So you didn't make the town hall meeting on the master plan for downtown Athens in November. The room at the Classic Center was full, but you weren't one of the horde. Nor have you met in small groups with one of the graduate students helping UGA professor Jack Crowley take the pulse of the community on how they want downtown to develop for the next 20 years.
Don't worry. Jack Crowley still wants to hear from you. Like, today. You can share your ideas and opinions on line. And you may keep doing so up until the Mayor and Commission adopt the plan sometime later this year.
When the process is finished, Crowley estimates that his team and he will have talked to 3,000 people--much larger than those usually providing input into a city plan. He told the board of the Athens Downtown Development Authority on Tuesday that he has walked the entire grid of downtown and Dudley Park, streets and alleys, taking photographs and evaluating ideas that have burbled up about downtown.
What ideas? Did you know there's a retention pond for the Multimodal Transportation Center? Why couldn't it be converted into a park? That's just one of the ideas. Crowley and his team have sifted through more than 2,000 comments so far. Other ideas concern open space, connectivity and walkability.
There's going to be another town hall meeting in February, Crowley said. Instead of gathering ideas--as was done at the last meeting--participants may be asked to vet specific ideas.
"They're taking the November feedback and making it more developed," said ADDA Director Kathryn Lookofsky. "People will be asked, 'Do you like this? Or do you like that?' I think it will be more focused. They'll start reining things in and coming up with a plan."