It’s December, and at Milton’s City Hall, the spirit of community, camaraderie, friendship and fellowship is in the air. For us, it’s a month packed full of not only festive holidays, parties, dinners and all that December entails – but real work being done to bring this community closer together and make life better for our residents.
The first thing we have coming up this month is Milton’s fifth birthday on Dec. 1. The city incorporated on Dec. 1, 2006 after being voted into cityhood July 18, 2006 by an overwhelming majority of 85 percent.
There have since been elections (the first, however, took place in November 2006 in preparation of the incorporation), the start of a police and fire service, numerous citizen and council meetings, great celebrations and much, much more.
The City of Milton’s government pledges to keep going strong into the future. The next five years are sure to be even better.
Up next is the Fourth Annual Tree Lighting, held Saturday, Dec. 3 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the corner of Webb Road and Ga. 9 in front of the Deerfield Place shopping center. There will be Christmas, Hanukkah and holiday music, food and giveaways from local businesses and of course Santa Claus! He’ll ride in by fire truck as the tree is lit, then be available for photos. Make sure to get there early so you don’t miss a thing.
The next important event is Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m. That’s when the first meeting of the Stakeholder Group for the Crabapple Zoning Overlay District will take place. This group, composed of 12 Crabapple business, resident and appointed citizen representatives, plus four Milton staffers, two consultants from project partner Tunnell-Spangler-Walsh & Associates and a planner from the Atlanta Regional Commission, is tasked with created a form-based zoning overlay district and incorporating regulations for transfer of development rights.
Basically, what this means is that Milton has listened to the public’s concerns regarding land use and a uniform appearance in Crabapple and is doing something about it. Keep an eye on this group as these plans develop into something that will keep Crabapple special for the next 20-plus years.
Also this month we have the Birmingham Park Master Planning meetings on Wednesday and Thursday, Dec 14 and 15, at 7 p.m. This portion of the larger Parks Master Plan, which itself held its kick-off meeting in November, concerns of course the currently unplanned 200-acre park area off Hickory Flat Road. We need to hear what you think this park should include: tennis courts? Maybe ball fields? Perhaps we should leave portions of it passive for hiking and equestrian use. It’s up to you.
Your comments will be worked into the master plan for the park, which will be presented as part of the full Parks Master Plan in February. From there we can look at funding these great ideas to bring residents the parks and recreation services they want.
Lastly, we have the Fourth Annual Christmas in Crabapple holiday celebration Saturday, Dec. 17 from 2 to 5 p.m. This year, the volunteer Crabapple Community Association is helping plan and run this event. They’ve come up with a great idea to involve all the businesses in Crabapple – a “North Pole Passport” program in which families go from store to store doing holiday activities. When you’ve gotten your passport stamped at every business, you receive a holiday gift.
We’ll also have the traditional winter holiday music from several faiths, photos with Santa, a roaring bonfire and, new for this year as well, rides on a holiday train. It’ll be a great time, and I hope to see you out there.
This time of year makes me very thankful for my family and the time we spend together. Looking at the calendar ahead, I know I’ll get to spend a lot of time with my neighbors, continuing to make Milton a great place to live, as well. And that community spirit is what makes the holidays special.
Come join us, won’t you?
Mayor Joe Lockwood / Accessmilton.com