Planning & Zoning


The DRAFT Comprehensive Plan Update is available for public review and comment below. This update is not a wholesale “re-do” of the plan, but rather an opportunity to revisit the previous plan of 2018 and add new goals, see if our goals from then still stand or if they require changes or removal.

We’ve made some moderate adjustments, notably the Future Development Map, where our Character Areas have been simplified and adjusted in boundaries to reflect the real world conditions. We’ve expanded the Natural Preserve and Rural Places areas, shrunk the Suburban Growth area, and readjusted the Neighborhood Living and Urban Core areas to reflect recent growth.

Additionally, we’ve undergone significant growth and change in the past five years and recent community input reflects that.  We’ve factored in the primary concerns and aspirations shared during the public engagement process.


As part of the 2023 Comprehensive Plan update process, public input was gathered in late 2022. Participants were offered two means of providing their thoughts on matters such as land use, tree protection, and sidewalks: an in-person session at City Hall and an online format that was open for weeks. Results of these were compiled and are available to view by clicking the buttons below.


Planning and Zoning: Please call (770) 735-2123 or email for all planning and zoning matters, including annexation, deannexation, rezoning, variances, signs and plan review.

Permits and Inspections: Please call (770) 735-2123 or email for all building permits and inspections questions.

Addressing: Cherokee County GIS is responsible for addressing. Please visit their website for contacts and more information.

Annexation Process:
Annexation applications are to be submitted to the City for review before they are provided to Cherokee County for a comment period. County staff has thirty days to review an application and provide comments ahead of a Board of Commissioners meeting, held the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. The Board will provide official comments to the City on the annexation.

The City holds two hearings on an annexation application with the second hearing taking place after the County has provided comments. The Mayor and Council will render the final decision on an annexation application at this second meeting.

Hard copies of annexation applications and submissions must be provided to City Hall, along with digital versions emailed to There is no fee associated with annexations.

Rezoning Process:
A digital copy of the Rezoning Application is submitted to and then reviewed by City staff. The application and submittal are then sent to Cherokee County for review and scheduling of a public hearing before the Cherokee County Municipal Planning Commission. Public hearings are held on the 1st Tuesday of each month. The Planning Commission also holds a Work Session on the 3rd Monday of each month, ahead of the public hearing, to discuss the agenda items. The purpose of the public hearing is for the Commission to hear the zoning case and make a recommendation to the City of Ball Ground for approval or denial.

The Mayor and Council will render the final decision on a rezoning application following a public hearing. If a rezoning is in conjunction with an annexation, the annexation process must be completed before a rezoning is considered.

City fees for rezoning applications can be found in the adopted fee schedule linked on this page. Applicants should contact Cherokee County Planning and Zoning for any additional fees associated with the public hearing.

Variance Process:
Any project that requires a variance must have a pre-application meeting with City staff prior to submission of an application. The Board of Zoning Appeals is authorized to hear and decide on variance cases for the City. This body meets on an “as-needed” basis.

Development Permits:

Development plans must be submitted to the Ball Ground City Hall for all proposed developments within the City. The plans will be reviewed for compliance with all City Ordinances. Development permit fees are project specific and are assessed based on the time required for plan review, engineering review, and number of reviews required. The standards of the Cherokee County Water and Sewer Authority have been adopted for water and sewer construction.

Land Disturbing Permits:

The City of Ball Ground is not an issuing authority. All applications for land disturbing activity (LDA) within the City limits must be submitted to the Georgia EPD. No development permits will be issued unless proof of submission to the Georgia EPD is provided.

Sign Approval Process:
New signs and changes to existing signs are reviewed and approved by City staff on a rolling basis. No sign permit is required for maintenance, cleaning, safety modifications, or changes to the COPY AREA only. For more information, see the City’s sign regulations here.

Department Leadership:

Chris Luly, Director of Planning and Zoning

Chris has served as the Director of Planning and Zoning for the City since July 2021. Chris grew up in Cherokee County and holds a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University and a master’s degree in Urban Planning-Design from the University of Georgia. Prior to his role as Director, Chris was a Senior Planner with Cherokee County Planning and Zoning, serving part-time with the City for three years. He also held planning and zoning roles in the Charleston, SC area and Athens-Clarke County, GA.

The overarching goal of the Planning and Zoning Department is to fulfill the City’s vision, as determined by the citizens and elected leaders. We strive for orderly growth and development that neither encroaches on private property rights nor the quality of life for those that live and work in the City. The Department is tasked with managing the current and long-range planning, land development, GIS and more.

The Planning and Zoning Department stands for TRANSPARENCY, PREDICTABILITY, COORDINATION and FAIRNESS.

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