The Atlanta area has experienced extraordinary growth and continues
to consume land at rates far outstripping any historical precedent.
This area of south Fulton County has been largely passed over
by development until recently. Land owners in the Hill Country
area tracked an increasing number of proposed conventional development
projects. Residents foresaw their area becoming like the northern
end of the county where farms have vanished, unwalkable strip
highway development consumes roadside views, and large lot subdivisions
consume land and aggravate traffic problems.
These residents responded by forming an association of land owners
to partner with the Nature Conservancy and the Fulton County Planning
Department to create a 40,000 acre overlay district. The purpose
of the district is to preserve the
rural character, provide for riparian corridor and watershed protection,
and protect real estate values.
Through a series of public forums and design charette, the stakeholders
formulated criteria for the overlay district. The district actually
increases development rights in the area at the same time it provides
preservation of 50-75% of the land as undisturbed greenspace and
farm. The development nodes include Live/Work/Play mixed use villages
P&A participated as partner firm to Ecos Environmental Design
in the regional development planning for a 40,000-acre portion
of Fulton County, Ga. The planning was a collaborative effort
between the property owners, the county planning officials, and
elected representatives in a series of community fora.
This planning employed citizen-to-governance techniques to balance
land owners’ development rights with cultural resources,
open space preservation, transportation planning, existing zoning
regulations, and riparian corridor protection. The planning process
produced a radical change in the development regulations of the
area. The plan enabled a broad Transfer
of Development Rights within the 40,000 acres targeting three
receiver mixed-use villages.
Currently Ecos and P&A are designing
the Development Master Plan for the first of these Villages. This
process includes additional citizen participation, economic analysis
of mix of uses, traffic analysis, Urban Code architectural guidelines,
and master plan map.