Council Highlights

State // Regional // City of Atlanta // Cherokee County // Cobb County // DeKalb County // Forsyth County // Gwinnett County // North Fulton County

State Highlights

The Council actively works with:
The Council has worked on a number of issues at the state level. Among other projects, the Council:
  • Actively provides detailed input in opposition to the EPA and Corps of Engineers’ proposed rule to amend the Clean Water Act that would vastly extend the definition of “Waters of the U.S.”
  • Actively supported, with testimony, Senate Bill 299, the Watershed Protection Stewardship Act.
  • Actively supported and testified on Senate Bill 255, the “P3” bill, which would allow a public entity (from the state level to a local town) to partner (through solicited or unsolicited proposals) with a private entity for the purpose of vertical construction projects.
  • Supported and testified on behalf of House Bill 153, which would have allowed fractional SPLOST in .05 increments in individual counties.
  • Actively supported Senator Brandon Beach’s Senate Public Transportation in the Metropolitan Atlanta Region Study Committee to discuss workable solutions to streamline transit systems in the Metro Atlanta area.
  • Successfully lobbied for the passage of Senate Bill 122, which created a funding mechanism for local governments to partner with private entities to finance water supply projects.
  • Successfully lobbied for the passage of Senate Resolution 15, which creates a joint Committee on Water Supply to study and analyze the current status of the state’s reservoir system and conduct a comprehensive analysis of the state’s strategic needs for additional water supply.
  • Successfully lobbied for the passage of House Bill 195, which allows the citizens of Dunwoody to vote for a tax allocation district in a local referendum.
  • Successfully advocated for the passage of Senate Bill 157 which makes local solid waste management and reporting optional for local governments.
  • Supported Governor Deal’s allocation of $300 million to reservoir development over the next four years.
  • Promotes the preservation of the Transportation Investment Act, as passed by the Georgia General Assembly.
  • Advocated for tax reform legislation as well as any kind of tax credits or incentives that are beneficial to economic development.

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Regional Highlights

The Council actively works with:
On the regional level, the Council:
  • Actively serves on the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Land Use Coordinating Committee (LUCC) as an appointed member.
  • Continually contributes members’ expertise and input into the Atlanta Regional Commission’s PLAN 2040 process.
  • Actively participated on stakeholder committee for the revision and update of the Region’s Stormwater Manual or Blue Book.
  • Participated in the Department of Community Affairs’ Planning Rules Task Force, which developed new local planning rules and is revamping the Development of Regional Impact (DRI) process.
  • Participates in several events promoting the creation and continued importance of Community Improvement Districts (CIDs) in the Metro Region. Hosts the CID Recognition Program each year to educate the public about CIDs and to show public appreciation for CID staff and board members. 2016 will represent the 7th Annual CID Recognition Event.
  • Effectively researched construction time limits and code enforcement region-wide on county and city code allowable construction time limits, as well as who receives the citation if found in violation of the codes.

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City of Atlanta Highlights

In the City of Atlanta, the Council:
  • Actively involved in Office of Buildings Audit and Business Plan Development prepared by consultant, BKD. The Council hosted focus groups and provided technical feedback on how to re-organize and improve the City of Atlanta Permitting Processes.
  • Actively involved in City-wide zoning ordinance rewrite. Council organizes updates and stakeholder involvement through the Technical Advisory Committee.
  • Worked and negotiated with Department of Watershed Management Staff and the Atlanta City Council on the City’s Stormwater Ordinance, dealing with “Green Infrastructure and Runoff Reduction” policies to limit additional costs to the development community.
  • Hosted Two Forts and the Airport event which featured presentations as well as a panel discussion involving the redevelopment of the Aerotropolis area.
  • Advocated successfully against two ordinances that – had they been approved – would have sunset all non-conforming businesses along two parts of Cheshire Bridge Road that are zoned to the Neighborhood Commercial Districts NC 4 and NC 5.
  • Advocated that a course of action be taken to develop a statewide litter prevention program plan, specifically created to reduce cigarette butt littering which negatively impacts the environment.
  • The Council continues to support the Atlanta Beltline project and proud Mayor Kasim Reed presented them with the EPA’s Overall Excellence Award for Smart Growth and Achievement.
Building Permit Reform
  • Participated in Mayor Kasim Reed’s Permitting Task Force, along with Council members, at his request.
  • Worked successfully with Mayor Reed to reform the city’s building permit process with the passage of the Building Permit Reform.
  • Led the building permit reform, effort which has allowed registered online applicants the ability to obtain a permit in 10 business days.
Enterprise Fund Reform
  • Contributed to the passage of the Enterprise Fund legislation as a result of the successful building permit reform package. The passage of Ordinance 11‐O‐1293, establishing an Enterprise Fund for the Atlanta Office of Buildings, and Ordinance 11‐O‐1504, authorizing the Chief Financial Officer to transfer funds from FY 2012 general fund anticipations and appropriations to the Enterprise Fund were major successes.
  • The Enterprise ordinance established an Enterprise Fund which has allowed the fees charged for services to remain in the Department of Planning and Community Development’s Office of Buildings for critical technology upgrades and staff training.
Office of Buildings Technical Advisory Committee
  • Worked closely with Mayor Reed and city staff to create and implement the Technical Advisory Committee, which advises the Mayor and city officials on the permitting process, provides recommendations for the cost for various fees and offers feedback on matters related to the Office of Buildings and the Enterprise Fund, the coffer for permit fees.
  • Worked to ensure that a Council member would always have an appointment to the Office of Buildings Technical Advisory Committee.

