Jeff Foxworthy to Emcee 2015 Four Pillar Tribute Honoring Dan T. Cathy
The Council for Quality Growth will honor Dan T. Cathy, President & CEO of Chick-fil-A, Inc., with the 2015 Four Pillar Award on Thursday, October 1 at the Georgia World Congress Center.  We invite you to join us in celebrating the work of Mr. Cathy across the region by becoming a Tribute sponsor. Sponsors and guests will have the opportunity to network with over 1,000 business leaders and elected officials, plus enjoy entertainment from Master of Ceremonies Jeff Foxworthy.

View the Tribute Opportunities Brochure


A who's who of Metro Atlanta and Georgia will assemble to honor Cathy at the October 1 Tribute for his demonstration of the "Four Pillars" of leadership - Quality, Responsibility, Vision and Integrity.


The Tribute Chairs include Frank Blake, Former Chairman and CEO, The Home Depot, Ted Blum, Managing Shareholder-Atlanta, Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Paul Bowers, Chairman, President and CEO, Georgia Power Company, Rodney Bullard, Vice President, Community Affairs at Chick-fil-A, Inc., Vince Dooley, Former Head Coach and Athletic Director, University of Georgia, Larry Gellerstedt, President and CEO, Cousins Properties, Jack Harris, President and CEO, Junior Achievement of Georgia, Virginia Hepner, President and CEO, Woodruff Arts Center, Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company, The Honorable Kasim Reed, Mayor, City of Atlanta, H. Jerome Russell, President, H.J. Russell & Company, John Stephenson, Jr., President and CEO, College Football Hall of Fame, Dr. Charles Wilmer, M.D., Chief of Patient Outreach, Piedmont Heart Institute


Cathy is also committed to the prosperity of Atlanta. He has been a vocal proponent of investment and community improvement in Atlanta's most impoverished neighborhoods.  To help further these efforts, the Council for Quality Growth will be making a gift in Cathy's honor to causes supporting Atlanta's Westside communities.


The Council invites you to join us in celebrating Dan T. Cathy at Four Pillar Tribute on October 1.  Additional event details are available at


Update on City of Atlanta's Technical Advisory Committee

In 2012, the Atlanta City Council, with the support of the Council for Quality Growth and MARTG partners, passed an ordinance that created the Office of Buildings Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), with Mayor Reed appointing a key advisory committee to oversee the Enterprise Fund, a provision left from the overhaul of Atlanta's Building Permit Reform package.


The TAC, chaired by Scott Selig, of Selig Enterprises, is composed of nine members appointed by the Mayor, with seven of the appointments stemming from recommendations of interested stakeholder groups. It is charged with advising and making recommendations to the Mayor, the Commissioner of Planning and Community Development and the Director of Office of Buildings on service levels, procedures, fees and staffing, along with providing insight into the permitting process and monitoring revenues and expenses for the Office of Buildings Enterprise Fund. The committee meets monthly to discuss updates, reports, and potential reforms to the City's operations.


The members of the TAC include:

       Bobby West of TriBridge Residential, nominated by Atlanta Apartment Association

       Dennis McConnell, a home builder, nominated by the Greater Atlanta Homebuilders Association;

       Katherine Molyson, of Cousins Properties, nominated Council for Quality Growth; (Secretary)

       Scott Selig, of Selig Enterprises, nominated by the International Council of Shopping Centers; (Chairman)

       Michelle Dixon, of Cohen, Pollock Merlin and Small, nominated by BOMA ;

       Kevin Curry, of Selig Enterprises, nominated by the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors;

   Angela Priest, of Kimley Horn, nominated by the American Council of Engineers;

   Charles Taylor, a real estate lawyer and developer, appointed by the Mayor; (Vice-Chairman)

   Scott Taylor, president of Carter, appointed by the Mayor.


