Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Milton researches greenspace options.

Courtesy Jonathan Copsey; The Milton Herald

National group to make report.

MILTON, Ga. – Last week, Milton hosted several members of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). And they are on a mission.

The four members, from cities around the country, came to Milton as part of a project to bolster the city's options on tackling greenspace.

"They've been here the past couple of days speaking with staff about possible ways to have new and interesting ways to pursue greenspace preservation," said Jason Wright, Milton's communications manager.

The ICMA representatives are part of a research program. Cities around the country apply to this program to gather ideas from the visitors. The ICMA people gather data on the city they visit, and then return home and put together a report with ideas that could be implemented.

For Milton, this will mean people from around the country who have experience in mitigating suburban sprawl and maintaining greenspace will be able to weigh in and give recommendations on how Milton can proceed to grow while still maintaining the rural charm on which it prides itself.

"This is just one of many tools we have to deal with Milton's reality," said City Manager Chris Lagerbloom at the March 3 City Council meeting.

Milton has already imposed a moratorium on new rezonings of properties as it sorts out ways to slow down or mitigate growth.

"How do you preserve what people like about Milton and still allow property owners to develop as they see fit? And you have to keep community desires in mind to find a workable solution," Wright said.

The recommendations are provided at no cost to the city, Wright said.

This is the second time Milton has been the beneficiary of such a project. Last year, an ICMA team visited and came up with ways to improve the open records process.

Lagerbloom said the consultants should have their recommendations available in June.

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