Residents get their say on town plan

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Tyrone might be near the middle of its state-required 10-year Comprehensive Plan, but changes in the local economy have led to a need to re-evaluate the plan and develop a new document. One of the first steps in producing a new document was a public input meeting held Feb. 17 at the Tyrone Library.

Mayor Eric Dial said Tyrone adopted the most recent 10-year Comprehensive Plan eight years ago. That adoption came at the beginning of the Great Recession that had a significant impact of Tyrone and Fayette County.

Dial stated the belief that, with so many conditions changing locally since that time, the town is in need of an entirely new document. And unlike eight years ago, the new document will come at no cost due to recent changes in state law.

Current law requires that the various regional commissions, such as the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) to which Fayette County belongs, provide comprehensive plans at no cost.

Explaining the comprehensive plan process, ARC representative Jared Lombard said it includes several phases. The first phase included three stakeholder meetings followed by the public input meeting held Feb. 17. A second public input meeting will be held at a later date.

Once those are completed, the top pressing issues and others identified will go back to stakeholders who will develop possible solutions to respond to the identified needs.

The Town Council will then take the proposed solutions to the public and ask if the solutions have public support. If supported, the council can adopt the plan which would be forwarded for review and final approval by ARC.

Lombard said the time frame involved in the comprehensive plan process could see it completed sometime this summer.

Citizens at the Feb. 17 meeting also had the opportunity to study charts relating to a variety of census demographic data and others relating to jobs, the local economy and transportation. Participants noted the time needed to get to school, work and shopping.

Also provided at the meeting were two maps of the town, with one asking residents’ “favorite places” and the other asked where they would like to see changes. Residents responded by placing a dot on the “changes” map and writing what they would like to see in the future.

The largest concentration of dots on the “changes” map was along Senoia Road in the center of town where, essentially, no downtown exists since much of Tyrone’s commercial areas are positioned along Ga. Highway 74.

And along Senoia Road, and somewhat surprisingly, the largest number of dots had residents indicating that they want sewer in the area. That preference stands in contrast to the consensus position taken by Tyrone elected officials for nearly a decade who insisted that no sewer lines should run in the area. If the position of the citizens stating their preference is any indication, it could be that the longstanding “will of the people” is experiencing a shift.

Comments made on other dots positioned in the Senoia Road area suggested the need for the revitalization of the area and an increase in shopping and dining venues and the addition of more cart paths and sidewalks.

The majority of those responding on the “favorite places” also included locations along Senoia Road, such as Shamrock Park and the library.

Lombard said approximately 70 people attended the meeting that ran most of the afternoon. That number loomed large, he said, compared to the turn-out in areas such as Duluth and Douglasville.