Preserve Johns Creek Founder, John Bradberry, Announces City Council Campaign

Johns Creek small business owner and former United States Marine, John Bradberry, has announced his intention to run for City Council Post 3 in this November’s election.
Bradberry bought his first home in 1999 in what would later become Johns Creek and served as his neighborhood’s HOA president.  “Even back then, as a new homeowner, I was concerned about community development issues.  I saw what happened to Sandy Springs with apartments and other high-density developments repeatedly approved in the pursuit of greater tax revenue.  These developments negatively impacted traffic and residents’ quality of life.”  John subsequently joined the effort to start Milton County and served as the group’s founding chairman.  When Johns Creek incorporated, John, like many other residents, felt that with the new city, our community would finally be protected.
When John and Christy married in 2003, they moved into their current home in Kingston Crossing, where John also served as HOA president.  After serving as HOA president, John became increasingly concerned about the changes occurring in Johns Creek.  He began attending City Council meetings and got involved in the JCCA.  Bradberry later started Preserve Johns Creek, a group dedicated to protecting our residential character and quality of life. Preserve Johns Creek has been able to help stop the high-density townhomes at Parsons Rd, helped reduce the number of billboards that have gone up from 10 to seven, gotten the Macedonia Cemetery some level of basic care, and slowed the knee-jerk move to widen 141 until we have investigated other options that can improve traffic without sacrificing our residential character and quality of life.
Whether it is zoning or road improvement projects, every decision made by the City of Johns Creek should ask “How will this affect our residents’ quality of life?”  said Bradberry. 
Bradberry’s campaign slogan is “Preserve Johns Creek…Protect Our Quality of Life!”  Bradberry said, “This is more than just a slogan to me.  Our community is at a critical juncture.  It is vital that we return to our original vision for Johns Creek.  We are a high-end residential community with great schools, low crime, and a high quality of life.  As long as we continue to be the best at that, then there will always be high-demand for our “product”.   It sets us apart and makes us unique.  We love it and call it home.”
The highlights of Bradberry’s platform are:
* Restore trust in local government
* Focus on traffic relief for OUR residents
* Stop high density development, billboards and road widenings that create cut-through highways
* Term limits for locally elected officials
“These issues are critical to my family and the future of Johns Creek.  I’ll be an independent voice for the residents.”
About John Bradberry
John is a graduate of UGA with a BBA in Management Information Systems.  He worked for Oracle and himself independently as an IT consultant.  With a passion for the outdoors and his community, John later started and built a successful landscape design and contract business for residential and commercial customers. He continues to manage this business, while also maintaining business interests in real estate and educational finance.
John is a member of the Johns Creek Veterans Association. Christy, John, and their daughter Gracie attend Northpoint Community Church.
To learn more about John Bradberry and his campaign, please visit
For media inquiries, please contact Greg Williams at 404-457-4143 or via email at

Accomplished Businesswoman to Run for Post 3: Vicki Horton Brings Expertise in Community Enhancement & Preservation

Entrepreneur and business owner Vicki Horton announces her candidacy for Johns Creek City Council Post 3.

“As a young and growing city, Johns Creek is at a turning point. It needs new leadership and a cool and steady head to help the city move forward,” said Horton.

“I have over 25 years of experience working in Economic Development, bringing communities, counties, states and private sector together to benefit the people. I vow to use my broad experience to help our city as YOUR city council member, with honor and integrity.”

Traffic congestion is at an all-time high, green spaces are disappearing, and new developments are spreading rapidly. We want our community to grow consistently with our shared vision without compromising sustainability and affordability. We need to preserve our residential character and plan for sustainable growth.
As a City Council member, I will develop solutions for responsible growth that will continue to support the prosperity of Johns Creek. We will invest in growth that the city can absorb and sustain in the long run and I’ll oppose projects I believe will harm our city’s future.
As an economic development consultant, I help communities find solutions that work for businesses as well as residents because I always adhere to best practices. My highest priority will be to ensure that the City Council frequently requests, receives and acts on input from the residents of Johns Creek. Community members should have an opportunity to impact decision making. I will listen to our community first and then develop the best plan of action based on a unified vision for Johns Creek.
Originally from Ohio, Vicki earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Akron and a Masters of Public Administration degree from Cleveland State University. She is an active member of national and international economic development organizations and is a regular lecturer for the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Vicki teaches courses on Site Selection, Economic Development, and Public/Private Collaboration at Colorado State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Georgia, and the University of North Carolina. She is also on the faculty of the United States Chamber of Commerce. Vicki has been a resident of Johns Creek for 8 years, a resident of Georgia for 20 years.
Vicki and her daughter enjoy the outdoors, bird watching, the arts and chess and value the benefits Johns Creek offers as a family oriented community. Vicki is an avid sports fan and she attributes her success in life to the experiences she gained from playing team sports; she played softball and soccer during her youth.
To learn more about Vicki and find out where to meet her, visit or email

