Riverfront District draws nearer - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Riverfront District draws nearer

July 18, 2007

Albany -- A proposed Riverfront District for downtown Albany is closer to reality.   City Commissioners will vote on the zoning changes next month.    

The focus? Not just to bring in bars and nightlife, but to encourage family friendly activities.

The Flint River is the focal point of Albany, which until now, hasn't really been showcased to its full potential.  "It is focused on the river and that's the intent of it so we think it's a good idea," said Assistant City Manager James Taylor.

The new proposed Riverfront District will encompass both sides of the river and about 30 square blocks downtown. "What we're trying to do is establish not an entertainment district but a special district that is exempt from the ordinary policies of the city so that when the city passes a policy and it doesn't specifically include the district, then the district will not be impacted by it."

For example, the 1,000 foot rule for bars won't apply here. But the focus isn't only on nighttime entertainment, but about a family friendly environment. "The focus is it is to focus on the river and to make it pedestrian and family friendly. We're looking at things like widening the sidewalks and narrowing the streets and slowing down the traffic, so we don't want speed through here," said ATI board member, and former city commissioner John White.

White thinks the plan is a great way to bring more people downtown. "We have a lot of things we can attract people to. We simply have to work on the kind of entertainments and affairs and the kind of activities that the community might appreciate."

While generating more business for the shops already downtown.

City Commissioners hope to finalize the Riverfront District at next month's regular meeting, but first they want your input. A public hearing is scheduled for August 7th from 6:00-7:30 PM at the Government Center.

This map shows the proposed Riverfront zone--

 

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