Habitat - March/April 2018 - 19

while we were working with the vendor to
develop the program, gas prices dropped,
and it was no longer financially feasible to
recycle grease" Juras added.
Meanwhile, leadership kept changing at DeKalb County's Department of
Watershed Management, which oversees
the sewer system. The department, has
had multiple directors since 2010.
"As can be expected with turnover in
any leadership position, each new director comes in with a different approach
and interpretation of the consent decree
requirements, and we have to go through
the process of getting back at the table to
discuss our concerns" said Juras. "Our
approach is always to provide valuable
industry feedback to help address and
solve the problem through partnership
rather than have to mitigate the impact
or unintended consequences of unnecessary regulation."
During these years, AAA continued to
engage with DeKalb County staff, delaying further legislation while the pilot
program was being developed. AAA was
also working proactively with the Atlanta
Regional Commission on a FOG education campaign for apartment community
residents, delivering more than 100,000
informational door hangers to apartment
communities across the region, focusing
efforts in DeKalb County.
Then, in late 2016 the AAA government
affairs team met with newest Director
of Watershed Management to discuss an
unrelated water conservation issue and
learned that the department had recently
drafted a new ordinance regulating FOG
compliance on all multifamily communities in the county.
"The new ordinance went well beyond
the goals of the pilot program; requiring all multifamily properties, both new
and existing, to install expensive, industrial level FOG interceptors, similar to
the grease traps restaurants have to use,
on every building" said Juras. This was
an unproven approach, which had never
been tried in any other jurisdiction in
the U.S. In addition, it would require the
existing multifamily apartment communities to retrofit their entire plumbing
systems, costing millions of dollars, as
well as create substantial financial burdens on any new multifamily development in the County.

Over the past year and half, the AAA
government affairs team has been working with county staff and elected officials to make significant revisions in the
proposed ordinance. The government
affairs team reached out to onsite maintenance directors and regional managers from AAA member companies as
well as the civil engineering community to participate in discussions with
county and provide technical input on
proposed solutions. County officials are
understanding of the economic hardships
the original proposal would create and
the impact it would have on more than
100,000 DeKalb County residents that
choose to live in multifamily communities. "We're hopeful that the discussion
will move away from this idea of interceptors on apartment communities altogether and move towards partnering on
a robust education program for residents
and apartment community managers and
maintenance teams, while also holding
communities accountable for grease
that enters the county sewer system in
a fair and reasonable way" said Juras. At
present, AAA is continuing to meet regularly with DeKalb County Department
of Watershed Management staff as well
as water professionals in other jurisdictions and organizations across the region
to discuss the best way to address FOG on
multifamily properties.

W

FASTER TURNAROUNDS
Oftentimes, AAA doesn't have the luxury
of time to get our viewpoint heard. For
example, last year the Atlanta Office of
Resilience and City Council introduced
an ordinance requiring electric vehicle charging infrastructure in multifamily communities one month and the
Council adopted it the next. "We provided input sharing our concerns the
requirements would have on the cost
of housing across the city, but the ordinance went through the process and
was adopted very quickly." But the work
doesn't stop once legislation is adopted,
"we are continuing to work with staff
in the offices of resilience and planning
and permitting to address some of our
concerns as the new requirements are
implemented," said Juras. "A lot of what
we do is mitigating the unintended consequences of well-intended legislation
like this so that it has the greatest benefit and least amount of financial impact
for our members, while still addressing
the issue at hand."
That's why the government affairs
team will continue to work with representatives of DeKalb County and other local
jurisdictions to ensure that the Atlanta
Apartment Association's viewpoint is
considered on every local, regional and
state-wide issue that may impact the multifamily housing industry. *

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Habitat - March/April 2018

Chair's Message
Legal Corner
Getting Engaged in Government Affairs
Government Affairs
AAA Makes a Difference on Local Issues
Education Connection
Curb Appeal
Workforce Development Update
Volunteer's Corner
AAA Gold Patron Member Profile: PDQ Services
New Members
Advertising Index
Habitat - March/April 2018 - Intro
Habitat - March/April 2018 - cover1
Habitat - March/April 2018 - cover2
Habitat - March/April 2018 - 3
Habitat - March/April 2018 - 4
Habitat - March/April 2018 - 5
Habitat - March/April 2018 - 6
Habitat - March/April 2018 - 7
Habitat - March/April 2018 - 8
Habitat - March/April 2018 - Chair's Message
Habitat - March/April 2018 - Legal Corner
Habitat - March/April 2018 - 11
Habitat - March/April 2018 - Getting Engaged in Government Affairs
Habitat - March/April 2018 - 13
Habitat - March/April 2018 - 14
Habitat - March/April 2018 - 15
Habitat - March/April 2018 - Government Affairs
Habitat - March/April 2018 - 17
Habitat - March/April 2018 - AAA Makes a Difference on Local Issues
Habitat - March/April 2018 - 19
Habitat - March/April 2018 - Education Connection
Habitat - March/April 2018 - Curb Appeal
Habitat - March/April 2018 - 22
Habitat - March/April 2018 - 23
Habitat - March/April 2018 - 24
Habitat - March/April 2018 - Workforce Development Update
Habitat - March/April 2018 - Volunteer's Corner
Habitat - March/April 2018 - 27
Habitat - March/April 2018 - 28
Habitat - March/April 2018 - 29
Habitat - March/April 2018 - 30
Habitat - March/April 2018 - AAA Gold Patron Member Profile: PDQ Services
Habitat - March/April 2018 - 32
Habitat - March/April 2018 - New Members
Habitat - March/April 2018 - Advertising Index
Habitat - March/April 2018 - cover3
Habitat - March/April 2018 - cover4
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