Norcross gets $100k for study

LAWRENCEVILLE - A new Norcross study will create a "superblock" bounded by four main roads and give planners the chance to look closely at what an area near the city could become.

The city received $100,000 from the Atlanta Regional Commission to fund the research for a Livable Centers Initiative project, or LCI.

Community Development Director Jennifer Peterson said the process was competitive but that the city is looking forward to expanding a similar study conducted in Norcross' downtown in 2001.

"I'm very happy about this," she said. "All the good things that are happening downtown are pretty much a result of that LCI."

The new study will take place through the fall within an area bounded by Buford Highway, Beaver Ruin Road, Interstate 85 and North Norcross-Tucker Road. Peterson said the 2,000-acre area will be studied in detail, including transportation opportunities and what can be done to improve the quality of life.

"We're going to get away from how Norcross has developed in the past, with a patchwork quilt of development," she said.

The program's goal is to help local governments reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality by connecting homes, shops and offices, enhancing streetscapes and pedestrian amenities and improving access to transit options.

The study area goes outside the city's boundaries and includes part of the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District and some areas in unincorporated Gwinnett County.

Peterson said she hopes the study will show area leaders how they can encourage substantial, significant redevelopment.

"I think we've got a pretty good idea of what the community wants," she said. "This will allow us to take it to a level of refinement that the city's comprehensive plan will not."