21 Aug 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by cabanasalon
Patch Instagram photo by cabanasalon

Alpharetta Won't Accept Milton's Plans for GA 9 Area

The two cities have a joint Livable Communities Initiative plan, but Alpharetta can't accept changes that contradict its land use plans or suggest tolls on GA 400 need to be accommodated.

Milton may be paying for the State Route 9 LCI Study and have 71 percent of the property within the study area, but Alpharetta City Council won't let adopting the plan make unwanted changes to its own land use plans.

City Attorney Sam Thomas will develop a new resolution that adopts the LCI plan, but with some caveats suggested by Councilman Jim Gilvin during the Monday, June 11 workshop at .

"It concerns  me that instead of a list of what is being applied to our comprehensive  land use plan, it's just kind of out there," the councilman said.

Thomas said the limiting language he would suggest be added to the resolution state that while Alpharetta was adopting the LCI plan, it would not be adopting changes to its land use plans that conflicted with what the city already adopted.

Gilvin continued that though the cities may be great neighbors and partners, "there are times when our interests don't necessarily follow the same plans."

A concentration of high density, high mixed use in areas of the Milton High School district aren't necessarily in Alpharetta's best interest, or control. Likewise changes to land uses within the Alpharetta High School district.

The concept of transferring development rights from less developed areas and moving them into the Alpharetta High district is another problem for Gilvin.

Form-based coding for land use–which focuses on the form of the buildings over their use–is not an avenue Alpharetta has said it wants to pursue.

"It's not something we are really willing to look into yet," Gilvin said. "I'd prefer to see success in Roswell" before adding it to Alpharetta's comprehensive land use plan, he said.

Alpharetta Council members still weren't happy with the mention of a MARTA rail station at Windward Parkway, or tolls on GA 400. Gilvin acknowledged that LCI consultant Eric Bosman of Urban Collage said the plan doesn't endorse or support the two transit options, the language is not acceptable. The councilman said the LCI plan says the city needs to accommodate or even attract the transit options the way he read it in the 208-page document.

Councilman D.C. Aiken definitely wouldn't accept any language in the LCI plan that said anything other than new lanes would have to be constructed for tolls to be considered on GA 400 in managed (HOT) lanes. And he specifically won't accept "shoulder" lanes as new lanes–he means new construction.

Thomas will draft a new resolution that includes Gilvin and other council members' concerns, which will be brought back before them at a future meeting before they finally adopt the plan.

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