BOC Approves Major Ordinance Changes

At their April 5th meeting, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners voted to approve
the Zoning Resolution revisions, Senior Housing, Inclusionary Zoning, Big Box, Environment and Steep Slopes and Mass Grading ordinances. The Telecommunications Ordinance was tabled for 30 days.

Council for Quality Growth staff has worked together with our industry partners and Kennesaw State University since October of last year, to help Fulton County staff shape these ordinances. The Council for Quality Growth officially opposed the Inclusionary Zoning and Environment Ordinances that were approved by the Board of Commissioners because of technical and legal problems with each ordinance that will affect our industry.

Inclusionary Zoning amendments state that for all residential development, 10 percent of the total units must be units for moderate, low or very low income (as determined by HUD standards) households.  Inclusionary units must be randomly dispersed throughout the residential development. The Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance is a voluntary program, instead of mandatory, to be administered by the Fulton County Office of Housing.  The Inclusionary Zoning ordinance still has a number of issues that were brought to the commissioners attention on April 5th.

Inclusionary Zoning

The Steep Slopes and Mass Grading ordinance prohibits land disturbance in areas with 40% or greater slopes.  Mass grading will only be allowed on lots smaller than 8,000 square feet.   The Steep Slopes and Mass Grading ordinance limits mass grading by developers on lots larger than 8,000 square feet but allows builders and homeowners to grade an individual lot.

Steep Slopes and Mass Grading

Amendments addressing Senior Housing (approved) require a use permit for senior housing but allow it in all districts except M-1A, M-1 and M-2.  Development standards allow up to 10 units per acre.  Senior housing must be on sewer.

Senior Housing

Amendments addressing Big Box establishments (approved) limit the number, size, location and design of big box stores (75,000 square feet or larger).  Large scale retail establishments may only be located on sites with frontage on an arterial road unless the developer obtains a waiver.

Revised Big Box

The Environment ordinance (approved) prohibits residential development within one mile of active landfills and transfer stations and within one and a half miles of a quarry.  Noise studies will now be required, by a state registered professional engineer or noise professional, if a proposed site is located within 1,000 feet of an expressway, within 3,000 feet of an active rail line, or within 5 miles of the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport boundary.

Environmental Amendments

Proposed Telecommunications (deferred 30 days) towers amendments address placement, lighting and construction of towers.

Telecommunications Amendments

The Zoning Definitions (approved) added include a distinction between mobile homes and modular homes.  This appears to be a housekeeping item to clarify a long list of definitions in the Zoning Ordinance.

Zoning Definitions