Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005
Amos: Tyrone has identity crisis
By LEE WILLIAMS
The town of Tyrone has an identity crisis, said Tyrone Town Manager Barry Amos, repeating the words of a Peachtree City land planning specialist, Jerry Peterson. You can stand at Senoia Road and Palmetto Road and youre in downtown Tyrone and that says nothing about Tyrone.
With these words, Amos unveiled a new downtown revitalization plan to the Tyrone Planning Commission Thursday that featured a $1.7 million 8,000 square-foot library with an amphitheater overlooking a pond in Shamrock Park, a town hall and police station as the centerpiece.
The plan depicted the downtown area as a mixed use community, with residential, commercial and office property coexisting.
The plan, while not formally adopted, is intended by officials to bring a sense of identity to the town that is known for loud trains and aging buildings.
Peterson was hired to sketch the new Main Street District concept plan and offer tips on what town officials could do to make downtown special.
The first thing Peterson said the town should do is change the name of Senoia Road to Main Street, Amos told the planning commission. The second thing Peterson suggested the town do is change the name of Palmetto Road to Tyrone Road.
Amos said Peterson also recommended putting up walls, shrubbery or signs and put the same item at each downtown entrance, so, no matter which direction travelers come from, they will know they are coming into something different, something special.
Several residents who spoke during the meeting stated they liked the idea of sprucing up downtown, but not if adopting the plan meant losing Shamrock Park.
The town doesnt have a clear title to the park, and several residents in Tyrone say they want to keep it that way. Fayette County officials placed a deed restriction on Shamrock that specifies the property will become the property of the county if the park is no longer used for recreation.
Im all for keeping the park together as it is, said resident Gail Onesi at a Aug. 18 Town Council meeting. Its a nice park and I personally think we should give that land back to the county because you let it go down so bad and I think they would keep it up.
If Shamrock Park was used, the basketball and tennis courts would be moved adjacent to the park, according to new information offered by Don Rehwaldt, secretary of the Tyrone Neighborhood Alliance.
Another tennis court would be added and the recreation center would be used to separate them to eliminate distractions between players. The baseball fields at Shamrock Park have been moved to Handley Park.
Several other sites for the library complex on the table include two acres downtown for an estimated $300,000; a two-acre site donated by John Wieland Homes on Old Swanson Road; and Handley Park.
Some residents said several potential sites have been overlooked by the town including expanding the library in its current location so students at Tyrone Elementary will continue to have great access to it. Some residents have mobilized to find out about other potential sites and offer information to town officials.
Resident Grace Caldwell mentioned during a Tyrone Neighborhood Alliance meeting Aug. 28, in addition to Shamrock, Handley Park also was not a viable option, based on her research of the park.
Councilman Mike Smola who attended the alliance meeting objected to Caldwells statement. When her husband, Mike Caldwell offered more information about his wifes research, Smola offered no additional rebuttal.
Residents will have a chance to give their opinion in a survey that is being distributed to all residents in the 30290 area code. Residents also will have a chance to voice their opinion during a town council meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 1 and Sept. 15; and at a town-sponsored booth at Founders Day from Sept. 13-17.
Smola indicated the downtown revitalization concept plan was not final and would not be adopted against the will of the people.
Copyright 2005-Fayette Publishing, Inc.