Substantial Proposed Impact Fee 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 28th, Alpharetta City Council approved the proposed Impact Fee Ordinance update. James Touchton, Director of Policy and Government Affairs at the Council for Quality Growth was in attendance at the meeting. 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. The approved ordinance imposes the maximum fee allowable by state law, which is an increase from $1,940 to $6,689 per each new residential unit. The Council for Quality Growth looks forward to continuing to work with City of Alpharetta staff and Council members as the new ordinance is implemented to ensure that it continues to support and encourage quality growth and development in the City. Click HERE to read more.

Click HERE to view the approved fee schedule

Click HERE to view the full Impact Fee Ordinance 

On Thursday, September 24th, The Forsyth County Impact Fee Advisory Committee met to draft final recommendations for the Board of Commissioners on updates to the County's Impact Fee program. The Council for Quality Growth was in attendance at the meeting and is closely monitoring the progress of the new fees. The Council is concerned by the proposed Roads Fee, which is much higher than any other municipality in the region at $7,288 for residential units and $9,392 per 1,000 sq. ft. of commercial. The Committee voted 5 to 3 to phase in the roads fee over 5 years, where once adopted the first year the Roads Fee will be 50% of the maximum ($3,644 per residential unit), 75% of the maximum the second year ($5,466 per residential unit), and 100% of the roads fee will be charged in the third year ($7,288 for roads, totaling $8,961 per residential unit). This recommendation will be presented to the Board of Commissioners next month. The first work session is scheduled for October 21st at 2:00 in the afternoon.

The Council for Quality Growth will attend the Board of Commissioners work session to encourage the creation of an equitable, balanced impact fee ordinance. The Council hopes to ensure that landowners already vested in Forsyth County with planned and platted projects will not be subject to the proposed fee increases and that the proposed Roads Fee will remain capped at 50% of the maximum for an extended period of time. Click HERE to read more.

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

To view a table comparing the proposed fees with other existing and proposed impact fees in the region, click HERE

For any questions or concerns regarding Impact Fee proposals please contact policy analyst, Chelsea Hagood at or 770-813-3374.
The ACTivate Gwinnett Place Master Plan Envisions Green Multi-modal Corridors in a Mixed Use District
The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners and the Gwinnett Place CID are interested in making a number of short term and long term investments around Gwinnett Place Mall. The intent of these investments is to revitalize the area as a vibrant, walkable and transit accessible regional mixed use district (MU-R district). This vision and the strategy to bring it to fruition is detailed in the ACTivate Gwinnett Place Master Plan. Adopted by the Gwinnet Place CID on May 2015, the ACTivate Gwinnett Place Master Plan advocates the funding of five key projects:
  • Streetscape improvements and a Grand Promenade lined with multicultural gardens and multi-use paths.
  • A 1,500 foot iconic bike and pedestrian bridge linked to McDaniel Farm Park.
  • A signalized, round-about like roadway with interior public park at Satellite Blvd and Pleasant Hill Rd.
  • An improved regional detention pond with additional storage capacity that could double as an open space amenity.
  • An improved and inviting Transit Center that promotes alternative modes of transportation.
To reduce barriers to rapid and quality redevelopment, the Master Plan calls upon officials to consider using either government-initiated rezoning or an overlay to secure entitlements for properties within the targeted Master Plan area. The overlay option in particular would encourage by-right development, with the provision that proposals adhere to the Master Plan's MU-R district standards. 

To read more, click HERE. 

To view the report from the Gwinnett Daily Post, click HERE

Council Hosts Commissioner Tommy Hunter at Gwinnett Advisory Committee 
The Gwinnett Advisory Meeting was held on September 22nd 2015.  Those in attendance were informed about the results of the Great Exchange on Transportation Campaign and development activity occurring in the City of Peachtree Corners and the City of Snellville. They also had the opportunity to hear from guest speaker, Commissioner Tommy Hunter, on what the future of Gwinnett may look like and what is being done to facilitate development in the County. 

To read more click HERE.

Council hosts Commissioner Bob Weatherford at Cobb Advisory Committee
On Wednesday, September 23rd, the Council for Quality Growth hosted Cobb County Commissioner Bob Weatherford at the Cobb County Advisory Committee Meeting. The Commissioner gave a presentation to Council members on major developments and improvements coming online in Northwest Cobb. To view the full presentation, click HERE. Highlights include:
  • The County has seen a steady increase in SPLOST funding, which is projected to increase by another 8 percent next year.
  • Roadway improvements on Pine Mountain Road, Powder Springs Road, Skip Spann Connector and others
  • Public Safety investments in new Internal Affairs Office, officer retainment program with new take home cars and educational incentive pay and currently accepting bids for construction of new Police Headquarters and training facility.
The County will soon be kicking off their Comprehensive Plan and Future Land Use Plan updates. The Council for Quality Growth looks forward to working with Cobb County Staff and Commissioners during these planning processes.  

Check out local radio show "All About Gwinnett"
Snellville City Council member, Dave Emanuel, hosts a weekly radio blog discussing issues facing Gwinnett County and the Region. Each week Emanuel hosts a new guest during the show who provides unique perspective and updates at the city, county, region and State levels of influence in Gwinnett.

The show airs live on Sunday evenings at 6:30 and all episodes are available at

To listen to the interview with State Senator PK Martin, Click here.

To listen to the interview with Commissioner Tim Echols, Click here.

To listen to the interview with Congressman Rob Woodall, 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.
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 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

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


October 1, 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