Chamblee’s efforts to reduce its environmental footprint through the adoption of eco-friendly policies and ordinances to minimize environmental impacts is a long-standing tradition. In close partnership with other organizations like Keep Chamblee Beautiful, established in 1991, the community is served by organizations that promote awareness and provide opportunity to operate more sustainably. The city regulations and policies are moving forward as well. It is imperative to educate the community on the work the city is doing to promote sustainability—not only to promote our efforts, but also to raise awareness and inspire more action. The city would like to become an example for best practices in sustainability. In May 2018, City Council adopted a number of policies that impact the efficiency and sustainability of your local government. Here’s a list of the following policies that were adopted:

  • Complete Streets Policy – Each City road project needs to be analyzed to determine if bike lanes, sidewalks, transit shelters, and other modes of transportation can be accommodated. This policy also requires bicycle parking at City facilities.
  • No Net Loss of Trees Policy – Every tree removed on City property has to be replaced with another…with some reasonable exceptions.
  • Sustainable Buildings Policy - All future government buildings over 5,000 square feet are required to be LEED or a similar green building certification. All buildings under the threshold, along with building renovations, are required to be ENERGY STAR or EarthCraft certified.
  • Sustainable Purchasing Policy – More sustainable options are required to be considered when making purchases for the City—that includes the requirement to purchase 30 percent post-consumer recycled paper and for electronics to be ENERGY STAR certified.
  • Sustainable Landscaping Policy – Requires sustainable planting, watering, and pest management practices on City property.
  • Energy Conservation Policy – Requires all electronic equipment, thermostats, and other office equipment to be powered down or set to more efficient modes when not in use.
  • No Idling Policy – Requires all vehicles used for City business (City-owned or personal) to be turned off when not in transit to prevent the excess pollution created from idling vehicles. Reasonable exemptions apply to emergency vehicles too.
  • Sustainable Building Plan Review – Development plans submitted for structures that are seeking discretionary green building certifications or propose sustainable components, like solar panels, will receive expedited review.
  • Commute Incentives Policy - The Commute Incentives Policy establishes standards for the City's support of employees who choose alternatives to driving alone to work, reinforces the City's commitment to environmental stewardship, and reaffirms the City's commitment to pedestrian- and bike-friendliness and transit-oriented development that positively affects all residents, workers, and visitors.
The City is involved in other plans and initiatives that promote sustainability and a healthier, safer community.

  • Water Resource Management Plan - The City complies with the management plan as a function of the Service Delivery Strategy with DeKalb County.
  • Safe Routes to School and Bicycle/Pedestrian Plan. We'll be developing a Multi-Modal Transportation Plan over the next year that will incorporate these concepts. There will be numerous opportunities to contribute to the conversation. Stay connected!
  • Traffic Signal Synchronization - The City has partnered with GDOT to synchronize traffic signals throughout the major transportation corridors.
  • Outdoor Lighting Efficiency - The City has adopted a dark skies ordinance that require cut-off fixtures be installed to prevent the glare of light onto other properties and inefficiently into the sky. Refer to Section 230-31 in the Unified Development Ordinance for the specifics.

There are a number of regulations promoting sustainability right here in the community that have been a part of the regulatory framework for some time. Did you know the City requires all buildings over 20,000 square feet in size to be LEED, Green Globes, or similarly certified? Newer structures around town have been certified: Mercy Care, Whole Foods, The Oliver mixed-use, The Windsor Apartments at Parkview on Peachtree mixed-use, Life Storage, and CubeSmart, or are under construction and in the process of being certified: SLX Atlanta mixed-use, Attiva Malone mixed-use, and Space Shop Self-Storage, to name a few. The City also requires developments of a certain size to provide electric vehicle changing stations, and all new commercial developments to provide bicycle parking. These developments will begin to connect and make a framework of infrastructure to support these alternative forms of transportation. In early 2018, the City began requiring new commercial and multi-family construction and redevelopment that is exempt from sustainable certification to meet certain Sustainability Measures put in place by the city. Many developments, or developments under-construction, have had to meet these measures.

The sidewalk network is beginning to fill in with both public and private investments contributing to a stronger network of connectivity. Those components will eventually connect into portions of the Rail Trail, where bicyclists and pedestrians may choose to commute on the off-street paths for their everyday needs. The vision of a sustainable Chamblee is strong, and the leaders are committed to taking the steps to get there.

Did you know about these other great things happening in your community?

  • The City enforces the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) that provides thresholds for bringing existing structures into compliance.
  • The City has been working to change out incandescent traffic lights to LEDs as they burn out. The process is expected to be complete by the end of this year, so we will be able to save money for the power and reduce the cost of maintaining the lights since they will last longer. The City also has an agreement with GDOT to synchronize traffic lights in major corridors to improve traffic flow through the City.
  • The City enforces the Energy Code. The Chief Building Official requires all construction projects to conduct duct leakage and blower door tests and complete housewrap inspections to ensure the structures that are being erected are meeting efficiency requirements. See the Permits and Inspections page for more details. 
  • Parking lots in the City have a minimum amount of landscaping required. Even though parking lots are a necessary part of development, the regulations promote cooling/shading and aesthetic improvements. There are also opportunities allowed in the code to create less parking through a shared parking analysis. Some uses demand parking at different hours than others—think offices and restaurants. That allows developers to better collocate uses on sites and take advantage of their parking demand to develop fewer total spaces than had they been developed separately.
  • The City of Chamblee provides its own municipal recycling and yard debris collection services for residential and City facilities. The City also collects nontraditional materials such as ink cartridges and rechargeable batteries at every third Saturday of the month. See the Electronics Recycling and the Yard Waste Collection pages for more details.
  • The City collaborated with Keep Chamblee Beautiful to host its first of many recurring Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) events at Plaza Fiesta in August. The City will host the event annually in August. Check back for details about next year's event.
  • The City partners with other organizations in the City to promote a sustainable Chamblee, including Keep Chamblee Beautiful and students at Chamblee Charter High School. Not only do the students volunteer for park clean-ups and recycling events, we've also engaged the Environmental Science Club to serve an ongoing advisory role in our planning efforts. Currently, the students will be engaged to help make recommendations on the Multi-Modal Transportation Plan.
  • The Public Works Department is going solar! This fall, solar arrays will be installed on the Public Works building that will help offset some of the energy consumption from the building. An installation at the Public Works facility would cost $63,500 and save the City an estimated $10,000 per year over 30 years. The initial savings would be roughly $7,000 per year. This would generate a clash flow payback of approximately eight years.
  • The City of Chamblee provides resources to the community to provide education for water resources. Find us at community events passing out information on stormwater and hosting a water activity for kids. See below for copies of water resources and an explanation of how you can perform your own water activity at home. We will be hosting a rain barrel class in the near future, so check back for more details!
              - Home Water Audit
              - Rain Gardens
              - Pet Waste
              - Stormwater
              - Pervious and Impervious Surfaces Activity