Governor Deal Announces $10 Billion, 10 Year Transportation Plan
Governor Nathan Deal presented his 10 year transportation plan on Tuesday, January 12th. The plan involves funding $10 billion in state-wide transportation improvements, made possible by House Bill 170, the Transportation Funding Act of 2015, passed by the General Assembly.

The Governor's plan provides short term improvements to our region's infrastructure that will be funded over the next 18 months as well as major investments in expanding the Atlanta region's toll network and major expansions on GA-400 and I-285. To view the 18 month project list including widening of 36 roads, 109 intersection improvements and 2,500 miles of state route and interstate resurfacing, click HERE or HERE for a map. The plan does not identify a specific timeline for construction and completion of projects listed in the 10 year plan beyond the projects slated for the first 18 months. Many of the larger improvements like the I-20/I-285 interchange are expected to follow the public-private partnership model, like the new I-1285/GA-400 interchange, in order to expedite the construction timeline.

The Council for Quality Growth commends Governor Deal and the Georgia Department of Transportation for developing this plan to enhance the region's infrastructure in a meaningful, timely manner as we keep Georgia moving forward.

Click HERE to view the Governor's press release

 
Council Member Feedback Requested on Sandy Springs Underground Utilities Proposal
The City of Sandy Springs is proposing and ordinance amendment that would require underground installation of utilities on any development projects in the City. This would apply to the installation of new utilities as well as existing utilities located on the property being developed or in the adjacent right of way.The Council is concerned for the potential economic impact this requirement may have in terms of delays and overall development cost. 

The proposed amendment was discussed at the City Council work session on January 5th and is expected to be on the agenda for next Tuesday's, January 19th, regular City Council meeting at 6pm. The Council for Quality Growth has concerns and will be in attendance at the meeting and appreciates any member feedback that can be incorporated to further quantify the impact this requirement would have on your current, planned or past projects in Sandy Springs or the surrounding area.

Please contact Policy Analyst, Chelsea Hagood at ch@councilforqualitygrowth.org or 770-813-3374 with any comments or questions.

To view the proposed ordinance amendment, Click HERE.
 
City of Atlanta Zoning Ordinance Rewrite Process Moving Forward
Initial findings from the City of Atlanta Zoning Ordinance Rewrite Assessment were presented at two public meetings earlier this week on January 11th and 12th. The project 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, which reviews the Zoning Code Processes, Structure, Administration, Districts, Uses, Site and Building Design, and the impact of other codes as well as review and analysis of best practices in major peer cities. The consultant team has identified several strengths and weaknesses with the current zoning code that will become priorities during the re-write process. Some of the identified strengths include the open space requirements in commercial and office districts, Parking limits for properties in close proximity to transit, and design oriented overlays like the SPI, Quality of Life and Beltline districts. Major weaknesses identified include the complicated, unclear and inconsistent procedures and regulations with various boards and committees for zoning a property, NPU process is not well defined, Regulations are inconsistent with other aspects of the code like subdivision and landscaping regulations, and lacking modern use classes and building types that reflect the actual environment.Additional comments provided by attendees echoed these concerns pointing to the disjointed nature of the NPUs, the inconsistent enforcement of regulations and the overall confusing and over complicated city procedures.

The consultant team will deliver their final assessment in April, which will include short term recommendations on what can and should be addressed in the code immediately, as well as long term recommendations for the entire zoning code overhaul. 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.

Click HERE to view the presentation from the public meetings

Click HERE to visit the Zoning Ordinance update website to take the survey and provide your own comments on the current ordinance
 
Forsyth County Board of Commissioners Continue to Discuss Growth Concerns 
On Thursday, January 7th, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners held a public hearing to discuss several items set forth in a Resolution of the Board, adopted on 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, as well as 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 Board of Commissioners heard public comment from several residents asking for further clarification on what policy changes would be implemented to address the community's concerns related to rapid growth. The Board moved to hold another work session to discuss the items in the resolution and potential policy changes. The Council for Quality Growth was 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 December 14th, click HERE.
 
Brookhaven Zoning Ordinance Rewrite Steering Committee to Host Public Workshop
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 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Lynwood Park Community Center, 3360 Osborne Road, 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.

Click HERE to view the zoning ordinance rewrite website and sign up for updates

January 14th, 2016

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The Council for Quality Growth | 770-813-3370 | jt@councilforqualitygrowth.org 
http://www.councilforqualitygrowth.org
5901-C Peachtree Dunwoody Road
Suite 500
Atlanta, GA 30328