LCI Implementation Report Now Available Online

ARC periodically conducts studies to monitor the successes, challenges and effectiveness of its Livable Centers Initiative (LCI), a program designed to enhance existing centers and corridors consistent with regional development policies. These reports examine the types of development taking place in LCI areas, as well as the ways in which policies and regulations are changing in LCI communities to support the goals of the program. They also assess the benefits and impacts that LCI plans, policies and resulting projects might have on the region as a whole.

LCI Implementation Reports, published biennially, represent one of these evaluation tools, allowing ARC to track developments and policies implemented in each LCI community to ensure sure the plan is achieving the goals it set out to achieve. Along these lines, ARC recently released its 2011 LCI Implementation Report, available for download along with an Executive Summary and past Implementation Reports on the LCI Evaluation page of ARC’s website. In preparing the report, staff gathered information through a survey and development inventory spreadsheet sent to all LCI communities. Building off of data collection methods from previous Implementation Reports, the survey and development inventory assisted staff in quantifying changes in development, measuring changes in land use policy and assessing attitudes towards improvements in livability resulting from LCI study implementation. Some of the report’s highlights include:

  • LCI areas are present in 13 counties in metro Atlanta. Although LCI areas make up less than 5 percent of the total land area of this 13-county region, they are responsible for more than 15 percent of the region’s development, on average. LCI communities have captured a considerable amount of new office development and commercial development, and an increasing amount of new residents.
  • As of March 2011, 92 transportation projects in 55 LCI communities had received LCI Transportation funding. Funded projects include sidewalks, crosswalks, multi-use trails, roadway operation improvements, bike lanes and transit facilities. The majority of funding has gone to pedestrian facility improvements: these projects have received more than $97 million to date.
  • Of the 90 LCI areas that responded to the policy portion of the LCI survey, 88 percent have incorporated their LCI study into their comprehensive plans; 64 percent have created special LCI zoning districts; 28 percent have policies or development incentives in place that focus on building more senior, workforce or special needs housing within and around the LCI study area; and 85 percent have policies in place controlling architectural standards or design guidelines.
  • In addition to being eligible for LCI Supplemental Study funds, LCI communities are also eligible to receive implementation assistance through ARC’s Community Choices program. As part of ARC’s Government Services division, Community Choices provides cities and counties with pro bono technical assistance and resources to implement quality growth policies and plans. Since the program began in 2005, it has provided assistance to 29 LCI communities to help them implement their existing LCI plans.
  • The Lifelong Communities (LLC) program, managed through ARC’s Aging Services Division, was launched in 2007 as a way to plan communities where individuals can live throughout their lifetime. In 2009, ARC hosted a nine-day Lifelong Communities Charrette which brought together experts to examine how Atlanta area communities could become places where people of all ages and abilities can live as long as they would like. Of the six sites examined during the charrette, five are LCI communities.

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