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Decatur City Commission to consider adopting strategic plan, amendments to unified development ordinance

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Decatur City Commission to consider adopting strategic plan, amendments to unified development ordinance

Commissioners, pictured left to right, are: Mayor Pro Tem Tony Powers, Lesa Mayer, Kelly Walsh, Mayor Patti Garrett, and George Dusenbury. Photo obtained via the city of Decatur

Decatur, GA — The Decatur City Commission will meet on Monday, Oct. 18 at 6:30 p.m. for a work session and at 7:30 p.m. for the regular meeting. The meetings are held in person at Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough Street, as well as Zoom.

To access the meeting, follow these instructions: 

Participants must register in advance through Zoom to receive the meeting link. To register, click here.

The meeting will also be livestreamed on the city’s website.

To view the meeting agenda, click here.

During the work session, the City Commission will hear a report from the Decatur Fire and Rescue Department.

During the regular meeting, the City Commission will consider adopting the strategic plan. Following a public hearing, the Planning Commission has recommended approval of the strategic plan.

The strategic plan is the document the city will use as the basis for how Decatur sees and responds to challenges and opportunities. The document serves as the city’s guide for planning its priorities, policies and projects. It is updated every 10 years. During this process, the city is also updating its comprehensive plan and livable centers initiative, according to the city’s strategic plan website.

The city is required by the Atlanta Regional Commission and the state Department of Community Affairs to update its strategic plan every 10 years in order to participate in state transportation grant programs, among other things.

The city also simultaneously updated the city’s Livable Centers Initiative plan and its Comprehensive Plan during the strategic planning process, both of which have to updated every five years.

Planning and Economic Development Director Angela Threadgill and the consulting team from TSW presented the draft strategic plan to the City Commission on Aug. 16. During the public participation process, there was generally strong support for all the action items in the strategic plan, but many wanted more ambitious goals for clean energy targets and equity, according to the consultants.

The 2030 draft strategic plan focuses on six areas: equity and racial justice; climate action; civic trust; affordable housing; mobility and economic growth. Equity and racial justice was a topic that became an overarching theme of the draft. Climate change is another broader topic that came out of the public participation process.

“We really heard that from the public that you can’t talk about mobility without thinking about affordable housing, and you can’t talk about affordable housing without thinking about equity. So all of these are sort of interconnected,” Woody Giles of TSW previously said.

The City Commission will also consider changes to the city’s unified development ordinance that would affect cottage court building types and accessory dwelling units and aim to make it easier to develop these types of housing in the city.

One set of amendments would allow ADUs to be constructed on the site of a single-family home that are in RS-17 zoning districts, as they are already allowed in the R-85, R-60 and R-50 districts. Accessory dwelling units would be allowed on the same lots as condominiums or townhomes. There are about 55 detached single-family homes that are in RS-17 districts, Threadgill previously said.

The changes related to cottage court developments would increase the types of lots that are eligible to have cottage courts on them, and allow more but slightly smaller cottages to be built, Threadgill said.

The city’s Department of Community and Economic Development also recommends removing the development maximum of nine and let the overall zoning category that the lot is in set the maximum number of units each site could have.

Additionally, the City Commission will consider approving task orders for design budgets of $300,000 each and task orders for engineering services for stormwater infrastructure projects on Derrydown Way, Park Drive and South Candler Street, North Decatur Road and Ferndale Drive, and Brower Street and McClean Street.

The City Commission will also discuss repairs to the conference center parking deck pump and a project budget of $22,000. The board will consider awarding a contract in the amount of $21,005 to Mallory and Evans Service Company for the replacement of two conference center parking deck water pumps.

Writer Cathi Harris contributed to this story. 

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