ARC awarded $800,000 in its latest round of Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) grants to 11 metro Atlanta communities. The LCI grants will help these communities create new plans for quality growth and help develop innovative policies that support more vibrant, connected communities. Once their studies and plans are complete, these communities will be eligible for additional LCI funding for transportation projects needed to implement their plans.
Since its inception in 1999, LCI has assisted 113 communities with approximately $15 million in planning grants to devise strategies that reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality by better connecting homes, shops and offices. Another $173 million has gone to help recipients build transportation projects that help them accomplish their goals.
The LCI program is funded with federal transportation dollars. The grants fund 80 percent of the study, with the recipient making a 20 percent match. So altogether, there will be a $1 million LCI investment in these 11 communities, $800,000 from the LCI program and $200,000 in local match.
“Over the years, LCI has helped communities across metro Atlanta reinvent and improve themselves, creating more places that attract residents and businesses alike,” said Kerry Armstrong, ARC Chairman. “Our local government partners have used these grants to the benefit of their individual communities and the entire region.”
LCI communities cover only five percent of the region’s land area, but contain seven percent of its residential development, 24 percent of its commercial development and 38 percent of its office development.
“Communities are eager to revitalize their town centers and underutilized properties to create places that foster a vibrant neighborhood feel and environment,” said Doug Hooker, ARC Executive Director. “LCI grants have helped communities re-imagine what they can be, and then helped them make those plans a reality.”
The 2014 LCI grant recipients are:
Hiram Town Center
Award amount: $60,000
Local match: $15,000
Sponsor: City of Hiram
This study focuses on downtown Hiram and a portion of the Silver Comet Trail, exploring appropriate mixed-use and infill development, as well as connections to the Silver Comet Trail and to the major retail corridor along US 278.
Peachtree Corners Town Center
Award amount: $96,000
Local match: $24,000
Sponsor: City of Peachtree Corners
This plan will focus on providing a roadmap for the development of a town center within the newly-incorporated City of Peachtree Corners. The study will help the city develop a walkable, connected downtown core and create a community identity.
The nine remaining grants are for supplemental studies to help existing LCI communities implement their existing plans through additional studies, zoning changes, etc. Communities receiving supplemental study funds are:
• Atlanta Downtown Improvement District/Central Atlanta Progress, $70,000, to study the improvement of transit stations in the southern end of downtown.
• City of Atlanta, $40,000, for a transportation study of the Vine City-Washington Park area.
• City of Avondale Estates, $50,000, to study the feasibility of a roundabout, road diet and “Better Block” demonstration project.
• City of Clarkston, $80,000, for a major plan update.
• Gwinnett Place CID, $90,000, for a master plan of the Gwinnett Place Multi-Modal Boulevard.
• City of Kennesaw, $80,000, for a major plan update.
• Lilburn CID, $60,000, for Lawrenceville Highway Urban Design Implementation Study.
• Town Center Area CID, $114,000, for a major plan update.
• City of Woodstock, $60,000, to expand the Highway 92 Corridor Study.
To learn more about the LCI program and the impact it has had on the Atlanta region, visit www.atlantaregional.com/lci.