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The original item was published from 11/3/2023 11:15:17 AM to 12/1/2023 4:00:01 AM.

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Posted on: November 3, 2023

[ARCHIVED] City of Fayetteville honored with ARC’s Regional Excellence Award for Visionary Planning

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Fayetteville, Georgia – November 3, 2023 – The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has honored the City of Fayetteville and planning consultants HKS with its 2023 Regional Excellence Award for Visionary Planning based on the success of the City’s “Moving Fayetteville Forward” downtown redevelopment plan. Mayor Ed Johnson and other City representatives received the award on October 27 at ARC’s annual State of the Region breakfast meeting in Atlanta.

“This long-range plan envisions a vibrant downtown that is more pedestrian friendly, safer for bicycling, with new parks and green spaces, and architecture that honors the City’s rich history while also looking to the future,” stated an ARC press release. “This vision grew out of an ARC Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) planning process that featured online surveys, virtual community meetings, and a digital ‘scavenger hunt,’ where residents submitted photos of what they liked best about their city. The plan will serve as a guide for developers looking to invest in the community, ensuring that Fayetteville remains a great place to live.

The City in 2020 launched a robust study funded through ARC’s LCI program to prepare a detailed analysis and action plan for the revitalization of Downtown Fayetteville. The City employed HKS and their consultant team to prepare for this plan. The multi-disciplinary team also included PEC+ (planning and landscape architecture), Office of Design (character analysis), NV5 (zoning), Novell (economic development and market study), and Blue Cypress Consulting (community engagement).

“A four-step process was established to acknowledge the work done through previous efforts and to ground the project by learning from precedents, prioritizing goals, developing actionable recommendations, and documenting with clarity for an achievable outcome,” said Community Development Director David Rast. “The process hinged on community engagement with the goal to achieve sustainable outcomes. We implemented equitable decision-making methods with the fundamental goal of building relationships and trust between the City, design teams, and the community.”

The new study resulted in a plan known as “Moving Fayetteville Forward,” the findings of which have been incorporated into the 2022 City of Fayetteville Comprehensive Plan Update and the recently adopted Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). In particular, the UDO’s Downtown Mixed-Use District was highly influenced by the Moving Fayetteville Forward study results. All of this aligns with the City’s strategic priorities, which are outlined in the 2023 City of Fayetteville Strategic Plan.

This is the second time in recent years Fayetteville’s emerging downtown has been recognized in the ARC’s Regional Excellence Awards program. The City’s new City Hall & City Center Park complex received the LCI award in the 2021 awards cycle.

Learn more about the ARC's Regional Excellence Awards program at

The Atlanta Regional Commission is the official planning agency for the 11-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 74 other cities. The Atlanta Regional Commission’s mission is to foster thriving communities for all within the Atlanta region through collaborative, data-informed planning and investments.

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