20, 2010

The Atlanta Regional Commission now has several PLAN 2040 draft documents available for review and comment on the PLAN 2040 website. 

PLAN 2040 is an Atlanta Regional Commission initiative to better link and integrate state, region and local government actions into a cohesive framework to guide our region’s growth.  The PLAN 2040 development process began with the adoption of a resolution in early 2009 by the ARC Board outlining the general intent of the process, which will meet all state and federal rules for regional planning for both the Regional Development Plan and the Regional Transportation Plan.

ARC is the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for transportation planning for all or parts of 18 counties. Federal laws requires the MPO to develop a long-range transportation plan (RTP) and short-range transportation improvement program (TIP) that conform with the applicable State Implementation Plan (SIP) for air quality.

ARC must also prepare and adopt a regional development plan (RDP) pursuant to the Georgia Planning Act of 1989 and consistent with minimum standards and procedures for regional planning developed by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA).

ARC is developing PLAN 2040 as the next RDP and RTP in a unified development process that integrates elements of regional plans, but also seek to integrate local planning as well as land use and transportation in an integrated manner.

Once officially adopted, PLAN 2040 will be the metro Atlanta area’s plan to accommodate economic and population growth sustainably over the next 30 years.

The required Regional Assessment for the RDP and RTP was completed in 2009. This Assessment, which has been adopted by the ARC Board, is a report documenting the status of the Atlanta region.  It provides a picture of the issues we face today as well as a comprehensive evaluation of the region’s needs. This Assessment can be viewed on the ARC website.  

To ensure that Plan 2040 reflects the full range of regional values and involves a diverse spectrum of stakeholders in its development, ARC adopted the Stakeholder Involvement Program. This program, which meets both the requirements of the State of Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), outlines a significant program of activities to facilitate broad input and support for regional goals, policies, actions, investments and programs. 

Pursuant to DCA rules ARC staff also completed, and the ARC Board adopted, the Regional Resource Plan. This plan is designed to enhance the focus on protection and management of important natural and cultural resources in the Atlanta region; provide for careful consideration of, and planning for, impacts of new development on these important resources; and improve local, regional, and state level coordination in the protection and management of identified resources. The Regional Resource Plan can also be viewed on ARC’s PLAN 2040 website.

Since this time ARC staff has undertaken an exhaustive public involvement program, meeting with citizens, local staff and elected officials alike to garner their feedback and keep them informed on PLAN 2040 progress.

And in addition to these adopted documents, ARC staff has also recently completed drafts of additional components to the Regional Development Plan. These documents are all available for review and comment on the PLAN 2040 website –

Unified Growth Policy Map and Regional Development Guide (draft available on website)

To accommodate the region’s anticipated growth in a sustainable fashion, the region must plan for a different type of development than it has seen in recent decades. The Regional Development Guide provides direction for future growth based on the Areas and Places of the Unified Growth Policy Map (UGPM). The UGPM represents local plans as well as PLAN 2040 policies and forecasts.

Local Government Standards (DRAFT available on website)

Georgia DCA rules require ARC to establish Minimum and Excellent standards for local government implementation of PLAN 2040.  Minimum Standards are activities essential to the implementation of PLAN 2040. Excellence Standards are activities that are desirable. These standards were developed through several working sessions of ARC staff, the Land Use Coordinating Committee and the Transportation Coordinating Committee, as well as through feedback garnered from one-on-one meetings between ARC staff and county/city staff in the region.  

Staff will submit these documents to the ARC Board in February.  The documents will be submitted to DCA in March, upon which will begin a formal 60 day review and comment period.

PLAN 2040 will be officially adopted by the ARC Board during the July Board meeting.




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