ARC’s Livable Centers Initiative Awards $1.4M to Fund Planning Studies

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

The Atlanta Regional Commission announced that it has awarded $1.4 million in Livable Centers Initiative grants to fund planning studies in 11 metro Atlanta communities.

The grants are designed to help communities become more vibrant, walkable places that offer increased mobility options, encourage healthy lifestyles, and provide improved access to jobs and services. Upon completion of the studies, communities will be eligible to apply for federal transportation funding for projects such as sidewalks, multi-use trails, and smart corridor improvements that help implement their plans.

“For nearly two decades, LCI grants have empowered communities across metro Atlanta to become more livable, walkable, and sustainable,” said Sam Shenbaga, Manager, Community Development Group at ARC. “The 2020 LCI grants are sure to spark innovation and creative thinking to foster an improved quality of life for residents.”

The LCI program was created to allocate federal transportation dollars for planning in local communities. Once the plans have been created, local governments can apply for federal funding to assist in bringing their plans into reality. Recipients were selected by ARC along with a diverse committee of partner organizations and planning professionals from around the region.

The 2020 LCI study grant recipients are:

City of Villa Rica
Grant amount: $100,000
The Villa Rica Downtown Master Plan will make land use recommendations to support the revitalization of the city’s downtown district, the surrounding residential and mixed-use district, and the historic Fullerville community. The study will recommend land identify opportunities to improve connectivity, multi-modal access to city parks, historic attractions, and cultural sites.

City of Fairburn Grant amount: $100,000
The Fairburn Downtown Master Plan Update will update the current LCI plan to provide a strategically focused, goal-driven blueprint for the growth and development of Fairburn’s historic downtown.

City of Lawrenceville
Grant amount: $150,000
The Lawrenceville Downtown Master Plan Update will build on an existing Lawrenceville LCI study, extending its boundaries to capture more redevelopment opportunities, examining parking and transportation issues within downtown Lawrenceville and will integrate Smart City solutions.

Town of Tyrone
Grant amount: $160,000
The Tyrone Town Center Master Plan will focus on projects that promote people-oriented improvements, including a streetscape plan, Town Center property/facilities assessment, a Town Center park study, and a traffic/parking plan.

Central Atlanta Progress Grant amount: $120,000
Central Atlanta Progress in partnership with the City of Atlanta will develop the Multi-Modal Corridor Study: Courtland Street, Peachtree Center, and Piedmont Avenue. This study will explore potential improvements for these corridors, including new bus-only lanes, pedestrian and bicycle improvements, and new lane configurations.

City of Austell Grant amount: $120,000
The Austell Downtown Master Plan Update will update current LCI plan to provide a blueprint for the rejuvenation of downtown Austell, looking at improvements to transportation, zoning and the development of economic development strategies.

Town Center Community Improvement District Grant amount: $160,000
The Bells Ferry Road Corridor Smart Mobility Study will provide recommendations to improve the transportation options for all users of Bells Ferry Road using smart technologies and green infrastructure.

City of Suwanee
Grant Amount: $160,000
The Suwanee Pedestrian and Bicycle Loop Study will develop a concept for a continuous pedestrian and bicycle loop trail around Suwanee. The Loop will connect Suwanee neighborhoods to the Suwanee Greenway and downtown Suwanee, as well as connect the downtown to other planned regional trails.

City of Forest Park Grant amount: $120,000
The Forest Park Downtown Master Plan Update will include a five-year development and implementation strategy that capitalizes on the city’s vacant properties and creating access to retail, residential, and commercial development and the city’s proximity to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

City of Fayetteville
Grant amount: $100,000
The Fayetteville Downtown Design Guidelines Plan will provide the city with a framework for new development and improvements to the roadway and streetscape networks.

City of Woodstock
Grant Amount: $140,000
The Downtown Woodstock Master Plan Update will build upon the existing Downtown Woodstock and Highway 92 LCI studies to provide an updated blueprint for the growth and development of Downtown Woodstock.