Sustainability

Statement

"Chamblee envisions a city developing to meet the needs of its citizens without compromising the ability of natural, social, and economic systems to provide for future residents." 

- One Chamblee Comprehensive Plan, 2020

Strategy

Adopted Plans

The City of Chamblee recognizes that protecting our natural resources, promoting conservation, and supporting walkable and energy efficient development is important to quality of life and economic resilience. To become a regional leader in sustainability, Chamblee will implement recommended actions from its adopted master plans, such as:

  • Promoting developments are environmentally sensitive and protect valuable resources (natural and cultural)
  • Ensuring adequate high-quality water through protection of ground and surface water resources. 
  • Continuing to support and develop enhanced solid waste reduction and recycling initiatives.
  • Encouraging sustainable policies, practices, and programs to better protect the natural environment for the health and well being of future generations.

To read all recommended action plans in effect, click on your desired Cover Page below:

Metro North GA Water Resource Mgmt Plan Icon Opens in new windowChamblee completed an audit with Georgia Environmental Protection Division and is compliant with the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District’s Water Resource Management Plan. 
One Chamblee Comp Plan Icon Opens in new windowChamblee’s Comprehensive Master Plan adopted in 2019 offers various Natural Resource and Sustainability recommendations, including six new initiatives intended to help the city pursue "Platinum" level under the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Green Communities Program.
Parks and Recreation Update Icon Chamblee’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan focuses on acquiring, developing, and connecting parks, facilities, green spaces, and recreation opportunities through 2026. Chamblee’s Multi-Chamblee Mobility Transportation Plan Icon Opens in new windowmodal Transportation Plan integrates concepts such as safe routes to school and complete streets. Its recommendations call for the construction of at least 5 miles of new sidewalks through infill projects, 15 new miles of trails, 10+ intersection realignments, and a mobility hub at  Chamblee MARTA station


Unified Development Ordinance

The city enforces the Unified Development Ordinance that provides thresholds for bringing existing structures into zoning compliance, so as to guide development toward the visions as outlined in the city’s comprehensive plans. Some of the best practices in sustainability upheld by Chamblee’s code include:

  • All construction projects are required by Chief Building Official to conduct duct leakage, blower door tests and complete house wrap inspections to ensure the structures that are being erected are meeting efficiency requirements. See the Permits and Inspections page for more details.
  • One over-story tree is required for every eight parking spaces and each space must within 40 feet of a tree to support adequate shade coverage in surface parking lots.
  • Electric vehicle charging stations are required for commercial projects over a specified size. In addition, buildings more than 20,000 square feet are required to be LEED certified. 
  • Shared parking for complimentary uses is permitted and reduced parking requirements are available for transit oriented developments. Parking over the minimum requirement must be constructed of permeable paving. 

Policies 

On May 16, 2017, a framework of sustainability policies was adopted by the Chamblee City Council and Mayor. The policies established a baseline of  formal governance and environmental stewardship goals, and formally declared the city’s ambition to become a regional leader in sustainable development and operations. Many of these elements have been integrated into comprehensive plans adopted after 2017. As such, implementation of these policies continues to guide daily decision making. 

In 2019, the Atlanta Regional Commission recognized the City of Chamblee’s commitment to sustainability, upgrading the city from Bronze Level to Gold Level under their Green Communities Program. This program recognizes exceptional work in the areas of development, community engagement and parks and recreation. Through holistic implementation of our sustainability policy framework, zoning codes, initiatives and adopted city plans, the city’s hopes to move closer to attaining "Platinum" Status. 

Click to read full Complete Streets Policy Opens in new window  
  • Where possible, design roadways to accommodate all users, retrofit bike lanes on resurfacing projects, and provide at least three bike parking spaces at city facilities to promote last mile connectivity.  
Click to read full Energy Conservation Policy Opens in new window 
Turn off all lights and office equipment when not in use, maximize use of natural light near windows, reset thermostats to most efficient setting
Click to read full Employee Commute Incentives Policy
Full time city employees who commute to a city facility for work seven days out of the month by walking, biking, transit or ride share are eligible for an additional $30 (gift card) per month. 
 Click to read full No Net Loss of Trees Policy Opens in new window
Removed trees on city property must be replaced, unless diseased, hazardous or in proven conflict with utilities or utility easements
 Click to read full Sustainable Building Review Policy Opens in new window
Expedited review is available for projects submitting for LEED certification or similar or integrating approved green features. 
 Click to access latest Outdoor Lighting regulations on Municode.  Opens in new window
Dark skies compliant cut-off fixtures must be used to prevent light spillover into the sky and adjacent properties. Traffic light bulbs to be replaced with LED bulbs as they burn out. 
Click to read full Sustainable Landscaping Policy. Opens in new window
Reduce pesticide use by planting native species. Use mulch from on-site plant debris. Irrigate and care for root systems using sustainable gardening practices. 
Click to read full No Idling Policy Opens in new window
Turn off city vehicles (assigned or personal) when not in use, with exceptions for limited safety, emergency or temperature sensitive operations. 
Click to read full Sustainable Purchasing Policy Opens in new window
Buy goods or services with less negative environmental impact (see: preferred environmental criteria). 
Click to read full Sustainable Building Policy Opens in new window
LEED certification or similar, high efficiency plumbing fixtures and Energy Star equipment/fixtures are required for facilities sized 5000 gross square feet or greater

To read the all 2017 Sustainability Policies adopted by Council, click on the icons above or download all HERE.

To access Staff Training / Sustainability Chamblee Presentation, click HERE.

To access the Local Waters Awareness Packet, click HERE

Successes

In partnership with Georgia Department of Transportation, Chamblee synchronized traffic signals across major corridors in the city. Doing this helps mitigate congestion and improved safety for pedestrians at intersection crossings.

Image of traffic lights turned red.

Chamblee hosts annual Rain Barrel Making workshops as part of Local Waters Awareness Program. It also works to keep residents informed about city efforts in sustainability through social media and The Signal newsletter. To download a packet of flyers with some water stewardship information and activities you can do from home, click on image below.

Image of blue rain barrel.

In 2003, Chamblee was fifth in the nation to become a Certified Wildlife Habitat Community. This program by the National Wildlife Federation provides community resources to restore urban wildlife habitats and keep them healthy.

Image of Chamblee Certified Wildlife Habitat Homepage

Chamblee was recognized as a Tree CIty USA community in 2018. Credit to Keep Chamblee Beautiful for this picture. Maintaining this designation requires the city to have a tree commission, a tree ordinance, an urban forestry program with a budget of $2 per capita, and to recognize Arbor Day annually.

Image of volunteers holding Tree City USA banner.

Chamblee remediated a brownfield site home to a former Frito Lay Distribution Center. The site is now home to our new Public Works Building. Powered by solar panels, the new building saves tax payers $7000 per year in electricity costs.

Image of solar panels installed on roof of Chamblee Public Works Building.

Chamblee offers curbside recycling to single family households. In 2017, 500 tons of recycling was collected. We also open our new Public Works facility to the public on the third Saturday of each month, for electronics recycling. Click to be redirected to Electronics Recycling page for more information.

Image of electronics in a green recycling bin.

Hosted Household Hazardous Waste Collection event with Keep Chamblee Beautiful at Plaza Fiesta. Offered households the opportunity to exchange 1 incandescent bulb for 1 LED bulb at event.

Image of LED bulbs distributed at Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event.

Achieved Gold Level under Atlanta Regional Commission Green Communities Program. Click to learn more about the program.

Image of ARC Green Communities Program logo for Gold Level Communities.
Image of Did You Know Table listing quick facts on innovative Chamblee sustainability regulations.