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Avondale Estates to send comprehensive plan to DCA for review

Avondale Estates Business

Avondale Estates to send comprehensive plan to DCA for review

Photo obtained via the city of Avondale Estates website.

Avondale Estates, GA — The city of Avondale Estates has updated its comprehensive development plan with the help of the Atlanta Regional Commission and will send it to the state Department of Community Affairs for review.

The City Commission held a public hearing on the comprehensive development plan on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The commission did not take action to adopt the plan and that vote will come after the review from the Department of Community Affairs. Every five years, cities are required by state law to update their comprehensive development plan, a long-range action plan that guides development, investment and allocation of services.

“It’s a physical plan,” Assistant City Manager Shannon Powell said. “It is designed to be around the things where you have a stick in the ground.”

The comprehensive plan highlights the city’s vision, goals, accomplishments and work plan. According to the goals, the city is working to capitalize on the qualities and values that have made for a successful community.

“For us, we revisit the vision and goals. We look at needs and opportunities,” Powell said at the Sept. 22 City Commission meeting. “We do a community work program that outlines a very specific tasks over the course of a five-year period, and oddly enough, we also look at broadband.”

The city updated the previous comprehensive development plan and held public comment opportunities. As Powell looked at the suggestions that came out of the public comments, she saw a desire to focus on environmental and economic sustainability.

According to the Sept. 22 agenda packet, some goals that were added or changed include:

— Encouraging environmental and economic sustainability and resiliency,

— Strengthening existing businesses and driving sustainable economic development by leveraging the city’s unique identity and location in the region and continuing to develop a walkable downtown, and

— Promoting an active, healthy community with equitable and inclusive opportunities for recreation and the enjoyment of the outdoors.

After receiving more public input over the last few weeks, a goal was added about the welcoming committee and the importance of inclusion. Powell also added tasks that align with this goal, such as a strategic plan for the welcoming committee, one event that’s focused on inclusion, and other similar tasks that help reinforce the goal.

According to the draft comprehensive plan, the goal is to “[b]uild a diverse, welcoming environment for all individuals, regardless of race, ethnicity or place of origin, which enhances the Avondale Estates cultural fabric, economic growth, an overall prosperity for current and future generations.”

Some highlights of the work plan include creating a public art program, implementing the stormwater capital improvements program, and exploring mechanisms to encourage and introduce green infrastructure.

An annexation project was added to the work plan, as well as a project on utility burial and planning, the related strategic steps for the welcoming committee, an analysis on traffic hotspots, and a street assessment and prioritization project.

City staff also added a summary of the greenspace plan and a paragraph about why annexation would be relevant and important to the city.

Overall, the comprehensive development plan is an aspirational plan. The plan lists projects the city would like to do but City Manager Patrick Bryant said there is no consequence for the city for not performing any of the goals or the work plan outlined in the plan.

“I think it’s important that we give it enough thought to use it as the guide post moving forward, but it’s really more of the 50,000-foot view than the ground level view,” Bryant said.

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