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Old 03-02-2011, 10:25 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
7,082 posts, read 8,519,306 times
Reputation: 5265

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike7586 View Post
I was asking... in an area where there are really no clear boundaries, how do you create one? How do you decide who gets development and who doesn't?
That is the key problem. Georgia law is another issue. Compared to other states they enforce property owner's rights to do what they want with their land more so than other places.

Counties always have to end up negotiating with their land planning and what developers actually want.

A good place to spot out and study in the future. Gwinnett's future land use plan is trying to set up "rural estate" residential to the northeast and east of the county. A semi barrier. The long term effort is to not have to develop as much road, water, and other infrastructure in the area and spend more money allowing for more density in places that can handle it better with less investment. If you compare their land use map with aerial photos it seems developments are already parting with landuse plans a little bit.

Gwinnett is trying to system where developers/property owners can transfer zoning rights by buying land in those areas....agree to develop it to a very low, rural estate density or not at all, but in exchange they can get development credit to increase density in other parts of the county where it is cheaper to pay for needed infrastructure capacity, but equally create development profitability and tax digest neutral for the county.

This is a form of growth barrier. It is too early to see what it will take for it to work effiectively. The second problem with this approach... With so many counties... it is ineffective unless it done regionally. If it is successful developers can always skip out to Barrow Co or Walton Co, where that policy can't be used for denser development in Gwinnett (or another metro core county). However, Gwinnett will not have formed a system of aterial roads for them to use, which will force traffic onto 316, 78, 20. (I think we can all see the potential problems with this). It actually somewhat reminds me of Dekalb's border with Gwinnett.

You have low density Smokerise estate housing. Local roads designed to discourage use from Gwinnett and funnel more traffic onto US 78 through the county.

The difference is how/when this occurred. I think it was more white flight/Gwinnett Schools where Dekalb growth 'jumped' over parts of undeveloped Dekalb and into Gwinnett and then went back and infilled with lower densities.

In this case in Gwinnett... it is also less of a growth barrier and more to cut costs county costs, while increasing the tax digest and help with long-term financial sustainability.
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:49 PM
 
1,498 posts, read 2,740,187 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solewd View Post
Maybe, but what you call normalcy won't be the new, growing, and dynamic Atlanta that the 80's and 90's witnessed. I don't venture out past 285 much anymore, but I did recently, and I could see dramatic decline.

Atlanta may rebound and keep growing with the fastest counties in the U.S. Lot's of us doubt it though. There's just not that much of draw for Atlanta today. There once was, that's for sure.
I'm curious in your opinion. What is your definition of decline? And what areas outside 285 specifically? And what do you think is causing the decline or preventing Atlanta from not being a draw anymore--i.e. what's changed?
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:17 PM
 
1,498 posts, read 2,740,187 times
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Default My Theory on the so-called Decline of Atlanta

I think the main problem is that Atlanta is stuck in a transitional phase. It's grown out of the image of a bursting-onto-the-scene, trending-now, upstart sunbelt city that it enjoyed in the 1990s. It is now expected to compete in the same field as cities like Chicago or Seattle.

The problem is that the city really wasn't ready to compete at that level--the Olympics forced it to. The result is that 2011 Atlanta is in a no-mans land, no longer an upstart sprawling sunbelt and but not yet an upscale urban metropolis. It offers neither the low population and modern zeitgeist of Charlotte, nor the sophisticated urban living of Boston. It's lacking in better public transit, diversity, world-class city amenities, public safety, density, and amount of middle-class residents.

The good news is that it is making progress in every one of those areas. A streetcar will soon start construction, museums are sprouting like weeds, crime has seen double-digit decreases, density topped 4,000 people/sq. mile (highest in the sunbelt), population is at a record high, the poverty rate at a record low, and it is likely that in 2010 the city will record no majority race and the largest Asian percentage in the Southeast.

Rome was not built in a day. Atlanta needs time to catch up to its name and the higher standards expected of it, more time than people have the patience for. They thought Atlanta would transform overnight, and when it didn't, they proclaimed the decline of Atlanta to be upon us.

Atlanta is going through a rough phase, no doubt. But only a little more progress needs to be made before a tipping point is reached, and when that point is reached, a new Atlanta will emerge, shedding its old image and identity.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
7,082 posts, read 8,519,306 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelers10 View Post
My sources of information are completely transparent and verifiable; should I have to address every incorrect assumption you make when I have consistently posted the material off of which I based my opinion?
If this were really true you would have sourced why you previously (and continue) to make the comments directly about plans, current actions, and past actions of Gwinnett Co. You have not done so. That is why I called you out on that one point you tried to make about --in bold is what Gwinnett has done and in red is what Gwinnett hasn't and just hoped--.