Hometown Resident, Issure Yang to Run for City Council: Post 1


Issure Yang is a long time Johns Creek Resident has lived in and around Johns Creek/Alpharetta since 1989. Issure remembers when Kimball Bridge was just a dirt road and driving to Alpharetta was a “planned” trip. Her parents were one of the first to purchase a lot in Country Club of the South when it was still in the beginning phases. She loves that she has been able to raise her children here in a beautiful, safe and well-sought after area.

Her interest in running for City Council stems from her strong sense of community and watching Johns Creek become over-commercialised, with increased traffic woes and increased development.

Issure is a mother of two. Her daughter, Sydney, is a Freshman at University of Alabama (Roll Tide) and her son, Zack, is a sophomore at Johns Creek High School. Her civic involvement was instrumental in her children’s extra-curricular activities for several years and on the board of the JCHS Cheer, as well as volunteering for her son’s JCHS lacrosse team. Issure is currently VP of Staff support for the Johns Creek High School PTSA.

She is a graduate of Georgia Tech and currently works as an independent consultant and has expertise in Customer Experience, Workflow, Product Management, Marketing and Cyber Security. She looks forward to serving the Residents with the thoroughness, thoughtful diligence and dedication she is known for.

Issure’s Goals:

Three T’s that plague our city today


– Apply strategies to address the current traffic issues we today by taking advantage of the technology available to us — real time light synchronization, real time reports on traffic patterns, common sense solutions instead of forcing expensive solutions that may or may not help traffic. Many intersections are dysfunctional and need to be fixed for congestion relief and safety issues.

No Tax Increases

– Balanced budgets and look for additional areas to save money. The city must put contracts out to bid, to not only get the best value but the best quality, that Residents expect and deserve. We should not allow any element of our government to overspend, overtax, or over waste. 

Term Limits

– Serving the Residents of Johns Creek is my priority. It is my desire to serve the Residents and not myself. Many times those who stay too long lose the vision of the Residents and often serve themselves.

Other Critical Issues

Moratorium on Development

– We must get the traffic issues resolved before adding any more development within the City. The ongoing approval of variance requests has led to Overdevelopment and an increase in density affecting the quality of life for its current residents.

Ethics Reform

– As Elected Officials, we must set a high a standard of behavior and keep arm’s length distance from any potential conflicts of interest. Our City Charter needs to be improved to reflect and require stronger ethics from Elected Officials and City Staff.


– Our City Government needs better communication and increased community involvement. Area Residents must be informed of activities such as construction, public works projects that could affect them. Optimally, prior to commencement, not after.

As your City Councilwoman, I pledge to be open and receptive to your communication, ideas, and issues and be your voice on Council.

Visit Issure’s website for more info…

Breaking News: Longtime Resident Announces Mayoral Candidacy: Vows to Bring Respectful, Ethical, and Fiscally Responsible Leadership

Dear Residents,

It is with honor and purpose that I announce my candidacy for Mayor of Johns Creek.

Living in Johns Creek for nearly 2 decades has provided me and my family a quality of life that has been an essential part of our lives. This community means a great deal to me.

With my Corporate and small business owner experience, I have acquired the skills needed to successfully bring a fresh, resident driven agenda needed at a critical time for our city.

My passion is to represent the Residents with honest, open communications and accountable leadership. I believe that we are at an important juncture in the growth & development of our wonderful city and am prepared to lead the way.

Together we will work to protect our natural beauty & green space and sustain the strengths of our residential community in a respectful, ethical, and fiscally responsible manner.

Under my leadership, I intend to ensure the Mayors Office and our Council work together to advance the vision of our residents. My values are as follow:

Integrity: My promise to you is to promote a culture of moral and ethical standards that will make you proud. We as a city need term limits and stronger ethics rules.

