The city of Milton soon will kick off the creation of its 2040 Comprehensive Plan, a community-driven document laying out a guiding vision for Milton through the next two decades.

Members of Milton’s latest Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee will gather together in City Hall for the first time starting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 12. This 16-person group includes all seven of the City of Milton’s Planning Commission members, the chairs of the Design Review Board and Board of Zoning Appeals, and one selection apiece by each city council member and Mayor Joe Lockwood.

Wednesday’s meeting will be open to the public in person and on Zoom. People are encouraged to participate virtually via Zoom, given the need to maintain social distancing (thus, avoid having too many people) in Council Chambers.

The City’s Comprehensive Plan is a policy document that imagines what Milton should look like 20 years from now — and outlines strategies that should be taken to make that dream a reality. The Comprehensive Plan communicates community goals and objectives while providing a blueprint for future land use and development.

The Plan covers topics like housing, environment, transportation and parks. And perhaps its most important element is determining how best to define and maintain Milton’s distinct character.

Milton has contracted with an outside firm, TSW, to help direct the 2040 Comprehensive Plan process. While much remains to be decided and many other topics will be broached, the city says the plan will likely address sustainability, place-making and community character and ways to make Milton a modern, “smart” community.

“Milton is a great community, and we want preserve and enhance its special character,” Community Development Director Parag Agrawal said. “The Comprehensive Plan will consider what sets us apart from other cities in our region and beyond. And it’s very important that we engage community members in this process.”

The state requires all Georgia municipalities to draft a Comprehensive Plan every ten years in order to be certified. Milton enacted its 2030 Comprehensive Plan in June 2011, followed by a revision five years later.

That 2030 Plan envisioned Crabapple emerging as Milton’s “downtown,” with the Deerfield area serving as the city’s primary commercial corridor. Both those have come to be, reflecting the Comprehensive Plan’s purpose as a guiding force in major decisions.

This coming iteration, to be known as the 2040 Comprehensive Plan, must be completed, approved by the mayor and city council, and submitted to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs by October 2021.

The 2040 Comprehensive Plan differs from the city of Milton’s Strategic Plan, which will also be crafted over the next few months. The Strategic Plan has a narrower scope, relating to specific goals and objectives for City government operations.

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