106 Year Old Rogers Bridge: Deemed Historic!

Rogers Bridge

At 106 years old, Johns Creek’s oldest resident is a forgotten bridge. This treasured structure has been recommended ELIGIBLE for National Register of Historic Places, by the Historic Bridge Association.

Very little records existed on the bridge until the Johns Creek City Council voted a few years ago to pursue the bridge restoration for a pedestrian connection to the Duluth park on the other side of the Chattahoochee River.

The 1912 Pin-Connected Pennsylvania thru truss bridge is 228 feet long. It is also the longest spanned bridge of that design in the State of Georgia. The entire bridge retains most of its original design elements, except for the deck, which was removed. Because of its embodiment of distinctive characteristics, it will likely get special recognition.


The 48″ diameter pipe was installed in the 1980’s as an emergency water line between Gwinnett County & Fulton County. Most bridges in the area are for motor vehicles, so there is little opportunity to watch the river and abundant wildlife. This makes this bridge a rare treasure.

The City of Johns Creek and the City of Duluth have been cooperatively working on a plan to restore the bridge, to allow a pedestrian crossing between to 2 City parks. Rogers Bridge Park on the Duluth side, and a Multi-Use trail and future Cauley Creek Park on the Johns Creek, side.

We will keep you posted as the design phase moves into the construction stage, as well as what funds are used to pay for the project.

Upon completion, spectacular views from above of the river will be enjoyed for years to come.

Source: Georgia Department of Transportation

Who is Watching the Store?

By: Ed Thompson, Preserve Johns Creek

The City of Johns Creek has an ongoing and consistent problem – a lack of budget discipline, and a practice of learning of spiraling costs at a point where it is typically too late to do anything about it. A case in point is the cost for our new City Hall. The latest estimates to complete that work came in at more than $1MM over plan (add in furniture costs that were shifted off-budget in order to make the miss appear to be less than it truly is, and you’re at $2.5MM over plan), and discussions about reviewing line item costs were given little consideration because of suggestions that introducing further delays would result in additional cost increases. In an interesting exercise in creative accounting, funds from the Parks Bonds were allocated to City Hall budget.

More recently, a presentation of the plans and costs for city parks provided further evidence of a lack of budget discipline, along with a decided lack of accountability for budget management. It was noted that in the lead-up to the Parks Bond vote, the residents were assured that the proposed projects and costs would be carefully managed and delivered as promised. That clearly hasn’t happened. Mayor Bodker provided a quick summary of the exploding costs over time. For three pocket parks, the average current estimate over-allocated budget exceeds 200%.

Councilwoman Endres has been consistent and vocal in expressing her concerns about the lack of budget discipline that have been occurring within our city. She prepared information that was provided during the City Council Work Session that show the extent of the funding gap that we’re facing on the three pocket parks, and one regional park that were part of the meeting agenda.

Route 66: Restaurant & Music Venue ~Coming Soon?~

A new restaurant is proposing to fill the former 37 Main location at 6000 Medlock Bridge Parkway.

Route 66: Restaurant & Music Venue, will serve smokehouse BBQ and provide a variety of entertainment such as; live music & comedy and offer banquets & catering.

The business owners have already met with adjacent homeowners that were impacted by the noise from the previous tenant 37 Main.  The applicant indicated they will be conducting a sound study with the neighbors in attendance. No mention of improvements for sound containment was listed in the application.

The corrugated metal roof with lightweight exterior insulation led to many sleepless nights for nearby residents, who unsuccessfully pleaded with Elected Officials for 2 years, until viable lawsuits were threatened. The City instituted a strict noise ordinance, which essentially closed the business down. Read here what went wrong & how the City could have SAVED 37 Main, but Did Not.

Hours of operation are listed as Sunday-Wednesday 11am-11pm | Thursday – Saturday 11am-2am.

City Council Zoning Hearing is scheduled for October 22nd, 2018.

Source: City of Johns Creek

Watch This Worksession Now!

Residents:  We encourage you to watch three important segments of this Johns Creek City Council Work Session from July 9th, 2018.

The first is the Parks presentation on plans for the Pocket Parks at Morton and State Bridge Roads, as well as Bell and Boles Road.  The costs for these parks are coming in MUCH higher than it was suggested that they would, just as the City Hall project has done as well.

