Improvements to 141/Medlock Bridge Road that Preserve Johns Creek

The 141 (Medlock Bridge Rd) Corridor is a fundamental feature of Johns Creek. It defines the heart of our city. The City Council is expected to vote at its next meeting on Feb. 27 whether or not to widen this road to three lanes in both directions. The changes that we make to this corridor will have significant impacts not just on travel and convenience, but also on the look and feel and quality of life of our city far into the future. Much more research needs to be done and facts need to be shared before rushing headlong towards any option that we may soon regret.

Through critical thinking and analysis, Johns Creek can improve travel time and convenience while also maintaining the traditional character of our city’s main thoroughfare. We must be clear in our goal. Is the goal to make this route a highway for getting to 285 easier? Or is the goal to optimize the road in such a way that it helps Johns Creek residents without destroying the traditional character of our community?

Before any solution can be judged, the problem that is being solved must be defined first. The problem is not as simple as stating that we have too much traffic on 141. The problem is that we are not moving that traffic as efficiently as possible through the main corridor. A false definition of the problem can lead to a “solution” that does not solve the real problem, and while we may be able to pave our way to a solution, that is an option that might not be right for the residents of Johns Creek.

Drivers along the 141 corridor are more likely than not to get a red light repeatedly along the 141 corridor. In fact, the probability is 55% (or higher if there is traffic congestion) that while traveling south on 141 you will be stopped at State Bridge Road for a red light. This is a large part of the problem while driving 141.

The probability of catching two lights green in a row is 20%
(even without traffic congestion).

The 141 corridor needs to have green lights as a % of the traffic light cycle for both north and southbound traffic greater than 50%, especially at the normal chokepoints for traffic we see daily, and especially during rush hours if we expect to keep the traffic moving.

Additionally, the intersection of 141 and State Bridge has more vehicles arriving at the light each hour than can proceed through the light on green. This creates a backup in the queue of vehicles which can extend a mile or more on given days. Because this queue crosses several intersections, a ripple effect is created and additional problems get created at those locations.

The addition of a third lane southbound through the 141/State Bridge intersection will shorten or elimiate the length of the queue substantially and will reduce the likelihood of congestion related issues at other intersections.

The problems encountered at 141 and Grove Point Road are a result of the length of the backup queue created by issues at State Bridge Road and 141.

The issues we are addressing are the primary reasons for our traffic congestion issues, and while other issues may contribute, it is important to focus on the most important issues.

Our elected officials must protect the city of Johns Creek first and foremost. We need leadership that seeks alternative strategies for transportation that also maintain our residential community. The widening of 141 to six lanes raises legitimate questions about our future. Think about it: Peachtree Industrial is a six lane highway. Will a six-lane highway be the forerunner to a mass transit rail line or to dedicated MARTA bus lanes? Will increased road capacity be the excuse to allow more high-density housing in Johns Creek?

With both the Comprehensive Transportation Plan and a joint study with Peachtree Corners of the 141 corridor due in September, it is premature to move one step towards widening 141. It must be noted that Peachtree Corners does not have any plans to widen their part of 141 nor does GDOT have plans to do so at this time. Therefore, any widening in Johns Creek would not pay off like some might expect. Also, a wider 141 will require additional red lights to help people get out of their subdivisions safely. These additional lights will also erode gains made by increasing road capacity.

Additionally GDOT data that is available to the public does not support the statements that we have an ever growing volume of traffic in this corridor. The annual rate of growth between 2001-2015 on 141 just south of AAC for instance, shows a decrease in traffic volumes of -0.7% between 2001 and 2015.

Not only are significant studies still in process but the future of McGinnis Ferry Road (MGF) is still being debated. Each morning, commuters weigh which route to take to work. Widening 141 will probably increase the number of drivers choosing 141 over GA400, which may worsen the problem. A widening of MGF added to the new multi-million dollar McFarland Interchange may lead many Forsyth and upper Johns Creek commuters to use GA400 and Peachtree Industrial Blvd (PIB). These roads were designed as highways and do not run through a residential area.