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Cherokee County Highlights

In Cherokee County, the Council:
  • Successfully hosted the 2nd Annual Cherokee State of the County Address with Chairman Buzz Ahrens and the Cherokee Office of Economic Development, highlighting the current growth and future potential for Cherokee County. Economic development and growth are projected to continue with 32 new business prospects (including 17 films).
  • Provided input on Cherokee County Comprehensive Transportation Plan Update
  • Provided demographic and economic trends of Cherokee County by hosting ARC Research and Analytics Division Manager Mike Alexander where he presented areas experiencing the highest growth rates.
  • Highlighted Cherokee County’s revised Development Services offerings region-wide and hosted the DeKalb County Commissioners to review Cherokee’s process at the County offices.
  • Provided input regarding the new online plan submittal system for Cherokee County Development Services.
  • Supports the Greenprints Trail System in Cherokee County and views it as another tool that local governments can utilize to promote balanced and responsible growth while simultaneously spurring economic development.
  • Provided Input on Woodstock Development Ordinance Re-write
  • Worked on Woodstock Flood/Storm Water Ordinance.
  • Expanded the Council’s involvement in educating local officials on issues affecting the growth and development industry.
  • Provided input to the Board of Commissioners and county staff on updates to the Cherokee Unified Development Code.
  • Provided input to the City of Holly Springs on their master services fee schedule.

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Cobb County Highlights

In Cobb County, the Council:
  • Advocated for the passage of a $68 million General Obligation Bond designed to bolster economic development in the City of Marietta for the redevelopment of Franklin Road, the Franklin-Gateway Corridor and Whitlock Avenue using public-private investments.
  • Advocated against the Condominium Moratorium and offered a proposed amendment to the county code to allow condominium owners to rent more of their units to likely lessees.
  • Provided input on Kennesaw Landscape and Tree Ordinance
  • Represented the development industry during the County’s Code Revision process and provided numerous recommendations for changes.
  • Co-hosted the Cobb Redevelopment Forum for panel discussions regarding Cobb County’s accomplishments and future endeavors.
  • Supported the Six Flags Special Services District, a commercial property tax aimed at revitalizing South Cobb by bolstering growth and improving a blighted area.
  • Supported the passage of the SPLOST and ESPLOST referendums. The Cobb SPLOST passed at the polls in the midterm election on November 4th.
  • Provided in-depth input on updates to the development standards as a member of the Cobb County Development Standards Committee.
  • Provided input and support, alongside Council members, for changes to Mableton’s design code.
  • Provided specific comments to the City of Powder Springs regarding stormwater utility fees.
  • Participated in the revision of the City of Kennesaw’s Unified Development Ordinance.

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DeKalb County Highlights

In DeKalb County, the Council:
  • Opposed the Dunwoody City Council’s proposed amendment to Code Section 8-1(e)(1) that would require buildings greater than three stories in height to be framed with noncombustible materials.
  • Met individually with zoning staff and DeKalb County’s Community Development Director to develop industry specific revisions to the Zoning Code Rewrite, adopted in the fall of 2015.
  • Actively supported the adoption of the DeKalb County Strategic Plan which included the approval of a contract to create an economic development strategic plan – Market Assessment, Target Industry Analysis.
  • Successfully advocated for the creation of the DeKalb Development Services Fiscal Oversight Committee to oversee Permitting Improvement Project, approved in spring of 2015.
  • Actively involved in the drafting of Dunwoody’s Perimeter Center Overlay Districts, which are expected to be adopted in summer of 2016.
  • Supported the Brookhaven Redevelopment Powers Law (HB-1136) Referendum. The proposed law would have fostered public/private partnerships to spur economic growth. The referendum did not pass.
  • Actively involved in providing input and resources to the City of Brookhaven’s Zoning Ordinance Rewrite Steering Committee.
  • Actively opposed with testimony moratoriums before the Decatur City Commission that would have put a halt to large tree removal more than 12 inches in diameter, as well as opposing a single-family residential structural demolitions moratorium.
  • Provided concerns through public testimony on City of Brookhaven’s Tree Ordinance update, adopted fall of 2015.
  • Partners with the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce to present the “State of the County” address with County Leadership.
  • Provided concerns and feedback on the Foreclosure Registry Ordinance.
  • Weighed in on the privatization of planning services.
  • Worked to develop industry specific revisions to the Zoning Code Rewrite.
  • Supported the reinstatement of the DeKalb Local Issuing Authority by the state.
  • Continued to work to improve relations between County Staff and the Development Community by providing counties input into the Permitting reform initiative by DeKalb County as members of the Permit Reform Task Force.
  • Ensured that ten Council Members were appointed to the DeKalb County Permitting Task Force, which is charged with overhauling the permit process in DeKalb County.

