Planning & Development
Randy Mannino, AICP
Planning & Development Director
P.O. Box 1390
10 N. Public Square
Cartersville, GA 30120
The Planning & Development department coordinates planning, zoning, and construction activities in the City.
* City Council approved the Downtown Master Plan on November 21. The plan may be viewed as a link under the GENERAL section.
* Planning Commission meetings are now held at 5:30 PM.
* For public meetings (Alcohol Control Board, Board of Zoning Appeals, City Council, Historic Preservation Commission, Planning Commission) a representative for a case should attend the meeting. If no one is in attendance, the case may be tabled.
The Community Services Division processes licenses and coordinates permits, inspections, and code enforcement activities. If you have code enforcement questions, contact Tim Jones 770-387-5610.
The development review process is a mechanism for developers, builders, engineers/designers, and others to meet with City department representatives to discuss projects.
The General Contractor and his subcontractors must comply with the current edition of the International Building Code as adopted by the State of Georgia Secretary of State.
The planning function of the department is the implementation of the policies, goals, and objectives of the Comprehensive Plan.
Zoning is a tool to help implement land-use and development policies. Due to the nature of the procedures (legal ads, public posting, public hearings, etc), zoning is the most visible function of the development process. If you have zoning questions, contact Richard Osborne 770-387-5614.
Department personnel provide staff assistance to the following:
- Alcohol Control Board
- Board of Zoning Appeals
- Historic Preservation Commission
- Planning Commission
Cartersville, the county seat for Bartow County, is 45 miles northwest of Atlanta on Interstate 75. The City, named for early 1800s Georgia entrepreneur Colonel Farish Carter, is 30 square miles in size. The 2012 Census population estimates were 19,810 for Cartersville and 100,661 for all of Bartow County.
Five local historic districts have been adopted: Cherokee-Cassville, Downtown Business District, Granger Hill, Olde Town, and West End. For historic preservation questions, contact Catheryn Hembree 770-607-3756.
In historic districts, demolition; exterior modifications to buildings; and new structures (fences, accessory buildings) require a Certificate of Preservation from the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) unless determined by the Department Director. New signs require HPC approval if they do not meet Sign Ordinance standards.
In an effort to encourage new quality development, the Business Park Overlay District and Main Street Overlay District have been adopted.
Department staff are assisting in an effort to encourage revitalization in older residential and nonresidential areas. The northwest (N. Erwin St, Porter St, Commerce Dr) and south (S. Erwin St, Industrial Dr, River Dr) industrial areas have been designated as Opportunity Zones for State job tax credits.
- Submit 2 copies of building plans to the Planning & Development office. The Building Official and Fire Marshall review building plans. For building permit questions, contact Catheryn Hembree 770-607-3756.
- A contractor must be State-licensed and show a current City or County business license (anywhere in Georgia). If the homeowner applies for the permit, a business license may not be required.
- Mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire sprinkler contractors must show a copy of your business and State license to obtain a permit.
- Asbestos reports and a business license are required for a demolition permit. If a homeowner requests this permit, just submit an asbestos report. If asbestos is found, the removal process must be noted.
- For a historic district property, a Certificate of Preservation must be obtained from the HPC before a building permit will be issued.
- City department representatives must sign approval of the building permit application before permit issuance.
Civil (construction) Plans
- Before submitting civil plans, a concept meeting is recommended. Held on Tuesday mornings, these meetings help project reps with the process. For info, contact Richard Osborne 770-387-5614.
- Submit 7 copies of plans, a check for applicable fees (PDF fee schedule on this website page), a copy of the hydrology study if applicable, and a filled-out land disturbance permit application.
- Plans will be reviewed and comments given to engineers 2 weeks after they are received.
- For revised plans, submit 7 copies and a $50 resubmittal fee. Comments will be given to engineers one week after they are received.
- Erosion and Sediment Control Plans must be designed by a certified professional with Level II certification - place the certification number on the cover sheet of the civil plans.
- Sidewalk a minimum of 5 feet in width is required for new nonresidential developments as well as residential subdivisions (not required for one new single-family house).
- Plans for projects involving 1.1 or more disturbed acres must be designed according to State EPD standards for either GAR 100001 (nonresidential) or GAR 100003 (residential).
Fences, Trees, and Walls
Below are fence requirements of the Zoning Ordinance. A permit is NOT required for a fence or wall, or to cut down a tree. For questions, contact Tim Jones 770-387-5610 or Richard Osborne 770-387-5614.
- If a proposed or newly installed fence or wall does not meet Zoning Ordinance standards, a variance must be obtained.
- In a historic district, apply for a Certificate of Preservation from the Historic Preservation Commission before installing a fence or wall.
- In residential districts, fences and walls shall not exceed 4 feet in height in a front yard (road frontages - even if a lot has two or three frontages) and 8 feet in a side or rear yard.
- In commercial districts, fences and walls shall not exceed 8 feet in height in a side or rear yard.
- In residential and commercial districts, front yard fences (road frontages - even if a lot has two or three frontages) or walls shall be decorative, shall not be opaque (4 inch slat separation), and may be brick, stone, wood, wrought iron, or other as approved by the department director.
- No fence or wall shall be constructed of exposed concrete blocks, tire, junk, or other discarded materials.
- Chain-link fencing is not allowed in the front yard (road frontages - even if a lot has two or three frontages) of a residential or commercial zoned property unless a variance is approved.
- For a residential corner lot or double frontage lot, a screening or opaque fence may be installed to the rear of the house at a max height of 8 feet provided that the fence shall not be in the front yard setback (20 ft from property line) and shall not be adjacent to a collector or arterial street.
- The fencing standards shall not apply to fencing for detention ponds.
- In residential & commercial districts, razor wire/ribbon is prohibited.
- In residential and commercial districts, a retaining wall cannot have exposed concrete block.
Review new signs with Tim Jones 770-387-5610 or Richard Osborne 770-387-5614 before ordering a sign to ensure compliance with standards. The Sign Ordinance is in PDF format in the SIGNS section of this page.
- Electronic signs (when allowed) shall contain static messages only, changed instantaneously, through dissolve or fade transitions, or other transitions not having the appearance of moving text or images.
- Electronic freestanding signs are not allowed in the Downtown Business District (DBD) and on residential use properties.
- Electronic freestanding signs are allowed on a limited basis on nonresidential use properties on certain roads (see Sign Ordinance) and, when allowed, may not exceed 50% of total sign face.
- Electronic wall signs are not allowed in the City limits.
- Electronic window signs may be no greater than four (4) square feet in size in the City limits, and do not require a permit.
Why do we Plan?
Results-oriented planning enhances industrial recruitment, downtown development, and quality of life.