//New Common Community Vision Based on 800+ Comments

New Common Community Vision Based on 800+ Comments

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Southern Georgia Regional CommissionVALDOSTA, GA – From September through November planners with the Valdosta-Lowndes Metropolitan Planning Organization (VLMPO) and the Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC) held public meetings, lunch and learns, conducted online surveys, and met with local civic groups and stakeholders to find out what the residents of Valdosta and Lowndes County had in mind as a vision for the future of this community.

More than 800 comments were evaluated to develop a Common Community Vision in areas like economic development, education, housing, health and safety, intergovernmental coordination, land use, transportation, utilities, quality of life and natural resources. All of the comments collectively were developed into a Common Community Vision statement that local governments and agencies can use to guide future planning and development efforts: “A resilient community where partnerships and coordination promote regional success in economic development, education, infrastructure, and a high quality of life.”

Currently more than 23 plans by various local, state and regional agencies guide the future planning and development of Valdosta and Lowndes County. In these 23 plans there are more than 1,200 goals, objectives and policy statements that are used to guide decision makers in our community. The Common Community Vision is an effort to develop a common set of goals and implementation strategies for local agencies to work toward to improve the community.

Along with the Common Community Vision statement, more than 100 aspirational goal statements were developed from the comments within the previously listed areas. The comments and goal statements highlighted three significant themes that residents want to see in the future of Valdosta and Lowndes County: more partnerships and collaboration with local governments and private businesses to improve education, economic development and local financial resources; leadership development in local government to build upon our role as a regional economic hub; and better communication and increased awareness of local economic development, housing, recreational and other programs for residents and visitors alike.

The Common Community Vision is just the start of implementing the ideas brought forth by the community. It will be the responsibility of each of the local governments, agencies and businesses to implement their own part of the Common Community Vision. For instance, the VLMPO will be responsible for implementing the transportation aspects of the Common Community Vision in its 2040 Transportation Plan, which will be developed over the next year.

The VLMPO and SGRC are still seeking comments from the community on the Common Community Vision before the VLMPO Policy Committee adopts it at its January 29, 2014 meeting. The entire report, vision and goal statements can be viewed online at www.bit.ly/LowndesCCV. You can submit comments via email to chull@sgrc.us or via mail at 327 W Savannah Ave., Valdosta, GA 31602.

Source: Southern Georgia Regional Commission Press Release