County Commissioners seemed to have gotten a bit of the reassurance regarding Fairburn they had been looking for as they voted at Thursday night’s meeting to put forward their share for a study that will greatly affect the future of the SR 74 corridor.
At their mid-January meeting, the vote was to table talk of the study until talking with Fairburn about their commitment to the SR 74 Gateway Coalition. While there are still clearly fences to mend, the decision was made to go ahead and fund Fayette County’s portion of the cost for GDOT to do a SR 74 Corridor Study to help build a blueprint for aesthetics, traffic flow, and other elements between the coalition of Fayette County, Tyrone, Peachtree City, Fairburn, and the South Fulton Community Improvement District.
Among Commissioner Steve Brown’s biggest concerns are the number of curb cuts being made in Fairburn and the potential for big box retail development given their current zoning.
“Anybody who’s driven that corridor in the morning knows it backs up for miles. If you add another 12, 15 curb cuts in Fairburn, that could be traumatic for us,” said Brown. “It’s vital to our interests. The visual appeal (of the corridor), I think we’ve lost a lot of that. Can we work on the flow? I’m hoping so. I’m praying so.
“I’m going to pray that the (South Fulton) CID can work with the City of Fairburn to get this thing back on track where it needs to be because it’s just too important to all of us.”
While the Board shared Brown’s concerns, a unanimous vote would approve Fayette’s share of the study’s cost to get the ball rolling towards determining what can best be done for the corridor.
“There’s a lot involved with the study that’s been requested, it’s not just zoning,” said Commissioner Charles Oddo giving his reasoning for voting favor of the county’s $78,000 share of the study’s costs. “No matter how Fairburn looks at the moment, even if we don’t like how it’s changed, all of this still applies. This study will help us in the future.”
County manager noted that, while the members share the cost of the study, each municipality would be expected to pay for the improvements in their jurisdiction.
“The study is very, very vital with or without Fairburn,” said Odd. “We need to look at the entire area, not just the Fayette County portion.”
The Board expressed cautious optimism that Fairburn would eventually hold up its side of the bargain.
“It’s good that they’re trying to step up, and I hope they step up,” said Commissioner Randy Ognio.