Register Today for the North Fulton Opportunity Outlook next Wednesday, September 23rd
The Council for Quality Growth will join forces with Progress Partners of North Fulton to host a gathering of stakeholders, developers, economists, and leadership from local and state agencies, exploring North Fulton's development opportunities-the first event of its kind. This informative event will define the impact of ongoing projects, identify emerging areas for growth and explore transportation resources in detail., thanks in part to Presenting Sponsor, Fulton County Development Authority. Panelists represent a range of industry and sub markets throughout North Fulton. Keynote speaker, Russell Stall, Founder of Greenville Forward in Greenville, South Carolina, will discusses his experience with Greenville's economic development success and how best practices can be applied to North Fulton.
The event will feature two panel sessions, the first focusing on transportation, featuring Keith Parker, CEO of MARTA; Ann Hanlon, Executive Director of the North Fulton CID; Mark Burkhalter, GDOT Board Member representing the 6th Congressional District, and Jeff Dils, Vice President with Cousins Properties. The discussion, moderated by Georgia State Senator Brandon Beach, will provide an in-depth exploration of North Fulton transportation resources and future planning.
A consecutive panel will focus on investing in North Fulton. Rob Meyers, General Manager of Alcon, Mark Toro, Managing Partner of North American Properties, Karen Thurman, Partner with Frazier & Deeter, and Pat Rains, owner of Gate City Brewing, will discuss the impact of ongoing projects and emerging areas for growth, as well as tools and incentives that will allow developers to maximize investment.
The North Fulton Opportunity Outlook will take place September 23, from 7:30 to 11:00 AM at Regal Cinemas Avalon (3950 1st Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009). Member registration is $35, and non-member registration is $50. For questions about registration, please contact Mallory Johnson or 770-813-3372. For questions about sponsorship, please contact Amanda Janaskie or 770-813-3381.

City of Milton Considering New Impact Fee Program
On Monday, September 14th, Milton City Council held a work session to discuss the adoption of a new impact fee program and corresponding Capital Improvements Element. Michael Paris, President, and Chelsea Hagood, Policy Analyst of the Council for Quality Growth were in attendance at the work session. The City of Milton is considering adopting their first Impact Fee ordinance. As written, the draft ordinance imposes the maximum fee allowable by state law, $7,700 per each new residential unit, which would be the highest impact fee in North Fulton, and approaching the highest fees in the Atlanta Metro Region.

Chelsea Hagood provided public comment in addition to several other commenters urging the City Council to carefully consider the broader impact the new fees will have on new as well as existing residents. A main topic of discussion remains the Parks and Recreation fee on residential developments, which is proposed at $6,400. The City's consultant calculated this number from the adopted Parks and Recreation Masterplan and Capital Improvements Element calling for over $200 Million investment in Parks and Recreation Improvements. City Council members expressed concern over obligating the City to allocate the required funding to match impact fee revenue for the park improvements described in the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The City of Milton Community Development Director, Kathleen Field, made a recommendation to the Council to consider reducing the Parks and Recreation Impact Fee to 50 percent of the maximum, or $3,200 per dwelling, for the first year of the program, which will allow the City to revisit the Parks and Recreation Plan and Capital Improvements Element during the Comprehensive Planning Process in 2016. 

The Council for Quality Growth commends the City for considering this reduction in fees and looks forward to continuing to work with City Council and Staff to adopt a balanced and effective ordinance. The first reading of the Impact Fee ordinance by Milton City Council will occur Monday, September 21st.

Click here to view a pdf of key issues with current draft ordinance
Click here to view a pdf of a table comparing current and proposed Impact Fees in North Fulton
Click here to view the draft Impact Fee ordinance

City of Alpharetta Considering New Impact Fee Program
The City of Alpharetta is currently in the process of updating their Impact Fee program. Similarly to the City of Milton, the City of Alpharetta engaged the consulting firm Ross + Associates to prepare an Impact Fee Methodology Report, which was presented to City Council in April of this year. This report called for an update to the City's Impact Fee program and provided calculations for the maximum allowable fees the City can charge by law. While some of the transportation and public safety fees may actually decrease, the Parks and Recreation Impact Fee would see a significant increase.

If the maximum fees are adopted, the parks and recreation fee for residential developers will jump from $545 per dwelling unit to $5,147 per dwelling unit, in order to fund park and trail improvements outlined in the City's Comprehensive Plan. This would bring the total Impact Fees for residential homes to $6,176, according to the report presented to City Council earlier this year. The Council for Quality Growth has been in contact with City staff on this issue, but has yet to receive a working draft of the new ordinance. The Council for Quality Growth is concerned that if the maximum fees presented in the report are adopted as part of the ordinance that disproportionate cost burdens will be placed on the development community and new residents in Alpharetta. The draft ordinance is scheduled to be presented to Alpharetta City Council on Monday, September 21st. The Council for Quality Growth will attend the meeting and encourage the adoption of a balanced Impact Fee ordinance and fee schedule.

Click here to view the Ross + Associates Impact Fee Report for Alpharetta

Click here to view a comparison sheet of Impact Fees in North Fulton

Forsyth County Considering New Impact Fees
On Monday, August 24th, the Forsyth County Impact Fee Advisory Committee met to review the 2015 Impact Fee Study released by Duncan Associates. The Advisory Committee will meet again today, September 17th to continue to discuss the recommended updates.

