ALPHARETTA, Ga. — While Community Improvement Districts are not new, it was a new idea in North Fulton around 2001, when work began to delineate the North Fulton CID borders. It takes a bit of a sales job to get business people to agree to a voluntary tax (all residential property is exempted).
But the NFCID genesis can be traced to the mid-1990s just after North Point Parkway was completed – it was 95 percent developer-built – and North Fulton’s economic growth was skyrocketing.
Large commercial landowners on the west side of Ga. 400 looked at the commercial corridor North Point had become, and saw the same thing was possible on the west side of 400.
So the plans were proposed to Alpharetta City Council that a Westside Parkway be built. To jumpstart the project, they proposed a joint venture with Alpharetta to fund a $400,000 engineering study with rights of way donated – the city put up $100,000 – and get the plan placed on the Georgia Department of Transportation projects list.
GDOT has a fondness for project partners “who have skin in the game.” Having the engineering and environmental studies in hand and rights of way acquired, the project was handed to GDOT. Then-GDOT Commissioner Wayne Shackelford began the project on the south end first, linking major collector arteries Mansell and Haynes Bridge roads.This showed local governments how CIDs partnering with local cities can expedite projects of great economic benefit.
By the time the final link of Westside was completed in 2012, it was a mirror of North Point Parkway reaching from Windward Parkway south to Mansell Road. By then, the North Fulton CID had been up and running and played a role in that finish as well.