The second segment is the discussion on the Traffic Signal System Assessment performed by Jacobs Engineering.

The third segment is on the Comprehensive Land Use Plan


These three segments should prove to be very enlightening to residents that are concerned about how we are spending money and why we are so frustrated with the traffic lights within Johns Creek, and where Johns Creek is heading regarding future development and zoning issues.

Dean Gardens: Sold to ANOTHER Developer

Advocates for the preservation of parkland were given another crushing blow as Lennar sold Dean Gardens to “Jen Partners LLC”, with Ashton Woods designated as the builder for nearly $14.3million (in 2 transactions). A far cry from the rumored asking price of $18million pedaled from some in City Hall, as an excuse not to buy the cherished land.

With 64 plots of approximately .26 -.32 acre, each carries a land value of about $224k. 10 lots have been sold as of June 30th, 2018.

Ashton Woods is marketing the 4 bedrooms, 2 bath homes for $649k. Five bedrooms 4 baths, is listed for $814k.

Due to much of the land unbuildable and close to the river, the subdivision will NOT have any amenities such as pool, tennis or playground.

The subdivision is assigned to Autry Mill Middle School and JCHS, both over capacity.

Tyler Perry (aka Barone Trust) sold the land to Lennar in June 2014 for $9,225,000 in a strange and sad rezoning.

Ashton Woods has been on a clear-cutting and development binge in Johns Creek. They developed Adair Manor off Rogers Bridge Rd, which consists of 64 homes. 14 lots remain unsold.

Ashton Woods is currently pitching a MASSIVE development in Shakerag. 377 homes, on 200 acres. That zoning case has been deferred till September.

A Development Authority for Johns Creek? Just Say No

Amazon is presently inviting US cities to outbid each other in a contest to host its “second headquarters”, waving the promise of 50,000 jobs and $5bn of investment in front of the winning applicant. Maryland offered $5bn of tax incentives – dollar for dollar the same as the pledged investment – for the company to opt for Montgomery County, while California offered between $300m and $1bn of breaks. New Jersey even promised $7bn of tax incentives – $2bn more than Amazon’s maximum investment. Whichever city wins, it seems likely that tax will influence its decision-making: the firm’s published criteria for bidders cites “a stable and business-friendly environment and tax structure” as a high priority.

The paragraph above shows you the end result of governments pursuing growth at any price. Cities attempt to outbid each other in an effort to secure a business that they want located in their city limits.

We’ve seen taxpayers on the hook for financing professional sports stadiums for the very same reasons: the promises of the positive economic impact.

Presently, the City  Johns Creek is discussing whether they should create a Development Authority.  It’s purpose would be to offer property tax abatements, financing and other incentives to locate here in Johns Creek.

Before we go further let me ask you this question,   “What was your incentive to locate to Johns Creek?”  Did you need property tax abatements, better financing options, or other offers to help you make the decision to locate here?

In past conversations regarding the Central Business District, I have consistently taken the stand that the private sector is the is best suited for determining what will be built on commercial properties. This would also include the scale for such buildings.

The decisions for the development of commercial properties should be left to the private sector.  Based upon their analysis on what their profitability will be given the market, their location, and the cost of their funds, they must decide whether or not they take the risk and start or relocate a business.

The proposed Development Authority, however, changes that equation.

A Development Authority can lead to a lower cost of funds for a business.  And while it’s hard for me to believe that any viable business could not get the funds they needed to open or relocate over the last 5-10 years with interest rates at artificially low levels, there are some on our City Council that want to work to get those businesses even lower rates.  Don’t you wish they were doing the same to get you lower rates on your home mortgage?

A Development Authority would offer tax abatements on said properties for ten years.  This abatement applies to local, county, and school taxes.  The first year the property taxes will be 50% of the appraised value.  The 2nd year it will be 55%.  This will continue through year ten.

We are told that this is never a loss in revenue because the new value of the property will generate more property tax revenue at 50% of the new value than it did at the old undeveloped value.

They cite this reason for treating new businesses with a cut in taxes, whereas currently established, loyal businesses would have more competition and not benefit from the tax break.

