Braselton is set to consider an update to its comprehensive plan at a meeting this week.

The Braselton Town Council will consider the 2020-40 comprehensive plan update at a called meeting July 29 at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Braselton Police and Municipal Court building at 5040 Hwy. 53 in downtown.

The council deferred a vote on the updated comp plan on July 13 to give additional time to get some questions answered.

BACKGROUND

The town's comp plan outlines thousands of broad suggestions about how the community could grow over the next 20 years, but the details of that will be tied to the town's zoning and development codes.

Those codes are in the process of being rewritten.

What could be the most controversial aspect of the code rewrite is an effort to make the codes more friendly to greater housing diversity in Braselton.

Among the ideas outlined in the comp plan are lowering minimum housing sizes in the town's zoning codes and to allow housing with only one-car garages in future residential construction.

The plan also calls for allowing mixed housing sizes and lots within some developments. The comp plan says that town's current strict regulations could "turn off" some developers of quality projects in the community.

But members of the town council seem cool or unsure about the idea of smaller garages and smaller house sizes during an update of the comp plan given to the council on July 9.

The code overhaul will involve input from citizens, said town manager Jennifer Scott. She also said that the council itself would be involved as the rewrite process moves forward.

"It's a balance," Scott told the council.

Once a draft of the codes has been produced, it will go to the town's planning board for review before coming to the city council for final action in early 2022.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

Other highlights in the updated comp plan include:

•an acknowledgement that citizens surveyed showed little support for more warehouses in the town. Partly as a result of that dynamic, the town's new planning map now shows a "condensed" area for Transitional Employment Center, the area designated for warehouses. That area runs west of downtown along I-85, the west side of Hwy. 53 and part of the way down Hwy. 124.

• an acknowledgement of the key role Chateau Elan plays in the area's economy.

• says that the I-85 and Hwy. 211 interchange will be "the central gateway to Braselton" and should "boast high-quality development."

• promoting additional conservation, walking and greenspace areas in the town, including possibly annexing land west of Hwy. 53 to "strengthen preservation efforts."

• consider a Community Improvement District for the Hwy. 53 corridor and for the downtown areas to raise money to pay for projects in those areas.

• a wish list of projects for the town in the coming years, a list that would cost over $46 million if all the projects were done. Among the top projects outlined are: an addition to the library; a 71-acre recreation area on Hwy. 124; additional parks; extension of Riverwalk; and transportation projects including new sidewalks, bike paths, new street lighting, highway widening, additional highway signage and a multi-use bridge over Hwy. 211.

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