Atlanta's Chief Operating Officer Michael Geisler had this to say about the Technical Advisory Committee's role in reforming the City's permitting practices: "The City of Atlanta sincerely appreciates the invaluable assistance and guidance from the members of the Office of Buildings'  Technical Advisory Committee.  As many of you are aware, the Office of the Internal Auditor initiated a performance audit of the permitting review process in the fall of 2014.   The primary audit objective was to determine if appropriate controls were in place and if the City's permitting practices were consistent with the City's code and ethic requirements.  The audit review included an analysis of the City's permitting operational and financial data from FY2012 - FY 2014.


The Office of the Internal Auditor has completed its review and has identified 11 recommendations that address operational and system improvements.  Under the leadership of Mayor Reed, we have already undertaken critical reforms in the Department of Planning and Community Development. We acknowledge there are challenges with permitting in the Office Buildings, and we have a plan in place to address those challenges. That's why Mayor Reed recruited and hired one of the nation's leading urban planners, Tim Keane, to serve as the new Commissioner. The first steps are to conduct an operational analysis and a best-practices review, which will inform the changes the City of Atlanta will make to address these problems. The Department has already allocated the funds to implement operational improvements. Providing top-notch customer service to all customers of the City of Atlanta is a top priority, and the Department of Planning and Community Development is working to ensure the Office of Buildings delivers on this promise.


As we work to implement corrective actions for the audit recommendations, we will continue to rely on the Technical Advisory Committee to provide industry expertise to the Department of Planning and Community Development in order to address problems quickly and efficiently."


On Tuesday, July 7th, the TAC met and discussed the progress of the committee and its findings. The new Commissioner of Community Development, Tim Keane, was introduced to the committee at this meeting as well. Representatives from Southface discussed the Energy Efficiency Ordinance and its requirements for larger commercial buildings in the area. Southface is offering assistance services to property owners for this new process. 


The committee also discussed the requirements surrounding third party inspections in the state, especially when pouring concrete for detached single family construction. An audit update was given at this meeting as well and BKR Consulting has been retained to look into operational efficiencies. This process will start in the next two weeks and will continue for the next six months. 


A quick year in review overview occurred at the end of the meeting. A document is being sent out soon that will include information on both the permitting fund and the trust fund, in addition to year over year performance info. There was also a suggestion that the next TAC meeting be a full "Year in Review". 


The next TAC meeting will be on Jul 21st at 10:00am-12:00pm in the 3rd Floor Arborist Conference Room. We commend the Mayor and Staff for their hard work and for the work of the TAC and look forward to continuing the progress the City has made in these arenas.

Sandy Springs Releases Interim Development Guidelines

The City of Sandy Springs is currently undertaking a comprehensive plan update. This process includes small area studies for the PCID area, Powers Ferry Landings area, North Springs and new station area, and the Roswell Road area. 


The City is concerned with the type and quality of development proposed in the plan for areas of the city where density and a walkable transit oriented community are desired.  Because the completion of a new Comprehensive Plan and Small Area Plans are several months away, the City staff has taken the opportunity to create the interim guidelines, which can be viewed below, for development in these areas.


The City would appreciate your review and input on these guidelines.  Please provide your comments prior to July 15.  Comments can be sent directly to Jim Tolbert, Assistant City Manager, at or to Joe Cooley at


Click HERE to view the Interim Development Guidelines.

Council Cited in Georgia Trend's 2015 Legislative Recap

In a recently published article, Georgia Trend gave a summary of this past Legislative Session and what can be expected next year. The Council for Quality Growth was quoted in the article's discussion about transportation and other legislative focuses. The article can be read below:


Transportation was the 500-pound gorilla in this year's legislative session - a friendly gorilla for the most part, who claimed a ton of attention but got lots of money for roads and bridges and even a little for transit.

There was good news on the healthcare front for families with autistic children and for cancer patients and children with seizure disorders in need of cannabis oil. Solar energy got a boost, and Georgia voters will have a chance to weigh in on a new plan for failing schools.


