A Town Hall Meeting has been set!

News Release

A Town Hall Meeting has been set on the subject of the Athens Downtown Master Plan
It is set for Tuesday November 27, 2012 at the Classic Center’s Parthenon Room
The time will be 6 p.m.

To date the Planning Team has been developing and updating the data upon which the plan for 2030 will be based.   This involved a complete site analysis of all existing land uses in and adjacent to the downtown plan area that is bounded on the west by Finley Street and the south by properties owned by public housing and the University of Georgia.  The more complicated  northern edge includes some commercial and church properties along Prince Avenue and Dougherty Street and areas south of the CSX Railroad right of way.  The eastern edge of the plan area is Martin Luther King and Dudley Park.  The study also included previous plans and studies involving everything from Historic Districts to infrastructure.

The team also completed case studies of other exemplary downtowns and waterfronts such as;  Eugene, OR, Fort Collins and Boulder, CO, Ann Arbor, MI, Chapel Hill, Greenville, S.C. and Austin along with varied riverfronts spanning the totally urbanized places in San Antonio to the relatively underdeveloped spaces along the river in Fort Collins.

The first phase of idea and vision gathering which will continue through the plans completion involved meeting with interested individuals and groups such as landowners, downtown tenants and businesses, neighborhood associations, advocacy groups such as Bike Athens, as well as, financial institutions, groups in the arts, music, hospitality, visitors and convention.  Surveys, both hard copy and online, continue to be sent out, planning tables are set up at public festivals and events and representatives of the team attend organizational meetings and fundraisers.  To date more than 500 surveys have been returned and more than 600 individuals and groups have been met with for the purpose of listening for input and ideas.  One might call this very successful initiative “hearing the public” rather than having a “public hearing”.

The Town Hall is the first “public hearing” where downtown issues, ideas and even some early scenarios based on strong inputs are discussed, shown and voted on by the participants.  This will be a real time discussion and voting opportunity utilizing a computerized input system utilized by UGA’s Fanning Institute.  It allows the public to immediately view the results of their evaluations and votes on the planning alternatives or issues.

The evidence given by this event will allow the planning team to begin to articulate the plan in greater detail.  This may be repeated later, during the winter, if there are significant options that need additional public examination.  Otherwise the plan is developed to a point for presentation to the Steering Committee appointed by Athens Clarke County government and the Athens Downtown  Development Authority (ADDA).  The plan then goes for review and recommendation by the Planning Commission then on to the City County Commission for potential adoption.  Plan completion is scheduled for late Spring or early Summer 2013.

Summary:      Event Athens Downtown master Plan Town Hall Meeting
Place:          Athens Classic Center, Parthenon Room
Date:          27 November 2012, Tuesday
Time:          6:00 p.m.

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