Trail Development Resolution


WHEREAS, trails and greenspace are considered to be of the utmost importance for enhancing the quality of life for DeKalb County citizens to improve health, promote clean air, protect the environment, provide an alternative transportation system, stimulate economic development, and create a renewed sense of community; and

WHEREAS, a comprehensive trail system creates opportunities for healthy recreation and outdoor activities and exercises that promote healthy lifestyles; and

WHEREAS, trails provide safe transportation networks for pedestrians and bicyclists and function as viable corridors to avoid congested streets and highways through greenways on foot or by non-motorized means thereby promoting walkable communities; and

WHEREAS, trails are a valuable community asset that connects destinations for DeKalb County residents and visitors that promotes tourism, and draws them to neighboring communities, stimulating local businesses, the economy, and economic development; and

WHEREAS, linear greenways preserve corridors of trees and natural landscapes, connect fragmented habitats and wetlands, and conserve plant and animal species, allowing DeKalb County citizens to experience nature with little environmental impact; and

WHEREAS, DeKalb County is one of ten counties in the Metro-Atlanta region, the fourth most populated county in the state, and has experienced significant growth over the last twenty years: and

WHEREAS, greenspace is disappearing in DeKalb County as 80% of the land has undergone development, resulting in unprecedented sprawl and in-fill development where ample greenspace and critical environment areas must be preserved; and

WHEREAS, the effect of urbanization increases annual streamflow, flooding, and run-off during a storm event and increases impervious surfaces affecting DeKalb County’s water quality, causes stressors on stream ecosystems, increases concentrations of contaminants, such as nitrogen, chloride, insecticides, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and increases the loss of sensitive invertebrate species; and

WHEREAS, the Georgia Community Greenspace Program, passed into law under Governor Roy Barnes in 2000, encouraged Georgia counties to voluntarily set aside 20% of land for greenspace in response to the growing population and urbanization; and

WHEREAS, DeKalb County joined the Georgia Community Greenspace Program in November 2000, and adopted a Joint DeKalb/Municipal Greenspace Program that led to the development of the Initiative for a Green DeKalb in 2001 to implement a county-wide plan for the county’s greenway system; and

WHEREAS, DeKalb County adopted the DeKalb Greenway Trails Master Plan in 2000 in partnership with the PATH Foundation aided in the establishment of a trail system consisting of 127 miles of greenways; and

WHEREAS, DeKalb County and PATH Foundation have a master agreement to build trails resulting in over 18 miles of the greenway to date; and

WHEREAS, an update to the master trail plan is needed to create a comprehensive trail system throughout the county to protect the natural environment and resources that incorporate existing trails, adds new trails and access points, and connects to the North Fork Peachtree Creek Trail, South Peachtree Creek Path Trail, Peachtree Creek Greenway, Arabia Mountain Path, the Atlanta Beltline, and other major trailways and provides a framework for short-term and long-term maintenance and management; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the governing authority of DeKalb County, Georgia that DeKalb County:
  1. Adopts a comprehensive master trail plan by 2023; and
  1. Acquires land and open space as necessary to conserve greenspace and build a comprehensive network of trails; and
  1. Incorporates public participation to create a comprehensive master trail plan that is vital to the planning process; and
  1. Creates and promotes equitable and inclusive trail development throughout DeKalb County through the use of data and public engagement to identify areas in need oftrailsand greenways; and
  1. Develop a comprehensive master trail development prioritization plan to outline traildevelopment cost and work to be undertaken throughout the county to establish firmtimelines for trail development.
  1. Establish a dedicated funding source and account through the set-aside of 10% ofmonies obtained through the Hotel/Motel Tax Fund and 5% of SPLOST along withother funding mechanisms to implement, develop and construct a comprehensive trailsystem throughout DeKalb County.
ADOPTED by the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners, this ______ day of __________, 2022. _________ Presiding Officer Board of Commissioners DeKalb County, Georgia
APPROVED by the Chief Executive Officer of DeKalb County, this ______ day of __________, 2022. ______________ MICHAEL L. THURMOND Chief Executive Officer DeKalb County, Georgia   ATTEST: _____________ BARBARA SANDERS-NORWOOD, CCC, CMC Clerk to the Board of Commissioners and Chief Executive Officer DeKalb County, Georgia     APPROVED AS TO FORM: _______________ VIVIANE H. ERNSTES County Attorney DeKalb County, Georgia
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