Georgia General Assembly Legislative Update – March

The Georgia General Assembly (GGA) Regular Session is approaching Crossover Day on March 15, so now is the time to learn about the bills that are gaining traction in the legislature. A few bills that could have important implications for planners are highlighted below:

  • HB 1405: This bill seeks to amend procedures for zoning decisions. The intent of the bill is to codify and clarify the different types of zoning power and the proper mechanism to bring legal challenges to zoning and quasi-judicial zoning decisions. This is in reaction to recent decisions by the Georgia Supreme Court that have called into question what should be submitted as part of any rezoning application, and how the evidence or findings provided should be considered by the decision-making body.   
  • HB 1406: This bill could make it more difficult to rezone single-family residential districts for multifamily or other uses. The bill proposes new notice and hearing procedures when this type of rezoning is considered.
  • HB 713/SB 535: These bills seek to redirect DCA funding to create state sanctioned parking lots for homeless people with cars and without cars and shelters for 1-3 people for up to 6 months. SB 535 also includes a restriction on nonprofits receiving tax credits in any municipality that does not enforce homeless sleeping/camping bans.
  • Several bills focus on annexations and deannexations. HB 1461 would allow school boards to participate in the annexation dispute resolution process. HB 1439 proposes revisions to existing deannexation policies.

If any of these items pique your interest, join our virtual PAC meeting on Fridays at 10 a.m. during the legislative session. Contact Jim Summerbell to learn how to get involved.