Eric Bosman of Urban Collage revealed the city’s proposed master plan explaining that changes were influenced heavily by public comment.
“The goal of these meetings has been to take the initial concept that was put out by the city for a reaction, for a comment, for a discussion. Between the meetings that we’ve had here and the online comments what we have tried to do is take your comments, put them into the plan and come up with plan revisions to put the public’s input into this.”
The original city concept was released for the public to view on May 23 along with the first public meeting on June 16. Almost immediately comments came flooding in, according to Bosman.
Public comments were received from meetings as well as online with many expressing concern with the overall feel of the downtown area. According to Bosman, residents felt like structures should be scaled down a bit.
That included reducing the size of a proposed parking deck and new city hall building. The consensus seemed to be a desire for a more “village” like feel.
In addition to public meetings, several images were posted on the city’s website for residents to rank which gave the planning team an idea of what the look of downtown area should be.
The results seemed to be a more traditional architecture that wasn’t overly ornate or fussy. Contemperary styles were also unpopular.
Images that featured red brick were rated higher than those that didn’t. “It seems that there’s an idea that red brick is befitting of Alpharetta and of downtown,” says Bosman.
With public input taken into consideration, the revised master plan features a pedestrian-friendly downtown with traditional buildings and plenty of green space.
A city park with a small amphitheater is also included.
A major change needed to implement the new plan would be to move Haynes Bridge Road to the east starting south of Brooke Street but that didn’t seem to phase the public who generally seemed pleased with the city’s final plan.
Bosman says that he’s been very pleased with citizen involvement throughout the process. He estimates about 60-70 people have participated in meetings, over half of which are new each time.
Alpharetta City Administrator Robert Regus says that the new plan will be available on the city’s website in the next 24-48 hours.