Chattahoochee Hills Unified Development Code


Client: City of Chattahoochee Hills

Location: Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia

Status: Adopted 2021


  • 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 lies less than 20 miles south of the Atlanta airport, but its unique vision for preserving its rural land and way of life has created a community unlike any other in the region. This vision is laid out in the City’s Comprehensive Plan, but the City’s codes did not always support this vision as well as they could.

TSW was asked to update policy and technical aspects of the code, 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 Unified Development Code combines zoning and subdivision regulations, as well as regulations for transfer of development rights (TDR) that help preserve rural land with tools such as a 70-80% open space preservation requirement and a 20-acre minimum lot size in the rural zoning district. A light level of regulation in rural areas intentionally protects crop and livestock farming and other agricultural activities.

Within the hamlets and villages where density is allowed, as well as at historic crossroads, locally calibrated elements of the SmartCode help 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.