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Cobb County Proposes Major Changes to Senior Housing Zoning Districts
Cobb County is proposing amendments to their Zoning Code that will significantly change how and where senior housing and assisted living projects can be developed in the County. The proposal eliminates the current CCRC classification (Continuing Care Retirement Community) and amends the RSL (Residential Senior Living) Supportive and nonsupportive classifications. 
 
The Council is concerned that the proposed amendments to the RSL districts do not sufficiently provide for the development of high quality assisted living and senior housing developments that are possible with the current CCRC zoning. The proposed changes limit density and restrict development to specific areas in the County, which could in turn affect affordability and access to healthcare and amenities for residents. Some of these changes include reducing height restrictions from 4 and 5 stories to just two stories (outside of Regional Activity Centers defined by the Future Land Use map), reducing the maximum allowable units, and doubling parking requirements. These restrictions could make developing senior housing in Cobb County overly cost prohibitive, creating a barrier to residents' ability to 'age in place.'
 
The Council has additional concerns with proposed amendments to the Zoning Code which would require noise and visual abatement measures around all non-residentially zoned property when adjacent to or nearby residentially zoned property, as well as the rewritten Inceptor Ordinance (grease traps) which could increase restaurant development costs.

The first of three public hearings will occur next Tuesday, January 26th at 7pm in the Board of Commissioners meeting room at 100 Cherokee Street in Marietta. 
 
To view Cobb County's complete code amendment package, Click HERE

 
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 the next regular City Council meeting on February 2nd. 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.
 
Council Provides Public Comment on Corps of Engineers Water Control Manual Draft
The Council for Quality Growth provided public comment on the US Army Corps of Engineers' (USACE) Water Control Manual and Environmental Impact Statement for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin. The update provides scientific analysis supporting Georgia's request for increased water withdrawals from the Chattahoochee River and Lake Sydney Lanier to meet the needs of the Atlanta Region's continued population and economic growth and confirms what Georgia and Metro Atlanta water supply providers have long understood: that Georgia is not to blame for the collapse of the oyster industry or other related problems in the Apalachicola River, the Bay or Florida - and that attempts to blame Georgia are rooted in politics and not science.
 
The water supplied by Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River plays a crucial role in the balanced and responsible growth of State of Georgia and the metro Atlanta region. In the Draft, the Army confirms that the entire amount of Georgia's requested 2050 water demand is needed. However, the proposal does not grant the full amount of water supply requested from Lake Lanier. The Draft proposes to grant only 225 mgd from Lake Lanier without establishing a rational relationship between this proposal and any project purpose or environmental impact.  While the Council is pleased the Army has proposed to provide the full request of 408 mgd from the Chattahoochee River below Lake Lanier, the Draft Water Control Manual should be revised to meet the entire projected demand of 242 mgd for withdrawals from Lake Lanier. The Council is concerned that the Army's proposal to not grant the entire request from Lake Lanier will hamstring and foreclose future economic opportunity.
 
The Council appreciates the opportunity to comment on the Draft and will remain committed to assisting the Atlanta Region in addressing its important water needs. Click HERE to read the letter submitted by the Council.
 
Click HERE to read more about the draft update and how it relates to the Tri-State Water Rights Litigation
 
Click HERE to view the USACE Draft 

 
Advance Atlanta Hosts Free Young Professionals Event on Transit with State Senator Brandon Beach
The Coalition to Advance Atlanta is a citizen-driven grassroots advocacy coalition dedicated to building support for regional transit and championing existing transit resources. Advance Atlanta brings together businesses, residents, and other community partners to advocate for transportation solutions that will advance the region we are all proud to call home. To view the Board of Directors, click HERE
 
Advance Atlanta believes that the future of the metro region will be driven in large part by strategic investments in transit. If metro Atlanta is to remain competitive it will need to provide residents with comprehensive transit options capable of efficiently moving residents where they need to go when they need to be there. The Coalition to Advance Atlanta is proud to join together with Senator Brandon Beach to discuss plans to further connect the Atlanta region through mass transit during the 2016 Georgia legislative session. If you are a supporter of mass transit, or want to learn more, please come out and join us! North Fulton residents are especially welcome and encouraged to attend, as the event will cover the proposed northward rail expansion being discussed.

Click HERE to register

Click HERE to learn more about Advance Atlanta and sign up for updates
 
Brookhaven Zoning Ordinance Rewrite Steering Committee to Host Public Workshop Tonight
The Steering Committee for the Brookhaven Zoning Ordinance Rewrite initiative has begun defining 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

 
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 last 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
 
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

January 21st, 2016

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


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SAVE THE DATE
The Council is hosting SEVEN State of the County events this year!
Save the date for more details to come for:

Clayton State of the County
March 30, 11:30 AM

Fulton State of the
County
April 28, 11:30 AM

Forsyth State of the County
May 19, 11:30 AM

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