By Rebecca Gaunt
The City of Kennesaw is partnering with the Atlanta Regional Commission to update the city’s comprehensive plan – a process that will take place over the next eight months with several opportunities for community input.
Albert Treviño, Kennesaw’s assistant zoning administrator, is spearheading the project.
“The power behind this plan will help shape and facilitate growth throughout the entire corporate city limits leading into the next 20 to 25 years,” he told City Council Monday.
A steering committee will meet three times during the process. According to Treviño, city zoning staff have secured committee members from the pool of city department heads, Cobb Community Development, Cobb Travel & Tourism, Cobb DOT, the Cobb school district, Town Center CID (community improvement district), leaders at Kennesaw State University, and business leaders from commerce and industrial sectors.
Community members will have the opportunity to complete surveys on Kennesaw’s strengths and weaknesses, quality of life, environmental issues, and historic and cultural resources. Surveys will be made available online and hard copies will be handed out at public events.
City staff also plan to set up tables at city-sponsored events, such as the Winter Kickoff on Nov. 30 and the Depot Park Holiday Market on Dec. 4, in an effort to heighten public awareness.
Keri Stevens, a planning administrator at the Atlanta Regional Commission, is partnering with the city. She is in charge of updating Kennesaw’s vision and goals, as well as the land use, transportation, housing, and economic development elements.
The plan will also consider broadband services, greenspace, recreation, and historic resources.
“There’s a number of things that are probably in your plan that are still appropriate, but as everyone knows, the last five years have had a lot of change, so we’ll be looking at those and making sure they are still appropriate for your community,” Stevens said.
Timeline for the project (some dates TBD):
October – secured steering committee members
November – first public hearing at City Council held Nov. 1. First steering committee meeting and opportunities for public engagement will be provided.
December – in-house interviews of city staff and elected officials.
January – first community engagement meeting (likely to be held at Ben Robertson Community Center). Second steering committee meeting.
February – Second community engagement meeting. Third steering committee meeting.
March- second public hearing at City Council on March 7.
April- plan to be finalized.
May – plan goes to the ARC for review.
June – deadline for review, approval, and local adoption is June 30.
Rebecca Gaunt earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Oglethorpe University. After teaching elementary school for several years, she returned to writing. She lives in Marietta with her husband, son, two cats, and a dog. In her spare time, she loves to read, binge Netflix and travel.