Chattahoochee Hills Unified Development Code


  • City of Chattahoochee Hills

  • Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia


  • Created new UDC including all zoning, subdivision, and environmental regulations
  • Code preserves unique vision for rural land preservation consistent with Comprehensive Plan
  • With hamlets and villages, form-based regulations address buildings and streets


The City of Chattahoochee Hills, located just south of Atlanta, has a unique vision for preserving its rural land and way of life. This vision is outlined in the City’s Comprehensive Plan, which aims to balance development and preservation in order to create a community that is distinct from others in the region. However, the City’s codes were not always in alignment with this vision.

TSW was brought on to update the policy and technical aspects of the code in order to better align it with the goals of the Comprehensive Plan and the community, as well as make it easier to understand and administer.

The resulting Chattahoochee Hills Unified Development Code combines zoning and subdivision regulations, as well as regulations for the transfer of development rights (TDR) that help preserve rural land. The code includes tools such as a 70-80% open space preservation requirement and a 20-acre minimum lot size in the rural zoning district. Additionally, a light level of regulation in rural areas is implemented to protect crop and livestock farming and other agricultural activities.

Chattahoochee Hills Unified Development Code provides for, in areas where density is allowed, such as hamlets and villages and historic crossroads, locally calibrated elements of the SmartCode are used to ensure appropriate design. The code addresses open space types, shows how buildings should relate to the street, and provides a menu of street types for various contexts. This approach helps to create a cohesive and sustainable community that is in line with the City’s vision for preservation and development.