Planners are hoping to put the final touches on the comprehensive plan after a public meeting last Thursday night at Effingham County Middle School.
The meeting was the last before the planners get the final draft ready.
“It has gone well, relatively speaking,” county senior planner George Shaw said of the public input process.
The public comments have been instrumental in shaping the draft as it stands now.
“We created some of this using the loose framework of the state guidelines,” Shaw said. “But these have been personalized by the comments.”
Some of the public comments were in conflict with each other, so not everybody got what they wanted, Shaw said.
He also said there have been misconceptions on what the plan means.
“Some believe it is still an effort for the state to take over zoning,” he said. “Some believe the future development map is a zoning map.”
Shaw said neither of those worries are founded. The character development and future development maps don’t outline particular zonings, just areas where certain activities are more suitable than others.
“This is a guide for the future,” he said. “We’re not changing anything immediately.”
Planners will continue to take comments until Nov. 2.
“We are not looking to drastically change the direction of the plan,” Lott and Barber’s Denise Grabowski said. “The comments should enhance the plan.”
The county is working with Lott and Barber on their part of the plan while the county’s three cities are working with the Coastal Georgia Regional Development Center. The groups are working together to put the pieces together.
The community agenda lays out the framework for where the community wants to be for the next 20 years, Grabowski said.
“We have spent a good deal of time on issues and opportunities,” she said.
A final draft is expected to be presented at a public hearing next month. The comp plan then will be submitted to the state Department of Community Affairs.
“We hope to adopt it in January or February, depending on the DCA’s response,” Shaw said.
Part of the comp plan is a short term work program, a set of issues to be encountered in the next five years.
Comments on the county part of the plan can be directed to Shaw at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments on the cities’ part of the comp plan can be directed to the CGRDC’s Tricia Reynolds of the at
To see the comp plan, its draft and its maps, visit the Web site www.effinghamcounty.org. Click on Comprehensive Plan.