Cooperative growth is being memorialized with the first growth boundary agreement approval in nearly 20 years.
The Woodstock City Council unanimously approved the Memorandum of Understanding April 11, and the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the agreement April 19.
The Growth Boundary Agreement is a document that defines and limits future growth for a city. While not legally binding, the city generally agrees to limit its annexations to areas inside the boundary, and the county generally agrees not to oppose annexations there. Leadership and planning officials on both sides have met extensively for the past several months and have agreed to implement the program to better manage growth and serve all citizens.
“This joint growth boundary agreement represents a historic milestone in the relationship between our city and county. We are working proactively together to plan for growth before it arrives, ensuring we build our community for the good of all of our citizens,” said Woodstock Mayor Michael Caldwell. “I am proud of each of the parties for coming together to accomplish this generational win.”
“City/county cooperation is essential to effectively manage the overall growth and development of our county. This agreement with Woodstock is a huge step toward that goal. I’m grateful to Mayor Caldwell, the Woodstock City Council, and to the District County Commissioners for their work in making it happen,” said Cherokee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Harry Johnston.
With the approval of the growth boundary agreement, which expires in June 2028, Woodstock and Cherokee County have relaunched a program that guides sensible growth and aligns character areas. The document will be used as both Woodstock and Cherokee County update their respective Comprehensive Land Use Plans, which are required to receive grants and other funds from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
The Woodstock Growth Boundary encompasses an area generally around the current city limits. On the south and east sides, the areas extend to the county lines with Cobb and Fulton, south of Highway 92 and the Little River, respectively. Lack of bridges over Little River limit the county’s ability to provide public safety services in that area. On the west side, the area abuts Putnam Ford Drive and includes frontage along Highway 92 that extends more or less to Hartwood Drive, about one-third of a mile from Bells Ferry Road. On the north side, the area abuts the City of Holly Springs, mostly following the Little River and Arnold Mill Road, arriving at a corner on the east side with Trickum Road.
Cherokee County leaders will continue to work on similar agreements with other cities. A Growth Boundary Agreement with Canton already is in place with an expiration of 2053. Plans to update the agreement are in the works, and county staff and elected leadership are working on agreements with Holly Springs and Ball Ground.
“We’ve had a growth boundary agreement with Canton that has worked well for years. Now we have this agreement with Woodstock, and we have a conceptual understanding with Holly Springs,” Johnston said. “This progress goes far toward securing the future quality of life in Cherokee County.”
ABOUT CHEROKEE COUNTY
Located 30 miles north of downtown Atlanta, Cherokee County is part of the 11-county metro-Atlanta area. Cherokee County boasts a population of more than 266,000, according to the 2020 Census. It is one of the fastest growing counties in the metro region and its overall Board of Commissioners-controlled tax burden per capita is the lowest in the region. Cherokee County has world-class parks and recreational facilities, is a destination for corporate headquarters and is a great place to live, work and play. Cherokee County is the best of both worlds because it’s where “Metro Meets the Mountains.” Learn more at cherokeega.com.
ABOUT THE CITY OF WOODSTOCK
Located just 30 miles north of Atlanta, Woodstock’s City limits include more than 12 square miles and over 35,000 residents. Woodstock is a Georgia PlanFirst Community, a Platinum Level ARC Green Community, and a recipient of Georgia Municipal Association’s Live Work Play City Award. Learn more at woodstockga.gov.