A new zoning code approved by Grovetown officials Monday will remarkably change the way development will look.
The ordinance unanimously approved by the City Council describes the city’s new form-based code.
“It basically creates a new zoning code, a form-based code, and it’s replacing the older existing code,” said Grovetown City Planner Frank Neal.
The new code was a goal of the city’s Growth Management Plan and the Urban Redevelopment Plan, which focuses on development in certain areas of the city to include the older downtown residential areas and the commercial corridors of Robinson Avenue and Wrightsoro Road.
The former code was simply use-based that gave “soft guidelines” for design and aesthetics.
“The new code expands upon that a great deal in order to develop a district feel within all of the zoning districts,” said Leslie Oberholtzer, with CodaMetrics, who consulted with city officials and helped write the new code.
“So that each one of the development that might happen within one of the zoning districts will actually build together to create a more cohesive district.”
The new code focuses mainly on three districts, or areas of the city. The city center is along Robinson Avenue in the older downtown residential area of town.
The residential areas behind Robinson also have guidelines about community development and home styles.
The code also provides more precise regulations for the commercial corridors along Wrightsboro Road and part of Robinson Avenue including landscape and signage requirements, parking lots and building materials.
“It’s not only to manage future growth, but how it looks in the future,” Neal said of the new code.
The new code was written based largely on input from city residents at public meetings.
“It involved a lot of public input,” Neal said.
“It’s what people wanted our city to look like in the future.”
Neal said several developers have already begun designing projects in the city and agreed to do so within the new form-based zoning codes, even before they were formally adopted.
“They agreed to work within that code,” Neal said. “The developers and the communities are basically embracing it.”