Certified Bronze Green Communities

Cherokee County

Recertified December 2014

In 2010, Cherokee County was one of the first communities to be certified as a Green Community The county reaffirmed its commitment to being green in 2014 when it recertified at the Bronze level.Cherokee County’s updated Procurement Ordinance incorporates many sustainable policies, including LEED certification for county-owned buildings, the purchase of Energy Star rated appliances and equipment, the use of LED bulbs in traffic signals and the installation of WaterSense certified plumbing fixtures. Cherokee has committed to preserve 20 percent of county land as permanent greenspace through the Greenspace Protection Program. Residents can recycle electronics and cell phones at semi-annual drop-off events and fluorescent light bulbs and batteries through the “Lamptracker” Program. All county facilities have received energy and water audits, resulting in HVAC and lighting upgrades, installation of cool roofs, discontinuation of irrigation and replacement of inefficient plumbing fixtures. Expedited permitting reviews and reduced permitting fees are offered to encourage builders to use solar energy in new projects or achieve LEED, EnergyStar, or EarthCraft certification. Synchronized traffic signals along key road corridors, ease congestion and reduce idling times. An old office and warehouse facility has been renovated for use by county office and Cherokee Area Transportation System (CATS), and the county offers a comprehensive recycling program at government facilities for traditional and nontraditional recyclable materials. The Bells Ferry LCI plan promotes many smart growth measures, such as mixed-used development, bicycle and pedestrian friendly designs, mixed-income housing and diversity of housing types.

Description of Cherokee's sustainability measures (pdf)

Douglas County

Recertified December 2013

Douglas County was recertified as a Green Community at the Bronze level, after first being certified in 2009. The new LEED Certified Douglas County Sheriff's Office and Jail is a full service law enforcement and detention center containing approximately 500,000 sq. /ft. of space. Expedited plan reviews and permitting are available for developers planning to build solar energy elements, LEED, EarthCraft, and Energy Star certified projects in the county. Low-flow plumbing fixtures have replaced inefficient ones in all county-owned buildings, and all new city-owned buildings must install high-efficiency plumbing fixtures such as WaterSense certified toilets, urinals and faucets. The E-911 building was designed and built with two 20,000 gallon tanks on-site for the storage of rainwater that can be used to flush toilets and for irrigation. Douglas’s Community Transportation Plan includes a complete streets policy that calls for the design and construction of roads that adequately accommodate all users of a corridor. Traffic signals have been synchronized to decrease trip time, idling and fuel usage. The county has an environmentally preferable purchasing policy as long as the purchase price does not exceed 10 percent of the cost of a less sustainable product.

Description of Douglas' sustainability measures (pdf)

Fulton County

Recertified December 2014

In 2010, Fulton County was one of the first communities to be certified as a Green Community The county reaffirmed its commitment to being green in 2014 when it recertified at the Bronze level. Fulton County’s East Atlanta Library, completed in November 2003, achieved sliver LEED certification as the county’s first LEED building. The library was constructed on a remediated brownfield. Energy and water audits have been completed on more than 40 percent of county facilities, with the remaining facilities to be completed in four years. More than 300 exit signs have been replaced with LED fixtures, saving an estimated 92,000 kWh per year. Fulton was designated as a WaterFirst Community by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs in 2014. WaterFirst communities demonstrate a strong commitment to water resource stewardship.The Johns Creek Environmental Campus uses the most advanced wastewater treatment technologies and is a world-class example for wastewater treatment. It has no odor, no noise and blends seamlessly with the surrounding greenspace and neighborhoods. The county contains an estimated 2,053 acres of permanently protected greenspace in unincorporated areas, which equates to approximately 23 acres of greenspace per 1,000 residents. Other sustainable polices adopted by the county include a requirement for new plumbing fixtures to be WaterSense certified, a lights out/power down policy, and an anti-idling policy.

Description of Fulton's sustainability measures (pdf)

City of Milton

Recertified December 2016

The City of Milton was first certified as a Green Community in 2012. It reaffirmed its commitment to being green in 2016 when it recertified at the Bronze level. The City of Milton has completed energy audits on all of the city’s buildings and is implementing recommended energy efficiency improvements, with all facilities to be audited by the end of 2013. To reduce the amount of potable water used, the city installed rain barrels at Providence Fire Station #41, Thompson Fire Station #42 and Birmingham Fire Station #43 to water the stations’ landscaping. Milton has conducted a Tree Inventory, Assessment and Management Plan and is pursuing a maintenance program for sustaining Milton’s lush community forests. The city allows for a reduction in required parking spaces in mixed-use areas or for properties within walking distance to a bus stop. The Bethwell Community Center is a formerly vacant property that the city renovated so that it can now be used for summer camp programs, community meetings and special events. Milton implemented the first joint Form-Based Code and Transfer of Development Rights Ordinance in the State of Georgia. Examples of sustainable city policies include the requirement for new city-owned buildings over 5,000 square feet to achieve LEED certification, a lights out/power down policy, an environmentally preferable purchasing policy, and an anti-idling policy for fleet vehicles.