There are several other changes that should be investigated to improve our current traffic volume in Johns Creek on 141 that do not involve widening the road:
· Adjust speed limits
· Increase turn lanes at key intersections for easier access to GA400 and PIB
· Intersection and lane improvements in Forsyth and Gwinnett County.
These are all things that can be done to decrease the incentive to use Johns Creek as a cut-through. Already, South Forsyth has taken away much of the incentive to drive into Johns Creek simply by making itself a new destination in its own right full of shops, offices and restaurants.

Changes to speed limits, increasing turn lanes at key intersections for easier access to GA400 and PIB, and intersection and lane improvements in Forsyth are all.

Intersection improvements up and down 141 will better serve the travel needs of Johns Creek residents. These improvements will improve commutes, but also ease the ability to live, shop, and play inside our city. By widening the intersection at 141/State Bridge, we can get big benefits without the unnecessary damage to the neighborhoods just slightly north. Improving the intersection at 141 and State Bridge is long overdue. However, Johns Creek should delay any decision on widening 141 beyond the intersection. Careful consideration should be given to other ideas that can improve travel but not harm our community.

There is relatively little expense to intersection improvements compared to widening the road. We have already seen these ideas implemented on State Bridge Road east of 141.These intersection improvements can give significant travel gains along the corridor. Most if not all of the intersection improvements would be near commercial development and not residential developments. If we widen 141, we can never undo that and the intersection problems will still need to be addressed. If we make these intersection improvements, there is little to no downside and the widening of 141 could always be done in the future if truly warranted and it was desired by the residents.. These intersection improvements can be done without doing irreparable harm to the look and feel and quality of life of Johns Creek.

It seems clear that there are real improvements based on real world observations and data that will greatly benefit Johns Creek drivers. More efficient intersections throughout the corridor as measured by more lights green more of the time for North and Southbound traffic is preferred over the creation of a six lane highway bordered by residential homes. Widening 141 is an unnecessary step that will have a lasting negative impact. It is a step that once taken, will be irreversible and have costs much greater than just the dollars spent on construction.

Source: Preserve Johns Creek

City Council Discuss “Potential Freeway” Medlock Bridge Rd Widening

During the meeting with staff to discuss the widening of Medlock Bridge Rd to 6 lanes, Mayor Bodker stated the residents were for this project because of the TSPLOST, which was voted on in Nov 2016.

According to the documents supplied by City Hall, the plans were created 10/2016 and finalized 12/31/16. How could we approve it if it wasn’t developed when the vote was taken?

Some other highlights from the meeting:

With the widening to 3 lanes, acceleration lanes will be deemed to be too dangerous and a cause wrecks, according to Public Works Director Tom Black.  

It was not discussed what would happen to all the other acceleration lanes since they are deemed “too dangerous” with the freeway type road. 

In addition, Black also stated, “We think” we will get the approval for 2 new half lights at Prestwick & Winfield on the River.

No one discussed the fact that the additional traffic lights and poor timing in Johns Creek is the primary reason why the congestion happens once you reach the City.

Mayor Bodker stated it was a “minimally invasive design”. Director Black asserted that the noise impact of 2 additional lanes would be minimal, and the St. Ives Residents would not want “those ugly walls” that could serve to reduce the noise impact.

Councilman Steve Broadbent asserted that St Ives subdivision agreed to the construction project. This contradicts the resistance from residents and Board members have advocated, not to proceed with the widening, and to have more time to review.

Councilman Lenny Zaprowski questioned if the Council had already decided they wanted 6 lanes or not. He pressed that he was not given the results of all the studies done along with the Comprehensive Transportation plan.

The Mayor pushed to justify the 6 lanes to the river, even though Peachtree Corners has NOT decided to widen to 6 lanes within their City.

Here is the video of the Council in action, discussing the widening with staff.

Please send your thoughts on this monumental construction project to:

electedofficials@johnscreekga.gov

 

Source: City of Johns Creek. Video: Preserve Johns Creek

Former council member and data scientist Chris Coughlin declares candidacy for Johns Creek City Council Special Election

Chris Coughlin has announced his intention to run for Johns Creek City Council Post 4, recently vacated seat by Bob Gray. The election date TBD, either – April 18th or June 20th.

