At Issue: Is cityhood a good choice for unincorporated South Fulton?


A draft of downtown Alpharetta’s master plan is designed to shape the city’s core over the next 10-15 years-and beyond. The document, which could be finalized by late February, showcases ambitious plans.

Among key recommendations: creating mixed-use live/work developments on the east and north sides of downtown, addressing parking issues west of Main Street with structures and metering, pedestrian and bike improvements to a number of secondary streets and more residential development to the south.

What kind of downtown should Alpharetta have? Something along the lines of Greenville, South Carolina, which anchors a region? Or should the city retain more of a small-town feel, which some fear it might lose?

Here are some of the responses:

I love Greenville and find it very pedestrian-friendly with parking away from the downtown corridor, much better than Roswell. I'm very excited to be within the Alpharetta city limits and look forward to all improvements. - Sally Matteson.

Widening Kimball Bridge between State Bridge and Jones Bridge so that east Alpharetta is not a huge snarl every night with folks from other areas cutting through longtime neighborhoods like Windward and Park Ridge for shortcuts at 50 miles an hour because the main thoroughfares are poorly designed and create a funnel to a 2-lane for quarter-mile. -Erik Martin

How about leaving us some trees so future generations can see what they look like? -Karen Jones.

More brewpubs. -Sue Pearl

Mark Woolsey for the AJC

After a failed attempt last year to get a proposal to create a new city of South Fulton into the hands of voters, proponents vowed to make it happen this legislative session.

A poll conducted last year, however, indicates the effort faces obstacles. The poll conducted by 20/20 Insight for Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, shows only 22 percent of respondents in the southern section of Fulton County supported incorporating the new city, 56 percent opposed and 22 percent were not sure. The poll carried a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

But that hasn’t dampened enthusiasm from those encouraging South Fulton residents to sally forth with the cityhood notion. A coalition of citizens, elected leaders and community groups are hosting a community meeting in a few weeks to keep the discussion alive.

Proponents tout a local focus with direct representation, fiscal feasibility, local control over tax dollars and a new city with the same school district and public services as ways to make the proposal work.

Those on both sides of the issue have similar concerns. Among them:

Economic Development. What can a city do that the county has not done/failed to do?

Public Safety. How many officers will be needed? Can a new city afford a larger police force?

Transportation. How will infrastructure needs be addressed? What is the plan for sidewalks, road paving, road widening, bridge replacement, etc.?

What do you think? Is the city of South Fulton a good idea for metro Atlanta in general and the population of that area specifically? Or is there another solution? Send comments by email to