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Henry study to guide I-75 development

By Valerie Baldowski

vbaldowski@henryherald

Henry County is launching a study to determine what type of development is best suited for the Interstate 75 corridor, between Hudson Bridge and Jonesboro roads.

The Henry County Board of Commissioners chose a firm to conduct the Livable Centers Initiative Study during a meeting Monday.

A request to award the project was presented by Ray Gibson, director of the Henry County Planning and Zoning Department, and Brecca Sherow, a planner with the department.

According to information Gibson and Sherow provided to commissioners, the company chosen to conduct the study is Tunnell-Spangler-Walsh and Associates, of Atlanta.

"We're now in the process of getting all the contracts signed," Sherow said.

The project, she said, will provide a framework, showing how the corridor should be developed to meet the specific needs of Henry County.

The county received most of the money to finance the study earlier this year.

In February, said Sherow, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) awarded Henry County a $100,000 grant. The rest of the funding will come from the county's project budget, in order to meet the required 20-percent local match.

Tunnell-Spangler-Walsh and Associates will work with its sub-consultants to conduct the study, Sherow continued. The sub-consultants will draft the study, then submit it to the county for review. In turn, explained Sherow, the county will need to submit the plan to the ARC for its review by March 2010.

A meeting between ARC consultants and county officials on the study is expected to be scheduled for later this month, and Sherow said public input on the project will be gathered later this year.

Decisions on what should be built along the corridor will not be made for some time, she said.

"We want to see a mixed-use, multi-modal, green, sustainable development," Sherow said. "The outcome of the public involvement process will determine how this area takes shape. The underlying, existing and future land-use plans, among other factors, will play an important role in helping guide this study."