MILTON, Ga. — The Milton City Council got its first look at a draft plan that could guide future development of the city’s 140-acre park space at the former Milton Country Club.
Design consultants with Kimley-Horn laid out phasing plans for developing the park, offered amenity options and presented potential costs for each phase of construction.
The total estimated buildout of the plan would carry an estimated $17 million price tag and take between four to nine years to complete.
While some council members expressed sticker shock, Will Herbig of Kimley-Horn said the estimated build cost is a “relatively low dollar amount” compared to similarly sized parks with comparable trails.
The working plan calls for removing the golf cart paths and creating a 2.2-mile granite trail running adjacent to nearby homes to begin the first phase of development. Herbig said the new trail will be constructed as far away from the residential lots as possible in deference to some homeowners who voiced safety and security concerns. The plan includes an estimated $960,000 for fencing between the trail and homes and on the western border of the park.
Under the current blueprint, new trees would also be planted to help shield the homes from park users.
The granite trails would be permeable and able to support wheelchairs, strollers and bikes, a consultant said.
During the trail construction, hazards such as draining issues and bridge repairs would be addressed.
The trailhead would be located near tennis courts and the pool, and upon completion of the trail the park could be opened to the public. The plan then calls for the connection of the two ends of the trail to Dinsmore Road to create a loop. The roadside trail could feature a 10-foot wide multi-use trail and an 8-foot wide equestrian bridle path.
Herbig said the completion of the loop and addressing the hazards would take one to three years to complete.
The second phase of the project would add another trail loop along the southern end of the property near Freemanville Road. Consultants suggested another vehicle access point could be created with cooperation from Fulton County Schools, which owns an adjacent property. The plan also calls for an internal parking lot shaded by trees in the area.
Another potential parking lot, which would accommodate horse trailers, could be built on Fulton schools property. Riders or park visitors would access the park with a potential Freemanville Road underpass at Chicken Creek.
Parks and Recreation Director Jim Cregge told the council City Attorney Ken Jarrard and representatives with Fulton County Schools have been in contact regarding the potential lot. Cregge said they believed they have come to a “workable solution” to use a concrete pad that served as part of the building to be used for parking.
The plan also calls for further developing the active portions of the park. Options include adding more tennis courts, a playground, sand volleyball courts and an expansion of the existing pool.
The second phase could take between three to five years to complete, Herbig said.
The next steps in the process will be finalizing the plan, creating a cost and implementation strategy and working with local residents on the potential connection of the park with the proposed central Milton trail.
Herbig also suggested the city move forward with a process for naming the park.
The council also discussed the name for another future park space. Children’s Charities, which is fundraising to construct an all-inclusive park in Milton, has been offered a possible donation from the Richard Petty Foundation to name the park “Victory Junction.”
Children’s Charities co-founder Lauren Holmes said the foundation could donate $300,000 to $500,000 for the naming rights. Holmes said the foundation is hoping to reach the halfway point of its $500,000 fundraising goal by the end of the year. If the donation from the Petty Foundation is granted, the park could add additional amenities for adults, Holmes said.
No council members were opposed to the action and a resolution will be drafted and up for formal approval at an upcoming council meeting.