LRK recently helped facilitate a public input process and developed a vision plan for Downtown Hightstown. The aim of the plan is to create an active waterfront promenade that is unique to the region with retail, restaurants, and plenty of open space for entertainment and public activities. “We used a vision survey, which allowed people to select images they felt were most appropriate for Hightstown’s waterfront,” said Mr. Constantine, a principal at Looney Ricks Kiss. “People were also asked to suggest ideas for uses, features and activities they would most like to see and we collected dozens of terrific suggestions.”
TSW, an Atlanta-based, full-service planning, architecture and landscape architecture firm has won three Chapter Awards from the Georgia Planning Association (GPA). The awards were announced at the organization’s fall conference in Savannah, Ga. Sept. 10. The three TSW projects that were honored are: the Downtown Alpharetta Master Plan and Zoning Code, the Clarkston LCI 10-year Update and the South Downtown Atlanta MARTA Transit Stations Enhancement Plan. GPA makes awards each year to projects and plans that demonstrate innovation, transferability, quality, effectiveness of implementation, comprehensiveness, public participation, technology, equity, sustainability and collaboration. “We are delighted to have three of our recent planning projects recognized by the Georgia Planning Association,” said Thomas Walsh, TSW founding partner and co-director of the firm’s New Urbanism Studio. “It’s always nice to receive recognition for our work, but it’s especially meaningful when it comes from an organization of our peers and others involved in community planning and economic development.”
On a night when Suwanee leaders gave approval to a new downtown master plan, the city also took action toward more development near City Hall. At its July meeting Tuesday, the city council approved sending the updated downtown master plan to the Atlanta Regional Commission. Woody Giles of planning firm TSW, which helped city leaders develop the plan, noted that this will help Suwanee become eligible for Livable Cities Initiative funding from the ARC. “There is a lot of flexibility built into the plan” Giles noted in a presentation to council members. “It’s about a bigger vision.”
The City Council unanimously approved a downtown plan during its meeting Tuesday with no discussion from members. The plan has been in the works for more than a year following the city signing a contract with Gateway Planning of Texas to develop it. "I am excited for Rogers," Scott Polikov, Gateway president, said. "I think the way that process went and the involvement from the people of Rogers reflects well on Rogers." No one spoke against the plan during a public hearing. Bill Watkins, a lawyer with an office downtown, was one of two that spoke in favor of the plan. "I am heavily invested in the future of downtown Rogers," Watkins said. "I am excited to see this and I hope the council approves it." Watkins also said he hopes the city continues to spend money supporting the plan in the future. The plan calls for infrastructure improvements to streets, utilities and greenspace. Revamping alleys and Frisco Park along First Street are some of the suggestions in the plan.
Charleston's planning director has taken a similar job in Georgia. Tim Keane, the city's director of planning, preservation and sustainability, has accepted the position of commissioner of planning and community development for Atlanta, according to a news release. Keane's final day with Charleston will be June 26.
TSW completed the Duluth Downtown Master Plan last year, focusing on new commercial, public spaces to link commercial, civic, and residential, and increased residential density to support the downtown core. Now, the City is looking toward implementation. Local Atlanta news station WSB-TV Channel 2 covered the story.