By Patrick Fox
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Milton officials already have drawn up plans for a new look for their busiest commercial corridor; now they're getting help in deciding how to develop it.
The city learned Wednesday it was awarded a $100,000 Livable Centers Initiative grant to create a quality growth plan for the Highway 9 corridor, the city's commercial and transportation core.
The funding, through the Atlanta Regional Commission, would create an overarching plan for potential development and redevelopment of the four-mile stretch from Bethany Bend south to Mayfield Road in Alpharetta, said Lynn Tully, Milton Community development director. The plan also would define appropriate land use and zoning changes, and include improvements for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, she said.
The Milton City Council adopted a 31-page design guide for the corridor in December, portraying a visually pleasing and accessible commercial center.
It has recommendations for building placement near the streets, with parking on the side or in back. It also promotes inter-parcel access between lots, enabling customers to drive from one location to another without re-entering the street.
Both studies should help the area qualify for future transportation grants, Tully said.
The latest LCI grants included two $100,000 awards for new studies, one for Milton and another for Cobb County's Six Flags area. Twelve other communities will receive varying amounts of funding for supplemental studies that will help them further implement their existing LCI studies.
“LCI has helped communities across metro Atlanta retool and redesign over the years, creating more places that attract residents and businesses alike,” said Tad Leithead, ARC Chairman. “Our local government partners have used these grants to the benefit of their communities and the entire region.”