Description of Milton's sustainability measures (pdf)

City of Peachtree Corners

Certified December 2015

Peachtree Corners City Hall provides a public drop off location for cell phones, household batteries and ink cartridges. In addition the city’s Green Committee provides an updated database of local recycling opportunities for residents. The city encourages a wide variety of recycling activities within the community such as metal, asphalt and other construction products. This is accomplished by identifying potential sites and providing incentives for locating recycling businesses within the city. The zoning code recognizes and allows this use in the Light Industry District, the most prevalent zoning district, resulting in a large number of properties suitable for this use. The city also promotes these recycling businesses through its website and by hosting special events to highlight facilities such as Newell Recycling. A primary goal of the city’s LCI study is to encourage businesses, such as Global Aviation, to redevelop aging buildings within its existing Technology Park and other currently underutilized locations rather than build on undeveloped land. Peachtree Corners has adopted a Night Sky ordinance to reduce excess light pollution and conserve energy. The city also provides incentives for sign lighting controlled by timers and that use high-efficiency LED lamps. The city installed a Chargepoint Level II electric vehicle charging station at city hall. This location is registered on the Chargepoint website and is accessible for all users 24 hours every day.

Description of Peachtree Corners' sustainability measures  (pdf)

Rockdale County

Certified December 2015

Rockdale County captures and uses rainwater for the irrigation of soccer fields at Earl O’Neal Park. The county saves 800,000 gallons of potable water per year by watering its 8 soccer fields using its rainwater retention pond. Rockdale retrofitted incandescent lighting with LEDs in its Johnson Park Recreation Center, resulting in an 83% reduction in energy usage for lighting. This switch in lighting will result in the savings of more than $99,000 on utility bills over 5 years. Fresh fruits and vegetables are available spring through fall at the Rockdale County-supported Farmers Market. In addition, residents can try their hand at growing their own vegetables year round at the Parker Road Community Garden and the Senior Center Garden. The county has installed bicycle racks at over 50% of its community facilities, with the remainder scheduled to be installed within the next two years. Each bike rack features a sign with a QR code that can be scanned to pull up the locations of other Rockdale County bike racks. Rockdale’s Lorraine Park Trailhead sits upon a brownfield site previously contaminated by an auto salvage facility. The county purchased the riverfront property and remediated the soil and groundwater. A sight that once held over 800 tons of concrete, 246 tons of trash, and 27 tons of tires, is now a beautiful part of the Arabia River Trail System.

Description of Rockdale County's sustainability measures  (pdf)

City of Sandy Springs

Certified December 2014

Sandy Springs has performed energy and water audits on all city-owned facilities and facilities that it leases. As a result of the audits, the city completed a $79,000 green initiative project on the city hall building- replacing more than 700 T12 florescent light fixtures and magnetic ballasts with LED bulbs and 32 exit light fixtures with LED fixtures. LEDs, combined with the installation of occupancy sensors, are projected to save 340,204 kWh of electricity annually. The city built a 2,000 gallon propane autogas fueling station for the city fleet. A second fueling station of the same size is planned. Currently, 68 vehicles have been converted to use both propane and gasoline, with a fleet average of 93 percent propane usage. An additional 18 vehicles are scheduled for conversion. Sandy Springs revised its zoning ordinance in 2013 in order to require all new developments to install electric vehicle charging stations. Developers are now required to install one electrical charging station for every 100 spaces, and at least one station per parking lot, if under 100 spaces. As part of its bike and pedestrian friendly Transportation Master Plan and Sidewalk Improvement Program, the city has invested more than $8 million in the last five years to build new sidewalks. It also recently opened the Abernathy Greenway multiuse trail. Examples of sustainable city policies include a lights out/power down policy and an anti-idling policy for fleet vehicles.

Description of Sandy Springs' sustainability measures  (pdf)

City of Suwanee

Recertified December 2013

The City of Suwanee was recertified as a Green Community at the Bronze level, after first being certified in 2009. Suwanee's city hall was the first in Georgia and the 21st in the country to obtain LEED certification. The city’s zoning ordinance addresses light pollution and energy efficiency for outdoor lighting by restricting wattage, requiring enclosed bulbs and downward pointing lighting. New city-owned buildings must install high-efficiency plumbing fixtures such as WaterSense certified toilets, urinals and faucets. The Recreation and Open Space Needs Assessment focuses on greenways, and passive greenspace and trails throughout the city connect the community. The Comprehensive Landscape Inspection Program enforces the city’s tree ordinance, which includes a continual maintenance clause for trees and landscapes. Properties with approved landscape plans are inspected to insure landscape plan is being maintained. As a result of the inspections, 824 trees were planted in 2008. The zoning code calls for shade in parking lots by requiring one overstory tree for every seven parking spaces. Suwanee’s complete streets policy assures that new roadways and roadway improvements include adequate infrastructure, where appropriate, for all users. The city's Harvest Farm is Georgia’s largest organic community garden, featuring 76 raised beds and serving as an educational resource for the community, offering classes and educational events related to gardening, organic living, and sustainability. The city provides heavy maintenance to the park as well as water to supplement that which is collected in a 2,500 gallon cistern onsite.

Description of Suwanee's sustainability measures (pdf)

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