City officials from Grovetown and Harlem are asking for help from residents to plan for future growth of the cities.
As part of a state-required update to the cities' 10-year Growth Management Plan, the CSRA Regional Development Center is holding meetings to solicit input from residents.
Grovetown will hold its open house from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall at the corner of Old Wrightsboro Road and West Robinson Avenue.
Harlem's public meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 26 at City Hall on Louisville Road.
"It is an open house format, so there is no formal presentation," said Christian Lentz, a planning director of the development center. "People can come and go any time during that time period."
The development center prepared the first two phases of the cities' growth plan updates: the community assessment, which includes city data such as population, demographics and city infrastructure; and community participation portions.
At the open house, residents can view those portions of the plan in addition to several charts and future growth maps prepared by development center planners, who will be at the meeting to speak to residents individually.
People will be asked for their input through a survey and through direct conversations with planners.
"We'd like to get as many of the public there as we can because some of them come up with great ideas," Grovetown Mayor Dennis Trudeau said.
Lentz said once the issues facing both cities are identified through the public meetings, second meetings will be scheduled for October.
The goals and objectives, and the strategies to achieve them, will be presented for more public comment. Those meetings have not yet been set.
Lentz said the growth plan is important for both of the rapidly growing cities as a guide for public officials.
"This is one of a community's most important policy documents," he said, adding that it gives direction to city officials' decisions, helps them prioritize funding and provides support for their decisions.
After all public meetings are held, development center planners will compile the information for the third and final portion - the community agenda document. The entire document must be reviewed by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, then approved by each city's council. Lentz said he hopes to have final approval of the updated growth plan by the end of January.
The first two portions of the updated growth plans are available for viewing at the development center's Web site, www.csrardc.org.
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