The Highway 29 Boulevard of Opportunity Corridor Study provides the Lilburn Community Improvement District and its partners with a strategy to proactively plan for the future. Key influences affecting land use and transportation decisions within this plan include community feedback, previous studies/ master plans as well as economic and market analysis. The plan takes all of the aforementioned influences into consideration to ensure the final recommendations are fully informed and meet the vision established by the community. The Highway 29 Boulevard of Opportunity Corridor Study was categorized into four focus areas to better facilitate community comments and concerns throughout the planning process. Focus areas are defined as areas of different scale and unique character that may be the result of the location, quantity or relationship of different elements, such as topography, age, architecture, land use patterns, etc. Each of the focus areas presents opportunities for growth, connectivity and urban design enhancements at the appropriate scale that complements existing and adjacent uses and support market findings. Careful consideration was given to the City’s Future Land Use Plan to ensure the proposed land uses within each focus area do not remove any density already granted, rather provide flexibility to respond to a variety of uses and future market conditions.
West Focus Area
The West Focus Area highlights the potential synergy of being strategically located between two parks (Bryson Park and Lions Club Park), enhancing the walk ability of the community and access to daily services. The opportunity to locate a business or residence here will be strengthened by the pedestrian connectivity and recreational opportunities at the park sites. The land uses proposed for this area are primarily mixed-use and high density residential. High density residential provides an opportunity for senior living and alternative housing types for the area (both of which are currently lacking); which is mentioned within the Residential infill district for the city and determined as a need for the area from market findings. Subsequent to the proposed residential, mixed-uses are recommended to offer flexibility and retail opportunities, as well as to provide options for the properties in this area to be responsive to the market place in the future. An east-west multi-use trail is proposed, providing a connection between the existing Lions Club Park, the future Bryson Park and current citywide greenway trails.
Town Center Focus Area
The Town Center Focus Area is the Live/ Work/Play hub for Lilburn. The goal is to strengthen the connections/relationships of the Highway 29 corridor to the new City Hall/Library complex (to be located just south of the corridor in 2012), as well as to the associated amenities of downtown Lilburn (just to the south of the corridor), thus “bringing downtown, uptown.” This focus area will enhance the center of Lilburn with Live/Work/Play amenities, providing daily services, fostering economic growth and creating a Lilburn destination. A mix of uses is proposed for the area, integrating commercial and office/professional uses with medium to high density residential and open space opportunities (which would be associated with redevelopment, i.e. pocket parks, urban plazas, etc). Great development potential exists within large parcels, providing the opportunity to maximize as more than one use and allow for flexibility. The proposal for a new City Hall/Library complex at the intersection of Highway 29 and Main Street (a City initiative supported by this planning effort) creates an opportunity for an urban plaza/open space to support this civic facility and the proposed adjacent uses, while also enhancing views and creating a community focal point for the Highway 29 corridor. A network of pedestrian connections proposed throughout this area will enhance walk ability. Concurrent effort by the city to redevelop the existing water treatment facility, located in the northeast portion of the Town Center Focus Area, into a recreation complex is supported in this plan. A recreation complex in this area would provide an opportunity for the uses along Indian Trail Road to focus on hospitality, dining and other tourism related services. Further, while not within the scope of this planning effort, the Highway 29 Corridor Study supports the City’s recommendation of a parking area for future Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) located in the downtown Lilburn area (at Killian Hill Road ).
Central Focus Area
A prominence of office/institutional uses currently exists within the Central Focus Area. The plan is complementary of these existing uses while providing more flexibility, thus encouraging future businesses and economic diversity. While existing institutional and office/professional uses remain, the plan enhances access to these institutions by proposing pedestrian connections via multi-use trails and greenways.
East Focus Area
The existing commercial properties in the East Focus Area are successful and well frequented by the community, making this area a ‘shopping hub’ for Lilburn. Yet, the plan provides more flexibility for properties as they transition by proposing a mix of uses. The plan does this by maintaining the core commercial uses directly adjacent to the corridor and Pleasant Hill Road intersection while proposing a mix of uses along other portions of the corridor. The plan also identifies existing and future interparcel access, Interparcel access is important to both the community and property owners; reducing curb cuts along the corridor, improving safety of pedestrians and motorists and providing better access to businesses, which in turn strengthens economic viability. Outside of city limits, the plan proposes mixed-use, medium and high density residential (to offer housing choices along the corridor) and office/professional with a focus on medical office as a growing need in the area. During the planning process, transit oriented development opportunities were discussed for this focus area. The consultant team identified the properties at the intersection of Ronald Reagan Parkway and Highway 29 as the most appropriate (illustrated as the mixed use parcel on the north side of the corridor). The plan supports high density residential uses surrounding a future GRTA/ Gwinnett Transit Park/ Ride lot to offer transit options to the community surrounding this corridor.