Environmental DeKalb

County Departments/Div. Program or Activity
Parks Bond & Greenspace Office An office created to coordinate greenspace activities throughout the County with primary responsibility for the following:
  • 2001 & 2005 Parks Bond Program
  • Joint DeKalb County/Municipal Community Greenspace Program
  • Administration of a plan to preserve and protect greenspace, including the following:
    1. Land acquisition
    2. Enabling legislation and related policies
    3. Public education and advocacy
    4. Additional outside funding
    5. Community and corporate partnerships
Parks & Recreation
  • Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Strategic Plan

A 10-year vision for the management and growth of DeKalb's parks system. The plan consists of sixteen action strategies including the following key recommendations: purchase of active and passive parkland and greenspace to address acreage/population needs; creation of greenway corridors; preservation of scenic, historic, natural or archeologically significant properties; and creation of the Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve.

  • Stewardship of Natural Resources

The Park and Recreation Department is committed to the protection and enhancement of natural resources in its parks. We have initiated programs to control invasive plants and restore stream corridors and other natural habitats. Strong community involvement in park workdays provides an essential component in this effort to improve the natural resources in parks.

Development Department Environmental Plans Review and Inspections Section


  • Conservation Subdivision ordinance

A policy designed to enable DeKalb County to save greenspace, improve water quality, reduce land disturbance, and improve the quality of life. It allows for creative residential planning and development to improve the economic productivity of the lots and/or preserve unique environmental features, provides greenspace areas, provide recreational opportunities and preserve trees and natural vegetation.

  • Environmental Workshops

An education and outreach program to enlighten the development community, DeKalb County staff, and the general public as to changes to policies, codes and ordinances, from County, State and Federal regulations. NPDES fees will be used for part of the training and education programs.

  • Tree Preservation Ordinance

An ordinance designed to preserve trees during the development of properties in Dekalb County, beginning with a tree survey, development plan design and carried through construction. The Environmental Section has 11 certified arborist on staff.

  • Water Quality

All Land Development Projects and Single Family Homes must provide water quality devices for the first 1.2 inches of storm water runoff.


All land disturbance 1 acre or greater shall provide a Letter of Intent and a fee of $ 40.00 per disturbed acre to the GA EPD and a copy of the LOI and $ 40.00 per acre to the DeKalb Co. Land Development Department - Environ. Section. The fees are to be used for education and training.

Public Works Dept. / Transportation Division
  • Multi-Model Trails

An effort to provide for alternatives to auto transportation through the development of a network of inter-linking bicycle and pedestrian ways throughout the county. These safe, accessible on and off road trails promote cleaner air, calmer traffic, a stronger sense of community, healthier lifestyles, and a reduction in the number of pedestrian and bicycle deaths.

  • County Greenway Trails Program

An effort to provide for off-road trails and greenway corridors that connect key destination points such as parks, retail areas, schools, churches, MARTA stations, etc. These trails provide routes for walking and bicycling away from vehicular traffic.

Roads & Drainage Division
  • Storm Water Utility

A new revenue source was implemented in January 2004 to provide funding to resolve problems associated with urban runoff. This fee will be used for expenses related to Capital Improvement Projects, administration, and project studies. The Greenspace Program will benefit from many of the correction/restoration projects, including floodplain home buy-outs, creation of wetlands, and easements.

  • Corps of Engineers Floodway Studies

Studies that address water resources problems in the Peachtree, Nancy, Snapfinger, Indian, Sugar and Intrenchment Creeks. These studies recommend flood damage mitigation and urban ecosystem restoration projects that may be implemented in these watersheds, subject to availability of federal funding.

  • FEMA Buyout Program

Creation of greeenspace, restoring floodplains, through the purchase and demolition of homes within floodplains that have had significant National Flood Insurance claims history.

Sanitation Division
  • Sanitation 5-Year Capital Improvement Program:

A program to acquire properties adjacent to the Seminole Road Landfill. Criteria for properties to be acquired are as follows:

  • Adjacent to the landfill
  • Ability to Mine Soil or Borrow Materials
  • Enhancement to existing Conservation, Buffer or Setback Requirements for Federal, State and Local Requirements
  • Development of conservation activities as necessary

Presently the Sanitation Division has an active acquisition program in place to ensure that monies are available for properties to be considered and acquired. These potential acquisitions, either undeveloped or developed properties, at a minimum must meet established requirements and agreed on by the CEO and Board of Commissioners. Once acquired, portions of these properties will be further evaluated to establish long-term goals for the County to include conservation and / or public access.

Watershed Management Department
  • Watershed Assessments and Watershed Management Plans:

The watershed assessment for the South River basin in DeKalb County was completed in May 2001. The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners subsequently adopted the resulting Watershed Management Plan and the Capital Improvement Plan for the South River Basin in June 2001. 
The Watershed Management Plan encompasses programs from several departments in DeKalb County: comprehensive land use plans; development codes; storm water management/ control for reduction in nonpoint source pollution; greenspace that pertains to water quality; wastewater treatment, sewer monitoring and industrial waste programs for point source controls.

  • Restoration and retrofit studies

Watershed studies are being conducted in the Pole Bridge Creek, Snapfinger Creek, Shoal/Cobb-Fowler Creek and Honey Creek sub watersheds in the South River basin to provide additional information on potential locations for installation of Best Management Practices and stream restoration projects to provide water quality improvement and hydrologic controls. Once projects and areas have been identified, they can be prioritized based on water quality needs. This prioritized listing can then also be used by the Greenspace Program when assessing property acquisitions.

  • Utility Line Vegetation Program

Also called "Prairie Wild", involves the restoration and maintenance of sewer easements and other related county-owned properties. This program is being conducted in cooperation with the Georgia DNR's Wildlife Division and USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service. These plantings are intended to provide a natural habitat for wildlife, protect riparian areas from erosion, and provide improved vegetative filtration for storm water flows in stream buffer areas. Species planted include switchgrass, Indian grass, and little bluestem. To date, approximately 4 miles of utility easements adjacent to Pole Bridge Creek, below Evans Mill Road, to the South River have been restored and maintained. The next phase will continue up Pole Bridge Creek to I-20.

CEO's Office
  • Keep DeKalb Beautiful

A governmental service and local affiliate of Keep America Beautiful that improves the quality of life in communities through litter prevention and beautification. Programs and events include Adopt-A-Road, Yard of the Month, Adopt-A-Stream, Community Clean Ups, Cigarette Litter Prevention, Environmental Education in Schools, Bring One for the Chipper, America Recycles Day, Earth Day, and the Great American Clean Up. Keep DeKalb Beautiful provides technical assistance and supplies to community groups to support clean ups. For more on the program visit www.dekalbcountyga.gov/beautiful.



  • Comprehensive Land Use Plan

The County's key guiding document on the growth and development over a twenty (20) year time period. This document is composed of elements/chapters related to quality of life of DeKalb County's citizens. This includes the Greenspace Program. The Comprehensive Plan document contains the program goals for the greenspace program in the Short Term Work Program. The Greenspace Program represents a commitment of the Board of Commissioners to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Greenspace Program. The second area is the comprehensive plan map which will provide both an opportunity to identify land use patterns where greenspace is needed and will provide and opportunity to identify greenspace sites as viable (i.e. requiring protection) components of the county's land use plan.

  • Historic Resources Survey

Background information that helps to identify properties of historic or archeological significance. State law includes historic preservation easements as a part of the greenspace program.