“Whatever the election date, I’ll be ready. Since my campaign in 2015 and brief term on council last year, I’ve been continuously working on the issues that face our community.

We need someone on Council with fiscal responsibility, government efficiency, and resolving traffic congestion as top priorities,” said Coughlin.

“During my term and campaign, we successfully pushed for the allocation of the massively accrued surplus to parks and capital infrastructure and raised the issue of over-taxation. I attempted to address tax reform and better representation of our citizens through Charter reviews, but these were not high priorities of the Council during that time.

After hearing the concerns of residents, I voted against high-density development (unfortunately, this was later supported after my council term and subsequently approved).

Basically, bringing the priorities and voice of the community to the discussion will result in greater success for the community. The need for municipal efficiency and fiscal responsibility is at an even greater need today as the city stands to rake in over $130 million in new tax revenue coupled with approximately $40 million in debt. We must ensure that this money is properly appropriated and used efficiently.

Coughlin resides in Johns Creek, along with his wife Nicole, four year-old son, and one-year old daughter. “Like I said last time, I chose Johns Creek for the safety, family friendliness, great schools, and diverse culture, but they’re at risk if we don’t address government spending, traffic congestion and overdevelopment. I showed in the past that I can do things more efficiently using data, math, citizen input, technology, etc. by running a campaign on three thousand dollars while others spent over 50 thousand dollars while espousing fiscal conservative ideals. The irony! It’s time to apply that mindset to the government.”

Chris currently works as a Senior Research Scientist at a public company. Chris is active in the community as a volunteer involved with North Point Community Church’s small group married groups ministry and foster support groups, serves on the Johns Creek Mental Health Wellness task force, leads the Johns Creek Traffic Congestion task force, serves as a Director on the Board of the Johns Creek Community Association, and attends civic engagements (e.g., city council meetings).

For further information and current updates on Coughlin’s campaign visit www.votechriscoughlin.com and www.facebook.com/chriscoughlinjohnscreek. You can also email him with your ideas and suggestions at info@votechriscoughlin.com.

Source: Chris Coughlin for Johns Creek City Council Campaign

Zoning Map Update: City Consultants Push for High Density

The City of Johns Creek is undergoing the review on the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. This is the zoning map of What can go Where within the City.

The consultants hired by the City of Johns Creek have continued to press for high-density housing throughout the review.

A survey was used to gather residents’ input regarding the future development within the city.  At first, the survey provided for response options that only included increased development at different levels of density.  The survey was recently altered to allow for a choice of “none”.  Despite the change, many residents felt the survey was rigged.

St Ives resident Ed Thompson wrote to the consultants:

The survey seems structured to drive to a foregone conclusion: higher density, multi-purpose development, and further urbanization. Several questions are written in a manner that suggests the desired response. As an early example in the survey, the question “A Town Center development will be successful if it is built at an appropriate scale.” implies that a Town Center is imminent.

A further question asks, “Workforce housing gives people who work essential services within the city (police officers, firemen, teachers, medical personnel, etc) the ability to live closer to where they work. Would you be supportive of an initiative to create more workforce housing in Johns Creek?”. What is not asked is whether the respondent would be willing to see the overall property values in the city decline as a result.

Another example is the question, “Creating a diverse business community is key to improving economic development in Johns Creek. What types of businesses would you like to see more, the same, or less?”. The question implies that a diverse business community and economic development should be explicit goals of the city. Why is that more important than providing for a safe, residential community with room to enjoy nature and the outdoors?

Certain questions are posed to lead the respondent to a desired answer, for example, “Facilities that support higher education (i.e. satellite campuses, education centers) are becoming a focus in cities that wish to increase their economic competitiveness by offering courses and degree programs that will lead to higher paying jobs. Would you like to see a higher education center in Johns Creek that would provide courses from Metro Atlanta universities and/or universities from across the United States?”