Here's a look at some legislation that passed and some that didn't and what the new laws are likely to mean when they take effect - this month, for most of them.


The ARC Region's Plan to "Win the Future" Open to Public Review

The goal of The Region's Plan is to "win the future" by using the unique characteristics of the Atlanta area in order to continue to develop it into a global city. In 2014, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) created a policy framework for this plan that includes three overarching ideas, which are building an innovation economy, providing-world class infrastructure, and ensuring the availability of healthy, livable communities.  


The ARC also created six key goals relating to this threefold vision, each of which have supporting objectives to actively work towards these goals. The Policy Framework recognizes the importance of equity in trying to build a prosperous region as a whole and, therefore, is an element in all of the plan's policies. The policies are open to public review until July 27 and will then be reviewed by the ARC Board for approval in August.


To view the full presentation of the Working Draft of the policies created by the ARC, click HERE.


To visit The Region's Plan website, click HERE.


UPDATE: Georgia Challenging Federal Clean Water Rule
Georgia along with eight other states, filed a lawsuit in the federal court in the Southern District of Georgia on June 30 aiming to strike down the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) clean water rule. The suit claims the rule unlawfully expands the federal government's authority over local waters and land use management. The Attorney General of Georgia Sam Olens claims the rule is an overreach of the rights of the States outlined in the terms of the Clean Water Act and the Supreme Court decisions interpreting the Act.


The released complaint claims the rule provides the federal government with "virtually limitless power over non-navigable, intrastate waters."  According to the complaint, the rule will significantly reduce the State's primary authority to regulate and protect water under the state's standards which could impose harm on the States and their citizens. 


To view the press release from the Attorney General of Georgia Sam Olens click HERE


To view a copy of the complaint filed in court click HERE


Public Hearing on Environmental Assessment for Connect Cobb Project 
On June 29  the Cobb County DOT hosted an open house about the recently completed environmental assessment (EA) for the Connect Cobb project.The public hearing included a number of helpful displays and maps which provided details of the route and potential impacts of the project. Many local community members attended to learn more about the project and left public comments about the project. Additionally, a number of representatives involved with the project and the environmental assessment were present to answer any additional questions. 

The public is encouraged to leave public comments and can still do so in written statement until July 14, 2015  by email to or by mail at Mr. Marty Sewell, Connect Cobb EA Project Manager, Cobb County DOT, 1890 County Services Pkwy, Marietta, GA, 30008-4014.

To learn more about the Connect Cobb Project and read the final environmental assessment click HERE


Read More 

Register for the Cobb Chamber Health and Wellness Summit 

Join the Cobb Chamber for the third annual Health and Wellness Summit to discover the importance of health and wellness programs, and how your organization can implement these programs based and meet your individual needs.

Attendees will hear success stories from companies with effective health and wellness programs, as well as gain best practices for ways to encourage employee participation. 


Save the date for this event, and register early to receive a discount! The first 100 attendees to register can take advantage of the reduced event price of $49. Stay tuned as more speakers and panelists are announced!


Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015
7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 
Cobb Galleria Centre


Click HERE to Register for the Summit




Cobb Advisory Committee Meeting with Acworth Mayor Tommy Allegood
On Wednesday, June 24, Acworth Mayor Tommy Allegood spoke at the Cobb Advisory Committee Meeting. Mayor Allegood gave a presentation on how the city is "Mission Driven to Build Sustainability" and discussed how much growth and progress has already occurred in both the City of Acworth and the county as a whole.

He spoke about how the city is working to continue to provide a high quality of life for its residents and visitors. This "Mission Driven" project focuses on sustainability for residents, businesses, and tourism with increased development and planning for the significant growth expected for the area. Thank you to Mayor Allegood for presenting and to all those who attended the meeting. 

