Land Use Amendments
Land use in Habersham County is determined by the district the property is in. At present there are four classes of districts: Agricultural Protection, Low Intensity, Moderate Intensity, and High Intensity.
However, because properties change hands, neighborhoods fluctuate, and businesses come and go, districts may be altered from time to time. There are three stages to the map amendment (commonly called "zoning change") process:
Land districts are determined by use, so if the property is to be utilized in a way not allowed by the current district, the owner must make a map amendment application through the Planning Department. Then the Planning Commission (a board specializing in planning and zoning issues) reviews the request in the light of the following criteria (reprinted from the Comprehensive Land Use Resolution which is available on this website or for $15 per copy from the Planning Department):
Besides the above rules, other relevant factors may be taken into account by the Planning Commission as it develops its recommendation for the Board of Commissioners (the governing body authorized to make the final decision).
When the Commissioners hear the request, they weigh not only the Planning Commission's recommendation but also public opinion and the property owner's views. Based on what has been presented, the map amendment may be approved, disapproved, or tabled for later consideration.
Although not every land use district change is welcomed by everybody, map amendments are still a useful tool in providing the flexibility to respond to growth and change as they develop naturally.