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).
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.
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.
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.