City Consultants Push for High Density! The City of Johns Creek is undergoing a review on the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. This is the zoning map of What can go Where within the City.
The consultants hired by the City of Johns Creek have continued to press for high-density housing throughout the review.
A survey was used to gather residents’ input regarding future development within the city. At first, the survey provided for response options that only included increased development at different levels of density. The survey was recently altered to allow for a choice of “none”. Despite the change, many residents felt the survey was rigged.
St Ives resident Ed Thompson wrote to the consultants:
The survey seems structured to drive to a foregone conclusion: higher density, multi-purpose development, and further urbanization. Several questions are written in a manner that suggests the desired response. As an early example in the survey, the question “A Town Center development will be successful if it is built at an appropriate scale.” implies that a Town Center is imminent.
A further question asks, “Workforce housing gives people who work essential services within the city (police officers, firemen, teachers, medical personnel, etc) the ability to live closer to where they work. Would you be supportive of an initiative to create more workforce housing in Johns Creek?”. What is not asked is whether the respondent would be willing to see the overall property values in the city decline as a result.
Another example is the question, “Creating a diverse business community is a key to improving economic development in Johns Creek. What types of businesses would you like to see more, the same, or less?”. The question implies that a diverse business community and economic development should be explicit goals of the city. Why is that more important than providing for a safe, residential community with room to enjoy nature and the outdoors?
Certain questions are posed to lead the respondent to the desired answer, for example, “Facilities that support higher education (i.e. satellite campuses, education centers) are becoming a focus in cities that wish to increase their economic competitiveness by offering courses and degree programs that will lead to higher paying jobs. Would you like to see a higher education center in Johns Creek that would provide courses from Metro Atlanta universities and/or universities from across the United States?”
Finally, the sections asking for physical design and visual design preferences have added an option to select “None” (I don’t recall this as a choice when I took the survey a few months ago). Given the design of the web pages, the option to select “None” is easily overlooked.
In summary, the design of this survey certainly feels as if it was purposely written to provide the “justifications” to suggest that the community supports the continued urbanization and unfettered and ever higher density development that is ruining the character of Johns Creek.
Now the Consultants have come up with a proposal for the Atlanta Athletic Club Fields.
According to Citizens for Johns Creek Pastoral Protection, the design includes a 6-acre open area, a community events center, as well as mixed-use options including commercial and retail, single-family housing, townhomes/condos, and a 300 plus unit multi-family dwelling. This plan would also include more of a grid system transportation plan connecting the property to various curb cuts at both Old Alabama and Medlock Bridge.
With the recent widening of Old Alabama Road, and current proposals to widen Medlock Bridge Road, the question must be raised: is the goal of the city to provide traffic relief, or is it to pave the way for additional high-density development? The development proposal for the Atlanta Athletic Club Fields, and traffic congestion relief objectives seem to be at odds.
What are your thoughts on City Consultants Push for High Density?
Please take a couple of minutes to give your thoughts at the survey link: https://connectjohnscreek.com/public-input/
Sources: Citizens for Johns Creek Pastoral Protection & Connect Johns Creek