Fayette County News

Fayette County


New Fayetteville drawing shows plan for shared city-county hall

Local residents filled Fayetteville City Hall’s meeting room Thursday night to see yet another rendition of what Downtown Fayetteville could look like in the future if key land owners, developers, community leaders, and governing bodies can get together and make it happen.
Called the “Fayetteville Conceptual Master Plan,” this latest drawing showed the same new Fayetteville City Hall being located on the west side of the Fayette County Public Library as was depicted in previous drawings, but this time it also indicated that Fayette County’s administrative offices could also be located in connected buildings served by a multi-story parking lot. And while the idea of the city and county sharing space may have seemed like an early April Fool’s Day joke to some, other participants commented that it might make sense from a fiscal standpoint.
The new drawing also showed fewer apartment buildings than depicted in previous iterations, and instead it showed several single-family homes facing an open park space. That park space, by the way, could feature a rather elaborate children’s playground on one side and a dog park on the other.
An earlier drawing had shown high-density townhouses possibly being built just behind Fayetteville City Cemetery, but the new drawing shows that land set aside for an “Art District Live / Work” area, a community center, and a small amphitheater, all of which would face the new Fayetteville City Hall.
Another significant difference in the drawings is that the newest one marks the land across Grady Avenue from the old Fayette Middle School campus as being set aside for “Sams School,” meaning the Joseph Sams School, which serves special needs children and is currently located on Brandywine Boulevard in Fayetteville.
Fayetteville Director of Community Development Brian Wismer said the Sams Family has not disclosed any specific plans to build a new facility for the school, but he said they would like to consider it as a future option that might tie in with the general redevelopment of the downtown area.
Former Fayette County Water Department Director Tony Parrott, a former president and long-time member of the Fayette County Historical Society took issue with the way the new drawing shows a “mixed use” building on land currently occupied by the county’s Heritage Park fountain in Stonewall Village. Wismer noted that none of the drawings are permanent, and that one detail could have been an oversight.
At the moment, all of the Fayetteville Conceptual Master Plan is still in the dreaming stages, but  Wismer says serious talks are already underway to make at least some of the ideas happen. All year, he and other city leaders have solicited input from community members, and they say the lines of communication are still wide open.
Learn more about the downtown master plan project at the city’s website: www.fayetteville-ga.gov. See the latest drawing in the Wednesday print edition of this newspaper.

By Danny Harrison

Danny Harrison, a 1992 Fayette High School graduate, began his journalism career with Fayette County News in 1995. After taking several leaves of absence to pursue journalism and Christian ministry opportunities, including a few out of state and overseas, he returned full-time to Fayette County News in August 2014. Harrison earned a bachelor's degree in pastoral ministry in 2009 while serving as a missionary journalist in England and Western Europe.