Check Out Our 30th Anniversary Edition In the Loop Debuting in Print at Today's Annual Meeting

The success of any great city doesn't happen by accident. Regulation that supports quality growth and protects communities doesn't simply appear. It requires the ongoing collaboration and thoughtful planning of growth and development industry leaders who come together to strategically address economic planning, infrastructure needs, and challenging quality-of-life issues throughout the metro Atlanta region and state.
The Council for Quality Growth, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, provides a voice for these regional leaders, bringing all interested parties to the table and providing an effective forum for problem solving to help ensure continued growth and economic success for generations to come.

Click HERE to read the complete version of the 30th Anniversary In the Loop

Council Hosts BKD Director Mike Brink at the City of Atlanta Advisory Meeting
The City of Atlanta Advisory Committee met with BKD Director, Mike Brink, on Wednesday, Dec. 2nd. Mr. Brink made clear that BKD's Action Plan, to be delivered to the City next month, would provide a realistic timeline for its suggested cultural and regulatory reforms, along with a set of measurable standards for progress and accountability.

Sample cultural reforms under consideration include:
  • Relocating all permitting operations and creating a true "one stop shop" outside of City Hall with common hours of operation.
  • Establishing an ombudsman dedicated 100% to resolving major customer issues.
  • Establishing a director of staffing to evaluate organizational needs, identify personnel needs, establish position tasks and requirements, screen candidates, and develop rigorous evaluation procedures.   
Sample regulatory reforms under consideration include:
  • Combining the Demolition and Land Development Permit if the customer is doing both as one construction activity.
  • Eliminating the separate fire plan review fee and integrating fire plan review into regular building plan review.
Final recommendations adopted by the City will be the result of six month diagnostic process which included careful review of Office of Buildings operations, interaction with staff, interviews with 30-35 industry experts, and analysis 140+ responses to a customer survey released in October. Special attention is being paid to reintroducing transparency and simplicity to procedural and regulatory frameworks. The Council thanks Mr. Mike Brink for participating and soliciting Council members' input at Wednesday's meeting.
City of Atlanta Technical Advisory Committee Discusses Phase 1 Enhancements  
The City of Atlanta Office of Buildings Technical Advisory Committee, of which Councilmember Katherine Molyson is the CQG appointee, met on Tuesday, Dec. 1st. At the meeting, Commissioner Keane presented his "1st Report on Planning and Community Development." The presentation highlighted the following phase 1 enhancements to be concluded by May 1st, 2016:
  • Creation of a concierge team offering "express service" capacity.
  • Organization of pre-intake permit issuance around three service stream teams - express, residential, commercial.
  • Creation of a 2-3 person team tasked with major projects coordination with public development and public investment projects.
  • Establishment of a committee to draft legislation for the City within 60 days to eliminate or increase the threshold on at least 10 different permits.
To accelerate the integration of all customer service operations related to permitting and to guide the shift towards a new cultural norms, the Office of Buildings will get a boost in capacity from third party inspectors and permit reviewers. Commissioner Keane emphasized that third party contractors would serve strictly as a supplemental resource to help staff deal with the existing volume of work - that their hiring does not indicate a shift towards the privatization of permitting services. The Technical Advisory Committee will meet again on January 5, 2016. 

To view the minutes from Dec. 1st meeting, click HERE
Council Member Kerry Armstrong Re-elected as Chairman of Atlanta Regional Commission's Board of Directors

Kerry Armstrong, a member of the Council for Quality Growth's Board of Directors Executive Committee, was re-elected to serve a second two-year term as Chairman of the ARC's Board of Directors on Wednesday, December 2nd.  Armstrong is excited about the agency's focus on economic development, transportation and natural resources as the metro Atlanta region continues to grow.

"I'm honored to have the support and confidence of an outstanding Board of Directors.  Amazing things are happening throughout our region, and we're all excited to be in a position to help."

Armstrong is a Senior Vice President at Pope and Land and has remained actively involved in leadership of the Atlanta Region's Real Estate and Development Industry throughout his career. Prior to joining the ARC board in 2008, he served as the Chairman of the Council for Quality Growth's Board of Directors in 2005. He also serves as the Chairman of the North Fulton Community Improvement District.
The Council congratulates Armstrong on his re-election and looks forward to supporting his continued leadership of our partner organization, the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Click HERE to view the ARC Press Release.

Council Hosts DeKalb County Deputy Chief Operating Officer Luz Borrero

Luz Borrero, Deputy Chief Operating Officer for DeKalb County, spoke to the DeKalb County Advisory Committee on Thursday, Dec. 3rd. She discussed the County's permitting improvement process and strategic plans for future economic development. According to Ms. Borrero, technological upgrades in the customer queuing management system (Qmatic) and inspections review scheduling software (IVR) have radically improved departmental operations. Combined with the drastic improvements in staff communication, morale, and accountability resulting from the reintegration of permitting related services under a single roof, DeKalb County will end 2015 with zero permit backlog. The County's accomplishments will also include completing 95% of expedited commercial plan reviews in an average 10 days or less, and completing 90% of inspection reviews on the day the request for inspection is received. Ms. Borrero also emphasized the importance which regular requests for staff input played in fueling and sustaining the emergence of DeKalb's new customer service culture.

To address future economic development, DeKalb County hired Angelou Economics to create a development plan. The resulting document targets six (6) industries and provides strategies through which the County can better leverage its unique access to critical highways, industrial zones, and clusters of research and life science centers. The plan pays special attention to possible investments in senior housing and facilities, and to beautifying and landscaping underutilized commercial corridors such as Memorial Rd and Candler Rd. With an average of 4 films (not including television shows) being filmed at any given week in DeKalb, the County economic plan also includes a strategy to fuel the growth of the filming and post-production related industries through an incentive based approach.  A draft detailing this new incentive based approach as it will work across a number of identified industries will be presented to the Board of Commissioners next month.

The Council thanks Luz Borrero and all who attended Thursday's DeKalb Advisory Meeting.

To view a pdf of Thursday's presentation, click HERE

Council Hosts Snellville Mayor Tom Witts at Gwinnett Advisory

On Tuesday, Dec. 1st, new Snellville Mayor Tom Witts informed the Gwinnett Advisory Committee about the construction occurring in Snellville's Towne Green and on Highway 78 and Highway 124. In Towne Green, the city is focused on completing ongoing landscaping projects and the Veteran's Memorial Park by Spring 2016. The new memorial park will feature a meditative labyrinth presently being worked on in part by the Snellville Arts Commission. Along Highway 78 and Highway 124, the city is paying special attention to possible enhancements necessary to keep both corridors attractive places for retail activity. Towards that aim, some parcels along the corridor have been cleared for new developments, such as The Promenade. Located on Highway 124 north of Pharrs Road, the new shopping center will feature a new Best Buys and Snellville's first Fresh Market. According to Mayor Witts, Snellville is once again open for business, but more importantly, now under a strongly unified leadership eager to guide the city towards the vision it has shaped for its future. 

To view a pdf of Tuesday's presentation, click HERE

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.

December 4th, 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