The Planning Process: Next Steps

David Green
David Green, Associate Principal - Perkins+Will

From David Green – Perkins+Will
As many of you know, we had a very good turnout at the General Membership meeting on March 11. We presented our approach to the continued planning efforts in the LLCC study area, including reviewing past planning documents (primarily the LLCC Blueprints Plan prepared by the Georgia Conservancy in association with the Georgia Tech College of Architecture), preparing a GIS (Geographic Information Systems) database for consolidating existing information and coordinating future efforts. We also discussed our efforts to garner funding through a community led grants application process.
After the presentation, there was lively discussion. The primary topic was the proposal, in the Blueprints, to provide a street (vehicular) connection between Cheshire Bridge Road and Melante Drive, as an extension of Woodland Avenue. Many at the meeting expressed concern over this proposal, especially about the possibility of creating additional vehicular traffic on Melante Drive. There was general agreement that a revision to the Blueprints document excluding this vehicular connection as a recommendation was desired.
There was further discussion about the appropriateness of other proposed connections in the Blueprints document. We described our intention to pull information from the Blueprints document and other planning efforts in the study area, and place it on an easy-to-access database that would allow everyone to comment on these plans.
Though much of the discussion at the meeting addressed issues in previous preliminary plans (primarily the Blueprints document), Perkins+Will has not yet initiated the actual planning process. We are now assisting with the grant application process and setting up the GIS database to allow us to move forward once funding has been identified. As I said several times in the meeting, it is our goal in this process is to protect the quality of life of the residents of the residential neighborhoods in the study area. It is not our policy to propose projects that are not supported by the neighborhoods. Rather, our focus is on determining the vision the neighbors have and assisting in the realization of that vision.
The Georgia Conservancy agreed to develop an addendum to the Blueprints document acknowledging the strong opposition voiced at the March 11 meeting for the conceptual Melante-Cheshire Bridge connection. This addendum has been added to the plan and the revised plan is now the version posted on both the Georgia Conservancy website and the LLCC website.
In closing, I want to reiterate in no uncertain terms that if the neighborhoods do not want a connection from Cheshire Bridge to Melante, we will absolutely not recommend it and provide in the record that this is the case. This is true for this specific situation, and it is true for the planning process in general.