2015 Four Pillar Tribute Honoree, Dan T. Cathy, Featured in Atlanta Business Chronicle. Seven Days Away!
The Atlanta Business Chronicle published a Special Section in their September 18th - 24th Edition in honor of the 2015 Four Pillar Tribute honoree Dan Cathy.  
The special section is devoted to Cathy's impact - professionally, politically, and personally - on Atlanta's Westside neighborhoods and nationally. It also highlights the work that the Council for Quality Growth does around the Region and illustrates the depth of our involvement in critical issues.
The Four Pillar Tribute event is just seven days away! Join the Council for Quality Growth on Thursday, October 1st in awarding the prestigious Four Pillar award to Dan T. Cathy. 

Last Call for Four Pillar Tickets and Sponsorships, click HERE.
To read the full special section in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, click HERE.
To view the 2015 Four Pillar Tribute Press Release, click HERE.
Council and Progress Partners host 1st Annual North Fulton Opportunity Outlook
On Wednesday, September 23rd 2015, over a hundred individuals attended the North Fulton Opportunity Outlook, co-hosted by the Council for Quality Growth and Progress Partners. Stakeholders, developers, and leadership from state and local agencies gathered at Avalon in Alpharetta for two panel discussions on the future of transportation and economic development in North Fulton. All who attended also heard from Keynote Speaker, Russell Stall, founder of Greenville Forward.
The first panel featured Keith Parker CEO of MARTA, Ann Hanlon, Executive Director of the North Fulton Community Improvement District, Mark Burkhalter, Board member at Georgia Department of Transportation, and Jeff Dils, Vice President at Cousins Properties. The panelists answered questions about the role of CIDs play in the greater infrastructure picture; the structural and operational changes which MARTA has undergone in the past three years; MARTA's impact on the number and type of proposed developments; and MARTA's role in local and regional economic growth. 

To read more, CLICK HERE.  

To view a highlight video of North Fulton presented at the Outlook, CLICK HERE

Substantial Proposed Impact Fees Increases Across Metro Region
Milton City Council is currently reviewing the draft of their first Impact fee ordinance. City Council held a work session to discuss the adoption of the new impact fee program and corresponding Capital Improvements Element last week. Michael Paris, President, and Chelsea Hagood, Policy Analyst of the Council for Quality Growth were in attendance and provided public comment 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. The ordinance will be up for adoption at the Milton City Council meeting on Monday, October 5th. Click here to read more about the proposed fees.

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

On Monday, September 21st, Alpharetta City Council discussed the first reading of the Impact Fee Ordinance update. Michael Paris, President, and James Touchton, Director of Policy and Government Affairs at the Council for Quality Growth were in attendance at the meeting. As written, the draft ordinance imposes the maximum fee allowable by state law, which would be an increase from $1,940 to $6,600 per each new residential unit.
James Touchton provided public comment to City Council members urging them to carefully consider the broader impact the new fees will have on new as well as existing residents. Alpharetta City Council affirmed the first reading of the ordinance, which will be presented for adoption on Monday, September 28th. For more information on the proposed fees, click here.

Click here to view the proposed fee schedule

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

Click here to view the draft Impact Fee Ordinance 

On Thursday, September 17th, The Forsyth County Impact Fee Advisory Committee met to review the latest draft of the Impact Fee Study prepared by consultant Duncan and Associates and begin drafting recommendations for the Board of Commissioners. The Council for Quality Growth was in attendance at the meeting and is closely monitoring the progress of the new fees. The most substantial component of the proposed changes is the creation of a new Roads Impact Fee to be assessed on all land uses in the City. 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. Click here to read more about the proposed fees.

The Council for Quality Growth will continue to attend the Impact Fee Advisory Committee meetings to encourage the creation of an equitable, balanced impact fee ordinance.

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
Council for Growth Featured on Fox 5 Atlanta News on the Cluster Mail Box Issue
On Friday, September 18th, Fox 5 Atlanta featured a story on an issue that the Council for Quality Growth has been involved in for several years.  The issue of cluster mailboxes and the lack of communication and direction from the United States Post Office was the focus of the feature. 
To watch the Fox 5 feature, click here
To read an updated story that ran on Wednesday, September 23rd, click here
For a refresher on the issue and the Council's work on the issue, click here

Atlanta Regional Commission's Millennial Advisory Panel Begins Conversation about Region's Future
Last March, the Atlanta Regional Commission convened the inaugural meeting of the Millennial Advisory Panel, which tasked a group of  135 young professional's in their 20's and 30's, from the 10-county area, who represent the next generation of residents who will live and work in the region, to research discuss and formulate policy recommendations to the ARC on the following topics: world class infrastructure, innovation, economy and healthy livable communities.  Over the last six months, the millennial panels were broken up into sub-groups to tackle various issues surrounding those topics and present recommendations to the members of the ARC Board and public. 
On September 14th, the Millennial Panel unveiled their various recommendations to the Panel at large and ARC Board Members and staff.  You can read a recap in the Saporta Report HERE.  A sub-group that was tasked with focusing on championing a unified regional transportation system, made up of millennials from across the region, that James Touchton, Director of Policy & Government Affairs serves on presented their recommendations to the Panel on Tuesday.  Committee Members Nicholas Juliano and Danielle Elkins presented the recommendations from the group (which can be viewed here) that culminated in the formation of a new coalition, AdvanceAtlanta.  Click here to read more.
Council Hosts Chairman Buzz Ahrens in Cherokee County
On Wednesday, September 16th, the Council for Quality Growth hosted Chairman Buzz Ahrens at the Cherokee County Advisory Committee Meeting. The Chairman provided updates to Council members on the economic outlook and overall development progress across Cherokee County, which has the highest population growth percentage in the Atlanta Metro Region at 2.4%.

Economic development remains the top priority for officials in the County evidenced by the commitment of Misti Martin and her staff at the Cherokee Office of Economic Development to attract and retain businesses in the County, and Planning Director Jeff Watkins and his staff in their commitment to running an efficient building permitting process. Watkins announced the roll out of their new streamlined permitting and inspection electronic portal that improves internal efficiency and allows residents and developers to track the status of their project as it moves through the approval system.

Some exciting new developments coming on line soon in Cherokee include an animation studio in downtown Canton and an Innovation Center in Woodstock. Cherokee is targeting the following industry sectors to sustain the economic advancement of the County: Film and Television, Technology, Healthcare, and Corporate Office Headquarters. 

To view a pdf listing the "Unique Selling Points" and metrics for Cherokee County, click here.

Council Hosts Cumming City Council Member, Chuck Welch, at Forsyth Advisory
On Thursday, September 17th, the Council for Quality Growth hosted Chuck Welch, a recent addition to the Cumming City Council at the Forsyth County Advisory Committee Meeting. Welch gave an overview of his vision for the City of Cumming as it grows and develops in the future. He emphasized the need for the City to develop and build consensus around a vision and plan with strategic actions for how to achieve success. Welch expressed the need for the City and County to improve their reputation in the business community in order to be known as a place where local business can thrive. This can be achieved through strategic planning and a focus on customer service at the City and County levels.

When asked about fears of Forsyth County changing as it grows Welch responded, "I love what Cumming was, but I love what Cumming can be 10 times more." He explained that the focus of new development in Cumming should be on products that are high quality and at a higher standard in order to maintain the character and attract businesses, visitors and residents to the City. 
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

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, aj@councilforqualitygrowth.org, 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 www.CouncilforQualityGrowth.org 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 | jt@councilforqualitygrowth.org 
5901-C Peachtree Dunwoody Road
Suite 500
Atlanta, GA 30328