The Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners must approve amendments to the Comprehensive Plan text or the Future Land Use Map. In order to allow for timely, small-scale changes to the plan text and Future Land Use Map, an annual plan amendment process has been established.
The annual plan amendment process begins at the end of each calendar year, starting in October and ending in January of the following year. During this time, staff members study proposed changes to the text and land use map that have arisen throughout the year. The changes may be the result of direction from the Board of Commissioners due to a rezoning action, approval of a study or master plan, and/or suggestions from the Planning Commission, residents, business community or staff. Any site which was not previously posted for a rezoning, land use permit, special land use permit or study/master plan hearing, is posted to notify the public of the proposed Comprehensive Plan amendments. The posting consists of general area notifications that alert the public about policy changes in the affected area. Additionally, letters are mailed to property owners informing them of the impending changes to the Comprehensive Plan and the amendment package is posted online at www.cobbcounty.org for public review.
The process concludes with public hearings with the Planning Commission (PC) and the Board of Commissioners (BOC), respectively. These hearings serve as a forum to gather community input regarding the impending Comprehensive Plan amendments and for the PC and the BOC to vote on adoption of the amendments. The voting process involving the PC and the BOC is described as follows:
- After site visits and analysis, staff briefs the PC and BOC, respectively, on the facts surrounding each proposed amendment.
- The PC, serving in its official role as a recommending body to the BOC, makes its recommendations by way of a vote.
The BOC is briefed on the facts of each proposed amendment, and is informed of the recommendation from the PC. Subsequently, the BOC accepts the recommendation, rejects it, or modifies it by way of a vote. This BOC vote is the final action that confirms the amendments to the Comprehensive Plan.