Comprehensive plan up for vote Thursday

Mon, 05/14/2007 - 8:56am
By: John Thompson

After more than a year of work and study, Tyrone’s Town Council will vote next week on the town’s comprehensive plan.

Town Manager Barry Amos said the vote will allow the town to send the plan to the Department of Community Affairs for a final review.

At the April 26 Planning Commission meeting, JJG consultant Jonathan Lewis outlined the comprehensive plan process and gave an overview of the Draft Community Agenda.

“Basically, we got a lot of feedback from the community and from surveys,” Lewis told commissioners.

A portion of the discussion centered on the long-term plan by Fayette County that calls for Palmetto Tyrone Road to be widened to four lanes. The commission largely disagreed with the notion, suggesting that other options be explored to keep the road limited to a two-lane thoroughfare. Another issue revolved around future sewer capacity, with the commission recommending that more specific language be included in the plan to address potential areas that would need increased capacity in coming years. The downtown area previously envisioned in the Town Center, a plan that recently came under fire by the town council, was referenced as an example in the discussion on sewer capacity. The revitalization of Main Street is dependent on having sewer, Lewis said, adding that revitalization is much more about design than density.

“Sewer is one of our biggest stumbling blocks,” Commission Kevin Gooding said, continuing the discussion. “We are spinning our wheels until we have a plan for sewer.”

Town Manager Barry Amos also noted the connection between sewer capacity and any future efforts designed to revitalize the downtown area.

“Without sewer capacity the master plan sent out in 2005, a plan that 66 percent of residents liked, can’t happen. We can build a sewer plant but it’s not economically feasible. So what we need is a plan,” Amos said.

A vision for the town was compiled from a visioning workshop, visioning surveys and from a citizens advisory committee, Lewis said. The overall vision for the town is represented in four parts, including the downtown area, Ga. Highway 74, the residential areas and the town as a whole. Residents expressed a multi-faceted vision for downtown in terms of maintaining a small town feel, a place to bring parents and out-of-town friends, providing a walking district with generous sidewalks, small-scale shops and restaurants, upscale and speciality shops and gathering places. Other ideas included a “park-once” environment with shared parking lots, keeping all parking in the rear of buildings, providing locations such as library, police and fire stations for important civic functions, maintaining a historic feel with clean streets, a mix of housing and housing for retiring Baby Boomers, cultural facilities including a new library, a downtown area like those found in Senoia, Serenbe and Charleston, S.C. and sufficient parks, especially an improved Shamrock Park.

The vision for the Hwy. 74 Corridor included keeping it a limited access highway, keeping commercial to the existing node at Senoia Road and Hwy. 74, minimizing the intensity of development with a wide natural buffer, berms and/or landscaping. All development behind the natural buffer should be well-connected with interparcel connections, access lanes and shared drives. A final vision for the corridor included preserving some of the scenic views along Hwy. 74.

The vision for the town’s residential areas included maintaining open, leafy, low-density residential areas, providing a network of fitness and biking trails and a mix of preserved open areas and residences, keeping a large number of trees and providing the opportunity to walk to parks, restaurants and shops.

The vision for the town as a whole included maintaining Tyrone’s small town character in the Town Center, commercial and office areas, maintaining the rural character in residential areas and around the edges of the town, preserving greenspace, having a network of multi-use paths, keeping great schools and low taxes, managing traffic with few road widenings and no new bypass and providing an abundance of parks and recreation space, especially passive recreation space.

The Tyrone 2027 Comprehensive Plan Draft Community Agenda is available for viewing at Tyrone Town Hall or the library.

Amos thanked all the staff and residents for hard work in completing the plan.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. next Thursday.

Staff writer Ben Nelms contributed to the article.

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