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Norcross residents discuss growth

NORCROSS - Concerned residents gathered Wednesday at the second of four public meetings to discuss how the city should plan for future growth and development.

Part of the Livable Centers Initiative grant given by the Atlanta Regional Commission, the goal is to create a community where people can live, work, play, efficiently use transportation and feel connected to their neighbors.

"Through this process we're going to lay out our goals and our vision as a city of what do we want to have happen," said Norcross Community Development Director Jennifer Peterson. "We're trying to find ways to (to offer incentives for) redevelopment."

About 40 citizens in attendance marked up maps with colored markers and discussed what types of things they'd like to see in the area bordered by Interstate 85, Beaver Ruin Road, Buford Highway and Jimmy Carter Boulevard. They discussed issues such as future land use, pedestrian walkability, traffic, transit, parks and open spaces.

Peterson said once the four meetings have been completed in November, the City Council will receive a draft document to be implemented by the first of the year. Peterson said this type of planning was not typical of how the process usually went either.

"It really comes at planning from a different angle than your usual visioning, comprehensive planning, fluffy stuff," she said. "It talks about transportation and land use but then it also talks about comprehensive market studies like rental rates at apartments, square footage of office space available and vacancy rates."

She said through this process the council can then determine what types of regulation changes or financial incentives they'll need to provide in order to foster the redevelopment efforts.

"We've got all the potential in the world," Peterson said. "What we're trying to get from these meetings is what can we do as city to make the right environment so that these things talked about will happen."

The two remaining public meetings will be held at the Norcross Cultural Arts and Community Center at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 1 and Nov. 5. For more information, call 678-421-2027.