The City of Loganville voted this month to approve the Main Street Overlay district, setting a vision for the downtown area. According to the master plan, the MSO district “is intended to encourage and accommodate high-quality, pedestrian-oriented, unified design and combinations of retail, office, institutional, cultural, public and residential uses and facilities in accordance with an approved master plan.” The intention is to enhance the small-town character of downtown Loganville while creating “a vibrant live, work, shop and play environment.” Officials believe these design regulations would ensure a vibrant Main Street with restored buildings alongside new buildings “ﬁlled with unique shops, restaurants, ofﬁces and upper-story lofts that complements the historic core.”
Officials also voted to reduce the number of board members on the Loganville Development Authority to seven. Doug Mondo, former chairman of the LDA, is no longer on the board and Bill Jones, former city manager, and a former mayor has now taken the helm.
“Former mayor Dan Curry is also on the (LDA) board and I think this will be great for the city,” said Mayor Rey Martinez. “Of course it’s not going to happen overnight – these things take time – but this is a good start.”
Martinez said he was pleased with the inclusion of more women on the council with the election last year of Councilwomen Anne Huntsinger and Lisa Newberry joining Councilwoman Linda Dodd. He said it brings another dimension to the council’s vision for the downtown area.
The MSO district has been designed to promote “efficient and economic use of the land while respecting historic content and landscape features.” Buildings such as the Historic Rock Gym and Ag building renovated and now available for use by organizations and residents are examples of plans for the MSO district.
Plans are for an aesthetically pleasing look that features mix-use development in a pedestrian-friendly downtown with wide sidewalks with tree-lined streets providing access “to a variety of commercial, civic, residential, recreational and pedestrian uses and activities.”
Examples of the type of development the LDA is looking to recruit include:
(1) Retail sales and services, including open-air markets;
(2) Eating and drinking establishments;
(3) Banks, financial and professional services;
(4) Residential flats or lofts above the ground floor in mixed-use buildings;
(6) Business and professional offices;
(7) Health clubs and spas;
(8) Indoor recreation and entertainment;
(9) Parking structures;
(10) Craft shops, visual and performing artist studios and galleries, with accessory light manufacturing;
(11) Hotel and bed and breakfast inns;
(12) Religious facilities;
(13) Theaters and performing arts uses;
(14) Civic, cultural, open space and public uses;
There are very specific architectural guidelines for developers to adhere to and some developments that would not win approval for the MSO District, such as automotive shops of any kind, drive-through service windows, telecommunication towers, group homes, kennels and indoor or outdoor storage facilities or warehousing, to name a few.