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ATLANTA- Georgia’s transportation super-agency officially assumed power Sept. 13 to review and act on proposed large developments in the 13-county metro Atlanta area.

The Georgia Regional Transportation Authority may withhold state and federal monies that might add to traffic congestion, increase sprawl or make the air any dirtier.

City and country leaders fear the agency will now control land use which traditionally has been in local hands. But GRTA chairman Joel Cowan says his group plans to work with local entities, not dictate development.

The Authority, created last year by Gov. Roy Barnes to improve traffic and air quality as well as sprawl problems statewide, can reject developments of questionable impact.

Those developments include projects with more than 500,000 sf of office space, more than 700,000 sf of commercial space more than 500 homes or mixed-use projects.

Industry sources say that until a final plan is laid out, GRTA will act on the recommendations of regional development centers, which already review major projects for environmental, transportation and community impact. GRTA expects to have its review process ready by spring 2001.

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