Community Development

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Updated:  April 20, 2018
In accordance with the requirements of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), Camden County, the City of Kingsland, the City of St. Marys, and the City of Woodbine have produced a revised Joint Comprehensive Plan. The Joint Comprehensive Plan Update provides information regarding how the cities and county are today and how they intend to develop. The plan is intended to guide economic development,land use, transportation, housing, and quality of life. Contained within the document are descriptions of the character areas and future land use which indicate how the county and three cities intend to preserve the built and natural environments while encouraging sustainable growth.

April 20, 2018, Draft Camden County Joint Comprehensive Plan

April 2, 2018, Draft Camden County Joint Comprehensive Plan (Older version)


Posted March 28, 2018
With the upcoming election season underway, the St. Marys Community Development office wishes to remind citizens of rules regarding placement of political signs. 
City of St. Marys City Sign Ordinance Rules Hosted by Municode
“Sec. 46-140. – Exemptions
(10) Political signs when the sign area is 16 square feet or less. Signs must be placed on private property and are prohibited from the public right-of-way by state law. Such signs shall not be erected within the city right-of-way.”

Please also note that Georgia state law (§ 32-6-51) also prohibits the placement of any sign on city right-of-ways, including political signs.
Any signs that are found to not be in compliance will be removed and held at the Community Development office for a period of 10 business days, after this period, the signs will be disposed of. If you have any questions regarding legal placement, please feel free to contact a member of our planning or code enforcement staff at (912) 510-4032.

Post Edited April 2, 2018
The St. Marys Planning Commission will hold a series of Special Called Work Sessions, beginning Tuesday April 3rd, at 6PM, in Council Chambers at City Hall (MEETING CANCELED), to discuss the latest draft of the zoning amendment ordinance. The latest draft can be found here and includes the changes recommended to the October draft during the Planning Commission work session prior to their recommendation of denial. The Planning Commission has scheduled a second work session following their regularly scheduled monthly meeting, Tuesday April 17th at 6PM.


On Monday, March 5th, the Mayor and Council held a work session on the proposed zoning ordinance amendments, recommended for denial by the Planning Commission, at their November 9th meeting. Community Development Director, Jeff Adams, presented a review of the process that led to the decision and proposed next steps for the Council. At the evening's Regularly Scheduled Council Meeting, the Council voted unanimously to send the zoning ordinance amendments back to the Planning Commission for redrafting and reconsideration.The Council Work Session Presentation can be found here.

Master Plan & Short-Term Work Program Adopted
For those who missed it, the Master Plan and Short Term Work Program was adopted by the City Council on December 4th, 2017.

Planning 101 Presentation Now Available
You may now access the Planning 101 presentation that was given by Community Development Director/Planning Commission Secretary Jeff Adams at the January 16th, 2018 Regular Planning Commission Meeting. It can viewed simply by clicking this link.

St. Marys Marine Center Plans Continue to Develop
Marine Center
James Coughlin, Executive Director of the Joint Development Authority of Camden County, spoke before the St. Marys City Council, at a work session on the St. Marys Marine Center. The St. Marys Marine Center is projected for the fifty acres on the south-end of the old Mill Site area, abutting Meeting Street and the Meeting Street boat ramp. The Marine Center will be a coastal regional draw for boaters and the boating industry. 

Mr. Coughlin’s presentation can be found here and the Community Improvement District(CID) documents(CID Act, CID Proposed Boundary & CID By-Laws), which the City approved last night at Council Meeting can be found here. The CID would provide the Marine Center with the ability to tax itself to provide for infrastructural improvements and create a multi-use commercial/industrial and residential facility to serve the Georgia Coast. 

For more information on the project contact the Camden County Joint Development Authority.

St. Marys 2018-2027 Short Term Work Plan Adopted
The City of St. Marys adopted its 2018-2027 Short Term Work Program  (STWP) in compliance with Georgia’s Department of Community Affair’s guidelines, to provide direction for on-going and future projects for the City of St. Marys. The City Council reviewed the STWP at a series of work sessions and finalized adoption last night, in Council Chambers. The Council specified a quarterly update process, prior to the Quarterly Town Hall Meetings, for providing a transparent process for review and project management. The STWP will work cooperatively with the City’s Capital Improvement Planning and Budgeting Process.

St. Marys Master Plan Adopted
One St. Marys
The St. Marys City Council unanimously approved and adopted the One St. Marys Master Plan at its regular meeting last night in Council Chambers. The two year process brings the City of St. Marys its first citywide Master Plan, with associated plans ranging from Transportation to the Sea Rise Resiliency Report. Many, many, hours were given towards this citizen-led initiative, from the great group of Steering Committee members. Staff would like to congratulate and thank, one last time, Michael Rich, Joseph Antao, William DeLoughy, Tanya Glazebrook, Joseph Holler, Fred Mercier, Elaine Powierski, Steve Howard, Eric Landon, Kenneth Lyons, Lee Walker and Jon Preble for all their hard work on making this such a success. If you haven’t had the opportunity to read the plan please have a read and let us know your thoughts.

Resiliency and St. Marys STEM

Hurricane Matthew Radar Loop

The Camden County- City of St. Marys Community Rating System Joint Program for Public Information(CRS PPI) received national attention for its continuing work with St. Marys Middle School’s innovative Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics(STEM) program. The story focuses on how the St. Marys STEM program and CRS PPI partnership furthers the region’s resiliency through education and collaboration. The author, Nancy Averett, chose last year’s brush with Hurricane Matthew, to show how these partnerships can help build resiliency through utilizing these extreme events as teaching moments and planning exercises. Averett’s story, which can be found here, is backed by the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, a website designed to help people find and use tools, information, and subject matter expertise to build climate resilience. The Toolkit offers information from all across the U.S. federal government in one easy-to-use location.
This successful partnership is in large part due to the amazing support provided by Madeleine Russell, of UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, Scott Brazell, of Camden County and Lori O’Brien, of St. Marys Middle School.

Georgia Flood Map Program
If you would like to learn about your flood risk, flood insurance, floodplain regulations, or contact a floodplain official, the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources has a great website with all that information. Click here for the website.


Supporting responsible, sustainable and resilient development, by continually striving to connect with new voices, in new ways, while creating new opportunities, for every member of the St. Marys community.

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• Customer Facing

  Circles not Rows! Connectivity Matters!

• Data Driven

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• Place Based

  Water, History & Subs! Geography Matters!