That’s the tagline for Southwest Georgia’s 2011 Regional Plan. This plan is a requirement by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs who has the authority under O.C.G.A. 50-8-1 et seq. to establish standards and procedures for regional planning by regional commissions in Georgia.
The Regional Plan describes a vision for Southwest Georgia and the implementation policies and procedures to make that vision a reality. These policies will provide guidance for local governments to ensure new development works toward achieving the stated vision.
The Regional Plan addresses issues such as the protection of cultural and natural resources, economic development, tourism, literacy, transportation and workforce readiness. The Plan contains three main sections: the Assessment, the Stakeholder Involvement Program, and the Agenda.
The Assessment will be written by Regional Commission staff, and is an objective look at regional issues and opportunities.
The Stakeholder Involvement Programdetails how the Regional Commission is going to engage regional stakeholders; getting input on identified issues and strategies to implement and address those issues.
Finally, all of this input is refined into the Agenda. The Agenda outlines standards, policies and procedures that local governments throughout the region should use in their day-to-day development decisions. These standards help ensure consistency across the region and promote a unified approach to common social and development interests and obstacles.
Compliance by all local governments with the minimum level of these standards will be expected within three years of adoption of the Plan. Failure to do so could mean the loss of a local government's Qualified Local Government (QLG) status, which would make them ineligible to recieve certain state and federal grants and loans.