Finally, the sections asking for physical design and visual design preferences have added an option to select “None” (I don’t recall this as a choice when I took the survey a few months ago). Given the design of the web pages, the option to select “None” is easily overlooked.

In summary, the design of this survey certainly feels as if it was purposely written to provide the “justifications” to suggest that the community supports the continued urbanization and unfettered and ever higher density development that is ruining the character of Johns Creek.

————————– 

Now the Consultants have come up with a proposal for the Atlanta Athletic Club Fields.

According to Citizens for Johns Creek Pastoral Protection, the design includes a 6-acre open area, a community events center, as well as mixed use options including commercial and retail, single family housing, town homes/condos, and a 300 plus unit multi-family dwelling. This plan would also include more of a grid system transportation plan connecting the property to various curb cuts at both Old Alabama and Medlock Bridge.

With the recent widening of Old Alabama Road, and current proposals to widen Medlock Bridge Road, the question must be raised: is the goal of the city to provide traffic relief, or is it to pave the way for additional high-density development?  The development proposal for the Atlanta Athletic Club Fields, and traffic congestion relief objectives seem to be at odds. 

Please take a couple minutes to give your thoughts at the survey link: https://connectjohnscreek.com/public-input/

Sources: Citizens for Johns Creek Pastoral Protection & Connect Johns Creek

Restaurant Week 2017: March 5th-11th

Click to enlarge

Download the App for the Local deals: Google Play    App Store

Source: Johns Creek Advantage

Perimeter School Presents: A Little Princess

Johns Creek Traffic Volumes: Not As Advertised

The City of Johns Creek has created a myth about our traffic volumes.  Either that or the GDOT Web Server, which stores thousands of data points for traffic across the state and which is used for traffic planning is entirely worthless and wrong.

The City of Johns Creek tells us we have an ever growing body of traffic from Forsyth County.  I have challenged that idea over the last two years only to be summarily dismissed by City Officials.

Once again here is the most updated data from GDOT which clearly shows no major increases on 141 over the last decade EXCEPT for two locations.

The first location, with the largest increase is in Forsyth County, south of 400.

Were the majority of that growth actually traveling through Johns Creek, then the data just south of Laurel Springs Parkway on 141 would also reflect strong growth in volume.  It does  not, and is actually down over the last eight years.

The other location to show an increase is on 141 North of Abbotts Bridge.  Frankly, this should be expected.  This location in Johns Creek has had the biggest increase in high density housing within the city.

And yet, that has not translated into higher volumes at any of the locations where traffic volumes have been measured south of Abbotts Bridge.

Let’s be honest.  One cannot have declining volumes at so many locations and still make the claims that the COJC is making.

And we should not be planning to widen 141 to six lanes in each direction without a better understanding of the data.

If the GDOT data is wrong, it needs to be proven.  If it is not, we need to put the brakes on decisions being made without solid data behind it.

Clearly, higher density housing leads to many more trips where the housing is located. But let’s not make the wrong assumptions, and change the face of Johns Creek permanently pursuing the wrong solutions.

We need to resolve the right problem.  As I have contended for the past two years, that problem is the traffic lights.  Isn’t it time we solved the right problem?

Year Daily Volume Year Daily Volume
141 between HBR and Spalding 2000 54400 2014 50000 Down
141 South of River 2005 49890 2015 47000 Down
141 South of Old Alabama 2007 51750 2015 47800 Down
141 North of Wilson Road 2006 42440 2014 40500 Down
141 North of Abbotts Bridge 2006 36260 2014 42200 Up
141 South of Laurel Springs PKY 2006 34070 2014 32800 Down
141 South of Majors Road 2005 22730 2015 40200 Up

 

Source & More at: http://ejmoosa.com/

Medlock Bridge Rd Widening to 6 Lanes – The Good, The Bad & Ugly

The entire length of Medlock Bridge Rd, from the River to McGinnis Ferry Rd is to be widened, according to City Hall. No specific Public Hearing or Notice has been given, so there has been no opportunity for input from the community.

