NWGRC to hold hearing on regional resource plan
by Staff Report
Jun 10, 2011 | 1723 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Northwest Georgia Regional Commission will hold a regional hearing today on the draft Regional Resource Plan. The plan, which was assigned by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, aims to enhance the focus on management of natural, historic and cultural resources in the 15-county region.

The RRP will serve as a tool for the NWGRC's Planning Committee in choosing which resources should be proposed to the Department of Community Affairs as regionally important resources. The project was authorized by the Georgia Planning Act of 1989, allowing the DCA to establish rules for identifying and protecting regionally important resources. As a result, each regional commission has been charged with the responsibility of assembling a comprehensive Regional Resource Plan.

The NWGRC meeting will be at 10 a.m. at the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission Office, 1 Jackson Hill Drive, Rome.

According to documents in the draft plan -- found at http://nwgrc.org/regionalresourceplan.pdf, the planning process was initiated by a Sept. 10, 2010, regional commission mail-out to federal and state agencies, local governments, historical and other societies, and various entities, to solicit input in the process. The mail-out was followed up by a public meeting on Oct. 7, 2010, at the Rome office of the regional commission. As nominations began coming in, regional commission staff began listing potential Regionally Important Resources, which are listed in the draft.

The plan outlines that, once the NWGRC has considered the proposed resources of regional importance compiled in the draft, a final list of nominations will be produced and made available to the general public for input. Sometime after the public comment period, the resultant resources of regional importance plan will be transmitted to the DCA by regional council resolution, according to the draft plan.

Once the Resources of Regional Importance Plan has been approved by the DCA, NWGRC will make it available to local governments for use in comprehensive plans and in reviewing development proposals.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has recognized certain state vital areas as regionally important resources, including water supply watersheds, groundwater recharge areas, wetlands, protected river corridors, and steep slopes/protected mountains. Bartow County has 633 wetland acres, or .002 percent of the 291,917 total acres. The county has two public water supply watersheds listed in the plan -- Lewis Springs serving Adairsville and Bovilar Springs covering a county service area. Neither are listed as a reservoir.

The plan states that in Northwest Georgia a skeletal greenspace infrastructure in the form of national forests, Wildlife Management Areas, a national park, state parks and historic sites, and public trails is in place. Red Top Mountain State Park and Etowah Mounds State Historic Site, which was also a National Historic Landmark, were listed from Bartow County.

The plan also lists National Register/Georgia Register properties with national level of significance. In Bartow County the listed property was Corra White Harris House, Study and Chapel Complex and Valley View, located within the Etowah Mounds National Register Historic District.

National Register/Georgia Register listed properties with a state level of significance from Bartow County were Bartow County Courthouse, Benham Place, Noble Hill School and Roselawn.

Two local battlefields were among those considered significant in the preservation of Civil War history. The Civil War Sites Advisory Commission identified the most important and most threatened battlefields in the nation, including Adairsville in Bartow and Gordon counties with a low threat and Allatoona in Bartow at a moderate threat.

Other regionally significant resources include properties that have been 1) listed in the National Register/Georgia Register with a local level of significance but that cross jurisdictional boundaries; 2) documented by the Historic American Buildings Survey or the Historic American Engineering Record; 3) otherwise evaluated to be of state or national significance; or 4) nominated during the 1992 Regionally Significant Resources process. Other regionally significant properties are Cassville Atlanta Campaign Tablet and Roadside Park, Stilesboro Academy, and Boston Creek and Stamp Creek Basin.

Nomination submitted by various jurisdictions, in addition to those included in the state and regional commission, were: Atlanta Steeplechase/Huntington Downs; Bartow County Library branches in Adairsville, Cartersville and Euharlee; Booth Western Art Museum; Tellus Northwest Georgia Science Museum; Adairsville National Register Historic District; ATCO Mill Village National Register Historic District; Barnsley Gardens; Bartow Carver Park; Cartersville Downtown Local Historic District; Cassville Historic Village; Cooper's Iron Works; Euharlee Historic District and Covered Bridge; Funkhouser and Flextile; Hickory Log Vocational School; Kingston; Mosteller's Mills; Oak Hill Cemetery; Pine Log Methodist Church, Campground and Cemetery; Thompson Log House; White; Allatoona North Shore Conservation Area; Allatoona Wildlife Management Area; Bartow County Gatewood Park, beach and campground; Beasley Gap Trail AKA Pine Log -- Beasley Gap Trail; Drummond Swamp/Blue Hole Spring/GA Alder threatened species; Pettit Environmental Preserve; Kingston Saltpeter Caves Nature Preserve; and Spring Bank.