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

Last 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.

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.
Register Now for Clayton State of the County Next Week!

Join the Clayton State of County with Chairman Jeffrey Turner on Wednesday, March 30th over lunch at Clayton State University.  Sponsorships still available! Contact Amanda at

March 24th, 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

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.
New Draft of Perimeter Center Overlay to be Considered Next Week
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 next Wednesday, March 30th 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 
Council Member Feedback Requested - Changes to Brookhaven Stormwater Requirements
The City of Brookhaven has requested feedback from the Council for Quality Growth on changes to their Stormwater Management Requirements. The intent of the proposed ordinance amendments is to both clarify stormwater management requirements across the city as well as capture more large single family infill developments that are creating stormwater concerns in neighborhoods with traditionally smaller lots. In order to accomplish this, the City is proposing to change the threshold for developments subject to the stormwater management standards from 5,000 square feet of impervious cover to 3,000 square feet or more of impervious cover.  The proposed changes also include an amendment to the post-development performance criteria which would require stormwater runoff storage or reuse equivalent to 1.2 inches.

To view the working draft of the proposed ordinance changes, click HERE

Please provide any comments on the proposal to Policy Analyst, Chelsea Hagood at 770-813-3374 or 
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
Rockdale State of the County - A Great Success!
Danny Johnson, Billie Cox, Chris Coan, Earl Wise, Chairman Richard Oden, Michael Paris, Jeff Chambrello

Nearly 200 Council members, elected officials and guests attended the Rockdale State of County on Thursday, March 17th. Guests heard from the Metro North Georgia Water Planning District on the County's impressive water conservation accomplishments. The highlight of the event was the inspiring address by Chairman Richard Oden.

Chairman Oden highlighted the commitment of County Officials and staff to economic success and sustainability. Rockdale was honored at ARC's  board meeting Jan. 27 for becoming a Bronze Certified Green Community. This is the first time the county has achieved certification in ARC's  Green Communities program. Oden applauded the Rockdale County organizations and the business community for their leadership in implementing policies and practices that are outstanding in their contribution to efficient and sustainable use of resources in metro Atlanta.

The Council thanks Chairman Richard Oden and all of the sponsors that made this event a great success.
Council Hosts Roundtable Discussion with Snellville City Officials and Council Members on Town Center Development Best Practices 
On Friday, March 11th, the Council hosted a roundtable discussion with City of Snellville officials and Council members regarding best practices for developing the City's Town Center Area. Representatives from the City included Mayor Tom Witts, City Councilmembers Dave Emanuel, Barbara Bender and Christy Lenski, City Manager Butch Sanders, Economic Development Manager Eric Van Otteren, Interim Planning Director Jason Thompson and Zoning Administrator Brian Arrington, with Council members from all sectors of the industry including developers, brokers, attorneys, engineers and planners.

Council members led a dynamic discussion focused on what steps the City should take to jumpstart development of their Town Center and ensure that desired quality development is achievable. The conversation ranged from economic feasibility and market demand, the City's land acquisition and assemblage strategy, and creating real flexibility in the regulatory framework. Some of the challenges or barriers to development characterizing the Town Center project is the number of individual parcels, most of which are already built-out, with over 400 distinct property owners. Council members urged City officials to consider undertaking the first phase of property acquisition, which would allow them to control the land and partner with developers to achieve the desired design and types of development outlined in their master plan.

Key takeaways from the discussion included the need for a flexible Form Based Code that allows concurrent variances and site specific plan approvals, commitment from the City to partner with developers on property assemblage, parking and stormwater management, and the need for a critical mass in the first phase of development to reduce risk and create a market that will spur adjacent development.

The Council commends the City of Snellville for engaging the development community and showing their commitment to quality growth and development and thanks all of the Council members for participating and offering their expertise to the City.
Join the Atlanta Bike Share Team Meet and Greet on April 7th
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.
Georgia Brownfield Association to Host Annual Brownfield Seminar - April 20th
T he Georgia Brownfield Association is hosting its second annual Brownfield Seminar at Georgia Power (241 Ralph McGill Boulevard NE, Atlanta, GA 30308) on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 from 8a-5p (with a reception following from 5:30-7:30p), providing a forum for discussions about the environmental, financial, regulatory, and community factors that guide brownfield remediation and redevelopment. GBA will bring together information, experience, and research to provide Seminar participants a greater knowledge and ability to help revitalize their respective communities.
Judson (Jud) H. Turner, Director of the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, will deliver the event's keynote presentation. Sessions include Partnership Strategies for In-town Revitalization, Brownfield Redevelopment of Fort McPherson, USEPA Region IV and State of Georgia Regulatory Update, Vapor Intrusion Mitigation Variables, Best Practices, and Innovative Technologies, and Georgia Economic Development.

GBA is offering early-bird registration for a discounted price of $125/person through March 18. C lick  HERE to for more information about speakers, sessions, and sponsorship opportunities. 


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