Clayton State of the County - A Great Success!

Over 250 Council Members, elected officials and guests attended the Clayton State of the County Address on Wednesday, March 30th.  Chairman Jeffrey Turner delivered an inspiring address directing County leadership to continue to build upon the strong foundation to consistently improve the County for current and future residents. He commended his colleagues on the Board of Commissioners for their commitment to work together to make sound business decisions that serve to improve economic  opportunity and quality of life for the Clayton County community. 

During his address, Chairman Turner focused on six focus areas vital to Clayton County's current and future success: Finance, Economic Development, Tourism, Transportation, Public Safety and Information Technology. He highlighted how the County consistently receives national and state recognition for its sound financial management practices and continues to grow the SPLOST program with over $165 million in revenue last year.  Clayton County has the 5th largest workforce in the State and the fastest wage and employment growth rates. The County also has the lowest crime rate of the 5 largest metro area counties. Chairman Turner noted that the County is making strides in improving community outreach and engagement efforts through new technology. Click HERE to view the video highlighting ways for residents and stakeholders to get involved through the Connect with Clayton County initiative.

Click HERE to view a story on the event from the AJC

Michael Paris, Charlene Craig, Crystal Black Mills, Chairman Jeffrey Turner, Phil Weatherly, Katherine Zitch

The Council thanks Chairman Turner and Clayton County staff, the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce and all of our sponsors for making this event a great success.
April 1st, 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:

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

New Draft of Perimeter Center Overlay Available for Public Comment
The City of Dunwoody has released a new draft of the Perimeter Center Overlay. The Council has been involved with this overlay planning process since its initial kick-off in May 2014. Upon review of the prior draft in conjunction with several Council members, the Council for Quality Growth prepared a list of comments and met with Dunwoody Community Development staff to discuss addressing concerns on behalf of the development community in the new draft

While the new draft addresses some of the Council's concerns such as removing signage restrictions and allowing preserved existing open space to count towards open space requirements, many concerns related to building height, materials and site planning were not addressed.  Click HERE to view a table of Comments made to staff by the Council. 

Dunwoody Mayor and City Council will hold a work session to discuss the revised draft and feedback thus far on May 4th at 5:00. The Council will be in attendance at the work session and will continue to work closely with City staff and Council to develop an overlay that promotes continued quality development of the Perimeter Center area.

Click HERE to view the full Perimeter Center Overlay and Districts Draft

Please provide any comments on the draft overlay to Policy Analyst, Chelsea Hagood at 770-813-3374 or 
Fulton County Mayors Unanimously Vote to Move Forward on 2016 TSPLOST Effort

On Thursday March 31st, Fulton County Mayors and County Commissioners met to discuss the Transportation SPLOST created from SB 369 that passed during the legislative session. If SB 369 is approved by the governor, the City of Atlanta will be allowed to propose a TSPLOST with 1/2 penny going to transportation road and bridge improvements and 1/2 penny going to MARTA, while the rest of Fulton County, the 13 other cities and unincorporated area, can propose a TSPLOST with 3/4 penny going to transportation road and bridge improvements reserving 1/4 penny for potential transit funding in the future.

In order for the TSPLOST referendum to be included on the general election ballot in November, all 13 cities must agree on the project lists and enter into a formal intergovernmental agreement 90 days before the election. The estimated revenue from the TSPLOST (ranging from $500 - 600 million outside the City of Atlanta) will be divided among the municipalities based on population. Each city will identify needs and priorities and develop their own project list to be included in the program and if passed, funding for improvements on the project list will go directly to the municipalities for implementation.  The legislation requires that 60 percent of the Fulton County population must vote in favor of the referendum in November in order for the TSPLOST to be approved. If approved, collection can begin as early as April 1st, 2017.

The Council commends Fulton County Commissioners and Mayors for unanimously voting to give their residents the opportunity to vote on funding transportation improvements that will alleviate traffic congestion and bolster economic development efforts in Fulton County and across our region.

Click HERE to learn more about the TSPLOST Proposal and SB 369

Click HERE to view the full presentation from the Mayor's Meeting

Congratulations to Council Members Ranked as Atlanta's Top 25 Engineering Firms
The Atlanta Business Chronicle released it's 2016 List of the top engineering firms in Metro Atlanta. The rankings are based on each firm's gross engineering billings in Metro Atlanta last year. Eleven of the 25 firms listed are members of the Council for quality Growth. The Council congratulates these firms on their success in 2015 and looks forward to continuing to work with you to build upon that success this year and beyond.

Congratulations to the following Council members:
  • Amec Foster Wheeler
  • Pond
  • CH2M
  • Jacobs
  • Kimley Horn & Associates
  • Moreland Altobelli Associates
  • Atkins
  • Wolverton & Associates
  • Brown and Caldwell
  • Gresham, Smith and Partners

Read the article and view the full list HERE
Sandy Springs Zoning Diagnostic and Code Re-Write Approach Available for Public Review
On Tuesday, March 29th, at a special called work session, Sandy Springs Mayor and City Council reviewed the City's recently completed zoning code diagnostic report. 

The report divides the City into three focus areas where different types of approaches will be applied: Protected Neighborhoods (shown in orange in the map to the right), evolving areas (shown in grey), and opportunity areas (shown in purple).  Ten overarching goals are identified for the zoning code update project: (1) create a zoning code that can effectively implement the comprehensive plan, (2) improve readability while retaining design standards for single-family districts, (3) identify "protected" neighborhoods that should not be subject to additional rezoning or variances that allow substandard lots, (4) establish design standards for all residential development, (5) set higher requirements transitioning zoning districts, (6) set consistent development process expectations, (7) eliminate overlay zones, (8) create a separate Perimeter Center zoning district, (9) allow expedited review in targeted areas, and (10) eliminate outdated conditions of zoning. Theses goals were identified through extensive plan and code review ad stakeholder input from the Sandy Springs Zoning Advisory Committee, neighborhood representatives, business owners,the development community and Sandy Springs staff.  Click  HERE  to view the full presentation on the Zoning Code Diagnostic Report. The zoning code re-write initiative is being conducted parallel to the comprehensive plan update with expected adoption in Fall of 2017.