The City has ALREADY sent out the project for Bid, and Staff are recommending ‘Georgia Development Partners’ to do the first phase from Medlock Crossing to St Ives Country Club for almost $1 Million.

The Good

The most significant part of this project is the reduction of the concrete island, for a 3rd through lane to cross over State Bridge Rd. (We’ve highlighted in yellow what is to be removed, to allow for the 3rd lane.)

Why has it taken the City TEN YEARS to figure this out?

 

The Bad

1) The loss of the Deceleration lanes & Acceleration Lanes throughout the road. Entering and Exiting Publixs, or the Car Wash, etc will be more difficult and dangerous. Expect more rear-end collisions. Without those lanes, it will be more difficult to merge into the traffic.

2) Expect More Commuter Cars from Forsyth. With the additional lane, it will become the choice route for non-residents. High-Density Developers in Forsyth County will build more rapidly, as this route will attract more people seeking affordable housing.

The Ugly

St Ives is being FORCED to reconfigure their entrance to allow the 3rd lane to continue up toward McGinnis Ferry Rd. They are anticipated to be compensated a paltry $4k.

1) The Current Deceleration / Acceleration Lane will become the 3rd Through Lane. This will transform the area into a de-facto Freeway.

2) A NEW Deceleration lane to enter St Ives will go closer to the wall and flower bed. A Concrete island (Blue Triangle)  is in the design as well. That will make the entrance more difficult for drivers coming from the north side of 141. Residents will have to enter in the Visitors lane and swing over to the Resident lane, creating a dangerous backup.

3) This configuration will also have ALL cars stop at the light and not allow cars to go North on 141, without a green light. The removal of the Deceleration lane will make it difficult to safely merge into traffic.

4) The additional lanes will create much more road noise for the residential communities abutting Medlock Bridge Rd. Many of those Residents built those homes when Medlock Bridge Rd was a quiet 2 lane road. A soundwall or reduction methods are not included in the plans.

 

Neighbors, What are your thoughts on these plans? Do you think it is necessary to widen the entire 4-mile road, or just the main intersections? Leave a comment below and send an email to City Council electedofficials@johnscreekga.gov

Source: City of Johns Creek

Letter to the Editor: Help Preserve Johns Creek

Dear Residents,

Kauffman Tires have stopped advertising on the billboards in Johns Creek. Your participation in the ZOOM! letters and other outreach have been effective at educating advertisers why these billboards disrespect and harm our community.

If you have never sent an automated ZOOM! letter to the advertisers, please do so. It’s fast and easy.

If you have already, feel free to send another and get one done for everyone in your household. You have complete control and can send as much or as little info as you want.

This pressure on advertisers is key to making the billboards an unattractive investment for Clear Channel. Clear Channel is heavy in debt and their revenues are falling. If they cannot keep their blight in the sky fully subscribed at high rates, then they might not pursue the liability of the other three billboards.

Since so many paying customers have sided with the community, Clear Channel has filled their rotation with inappropriate PSAs, wanted signs, and free ads for companies out of the area.

There is plenty of reason to have hope that the Fairway billboard will come down, but we as a community have got to keep up the pressure on the advertisers if we want Clear Channel to abandon any plans for the other three billboards.

Keep telling the landowners like those at the Regal Cinema and Medlock Crossing Shopping Center that they should never negotiate a lease for a billboard. Tell them to pay close attention to the ghost town that the Fairway Shopping Center has become.

Thank you for your help,

Preserve Johns Creek, Inc.

www.PreserveJohnsCreek.com

City Council Holds Special Executive Session ~

City Council stands for the Pledge of Allegiance

One Land Matter discussed.

No Details provided.

 

JCP Upgrades!

We have migrated to a MUCH LARGER Server, to accommodate our growing audience.

Thank you, JCP Readers and New Visitors!

We appreciate you 🙂

 

Missing Girl Found Safe

According to JC Police, Catelin Durham has been found safe.

Thank you all for looking for her.

