Provide Input on City of Atlanta Zoning Ordinance Rewrite Initial Findings January 11th and 12th
The City of Atlanta Zoning Ordinance overhaul has been underway for several months in the initial review and assessment stages. The City's Department of Planning and Community Development has engaged the consultant team led by TSW, Canvas Planning Group, and the Zoeckler Firm to complete the ordinance rewrite assessment. The initial findings of this work will be shared to the public in an effort to gain stakeholder input at two public meetings on January 11th and 12th. The assessment includes a review and analysis of best practices in major peer cities and innovative zoning and land use practices such as form based ordinances and hybrid zoning ordinances. The assessment will specifically focus on how the current zoning ordinance implements city policies and plans, such as the Comprehensive Development Plan and will identify the strengths and weaknesses of the existing Zoning Ordinance in terms of its Process, Structure, Administration, Districts, Uses, Site and Building Design, and the impact of other codes.

The Council for Quality Growth participated in the initial stakeholder interviews regarding the Zoning Ordinance update and will remain involved throughout the assessment and rewrite process.

See public meeting information below or click HERE to view the event flyer.
Monday, January 11, 2016
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at the Atlanta Metropolitan State College-1630 Metropolitan Parkway , Atlanta Georgia 30310
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at the Passion City Church-515 Garson Drive, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia  30324 
Forsyth County Board of Commissioners to Hold Public Hearing to Address Growth Concerns
On Thursday, January 7th, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing regarding several items set forth in a Resolution of the Board, adopted Monday, December 14th, aimed at addressing growth issues in the county. The resolution includes a possible dissolution of the current County-wide Planning Commission and creation of five separate sub-area Planning Commissions in each of the districts. This would involve multiple public hearings as well as the delegation repealing local legislation creating the Planning Commission. The resolution also included the consideration of imposing zoning conditions that will stagger residential building permits on large residential projects with the intent to mitigate the impact on school system capacity.

The intent of the hearing on January 7th is for the Board of Commissioners to gain direction from residents and stakeholders regarding the items listed in the resolution. The Council for Quality Growth will be in attendance at the hearing and continues to work with the Commissioners to develop solutions and promote quality, balanced growth across Forsyth County.

To view the Resolution, adopted on Monday, December 14th, click HERE.

Fulton County to Host Green Book Review and Recertification Workshop

The Fulton County Soil and Water Conservation District is offering a workshop on the revised "Green Book," or Manual for Erosion and Sediment Control in Georgia on January 14th. The Green Book serves as a guide book for local governments in Georgia on site design and site protection permitting practices affecting engineers, builders and contractors.

The workshop is intended to educate users on the revisions in the 2016 manual, as well as qualify them for recertification of Level 1A, 1B or II.  Speaker topics include Design criteria, installation tips, and inspection guidelines for new and revised BMPs, Flocculants and Coagulants to help minimize NTU readings, Liability and legal ramifications for runoff related infractions, and others.

Workshop details:
Click HERE to register
Date: January 14, 2016
Time: 9:00am - 3:30pm 
Location: The Metropolitan Club
5895 Windward Pkwy, Alpharetta, GA 30005
Cost: $90 ($105 after January 1, 2016) 
Breakfast, Lunch, and E&S Recertification included

Click HERE to see event flyer
Click HERE for Vendor information

Brookhaven Zoning Ordinance Rewrite Steering Committee to Host Public Workshop in January
The Steering Committee for the Brookhaven Zoning Ordinance Rewrite initiative met on Thursday, December 17th, to discuss the objectives and timeline for the City's Zoning Ordinance update. The preliminary objectives outlined by the consultant include general organization and format of the code, updating and streamlining use classifications, revamping off-street parking requirements, addressing mixed use and commercial districts, consideration of additional housing options, form and character determinations, nonconformities, administration and procedures, clarifying measurements and exceptions, and customization tools within the code. Click HERE to view the report outlining the project objectives and approach prepared by consultant, Duncan and Associates.

The Steering Committee agreed that the ordinance rewrite should be driven by community input and hope to get stakeholders involved early in the process. To that end, the Committee, with Brookhaven planning staff and the consultant team will host a public workshop on January 21st to gather community input on the topic areas outlined in the preliminary report. The Council for Quality Growth will continue to work with the Steering Committee and City staff to provide resources and stakeholder input in order to craft a zoning ordinance that promotes balanced, quality development in the City.

Steering Committee Members include:
Stan Segal, Planning Commission Chair
Jeff O'Connell, Zoning Board of Appeals
Jack Honderd, Resident/Builder
Richard Lauth, Attorney
Alan Cablik, Builder/Developer
Kevin Quirk, Attorney
Alex Michaud, Resident
Tim Nama, Builder/Developer
Mike Busher, Builder/Developer
Donnie Reed, Real Estate
Keith Linch, Attorney

Click HERE to view the zoning ordinance rewrite website and sign up for updates
Forsyth County Board of Commissioners Postpones Impact Fee Increase 
On Thursday, December 17th, The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners voted to postpone their decision on increasing the County impact fees until the Impact Fee Advisory Committee and Consultant have recalculated the fee amount to account for additional transportation funding dollars. The currently proposed Roads/Transportation Fee is significantly higher than any other municipality in the region at $7,288 for residential units and $9,392 per 1,000 sq. ft. of commercial. 

