Council Needs to Follow the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (Repost from June 2016)

Following is a republished post from June 2016.  It provides insight into Milton’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP), which lays out a detailed design for how different parts of Milton are to be developed.  It is not legally binding (vs. Milton’s zoning laws); however, the CLUP is an important guide to City staff and to Council, and it frequently referenced in land use battles.


For months, two Council Members, Kunz and Lusk, and their vanishingly small band of sycophants have been claiming that cluster housing is consistent with Milton’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP).  Council member Kunz gave a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation claiming that the CLUP justifies homes on lots of <1/4 of an acre on a beautiful country road.  And this was recently posted on-line by one of Mr. Kunz’s admiring fans:

BTW there is nothing in the Comp plan about LOT SIZES

This is simply not true.  The CLUP has a section for each area of Milton.  Sweetapple, where Ebenezer is located, is a designated area under the CLUP.  For each area, the appropriate land uses are designated and then the “Appropriate Zoning Districts in this Area” are designated.  See below table cut and pasted from the CLUP.

CLUP table for Sweet Apple

Well, AG-1 specifies lot sizes of >1 acre.  R1 designates lot sizes of >2 acres.  Those are the facts.  The underlying zoning does not support homes on less than 1/4 acre.  That’s right, folks.  Eight of Brightwater’s lots in its proposed subdivision are <1/4 acre.  And remember that during the whole debate over the CSO on December 7th of last year, 5 out of 7 council members were opposed to lots < 1/2 acre.  So this proposal is worse than what was being proposed in the CSO and much worse than than the minimum half acre lots that were being proposed by the council members that were seeking a compromise in the run-up to the CSO vote.

Proponents of the 745 Ebenezer Road rezoning are also pointing to the CLUP to justify “conservation” subdivisions.  They claim that “conservation subdivisions” are mentioned in the CLUP “at least 10 times.”  It is actually only 7 times in a 116 page document, but we won’t quibble.  But here is the important point.  The CLUP only directs the city  to “consider” conservation subdivisions.  CONSIDER is the operative word.  Well, the city did consider it.  In fact, the City has been obsessed with “conservation subdivisions” for 2 years, to the exclusion of many land-use solutions (like a tougher tree ordinance) that citizens can actually rally behind.  And in December 2015, City Council rejected “conservation” cluster housing by a vote of 7-0.  So the City has considered “conservation subdivisions” and rejected them.

Unfortunately, Special Interests and the two most pro-development members of Council won’t take NO for an answer.  They are seeking to implement the CSO by misusing Milton’s zoning laws.  They have held Milton’s land-use planning hostage for two years now.  They are bound and determined to shove “conservation subdivisions” down the throats of Milton citizens.  They are bound and determined to provide builders a means to profitably develop land that is currently uneconomic to develop.  Folks, so-called “conservation” subdivisions have been used to open up marginal lands to development across the Atlanta area.  Conservation of land that is unbuildable or uneconomic to develop is traded for density.  This is the reason that at every meeting on this issue, it is citizens on one side and Special Interests (developers, lobbyists, community septic vendors, landowners, consultants) on the other side.  It is a complete SCAM.  And the vast majority of Milton citizens know it.