Update on the Funding of the Metro Region's Transportation Infrastructure  

The Metro Region has and continues to suffer from a lack of

funding for critical transportation and infrastructure projects. While a few larger projects such as the Northwest Corridor Managed Lanes and the I-285/ Ga. 400 interchange reconstruction move along, many other projects of regional impact have been slow to develop due to the high upfront costs and funding uncertainty.


Accordingly, the state of Georgia passed HB 170 back in April to raise the revenue for GDOT funding by approximately $900 million, according to state lawmakers. The bill's major source of new revenue is by revamping the state gas tax formula and allocation. The state gas tax was changed to 26 cents-per-gallon excise tax in July 2015 with all the revenue dedicated to transportation funding, opposed to the previous 7.5 cents-per-gallon excise tax and a 3% sales tax with 1% of the sales tax returned to the State General Fund.


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Take the Council's 2016 Legislative Agenda Survey 

As the voice of the development industry, the Council for Quality Growth is the only organization that works every day to ensure the Metro Atlanta region's regulatory environment supports quality growth and development. We advocate on behalf of our members and their interests.

In order to ensure our advocacy reflects the interests of the members, the Council for Quality Growth's Government Affairs Task Force would appreciate your participation in this brief survey about your perspective on current issues as we begin to formulate our 2016 Legislative Agenda. Participation in the four-question survey will take less than five minutes of your time.



Click HERE to take the survey.

Council Seeks Fall Interns 
It is that time of year again when many undergraduate and graduate students are finalizing their spring semester schedules.  The Council is currently seeking independent, dedicated individuals to serve in fall unpaid
internships with our organization  These internships will be structured learning opportunities geared to teach "real world applications" of public policy development.
Those seeking a bachelor's or master's degree in Public Administration, Urban Planning, Political Science or other Public Policy related areas of study will be most successful.  Other areas of study including Economics, Environmental Studies, Environmental Design or Engineering, Real Estate, Business Administration, and Geography are also welcome.  Interns will be expected to research various public policy issues affecting the agency, write articles for newsletters, and assist regular staff with formulating real public policies affecting our members.

Please Note: This is an unpaid internship.


Working schedule is flexible due to the responsibilities classes demand.
For a complete overview of the Council internship requirements and description, click HERE or contact James Touchton at


Register TODAY for the limited seating Cobb Redevelopment Forum!

Register TODAY for the limited seating North Fulton Opportunity Outlook!

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.


Read More 


Join the Council's City of Atlanta Advisory Committee Meeting with Atlanta School Board Member Jason Esteves on August 5th

Don't forget, in August, we resume our Advisory Committee Schedule.  To see a full schedule, 


Click HERE for a listing of speakers


There Advisory Meetings are open to Council Memebrs, Elected Officials and Staff only.  To learn more about the purpose and mission of the Council's Advisory Committies, scroll to the bottom of this email for an overview in the Atlanta Business Chronice. 


Register Below for the August 5th Atlanta Advisory Committee Meeting with Atlanta Boar d of Education Member Jason Esteves


Jason Esteves was elected to the Atlanta Board of Education in 2013 and is serving his first term as the board member for At-Large Seat 9.  

After graduating from the University of Miami, Jason devoted himself to teaching at a public middle school in the Houston Independent School District as part of Teach for America. Today, Jason is Senior Director and Corporate Counsel at Equinox, Inc. Jason has also served on the boards of KIPP South Fulton Academy, Georgia Appleseed's Young Professionals Council, and the Georgia Hispanic Bar Association. 


Join the Council's DeKalb Advisory Committee for an Overview of the Tucker-Northlake CID Master Plan on August 6th

Council Members


Don't forget to Register Below!


The Tucker-Northlake Community Improvement District recently approved its comprehensive Master Plan which will serve as a blueprint for the future commercial development of the area.


The overall goal of the Master Plan is to identify opportunities to create a vibrant, walkable and economically thriving Tucker-Northlake. The plan builds on the findings of previous Livable Centers Initiatives, and includes ideas for transportation improvements and multi-modal transportation options throughout the community, along with re-development ideas within three distinct areas: the Northlake retail and commercial district, downtown Tucker and the medical/industrial district near the Lawrenceville Highway/I-285 interchange.


The master plan identifies one- and five-year priorities for the 2,600-acre study area, as well as suggested long-term projects and potential funding sources. Among the recommendations are re-designing the Northlake Parkway and LaVista Road/I-285 interchanges into one connected interchange, attracting a regional conference center and hotel, creating a wellness trail within the medical/industrial district, enhancing downtown Tucker with vibrant shops and restaurants and improved streetscaping and creating a walkable, mixed-use destination within the Northlake retail and commercial center.


I-75 Toll Lane Project Underway to Help Congestion in Atlanta's Northwest Corridor 

The I-75 toll lane project, currently under construction, is designed to alleviate traffic in the Northwest Corridor of Atlanta, which is known to be one of the most congested areas in the metro area. This project will cost $834 million to complete and is the most expensive road project in the state's history. It includes two toll lanes running along I-75 and I- 575 for a total of 30 miles. These lanes will be open to public use in 2018 and the toll will depend on the volume of traffic. Among the 39 bridges included in this project will be the tallest freeway bridge in the state, which will stand at 106 feet tall. 


One of the most unique features of this project is that the lanes will be reversible. They will flow into the city center in the morning and back out in the afternoon and evening times. The lanes will be completely shut down during midday to allow the transition to occur without problems arising. There will be a series of gates along the toll lanes to either restrict or permit access depending on the time of day. Signs will also be used to inform the public whether or not the lanes are open and what direction they are moving. As an additional precautionary measure, HERO units will sweep the length of the toll lanes to make sure there are no drivers or other hazards remaining in the lanes. This project will bring much needed relief to commuters in Cobb and Cherokee counties by working to decrease commute times and overall congestion. 


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 jtolbert@sandyspringsga.gov or to Joe Cooley at jcooley@sandyspringsga.gov.


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.


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 www.fourpillartribute.com.


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.


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

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.

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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 JT@CouncilforQualityGrowth.org


Click HERE to view a more detailed job description. 

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.


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Click HERE to read the comments submitted by the Council. 

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 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 www.CouncilforQualityGrowth.org and click on the Events Calendar link for the most up-to-date 2015 calendar.
July 23, 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, aj@councilforqualitygrowth.org, 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 JT@CouncilforQualityGrowth.org 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 | jt@councilforqualitygrowth.org 
5901-C Peachtree Dunwoody Road
Suite 500
Atlanta, GA 30328