The key changes can be summarized as follows:
  • Combine fire and emergency fees into a single public safety fee, and assess the fee on both residential and non-residential land uses. 
  • Distribute fire and library fee revenue across a single county-wide service area, rather than dividing revenues along north and south benefit district lines.
  • Introduce a new road impact fee based on the cost of all arterial streets in the County, including state and federal highways. Assess this potential new fee on both residential and non-residential land uses. 
The proposed Roads/Transportation Fee is much higher than any other municipality in the region at $7,300 for residential units and $9,300 per 1,000 sq. ft. of commercial. The Council for Quality Growth will attend today's Impact Fee Advisory Committee meeting to encourage a reduction in these fees and ensure that an equitable, balanced ordinance is produced.

See the proposed fee changes outlined in the table below:

To download the complete 2015 Impact Fee Study by Duncan and Associates, click HERE.

To view a table comparing the proposed fees with other Impact Fee proposals in the region, click HERE
Zoning and Land Use Law in Georgia:
Where We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We Are Going
This paper and the author's talk are intended to provide the audience with a framework of the basic concepts of zoning law and the effects the recent recession and shifting housing preferences will have on our zoning and land use systems.  We have recently witnessed one of the worst economic downturns in our nation's history, fueled in large part by the collapse of the housing market.  Over the last three years we have seen an extremely slow recovery with almost no growth in the real estate and construction sectors of our economy.  Even now, with the recession technically behind us, we are still watching our local economies and real estate industries struggle to regain their pre-recession vigor.

To read the entire paper, presented by Doug Dillard at the Georgia Environmental Conference last month, click here

2015 Four Pillar Tribute Honoring Dan T. Cathy - October 1, 2015
Council for Quality Growth Congratulates Dana Johnson on New Position as Cobb County Community Development Agency Director
On September 8th, Dana Johnson was appointed Director of the Cobb County Community Development Agency by the Cobb County Board of Commissioners. Mr. Johnson holds a Masters in City Planning from Georgia Tech and has worked for the City of Marietta and Cobb County for over fifteen years. His expertise is in large scale and neighborhood planning strategies, urban design, economic development, redevelopment, and administration. Prior to his appointment, he served as Deputy Director of Community Development and Planning Division Manager of Cobb County.  He replaces Mr. Rob Hosack, who after 28 years of service, leaves Cobb County in order to form consulting practice that will serve the development community and local governments.

Click Here to read more

Sandy Springs Launches "The Next Ten" Website to Support Comprehensive Plan Update
The City of Sandy Springs is updating its Comprehensive Plan along with a number of small area plans. To better understand the type of development City residents and workers wish to see, the City launched on Tuesday. This well-designed and user-friendly site encourages community engagement in the planning process though rotating polls, interactive maps, online input sessions and other applications. City planners will also use the site to post information about public meetings and other special events, such as the annual Sandy Springs Festival occurring September 19th -20th at Heritage Green.  The Council encourages all members to visit the site.  

Council for Quality Growth Requests Member Feedback on Kennesaw Proposed Tree Ordinance        
The Council for Quality Growth is currently working with the City of Kennesaw's Planning and Zoning Department to provide feedback on a new draft of the City's Landscape and Tree Ordinance. The draft will go to Kennesaw City Council for review later this fall in Late October, or early November.

Upon initial review, the Council for Quality Growth identified several components of the draft ordinance that could have an impact on development potential in the City. A table is provided below, which highlights the major changes found in the new draft.

The City of Kennesaw is committed to adopting a balanced ordinance that supports quality development and has expressed an interest in gaining feedback from the Council, and specifically the local development community in Cobb County and the greater Atlanta region. The Council kindly requests that members review the draft ordinance and offer comments in the attached table in order to provide additional feedback to the City before City Council review and adoption.

To view the PDF of the proposed draft ordinance CLICK HERE.

To view the PDF of a table highlighting the changes from the current ordinance to the proposed draft with a section for you to comment with thoughts and concerns, CLICK HERE.

To view the PDF of the current Landscape and tree ordinance CLICK HERE.

The Council for Quality Growth expresses their appreciation to Council members for their input and to the City of Kennesaw for their dedication to see an ordinance that promotes balanced and responsible growth for their community. 

Please provide any feedback to Chelsea Hagood, Policy Analyst, at

Council Hosts DeKalb County Director of Planning and Sustainability, Andrew Baker, at DeKalb Advisory Meeting
On Thursday, September 3rd, Andrew Baker, the Director of Planning and Sustainability for DeKalb County, spoke to DeKalb Advisory Committee regarding the recent changes made to DeKalb's Zoning Code. More specifically, Mr. Baker explained the rationale behind the introduction of new density ranges, definitions and urban design standards for mixed use developments. It was clarified that the county sought to limit the number of changes made to zoning on residential and commercial land types. Members were also introduced to new user-friendly tables which explain the new zoning classifications and development requirements.

For those members seeking an even more user friendly and customized experience, Mr. Baker encourages a visit the DeKalb Planning website for access to an interactive ArcGIS map. The map is layered with up to date information on a parcel's zoning designations, owner's name, and other key information. To ensure accuracy, planning staff reviewed each category of information for more than 275,000 individual parcels. The primary take away from the meeting, however, is that the zoning document is a living document. As such, DeKalb County continues to welcome feedback for possible amendments, even as planning staff now shifts their focus to updating the County's Comprehensive Master Plan.

The Council for Quality Growth thanks Director Baker for speaking to the DeKalb Advisory Committee.

To see an overview of DeKalb's new Zoning Code, please click here

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


September 10, 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 all events. Please click on images below for more information.


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