Gwinnett State of the County - Record-Breaking Success!

The 6th Annual Gwinnett State of the County hosted over 700 Council members, elected officials and guests at the Gwinnett Infinite Energy Arena on Thursday, February 18th. In her State of the County Speech, Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash discussed a bright outlook for Gwinnett County for the next 25 years. Chairman Nash's vision for the future of Gwinnett's Main Streets included a thriving entertainment district, the growth of vibrant gathering places, and a hub for innovative industry.

Chairman Nash acknowledged the success of Gwinnett County's vibrantly growing cities and redevelopment efforts such as Lilburn's downtown revitalization and Lawrenceville's growth into a college town which provide an impetus for even more progress. This includes the development of an entertainment district on Satellite Boulevard at Sugarloaf Parkway, an international business hub at Gwinnett Place, and a growing movie industry along Jimmy carter Boulevard.  Among this progress is the innovations in the F. Wayne Hill Water Resources center, as well as the biomedical industry investment in the US Highway 29 Corridor. Nash outlined that this could not be possible without establishing the basic building blocks of successful community growth including schools, public safety, water, transportation, parks, greenspace and libraries. She further stated that Gwinnett County was posed to provide "the room and resources to cultivate residential and commercial areas that can suit a wide variety of needs and tastes".

Chairman Nash thanked Gwinnett voters and county employees for their continued efforts and dedicated service, focusing on how it was the efforts of such individuals that contributed to the growth and success of Gwinnett. "We have to keep improving, evolving and pushing forward as our environment changes," she said. "The decisions we make today affect tomorrow's Gwinnett. We have to continue dreaming dreams about tomorrow and what can be accomplished."

Click HERE to see a video of the Speech. To view the State of the County handout listing Gwinnett County's 2016 accomplishments awards the county received, click HERE

From Left: Andy Macke, Phil Weatherly, Congressman Rob Woodall, Secretary Brian Kemp, Mayor Austin Boyd, Chairman Charlotte Nash, Randy Dellinger, Dan Kaufman, Chairman Anthony Rodriguez, Michael Paris, Chaiman Scott Condra

The Council thanks Chairman Nash for her inspiring address and all of our sponsors that allowed this event to exceed all expectations.

Board of Commissioners Vote on Cobb County Code Amendments
The Cobb County Board of Commissioners held the final public hearing on proposed code amendments on Tuesday, February 23.  The Council for Quality Growth has been in attendance at each of the three public hearings to express support for some of the proposed amendments as well as shed light on amendments that could hinder quality development in Cobb County. To view the letter submitted by the Council, click HERE

The Council was pleased to see that the revised code amendment package followed the recommendation requested by the Council for Quality Growth to remove the proposed zoning code amendment which would require noise and visual abatement measures around all non-residentially zoned property when adjacent to or nearby residentially zoned property. Though the revised package did not include the recommended changes to the Residential Senior Living (RSL) Districts, the Board of Commissioners voted to table the changes to the CCRC and RSL Districts and directed the staff to work with the Atlanta Regional Commission and stakeholder groups to further study the issue.

The Council for Quality Growth commends the Board of Commissioners for allowing further study on proposed amendments that could have a negative impact on quality development in the County. The Council looks forward to continuing to work with Cobb County Community Development Staff to address the need for a strong zoning classification that provides the opportunity for Cobb County residents to 'age in place' in their neighborhoods.
To view the revised code amendment package, click HERE

Council's Emerging Leaders Initiative Kicked off in Full Force at Morris Manning & Martin, LLP 

The Council held its inaugural ELI Reception last night hosted by Council Member, Morris Manning & Martin, LLP. Emerging leaders in attendance represented all areas of the growth and development industry from builders and developers to engineers, attorneys, brokers, CIDs and utilities. Council Board member, Gerald Pouncey addressed the group, describing how his involvement with the Council has lead to more fruitful business and personal relationships than any other professional organization. Over 40 Emerging Leaders from Council Member companies attended the event, networking across industry sectors.

