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Dec 02

Existing Conditions Assessment

Posted on December 2, 2022 at 5:09 PM by Allison Duncan

We are starting to see some early results of the good work underway on the Comprehensive Plan Update.  The consultant team has shared with us some analysis of existing conditions.  Below is a brief discussion of a few of these maps, and the insights that we have gained. 

This environmental composite provides some critical insights into our land use.  The early comprehensive plans had estimated that 30-40% of Douglas County would be challenging to develop due to sensitive environmental conditions.  The dark grey areas of this map show granite deposits.  And the purple lines indicate flood zones that need to be avoided so as to protect life and property in the event of major storm events. 

2023 Environmental Composite

Several major waterways shape the structure of our watershed basins – including Sweetwater Creek Anneewakee Creek, Bear Creek, Dog River and the Chattahoochee River. The Bear Creek and Dog River Watershed Basins are protected by regulations to ensure both water quality and quantity for our current population and future generations.  These regulations protect the Bear Creek and Dog River Reservoirs from harmful impacts of development, as Douglas County is totally dependent on its surface water reservoirs for our community drinking water supplies.

2023 Hydrology

The Chattahoochee River is protected by the Metropolitan River Protection Act (MRPA).  This is a State law that governs the development of the 2,000 foot corridor adjacent to the River. 

The result of these environmental factors has influenced our current land development patterns.  Most of the development of Douglas County has taken place on the eastern side of the county.  This map shows a composite of areas where open space land uses, including forest and pasture lands, have clustered on 5+ acre parcels.

2023 Natural Resources Composite

Our land use also correlates to where it has made sense to expand sewer infrastructure in the county.

2023 Water and Sewer

All of these factors on any given parcel can be identified as either development mitigators, or things that could potentially limit development.  Or development accelerators, which are things that could potentially encourage development. An overview of these factors points to areas of the county that require special attention. These are areas that have been identified as being most susceptible to change. We will explore more on these issues in another post.