Locals invited to help with charrette
ARC heads regional planning for senior housing communities

CONYERS - Residents of Conyers will have the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of helping design a senior-friendly community.

The Atlanta Regional Commission has invited the city of Conyers to participate in a regional senior housing charrette that will take place Feb. 10 to 17. The Conyers City Council approved the memorandum of agreement between the ARC, the city and the Conyers Housing Authority on Oct. 8.

The charrette process will be under the direction of Andres Duany, whose firm, Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company, is renowned for its traditional planning and design and urban redevelopment.

According to the memorandum of agreement, the property located at 900 Taylor St. and its sponsor, the city of Conyers and the Conyers Housing Authority, have been selected for study.

City Manager Tony Lucas said the general area to be studied is the area from West Avenue to Green Street, past the J.P. Carr facility and City Hall up to Interstate 20.

Duany conducted planning charrettes in Covington in 2000 to produce a master plan for the development and renovation of the downtown area and other large parcels of land within city limits.

The preliminary schedule for the charrette will involve a design team of experts in the fields of planning, architecture, aging and health care, who will explore ways to create "active, walkable, mixed-use, mixed-income communities that meet the needs of the growing older adult population," according to the ARC.

Conyers is required to pay $60,000 to participate in the charrette process and ARC will contribute $297,500.

Lucas said the city is excited to be one of six communities asked to take part in the planning process, which is just one more piece to the city's vision of creating a viable live-work community.

Earlier this month, the city acquired the Langford-Elliott Hall on Main Street and an adjoining property for the purpose of marketing it to developers and still retaining the historic nature of the home and Olde Town. The city also recently received another $100,000 Livable Centers Initiative grant from the ARC. The ARC will contribute $80,000 and Conyers will provide $20,000 for the grant.

Lucas said this LCI grant will be used to study transportation options in the area south of Green Street at West Avenue running past the Post Office to Old Covington Highway.

On Monday, work will begin on beautifying the West Avenue corridor, which stretches from Green Street to Interstate 20.

Aimee Jones can be reached at aimee.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.