JOIN TODAY  to receive updates on future ELI programs and news. ELI members have the opportunity to explore the growth and development industry through events lead by senior executives. ELI members will expand their networks, plus knowledge of the development industry and regional policy issues. The Council wants ELI to equip our members with the depth and breadth of connections and information so that they are prepared to serve as the leaders of tomorrow.
Contact Amanda Janaskie,, or James Touchton,, for more information.
South Metro Development Outlook Highlights Current and Future Economic Advantages in the South Metro Area

On Thursday, February 18th, Council Member, the Collaborative Firm hosted the South Metro Development Outlook in College Park. The event was a great success, bringing together elected officials, community leaders and the development industry to discus the future of the South Metro Area. Michael Paris, President and CEO of the Council for Quality Growth helped kick off the conference by highlighting the unmatched development potential on the South side of the region and introduced a video developed by the Atlanta Regional Commission. Click HERE to view the video.

Sessions throughout the day focused on recent economic wins, development momentum and growth potential, as well as challenges facing the South metro. council member and Executive Director of the Development Authority of Fulton County applauded the leadership in South Fulton and its seven cities for supporting economic development. In the last 18 months, South Fulton has added $800 Million in investment and 3500 jobs in high-tech, logistics and film industries. Atlanta City Council President, Ceasar Mitchell lead a discussion on how governments and businesses can utilize technology to spur growth and foster vibrant, competitive, well connected communities. Mitchell and panelists from Comcast, Technology Association of Georgia and Women in Technology highlighted the need to focus on the future, leverage assets like access to transit, and invest wherever possible in high-speed internet and data infrastructure.

The closing session featured a dynamic discussion on the progress of the Atlanta Aerotropolis and how the world's busiest airport is finally being leveraged for economic growth and infrastructure investment in the surrounding South Metro Area. Some highlights inlcude the formation of the Aerotropolis CIDs Initiative (formerly Airport West and Airtport South), major redevelopments of Fort Mcphereson and Fort Gillem, the Gateway Center mixed-use development in College Park and the Atlanta Movie Studio Complex. Click HERE to view the Aerotropolis Blueprint

ARC Board Approves Atlanta Region's Plan, Allocating $85 Billion Investment in Transportation
The Atlanta Regional Commission Board of Directors approved the Atlanta Region's Plan, a $85 Billion long-range blueprint, at their meeting on Wednesday, Februrary 24th. The plan details how investments will be spent across the metro area over the next 25 years.

The approved Region's Plan takes into account a projected population growth of 2.5 Million people by 2040 in order to allocate over $85 Billion in regional transportation improvements. This investment includes the maintenance of the current system as well as $25 Billion allocated for transportation system expansion including almost $12 Billion for public transit and almost $2 Billion for Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements.

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
  • 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 Council for Quality Growth has been in full support of this plan, since its draft release in early December. 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, the Council believes it is imperative we support the long-term blueprint to advance the Region's future.

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
Council Seeks New Membership Services and Operations Manager
The Council for Quality Growth is seeking a qualified individual to fill the Membership Services and Operations Manager Position. The Membership Services and Operations Manager plays an integral role in delivering high value to our members. Additionally, as a member of a small team, this individual's management and coordination of operational activities is vital to the execution of Council programs, initiatives, and day to day office functionality. 

Please pass this description along to qualified candidates and contact Amanda Janaskie, Director of Membership and Programs at with questions. 

Click HERE to view the full job description and apply.
Council Member Feedback Requested on Perimeter Center Overlay Draft
The Council for Quality Growth requests member feedback on the City of Dunwoody's Perimeter Center Overlay and Districts draft. The Council has reviewed the draft in conjunction with several Council members to prepare a list of comments for City staff to consider. The Council has been involved with this overlay planning process since its initial kick-off in May 2014 and continues to work closely with the City's Community Development staff to revise the draft before going to City Council later this Spring.