To view Mayor Allegood's presentation click HERE

Gwinnett Advisory Committee Meeting with Director of Planning and Development Bryan Lackey
On Tuesday, the Gwinnett County Director of Planning and Development, Bryan Lackey, spoke at the Gwinnett Advisory Committee Meeting, sponsored by the City of Peachtree Corners. Director Lackey presented ideas that the county is working on to bring more Research and Development activity to the area and what steps are being taken to gather information on these types of developments.

He also spoke about the increasing number of mixed use developments being planned for the Gwinnett area, but also in the entire Atlanta region as well. He answered many questions posed by the members in attendance and created a dialogue about the general future of planning and development in the county. Thank you to all who were present, to Director Lackey for speaking, and to the City of Peachtree Corners for sponsoring this meeting.


To View the Singleton Rd Overlay Click HERE

To View the Venture Dr Overlay District Click HERE


Georgia Supreme Court Issues Ruling on State Marsh and Wetland Buffers: Council Applauds Ruling 
On Monday, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that the 25-foot buffer zone required by the Erosion and Sedimentation Control Act does not apply to freshwater marshes and wetlands. This is due to these types of state waters lacking "wrested vegetation", which is best described as a clear delineation between the actual water and the surrounding vegetation.

The law states that "there is established a 25 foot buffer along the banks of all state waters, as measured horizontally from the point where vegetation has been wrested by normal stream flow or wave action", therefore, because these waters physically do not have wrested vegetation the Georgia Supreme Court had to decide if wetlands and marshes were protected under this law.


Council Meets with City of Dunwoody to Discuss Zoning Update

The Council for Quality Growth met on Wednesday, June 9th, with Dunwoody Community Development staff and the City Manager, to discuss our concerns from the development industry with the current DRAFT of the Comprehensive Plan Update.  We feel very encouraged after the meeting that the City will take all of our comments into consideration and appreciate the work that the staff has put into the plan.


Below you will see an overview of the plan, links to the plan documents and also information about an upcoming SHAPE Dunwoody Session, where the public will have an opportunity to provide input into the plan.  


Cherokee Advisory Committee Hosts SRTA's Bert Brantley and GDOT's John Hancock

On Wednesday, June 10th, the Council for Quality Growth's Cherokee Advisory Committee hosted Bert Brantley, the Deputy Executive Director of State Road and Toll Authority (SRTA), along with  GDOT's Assistant State Innovative Delivery Engineer and NW Corridor/Managed Lanes Project Manager John Hancock. 

They presented to over 40 Council Members on the
Georgia Express Lanes Program Briefing / Northwest Corridor Project update.  Also in attendance were County Chairman Buzz Ahrens, State Senator Brandon Beech and County Manager Jerry Cooper. Bert and John gave a full overview of the projects affecting Cherokee County and a wealth of information on the Northwest Corridor Project, the state's Peach Pass Program, and the advances made in that program.  The Council would like to thank the County for hosting us, Bert and John for their presentation, and all of those who work to achieve quality and planned growth in Cherokee.



Read More

Click HERE to view a comprehensive overview of the Northwest Corridor Project.

Cherokee Comprehensive 

Transportation Plan Update

Cherokee County is currently working on a Comprehensive Transportation Plan Update (CTP) slated to be completed by the end of summer 2015. The plan addresses Cherokee County's current and future transportation needs to help maintain a thriving community. The project is voluntary and funded by the Atlanta Regional Commission, (with a 20% local match) began in the summer of 2014 with the intentions of understanding changes in population, employment, land use, and development since the last Cherokee CTP in 2008. After understanding the existing and future conditions of the county, the project evaluates the goals, objectives, and needs of the transportation system in the county. The CTP explores innovative strategies to address transportation deficiencies and will help guide future transportation investments in the county. Eventually, the final CTP will include a funding strategy and a prioritized list of future SPLOST projects. 


Click HERE to view the Cherokee CTP Website for more information.