And here is what they are NOT telling you.  Our property tax valuations in Johns Creek, specifically commercial properties are so out of whack that they make no rational sense.   There’s a well discussed campus in Tech Park which is used as an example of how valuable it is to use a Development Authority to retain them. And maybe that has some merit.  But can someone explain why there are some acres on that campus that have the land valued at  $720,000 per acre and the adjoining parcel, which is used for parking, is valued at $60,000 per acre?

Some of our elected officials claim that we need the Development Authority to take some of the pressure of residential property taxes.   Perhaps we should start with having the commercial properties in Johns Creek fairly assessed.

Then, let’s make sure whatever tax decisions made are applied to all property owners and not just a select few.

Leave the development business to the private sector.

The City should provide a level playing field for everyone.  Anything less is wrong.


Johns Creek and 141: What’s Really Driving Our Traffic?

Over the last few years, no road has been discussed more in Johns Creek as to what to do to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion than Medlock Bridge Road(or 141).  The objective is to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion.  It has always been this author’s contention that unless we have defined the problem, we will not be able to select the right solution.  I have witnessed the opposite.  We start with a solution and then try to justify it.

It’s important that we begin to cut through the many myths about the 141 corridor and study the facts instead.  As the start of a multi-part series on this topic, I encourage you to review the pdf file attached in the link below.  It will show you the volume of vehicles in each direction at every intersection along 141 from the split between Peachtree Parkway and Peachtree Industrial Blvd to McGinnis Ferry Road. …

City Council Candidates Voter Guide: 2017


Election Day is Tuesday, Nov 7th.

7 am – 8 pm

Voting will be at your assigned poll.

Find your Polling Location here!


Why do you want to be a Councilperson?

Discuss 1 Tax you want to reform, if not, why?

How do you think the traffic woes should be improved?

What issue in Johns Creek you would like to Address?

What are your thoughts on creating a park in Johns Creek capable of hosting sports tournaments?

$ Candidate Campaign Donations: Post 1 & 3


$ Candidate Campaign Donations: Post 5 & Mayor




Source: Fulton County Elections

Comprehensive Land Use Plan Draft Update: New Timeline

 At the City Council meeting Monday night, Community Development Director Sharon Ebert gave an update to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan Draft. She has received feedback from over 200 residents. She requested Council to extend the timeline and create a second draft (to lower the density and make the document easier to read), which will be ready early 2018.
These changes are a result of the vocal residents who read our post published on Sept 9th: Land Use Comp Plan being PUSHED Thru Despite Residents Concernsin response to the lack of action from City Hall to implement reasonable suggestions to improve the readability of the document, and the understand the drastic changes proposed.
For historical context, on Sept 15th, we were contacted by the City Manager, regarding that post. Below is his email and JCP responses are in RED.
Dear Jennifer,
I noticed your posting about the comprehensive land use plan on your personal blog. I reviewed the information and found some factual errors and misleading statements included that I thought you would like to be made aware of so that you had the ability to correct the information.
  1.  “Land Use Comp Plan being Pushed Thru Despite Residents Concerns”
Comment:  The title is misleading.  The Comp plan is in its first rough draft form, has not been reviewed at a Council meeting by the Mayor and Council, has not had a public hearing and is not scheduled for a vote. The public process is just beginning.
Who here knew there would be multiple drafts and review processes?
No one. Please review your timeline on the website.

Clearly, this is not clear to anyone. It seems like Y’all are making this up as you go along. Also from the website, the LATEST Blog. Please note the date for public feedback is stated as Sept 15th.
It is being pushed thru despite concerns. Please review the above screenshots and the town hall July 25 discussion and make note of all the suggestions to improve the readability and understanding of this document. Where is the “better” before and after maps?  Plenty of suggestions were given, and not implemented. So yes, this is getting pushed thru, particularly when you are NOT executing the recommendations of the Mayor, Council, and Residents.

Please provide a timeline/action line for the residents so that they know where we are in this process.  For instance, if this in its first rough draft form, when is the 2nd rough draft going to be released?  Will the residents have an opportunity to provide feedback again?  How many drafts can we anticipate?

