Chattooga County has experienced economic changes over the last several years. As change in economic and land development occurs, communities may be asked to consider a new subdivision, a new commercial development or perhaps a new industrial facility. Planning for new parks, new schools and new roads are happening right now. This is the opportunity to be involved in the planning process.

Chattooga County, along with the cities of Lyerly, Menlo, Summerville and Trion will hold a series of public meetings this winter and spring to update the Chattooga County Joint Comprehensive Plan. The Countywide Kickoff Meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 22, 2010 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Chattooga County Civic Center located at 44 Highway 48 in Summerville.

The purpose of the Countywide Public Kickoff Meeting is to announce the beginning of the planning process, provide an opportunity for participants to view a presentation covering the project purpose and general plan approach, and provide an opportunity for participants to voice their initial concerns for future development and define the key issues and opportunities. In addition to the Countywide Public Kickoff Meeting, the public participation opportunities will take place in the following three rounds (see accompanying flyer for all meeting dates/locations):

• Community Visioning Workshops (5 workshops)
• Countywide Framework Workshop (1 countywide workshop)
• Countywide Open House (1 open house meeting)
Community residents and business owners are encouraged to provide comments via the online (or paper version) of the Community Survey available at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/chattoogaplan. (a paper copy of the survey is attached to this release). The questionnaire, which provides an opportunity for additional input into the planning process, is also available in traditional paper format at the Countywide Kickoff Meeting and available during regular office hours at the Sole Commissioner’s Office and the Lyerly, Menlo, Summerville and Trion city halls. Stakeholders are encouraged to complete the questionnaire by April 10, 2010 – prior to the first Visioning Workshop. 

In addition, the project webpage http://www.chattoogaplancom, currently under construction, will host a variety of information about the comprehensive plan, provide a link to the survey and will include agendas, presentations and other information distributed at meetings. So, if you miss a meeting, you can find out what happened by going to the project website. When draft plans are developed at a later stage in the process, they will also be posted on the website for public review and comment. Facebook and Twitter users can follow the progress of the plan and keep up with meetings, provide comments, etc. via the Facebook page (search “Chattooga County Joint Comprehensive Plan” and following the Twitter account @ChattoogaPlan.

The Plan will establish a community vision that defines how the community wants to be in the future, and it will provide a course of action to build what stakeholders envision. The plan will serve as a policy guide on how Chattooga County and the cities of Lyerly, Menlo, Summerville and Trion should develop over time.

The Northwest Georgia Regional Commission, with financial participation from Chattooga County, Lyerly, Menlo, Summerville and Trion, has contracted with MACTEC Engineering and Consulting, Inc. to prepare the plan.