Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Milton: To Gate or Not To Gate?

by Jason Wright / Appen Newspapers

January 19, 2009 MILTON - Gating Creek Club Drive is a matter of safety, Mike Stevens, a Crooked Creek Homeowner Association member, told Milton City Council. That is why he asked the city to abandon the upscale neighborhood's main thoroughfare.

At a City Council work session Jan. 12, Stevens, who has spearheaded efforts to gate the road, spoke to council about the city's right-of-way privatization policy, or the way it abandons a road.

It's just a matter of time, before someone is killed by a passing motorist driving over the speed limit in the neighborhood, Stevens said. "It's going to be on all of our heads."

The meeting was packed with people from the 640-home neighborhood, which accounts for about 11 percent of Milton's population.

They left feeling mostly frustrated after council determined a lot of work needs to be done before anything can change.

The policy, adopted from Fulton County in June 2007, says that for a street to be abandoned by the city, 100 percent of the people affected by the closing of the road would have to approve.

Stevens and the rest of the Crooked Creek HOA board want that number lowered to 75 percent.

Creek Club Drive often is used as a cut through for drivers between Ga. 9 and Freemanville Road.

Milton's Public Works Director Dan Drake told council his staff had looked at eight state jurisdictions and all required a 100 percent approval by affected residents for road abandonment.

He said for a neighborhood of more than 100 homes, he would be comfortable with 90 percent, however."This, to me, is effectively 100 percent," he said.

Stevens denounced the idea."We're six times bigger than that," he said. "This kills it for us."City Attorney Ken Jarrard also told council that state law requires Milton to find the road serves "no public use." He added the decision can be upheld in court if council finds the road is being used "illegally," which had many in the audience contemplating whether speeding counted.

Drake asked that any work done to determine Creek Club Drive's status be carried out during the upcoming transportation master plan process. That way potentially rerouted traffic can be diffused, knowledgeable consultants can help the city make fact-based, rather than emotional, decisions.

Councilwoman Julie Zahner Bailey agreed."We have to have hard data to support our position in a court of law if we had to," she said.The most vocal council member for Crooked Creek's position was Tina D'Aversa, who called Creek Club Drive a "safety hazard.""It is a dangerous road for pass through traffic," she said.D'Aversa agreed that the transportation stakeholders committee needs to be a part of any decision."I wouldn't want to see us change our policy, then defer to our transportation planning policy," she said.


Anonymous said...

Club Creek Drive is a pass through from Ga. Hwy 9 to Francis Road, not Freemanville Road. Please report
accurate facts!

Anonymous said...

If your kids are not playing in the street, then I don't see how dangerous this road could be. And is it really faster to cut through this neighborhood to get to Francis from Hwy.9? I just don't see that as believable assuming that you actually stop at every stop sign in between. Stevens is a real estate agent, he's only interested in increasing property values by promoting a gated neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Creek Club Dr. was a through street and has been since residents purchased their homes in Crooked Creek since the day the subdivision opened. What makes Creek Club Dr. any different than any other public through street who has seen increased traffic flow? Freemanville Rd, Birmingham Rd., Cogburn to name just a few in Milton?? Should we gate them all? At least Crooked Creek has sidewalks to walk on! The current Fulton County policy (adopted June 2007) says that for a street to be "abandoned" by the city, 100 percent of the people affected by the closing of the road would have to approve...of course Crooked Creek's HOA wants that number changed to 75%! I want to change rules, laws & guidelines on things I don't like too! If we gate this road where do fellow Miltonians expect the traffic to go? Our other through streets are already busting at the seams during prime traffic hours. Also, I thought Milton was trying to preserve a rural feeling in our community not one of "elitist fashion". I can't help but feel that part of the reason Crooked Creek is fighting so hard for this has less to do with safety (they could put speed bumps in to slow people down) and more to do with pomp and circumstance! After all, it sure would help their resale values to boast "Private Gated Community"

Anonymous said...

Gate Birmingham, Freemanville, Mayfield, Hopewell, Bethany, Dorris, Cogburn, Providence,Dinsmore,Crabapple, Mid-Broadwell, etc. and let's call it a neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

If the City of Milton closes Crooked Creek then all roads in subdivisions should also have the same rights. Such as North Valley, Hopewell Plantation and the open road neighborhoods also. Wouldn't Milton be "setting precedent" here. There could be a major lawsuit if the Council passes this one or changes "the rules" of less than 100%.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Wood Rd. "Don't drive here cause we have dirt."

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the horse dung on Wood Rd.

Anonymous said...

Thank God for horse dung!!

Anonymous said...

Let's gate Wood Rd. along with all the horse dung. Forget the 100% rule, but make the residents of the road responsible for all upkeep.

Anonymous said...

"..The most vocal council member for Crooked Creek's position was Tina D'Aversa, who called Creek Club Drive a "safety hazard..."

Funny how Tina Pelosi sides with her conflict there, though....?? Although "backdoor" deal and Tina in same paragragh is not suitable for children. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

I guess council member Bailey dosent agree with Tina?

Anonymous said...

I think Julie's comment shows she's trying to learn more about the requirements and consequences of gating any community. Thanks, Julie!

Anonymous said...

Why not gate everything west of highway #9.