Milton Community Development Director Kathleen Field has found a way to get professional help in creating a master plan for the Arnold Mill Corridor for approximately $5,000 instead of the $125,000 or so it would cost to hire a consulting company.
City Council members were happy to hear of the potential savings and the planning when Field introduced her proposal at Wednesday night's meeting at Milton City Hall. With Veterans Day observed on Monday, city offices were closed, which moved the meeting to Wednesday.
Field has convinced the Atlanta Regional Commission to help the city run mini-charettes with stakeholders in the Arnold Mill Road area. The ARC will provide staff to run the week of meetings with stakeholders. The city will provide lunch every day, meeting space and a place to hold two public information meetings in which residents and other property owners will get to "play" with blocks to help create the plan for the area.
She had thought to submit a Livable Communities Initiative proposal for the area. But Roswell, which shares a boundary in several places along Arnold Mill, said last year they were not ready to consider joining in the proposal application. And earlier this year, the neighboring city said it wasn't interested. That helped convince Field that this area wasn't appropriate for an LCI study, so she turned to her contacts at the ARC's Land Use division for a different kind of assistance.
"And I have succeeded in getting them to provide that type of manpower to come up at very minimal cost," she said.
Lunch, space all week to meet, helping arrange individual stakeholder meetings, space for two community meetings and also a professional illustrator are among the requirements she estimates will cost $5,000.
An illustrator is necessary to immediately help show what type of development or activity center – or whatever the participants are talking about.
After the ARC helps, she and her staff would present ideas for the master plan that might be using form based code, if that's the direction City Council chose.
With the GA 9 North study getting attention in early spring, she wants to schedule the Arnold Mill study in late spring.
Field said she's concerned that with the Crabapple plan going "gangbusters," the city needs to get ahead of any future development so "as development starts to move up that corridor, we are ready for it."
Councilman Lance Large wanted to make sure Milton was in contact with Cherokee County, which he said was experiencing development north in the same corridor.
Field said she has talked to Cherokee County, which is planning an activity center farther north on their side of the county line.