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New plan – Avondale Estates plans its future

Avondale Estates

New plan – Avondale Estates plans its future

A map showing the districts defined in the updates to the city's Master Plan.

This map shows the six distinct districts outlined in the draft of Avondale Estates’ 2014 Downtown Master Plan. Source: City of Avondale Estates.

Avondale Estates began with a plan and planning – or lack thereof – has defined much of its history. The city began in 1924 as the dream of founder George Willis, whose Tudor-revival concept was meant to mimic Stratford-upon-Avon.

Over the years, that look hasn’t been consistently applied in other parts of Avondale Estates.

Now the city has unveiled a new plan. Downtown Master Plan 2014 is an update and revision of previous planning efforts. The city published the first draft of it this month, and you can see all of the relevant data by clicking here.

It’s not light reading. It’s more than 150 pages long, full of charts, tables and maps.

But there are some high points:

– The draft plan divides the city into six distinct districts within the study area: Tudor Village, Mill District, Northern Gateway, Rail Arts District, Northside Avondale and the Western Gateway.

– U.S. 278 needs to lose some weight. The main road through Avondale Estates is U.S. 278, more commonly known as East College and North Avondale. Planners are recommending a “road diet” that would narrow the street to create more space for sidewalks and bike lanes.

– Avondale Estates needs to cater to pedestrians. The city is located along a PATH trail and near a MARTA station, but it has weak connections to both.

– The city needs more public parks. The study says, “There are plenty of parks and public spaces in the residential neighborhoods, but none in downtown Avondale Estates. Outdoor spaces to gather might include public plazas, large parks, an amphitheater, or even wide sidewalks.”

– Tudor architecture may not define the city’s future. The plan suggests the architectural style might not be a good fit for the city going forward and recommends using styles that complement the historic look of the city’s downtown.

– It won’t be cheap. The study estimates it will cost $4.5 million for the U.S. 278 road diet plan, $2.8 million for a proposed roundabout at Laredo Drive and North Clarendon Avenue, and $691,112 worth of improvements to Potter Avenue. Funding sources could come from grants, tax credits and issuing bonds, the study says.

The plan is a draft, of course, but still provides a lot of detail about the city’s past and its potential future. Please let Decaturish know what you think about the plan in our comments section.