Following a year-long public input and rewrite process, the City of Statesboro is proposing a new Unified Development Code to guide future growth and support planned revitalization efforts.
According to a release from Public Information Officer Layne Phillips, the city will hold an open house on Tuesday, June 13, from 6–8 p.m. in the Statesboro First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 101 S. Main St.
"The purpose of the Unified Development Code is to merge existing codes and regulations along with some new standards into a single, user-friendly document," said Kathy Field, the city's Planning and Development director. "The city's code of ordinances hasn't been updated in over 40 years. The proposed document will modernize the city's current regulations while also better positioning Statesboro for future development and growth."
The open house will allow community members to review the proposed zoning and development code changes and offer input. The meeting will begin with a formal presentation that will outline the UDC highlights and provide context for the recommended changes. After, City of Statesboro representatives will be available to discuss the proposed changes and answer questions.
In early 2022, the city hired Atlanta-based consulting firm TSW to review the existing zoning and development regulations, recommend changes and consolidate all into a unified development code. According to the release, the city's goals were to modernize antiquated, redundant zoning regulations and create new tools to help achieve goals outlined in the city's strategic plans.
The process began with stakeholder interviews and a review of existing regulations and plans. The findings of this were documented in a detailed code diagnostic report, which provided a roadmap for creating the unified development code.
The code diagnostic report also identified areas where public input was needed before the consultant team could begin the rewrite process. Two community workshops were held in the summer of 2022 to explore potential code alternatives and confirm direction before writing any new standards.
The city invites residents, business owners, and anyone else with an interest in development in Statesboro to attend the June 13 open house that will provide an overview of key changes, including:
➤ Updates to make the code more user-friendly;
➤ Updates to sign regulations;
➤ New and updated tools to encourage a variety of housing types;
➤ Updates to support environmental sustainability;
➤ Updates to the city's engineering standards.
The draft update to the UDC is posted on the project website for review and comment. Visit https://downtownstatesboromasterplan.com to learn more and submit any questions.