The GPA Executive Board annually approves a list of policy priorities, tracks several bills at the Georgia General Assembly, and takes positions on legislative proposals when they are in direct conflict with the Chapter’s legislative priorities.
The GPA Board of Directors unanimously approved Legislative Policy Priorities for the 2021-22 Georgia General Assembly at its February 9, 2021 meeting. The document is a statement of Chapter priorities and professional position on policy issues. It will guide advocacy positions taken by the Chapter and serve as a framework for local advocacy efforts by GPA members. The document makes a nod to the American Planning Association (APA) 2021 Policy Priorities.
APA has published the 2022 Federal Priorities for Planning and Communities, which includes infrastructure and recovery legislation implementation, zoning reform and housing opportunities, and climate change.
GPA’s legislative priorities include the following:
- Local Governance in Support of Home Rule
- Available, Affordable and Attainable Quality Housing
- Transportation and Infrastructure
- Healthy Communities
- Fair and Equitable Governance
- Environmental Stewardship
The below table documents GPA positions on legislation introduced at the Georgia General Assembly. GPA supports policy initiatives at the federal level through the American Planning Association’s Planners Advocacy Network. Keep abreast of federal legislative priorities here.
2021-2022 Georgia General Assembly
|Bill (House-HB; Senate-SB)||Description||Current Status||GPA Position|
|HB 98, Provides for virtual public hearings||While most local governments have been holding virtual meetings during the pandemic out of necessity, state law never explicitly recognized this as an option for public hearings. This bill would explicitly grant local governments the authority to hold virtual public hearings.||PASSED - Signed by Governor 5/4/2021||Support|
|HB 130, Limit local government regulation of Fence Detection Systems||This bill would preempt local governments from regulating fence detention security systems, if such fences meet certain requirements. Despite this bill’s limited applicability, it preempts of local zoning authority.||Passed House and favorably reported by Senate State and Local Governmental Operations Committee but did not receive Senate vote*||Oppose|
|HB 150 and SB 102, Preemption of local utility connection policies||This bill would take away the rights of local governments to adopt local building codes and other policies affecting the type of energy used in homes and businesses.||PASSED - Signed by Governor 5/6/2021||Oppose|
|HB 221, Local government; zoning procedures; Provide for local boards of education to appoint members to local planning commissions||While there is some overlap between the jurisdictions of boards of education and planning commissions, we see these activities as separate and distinct. Adding additional members to planning commissions would potentially make them more cumbersome.||2/3/2021 - Assigned to Government Affairs Committee - failed to crossover to Senate*||Oppose|
|HB 302, Revenue and taxation; proceeds of local government regulatory fees be used to pay for regulatory activity||Limits the fees a local government can collect for permitting and plan review. This is a preemption bill that takes away localities ability to set their own fees and could also result in lower revenue for local planning departments.||Passed 3/30/2022 - Sent to Governor||Oppose|
|HB 408, Property; dispossessory proceedings; revise procedures for the initiation of dispossessory actions (written eviction notice and 7-day right to cure period)||Georgia law has no set timeframe for when a landlord can issue an eviction notice if rent is not paid. Georgia is one of the few states in the country that does not. Further, there is no current requirement that eviction notices in Georgia be given in writing. GPA stands in support of this legislation as it will add a needed layer of due process to dispossessory proceedings in Georgia.||Assigned to House Ways and Means Committee - failed to crossover to Senate*||Support|
|HB 462, Sales and use tax; imposition of special purpose local tax by a single county for the funding of transit||Current legislation requires two or more neighboring counties in a nonattainment area to approve such a tax. This bill would make it easier for rural counties to raise funding for transit by lifting the multi-county requirement and allowing a single county to approve the tax.||Assigned to House Transportation Committee - failed to crossover to Senate*||Support|
|HB 1406, Zoning; changes to ordinances that revise single-family residential classifications; provide additional notice and hearing provisions||This bill establishes a new rezoning process in the instance that a city revise existing single-family residentially zoned properties to allow for multi-family uses. These provisions would not apply to any property owner or authorized person seeking the rezoning to multifamily from the local government but is focused on city initiated rezoning or zoning ordinance amendments. This bill would place more barriers in the path of redevelopment, and hamstring community-initiated efforts to allow even the gentlest forms of increased density such as accessory dwellings units. The bill, if enacted will slow and discourage communities from addressing the housing crisis through regulatory reform.||3/18/2022 - Pending in Senate Rules||Oppose|
|HB 713, and SB 535, Reducing Street Homelessness Act||This bill would restrict cities with a per-capita homelessness rate higher than the state from receiving state funds if not enforcing current law on street camping or sleeping on public streets. This bill would also implement a program under the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to redirect funding to cities for addressing homelessness via short-term housing or sheltering, requiring such funds to be used for safe parking lots, basic utilities, bathrooms, structured camping and individual unit shelters to be limited to six months of stay. Additionally, DCA would be tasked with designating state property for such purpose.||Each bill failed to crossover||Oppose|
|HR 52, Joint Study Committee on Childhood Lead Exposure||This resolution would create a joint Study Committee to address childhood lead poisoning prevention||House Committee on Health and Human Services favorably reported - failed to crossover to Senate*||Support|
|SB 49, Buildings and Housing; procedures for alternative plan review, permitting, and inspection by private professional providers||Provides for alternative plan review and permitting by a private company with no local government approval required. This bill would not allow for unbiased plan review and could result in lower quality development.||PASSED - Sent to Governor||Oppose|
|SB 260, Soil Amendments, exclude from regulations and limitation on setbacks and buffers to no more than 100 ft.||This would preempt local zoning control, but in particular buffer and setback regulations along protected waterways, and to exclude certain soil amendments.||PASSED - Sent to Governor||Oppose|