Pickens County Public Relations Director Norman Pope says deadlines are the most important part of the comprehensive plan process.
Speaking at this week’s first board of commissioners’ work session, Pope presented a cursory update on the process. Comprehensive Plans are required by counties in order to receive state funding, he said, and necessary to retain Qualified Local Government Status.
The first public hearing for the plan was held on December 13th. During the hearing, Northwest Georgia Regional Commission Assistant Director of Regional Planning Barnett Chitwood explained the process of compiling the plan and outlining a schedule of deadlines. Each city within the county will prepare its own portion of the plan and then submit its plan to the county. During this week’s work session, Pope reminded the commissioners that the final deadline is June 30, 2013. The entire plan must be complied, pre-approved by the state and submitted by this date. More immediately, though, he said the county must have a rough draft completed by March first, which, he said, will include several meetings and input by the citizen advisory group.
“If we have not revised and adopted a comprehension plan by this date,”
Pope said, referring to the June 30th deadline,
“We lose qualified local government status.”
The process involves several additional public hearings over the course of the next six months. In an email to FYN this week, Pope noted that the next hearing will be later this month, adding that he expected it be held the week of the 13th, but said no date has yet been confirmed.