  1.  Some major points were missed:
    *  Major reduction in new residential development in all character areas
    *  No new townhomes in any residential character area, only single family detached
    *  Updated Comp Plan will result in a 65% reduction in the number of housing units compared to the current comp plan.  (14,000 current and 5,000 proposed)
    *  Transitional areas in the current comp plan have been eliminated along with allowable mixed use in those character areas
    *  91% of the future land use map shows no changes to existing land uses.
  1.  Mixed use development will be decreased
    *  Mixed use development is currently allowable in all C-1 zoning districts.  The draft Comp Plan only allows for mixed use developments in a compressed area of Tech Park bounded by Medlock Bridge Road, Johns Creek Parkway and East Johns Crossing and some existing but not all retail shopping centers where walkability is desirable.  This is a significant decrease in the amount of land where Mixed Use would be considered.  Furthermore, the mixed use category has been further limited in the updated Comp Plan.
Where and what were they considering? (see highlighted)
  1.  Low Intensity Mixed Use –
    *  Medlock and State Bridge – The commercial areas located at this intersection are not listed for any mixed-use redevelopment.
Please view for the rendering potential redevelopment
Why is the CAC including sketches and renderings of properties in a rough draft if this is not the intent?  Please see that they are removed from the next version of the draft, Since this is news there is a second version.
    *  A small area at Bell Road and McGinnis Ferry are currently designated in the 2008 comp plan for mixed use.  No change in this Comp Plan update except it would be recommended for the lowest intensity mixed use.
  1.  High Intensity Mixed Use –
    *  Barnwell and Holcolmb Bridge is limited to the shopping center that fronts Holcomb Bridge Road and borders the City of Roswell.
    *  Only the much smaller core area of Tech Park is recommended for high intensity mixed use, not the whole area.  The area recommended in Tech Park bounded by Medlock Bridge Road and JC Parkway south of East Johns Crossing
    *  The High Intensity Mixed Use density is lower than what is currently permitted in the Comp Plan for the Medlock Bridge Corridor Area which does not cap density, just height.  The 16 units per acre recommendation is a reduction from what is currently built in the area and the height restriction is being recommended to go down from 8 currently allowed to 5 stories.  Furthermore, the total land area allowed to be in High Intensity Mixed Use is considerably smaller than the Medlock Bridge Corridor Area.
Why must the CAC include any high intensity mixed use in our Comp Plan?
  1.  City’s current residential density is 1.6 units to the acre.  The comp plan update will lessen the rate of growth compared to what would be allowed using the current Comp Plan.  We have a very low residential density in Johns Creek compared to our neighbors, which is desirable and will not fundamentally change via this comp plan except to lower the rate of growth from our current path.
This is a false argument. Johns Creek already has more residents per acre than anyone around us. How will the new plan lessen the rate of growth?
Furthermore, residential density and commercial development are not the only factors that lead to increased traffic.  Single entrance subdivisions and pass through traffic also contribute to traffic congestion.  While you can argue that even one additional square foot of development or 1 unit of housing will exacerbate traffic, it is important to note that since the City’s incorporation, as shown below most of the existing density related to non-single family housing was created in the 1990s and early 2000s prior to the city’s incorporation.  Assisted Living/Senior restricted housing has no impact on schools and have minimal impact on traffic compared to other uses.  The growth in the number of apartment units is less than 1% per year and only included one apartment development.  Townhomes units have increased by less than 1% per year.  Townhomes will no longer be allowed under the updated Comp Plan.
I don’t see where it is stated that townhomes are not allowed in the draft plan.
Please provide the data and rate of change of “pass-through traffic” over the last ten years. Examine your own demographic data.  One of every two homes has school-age children, higher than neighboring communities by 50%. Non-rush hour traffic has seen the greatest increase in volumes because of this trend.
  1.  Dividing and Diminishing Shakerag