Upon initial review, the Council for Quality Growth identified several components of the draft that could have an impact on development potential in the Perimeter Center area. A table is provided below, which highlights the major changes found in the new draft. The Council kindly requests that members review the overlay and districts draft and offer comments in the attached table in order to provide additional feedback to the City. To view the Council's Comments and provide feedback on the draft Overlay, Click HERE

To view the complete draft Overlay, Click HERE

The Council for Quality Growth expresses their appreciation to Council members for their input and to the City of Dunwoody for their dedication to developing an overlay that promotes balanced and responsible growth for their community. 
Please provide any feedback to Chelsea Hagood, Policy Analyst, at

Council Hosts General Manager of Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority, Glenn Page
On Wednesday, February 17th, General Manager of Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority (CCMWA), Glenn Page gave a very informative presentation to the Cobb Advisory Committee. He discussed the authority's record for quality and service, the growth and improvements that have been put in place, and what challenges they are facing while planning for future capacity.

The CCMWA serves 900,000 people in Cobb, Paulding and parts of Cherokee County. They operate two water treatment plants, two water pumping stations, eight storage tanks and the Hickory Log Creek Reservoir Project. Page discussed the uncertainty surrounding planning for future capacity and demand. CCMWWA is the only water authority that draws water from both the ACF and ACT river basins, both of which are in ongoing litigation with Florida, Alabama and the US Corps of Engineers. Mitigation between Georgia and Florida is currently underway, however, until the litigation is resolved planning how much water supply will be available from where will continue to be uncertain.

Another obstacle to future planning is the proposed Richland Creek Reservoir Project in Paulding County. With expected completion in 2020, this reservoir will supply water for all of Paulding County, removing their need to continue to purchase water from CCMWA. This decreased demand will only continue as our region continues to prioritize conservation and increased development density. Projections show that water demand per capita will continue to decrease from today's 135 gallons per capita daily (gpcd) to 86 gpcd in 2050. Page explained that even with major population growth in Cobb County and the CCMWA service areas, the current system capacity will remain at a sufficient surplus into year 2050.

Page also provided updates on capital improvement projects currently underway including the Highway 41 tunnel and Southwest Connector along Terrel Mill Road. To view the full presentation, click HERE

The Council thanks Glenn Page for his excellent presentation to the Cobb Advisory Committee and Council Member McWhirter Realty Partners for sponsoring the meeting.
ARC Awards LCI Study Grants to Nine Metro Atlanta Communities
The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded $800,000 in Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) study grants to nine metro Atlanta communities (including Four CIDs and six cities) and $12 million in transportation funding to 11 other communities that have previously implemented completed LCI studies. Cities receiving funding include Smyrna, College Park, Hapeville, Jonesborro, Doraville and Chamblee, and CIDs include Council members Buckhead CID, Gwinnett Place CID and Gwinnett Village CID as well as newly formed Little Five Points CID. The Council is pleased to congratulate these organizations and communities on their achievement.

Council for Quality Growth Policy Analyst, Chelsea Hagood served on this year's LCI Selection Committee. The Council has been a long-time supporter of the LCI program and the major investments in smart, quality growth it has enabled across the Atlanta metro region. ince LCI began in 2000, 112 communities have received more than $197 million in planning and implementation grants. LCI communities cover less than four percent of the region's land area, but contain seven percent of its recent residential development, 29 percent of its recent commercial development and 69 percent of its recent office development.

Click HERE to read the full ARC press release listing all awarded projects.
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 go before City Council next month. 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 or 770-813-3374 with any comments or questions.

To view the proposed ordinance amendment, Click HERE.
February 25th, 2016

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

770-813-3381, for sponsorship information.

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

Fulton State of the
April 28, 11:30 AM

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


Not a Council Member? 

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