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Old 08-05-2010, 11:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waronxmas View Post
A really easy way to clear up the confusion, and a lot of people have alluded to it, is that in Georgia counties have the same powers that usually only municipalities/incorporated places have in other places. So that means the county will provide water, police, fire, ambulance, schools, public works, and other services to the parts of the county not in a city. So in essence, if you take Gwinnett County it is basically one huge suburb of 800,080 in 433 square miles of land. That may sound like a lot of space, but consider that is half the land area that Jacksonville, FL takes with nearly the same exact population.

As also mentioned by previous posters, Georgia has a ton of counties (159 not 139) with relatively small land areas. This is a byproduct of what occurred when the country was created in the late 18th century. At that time, it was decided that residents should be no further than a day's horse ride to County Court House. Since Georgia is such a large state (the largest state in size for the country's first 70 years), it subdivided it's counties much more so that any state at the time. So to get an idea of just how small the counties are, the largest county in size and population for Metro Atlanta is Fulton County at 1.1 million people and 529 square miles. Again, that's seems like a lot of space, but consider that Harris County, TX (Houston) is 1700 square miles or that Los Angeles county is a whopping 4061 square miles

You could take the 5 core Metro Atlanta counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Dekalb, and Clayton (which account for 80% of the Atlanta CSA population) and it would fit in less than half the space of Los Angeles county.

As for you last point about the number of counties in the Atlanta CSA, that is what happens when you only have only one major city at least 400 miles in any direction. So the amount of counties in the CSA isn't a reflection of suburban sprawl, but a reflection of the fact that Atlanta is the economic engine of not only Georgia but of pretty much the entire Southeast. So many people from the region come to Atlanta and the surrounding area to work that it is measured in our CSA numbers. Unlike other metros though, these areas aren't consider "Atlanta". "Atlanta" is primarily:

1. The City of Atlanta
2. The ITP "suburbs" of East Point, College Park, Decatur, part of Sandy Springs, Chamblee, and Doraville. This area is just in central Fulton County and Northern, Eastern, and Southern Dekalb County. All of these areas run concurrent with the city of Atlanta and for most part are not what many would imagine when the think post WWII suburbia. Many of them are actually older than the City of Atlanta itself.
3. The OTP suburbs of Cobb, Gwinnett, Western Dekalb, Northern Fulton, Clayton, and Douglas Counties
4. The exurban counties of Fayette, South Western Fulton County (Confused yet? :P ) Rockdale, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding and Henry Counties

Outside of this area are 19 other counties that are included in the Atlanta CSA by the census bureau, but only contains less than 10% of Metro Atlanta's population and not considered by most Metro Atlanta's to be "true Atlanta". Many of us (mostly ITP folks) call this area what it is: "Georgia"
I wouldn't call the counties in #4 exurban at all. Definitely suburban.


The exurban counties that I would still include as "Atlanta" are: Bartow, Newton, Walton, Barrow, Spalding, Hall (maybe just southern Hall), and Carroll (maybe just eastern Carroll).
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:53 AM
 
15,032 posts, read 24,093,008 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainyRainyDay View Post
Basically, yes. Metro Atlanta is unusual in that huge swaths of suburbia are unincorporated. This does not mean that we have unpaved roads and septic tanks. The counties are small, compared to counties in most other states, and effectively provide all the same services as an incorporated town or city, e.g. sewers, street lighting, parks, libraries, etc.

In Fulton County there's been a trend to incorporation just in the last few years, so there are now a lot more incorporated areas there. This has occurred because the county is relatively large and diverse, and the taxpayers in some parts have wanted more local control. In the neighboring counties, however, there's continuing lack of interest in incorporation. In Cobb County where I live for example, the county government is efficient, taxes are low and services are good. Why would we want to pay for an extra layer of government, when it wouldn't gain us anything, materially?

