Alph comp plan

Visitors tour a Stonehenge-like display of maps and planning information Oct. 7 at Brooke Street Park as part of Alpharetta’s Horizon 2040 initiative to update its Comprehensive Plan. The material also included information about a recent survey gauging residents’ interest in transportation, quality of life and affordable housing.

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Dozens of residents wandered Brooke Street Park behind City Hall Oct. 7 to get the latest update on Alpharetta’s map to the future.

Horizon 2040 is the city’s campaign to engage residents in drafting updates to how Alpharetta should grow over the coming decades. The process occurs every five years as an update to the city’s Comprehensive Plan. The plan casts the community's goals and vision for the future in areas such as land use, housing, economic development, broadband services and transportation. It also establishes a five-year investment and action plan for achieving it. 

The Comprehensive Plan also serves as the basis for City Council decisions on rezoning and variance applications.

The update effort kicked off in August when city planners used email and social media to ask residents to comment on the needs and current status of living in Alpharetta. The survey drew 718 responses from major stakeholders, like homeowners associations, businesses and other groups.

The Oct. 7 event was the second stage of the process, providing results of the survey and giving residents a chance to weigh in on future development with questions regarding quality of life, transportation and affordable housing.

Some of the posters posed questions about Alpharetta’s current policies that set a trajectory for development.

“These community policies come from our current Comprehensive Plan, as well as what we heard from those 718 responses from the community [survey] and from our Steering Committee that we met with back in the beginning of September,” said Michael Woodman, senior planner with the Alpharetta Department of Community Development.

The August survey revealed a pulse of public attitude about the current state of life in the city.

Results showed:

Parks and recreation was the chief element for choosing to live in Alpharetta, followed closely by quality schools. Proximity to family, cultural sites and employment drew lower interest.

Expensive housing was by far the greatest barrier listed for choosing not to live in the city.

Detached dwellings and workforce housing were listed as the top two types of housing needed in the city.

The event also gave residents an opportunity to select which areas of the city should be developed and what kind of development — office, residential, retail or mixed-use — would be suitable for those areas.

Another set of maps allowed residents to specify which areas of the city are in need of redevelopment.

Woodman said residents will be provided opportunity to propose more detailed suggestions, such as areas in need of more green space, at future workshops on the Comprehensive Plan.

“Tonight is more of a high-level meeting, starting with the main plan elements, the policies and the mapping exercise,” Woodman said. “Future meetings, we’ll get into more details.”

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