• Flashback: City Council Discuss the Comp Plan Draft & Proposed High Density

    By Staff
    September 15, 2017

    Just a few months ago, at the last town hall on July 25th, 2017, residents and council members had serious concerns about the readability and material comprised within the Comp Plan Draft.

    It was also stated during the meeting, Sept 15th is the deadline for feedback. It was also mentioned they can push the date to November if needed. Why November? Why not January or February? Whoever is elected in the coming election will have to govern with the Comp Plan, so shouldn't they be the ones to decide what is in it and vote on it?

    High Density was also a Big Concern during that Town Hall. Below is a snippet of that conversation, questioning why so much Mixed Use Development is in the draft.

    Councilman Lenny Zaprowski proudly discusses allowing mixed-use development in Johns Creek, how the citizens want this, referring to the comp plan draft.

    So Residents, what do you think?

    Should the current City Council and Mayor Vote on the comp plan draft, OR wait till after the new year, so whoever is elected or re-elected can vote on this important document?



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    Sounds like the citizens advisory committee has done a great job. Controlled growth to fill empty shopping centers. Or would you rather see dilapidated store fronts, more goodwiils and dollar stores?

    EJ Moosa

    Let's talk about Tax Yield Per Acre, which is the real driving force behind the higher densities. Does the CAC actually buy into this strategy of how we will go forward in Johns Creek?

    Does the CAC really buy into the concept that it is up to them to create redevelopment plans for properties that are privately owned?

    No one has better incentives than the property owners to redevelop and update their properties more than the property owners themselves.

    And they would, if the market conditions supported it. They do not.

    It's time Johns Creek kept chasing tax dollars and lived within their means. And if they cannot do it without having to create higher and higher densities, just go ahead and tell us now.

    It's ok if that is going to be the governing principle for Johns Creek. But if it is, we have the right to know.

    EJ Moosa

    I've highlighted and documented some concerns of mine and have posted a link below to the pdf(through page 64). My comments may or may not appear depending on the browser you are using. If you would like me to email my version of the pdf, send an email to ineednotes@ejmoosa(dot)com and I will send.

    The notes are my observations only and do not reflect anyone else's POV.



    I would prefer to focus the conversation on Paul's point. What do we want as a city? Controlled growth or no growth? If the latter, then our best days are probably behind us as the strip centers, tech park and housing stock ages...

    EJ Moosa

    I completely reject your two choices Lydia. There is a third option: growth and redevelopment as market allows.

    It is not nor has it ever been the government's responsibility to redevelop private property(although they love to do so).

    What should the City do? Fix the congestion, lower the costs of business taxes and operating expenses, and then allow the businesses to do the rest.

    And when there is the market for these redevelopments, they will reoccur.

    We've already seen too much commercial development in North Atlanta. The City's own reports even confirm this. See the market analysis for the CBD or the market analysis included in the CLUP.

    So how is it the cure to too much vacant retail space is to add even more retail space in various locations throughout the City?


    Mr Moosa, in all fairness, there are many who disagree with your views. Of course this blog doesn't allow them.

    EJ Moosa

    So Paul, then it IS the government's responsibility to manage commercial real estate?

    And they should ignore their own market analysis that shows our area is already overbuilt?

    I appreciate that you disagree with my views. But what about showing your arguments as to why I would be wrong?

    Zane Edge

    Paul, if that’s what you go by, sorta similar to Madonna or Beyoncé, I have never known this blog to censor comments no matter how bold or sensational. It has rejected comments that had facts proven to be incorrect and this takes research and judgment on the part of the editor folks. Actually, that’s way more than most media outlets are doing today. The Johns Creek Herald has very slowly morphed over the years into a tabloid publication that is increasingly consistent now with Ray Appen’s uber-liberal views. So go ahead and assemble the folks that disagree here and let them make informed factual comments. I’m waiting. This is why the JCH has decreasing credibility in Johns Creek and the JCP readership consistently increases!!

    Sun Tzu

    It would be prudent to WAIT... till January.

    Mark Venco

    Over the last year of CAC meetings I break it down this way:

    Months 1-5: Consultants driving the discussions and not listening to what the residents want.

    Months 6-10: Consultant contracts ending and CAC members starting having more of a greater voice.