That opinion was completely unsourced and incorrect. It is what Gwinnett has done, pays attention to, and is planning to do as areas mature. Outside one point I made, which I explicitly said was speculation on my part.

That is just one of many possible examples.

You can sit there and complain about Gwinnett and say it has done nothing, but then you are ignoring their own recent infrastructure upgrades, increasing future water treatment capacity back into the Chattahoochee, only allowing news neighborhood developments use sewer (which many exurban neighboring do not do), and built the ability to pump treated waster water into Lake Lanier. They are doing something.

-Water reuse pumped into Lake Lanier makes our water supply in Lake Lanier last longer

-Requiring new developments to have sewer allows us to treat the water they use and put it back into the Chattahoochee or Lake Lanier instead of losing that water.

-Deciding to build the Wayne Hill treatment center (Gwinnett's largest) with the ability to put treated water into the Chattahoochee of Lanier is something.

-Installing Pump controls and management controls allows us to redistribute where sewage gets treated (aka during a drought we can distribute sewage operations to max out Wayne Hill and the other Chattahoochee treatment plant and lower the amount put into the Yellow River treatment plant as an interbasin transfer)

These are all things Gwinnett County has done and I have attempted to discuss. I even pointed to a map of the whole system. Others posted news articles about the treatment plant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelers10 View Post
You are conveniently dismissing YOUR local news.
That is being disingenuous and trying to put an argument in my mouth. I never dismissed my local news. However, I argued and am not naive of the fact the news doesn't print all of the planning reports in their entirety, all of the litigation in their entirety, or all of the data. In fact they don't do it by a long shot. They make a narrative to quickly explain the situation to the general public. If they make a narrative about a lawsuit filed by Alabama the narrative it will tell will be heavily what Alabama's open arguments are in the litigation. It then takes time for the Army Corp of Engineers and Georgia to respond to the litigation, so their side of the narrative is left out until they respond in court. Typically news reporting is biased towards explaining the arguments of the first to file suit for these reasons. It isn't necessarily the news fault, but it is a structural problem involving timing in news. News also doesn't discuss all of the complexities involved, so if you limit yourself to the news you miss major points, ideas, and details.

So that is why we discuss these matters much further than the news does. It is also why we examine what the ARC has to say, the local counties have to say, the state has to say, the river keepers have to say, the north Georgia water district has to say, and analyze/process all of their points and data.

But, I am really sorry if you just want to unfairly write me off as ignoring the news.

I also feel after reading your last few postings....

You make is sound as if I have said there is no problem at all. And I never made that argument, but the way you keep responding you make it seem that way. That isn't correct and is unfair. I said this is a humid, semi-tropical that gets plenty of rain (avg of approx 50 inches of rain a year). We get more rain than most major cities. During our droughts we still get approximately 30+ inches of rain per years, which is still more than some major cities. My argument is this is mostly a political problem, which is admittedly very messy about deciding how use water in these basins between us and our neighbors, especially when we only get a little more than half the rain the area is use to.

I also dispute the fact they we are changing into an arid environment, even if it happened and occurred rapidly with the help of changes in climate systems (in geologic time) we are still talking change over 1,000 years.

I disagree with the notion we need to build long aqueducts, need access to the Tennessee River (albeit it this would be helpful in negotiations).

I disagree with the notion that the region lacks the ability to grow sustainably.

There is a difference between someone disputing many of the arguments and points you have brought up and me saying.... everything is completely fine and nothing at all has to be worked out or change or built. I don't know if you can't tell the difference between the arguments or if you dug yourself into a hole and looking for a quick way to unfairly undercut mine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelers10 View Post
Once again, don't call me a liar, you take it up with the governor of Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and south Georgians opposing the impact of metro Atlanta's "plans" for the lower Chattahoochee and Flint River Basins! But yes, don't watch the news or read the newspaper or watch the Weather Channel.... I would love to read the peer-reviewed journal article and Gwinnett County's longitudinal study that says the governor is not playing "Chicken Little" and that Atlanta wasn't down to a 90-day water supply in 2007.
These are some of my favorite quotes yet. The governor's office sees the same problems (many of them political). The very same governor's office has continually said again and again there is plenty water for all of us and all of our needed uses (this includes rural irrigation, water for power companies/industrial purposes, and municipal water). The governor's office has also said ... just I have... the lawsuit has nothing to do about Georgia's rights to the water in the river system... The ruling is only about the storage capacity of Lake Lanier itself.

Georgia still needs successful conclusions either from legislation by congress or negotiations from the states to know and understand how much other storage infrastructure we need.