Johns Creek community groups file challenge to GDOT billboard approval

Petition seeks to revoke permit for ‘abuse of discretion’ and enforce respect for freed-slave cemetery

Two Johns Creek community organizations and an impacted resident today filed a petition of appeal with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) challenging its August 2016 approval allowing a digital billboard now operated by Clear Channel Outdoor within 500 feet of the Macedonia African Methodist Church Cemetery on Medlock Bridge Road in Johns Creek, Georgia, in violation of state law.


GDOT must approve all billboard locations on state roads. The Action Outdoor Advertising application in question, for 9780 Medlock Bridge Road, was first denied by GDOT in July 2016 for being within 500 feet of the cemetery. The Georgia Outdoor Advertising Control Act, O.C.G.A. § 32-6-70 et seq., states: “No sign shall be erected or maintained which is within 500 feet in any direction of a public park, public playground, public recreation area, public forest, scenic area, or cemetery.”


However, Action Outdoor appealed the denial and “GDOT subsequently issued the Permit without identifying any basis for the change in position. After the Permit was issued, GDOT undertook an investigation of the location of the proposed billboard site with respect to the Macedonia AMC Cemetery. GDOT later determined that the cemetery occupies only a portion of the two-acre premises notwithstanding that Fulton County had long before designated the entire two-acre parcel as a historic cemetery. This determination was in error and an abuse of discretion on the part of GDOT,” according to the request for hearing filed with GDOT today.


“This billboard disrespects the living and the dead,” said John Bradberry, founder of Preserve Johns Creek Inc., one of the groups seeking to ensure the cemetery is afforded all the respect and protection it deserves. The cemetery is located near the intersection of State Bridge and Medlock Bridge roads.


The Macedonia African Methodist Church Cemetery is the final resting place of April Waters, born into slavery in 1853 and freed under the Emancipation Proclamation; she died in 1938, according to records. She and scores of others are buried in the cemetery in marked and unmarked graves.


“I and many others worked very hard to get Fulton County to recognize and preserve the Macedonia African Methodist Cemetery nearly 20 years ago,” said Kirk Sarkisian, a member of the Warsaw Historic Preservation Society, the other petitioning group. “GDOT does not have the authority to redefine the boundaries of this important historic cemetery.”


The other petitioner is Edward Thompson, an impacted Johns Creek resident for whom “light from the improperly permitted sign enters his residence, creating a nuisance,” according to the filing.


Today’s filing seeks an administrative hearing to pursue having the GDOT permit for the cemetery billboard revoked.

To learn more or donate, visit Preserve Johns Creek or StopJCbillboards.org

Contact: Tammy Murphy
info@StopJCbillboards.org

Urgent! Girl Missing from Johns Creek

Please look out for Catelin Durham.

She was last spotted on Hospital Parkway, near Emory Johns Creek. She was with her Grandmother at a Doctor appointment and stepped outside, and DISAPPEARED.

Please Share!

Concerned about Future Rezoning?

The Johns Creek Zoning Maps are being revamped.

Next meeting is Tuesday, January 24th 6-8pm City Hall

City Council Billboard Statements: We Debunk the LIES & Propaganda!

Lie #1: The Supreme Court ruling forced the City into settlement negotiations.

The City was NOT forced into settlement negotiations. That was a CHOICE by Mayor Bodker.

What was included in the agreement was negotiated by Mayor Bodker and Councilwoman Cori Davenport, who is a close friend of the billboard executive.

Lie #2: The number of signs would have been Larger without the settlement.

The billboard companies are SHREWD businessmen.

Do you believe the billboard company AGREED to Less Billboards?

The billboard companies wanted a better deal, and Mayor & Cori gave it to them. NEW Locations, LEDs, relaxed regulations, liberal tree removal & more!

Lie #3: Johns Creek got a great deal, like the other Cities.

The information on the City website is not even correct. The City creates propaganda like that letter to make it look like a good deal.
It ain’t, and that is why the residents are revolting.

Johns Creek settlement allowed for the aggressive tree removal. Milton did not. Milton got 25% (4 signs), Johns Creek got 36% (10 signs).

Milton got 3 smaller signs 10’x36′. JC got nine 14’x48′.