During the first public hearing on November 19th, James Touchton, Director of Policy and Government Affairs at the Council for Quality Growth addressed the Board of Commissioners to express concerns and request additional information about the proposed fees. Because the Fees were not calculated from an existing project list and transportation plan, the Council requested that the County DOT prepare an up-to-date transportation needs assessment that accounts for the $200 Million infrastructure bond and the recently announced $156 Million in matching funding from GDOT as well as how funding from House Bill 170 (State Transportation Funding Bill) will be used to construct prioritized transportation improvement projects. Until the need for this additional impact fee revenue is clearly identified, the Council cannot assess or support the proposed ordinance. After hearing from several council members, including Land Use Attorney, Doug Dillard, the Board of Commissioners moved to send the ordinance back to the Impact Fee Advisory Committee and asked staff to engage the consultant to recalculate the impact fee amounts given the additional funding sources brought to light.

As the new fee amount numbers are still being prepared and the Impact Fee Advisory Committee has not been able to meet and review a revised ordinance and fee schedule, the Board of Commissioners voted to postpone the hearing on the impact fee ordinance.The Council for Quality Growth will continue to work with the Board and Impact Fee Advisory Committee to ensure that an equitable, transparent impact fee ordinance is passed.

To view the letter submitted by the Council to the Board of Commissioners, click HERE

To view the Council's document listing major issues with the current proposal, click HERE.
To view the proposed ordinance, Click HERE
Office of Buildings Implementation Team Introduced to City of Atlanta Technical Advisory Committee
The City of Atlanta Office of Buildings Technical Advisory Committee held a special-called meeting on Thursday, December 17th, to introduce the team selected by the City to assist with the implementation of recommendations from the ongoing audit of the department conducted by consultant, BKD. Commissioner Tim Keane, announced that SAFEbuilt will be partnering with the City to staff the Implementation Team, which will include management personnel to assist with the process redesign as well as additional capacity and technical assistance to meet current plan review and inspection demands.

SAFEbuilt, a member of the Council for Quality Growth, has experience nationally and locally within our region integrating with municipal staff to build internal capacity and implement sustainable process improvements. The SAFEbuilt team will come on board in early January and hit the ground running with City leadership and staff to meet Commissioner Keane's deadline of May 1st, 2016 to have a recognizably new process and cultural framework in place. 
Tax Allocation District Approved for Redevelopment of General Motors Site in Doraville
On Tuesday, December 15th, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the creation of a Tax Allocation District to provide funding for the redevelopment of the Former General Motors Site in Doraville. The Council for Quality Growth submitted a formal letter in support of the TAD creation to the Board of Commissioners prior to the vote on Tuesday explaining the necessity of incentives in order for redevelopment projects of this scale to be successful. The Council further explained how the GM site is an ideal candidate for the use of a tax allocation district given the lack of existing infrastructure, the size and scale of the site, and proximity to transit.

Atlanta-based Integral Group plans to develop a walkable, mixed use community, known as Assembly, with offices, residences and retail on the 165 acre site. The approved TAD will provide funding for the street grid and pedestrian infrastructure within the site as well as a safe connection to the Doraville MARTA station.

Click HERE to view the letter submitted by the Council to the Board of Commissioners

Council Supports Atlanta Region's Plan Transportation Improvement Funding 

As Council Members recall, the Council for Quality Growth, along with many of our partner organizations, successfully advocated in 2015 for the passage of House Bill 170, the Transportation Funding Act of 2015.  Thanks to the leadership of the Georgia General Assembly, the Lt. Governor and the Governor, the Metro Region has seen a $27 million dollar increase over the next twenty-four years, in projected and planned investment in transportation and infrastructure plans, according to the Atlanta Regional Commission's Region's Plan. The Council fully supports the draft plan and encourage all Council Members to submit their comments to the ARC.  As we continue to move forward in the Region with additional transportation and infrastructure funding, being considered at the state and local levels in 2016, it is imperative we support the long-term blueprint to advance the Region's future.
Highlights of the increased planned funding in the Atlanta Region's Plan include:
  • Construction of managed toll lanes (114 miles): $6.9 billion
  • Major roadway and intersection improvements: $9.8 billion
  • Potential transit expansion projects: $12 billion
  • Transit operations and maintenance: $30.7 billion
  • Road maintenance, operations and safety: $24.3 billion
  • Bicycle/Pedestrian facilities: $1.9 billion
  • Management of demand on the network (promoting carpooling, telecommuting and other commute alternatives): $0.5 billion
The 25 year long-range plan was developed around three major focus areas: Providing World Class Infrastructure, Building a Competitive Economy, and ensuring the development of Healthy, Livable Communities. Some of the action items discussed in the plan include improving transit options, fostering the application of technology, support the movement of freight and goods, protecting the region's water supply and quality, investing in access to a variety of housing options, developing a regional approach to workforce development and ensuring employment centers support innovation.

The Plan was released Monday, December 7th and will be open for public comment through January 15th. Public Comment can be submitted to or by phone at 404-463-3272. The ARC will host an open house with morning and afternoon sessions on Thursday, January 14th to discuss the plan goals and action items.

Click HERE to view summaries of the plan goals and action items on the interactive Region's Plan website 

Click HERE to view the plan documents

December 23rd, 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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