Columbia County Commissioners adopted a resolution on Tuesday that will send the county's updated growth management plan off for further review.
A copy of the partial update will first go before the CSRA Regional Commission and then be reviewed by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. The updated plan must be complete by Feb. 28.
Several public hearings and advisory committee meetings were held this year to discuss changes to the comprehensive plan.
The committee, consisting mainly of county officials and planning staff, created the addition of commercial corridors to the plan that will allow for a wide degree of development intensity.
The corridors link areas of dense commercial development, called nodes.
Each of the nodes, grouped to minimize urban sprawl, are assigned a different tier level depending on its size.
A Tier I node is the largest and contains a variety of land uses. Large-scale commercial development is encouraged in this node, which includes the Evans Town Center, Martinez and Lewiston/Grovetown areas.
Tier II nodes are limited to smaller commercial projects and dense residential land uses. Examples are Baston, Evans to Locks, Belair and Greenbrier nodes.
With Tier III nodes, such as areas of Columbia Road and Harlem, grocery and other convenience-type retail is encouraged to service nearby neighborhoods. Large-scale residential developments also are planned here. Tier IV nodes are the smallest and reserved for the most rural areas, such as Appling, Winfield and Leah. Only very limited development is encouraged in the node.
The newly-formed corridors will follow the same tier systems as the nodes.
At the last planning commission meeting on Nov. 4, the board also created guidelines to permit a greater variety of land uses along corridors.
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