    Months 11 to now: it's now left to the CAC members, discussions have been productive and now we are now more in the driver's seat.

    Example: I proposed Residential Nodes concept in months 1-5, got no traction from the consultants, proposed again in August (no consultants) and now it's on the agenda and being considered.

    The headwinds(short term hopefully): Sharon Ebert has reduced staff due to city staff changes. City Hall is moving).

    The best part, Sharon was very smart to start the process one year ahead of time and we have until Oct. 2018 to complete the plan.

    We have one more year left to develop the plan without consultants in the way and the decisions on election day will affect how Johns Creek gets developed over the next 20 years, with the next review in 10 years. The time is now to act on defining our comp plan

    EJ Moosa

    Thank you Mark for the update. It's been difficult for any of us trying to parse this massive document an actual timeline on where we were.

    Can you tell me if the CAC has discussed this section on Tax Yield Per Acre and whether or not they support the premise that Johns Creek needs to be pursuing higher tax yields per acre?

    Thank you.

    Mark Venco


    One thing to know about me, I will always give an honest answer, even if it's not what a person wants to hear.

    As a CAC member, I never heard the context of the conversation centered around Tax Yield Per Acre even when the consultants were around. When discussing Mixed Use and Condo/Townhomes, it was always about the trends with millennials. How if we didn't follow the trend, our city would age quickly and not keep up with other cities. It was all about working nearby to where you live and not needing cars. That was how it was presented.

    i was taught a long time ago, when presenting, always know your audience, these people were no fools. They knew if they did a tax based presentation, it would have been immediate failure with the residents and the CAC.


    @ Mark Venco

    "One thing to know about me, I will always give an honest answer, even if it’s not what a person wants to hear."

    So, apart from voting for yourself, who are you planning to vote for Mayor & Council Posts 1 and 5?

    Mark Venco

    My vote for Mayor and Posts 1 and 5 will be about the candidates that share my belief in a process that establishes a greater voice for the homeowners and residents.

    We need to fix the process first and my ideas are new and part of a larger detailed plan which you'll here more about at the debate.

    I'm a problem solver, that is my biggest strength and to implement my ideas it takes four votes on council and these are new ideas. I need to do my due diligence to determine who will align with my platform. It could be any of the candidates but I will say this much, for those that are willing to keep and open mind and listen to my plan, I am confident that the residents of Johns Creek will have a much greater voice if my plan is implemented. We will see if there are three other candidates that share my views.

    The straight answer - I don't know yet. Find me three more candidates that will support my plan and there you have it.

    Alex Marchetti

    The proposed JC Comp Plan continues to raise more questions than answers. I believe it is time for us to slow the process down and reevaluate the complexities and impacts on the residents of JC. Let’s not compound the already challenging traffic congestion, tax base and quality of life in our community.
    Alex Marchetti


    And how long has "smart" Sharon Ebert lived in the City of JC?

    Mark Venco

    We can all be judged for making good and bad decisions throughout our lives, myself included. I am just thankful that we have another year to address what we want as residents on the Comp Plan. Remember this document is valid for the next 20 years.

    I'm very thankful for that additional time.

    Zane Edge

    Just a minor correction to what council member Zaprowski is saying. The low, med, and high density mixed use designations in the new Comp Plan involve 8, 12, and 16 units-per-acre respectively. His recollection is off by a density factor of 2.

    Also, keep in mind the business group represented 25% of the CAC makeup. The residential group made up 37% of the CAC. And this despite the fact that Johns Creek is 93% residential by address. So even when the contractors were not engaged, the deck was stacked on the CAC.

    Mark Venco


    That is why this election it's very important that we elect candidates that have the ability to come up with solutions and present those ideas in a constructive manner. Just talking about what the problems are, won't cut it anymore. Experience is essential this election cycle.

    Whoever is elected will be voting on the Comp Plan in 2018, like I mentioned before, It's a 20 year decision.

    Mark Venco
    Candidate - Post 3

    Suzi Krizan

    I have a question for Lenny Zaprowski from one of my eblast readers.

    On that Utube video ..at the 1:23 time, Lenny states," No Apartments". Three seconds later he says. "They may be apts".


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