Read More

Council Seeks to Hire Full Time Policy Analyst 

The Council for Quality Growth is currently accepting resumes for the position of Policy Analyst in our office.  The Job description is pasted and attached as a PDF below. Preferred candidates for consideration will have:

  • 2-5 years in local government as a member of a planning staff in Community Development;
  • 2-5 years in local government as a member of a policy staff;
  • 2-5 years experience with a planning firm

This is not a lobbyist position and reports to the Director of Government Affairs and Policy.  All interested and qualified candidates should send their resume to James Touchton at


Click HERE to view a more detailed job description. 

Progress of the DeKalb County Permitting Improvement Project

In March 2013, DeKalb County began the Permitting Improvement Project to reform the county's process of issuing business licenses, building permits and land development permits. According to DeKalb County, the project came as a response to concerns that the current licensing and permitting operations were hindering growth. Therefore, a three phase plan was designed to create a more efficient process which would promote commercial activity in the county by making it easier for individuals and businesses to work with DeKalb County. The Council for Quality Growth and many of our members have been a part of a stakeholder group throughout the process to provide input on DeKalb's permit reform. The project has recently just completed the second phase of the plan.


Read More

Perimeter Center Zoning Project Continues with Drafting Stages 

In 2012, the City of Dunwoody began a rewrite of both the Zoning Ordinance and Land Development Ordinance. During this process, the city decided to conduct a separate project for the Perimeter Center, in addition to the overall rewrite.  This area is a unique part of the city because it is quickly developing into a more urban center and, therefore, additional zoning requirements are necessary. 



Read More


EPA Releases Clean Water Act "Waters of the United States" Rule: Council Responds

On May 27th, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unveiled their new clean water rules, which on the surface appears to only affect streams and wetlands,  but in reality, has the potential to allow for a broad overreach of powers by the Agency.


Council Members will recall that last fall, a coalition of interests, representing Georgia's Regulated Communities and Conservation Organizations, met at the Georgia State Capitol before a Joint House and Senate Committee to discuss the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposal of the now released rule, which we felt expanded regulatory jurisdiction over waters throughout the United States.  The coalition included representatives from the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Farm Bureau, Georgia Municipal Association, and Georgia Department of Agriculture  The EPA, through regulatory powers has changed the definition of "Waters of the United States" under the "Clean Water Act" (CWA) and has caused much debate throughout Georgia's various industries. This is in addition to the over 1,000,000 comments nationally the EPA received during their comment period, regarding the change in definition, with a vast majority in opposition or requesting modifications to the proposed rule.


Read More


Click HERE to read the comments submitted by the Council. 

City of Atlanta Technical Advisory Committee Presents Update on Zoning Ordinance Rewrite

On Tuesday, May 19, the City of Atlanta's Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), under the Office of Buildings, held a meeting to present an update on the city's Zoning Ordinance Rewrite. The last revision of the zoning ordinance occurred in 1985, however, there have been incremental amendments in response to changes in practices and new policies. Therefore, the current zoning ordinance is inadequate and difficult to understand. In order to address these issues and make the ordinance more user friendly, the City is doing a comprehensive review and update of the zoning regulations. In the meeting on Tuesday, the committee gave a presentation that outlined Phase 1 of the rewrite process.


Read More

Council Participates in Blue Book Revision Process Stakeholders Committee 

Last year, the Atlanta Regional Commission began an effort to make an update to Volume 1 and 2 of the Georgia Stormwater Management Manual fourteen years after its inaugural publication.  After years of experience with the current manual, a number of needed improvements have been identified and stormwater treatment technologies have continued to evolve.  Although the manual is not a regulatory document itself, the final content of the manual has a tremendous influence on new development in Georgia because many jurisdictions, including almost all of Metro Atlanta, have adopted the manual as the technical guidelines that must be met for all stormwater management.  The Council believes that an update to address shortcomings in the present manual and provide more options for stormwater management is needed, and is excited to be a part of the updates to the new manual, and wants to work with its members and other stakeholders to improve stormwater management practices in Georgia.