Common Sense: Applying collective common sense to the process of making decisions that advance resident’s visions for our City.

Often common sense evades elected officials because they don’t listen to the people most impacted by their decisions.

My commitment to you is listening and prioritizing the goals of the residents of Johns Creek first. The resident’s needs and concerns are the primary responsibility that the Mayor must advance.

Fiscal Responsibility: Making sure that our residents & businesses who pay taxes know that every dollar is spent in a thoughtful way that will enhance our quality of life as a residential community with great schools while making Johns Creek businesses know their government supports them.

I will do my utmost to reach out to Johns Creek residents, businesses and others to understand their concerns and share my ideas to protect Johns Creek from improper development and increased traffic while improving our high quality of life. I hope that I will earn your support and trust.

Alex Marchetti

Marchetti for Mayor Campaign Website

Marchetti for Mayor Facebook page

Viral Video: Town Hall Meltdown

The excitement doesn’t end with our Elected Officials.

During a recent town hall, a question was posed to Mayor Bodker regarding his employment with DTI, owned by Councilwoman Cori Davenport’s husband.

Both Mayor Bodker and Councilwoman Cori Davenport assert nothing is wrong. If that is the case, why get so upset?

Video Source: City of Johns Creek

COJC Attorney Represented Ousted Mayor Jere Wood

The City Attorney for Johns Creek has been busy in court representing Jere Wood, the Roswell Mayor that was ordered to vacate the Mayor Seat, by a Fulton County judge.

Dick Carothers, the lawyer on the right in the picture, has been paid approximately $25k with Roswell’s taxpayer money to defend Jere Wood’s case that term limits do not apply to him retroactively.

Dick Carothers is also the City Attorney for nearby, Berkeley Lake (directly south of JC), among other area Cities over the years.

Jere Wood has stated he will appeal the judge’s decision, and thus further waste tax dollars on attorney fees.

Photo Source: WSB 

Update: Traffic Lighting Dysfunction Discussion

At the May 8th meeting, staff was directed to return in 6 weeks with plans for improvements.

It will be 11 weeks, and the agenda item is given a WHOPPING 20 minutes, for tonights meeting.

Arts and Culture Board is allocated 45 minutes.

Screen grab of agenda items

It is low on the prioritization for the meeting, and doubtful the Council will get to it unless it is shifted up during the meeting.

City Staff is recommending MORE Money to be spent on the traffic light intelligent system, pucks, fibers, cables, etc, to the tune of $1,521,500.

The recommendations are to improve the uptime of lights…not the performance of the lights themselves.

No metrics or data are included in the documents provided to City Council.


Despite the millions of dollars that have already been spent on this intelligent lighting system, the staff has not documented the (ROI) Return on Investment, or before/after performance data.

City Staff has admitted in the previous meeting they do not have the needed expertise to improve the performance.

The Traffic light management/Public Works has been outsourced to CH2M Hill, since the City’s inception. The contract has never been put out to bid. City Council is on track to renew the CH2 contract(which expires in Dec), without competition or comparison of the bid process.

Months ago, Councilwoman Stephanie Endres & former Councilman Bob Gray advocated to send the contract out to bid. They were outnumbered with starch resistance by Mayor Bodker and Councilpersons Broadbent, Lin, & Davenport.

Mayor Bodker tapped Councilman Jay Lin to oversee the contract renewal negotiations with Ch2. When asked during a May meeting how those negotiations were going, Jay Lin stated: “I am happy where we are.” He also stated his focus was on the outsourced employees continuing the work with the City, undisrupted.  Interestingly, he did NOT discuss negotiating the best contract for the City or improving the services.

It is highly controversial and many would interpret the City Charter is violated by Elected Officials participating in negotiating contracts for the City. This issue was previously highlighted during the billboard debacle, with Mayor Bodker & Councilwoman Cori Davenport negotiating the Billboard settlement with her good friend, lake house neighbor, and owner of Action Outdoor Advertising.

One of the most important roles an elected city official is to make sure that everything appears and is above reproach.  Just because somethings isn’t illegal, does it make it appropriate or the best thing to be done?

The situation becomes muddy water when Elected Officials negotiate contracts, they will vote on. The process lacks impartiality.

