Smart Smyrna is doing a lot of research. We want to share this information with the public so that our citizens can judge the facts for themselves. We will add documents, photos, voice recordings and videos that we think will help the public understand more about the downtown redesign and the sale of the green space. Smart Smyrna will be regularly adding to this list as we obtain them.
This plan by Pond (which cost taxpayers $29,950) was presented as a draft document to the City Council in August of 2020 but never formally discussed or approved. Of particular interest is the timeline of citizen input (page 12). The citizen input referred to in the draft BOLD Plan took place in October 2019 months before the draft Plan was completed and submitted to the City. Open house and survey participants were asked what they wanted to see in downtown, how often they came to downtown, how they travelled to downtown and what they did while there. None of the drawings or recommendations from the BOLD plan were shown to them, since the draft BOLD plan and renderings weren't completed until almost a year later. (See photos of Open House)
Therefore citizens at the one open house and the online survey participants did not comment on or agree with any aspect of the plans, the designs, ideas or recommendations of the 2020 draft BOLD Plan because the participants never saw them.
The BOLD design map
The draft BOLD design map shows a small orange rectangle on the north end of the green space between the Community Center and Atlanta Road. There is also a larger L shaped orange area where the 2nd Baptist Church and the City Records Office are currently. The legend indicates these two areas are "proposed commerical". This is the first time any portion of the green space has been shown as "proposed commercial". On all Future Land Use Maps and Master Plan maps the area next to the Community Center has always been designated as green space/park. The Church's property doesn't belong to the City so designating it as part of an area for "proposed commercial" is not an accurate designation.
Again, the draft BOLD plan was never approved by the City Council nor has the public ever been given the opportunity to decide if it wants to sell any of the green space. Yet, the City issued a Letter of Intent proposing to sell this prime piece of land to a private business. According to municipal laws and accepted standards, the sale of public land should occur through an auction or bid process. This has not happened in the case of this prime piece of public land.
Recent News Articles of Interest
Forsyth County News--One injured after still combusts at NoFo Brewing Co. and Distillery
In Forbes article on the future of craft brewing:
Daniel Kenary, Co-Founder & CEO, Harpoon Brewery
“There will be a huge hangover from this unsustainable boom. The fast money will try to leave as quickly as it has entered, distorting economics again in the other direction. Those brewers who thought the good and easy times would last forever are in for a rude awakening.”