Conyers city study under way
Redevelopment studies focus on town's future

CONYERS - Concept. Idea. Framework. These were the words used to describe two upcoming design workshops that could potentially change the face of Conyers.

Wednesday's City Council meeting was dedicated to explaining to the public the general study areas and what the processes will be.

The first study to get under way is the Lifelong Communities charrette, headed up by Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company in partnership with the Atlanta Regional Commission, that will be held in Atlanta.

Conyers was one of five cities in the metro Atlanta area selected as the subject for a study to see how certain areas could be redeveloped to accommodate an aging population. The other cities included in this charrette are Mableton, Fayetteville, Toco Hills and a section of Atlanta.

The general area to be studied in Conyers is from West Avenue to Green Street, past the J.P. Carr facility, the Senior Center and City Hall up to Interstate 20. The area has a large number of residences, including the Conyers Housing Authority.

"The theme of this charrette is Lifelong Communities and it's a theme that Andres (Duany) and Liz (Plater-Zyberk) have been working on," R.J. Fields of Greyland Development Group told the audience gathered in the City Council Chambers. "As we Baby Boomers get older, we want to live longer, healthier lives. ... As the population ages, how can they access certain services and still remain independent."

The Lifelong Communities charrette will begin Wednesday at the Loudermilk Center in Atlanta and run through Feb. 17. However, on Monday, representatives from the ARC and DPZ will be in Conyers to tour the study area.

The second redevelopment study is also through the ARC and will study transportation options in the 424-acre area south of Green Street at West Avenue running past the Post Office to Old Covington Highway. Jordan, Jones & Goulding will be spearheading the Livable Centers Initiative and have scheduled a kick-off meeting from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Feb. 19.

According to Megan Will with JJ&G, the goals of the study are to encourage mixed-use development in the area, promoting commercial and residential infill to expand living, working, shopping and entertainment opportunities.

"This is very complicated with a lot of moving parts, but it will be very fun," Fields said.

City Manager Tony Lucas assured the group that the city was not planning to condemn any property or make a land-grab and that all property owners - including private home owners, Rockdale County and the Board of Education - will be part of making the decisions as they go.

"This is just a pretty picture of what we can do in a perfect world," he said.

Once this picture is made, city officials will look at what pieces can be done.

"The ones we can provide will make this a whole lot better place to be," Lucas said.

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