How critically will the Council review the contract in the best interest of the residents? Rather than judging the quality of the contract, they defend it.

Alas, back to the traffic intelligent light systems. What do you think needs to be improved, and is staff addressing that?

Read the recommendations here…

Source: City of Johns Creek

How Close is TOO Close? Proposed Subdivision Next to Water Towers

A developer is proposing to build a subdivision adjacent to the 2 water towers on Morton Rd.

There is no city ordinance for fall zones regarding water towers, and thus developer is requesting to build houses 25 feet away from the proposed houses property line. The homes would be 50 feet away from the water towers.

This infill development will squeeze 17 houses, with 7-foot side setbacks, creating a burden to the community.

The local schools will be negatively impacted, as Autry Mills Middle school, and Johns Creek High School are already over-capacity. Only Dolvin Elementary can accommodate the additional students.


Council Zoning hearing is TONIGHT, Monday, July 24th, 7 pm.

Read the Official zoning case file here…

Source: City of Johns Creek

Wanted! New Mayor: for Ethical, Competent, Citizen-Centric Leadership

City Hall OMITS the Most important Dates of the Year: Election Qualification!

As always, you can count on the Johns Creek Post to keep you updated.

We wish City Hall was as forthcoming about pertinent information.

It begs the question, who’s working for who?

With 5 Full-Time Communications Employees, you’d think they’d get the calendar updated, or at least do a PR blitz about the upcoming election.

But NO! Not a peep about the opening of the Mayor & 3 Council seats, not even a mention on the city calendar.

Click to enlarge

The City Website was also absent of information. As required by law, a legal notice was submitted to the Johns Creek Herald, way back in January, 6 months ago.

Here are the details:

Qualifying will be Monday, August 21st; Tuesday, August 22nd; & Wednesday, August 23rd

8:30 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Fee: $450 Council Seat / $750 Mayor Seat

Clerk’s office  @ City Hall

12000 Findley Rd, 4th Floor

District Comes Alive… in Duluth!

Apartment Towers Rise in Duluth.

What Johns Creek elected officials sought, and residents rebuffed, Duluth got.

Studio apartments start at $945

$300 deposit


Recommended Reading on how our Elected officials hired an Urban Consultant and wasted our tax dollars on planning an urban district!

Limos & Liquor: The Decadent Cost of the District

Photo Source: TRG Atlanta

Sponsored Post: Now Hiring @ Nancy’s Chicago Pizza

To inquire:

Call 678-392-5940


We’re Back!

Enjoy Your Summer: Signup for the JCP Newsletter to get Posted on our Return!


Sign up for the JCP Newsletter here…

The Property Tax Model is Broken Beyond Repair

Let’s be honest. The system of collecting taxes for county, city, and school taxes is broken. And the larger the area dependent on funding from property taxes, the more broken it becomes. North Fulton County residents pay tremendously more for the same county services than South Fulton residents.  Why?

Here are three reasons it needs to be scrapped:

  1. There is no correlation between the amount of taxes you pay and the amount of “services” you receive.

A family of six living in a $500,000 home and a family of two living in a $500,000 home, pay the same property taxes if they live in the same community.  Why?  What makes us feel its fair to collect three times as much tax on a per capita basis from one family than another?  What if the family of two lives in a home worth one million?  What makes it right to collect six times as much for the very same levels of services?  Should I mention that the family of six likely creates more demand for services than the family of two as well?

When property values are high, and tax rates are high, this can have the effect of driving out empty nester residents to avoid the high levels of taxes relative to the services they receive for those tax dollars.

2.  Property values rising(and falling) should have no impact on how much tax revenue is needed to run your county, cities, and schools.

We’ve seen property values fall during recessions and rise during better times.  This should have nothing to do with how many dollars are needed to provide services in your community.  Yet we have made the tax digest the first step in the taxation process, followed by each government agency voting on the millage rate to be applied to that tax digest.  Elected officials vote far more often on how much they will tax you than you have a chance to vote on whether or not they should remain in office.

Let’s add to that the huge infrastructure we now have in place at the Tax Assessor’s office to track every piece of property, every structure, and every improvement you make to your home, all in the effort to make sure every $ of real estate(real or imagined) is taxed.

Why on earth should you owe the government more dollars because you decided to finish your basement or add a deck?