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Forsyth County Highlights

In Forsyth County, the Council:
  • Actively involved in the development of the County’s Impact Fee Update to ensure all fee amounts are equitable and transparent and vested projects are protected under current land development regulations.
  • Advocated for residential zoning changes to the Unified Development Code, working with the County Planning Director and Commissioners to increase density in Residential Zoning Areas.
  • Actively supported County Planning Department’s efforts to invest in department improvements and greater planning staff and building inspector capacity.
  • Actively supports creation of a new Community Improvement District (CID) in Forsyth County.
  • Actively supports and works with DCA and local members of the Council for Quality Growth and officials for the creation of a new Enterprise Zone.
  • Provided assistance and input to the County in the development of the Forsyth County Comprehensive Plan.
  • Supported the appointment of Al Nash to the new executive director of the Development Authority of Fulton County (DAFC). Al Nash is a Council for Quality Growth past Chairman.

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Gwinnett County Highlights

In Gwinnett County, the Council:
  • Expressed concerns and provided testimony to County staff and Stormwater Authority on proposed changes to the stormwater pipe standards limiting the use of aluminized piping.
  • Worked with County officials and Council members to develop new Tax Allocation Districts (TADs), which will help spur redevelopment opportunities.
  • Provided recommendations for improving the County’s parking requirements.
  • Actively supported Gwinnett Place CID’s ACTivate Masterplan, adopted in fall of 2015.
  • Co-hosted with Partnership Gwinnet the 7th Annual Gwinnett Redevelopment Forum which highlighted the connections between changing demographics and the influx of redevelopment around the county.
  • Worked alongside Council members to address issues and concerns regarding impact fees through participation on the County’s Impact Fee Steering Committee.
  • Promoted the proposed allocation districts, the Evermore TAD, the Gwinnett Place TAD, and the Gwinnett Village Gateway TAD.
  • Worked with the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners to develop and approve the 2030 Unified Comprehensive Plan.
  • Represented a stakeholder’s seat on the “Engage Gwinnett Committee,” a citizen-led initiative to propose funding strategies for current and future government services.
  • Hosts Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charlotte Nash’s “State of the County” Address, along with the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.
  • Participated as an industry stakeholder in the Unified Development Code Committee.
  • Advocated against a steel pipe ban and successfully delayed a hearing before Stormwater Authority.

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North Fulton County Highlights

In North Fulton County, the Council:
  • Successfully worked with city staff and City Council to reduce proposed impact fees in City of Milton by 50% of maximum amount.
  • Actively assisting the City of Roswell to revise their tree ordinance to be more conducive to economic development.
  • Provided detailed input and testimony on concerns regarding proposed Conservation Subdivision Ordinance in City of Milton.
  • Worked with city staff and the City Council on the City of Roswell’s Comprehensive Plan and with the City of Roswell on the Unified Development Ordinance to promote polices that continue to bring in commercial development and encourage single-family development.
  • Provided input and testimony on concerns regarding impact fee increase in City of Alpharetta.
  • Opposed the Fulton County Commission’s “Environmental Justice Ordinance”, working with Metro Atlanta Real Estate Trade Group (MARTG) partners to commission an analytical report to show the negative economic impact of the ordinance on South Fulton County.
  • Worked with City of Sandy Springs staff and provided input on new development guidelines and zoning process changes.
  • Supported and promoted the Transportation Bond Referendum which would create $200 million in general obligation bonds to finance a variety of transportation projects throughout the county.
  • Provided detailed input on the City of Roswell’s implementation of stormwater utility fees.
  • Worked with the City of Roswell on LEED requirements for city buildings.
  • Contribute in the North Fulton Mayor’s Association regarding industry issues and transportation.
  • Participated in hearings for amendments to the Alpharetta code affecting site mitigation and inactive construction sites.
  • Worked with the City of Sandy Springs on promoting their water conservation ordinance.
  • Participated in the City of Roswell’s Comprehensive Land Use process.
  • Provided comment and direction to the City of Milton on commercial overlay districts.
  • Worked on the form based code initiative in City of Milton.
  • Worked with Johns Creek on promoting their Central Business District Redevelopment Plan.
  • Actively working on the City of Roswell’s regional detention concept for redevelopment.

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