Only written remarks requested on Powder Springs plan

A crowd of about 150 residents showed up Tuesday night during the second workshop of the Powder Springs Comprehensive Plan with no opportunity given to them to voice their questions, support or concerns except through written means.

Community Development Director Tina Garver and Economic Development Director Stephanie Aylworth facilitated the meeting, which also included city consultants from TSW Design. They all said the meeting did not concern downtown redevelopment, but instead a 10-year citywide development plan that is required by the state.

However, they admit downtown redevelopment will be a part of that plan. Also, a printed agenda distributed at the registration table listed “What Makes a Downtown Work?” and “Open Forum” among the topics.

Wearing an “I Heart Mayberry” button along with about 50 others, Nancy Farmer, a planning and zoning commission member, said she feels the city needs to pay off its $8 million in debt before investing in downtown redevelopment plans.

“They never let us ask questions or say anything,” she said.

Another planning and zoning commission member, Johnnie Purify, said he favors one of the options that would assemble 5 to 7 acres on the Town Square to offer for development of 250 multi-family units by tearing down the Community Development and Municipal Court buildings and buying an adjacent office building for $1 million — all to attract dining and entertainment to downtown.

Aylworth said no contracts have been offered and many options are being considered for downtown redevelopment.

Both the City Council and the Downtown Development Authority will make final decisions about downtown changes.

A requirement of the Comprehensive Plan, community input is being sought through online surveys at CityOfPowderSprings.org with plans to submit the Comprehensive Plan to the state later this year, Aylworth added.