Planning

Developments of Regional Impact (DRI)

 

Under the Georgia Planning Act, development projects that are likely to have an impact beyond the host local government’s jurisdiction are subject to review as Developments of Regional Impact (DRI).

DRI Procedures and Thresholds

In late 2010, recognizing the recent changes in the business and development climates affecting communities across the state, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) began exploring the potential need to revise its rules. At the encouragement of the Governor and the General Assembly, the Board of Community Affairs established a task force to research and recommend specific revisions to DCA’s rules, including those for Developments of Regional Impact (DRIs).

DRI Reviews

The DRI Review is intended to improve communication among governments on large-scale and certain types of developments, and to provide a means of identifying and assessing potential impacts before conflicts relating to them arise. DCA has established thresholds by size and type of development as a means of determining whether it qualifies as a DRI.

To maintain its Qualified Local Government (QLG) status, a local government must submit potential DRIs to TRRC for review and comment. With input from neighboring local governments and other agencies, TRRC reviews the submission and submit a report to the host local government. After the review is completed, the local government retains authority to make the final decision on whether or not to approve the development.

Section 110-12-3-.03 (4) of the DRI Rules as effective March 1, 2014, states, “The host local government may proceed with its development review process during the DRI process, provided that it does not take final official action approving a project until the DRI process is completed and the local government has had adequate time to consider the Regional Commission’s DRI report. It is intended that the DRI process should take place simultaneously with local development review procedures in order to minimize administrative delay for review and approval of large developments.  Examples of local development review activities that may take place during the DRI process include, but are not limited to, preliminary staff administrative functions, project evaluation/assessment, community participation meetings and hearings, site visits, and planning commission meetings to discuss, but no vote on, the proposed local action that triggered the DRI process.”

110-12-3-.01(2) (e) states, “At the completion of the DRI process, which shall not last more than 30 calendar days (unless process extensions are taken as provided for in section 110-12-3-.02 (10)(c), the Regional Commission will assemble a report including comments received from neighboring jurisdictions, potential affected parties, and State entities along with the results of any analysis it may have been requested to conduct pursuant to section (d), above, including any recommendations for maximizing potential positive outcomes and economic benefits, reducing potential adverse interjurisdictional impacts and other suggestions for improvement of the project. The local government is encouraged to consider the contents of the DRI report in making its decision related to the project.”   

For the purpose of review, counties in the Three Rivers RC Region, with the exception of Carroll, Coweta, Spalding and Troup counties, are considered to be in the “non-metropolitan” area. But Carroll, Coweta, Spalding and Troup counties are considered as “metropolitan” areas;  however, for the purpose of DRIs, Coweta County is located in the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) jurisdiction. As a result and pursuant to state law (OCGA §50-32-14), GRTA is required to review all DRIs within its 13-county metro Atlanta jurisdiction. GRTA's purpose is to evaluate the proposed development’s effect on the surrounding transportation infrastructure and to identify options to mitigate current and future impacts to mobility using best-practice standards for transportation and land use. GRTA and the Three Rivers Regional Commission coordinate to maximize the time and information provided and work together to involve partner agencies, adjacent local governments and the applicant’s consultant team. (See GRTA Technical Guidelines 2013. Note: A GRTA review only applies to DRIs in Coweta County.)

DRI Pre-Application Notification/Conference

 

TRRC requests that all governments submitting DRIs contact Kimberly Dutton, TRRC Review Coordinator, prior to the initiation of a DRI application with DCA.  This pre-notification is to determine if a conference is required prior to the submittal of the application.

If a potential project is located in Coweta County, the applicant and host local govenrment must consult with the TRRC Review Coordinator and with the State Road and Tollway Authority Planner for a DRI Pre-Application Conference.  SRTA is the entity responsibile for conducting the DRI Reviews for the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA).  GRTA requires a mandatory methodology meeting in collaboration with TRRC and all stakeholders prior to the initiation of a DRI application with DCA.

For more information, visit the State Road and Tollway Authority webpage or contact Emily Estes, the Planner at 404-893-6171 or eestes@srta.ga.gov.  You may also contact Kimberly Dutton, the TRRC DRI Review Coordinator, by email or phone at 770-254-4508.

Contact Us

For additional information on Developments of Regional Impact (DRI), please contact: