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Small groups planned to discuss McDonough LCI

Business owners, and other parties interested in downtown McDonough, will have an opportunity to weigh in on redevelopment prospects for The Square, and its surrounding areas.

The city’s Community Development Department will host small-group meetings, Tuesday and Wednesday, seeking input from owners of businesses and buildings, as well as others, regarding the city’s Livable Centers Initiative.

The sessions will continue a process which began in the summer of last year, to assemble plans for investment and redevelopment in the downtown area.

“The most recent efforts include the June 2011 visioning workshops, which were held in the Harry Norman building on The Square,” said McDonough Media Relations Specialist Casey Case. “These were followed by the December 2011 public meeting held at the First Baptist Church of McDonough, with a very successful number in attendance, representing a wide segment of this city. 

“The next series of meetings with be ... a series of smaller group meetings with specific discussions taking place during each segment on very specific questions,” she continued. “The agenda for each will be to identify existing and perceived barriers toward investment and redevelopment, and to identify new opportunities and strategies for remedying those issues. Each meeting will be an exploration of ideas, depending on the group, where we will float a number of thoughts for their critical consideration.”

The North Carolina-based Lawrence Group, architectural design consultants hired by the city, will facilitate both meetings.

In 2011, the ARC awarded McDonough $1.3 million to implement recommendations for redevelopment. Case said the scheduled sessions are vital to ensuring a positive outcome, for projects in McDonough.

The city, in December, hosted a similar event to obtain opinions from the public. Community Development Director John Cheek said one reason for that meeting was to encourage more participation from young adults in determining the city’s future development prospects.

“We had as many folks from [age] 25 to 35, or at least under 40, at this meeting, as we had in total attendance at the other visioning workshops,” said Cheek, in December. “So, I think that went well, and I think we were able to refresh the community on what we’re up to.”

Representatives from the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) conducted an LCI workshop over a four-day period in June. In December, an ARC representative provided findings gleaned from interaction with workshop participants.

Results from an image-preference survey revealed that residents favor more brick and stone buildings, and fully developed streetscapes in the city. Plans for McDonough’s downtown area –– as part of the project funded by the ARC –– include lighting and landscape enhancements, as well as new traffic signals.