Read More


Council for Quality Growth's  CID "Fly Over" Video Highlighting the Future of the Region and the Vision of our CID's
As you recall last year, on November 12, 2014, the Council for Quality Growth sponsored the 5th Annual CID Recognition Program. Jones Lang LaSalle paid homage to the CIDs accomplishments by taking the attendees on an aerial journey through Metro Atlanta in the year 2025.  The journey termed the "Fly Over" used a Google Earth type technology created by Jones Lang LaSalle known as Blackbird to view the collective impact. The Council for Quality Growth would like to share this aerial adventure to all those who were not able to attend the event.  

To view the video and fly with us

To follow along using the speech,

Council Presents 2015 Advisory Committee Schedule and Speakers
The Council for Quality Growth Announces the 2015 Advisory Committee Schedule.  Click HERE

The Council hosts about 80 advisory committee meetings each year featuring guest speakers such as:
  • Congressman Rob Woodall 
  • Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell
  • Cobb Chairman Tim Lee
  • Georgia House of Representatives Minority Leader Stacey Abrams
  • DeKalb County Int. CEO Lee May
  • Cherokee County Chairman "Buzz" Ahrens
  • Gwinnett County Chairman Charlotte Nash
  • County Commissioners Region-Wide
  • Mayor's Region-Wide
  • City Councilman Region-Wide
  • and many more local, county and state leaders can view below by expanding your screen or clicking below to view the 2015 Advisory Committee Schedule. 
What are the Council Advisory Committees?  Please click HERE to see who the Council has previously hosted.

Advisory Committee meetings are for Council members only. Please click HERE for more information about joining the Council for Quality Growth. 

Click HERE to view the 2015 Advisory Committee Schedule. 

Click HERE to view a PDF of the 2015 Advisory Committee Schedule and Speaker Lineup 

The 2015 Calendar is updated weekly with new Speakers.  Be sure to go to the Council's Website at and click on the Events Calendar link for the most up-to-date 2015 calendar.
July 9, 2015

What are Council Members saying about their investment in the Council for Quality Growth?


Join the Council for the 2015 Redevelopment Forums! 


Contact Amanda Janaskie,, for sponsorship opportunities


Registration is open for Cobb and North Fulton. More details coming soon for Gwinnett. 




Atlanta Business Chronicle Highlights Council Advisory Committees



In a special section featuring the Council for Quality Growth and its Four Pillar Tribute, the Atlanta Business Chronicle featured the work of the Council's seven advisories and the role that they play in helping to shape the continued growth of the Metro Atlanta Region. The article features examples of the types of policies that have been influenced by Council Advisory committees, as well as quotes from Council members on the benefit that Advisories provide to their businesses.


To read the article, click HERE.

Events, Policy Highlights & Advisory Updates


Join The Council for Quality Growth!

To view a Membership Brochure, Click HERE

Advisory Committees

Each month, the Council holds Advisory Committee meetings for members. These meetings occur at the same day and time each month and offer members the opportunity to interact with state and local elected officials, as well as county and city staff, including county and city managers, planning and zoning staff, transportation staff, economic development heads and watershed management staff.


Advisory Committees are one of the premier benefits of Council membership and all members are encouraged to attend. As a member, you are eligible to attend any of the Advisory Committees listed below.

  • To learn about each of our seven Advisory Committees in more detail, click HERE.
  • To see a schedule of all Advisory speakers, click HERE.
  • To see a master schedule of all meeting times and locations, click HERE.
  • To see a calendar view of this information, view the calendar below or click HERE.

Please contact James Touchton at for more information or to be added to one or all of the Advisory email lists.

To view all Advisory Committee Meetings, 

Click HERE

To view the Advisory Calendar on the Council Website and Register Online for the Advisory Meeting of your choice, 

Click HERE

The Council for Quality Growth | 770-813-3370 |
5901-C Peachtree Dunwoody Road
Suite 500
Atlanta, GA 30328