The perverseness of this likely discourages residents from making improvements to their properties.

How much time and energy is used by the Tax Assessor’s office to gather all of this information?  How accurate is it?  Is it worth it?  Who is really benefitting?

3.  How many hours of effort will the Public spend appealing these assessments?

If 1/4 of the households in Johns Creek appeal, that could be as high as 7,000 homes.  Spend five hours on this process, and cumulatively we will have spent 35,000 hours fighting our high assessments.

Instead, why don’t we take a moment and consider a different system?  We do not tax each resident within an HOA a variable amount do we?  It’s a flat rate per household.  While not necessarily the same on a per capita basis, it is a fairer system than taxing each household based upon the value of their property.

What would a fixed property tax collected per residence look like?  First, it would treat all of us as equally as possible.

We would not need an army of government employees tracking our properties, needing to know everything about the inside and outside of our homes.

We would never have to appeal property taxes in the future.

Our governments would be accountable to us directly for the rate of taxation we face, and there would be no finger-pointing as to who is to blame.

The current system of taxation has more expensive property owners subsidizing the less expensive property owners.  In a society where wealth redistribution is frowned upon by most of us, it is curious to me why we are so willing to allow tax redistribution with property taxes, where the level of services received are so far removed from what the property owner pays in taxes.

Johns Creek could lead the way to a better model of taxation for its residents.  It’s time we slay the beast that taxation based on property values has become.   Taxation should not be unfair or onerous.

It’s time for a change.  Contact your locally elected officials and tell them you want a different system.  Tell them you want a better, more equitable system.


Fulton County Assessor Meeting – Location Changed to JCHS

District 1 Tax Assessment Meeting with Commissioner Liz Hausmann and Chief Appraiser Dwight Robinson
June 14, 2017 @ 7:00 pm
Johns Creek High School Auditorium

5575 State Bridge Road

Johns Creek, GA

Johns Creek: Second Best Suburb(and Now City) in Georgia(And Here’s Why)

Recently, Johns Creek was named the second best suburb(and Now City) in Georgia to live.  Coming in second to Decatur, I was curious as to what makes up that ranking (and what role might our local government take in that ranking.  Interestingly enough, other communities are omitted from the suburb category, but are some of the best cities in Georgia to live in.  (It seems that given enough rankings, we can all be winners)

The largest contributor to our ranking is the educational level of adults living in Johns Creek, of course.  We know we are well educated, and that category is 15% of the weighting.

Now which factors are because of our local government?

Property taxes show up in the Housing Grade category, with a ten % weighting.  The effect of Johns Creek on this category might be 1-2% points of that category.

Crime and safety is another category.  With a 5% rating, we will give ½ the credit to the police and fire, and ½ credit to the well-educated public, who should know better than to misbehave.  That brings us up to 3 ½ to 4 ½ %.

The last category Johns Creek contributes to is Outdoor. One-third of that 5% is from having access to parks.  Since this is not limited to parks within your city limits, but all parks including National Parks within a large distance, we will score this category as a 1% contribution from the City of Johns Creek.

In total, that would suggest that 4 ½ to 5 ½ % of our overall score our City Government could take credit for.

The majority of the success for Johns Creek belongs to you.  Yes you.

Well educated, high income earners demanding great homes, working to keep the schools great through property and sales taxes, welcoming to people of all diversities, behaving in the eyes of the law, taking care of your health and the health of your families contributed the most to Johns Creek’s selection as the Second Best Suburb in Georgia.

Go ahead and pat yourself on the back.  You deserve it!

Factors Considered

Factor Description Source Weight
Higher Education Rate Percentage of residents who have received a bachelor’s degree or higher. U.S. Census 15.0%
Cost of Living Grade Based on the consumer price index and access to affordable housing. Niche 10.0%
Housing Grade Based on home values, property taxes, housing costs, local schools, and more. Niche 10.0%
Public Schools Grade Based on the average Niche K-12 Overall Grade for every public school serving the area, where each school is weighted by the number of students it serves. Niche 10.0%
Diversity Grade Based on ethnic, generational and economic diversity. Niche 7.5%
Shortest Commute Grade Based on typical commute times and methods. Niche 7.5%
Composite Overall Score Niche survey responses scored on a 1-5 scale regarding the overall experience of the place. Self-reported by Niche users 5.0%
Crime & Safety Grade Based on violent and property crime rates. Niche 5.0%
Family Grade Based on school quality, safety, and family-friendly living. Niche 5.0%
Health & Fitness Grade Based on community health statistics and access to healthcare. Niche 5.0%
Jobs Grade Based on employment rates, job and economic growth, and cost of living. Niche 5.0%
Nightlife Grade Based on access to bars, restaurants, theaters, and other attractions. Niche 5.0%
Outdoor Activities Grade Based on weather, air quality, and access to parks and other recreational opportunities. Niche 5.0%
Weather Grade Based on number of sunny days, precipitation, and average temperatures in an area. Niche 5.0%

