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Comprehensive Land Development Ordinance (CLDO)

October 13, 2020 - 07:18:42 AM
When did the Planning Commission begin the Comprehensive Land Development Ordinance update?
The process officially began in 2018. The Planning Commission took over a year to review, update, and modernize the Comprehensive Land Development Ordinance (CLDO). The primary purpose of the update is to correct issues identified by staff. The update also creates a more user-friendly guide for landowners and homeowners.
Why is the Land Development Ordinance being updated?
Habersham County is updating the Comprehensive Land Development Ordinance to better serve the public. The current ordinance was written in 1992 and does not represent the needs of our current community. For example, the uses currently listed in each district are limited. However, there is a written provision that states any use not listed was specifically prohibited.
Much has changed since this document was written in 1992. The Planning Commission has changed this provision to give the staff some ability to make interpretations with permitted uses in each district.
These updates will reflect a modern guide set for Habersham County’s future land use. 
The new code is not only more user-friendly but has more comprehensive land use categories.
Additional Land Use Districts – Currently, the CLDO has four (4) land use districts: HI, MI, LI, and AG. The proposal has a total of eight (8) land use districts and we’ve tried to incorporate the existing into the new districts:
a.     AG, Agricultural District – Self explanatory
b.     LI-R, Residential Single-Family District – Single family subdivisions
c.     LI-C, Limited Commercial District – Small scale commercial and service uses
d.     MI-R, Residential Multi-Family District – Greater density residential uses
e.     MI-C, General Commercial District – Larger traffic generating commercial uses
f.     PI, Public Institutional District – Government, educational, religious uses
g.     HI, Commercial & Industrial District – Heavy commercial and industrial uses
h.     PD, Planned Development District – Catch all for mixed use developments
The Planning Commission wanted to ensure these updates will not affect existing property owners and/or uses when reviewing and modernizing the CLDO. The CLDO will guide the future growth and development of the County. Nothing will change to existing landowners unless the landowner requests a land change use.
Current environmental regulations, with some small changes, were kept intact. The Planning Commission felt it is important to continue the protections of our natural beauty.
The Board of Commissioners changed the regulations governing cell towers in 2019 to facilitate the growth of our wireless network. Since those changes have worked, as shown with the recent approval of two new towers and much more interest from wireless providers, the Planning Commission did not want to change those existing standards.  
As currently permitted, manufactured homes, on an individual lot, are allowed anywhere a single-family dwelling is permitted with the County.
Please click here to read the 2020 Comprehensive Land Development Ordinance Rewrite draft.
Have additional questions?
Please email Habersham County’s Public Information Officer at if you have additional questions. 
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