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Visioning workshop ongoing this week in McDonough

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Photo by Hugh Osteen

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

The City of McDonough is offering its residents a voice on how they want McDonough's business district to look in the future.

The city, this week, is holding a Visioning Workshop at various locations in its downtown district, with the McDonough Square serving as a "focus area," said the city's Community Development Director, Kathleen Field.

"The goal of this exercise is to achieve a consensus plan from all stakeholders, as to the focus area's long-term redevelopment/development direction," said Field.

Field announced the endeavor during a recent called meeting of the McDonough City Council. She said the cost to put the event together is $10,000 -- half of which came from a Livable Centers Initiative Grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission.

"We have been working on this for several months," Field said. "We're expecting a very exciting process next week. I've sent out over 400 invitations to all the identified stakeholders, plus the PR that we've put out there encouraging 'John Q. Interested Citizen' to attend as well."

The workshop kicked off Monday, with a community meeting at the Hazlehurst House, located at 77 Sloan St.

Today, through Thursday, an open house will be held from 10 a.m., to 5 p.m., each day, in a studio at Harry Norman Realtors, 19 Griffin St., according to Field.

During the council meeting in which the endeavor was announced, Allison Duncan, a land-use planner with the Atlanta Regional Commission, said the workshop would feature an image-preference survey, in which attendees could express their opinions on options for parking, streetscapes, residential design and open space.

"We're going to take all that information ... and we're going to compile it and post on the wall at the studio space downtown," Duncan said. "People can look at this, and it can inform future discussions that we're going to have."

The Atlanta Regional Commission's Land Use Division Chief, Dan Reuter, said his staff is organizing the workshop, as well as providing briefings on the event's progress.

"There's probably 100 places I could name right now -- from an older strip-shopping center, to some kind of other community -- where it would be helpful to do that kind of design work, and get the community together to talk about that site," Reuter said.

For more information on the workshop, call (770) 957-3915.