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County to host hearing on Comprehensive Plan

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

Clayton County officials will seek public input on a partial update to the county's Comprehensive Plan on Monday at 7 p.m., at the County Administration Building. The input will be used to further develop the county's plans for growth through the year 2025.

The Collaborative Firm, LLC, an East Point-based planning and management company, has been tasked with creating a 20-year growth plan for the county. Jessica Guinn, director of operations and planning for the firm, said Monday will be the first time the public has a chance to respond to a complete draft of the plan.

"This is the first time they are going to have a chance to look at it and provide feedback," she said. "The purpose of that meeting is to give the community a briefing on the issues that have been included in the plan. The most important purpose of this is for the community to give us their feedback ... if there is anything they would like to say about the plan, we would like to hear it."

Guinn said the draft of the Comprehensive Plan includes: a Quality Community Objective Assessment, which identifies long-term county and regional goals; Areas Requiring Special Attention, which identifies redevelopment areas such as Tara Boulevard, Ga. Highway 138, Ga. Highway 54, Ga. Highway 42, the Cherry Hill subdivision, the Mountain View area, and proposed commuter rail stations; Issues and Opportunities, which identify key issues and opportunities facing the county, such as development patterns, resource management, and intergovernmental relations; and an Implementation Program, which highlights accomplishments of the past five years and an "action-item" list of improvement projects county departments plan to undertake in the next five years.

"It's a lot ... it is close to 200 projects," Guinn said of the action-item list. "There are a lot of things that are improvements to the water system. The transportation department has a number of transportation projects they will be pursuing over the next few years. Those may be road widenings or intersection improvements. The school system has included projects which may include new schools and additions to existing schools."

Guinn said The Collaborative Firm will eventually bring its draft of the Comprehensive Plan, along with feedback from the community, before the Atlanta Regional Commission, which will review the plans.

Jamie Carlington, public relations officer for the county, said the county wants "as much participation from the citizens of Clayton County as possible.

"This is about the future of Clayton County, so their feedback is very important," she said. "We have to form a partnership. We would really like to embrace everybody in the community and get their ideas on how they would like to move forward."

The draft of the Comprehensive Plan is currently available for public viewing at all Clayton County public libraries. The County Administration Building, where the public hearing is scheduled, is located at 112 Smith Street in Jonesboro. For more information, call (770) 477-3208.