How to Appeal Your Property Taxes

10 Steps to REDUCE your Tax Bill

1) File an online appeal here. This will schedule your appointment with the Board of Assessors. It will be some time before you hear back from them

1a)  Contact County Appraiser, Dwight Robinson and request the comps they are using for your assessment. 

2) Review your Property Records to ensure it is accurate, (fireplaces, beds, bathrooms, sq ft, etc)

3) Check for homestead deductions (homeowners & mostly for seniors)

4) Research recent sales in the Property Records of your neighborhood to find comparable homes

5) Review property assessments with the public records for comparables

6) Create a spreadsheet of comparables (3-5 Properties), and breakdown each property

  • – same exterior facade
  • – square foot comparison
  • – land value/ lot size comparison
  • – compare homes with more/less beds & baths, etc

7) Take pictures of the comparable homes

8) Set a reasonable value amount for your property

9) Prepare presentation: Create an easy to read packet to bring to your hearing

Front page – Picture of your house & the value “think” it is worth

Second Page – Spreadsheet with the breakdown of comparables

Next 5 pages – Pictures and info of each comparable property

Optional info:

Include pictures of the inside of your house, if it’s not upgraded

Pictures & details of backyard if it is sloped or devalued in some way

10) Attend your scheduled Hearing

*Have 7 packet copies to pass out to each board member!*

Be non-emotional and factual during the hearing

Present the data in a calm, logical manner

Good Luck!

Neighbors, do you have any suggestions?

Return to Sender: Federal HUD $$$

Federal HUD money to build an ADA Fishing dock & viewing platform in Shakerag Park is in the process of being returned.

This discussion didn’t go without a fight from Councilman Lenny Zaprowski, who stated within the Work Session meeting, ” I am a Big Proponent of these funds”. He strongly advocated for the City to keep the funds, regardless of the strings attached or qualification requirements.

Councilwoman Stephanie Endres stated the grant has stipulations and rules in which the City would have to meet to qualify for the funds, and the City doesn’t qualify.

City attorney chimed in that it would be “most prudent” to release(return) what funds we have left, back.

After discussion in the Work Session and 7 pm meeting,  the Council voted 5-2, to return the HUD money. Councilman Lenny Zaprowski & Councilwoman Cori Davenport voted to keep the funds.

A public hearing will take place on the issue and then 2014 funds would go back to Federal HUD office.

Johns Creek Comprehensive Plan Observations: What Johns Creek DOESN’T Want or Need

The City of Johns Creek held a workshop intended to review the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) and Transportation Master Plan (TMP) on Thursday, June 1st, 2017. The workshop began with an opportunity to review boards with information and depictions of several options under consideration for zoning, development, and redevelopment, then followed up with a presentation by the two consulting organizations with whom the city has contracted to lead and facilitate this work, and finally opened the floor to questions from the workshop attendees.

The Comprehensive Plan is still a work in process, and this final workshop was meant to provide residents with a preview of the materials prior to presentation to City Council on June 19th.

The importance of these plans and the direction they propose for Johns Creek over the next 20 years cannot be overstated. The plan that is ultimately approved by City Council will dictate the character of our city beginning almost immediately upon adoption.

Those who attended the meeting will recognize the visual representations provided by the consultants, both on the boards that were set up throughout the meeting room, as well as from the Powerpoint presentation that was reviewed with attendees. It’s important to understand where the emphasis was placed as it is indicative of those proposals that are receiving the highest priority from the consultants. It’s equally important to understand that these same consultants were hired with a distinct objective in mind, and have certainly been given guidance from city staff with whom they work most closely.

