The Great Exchange Campaign Calls on Gwinnett Residents to Voice Transportation Concerns
The Great Exchange on Transportation is a week long grassroots efforts to get Gwinnett County residents and those who work in the County talking about their frustrations, concerns, or vision for the future of transportation in the area. From August 24th to August 28th, those interested in participating in the dialogue will have multiple ways to get their voices heard by campaign organizers and Gwinnett County leadership.

The Council is not only an Ambassador for "theGr8exchange", but actively recruiting team captains to host a conversation the week of August 24th with at least ten people over coffee, lunch or community meetings. The goal is to get 100% of conversation attendees to pledge to have an additional five conversations that week and to pledge to have an online conversation via text or online survey. If you are interested in participating as a team captain with the Council for Quality Growth, please email James Touchton at 

The Council encourages members to attend one of many group conversations hosted by community leaders, non-profits, homeowner associations, or political organizations across the County. Information on how to register for a hosted event may be found on

If you're unable to attend a hosted event, you can also join in the conversation by simply texting "JOIN" to 74029. This will forward you the same eight question survey that will be distributed to the public at the hosted conversations. Answers can be submitted for tally through any mobile device.

The data and trends deciphered from this mass conversation will be made available to citizens, county governments, cities and community improvement districts.

The vision for the campaign was conceptualized by Chris Warbington, Executive Director for the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District.

According to Mr. Warbington, this campaign is not an attempt to educate, generate support, or sway persons towards any one point of view. Rather, it is attempt to figure out how residents of the County feel and the type of projects they'd like to see leadership advocate for - be it more sidewalks, better transit, more live-work development, or specific intersection improvements.

To guarantee every voice gets heard during that week, the Council, Campaign Organizers and Gwinnett leadership are asking residents and those actively working in the community to please use the hashtag "#theGr8exchange" to help the campaign go viral on Twitter and Facebook.

For more information on the Great Exchange on Transportation Campaign, click HERE or HERE.
Register TODAY for the Cobb Redevelopment Forum - limited seating available!

Council for Quality Growth Requests Member Feedback on Brookhaven Proposed Tree Ordinance: City Council Holds Ordinance until August 25th
City of Brookhaven discusses Proposed Tree Ordinance on Aug.11th
On Tuesday, August 11th, James Touchton, Director of Policy and Government Affairs with the Council for Quality Growth, offered public comment on the proposed tree ordinance under consideration by the City of Brookhaven. 
Touchton, along with neighborhood representatives and other members of the Brookhaven Community, asked for the ordinance to be held for an additional two weeks, in order to allow the Council for Quality Growth, City Staff and members of the community to meet and discuss the newest draft of the proposed ordinance released on August 6th, 2015. 
Below, the Council provides two tables in pdf format which detail the changes found in the new draft. The first pdf highlights changes made to the ordinances which CQG commented upon last year. It also provides responses from Brookhaven staff on how the new draft addresses those concerns. The second pdf shows newly introduced fees, standards, and requirements. It also provides a section for members to comment with thoughts and concerns.
The Council kindly requests that members review both pdfs and offer comments on changes listed in the second PDF in order to provide additional feedback to the City before final adoption. The City of Brookhaven will vote on the final adoption of the new draft on Tuesday, August 25th, 2015.  
To view the PDF of the Council's comments on the original draft of the ordinance with the city's response, CLICK HERE.
To view the PDF of a chart comparing the changes from the original draft and the latest draft with a section for you to comment with thoughts and concerns, CLICK HERE.
To view the most recent draft of the Brookhaven tree ordinance in its entirety, CLICK HERE.
The Council for Quality Growth expresses their appreciation to Council members for their input and to the City of Brookhaven for their dedication to see an ordinance that promotes balanced and responsible growth for their community.  

Council for Quality Growth Hosts Congressman Tom Price for Policy Roundtable 

Congressman Tom Price (GA-06) stops by Council For Quality Growth

On Monday, August 3rd, the Council for Quality Growth hosted Congressman Tom Price (GA-06) for a policy roundtable. The conversation focused on many issues, including alternative strategies to restore the Highway Trust Fund to solvency, the need to lessen the current overreach of the EPA clean water rules, and possible methods to streamline and improve the efficiency of United States Postal Service operations. 


It is believed that addressing these policies would promote the economic well-being and competitiveness of the Atlanta metro area and nation as a whole.


During this lunch, Congressman Price took the opportunity to promote his "Restoring the Trust for All Generations" campaign. The campaign challenges the wisdom of direct spending without regular congressional oversight for major benefit programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. More information about this campaign can be found HERE. 

Congressman Price also took questions from other Council members in attendance regarding the roles which defense appropriations, immigration policy, and cyber security may play in ensuring the long-term national security and the continued influence of the United States on a global scale.


Thank you to Congressman Tom Price and his staff for their participation in the Council for Quality Growth's Policy Roundtable Series. 


Sandy Springs Authorizes Temporary Moratorium on Rezoning Applications

Since Tuesday, July 21st, the City of Sandy Springs is no longer accepting rezoning applications for properties currently zoned A, AL, C-1, C-2, O-1, and MIX. In light of area's rapid growth, the 180 day moratorium was authorized by the Sandy Springs City Council to provide much needed time for City staff to review, evaluate, and update the City's comprehensive plan, zoning, and development standards. 

The Council for Quality Growth will provide input to the City during this process. An advisory panel of representatives from neighborhood, non-profit, and business interests was approved by the Sandy Springs City Council in early July. The panel will also provide feedback to City staff regarding possible changes to planning, zoning, and development standards. 


Properties to be developed for use in accordance with present zoning classifications are not impacted by the moratorium. A copy of the resolution can be found HERE.