    *  The current Comp Plan allows for up to 3 dwelling units per acre for the Shakerag Character Area. The proposed Shakerag area reduces development to no more than 1 unit per acre.  Some of the existing area in Shakerag was cut out and moved to McGinnis Ferry.  It is true that those parcels would remain in the up to 3 units per acre category.  If they were retained in the Shakerag area they would be lowered to the one unit per acre standard.  Staff has received comments that keeping the area North of Bell Road in Shakerag and not moving it to McGinnis would be desirable.  We are reviewing that recommendation with the CAC and staff is also reviewing that specific input received
  1.  Proposed new road along cemetery – inappropriately located
    *  There is no mixed-use development proposed at State Bridge and Medlock Bridge Road.
    *  The private drive was sketched as a concept that has not been reviewed by Mayor and Council.  The idea was to use the existing drive as a new local public street to try to alleviate traffic congestion.  The road (as sketched) would be no closer to the cemetery than the current private drive.
This is false, the road is north of the current driveway. I am happy to show you in person. Remove this and other items like this from the next Draft version, since there will now be a second draft.
  1.  Roundabouts
    *  The comp plan suggests areas where a roundabout should be studied further if it would help move traffic and improve safety.  The Comp Plan update is not recommending that the roundabouts be installed.  It is recommended that they be studied further.
Please read the title. Potential Roundabouts. Isn’t the comp plan the right place for recommendations(policy more or less) for roundabouts? Why was this included?
  1.  Public comment
    *  We are not ending public comment on September 15th.  We will accept and consider all comments up to the point that the plan is approved by Mayor and Council.  The citizens of Johns Creek will continue to have ample opportunity to review the draft plan and provide feedback. The draft plan and all of the information regarding the plan and the planning process are available at<> and the draft plan has already been available for review since June 7, 2017.
Please review the Town Hall video (link above) from July 25th. This was last time the council as a body discussed when public comment ended for the draft. Has there been any discussion on the dais since then extending that date? No.
Are you indicating that there has been roving meetings or consensus obtained without a public meeting to move the Sept 15th date?
    *  Additionally, a public hearing will be conducted and Council will weigh in on the draft and its future drafts prior to the draft being sent to the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) for their review.  This public hearing has not yet been scheduled.  The ARC’s review typically takes 90 days.  A final draft will then be issued for another review by the public before going before the Mayor and City Council for review and approval.  All of these phases will have public comment encouraged.
    *  The City is required by law to adopt an update to the Comprehensive Plan by November 2018.  We still have 14 and a half months until our deadline.
    *  There is no deadline for receiving public input and the City welcomes comments and suggestions at any time in any manner in which the public would like to present it to the City.
    *  We encouraged comments on the first draft by September 15th so that we could share these with the Citizens Advisory Committee and Mayor and Council and for considering these comments as staff updates the first draft into the 2nd draft which will be made available for public review and comment.
  1.  Additional thoughts:
    *  The five policy goals were not listed in your post.  These are the key drivers of the whole comp plan:
i. Creating a city-wide multi-modal sustainable transportation network that reduces traffic congestion, increases intra-city mobility, and includes complete streets, cart, bike  and pedestrian pathways that connect neighborhoods to schools, parks, shopping centers, and institutional destinations;
ii. Creating an identity for the city that guides future development while preserving its residential neighborhoods and exceptional quality of life;
iii. Expanding the city’s economic base to retain and attract high tech industries while protecting residential home values;
iv. Providing superior recreational and cultural activities throughout the city, and
v. Developing tools to implement the goals, including developing a Unified Development Code with architectural and site design standards.
    *  The link to the 1st draft of the comp plan is a <> if your readers want to see the actual document and all of the other documents and items related to the comp plan.
Please review the website yourself, to see where you are stating inaccurate information about the timeline & Sept 15th.
Also go through the comp plan draft again. Notice an important word missing? DRAFT! Every page should be watermarked with Draft on it. Now you will need to include which draft version. This is amateur hour, and it is costing the taxpayers money and time.
Finally, can you please explain why the City is developing plans for a private property?

