Keep Arnold Mill rural, low density

Community envisions development plan

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MILTON, Ga. – Milton staff held a community meeting Nov. 12 to review the visioning plan for the Arnold Mill Road area. ¬The meeting was held at the Ebenezer United Methodist Church. 44 people turned up.

Community workshops were held in June to form an idea of how the community would like the Arnold Mill area developed in the future. Through these workshops, staff found that the community wanted to preserve the area’s rural character, natural beauty and historic resources, avoid strip commercial developments and avoid the standard subdivision model.

Michele McIntosh-Ross, a Milton staff planner, said the goal is to understand what people in the area want.

“We don’t profess to proscribe what we feel people in the community want,” McIntosh-Ross said. “So we always try to go out and ask the question to the community about what they want to see.”

Residents said they wanted new developments to be guided toward small centers with a street grid, one- to two-stories tall and small-scale mixed-use with standard designs focused on form; rustic or farmhouse style, with brick, wood or stone and with parking in rear. The possible locations discussed for this type of development were Arnold Mill Road at Cox Road, and the area around the Old Chadwick store.

After discussion with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), the widening of Arnold Mill Road is on pause and is a long-range plan at best. Alternative options were presented to help manage traffic and promote safety in the area. These options included turn lanes or roundabouts at key intersections, slower speeds in village centers and faster in between. It was suggested to extend Cox Road to New Providence Road and extend a new road near the power line easement from Arnold Mill Road to New Providence Road.

The Old Chadwick Road Landfill is projected to close in five to eight years, and staff presented some suggested reuse options and asked for feedback of what the community would like to see. After the landfill closes, it would be covered with vegetated earthen material to prevent exposure to waste, water infiltration and erosion. Some of the possible uses include park/green space with active uses – such as walking, hiking and biking trails, a dog park, zip line and seasonal sledding – and passive uses – such as a nature preserve, wildlife habitat, botanical garden, sculpture garden and solar array. It was also suggested that it could be used as an outdoor event space for local events and festivals.

After the community input is processed, staff will write a report that will place rules and regulations for future developments to be developed according to the agreed upon vision for the area. After the report is written, it will go before the Design Review Board, then to the Planning Commission meeting and finally to City Council.