Council for Quality Growth 
Hosts 6th Annual Community Improvement District Luncheon

On November 9, 2015, the Council for Quality Growth hosted our 6th Annual Community Improvement District Recognition at Westin Atlanta Perimeter North. With over 200 in attendance, the event highlighted the current and future projects of the twenty-one Metro Area CIDs. Specifically, it highlighted the work they do to improve quality of life and access to opportunity throughout the Metro region. The program featured a technology and innovation panel that discussed how CIDs can leverage their resources to cultivate technology-focused economic hubs.
Keynote Speaker, Congressman Rob Woodall (R-Lawrenceville), presented an overview of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act that passed through the House last week. He commended CID leaders on the work they've done to restore trust in the efficiency of local organizations, stating that restoring trust in government and local organizations is the first step towards expanding the type of strategies which can be adopted to address infrastructure needs.
Click HERE to read more.

To view the Council's video of CID Visions and Accomplishments, see below:

CQG 6th Annual CID Recognition Luncheon Video
CQG 6th Annual CID Recognition Luncheon Video

Forsyth County Proposes Highest Impact Fees in Region
On Monday, November 2nd the Impact Fee Advisory Committee reconvened to discuss how the proposed impact fees will impact economic development in Forsyth County. The Council for Quality Growth and Forsyth Cumming Chamber arranged for members of the residential, commercial and industrial development community  to explain how the impact fees, as proposed, are detrimental to current and future development in Forsyth. James Touchton, Director of Policy and Government Affairs, also addressed the committee and provided additional information and concerns about the proposed fees. To view the Council's document listing major issues with the proposal, click HERE.

The committee unanimously voted to recommend to the Board of Commissioners to exempt all non-residential development from the roads impact fee (proposed at $9,392 per $1,000 sq.ft.). Members of the development community on the committee made additional motions to vest or exempt all developments which have an LDP, Preliminary Plat or approved rezoning from the new fees for a period of 24 months as well as reduce the residential fee by 50% (from $8,961 to $4,480) and review the program in 24 to 36 months. Both of these motions failed with a tie vote. 

The proposed Impact Fee Ordinance incorporates the committee's original recommendation to phase the fees in over three years (50%  of roads fee in the first year, 75% in the second year and 100% in the third year), but does not address commercial development exemptions or vesting planned and proposed projects. The draft ordinance will be presented to the Board of Commissioners at a public hearing on November 19th. The Council for Quality Growth will continue to work with the Commissioners and attend the hearing in an effort to protect vested projects and reduce the impact fee amount for all development types. 
Click HERE to read more.

Click HERE to view the draft ordinance.

For any questions or concerns regarding Impact Fee proposals please contact Policy Analyst, Chelsea Hagood at 770-813-3374 or
Six Year Federal Surface Transportation Act to Complete Congressional Conference by Thanksgiving
On Tuesday, November 10th, the Senate appointed 15 Senators to negotiate with the House in an effort to come to an agreement on the nation's first  long-term transportation legislation in over a decade. Last Thusday, November 5th, the House of Representatives successfully passed the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 3763) today. The bill, which was introduced on October 20th, authorizes $325 billion in surface transportation and infrastructure improvement spending over six years ($261 billion to highways, $55 billion to transit and approximately $9 billion to safety programs) from fiscal years 2016 through 2021. The House bill authorizes the funding for six years, however funding is only guaranteed for the first three years and in order to release funding for years 3 through 6, congress must identify and approve new funding mechanisms. The Senate passed a similar bill in July that also only guaranteed funding for the first three years, but did not require a congressional vote to allocate and approve funding for the subsequent three years.

The House appointed 16 Republicans and 12 Democrats to negotiate with the Senate over the next two weeks, including Rep. Rob Woodall of Gwinnett, who represented Georgia on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The bicameral talks, opening this week, are expected to reach an agreement and pass the bill through Congress  prior to next Friday to meet the November 20th deadline for renewing federal transportation funding.

To view the T&I Committee summary of the bill, click HERE

To view the full text of the bill, Click HERE

DeKalb County Commissioner, Larry Johnson, Hosts Economic Development Forum
On Friday, November 6th, Commissioner Larry Johnson hosted the Renaissance 2.0 Economic Development Forum at the Porter Sanford Performing Arts & Community Center in Decatur.

