Avalon Developer Appears Before Public Tonight

Alpharetta has organized a public information meeting at City Hall for North American Properties to explain its plans for the former Prospect Park site.

Do you want to know what the latest develper for the old Prospect Park-call it Avalon now-has in store for 80 acres at Old Milton Parkway and GA 400? What do you think the developer should build there?

Tonight's your chance to tell the city and developers what you think is best for the city. The public information meeting will be held at Alpharetta City Hall beginning at 7 p.m. It's being organized by the city of Alpharetta.

Some residents have suggested a park should be built there, but that is very unlikely. North American Properties bought the land after the last developer went bankrupt. Giving away land isn't how a mortgage is paid off.

But local residents and business owners will get a chance to learn about North American Properties' plan to develop the vacant land.  Voters approved a bond referendum for the downtown City Center, but convincing them to approve another bond worth more than the $29 million of that bond issue isn't likely, especially since that would undoubtedly require a property tax increase.

“Whatever is ultimately developed on their site will go a long way toward defining the character of Alpharetta for generations, so it is important for our citizens to understand what the developer is proposing so that they can offer informed comments during the public hearing process,” said Alpharetta Community Development Director Diana Wheeler late last month.

During the meeting, representatives of North American Properties will present details about their proposed Avalon Development Project.  They will discuss site design, density, and the proposed mix of uses that they envision for the development.  The public will also be provided the opportunity to ask questions of the developer.

 Residents won't be the only people present tonight. Members of the City Council, the Planning Commission and the City’s Design Review Board are being encouraged to attend the meeting to hear the presentation and the questions posed by citizens. Each body has a say in what will be built there before the City Council ultimately approves any zoning changes.

The city has changed how it gets public opinion on significant developments, and Avalon is the first project to be part of these new strategies. In addition to the Feb. 13 information session, the city has created an online forum on its website through which the public can view the proposal, provide comments, and read what others are saying about the Avalon Plan.

All of this is occurring prior to the normal public hearing process, which is scheduled to begin on March 1 at 7:30 p.m., again at City Hall, when the Avalon Project will be considered by the Alpharetta Planning Commission. That will be a public hearing, another chance for public comment.


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