The staff position with the greatest interaction with these consultants would be our Director of Community Development, Ms. Sharon Ebert. Ms. Ebert is an employee of CH2M Hill, the company to which Johns Creek has outsourced many administrative functions. Her previous experience includes a role as Interim Executive Director & Director of Planning and Development for the Housing Authority of Bridgeport, Connecticut (distinguished as one of the large American cities that had declared bankruptcy), Director of Planning and Development for the Housing Authority of New Haven, Connecticut, and Deputy Commissioner Planning & Development for the city of Yonkers, New York.

I highlight these previous roles to bring to light the vast difference of community character between those locations, and the historic character of Johns Creek: the former represents high density, urban communities while Johns Creek has traditionally been suburban and residential. Keep that in mind as you review the recommendations that appear to be forthcoming in the Comprehensive Plan.

The majority of the boards and presentation material focused on mixed use (read: high density, urbanization), and various “nodes”. The Transportation plan has closely aligned with the various T-SPLOST projects, and was heavily weighted toward road widening efforts (capacity), the development of inter-neighborhood travel options, and introducing a grid system for certain nodes (primarily around Technology Park, and the area formerly proposed to become “The District”).

Some may recall that the Comprehensive Plan sought input through the distribution of an online survey available at the website. Those who participated in the survey may also recall that the survey was structured such that it was clearly driving to a foregone conclusion: increased urbanization, higher density, and wider roads.

After some vocal feedback from residents who recognized that the survey was constructed with a lack of options that would support the opportunity to preserve the suburban residential character of the city, the survey was changed to provide the option of selecting “None” from among the presented high-density options. At no time did the survey present a set of options that would retain the current character of the city. The results of this survey were cited as representing the desires of residents, and as a key input to the Comprehensive Plan.

What can be concluded from this workshop? First and foremost, the Comprehensive Plan presents a vision of a very different Johns Creek than what we have today. Another conclusion is that proposals that have come up in the past, but were roundly opposed by residents, are back.

Attendees of the workshop likely experienced a strong case of déjà vu. The District was proposed as a new City Center, located within Technology Park, representing a city-funded redevelopment effort. That plan was roundly opposed by city residents. Well, it’s back. The city has already purchased a building for a consolidated City Hall in the area. A linear park is proposed in the Comprehensive Plan as well as a project funded by the Parks Bonds. Proposed redevelopment of the surrounding area effectively resurrects The District without calling it by name.

Mixed Use is prominently represented in the Comprehensive Plan materials. That means density and urbanization. Mixed use also means provision for retail. Anyone paying attention recognizes that the retail industry, at least in its brick-and-mortar form, is collapsing. Does Johns Creek really need more nail salons, dry cleaners, and empty storefronts?

The Comprehensive Plan proposes to redevelop several existing retail zones. If existing retail is struggling, why does the plan include allowances for more retail?

The Transportation Master Plan includes a many road widening projects throughout the city. For those residents who thought that their voices were heard when they appeared in great numbers to express their opposition, and who were told that road widening proposals would see full consideration in front of the City Council with an up-or-down vote, recognize that this plan is going to approve those plans without the promised hearing. These plans are targeted to increase capacity – meaning accommodating more traffic – but without any required coordination with adjacent jurisdictions. Consider that the recently held traffic planning session in Peachtree Corners immediately south of Johns Creek revealed no plans to widen State Road 141 through their city. That means that we are bypassing other less intrusive options in the rush to widen roads that will meet an immediate bottleneck at Peachtree Corners. To what effect does this proposal benefit Johns Creek residents, and what damage will be done to the residential character of our city through these routes?

Make no mistake: the Comprehensive Plan is clearly advancing Johns Creek to a highly urbanized future marked by high density, increased traffic volume, and a drastically different character than what exists today. Nothing that was presented in the Comprehensive Plan spoke to retaining our residential character, or how we might improve our property values for existing residential properties.

I urge all interested parties to review the presentation material for yourselves and determine whether the plans as presented represent a future for Johns Creek that you personally desire for yourself and your family. We are at a critical juncture, with a vision for the city that does not seek to preserve Johns Creek, but instead, imposes a very different future. We need to decide whether that vision deserves our support, or whether we stand up and fight to preserve and improve the city we call home.

Review for yourself. The Comprehensive Plan presentation can be found at: