JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – The Johns Creek City Council recently received an update on the city’s Comprehensive Plan to check what changes citizen feedback has made.
The Johns Creek Comprehensive Plan, a blueprint for how the city should develop, is halfway through its two-year review due to be completed by the end of 2018.
Johns Creek Community Development Director Sharon Ebert said the plan is undergoing an exhaustive review by the Citizen Advisory Committee tasked with creating the update.
The state requires Johns Creek to have the updated Comprehensive Plan adopted by November 2018.
The first draft of the plan has been completed and has already received community feedback.
First of all, residents say the document is “long, complicated and hard to follow.”
Ebert said residents wanted the plan to be more explicit. They want to be able to tell “what does it mean for my neighborhood.”
Some had specific requests, such as reconfiguration or restrictions in some of the 12 city character area boundaries. Among those citizen requests are:
Shakerag residents said they wanted their boundary to include both sides of Bell Road and be restricted to residential development of 1 unit per acre. The current plan calls for three units per acre.
Residents also requested any redevelopment of the Holcomb Bridge commercial shopping center be changed from High Intensity-Mixed Use to be reduced to a lower intensity with a maximum of eight units per acre or three-story commercial.
Parsons Road also received comments to reduce residential density from the current three units per acre. Residents also wanted to evaluate other options before widening it. It is on the TSPLOST list of projects to be widened to six lanes.
There were general comments requesting residential growth be reduced and prohibit any more apartment or townhome communities.
Comments asked for an update on the proposed city center in Technology Park on Medlock Bridge Road.
General comments were to keep residential density “low.”
“Just as a matter of record, the overall density of the city is 1.6 units per acre, which is considerably low,” Ebert said.
The Citizen Advisory Committee is reacting to the public comment and will take actions such as expanding the Shakerag Character Area to include both sides of Bell Road and lower the density to one unit per acre.
Parsons Road will lower density from three units per acre to two units per acre.
Holcomb Bridge commercial development will be reduced from 16 to eight units per acre and limit commercial buildings to three stories.
River Estates density will be lowered from two units per acre to one unit, and Johns Creek North goes from four units per acre to three units.
“After much discussion we decided to reduce the number of character areas from 12 to eight areas,” Ebert said. “Then, rather than have a comprehensive plan for the city, we could drill down into each one of these areas for a more specific plan.”
That would make the plan more citizen-useful so that they could look to see what is going on in their backyards, she said.
Many comments focused on too much growth. The city went through an intense amount of construction and expansion in the 1990s.
Between 1993 and 1999 the city doubled in population, Ebert said.
“The result of that is that 91 percent of the city is already built out,” Ebert said. “Most of [the city] will not change at all.”
While there are concerns about vacancies in the city’s strip centers, those comprise only 10 percent of the city.
While future plans for those areas may be needed, they should not present much potential change, she said.
Moving forward, the Comprehensive Plan will be revamped and be brought to the Citizens Advisory Committee for review in December.
In the first quarter 2018, the rewrite of the plan will be brought forward for review by the City Council and the public.
Final revisions should be done in April, so that in May it can be submitted to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for a 90-day review.
The plan will be returned for any final revisions or feedback in August and then be formally adopted.