The City of Alpharetta has been recertified as a Gold Level Green Community by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC). The ARC Green Communities Program helps local governments implement measures that will reduce their environmental impact and recognizes their commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability practices. To earn and retain certification as a Green Community, cities and counties must implement sustainability measures across ten categories.
• Green Building
• Energy Efficiency
• Green Power
• Water Use Reduction and Efficiency
• Trees and Greenspace
• Recycling and Waste Reduction
• Land Use
Each measure is evaluated and assigned points, with a minimum of 175 points necessary to be certified. To be certified at the Gold Level, the City of Alpharetta had to earn at least 230 points for its sustainability measures. Among the measures evaluated, the ARC called out as being especially beneficial:
- Paving the way for rooftop solar by offering expedited plan review, plan processing, and inspections for the installation of new solar systems that are a minimum of 1kWh.
- Using rainwater captured in retention basins to irrigate government facilities at Rock Mill Park and Webb Bridge Park instead of using potable water.
- Adopting a no net loss of trees policy for government property. The most recent example of this policy in action is along the Haynes Bridge Road median.
- Supporting the Alpharetta Community Farm, which follows the principles of regenerative organic farming, and promotes care of the soil and plant management in accordance with natural systems.
- Redesigning the North Point PARKway Streetscape to incorporate native plant species, multi-use trail, green infrastructure, improved transit stops, enhanced pedestrian crossings, energy-efficient lighting, and use of natural materials as creative architectural elements.
ARC developed the Green Communities Program in 2009 to recognize local governments that invest in programs and policies that lead to a more sustainable region. The nationally recognized program showcases the many ways that local governments can reduce their environmental footprint.
In metro Atlanta, 20 local governments — 14 cities and six counties — are currently certified under ARC’s Green Communities Program. The program was the first in the country to promote sustainability through a green certification program for local governments.