Lake Lanier as it is now has enough water holding capacity to meet the metro area's needs currently and some of our future growth, but we need to cut into the capacity stored for hydroelectric power generation during droughts. This is what much of the water war litigation is about. (this has also been conveniently left out when you keep saying GA was down to a 90 day supply.... It was sort of true, but left out there was accessible water stored for other uses we could access in a time of extreme need and also forgets the fact that is if there is no rain at all... we were down to a 90 day supply for 3 or 4 months. It kept raining a little bit as it does when we have a drought).

This is also why in an earlier posting I tried to discuss the water recapture of water released for hydroelectric power generation. If we were able to build another smaller dam to capture the daily amount to be used as the water used to make the river consistently flow, then we save a good bit of storage capacity in Lake Lanier rights there.

There is no need for talking about deserts. There is no need to tap the Tennessee River. There is no need to build any long aqueducts. There is plenty of water in a humid, semitropical environment that average over 50 inches of rain per year and 36 inches of rain per year is considered an extreme drought. That is more rain most other major cities. We just have to agree with our neighbors what capacity is for what, settle disputes, and determine what happens during a drought with existing water supplies. Upon settling these disputes we might need to increase water storage, but building several reservoirs over 30 years is not that draconian or overbearing on us. This matter could also easily come down to we need to fix our water basin transfers out of the Chattahoochee Basin (mostly to the Yellow River/Ocmulgee River). Dekalb County is the big place to look for fixes here. Also, building the aforementioned reuse pipline in Gwinnett will fix this. But unlike Dekalb, Gwinnett is not planning to put anymore of the current treated water into the Yellow River than it is now. Doing so... might make Georgia have to expand reservoirs for Macon and some south/central GA farmers as they are use to having that inter basing transfer being available in their river basin.

But please....

take my arguments out of context and miss characterize them further.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:40 PM
 
1,021 posts, read 2,046,304 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
All the personal jousting aside, I have enjoyed your posts. While I differ in some respects you've added a useful perspective.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rcsteiner View Post
Certainly personal attacks should be frowned upon on C-D... I was merely commenting because I found it interesting that such a sweeping comment was made, mostly because of the manner in which it was made. I thought it was rather funny.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcsteiner View Post
FWIW, I think you make interesting, and I think also good, points. I appreciate your postings here even if some might not.

Hey thanks folks, the sentiment is mutual! Isn't that what makes this country great. In some places, people whip out torches and machetes when they disagree. Most of us can remain civil despite disagreements. BTW, I think somewhere along the line I made a generalization of Georgia being backward. I'm hoping I stated it talking about the conflict between North Georgia and South Georgia but that was probably before I started writing these editorials!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike7586 View Post
But the only reason why they enacted an urban growth boundary is because they only have limited space. If they didn't (like Atlanta) they probably wouldn't have bothered either. It's like developing on an island... you only have so much room and you can't develop it all, so some land has to be protected making it much easier to plan where growth should go and where it shouldn't. The mountains to the north of Atlanta are not that close to create a real boundary.

I was asking... in an area where there are really no clear boundaries, how do you create one? How do you decide who gets development and who doesn't?
Wherein lies the rub! If memory serves me correctly, Georgia has a law that says you can develop your land to it's best and highest use. The availability of land is not an issue. Florida has more area than Georgia but a lot of that is Lake Okeechobee. Florida didn't surpass Georgia in population until the 1950s. Still, Florida is not built out by any means. The growth boundary was to keep South Florida developers from paving over the Everglades. Most of the legal challenges to the UDB are countered by stating that there is still plenty of available land inside the UDB. In terms of the mountains not being close, please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong but don't the Blue Ridge Mountains start just to the north of the Etowah River in Cherokee County? As a tributary to the Coosa River, isn't that also a solution to some of Atlanta's water problem but also a bone of contention with Alabama? As Cherokee County is one of the fastest growing counties in the U.S. all due to Atlanta suburban sprawl that might be a good place to start.
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:04 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
7,082 posts, read 8,519,306 times
Reputation: 5265
Other arguments aside...

I do have one thing to add about growth boundaries of Florida.

They have better legal, environemental footing at curbing growth out of wetlands. They are also able to buy wetlands at extremely cheap rates, that would require large amounts of expensive earth moving/grading and have limited rural/exurban growth on them.

For Atlanta/Georgia to buy land to curb growth would be vastly expensive. Even before much of Atlanta's recently explosive growth there were existing functioning farms, tree farming, and rural residents/use... and it is 360 degrees of usable land around Atlanta.

I do agree Georgia law is very quirky in bad ways about land use and development. However, it isn't an explicitly written law from the legislature that causes it. It is actually the State's Supreme Court's view of what an individual's rights are. This makes it hard to legislate, even though the legislature wouldn't try to.

I think a good place for the Atlanta area to start.... particularly with exurban counties and surrounding rural counties.

