During their monthly Planning and Zoning meeting on Jan. 3, the City of Pembroke in partnership with Coastal Georgia Regional Development Center (CGRDC) held a public hearing and assessment of the city’s updated comprehensive plan.
Tricia Reynolds, planning director with CGRDC made a power point presentation outlining work being done on the update.
The meeting was attended by council members elect Tiffany Walraven, Angela Reed, Tony Greeson, Mayor Judy Cook and Councilman Johnnie Miller.
The comprehensive plan is essentially a master planning tool for city officials to use in order make informed and cohesive decisions for the city’s future. The objective of the comprehensive plan is to address issues and opportunities while taking into consideration future growth of the community. Economic development, natural and cultural resources, facilities and services, housing, land use, transportation and intergovernmental coordination are areas of consideration covered in the plan. All cities in the state of Georgia are required by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to have a comprehensive plan. The plan is updated every 10 years.
"The comprehensive plan is such a valuable tool for us as we look forward," said Mayor Cook. "It acts as a road map to help guide us as we plan for future growth and expansion. I can’t stress how important it is for us to have public comments and committees as we update our plan."
In August 2007, in order to ensure meaningful public and stakeholder involvement in the preparation of the comprehensive plan the city council appointed an advisory committee to begin working on the update. The committee included business, church, and political leaders, along with several community activists. Committee members were Joe Aldridge, Gloria Schneider, Wayne Porter, Doyce E. Mullis, Wanda Lane, Sharroll Fanslau, JuShara R. Coples, Betty Hill, Charlotte Bacon, Noah Covington, Mary Warnell and David Williams. Input from these committee members and research from Coastal Georgia RDC was considered in developing Pembroke’s comprehensive plan.
"The assessment phase of the plan is now complete," said Reynolds. "Now is the time to hear from the public. This plan will guide you for the next 10 to 20 years. It is important that the public participates. It is about their future."
The advisory committee, along with Reynolds and other CGRDC planners have begun to prepare for several follow up workshops to be held in February, March and April.
Here's what the assessment said:
- Existing land use in North Bryan is 29 percent agriculture, 27 percent residential, 26 percent parks, 10 percent public and institutions, 5 percent commercial, 2 percent transportation/communication/utilities, 1 percent undeveloped.
- A recent Georgia Tech study projects the city’s population to grow to approximately 4,600 by 2030.
- Studies of the community facilities and services noted a need for stronger code enforcement. While the study showed Pembroke has adequate water supplies and waste water treatment currently there is inadequate water storage capacity.
- A housing study showed a prevalence of mobile homes and manufactured housing, a lack of affordable and specialty needs housing and the need for quality growth and better design standards for future development.
- Transportation studies showed lack of public transportation, and the city’s ever improving and growing sidewalk networks show great walk-ability for citizens and visitors.
Reynolds said that update must be completed by June and will be voted on by council before being implemented. She also stated that the plan will be complied with the comprehensive plans for both Richmond Hill and Bryan County.
For more details on the comprehensive plan, you can contact Reynolds at 264-7363, ext. 245 or email her at email@example.com. Copies of the assessment are available to the public at city hall.
Regional Development Centers (RDCs) are multi-county planning and development agencies serving municipal and county governments in different areas of a state. In most states, boundaries of these regional organizations are determined by the state based on a variety of criteria, i.e., similarities among local governments, the presence of a "growth center," and a population mass to support the regional organization. RDCs are resources for local governments, businesses, communities and individual citizens.