Had Cori’s friends gave us a better deal like Milton, JC would have no more than 6 signs total and smaller signs to boot.

Lie #4: Allowing for LED, led to a reduction in signs.

Had the City NOT agreed to the terms of the settlement, the City would have a few static signs.

Static signs are Dinosaurs and not worth the cost to put them up in most cases and make less money than the LEDs.

One advertiser for the month vs. a plethora of ads rotating every 10 seconds.

Static billboard couldn’t generate the revenue needed to pay out Action Outdoor, the original permit holders, landowners and then Clear Channel along with any investors on top of construction and equipment costs.

Lie #5: The City couldn’t buy them out.

The Mayor Decided for us, it was not worth the cost to buy out the original billboard permits.

That decision should have been left to the Voters as a bond referendum. Residents recently voted for tax increases to improve the quality of life (parks & Tsplost).

Buying out the billboard permits would have equated to the Louisiana Purchase and an investment in our City’s aesthetics as well as property values for years to come.

——
Mayor Bodker & Councilwoman Davenport exhibited poor judgment in negotiating the settlements, and thus the terms included in it.

Enough of the LIES to explain the bad behavior and poor judgment.

ReZoning Alert: 50 Townhomes for Tech Park

Ashton Atlanta Residential is seeking to squeeze 50 Townhomes on 4.42-acres.

This is located 11350 Technology Circle, near “The Oaks” apartment complex.

The public hearing and Council vote is Monday, January 23rd 7pm.

 

Source: City of Johns Creek

Rezoning Alert: 80′ MonoPine Cell Tower

Photo Simulation from zoning application

Verizon Wireless is seeking a “Special Use Permit” to allow an 80-foot cell tower, disguised as a fake pine tree.

The location is behind Wilson Creek Elementary School.

We wrote about this application nearly 10 months ago. Shortly after, the applicant requested a deferral. They have lowered the height 30 feet.

There is no technological advantage to a monopine over a standard cell tower.

The public hearing and Council vote is Monday, January 23rd 7pm.

CanCare Victory for Hope: Cancer Survivorship Dinner Celebration

City Hall moving next to Future Islamic Facility 

City Council recently approved to purchase an office building in Tech Park for the new City Hall. It is expected to cost around $15milllion, after retrofitting.

In researching the parcels surrounding this recent building purchase & the land acquisition the City made in Tech Park for a Passive Park, the largest and most attractive undeveloped parcel adjacent was not purchased.

Sitting outside the flood plain, the 5.7-acre parcel was bought in 2004 by Tech Park Atlanta, for $433k. During the recession in 2009 sold it for $2.2 million to a group founded by Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims.

It appears the purchase was contingent upon rezoning for an Islamic Facility. The zoning case was heard during the holidays in 2008 and went before council January 2009. Here is Appen’s report.

The Islamic Facility was approved unanimously even though no renderings were provided. Not even a doodle on a napkin was presented to council.

The approved footprint was 32,000ft with a small second story and building height of 40ft. It is unknown if the extra height is for the actual building or possible minaret, to announce the call to pray.

So what is the differences between a Mosque and Islamic Facility?

The Arabic word Islam means “Submission”, and Islam is the religion of submission to the will of Allah. A mosque is endowed to and property of Allah, and is solely for worship 5x a day.

An Islamic Facility has more elements of utilization for the Moslems beyond worship and tends to be larger with a courtyard, social gathering rooms, educational and spiritual areas.

Although there are several Islamic centers in North Fulton, most are of Sunni Denomination. Sunni’s have proliferated across America, fleeing from war-torn Syria, Iraq & Sudan. There are fewer Shia’s, as they tend to stay in their native Iran and other countries. Even with Islam calling itself the religion of peace, Sunni & Shia sects are unable to worship together.

The Shia’s tend to travel longer distances to worship, and thus their reason to open an Islamic Facility in Johns Creek.

With visitors from near and far for the Islamic Facility, they will be able to enjoy the new adjacent passive park the City is in the process of opening.

We will update if any renderings are submitted to Community Development for review, along with any building plans.