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Citizens Help City Plan For Next 20 Years

What will Peachtree Corners residents need over the next two decades, different types of housing, better transportation, more parks? It's all part of the ongoing Comprehensive Plan.

Since the beginning of the year, Peachtree Corners city leaders have held a number of meetings and several workshops to gather citizens input on its Comprehensive Plan.

Tuesday night the city's Planning Commission was asked for its thoughts on how the city should plan for its future in terms of what its citizens will need and how to make the city more livable for an ever-changing - and aging population.

"A Comprehensive Plan is similar to a road map or business plan, it helps guide city leaders on how to plan for the future, what its citizens will need, what they would like to see," explained Michelle Alexander, with Pond & Company, who has been tasked with holding the meetings to gather the data to help develop the city's plan.

"It's projected that there will be 3 million additional people meeting in the Atlanta metro area," said Alexander. "And Peachtree Corners will add somewhere between 4,000 and 11,000 residents."

Where will they live, what plans does the city need to have in place to not only accommodate a growing population, but to maintain the quality of lifestyle that its citizens want.

These were some of the questions that were presented to the Planning Commission at Tuesday night's meeting.

"You will be presented with these decisions in the coming years," said Alexander. "You will have pressure to grow in the next 20 years. The question will be, do you want to allow that growth and if so how much?"

It's projected that nationally in the next decade there will be over 70 million millennials, that demographic of 20 somethings, who are more likely to own a dog than have children, and another 73 million who will reach baby-boomer age.

Planning for that population shift is critical for cities that want to remain vibrant and a desirable place to live said Alexander. Peachtree Corners needs to make plans for those changes.

"The most unique feature we have is the river," said Matt Houser. "It's truly a resource that many cities don't have."

Currently the public has limited access to the river, Houser suggested that perhaps a land trust could be established to allow easements for public use for the city to become more attractive to potential residents.

Alan Kaplan posed a question on connecting the area south of Holcomb Bridge road with the rest of the city.

"Currently there is an imbalance with residents who live south of the Holcomb Bridge Road corridor. How do you connect to that part of the city?"

Another area of concern, the aging Technology Park.

"We have a huge opportunity to partner with the businesses in Tech Park to add walking and biking trails," said Mark Willis who noted that many businesses have moved to Alpharetta or Forsyth County leaving many of the aging buildings vacant. "Tech Park is a diamond in the rough," said Willis.

The commission brought up Jones Bridge Park which is considered over-used and the need to find ways to relieve the problem. Gwinnett County acknowledged that Peachtree Corners needs additional park space based on its population.

Housing needs were discussed and whether in 20 years residents would want the sprawling yards or should the city plan for denser housing.

Houser posed the question: "Are we as a community going to be able to change to accommodate these trends we're hearing about?"

Developing a Comprehensive Plan is like a giant brainstorming exercise that has involved the entire city. Pulling together concepts and ideas from Peachtree Corners citizens has been in process since the beginning of the year.

There will be another opportunity for community input on July 25 during an Open House. For more on the Comprehensive Plan, visit the city's website.

Housing statistics:

  • Most homes in Peachtree Corners are single-family detached (47%)
  • Multi-family housing units (3 or more units) account for 42%
  • 10% are single-family attached homes

 

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