Archive for March, 2011

Legislative Update: SB 86 – Comprehensive Planning and DRI’s

March 31, 2011

Senate Bill 86 – which does away with DCA’s current local comprehensive planning rules, eliminates DRI reviews as they are structured now, and affects other planning requirements – overwhelmingly passed the House on March 30. 

As it stands, the bill mandates that local governments must adopt a “basic” plan to be considered a qualified local government. Second, it deletes the authorization that regional commissions perform DRI reviews, and now calls for a notification process and a public comment period. 

The bill now goes back to the Senate, as another bill was attached in the House committee process. However, because the Governor supported that addition, the Senate will likely accept the new version of the bill.

If and when SB 86 officially passes, ARC will work with DCA in their rulemaking process to formulate the “basic” planning requirements.

To read the full version of the legislation, visit the Georgia General Assembly website.

ARC’s Fifth Online Public Meeting: Draft Transportation Recommendations

March 22, 2011

ARC invites you to help determine how we will travel throughout the region for the next 30 years.


By participating in our online public meeting at your convenience between now and April 30. Your opinions will help shape the region’s future through PLAN 2040. Review the facts and take a few minutes to give ARC your thoughts or to ask questions.

This online public meeting is available 24/7 at

For more information, call 404.463.3272 or email

Greenest Homes Those Near Transit

March 17, 2011

According to a new study out from the EPA, Location Efficiency and Housing Type – Boiling it Down to BTUs, buildings and transportation together account for about 70% of U.S. energy use and 62% of its greenhouse gas emissions, and homes near public transportation uses less energy than homes in the suburbs, regardless of many energy saving measures the home may take. 

The study compares the relative impact of different development approaches: locating homes where less energy-intensive transportation options are available; constructing homes that use less energy because they share walls, which reduces heat loss; and “greening” homes and cars through energy-efficient home construction techniques and fuel-efficient automobile technology.

No surprise that its findings suggest that the most significant gains in household energy efficiency can be achieved when all of these efforts are combined.

But aside from this, the paper also concluded that the total energy use of homes in transit oriented developments and  walkable neighborhoods near public transit used less energy than various kinds of housing in conventional suburb locations, and were “location efficient” because residents had an option to use other modes of transportation aside from just the automobile.

Again, perhaps no huge surprise to hear. But the paper only solidifies the importance of home siting decisions, the manner in which our communities are built and investment decisions are made, and how we plan for a sustainable future.

Download the report from EPA’s website:

Clayton County Wins 2011 County Excellence Award for NSP Program Success

March 7, 2011


Stories by Ed Lightsey and Don Sadler 

There’s always room for good ideas and good execution of those ideas in county government, but it becomes essential in a tough economy. The six winners of this year’s County Excellence Awards – Clayton, Cobb, Dawson, Glynn, Oconee and Sumter – have found ways to improve efficiency, add recreational facilities and protect their citizens.

For the sixth year, the Association County Commission-ers of Georgia (ACCG) and Georgia Trend have teamed up to recognize good ideas put into action. Winners are determined by an independent panel of judges convened by ACCG.

“Counties that are recognized with County Excellence Awards have developed innovative programs to improve quality, efficiency and other aspect of programs and services,” says Ross King, ACCG executive director. “Like businesses, counties must continue to look for ways to make improvements.”

This year’s winning projects include training future community leaders, enhancing neighborhood safety, using technology for emergency preparedness, creating a park, providing a safe way to dispose of medicines and establishing a fire department. You can read the stories in the next pages. (more…)

Last Call to Register for Wednesday’s Regional Housing Forum

March 1, 2011

Last Call!  If you have recently registered for the upcoming Housing Forum, thank you! If not, please take a moment to review the information below and register.  

Registration available here:


Atlanta Regional Housing Forum

“Housing Challenges and Opportunities in the Emerging Economic Recovery”
9:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. · March 2, 2011
Loudermilk Center for the Regional Community

The landscape of Atlanta is in the midst of a historic shift. The region faces numerous challenges to sustaining economic and social health in the long-term.  Join us at the Atlanta Regional Housing Forum for a discussion of the current housing and economic landscape and where we are headed. Agenda is below.

9:00 a.m. Registration
9:30 a.m. Welcome – Bill Bolling, Context for Forum
9:45 a.m. Panel Discussion
David Stockert, Post Properties
The Future of Multi-family Housing

Do you see a paradigm shift moving from single family/ownership to multifamily/rental? What issues and opportunities do you see in Atlanta’s market for multifamily development, including housing for the workforce? What do you foresee happening in your industry in three – five years?

Rick Porter, Richport Properties
The Future of Single-family Housing

Is there a role for the smaller builder relative to the big nationals in the future? How will the inevitable restructuring of Fannie Mae and mortgage financing impact the ability of lower-income households to buy homes? What do you see as the biggest issues and opportunities for your industry? Where do you see the market for single-family homes headed – both geographically and in terms of product? 

Odetta MacLeish-White, Enterprise Community Partners
Stabilizing Communities- impacts of and responses to foreclosures.
The magnitude of foreclosures in the Atlanta region is having a profound effect, both economically and socially. Odetta will speak to the enormity of this issue, and discuss comprehensive approaches to community stabilization.
A.J. Robinson, Central Atlanta Progress
Transportation and Housing

A.J. will speak to the overall current economic climate in Atlanta. How important is HB 277 to Atlanta’s long term success? How do the region’s transportation investments impact the business community? What is housing’s role in the region’s economic recovery? How do the region’s transportation investments impact housing? How do housing, especially workforce housing, and transportation inter-relate?

Moderator – Bill Bolling, Atlanta Community Food Bank 
11:45 Adjourn

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