Planning & Governmental Services

The Planning & Government Services (PGS) Division’s staff assists local governments in a range of technical programs and services on a local and regional level. Through the technical assistance process, the Heart of Georgia Altamaha Regional Commission provides professional and tailored services to meet the needs of our diverse communities. By functioning like an extension of local government staff, the Regional Commission is available to aid local governments with customized services in community development, personnel administration, grant writing, project management, planning, and a host of general local government operations.

These services cover two areas:

  1.  Local and Regional Planning;
  2. Community and Economic Development,

For more detail on PGS programs and services, please scroll down to find out more information about that each service…

Local Government Assistance, Administration and Management

Heart of Georgia Altamaha Regional Commission’s support in this area includes wide-ranging technical assistance in the day-to-day operations and management of local government. Technical assistance includes development and updating personnel management systems as well as developing job descriptions and pay classification plans. Recent technical assistance has also included the development of police department policies and procedures manuals, codification of county ordinances, reporting compliance, and homeland security planning and coordination.

The establishment of new land development regulations and the updating of existing ordinances, including the development of zoning maps, are important aspects of plan implementation services performed by the HOGARC. Other planning assistance as required and requested is also provided.

Other efforts include assisting local governments with development and writing of grant applications, conducting environmental reviews of projects and administration of approved grants and disaster mitigation planning.

Comprehensive Planning

The State of Georgia requires each local government to have a comprehensive plan (i.e. comp plan), which outlines their vision and goals for the next twenty years. This plan is reviewed and updated every five years, along with a more detailed Community Work Program that highlights specific projects to be undertaken within a five-year period. Some communities may have additional planning requirements based on their characteristics. The guidelines for local comprehensive planning are issued by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. Click here to view these guidelines. The State of Georgia also provides detailed planning resources on their website: http://www.georgiaplanning.com.

The Heart of Georgia Altamaha Georgia Regional Commission assists member local governments with implementing the Georgia Planning Act of 1989. Local comprehensive plans address community needs and objectives for economic development, community facilities, natural and historic resources, housing, and land use. Plans must be updated every ten years.

The HOGARC encourages counties and municipalities to work together to identify common problems and opportunities and to seek countywide solutions through joint plans. Local plans were used to develop a joint regional plan that identifies opportunities for counties and municipalities to work together on a multi-county basis. The Heart of Georgia Altamaha Georgia Regional Commission have prepared a regional plan for the 17-county State Service Delivery Region 9. The HOGARC also assists local governments with preparing solid waste management plans as required by the Georgia Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Act. These services are implemented in partnership with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

Local plans tie closely to other planning efforts throughout the region, most notably the Heart of Georgia Altamaha Regional Plan. Economic development components of each local plan are also closely related to the CEDS.

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Plans Under Development

The Heart of Georgia Altamaha Regional Commission is currently assisting  the following counties with development of their comprehensive plans. These plan will be completed in 2018.

Current Comprehensive Plans

Below are the most recent adopted comprehensive plans for the Heart of Georgia Altamaha communities as of 2017:

Regional Plan

Below is the Regional Plan For the Heart of Georgia Altamaha Region:

Economic Development

It is the vision of the Economic Development Department to foster a dynamic regional economy by supporting local community efforts that facilitate job growth, business retention, recreational opportunities, sound infrastructure, tourism, and quality healthcare.

Designated as an Economic Development District (EDD) under the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965, the HOGARC’s Economic Development Department’s goal is to assist in the creation of a diversified, well-balanced, progressive economy for the region.  Efforts are aimed at assisting communities with economic & community development, asset based development, social infrastructure, physical infrastructure, and workforce development needs that lead to the creation and maintenance of employment opportunities for residents, a strong tax base for local governments, and a safe, secure, and viable community.

The Regional Commission supports member governments and local economic development agencies by providing demographic information requested by prospects; meeting with prospects; mapping available properties and buildings; structuring deals; assisting with the industrial site certification process; serving as a liaison between federal, state, and local economic development resources; and assisting with site selection and development for the Heart of Georgia Altamaha communities.

The Regional Commission serves as a designated Economic Development District and administers the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) document as required by the U.S. Department of Commerce. 

Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)

The CEDS is the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for the Heart of Georgia Altamaha Economic Development District. The plan is updated every five years to meet the requirements of the U.S. Economic Development Administration for regional funding to support economic development projects, including public infrastructure improvements and economic adjustment planning. HOGARC is designated as the staffing agency for the Heart of Georgia Altamaha Economic Development District. The Economic Development Administration is also responsible for making this designation.

Geospatial Information Systems (GIS)

The Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) provides counties and municipalities with maps and data in a digital format. This tool results in improved decision-making in the areas of land use planning, transportation planning, environmental studies, zoning enforcement, demographic analysis, and economic development.

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For More Information about GIS Select a Link Below:

Coordinated Transportation

The Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR) contracts with the HOGARC for all Coordinated Transportation services in the Heart of Georgia Altamaha Region. The DHR includes four divisions: Division of Aging Services, Division of Family and Children Services, the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Disease and the Division of Public Health. Coordinated Transportation also serves the Georgia Department of Labor’s Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program. These services are designed, coordinated, and monitored by the Regional Transportation Office and Regional Commission. This program provides about 14,000 trips per month throughout the region.

Coordinated Transportation Subcontractors:

  • Pineland CBS
  • Quality Transportation, Inc.
  • Wayne County Transit

Historic Preservation

The Heart of Georgia Altamaha Regional Commission contracts with the Historic Preservation Division/Georgia Department of Natural Resources to provide technical assistance to local governments, organizations, and private citizens. Activities provided include assistance with National Register nomination preparation, development of historic preservation related grant applications, downtown development, environmental review, and regular meetings with a region-wide Historic Resources Advisory Committee.

Federal and State Grant-In-Aid

County and city governments are assisted by the Heart of Georgia Altamaha Regional Commission in preparing federal and state grant-in-aid applications for such projects as economic development, water and sewer improvements, health centers, senior citizen centers, recreational improvements, historic preservation, and solid waste management. A Catalog of State Financial Assistance Programs is available on-line at the Department of Community Affairs. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance provides information on Federal programs available to state and local governments, other public and private entities, and individuals.