Tucker-Northlake Community Improvement District unveils proposed Comprehensive Master Plan

Tucker-Northlake CID spans roughly nine square miles.


On Thursday, August 6th, Ms. Anne Rosenthal, President of the Tucker-Northlake CID, and Mr. Bill de St. Aubin, senior consultant with the Sizemore Group, spoke at the Council for Quality Growth's DeKalb Advisory Committee meeting. Together they unveiled a vision for the future redevelopment of the Tucker-Northlake area. The result of months of public engagement, market studies, and site visits, the proposed comprehensive master plan seeks to support a vibrant, walkable, and economically thriving community. The vision categorizes 2,600 acres of land into three distinct districts:

  • A revitalized medical-industrial district adjacent Lawrenceville Highway and the I-285 interchange.
  • A mixed use destination center within the Northlake retail and commercial corridor.
  • A commercial district in downtown Tucker which exemplifies small town charm.

The plan emphasizes cost-effective landscaping and streetscape solutions that will allow the community to benefit from the untapped potential of the area's existing street grids. Specific one and five year projects under consideration include:

  • Transformation of the LaVista Road and I-285 interchange into something akin to a roundabout.
  • Construction of a wellness path that would facilitate community mobility and provide additional recreation space within the medical-industrial district.
  • New crosswalks and appropriate signage to enhance pedestrian safety along Lawrenceville Highway near Montreal Road.
  • Restriping of the Henderson Mill Connector, LaVista Road, and Idlewood Road bike lanes.

It is hoped these investments will raise the profile of long time area businesses and restaurants, attract new residents, and bring in higher end grocery stores, businesses, and shops which residents have expressed interest in having nearby.

Approval will be sought from the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners to incorporate the Tucker-Northlake Master Plan into the County's comprehensive plan. If implemented, it is believed that the Master Plan could potentially generate $773.1 million in total revenue in Community Improvement District dollars alone.

For more information on the proposed Master Plan from Thursday's meeting please click HERE.

 The Council thanks Ms. Anne Rosenthal, Mr. Bill de St. Aubin, and all Council members who attended and participated in this DeKalb Advisory Committee meeting. 


City of Atlanta Advisory Committee Meeting with Atlanta Public Schools Board Member Jason Esteves

On Wednesday, August 5th, Atlanta Public Schools Board Member Jason Esteves (Seat 9) spoke at the Atlanta Advisory Committee breakfast hosted by the Council for Quality Growth. Mr. Esteves gave a presentation on developments occurring in the Atlanta Public School System (APS). More specifically, he spoke regarding the board's on-going efforts to improve graduation rates and its desire to strengthen intergovernmental ties and to create new public private partnerships with development community. It is believed these partnerships could create new educational or career training opportunities to help APS students attain success.  


There are promising signs that the internal restructuring of APS towards a culture of transparency, integrity, and success is beginning to bear fruit. According to Esteves, records show that 2,250 students graduated from APS high schools in 2015, compared to just 1,700 students in 2014. The board is hopeful that this steady rise in graduation rates should continue, and perhaps accelerate, as APS pursues policies that would allow clusters more autonomy to develop their own STEM, STEAM, IB, or other program focus.


There is also heightened attention to:

  • increasing the rate of school attendance across all clusters
  • funding programs that help students to develop the social and emotional skills necessary to thrive in academic settings and professional world
  • providing extra resources to help students attain high levels of achievement

The goal is to spur public discourse on the merits of Atlanta Public Schools that will promote a positive shift in public perception conducive to Atlanta's sustainable development.


The Council thanks Atlanta Public Schools Board Member Jason Esteves and all the members who came and participated in the discussions at this City of Atlanta Advisory Committee meeting. 

Office of Buildings Technical Advisory Committee meets at Atlanta City Hall 

On Tuesday, August 4th, the City of Atlanta's Office of Buildings Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) convened to discuss the restructuring of the city's permit application and review system. 


The conversation focused on making improvements to the consistency and quality of customer service operations and on establishing new quality control mechanisms to monitor the technical proficiency of what is being built in the City.


To improve front-end service, the City of Atlanta plans to bring online a more user-friendly Office of Buildings webpage within the next 10 days. The new site will allow users to submit comments or suggestions on how to improve the website or customer service operations. The redesign is regarded as a key first step towards implementing new procedures that will separate residential from commercial permit applications, creating a more efficient queuing system capable of responding to plan complexity.


The City also detailed its plans for training existing staff, hiring new talent, and consolidating permit related positions presently scattered across other City departments under the umbrella of the Office of Buildings. The goal of these actions would be to further expedite the permit review and inspections process.


To view the minutes from the meeting click HERE.


The Technical Advisory Committee will meet again on the 3rd floor arborist room at Atlanta City Hall on Tuesday, August 18th at 10:30 am. 


2015 Four Pillar Tribute Honoring Dan T. Cathy - October 1, 2015

Allowable Construction Time Limits and Citations

Counties and cities around the Atlanta Region have different requirements when it comes to allowable time for construction. Some municipalities have codes specifically addressing the issue while others embed construction limitations under a noise and nuisance restriction, due to the disruptive nature of construction. There are no real generalities; each city and county has a different range of allowable construction hours, varying by day, though most restrict or highly discourage construction work on Sundays.


Enforcing these codes is difficult because the code enforcers generally are only on duty during allowable construction times. Violations are usually reported to the local police department to handle when such violations occur after working hours. 
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 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


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.


 Read More

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.


August 13, 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.

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.

Events, Policy Highlights & Advisory Updates


Join The Council for Quality Growth!

To view a Membership Brochure, Click HERE

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