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18 Metro Atlanta Communities to Receive Planning Support through ARC’s Community Development Assistance Program

(Atlanta — Jun 14, 2019)

The Atlanta Regional Commission announced today that it will provide critical planning and technical support to 18 metro Atlanta communities through the agency’s Community Development Assistance program (CDAP).

The projects were chosen through a competitive process that solicited proposals from cities, counties, and non-profit organizations across the Atlanta region. ARC will provide a combination of staffing resources and grants to the selected communities to support a wide range of land use and development initiatives that aim to improve quality of life for residents.

“We are excited to work with these communities to help address critical local issues and enhance overall quality of life for all,” said Sam Shenbaga, Manager of Community Development at ARC.

ARC evaluated applicants based on eight regional priority issues that were developed based on feedbacks from local governments:

  • Access to healthy food
  • Creative placemaking
  • Green infrastructure
  • Historic preservation
  • Housing affordability
  • Lifelong communities
  • Smart communities
  • Workforce development

In addition to utilizing staff resources, ARC is collaborating with six regional partners through this program:

  • Georgia Conservancy
  • Georgia Power
  • Georgia State University
  • Georgia Tech
  • Southface
  • Urban Land Institute

The following projects will receive assistance through the CDAP program:

Aerotropolis Area Land Use Study

ARC will assess key land use and development conflicts within the various jurisdictions in the Aerotropolis area and recommend potential solutions. In coordination with the Aerotropolis Alliance, ARC will host a summit for Aerotropolis-area elected officials. The summit will cover planning and zoning best practices, as well as opportunities for interjurisdictional coordination. 

Arabia Alliance Historic Resource Preservation

Working with the Arabia Alliance, ARC will inventory historic resources within the City of Stonecrest and establish policy recommendations to protect and preserve them. In addition, ARC will help community leaders and interested residents determine the best course of action for legally designating and preserving historic districts and landmarks. 

Digital Media Content Framework for the Atlanta Arts and Entertainment District

ARC will convene a committee of experts to develop a content framework for digital signage within the Atlanta Arts and Entertainment District. The digital signage will incorporate local history and culture to celebrate Downtown Atlanta’s heritage. 

Atlanta Land Trust Investment Prioritization Tool

ARC will help the Atlanta Land Trust identify and collect data to assist in the development of a site selection tool.  The work is the first phase of creating a tool that locates ideal future investments and formulates land acquisition criteria in the Atlanta Beltline Planning Area. 

Buford Highway Food Security Assessment

ARC will help the cities of Chamblee and Brookhaven and community partners identify barriers to food security in the Buford Highway corridor, particularly for the community’s low-income Hispanic population. The goal is the eventual removal of these barriers and improved health outcomes in the area.

Cherokee County Housing Analysis

ARC will help Cherokee County and its municipalities assess current housing characteristics and challenges throughout the county and develop some preliminary strategies for addressing them.

Douglas County Zoning Code Audit

ARC will assist Douglas County with an audit of its current zoning ordinance, focusing on key corridors and areas within the county where existing zoning ordinances conflict with the vision laid out in the county’s recently completed long-range plan.

Historic Preservation as an Economic Tool for the City of Lithonia

ARC and the City of Lithonia will develop a strategy to use historic preservation as an economic development tool.  This will include opportunities for a Main Street façade program, a historic preservation district, and a workforce development program to fulfill recommendations outlined in the existing Livable Centers Initiative study and the city’s Comprehensive Plan.

Norcross Citizen Boards Training Program

ARC will facilitate a day-long training for all Norcross boards and commissions to improve understanding of the roles and functions of the various citizen boards. The training will include both general responsibilities of all boards as well as specialized break-out sessions.

Old Fourth Ward Visioning Study

ARC will conduct an analysis of previous planning studies, strategies, and initiatives impacting the Old Fourth Ward community and synthesize these recommendations into a vision for the area. A feasibility study for a Business Improvement District/Community Improvement District will be undertaken to determine potential long-term financing mechanisms.

Rockdale County & City of Conyers Planning and Zoning Training

ARC will facilitate a training program to inform the Planning Commission and Board of Adjustments of roles and responsibilities, while also discussing key issues faced by the county and city.

Washington Road Pedestrian Safety Study

With new development coming to the City of South Fulton’s Washington Road corridor, ARC will explore options for improving pedestrian access and safety, including sidewalks, updated MARTA bus stops, bicycle paths, trails, crosswalks, and street furniture.

Campbellton Community Master Plan*

The master plan for the historic Campbellton community will focus on a unified vision and strategies to address the its future related to development, transportation, recreation, and economic investment.

Glenwood Road- Columbia Drive Area Redevelopment Plan*

This project will provide a vision for the redevelopment of this underutilized commercial node in DeKalb County. The project will have an emphasis on community understanding and buy-in for redevelopment through training and education of stakeholders.

Forest Park Housing and Neighborhood Stabilization Strategy**

The Georgia Conservancy will help the city of Forest Park develop an inventory of current housing conditions for neighborhoods near downtown to stimulate investment. The Georgia Conservancy is a partner of ARC in the implementation of the Community Development Assistance Program.

Paulding County SR 92 Corridor Study**

The Georgia Conservancy is assisting the county with a study to of existing and potential assets along the SR 92 corridor with a goal of attract businesses and increasing the tax base through growth in the commercial and industrial sectors. The Georgia Conservancy is a partner of ARC in the implementation of the Community Development Assistance Program.

Rockdale County Milstead Historic Village**

The Georgia Conservancy will help Rockdale County evaluate historic structures in Milstead Village to aid in the county’s effort to develop design guidelines for the area and attract new businesses and economic opportunities.  The Georgia Conservancy is a partner of ARC in the implementation of the Community Development Assistance Program.

South Fulton District 4 Resiliency Program**

Georgia State University students participating in a senior seminar program at the Andrew Young School of Public Policy will identify opportunities to expand the agricultural program at Chattahoochee Hills Charter School, create urban community gardens and employment opportunities, and address environmental stressors that impact the area. The overall goals are to create healthy food choices and better utilize available agricultural land. Georgia State University is a partner of ARC in the implementation of the Community Development Assistance Program.

*Project funded by a grant from a partner organization

**Project led by a partner organization

Contact Name: Jim Jaquish
Contact Phone: (470) 378-1511
Contact Email: jjaquish@atlantaregional.org