This feature of Atlanta suburbs very frequently confuses people moving here from other parts of the country. They're always wanting to know about the relatively small incorporated cities within Cobb (which are pretty much like little islands in a sea of unincorporated suburbia). When locals here on the forum suggest the newcomer consider the unincorporated parts, they react dismissively, stating or implying that they don't want to live in an under-served semi-rural area. This is ironic because most of the toniest and most sought-after parts of Cobb County, with the prestigious schools, are ... err ... unincorporated. You just have to get your mind around it.
1greatcity,

This post by Rainy sums it up perfectly. Read carefully--your questions should be answered.
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Old 08-05-2010, 12:10 PM
 
Location: The Greatest city on Earth: City of Atlanta Proper
8,073 posts, read 12,889,826 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsimms3 View Post
I consider Buckhead the financial district and the area between Peachtree Battle and Blackland Road give or take a few blocks on either side. Bethesda is like the Buckhead Financial district, albeit considerably smaller, and Chevy Chase is like the housing area I mentioned. I know the signs welcome you to Buckhead at 25th St, but that is more like Brookwood Hills to me (I prefer to be more specific when naming areas). Even within Buckhead there are individual districts like Tuxedo Park, but that's getting really specific.
All of that has always been "Buckhead", but not Buckhead. Probably the whole district needs a new name. Maybe go really old school and call everything in the map below Irbyville:

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Old 08-05-2010, 09:05 PM
 
Location: South St Louis
4,166 posts, read 3,813,718 times
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I'm trying to absorb all of the info given here, and thanks to everyone for your comments and explanations.

The Atlanta area seems so unusual to me, and apparently it's because my own area, Metro St Louis, is rather different than Metro ATL. To begin with, (already mentioned in this thread), St Louis is one of the very few "independent cities" in the nation. Also, the land area of Metro STL is split fairly evenly (by the Miss. River) between two states. Finally, we have literally hundreds of incorporated places. (St Louis County alone has 92, I believe.) Many say we're over-incorprated and very fragmented.

Question: waronxmas referred to "itp suburbs" and "otp suburbs". What does that mean?
Another question: Does the city of Atlanta annex surrounding land?
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:32 PM
 
Location: The Greatest city on Earth: City of Atlanta Proper
8,073 posts, read 12,889,826 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1greatcity View Post
The Atlanta area seems so unusual to me, and apparently it's because my own area, Metro St Louis, is rather different than Metro ATL. To begin with, (already mentioned in this thread), St Louis is one of the very few "independent cities" in the nation. Also, the land area of Metro STL is split fairly evenly (by the Miss. River) between two states. Finally, we have literally hundreds of incorporated places. (St Louis County alone has 92, I believe.) Many say we're over-incorprated and very fragmented.
Yeah, it is a much different situation. Fulton County and St. Louis County are about the same size land wise, but Fulton County only has 14 municipalities including the city of Atlanta. This is mostly due to:

1.) The stronger County level government in Georgia that provides all basic services. No need going through the process to start a city if you get all the services you need. Usually

2.) Georgia had up until a few years ago a law that forbid a new city being created within 3 miles of another. After that was changed, the county went from having 8 cities to the current 14 within a few years.

Oddly enough, some people consider the setup in Metro Atlanta to be too fragmented. I guess the grass is always greener.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1greatcity View Post
Question: waronxmas referred to "itp suburbs" and "otp suburbs". What does that mean?
Oops, my bad. I alway assume everyone on Earth understands what ITP and OTP mean (Why shouldn't they? LOL)



ITP equals "Inside the Perimeter" the area of Metro Atlanta inside Interstate 285 or "The Perimeter" and OTP is the area outside that. Basically, in local Atlanta culture it marks the urban/suburban divide and ITP is usually referred to as "The City" and OTP as the 'Burbs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1greatcity View Post
Another question: Does the city of Atlanta annex surrounding land?
While it is legally possible for the City of Atlanta to annex land it has not done so since 1952. Unlike a lot of other cities in the Sunbelt, Atlanta's central city growth has been pretty much organic which is why it is so "small" compared to other places. However, the city itself has plenty of room to grow within it's current boundaries. It's 131 square miles, roughly the same size as Detroit and Philadelphia proper. We've got space easily for another million folks.
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:45 PM
 
Location: The Greatest city on Earth: City of Atlanta Proper
8,073 posts, read 12,889,826 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aries4118 View Post
I wouldn't call the counties in #4 exurban at all. Definitely suburban.


The exurban counties that I would still include as "Atlanta" are: Bartow, Newton, Walton, Barrow, Spalding, Hall (maybe just southern Hall), and Carroll (maybe just eastern Carroll).
I guess it varies. I went to the edge of North Fulton last weekend and it felt like I drove all the way to Tennessee
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,862 posts, read 15,492,590 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waronxmas View Post
I guess it varies. I went to the edge of North Fulton last weekend and it felt like I drove all the way to Tennessee
Maybe if you were stuck on 400 for 2 hours. Alpharetta is at the "edge" of north Fulton, and the area near Windward Pkwy, right on the Forsyth County line, is very suburban with lots of business.
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:06 AM
 
15,032 posts, read 24,093,008 times
Reputation: 5721
Quote:
Originally Posted by waronxmas View Post
...


