GEORGIA COUNTY INTERNSHIP SPOTLIGHT
Before her current internship, Eltz worked as a marketing intern in Cherokee during the summer of 2020. She designed and launched social media campaigns, wrote press releases, and conducted interviews with county employees. Now, through her work in the Community Development/Planning & Zoning departments, Eltz has been able to explore career interests in public policy and law. As a Cherokee County native, Eltz was drawn to the opportunity to make a difference in her home community through her internship work.
Once her internship began in May, Eltz has been compiling deep research into ADUs. She began by looking into the broad history of ADUs in the United States and reviewed Cherokee's original ADU ordinance. After identifying the limits of the current ordinance and mapping out existing parcels with ADUs, Eltz turned to the work of other counties and cities. She reviewed successful ADU programs from across the country – from Portland, Oregon to back home in Canton – then catered the successes and strategies of others to Cherokee's unique position as a more rural county. Eltz also met with building officials and other subject experts to discuss her work. After compiling the research, Eltz created recommendations for new ADU standards for an updated ordinance.
Eltz said that her biggest challenge of the internship was navigating the political aspect of housing policy. She was careful to try and get feedback from all commissioners and ensure that officials were informed and comfortable with the subject matter. County staff such as Day and Planning & Zoning Director Margaret Stallings helped Eltz navigate the politics of her work, but Stallings noted that Eltz was otherwise incredibly independent and responsible for her research. Eltz herself said that she considered her biggest success to be the consolidated document with all her research, which includes a checklist that the county can use for the final ordinance proposal.
In the fall, Eltz will return to Atlanta to continue her studies at Georgia Tech. Though she is still undecided in her career plans, she has an interest in studying law. Eltz says the internship with Cherokee has been an effective way to begin exploring subject areas and get comfortable with the work she hopes to do in the future.