A Blueprint for Growth: Strategic Partnership Crafts Social Circle’s Future

Nestled an hour east of Atlanta, the City of Social Circle, Georgia, stands at the intersection of tradition and transformation. In this serene haven, where big-city energy fades into small-town charm, a community on the brink of significant change emerges.

Fueling this evolution, CPL’s Community Practice team is spearheading various projects that are indispensable for cultivating a more livable and welcoming environment for residents. Our partnership with Social Circle serves as the blueprint for a future where growth is strategic, and sustainability is paramount.

In recent years, the City has drawn attention from employers, leading to substantial population growth. To accommodate this surge, the City first collaborated with CPL to revamp its traditional Zoning Ordinance into a modernized Unified Development Code (UDC).

Man and woman examine municipal zoning plans next to a sign about zoning

This all-encompassing framework consolidates regulations and streamlines land development processes, integrating input from community stakeholders, staff and elected officials. Beyond regulatory updates, the UDC also incorporates the National Register of Historic Places-compatible design guidelines, addresses critical zoning elements, introduces standards for industrial operations and offers greater flexibility for emerging businesses.

“The UDC positions Social Circle for a dynamic future that simultaneously preserves its cherished small-town character,” shared Rebecca Keefer, AICP, Associate Principal at CPL.

In tandem with the UDC, we are collaborating on another initiative— the formation of an “Integrated Community and Civic Facilities Master Plan”.

Launched via a strategic land swap between the City and the school district, this 12-month process will encompass a series of building assessments, facilities planning and public engagement forums, culminating in the creation of a master plan that brings the community’s vision to life. The plan will focus on three key pillars: parks and recreation, multi-use trails and other key civic and community facilities.

 

A woman and several men work on plans and municipal zoning codes together, huddled around a desk

Keefer clarified, “Rather than adhering to a rigid template, our master plan is designed to be a living, flexible document that can adapt to the city’s evolving needs.”

Our team strengthened the connection between these two projects by providing marketing support to establish a distinctive logo, which will be prominently featured on all future project collateral. In addition to serving as a symbol of progress, this graphic will help unite the code rewrites and facilities master plan efforts under one banner of community development.

Logo for a municipal master plan, "Social Circle Integrated Community and Civic Facilities Master Plan" written in bold, blue lowercase font with two map markers and a dotted line

In the quiet corridors of municipal planning, the City of Social Circle is weaving a narrative of growth, resilience and public-centric development. It’s a vital story that forms the blueprint for a city’s future, etched in every line of code and stroke of a logo.

“Guiding Social Circle through its growth, these projects aim to nurture a future that upholds the city’s essence and realizes its potential,” stated Keefer.

As a go-getting Senior Copywriter with a penchant for innovative collaboration and more than a decade of experience, Sarah applies resolute writing, editing and research skills towards developing compelling content that serves as a powerful reflection of the CPL brand.

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