Peachtree City gets $128,000 grant for City Centre study

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Planning map shows potential new city center from Drake Field and City Hall on the right, to the Willowbend Center at left, to the redeveloped Aberdeen Center at top left. Graphic/Peachtree City.
Planning map shows potential new city center from Drake Field and City Hall on the right, to the Willowbend Center at left, to the redeveloped Aberdeen Center at top left. Graphic/Peachtree City.

With Aberdeen Village Center now out of play, study parameters may shift to focus elsewhere — 

The Atlanta Regional Commission announced May 9 that it has awarded Peachtree City a $128,000 Livable Centers Initiative planning grant to help the city study the potential redevelopment of the City Hall area and nearby Aberdeen Village commercial district into more walkable, connected places.

With the owner of Aberdeen Village Shopping Center taking the site off the market to redevelop it himself [See story], the original study boundaries that included Aberdeen will likely have to shift to other parcels.

The city will add that to $32,000 in local funds already budgeted for the “City Centre” plan, raising the study funding to $160,000.

“The grant will be used to perform several targeted studies that build off the city’s Conceptual Vision, developed in 2018, which imagined the development of a “walkable village” that features a mix of uses, public spaces, and connections and enhancements to existing green infrastructure,” the ARC said.

Peachtree City Mayor Vanessa Fleisch at an April City Council meeting. Photo/Hans Appen.
Peachtree City Mayor Vanessa Fleisch at an April City Council meeting. Photo/Hans Appen.

“The funds will be used toward the preparation of the City Centre Redevelopment Plan,” Mayor Vanessa Fleisch said in her recent application to the ARC. “The study area is located between the intersection of two regional corridors to the west, State Route 54 and State Route 74, and Lake Peachtree to the east.”

For example, a market study will determine the amount and location of potential retail and residential development. And a parking and “alternate mode” study will ensure that the redevelopment plan provides incorporates the city’s path system and cart use.

Whatever comes out of the final plan is expected to lead to revamped city regulations about zoning and building, the ARC news release suggested.

“The city of Peachtree City … will update its LCI plan to establish new goals for the area, develop a new implementation program, and ensure that development regulations are aligned with the LCI plan to create a walkable, mixed-use village,” the ARC said.

“Once the planning studies are complete, Peachtree City and the other communities will become eligible to receive federal transportation funding for projects, such as sidewalks, multi-use trails, and intersection improvements, to bring their visions to life,” the ARC said.

“The LCI program is an innovative way to help transform communities and improve quality of life across the Atlanta region,” said ARC Executive Director Doug Hooker. “So many of us today want to live and work in dynamic, lively places where you can walk or bike to get your errands done, grab a meal, or visit with friends. These investments will help foster these kinds of spaces throughout metro Atlanta.”

Created as a way to leverage federal transportation funds to reduce vehicle miles traveled and improve air quality, ARC’s Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) is a grant program that incentivizes local jurisdictions to re-envision their communities as vibrant, walkable places that increase mobility options, encourage healthy lifestyles and provide easy access to jobs and service, the ARC news release said.

Since 2000, the LCI program has invested $231 million in 120 communities throughout the Atlanta region, helping pay for planning studies and the construction of transportation projects, such as sidewalks and intersection improvements. The ARC board has allocated $314 million over the next 15 years for transportation projects resulting from completed LCI studies.

LCI program goals include:

• Providing access to a variety of travel modes including transit, roadways, walking and biking

• Encouraging mixed-income residential neighborhoods, employment, shopping and recreation options

• Developing an outreach process that promotes the involvement of all stakeholders.

To learn more about the LCI program and the impact it has had on the Atlanta region, visit atlantaregional.com/lci.

Area of Peachtree City included in the city center study. Photo/Peachtree City.
Area of Peachtree City included in the city center study. Photo/Peachtree City.

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