What does Johns Creek, GA, and Houston, TX have in common?

Houston, TX is a very large city in the USA, now ranked #4 in population and size. So how could little Johns Creek have anything in common?  Recently we witnessed some horrific flooding in Houston from Hurricane Harvey, so….how does this apply to Johns Creek?

Remember that Houston is the fastest growing city in Texas over the last 5 to 7 years with a 23% increase in population and housing.  Who is the fastest growing city in North Fulton County measured by density? Johns Creek is more DENSE per square mile than Roswell and Marietta.
Houston is much bigger in land mass and millions of people live there, how can we have any issue similar?  Let’s explore a historical problem that the current leadership in Johns Creek really doesn’t want to address. Storm Water management, what is that?  All of your highways, roads, parking lots, schools have storm drains which capture the rainwater and send it on its way. So why should I care?  Where does it go?
As we continue to develop, build, expand more buildings, roads, highways, parking lots we create less and less land that naturally absorbs rainwater. The compounding effect is much GREATER volume and much GREATER velocity (speed) of water that is no longer absorbed by the undeveloped land.
The current stormwater management system was put in place by Fulton County and the state via (GDOT). The low lying area’s within Johns Creek have retention ponds with earth dams designed to catch the stormwater runoff and slowly release the excess into the Johns Creek or tributaries that lead to Johns Creek or the Chattahoochee River.
The financial structure of this arrangement is that by law the subdivisions or neighborhoods that have these detention ponds must maintain the condition of them at their expense. This costly burden on the homeowner associations benefits the whole City including visitors who travel our roads, and highways safely whenever we have a rain storm. Is this a fair and equitable arrangement created by government?
When Johns Creek became a City, those of us aware of this problem were excited we would get the better attention and solutions to our problem, but after 11 years, it has been ignored.
Allow me to take you through a bit of history and show you the “dirty underbelly” of aggressive growth and high density. The picture below was taken in 2000, this is a backyard in Stonehaven that the Johns Creek river splits the owner’s yard in half. The bridge was built in 1993 the width of the creek/river was 35 feet wide. The water never reached within three feet of the bridge ever. 

In 2009 in the same backyard during the flood, in the middle of the picture below is a locked sewer cap and raw sewerage is coming out. This is NOT in the creek/river but as you can see somehow the sewer system becomes pressurized during the flood. 

The tool shed sitting on a 6-inch concrete pad was 40 feet from the creek bank.

In the 2013 Flood, note the fallen tree that is crashing into that very bridge. While in 2009 was only three years after the city was formed you can see what growth and development can do to a small little creek.

The development of all the property adjacent to the Standard Club on Medlock Bridge Rd, the Mixed-Use Development “Johns Creek Walk”, the Catholic Church and Jewish Temple on Parsons Rd, Emory Hospital also added more development and hardscape. You MUST develop greater infrastructure to deal with these stormwater events BEFORE you widen roads or develop the land. 

Is this the only location in Johns Creek with this issue?

NO, according to the City Manager Warren Hutmacher there are over 110 similar issues regarding stormwater and retention ponds.

Does the city provide any financial assistance to the subdivisions who have these retention ponds that capture all the stormwater runoff and silt from the roadways, parking lots, schools that contribute to this problem? NO.

This is a historical problem that is only growing worse.

The creators of these issues are the state of GA in the form of (GDOT), Fulton County and now for 11 years, the City of Johns Creek. The erosion continues and that sleepy little creek has gone from 35 feet wide to about 55 feet wide. Over 13 trees were lost in the 2013 flood and the shed with about 800 lbs of tools floated away. Fortunately, the shed was stuck between some trees so the owner was able to salvage some tools. A 700 lbs covered swing was swept away.

So as you can see this is very dramatic, yet more development is planned as we discuss this. I have brought up this subject many. many times to the Mayor and City Council and most recently the other night to the Planning Commission. The only thing I can say from my observation is we just might be trying to become the next Houston, TX which would really be sad.

The irony of it all, we form a new city called “Johns Creek” yet we abuse this small body of water which is our namesake? WE NEED T-SPLASH NOT T-Splost first before you actually harm people. This is a safety issue if we continue the “Ostrich” approach of ignoring the issue as the current leadership has done.

Since we’ve become a City 11 years ago what has been done to improve our stormwater management? Absolutely NOTHING…..why? Who in our local government has been here the whole time?

Tom Corrigan

JCP Candidate Forum: Smashing Success! Mayor Candidate Alex Marchetti Videos on the Issues

It was a packed clubhouse Sunday afternoon, for the JCP Mayor & City Council Candidate Forum.

Special Thanks to Karyn Greer of CBS46, Medlock Bridge HOA & all of the residents that attended. Thank you!

All the Candidates were in attendance. Unfortunately, Mayor Bodker left early after the introduction, to attend the funeral of a former city employee. Lenny Zaprowski attended the same funeral, as was able to stay an hour longer and answers questions. Below are videos of Alex Marchetti solely answering the questions:

Mayor Seat

On Traffic Congestion

City Contracts

What are some strengths and weaknesses of our police force?

What are your thoughts on how to implement the parks plan and spend the park bond monies?

Should the city be involved in providing workforce housing?

What do you want to do regarding public works outsourced to CH2?