Keeping the small-town feel for Oakwood while finding ways to connect with the nearby University of North Georgia campus were two aspects at the forefront of a comprehensive planning meeting Monday.
The city of Oakwood is in the process of updating its comprehensive plan, taking public comments and analyzing survey results. The plan focuses on development for the coming decades.
“Everything that we get tells us something about the residents that you have,” said Adam Hazell, director of planning for Georgia Mountains Regional Commission.
According to Oakwood’s agenda, the survey had 24 paper responses and nine electronic responses. The details from the survey showed residents wanted to preserve the small-town feel while also focusing on industrial development along the interstate.
“Minimal change focused on jobs and trying to enhance what we have in housing supply are the early takeaways from the survey results so far,” Hazell said.
When addressing the idea of being a “small town,” Hazell said residents will have to decide between having the aesthetics or the economics of the community.
“For some folks, it means I literally know every single neighbor at the post office. That’s small. For other folks, I don’t care if they’re all complete strange faces,” he said. “If it looks like Mayberry and we all behave like it’s Mayberry, that’s what is important to me.”
For the handful of residents attending the meeting, much of the conversation focused on ways to better connect with the nearby UNG campus. Residents wanted to find ways to find ways to keep students in the community.
“I think Atlanta Highway would be a target market for student housing,” said Sheri Millwood, a City Council member and real estate broker.
The electronic version of the survey is available at surveymonkey.com/r/oakwood2017.