Community Planning Program

Page Menu

The Community Planning Program is a comprehensive community development program, aiming to educate and facilitate understanding of comprehensive planning, land use, growth management, decision-making, strategic planning and implementation for local governments in Georgia. These courses are open to appointed board and commission members (existing and new), local government staff and elected officials.


Planning and Zoning 101: The Basics

All appointed board and commission members (existing and new), local government staff and elected officials should attend this training.

This is a solid introduction to the basics of what planning and zoning are.

You will learn:

  • terminology

  • what the roles in the local government planning and zoning processes are (citizens, applicants, planning commission/planning commissioners, planning and zoning staff, and elected officials)

  • what state laws are applicable to the work planners, zoning administrators and appointed officials do 

  • what the job is and how to do the job

  • how to interpret and use the city/county comprehensive plan to make land use decisions

  • why the plan is the anchor of those decisions

  • how to use the local ordinance and the plan to make the decisions

  • how to plan for the future: demographic and land use trends as well as population projections and asset-based planning

View flyer for more information.

For course information and registration, click here.


Planning and Zoning 102: Civic Engagement

All appointed board and commission members, and planning staff should attend this training.

In this course, participants will learn about community engagement, including how to conduct and handle problems at meetings as well as broader strategies for involvement. The course includes the use of case studies, group work and discussion to facilitate understanding.  

You will focus on: 

  • broader context of civic health and community 

  • methods to handle contentious public hearings 

  • outreach and engagement strategies

View flyer more information.

For course information and registration, click here.


New Course! Planning and Zoning 104: Zoning Reform and Revision

This course explores how zoning codes can meet a local community’s future needs and desires to reach more positive social and economic outcomes and responsive land use policies. In this session, you will examine methods used to assess existing code and development patterns. Plus, you will learn how to analyze aspects of code revisions, including clarity and consistency, density, affordability, transportation, and equity.

You will learn: 

  • zoning’s significance in shaping communities

  • reasons for amending local zoning code

  • expectations of a contemporary zoning ordinance

  • methods for assessing existing code and development patterns

  • best practices in zoning reform

For course information and registration, click here.



"This training made me realize the importance of proper planning and land use regulations to the quality of life of the city."

Lee Baliles, Councilman, City of Loganville


"Chrissy’s Planning and Zoning training was filled with takeaways for my work with the city: the value of maximizing your city’s strengths; examining its weaknesses and working toward your goals; stressing the use of the city’s comprehensive plan when making decisions regarding zoning; and learning to stick to the job and responsibilities in recommending zoning changes and conditions."

Jennifer Freeman, Planner, City of Griffin