They shouldn't allow many curb cuts on state and federal highways. The county should be forced to build it's road system for development to occur on as the metro core counties are starting to do. All neighborhood developments should require sewers.

Both of these lead to improving long-term growth
-fewer long-term traffic and safety issues. It increases capacity of state and federal roadways and lowers the crash & fatality rates.
-Prevents water being taken for municipal water without being treated and immediately put back into the river.
-Prevents exurban counties from being extremely cheap to developers and having tax rates lower than the neighboring core counties. This wouldn't stop development by any means, but will slow it down and make it slightly less attractive/more expensive. Large parts of these counties are not sewered for the first 50,000-100,000 households. They might be forced to negotiate capacity treatment from inner counties at first and can build their own systems as the county matures. (In many ways Forsyth County is in the early stages of doing so)
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
7,732 posts, read 12,794,744 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelers10 View Post
The availability of land is not an issue. Florida has more area than Georgia but a lot of that is Lake Okeechobee.
Uh, what? You do realize that Georgia is much, much larger in land area than Florida? Georgia is the largest state East of the Mississippi.
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:51 AM
 
30,582 posts, read 29,099,512 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwkimbro View Post
For Atlanta/Georgia to buy land to curb growth would be vastly expensive. Even before much of Atlanta's recently explosive growth there were existing functioning farms, tree farming, and rural residents/use... and it is 360 degrees of usable land around Atlanta.

I do agree Georgia law is very quirky in bad ways about land use and development. However, it isn't an explicitly written law from the legislature that causes it. It is actually the State's Supreme Court's view of what an individual's rights are. This makes it hard to legislate, even though the legislature wouldn't try to.

I think a good place for the Atlanta area to start.... particularly with exurban counties and surrounding rural counties.
It's hard to imagine any sort of development boundaries or other significant restrictions on land development in Georgia. For one thing, being able to do what you want with your land (within some very broad limits) is in our cultural and political DNA. Moreover, we've got tons of undeveloped and underdeveloped land, even within the Atlanta city limits. I'm not arguing against having some more limitations, just observing that as a practical matter it isn't likely to happen.

I like your suggestions about limiting curb cuts and requiring more water and sewer infrastructure, cw.

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Old 03-03-2011, 10:53 AM
 
6 posts, read 9,913 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BringBackCobain View Post
I'm curious in your opinion. What is your definition of decline? And what areas outside 285 specifically? And what do you think is causing the decline or preventing Atlanta from not being a draw anymore--i.e. what's changed?
Thats way beyond the scope of this discussion, and there are many ways to be wrong about knowing what is decline and what is stagnation and what is growth. One clear thing is that Atlanta can't seem to solve problems. Crime is rampant, traffic is snarled, the air is dirty, utilities are sky high, the city taxes are high, and the schools are in dire trouble. Georgia leads the nation in failed banks, and metro Atlanta is among the hardest hit real estate markets despite also one of the lowest costs areas to live. And then there is that water issue...

Cities can bring out the best in people, and they can also bring out undesirable aspects of humanity. In my opinion, the actual city of Atlanta has rarely brought out the good in people. I don't know exactly why that is, but I think this has gone on from the time before the civil war.

Last edited by solewd; 03-03-2011 at 11:03 AM..
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Ono Island, Orange Beach, AL
10,384 posts, read 10,460,155 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BringBackCobain View Post
I think the main problem is that Atlanta is stuck in a transitional phase. It's grown out of the image of a bursting-onto-the-scene, trending-now, upstart sunbelt city that it enjoyed in the 1990s. It is now expected to compete in the same field as cities like Chicago or Seattle.

The problem is that the city really wasn't ready to compete at that level--the Olympics forced it to. The result is that 2011 Atlanta is in a no-mans land, no longer an upstart sprawling sunbelt and but not yet an upscale urban metropolis. It offers neither the low population and modern zeitgeist of Charlotte, nor the sophisticated urban living of Boston. It's lacking in better public transit, diversity, world-class city amenities, public safety, density, and amount of middle-class residents.

The good news is that it is making progress in every one of those areas. A streetcar will soon start construction, museums are sprouting like weeds, crime has seen double-digit decreases, density topped 4,000 people/sq. mile (highest in the sunbelt), population is at a record high, the poverty rate at a record low, and it is likely that in 2010 the city will record no majority race and the largest Asian percentage in the Southeast.

Rome was not built in a day. Atlanta needs time to catch up to its name and the higher standards expected of it, more time than people have the patience for. They thought Atlanta would transform overnight, and when it didn't, they proclaimed the decline of Atlanta to be upon us.

Atlanta is going through a rough phase, no doubt. But only a little more progress needs to be made before a tipping point is reached, and when that point is reached, a new Atlanta will emerge, shedding its old image and identity.
Good post. Can't disagree!
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