While it is legally possible for the City of Atlanta to annex land it has not done so since 1952. Unlike a lot of other cities in the Sunbelt, Atlanta's central city growth has been pretty much organic which is why it is so "small" compared to other places. However, the city itself has plenty of room to grow within it's current boundaries. It's 131 square miles, roughly the same size as Detroit and Philadelphia proper. We've got space easily for another million folks.
Atlanta actually had its first annexations since 1952 back in 2006--in the Cascade Road area (about 5,000 residents).


Demographics of Atlanta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:11 AM
 
15,032 posts, read 24,093,008 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waronxmas View Post
I guess it varies. I went to the edge of North Fulton last weekend and it felt like I drove all the way to Tennessee

Funny...next time, you should continue on to North Cherokee or North Forsyth.
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,084 posts, read 2,799,763 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waronxmas View Post
A really easy way to clear up the confusion, and a lot of people have alluded to it, is that in Georgia counties have the same powers that usually only municipalities/incorporated places have in other places. So that means the county will provide water, police, fire, ambulance, schools, public works, and other services to the parts of the county not in a city. So in essence, if you take Gwinnett County it is basically one huge suburb of 800,080 in 433 square miles of land. That may sound like a lot of space, but consider that is half the land area that Jacksonville, FL takes with nearly the same exact population.

As also mentioned by previous posters, Georgia has a ton of counties (159 not 139) with relatively small land areas. This is a byproduct of what occurred when the country was created in the late 18th century. At that time, it was decided that residents should be no further than a day's horse ride to County Court House. Since Georgia is such a large state (the largest state in size for the country's first 70 years), it subdivided it's counties much more so that any state at the time. So to get an idea of just how small the counties are, the largest county in size and population for Metro Atlanta is Fulton County at 1.1 million people and 529 square miles. Again, that's seems like a lot of space, but consider that Harris County, TX (Houston) is 1700 square miles or that Los Angeles county is a whopping 4061 square miles

You could take the 5 core Metro Atlanta counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Dekalb, and Clayton (which account for 80% of the Atlanta CSA population) and it would fit in less than half the space of Los Angeles county.

As for you last point about the number of counties in the Atlanta CSA, that is what happens when you only have only one major city at least 400 miles in any direction. So the amount of counties in the CSA isn't a reflection of suburban sprawl, but a reflection of the fact that Atlanta is the economic engine of not only Georgia but of pretty much the entire Southeast. So many people from the region come to Atlanta and the surrounding area to work that it is measured in our CSA numbers. Unlike other metros though, these areas aren't consider "Atlanta". "Atlanta" is primarily:

1. The City of Atlanta
2. The ITP "suburbs" of East Point, College Park, Decatur, part of Sandy Springs, Chamblee, and Doraville. This area is just in central Fulton County and Northern, Eastern, and Southern Dekalb County. All of these areas run concurrent with the city of Atlanta and for most part are not what many would imagine when the think post WWII suburbia. Many of them are actually older than the City of Atlanta itself.
3. The OTP suburbs of Cobb, Gwinnett, Western Dekalb, Northern Fulton, Clayton, and Douglas Counties
4. The exurban counties of Fayette, South Western Fulton County (Confused yet? :P ) Rockdale, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding and Henry Counties

Outside of this area are 19 other counties that are included in the Atlanta CSA by the census bureau, but only contains less than 10% of Metro Atlanta's population and not considered by most Metro Atlanta's to be "true Atlanta". Many of us (mostly ITP folks) call this area what it is: "Georgia"
Excellent breakdown of why Atlanta is the way it is. I agree with everything except, "the fact that Atlanta is the economic engine of not only Georgia but of pretty much the entire Southeast."

North Carolina's population is expected to again pass Georgia's by 2030 and will be the 7th most populous state with 12.7 million people. And while none of its cities or metro areas are even in the same league as Atlanta, as a state, NC is unequivocally the most progressive southern state and is run by intelligent people. See high-speed rail funding, business and industry recruitment, NC Dept. of Transportation, Rural Broadband Initiative, etc for examples.

Meanwhile, I'm having to watch Georgia's gubernatorial candidates be reduced to twisting facts about gay issues in efforts to attack one another.
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