The forum featured a distinguished development panel including Jeff Fuqua of Fuqua Development, Matt Rendle of Selig Enterprises, Mitch Jacoby of Jacoby Group, Noel Khalil of Columbia Residential, Walter Brown of Green Street Properties, Eric Pinckney of Integral Group and others. Panelists discussed current projects in DeKalb County and how to maximize potential opportunities for new investment with County leadership and community residents.

Click HERE to read the full press release.

Last Week's Election Keeps Some Incumbents, Brings New Leadership,  a New City and More

As the polls closed on Tuesday, Novmber 3rd, the Metro Region found itself with new Mayors in Kennesaw (Derek Easterling), Powder Springs (Al Thurman), Douglasville (Rochelle Robinson), Brookhaven (John Ernst), Snellville (Tom Witts), Fayetteville(Ed Johnson) and Dunwoody (Dennis Shortal), while Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon, Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson, Canton Mayor Gene Hobgood, Austell Mayor Joe Jerkins, College Park Mayor Jack Longino, Doraville Mayor Donna Pitman, Tyrone Mayor Eric Dial and Riverdale Mayor Evelyn Wynn-Dixon and Hapeville Mayor Alan Hallman all held of challengers to continue another term in office.
Click HERE to read more.
To view a comprehensive listing of all elections and results, Click HERE

Cobb County Transportation Director Accepts Position with City of Atlanta
Faye DiMassimo, Director of Cobb County Department of Transportation announced her resignation Monday, November 2nd. After a very successful  five year tenure at the head of Cobb DOT, DiMassimo has accepted a position with the City of Atlanta to lead the administration of the City's infrastructure bond program, where she will be a key asset to the City's leadership. During her time in Cobb, she played a critical role in increasing collaboration with State and Federal transportation programs to move major regional improvement projects forward with record breaking efficiency, including Windy Hill Road improvements, I-285 interchange at Atlanta Road and the widening of US-41.

Cobb County Manager, David Hankerson appointed Deputy Director, Jim Wilgus, as the Interim Director of Cobb Department of Transportation. Wilgus has served in his current role since 2014, and has over 25 years of transportation engineering experience in both public and private sectors.

Jim Wilgus, Interim Director, Cobb DOT

The Council for Quality Growth congratulates Faye DiMassimo on her new role in Atlanta and looks forward to working with Jim Wilgus in Cobb County.

Valuable Roundtable Discussion at Atlanta Advisory Committee Meeting
On Wednesday, November 4th, the Atlanta Advisory Committee held a dynamic discussion on how the Technical Advisory Committee and upcoming Office of Buildings Business Plan from consultant BKD will improve the department's efficiency. Michael Nagey, Interim Director of Office of Buildings provided an update on BKD's progress in auditing the department. The customer survey results are in and currently being compiled while external stakeholder interviews are being held over the next two weeks. These discussions have included everything from changing the fee structure from Table 100 to a local cost structure to complete code overhaul and addressing the need for department consistency. BKD will then provide an initial report identifying immediate changes that can be made to improve efficiency, or "low hanging fruit," in December followed by a full report with recommendations and a complete business plan in January.

Please reach out to Policy Analyst, Chelsea Hagood at or 770-813-3374   if you have any comments regarding the Office of Buildings you would like included in the stakeholder interviews next week.

The Council thanks Holt Ney Zatcoff & Wasserman for  sponsoring this month's advisory meeting and look forward to hearing from State Representative Stacey Abrams in December.

Council Seeks Spring Policy & Marketing 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 spring unpaid internships.
Policy Interns
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. 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.  
For a complete overview of the POLICY internship requirements click HERE or contact James Touchton at

Marketing Interns
Will work on a variety of projects that leverage and develop creativity and  communication skills in a real world environment. Applicants studying Marketing, PR, English or related fields are preferred.

For a complete overview of the MARKETING internship requirements click HERE or contact Amanda Janaskie at

Please Note: Internships are unpaid. Working schedules are flexible due to the responsibilities classes demand.

November 13th, 2015

What are Council Members saying about their investment in the Council for Quality Growth?


Contact Amanda Janaskie,, for sponsorship opportunities. 






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