Click HERE to view the full Diagnostic Report

Find more information on the Zoning Diagnostic, Code Re-Write Initiative and Comprehensive Plan  HERE
Join the Atlanta Bike Share Team Meet and Greet Next Wednesday
Register now for a Meet and Greet with Atlanta's new Bike Share program team, CycleHOP at the Center for Civic Innovation on April 7th at 6:00.

In March 2015, the City of Atlanta signed a contract with Cyclehop to launch a public 500 bike share system. Since then Cyclehop and City of Atlanta has made significant progress to launch our city's program. Come meet Cyclehop's Atlanta Bike Share General Manager, Dan Murphy and Community Outreach Coordinator, Sara Nessanbaum and get updates on the program's status. Check out Atlanta Bike Share's Twitter HERE to learn more.
Register Now for the Georgia Farm & Erosion Control Expo with Former Governor Roy Barnes

Annual Meet and Greet with County Commission Chairs and Metro Mayors, Record Breaking Success!

Last Thursday night's Meet and Greet was a huge success with more metro area elected officials and VIP guests than ever before.  Council members and guests heard remarks from ARC Chairman, Kerry Armstrong and City of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on the Atlanta metro area's regional strength and continuous economic success. Watch a video of the event highlights below!

Mayors, City Council members,  County Chairmen and County Commissioners, CID Directors and ARC Board members were in attendance from all around the 21 county region
Other VIP guests in attendance included:
U.S. Congressman Tom Graves
Secretary of State Brian Kemp
Attorney General Sam Olens
State Senator Judson Hill
State Senator Brandon Beach
State Representative John Carson

The Council thanks all of our elected officials that made it to the event and commends their commitment to regional growth and collaboration through the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Council for Quality Growth.  Thank you to all of the sponsors for supporting this event and Council for Quality Growth's work.
Council Hosts County Commission Candidate Forum at Cobb Advisory

The Council hosted a Cobb County Commission Candidate Forum during a special Cobb Advisory Committee meeting on Wednesday, March 23rd. All candidates running for election for Cobb County Commission Chairman, District 2 Commissioner and District 4 Commissioner were in attendance. All races will be decided in the May 24th primary election.

Tracy Rathbone, Executive Director of Town Center CID moderated questions for Chairman Tim Lee and his opponents, Mike Boyce and Larry Savage, District 2 Commissioner Bob Ott and his opponent Jonathan Page, and unopposed District 4 Commissioner Lisa Cupid.  Candidates shared their vision for Cobb's future and distinguished themselves from their opponents to an audience of over 40 Council members and guests. Candidates discussed their priorities around economic development and redevelopment, public safety, traffic concerns related to growth and more. 

The Council thanks all of the Commission candidates for participating and Council member PSI for sponsoring this great event.
Forsyth County Board of Commissioners to Continue to Discuss New Impact Fees 
The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners continued the discussion on proposed impact fees during a special called work session on Wednesday, March 16th. The Board discussed a recommendation made last week by the County's Impact Fee Advisory Committee to adopt transportation impact fees at a higher level of service. The Board unanimously voted to hold another public hearing on a proposed impact fee ordinance with a fee schedule as recommended by the Impact Fee Advisory Committee. The hearing will take place on Thursday, April 7th at 5:00.

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 that the fees be recalculated to account for the $200 Million infrastructure bond and the recently announced $156 Million in matching funding from GDOT as well as the projected annual funding funding from House Bill 170 (State Transportation Funding Bill), totaling $75 Million per year, that will be used to construct prioritized transportation improvement projects in Forsyth County. The BOC directed the consultant, Duncan and Associates to recalculate the fees with these considerations.  The revised study found that given this new State transportation funding no transportation impact fee was justified using the standard consumption calculation to fund transportation improvements at a 1 to 1 Level of Service (LOS) ratio. The report did, however, offer fee options calculated using a higher Level of Service (1.1, 1.2, and 1.3), stating that the methodology was not the industry standard, but would allow the County to collect a higher fee.During their meeting on Tuesday, March 1st, t he Impact Fee Advisory Committee voted 5 to 3 to recommend the fees be calculated with a 1.2 LOS ratio, resulting in a transportation impact fee of $1,968 per single family residence and $4,280 per 1,000 sq. ft. of commercial. 

The Board of Commissioners continues to express concern regarding the potential negative impact the fees will have on attracting commercial development to the County. The Board asked James McCoy, President of the Cumming-Forsyth Chamber of Commerce to provide his opinion during the works session. McCoy explained that with land prices in Forsyth already creating thin margins for potential businesses and developers, impact fees on commercial, office and industrial will make many of these deals impossible and could have a detrimental impact on the County's efforts to increase the commercial tax base. The Board is also concerned that the Parks and Recreation Impact Fee is not sufficient to fund needed parks improvements. The Board agreed that the Advisory Committee's recommendation to conduct a new study and recalculate the fees when the County has completed their Comprehensive Transportation Plan and Parks and Recreation Master Plan next year would be appropriate. The Board will hear public input at the hearing on April 7th before adopting a new impact fee ordinance and fee schedule.

The Council for Quality Growth has been involved with this issue since the release of the first impact fee study draft in August last year.  Click HERE to read more about the original proposal.

Click HERE to view the revised Impact Fee Study

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