In 2005, the City of Buford prepared a plan for its downtown and nearby areas that called for supporting a mix of land uses, preserving a sense of place, providing transportation options, improving aesthetics, and supporting economic development. Following the plan’s completion, the City completed many of its key recommendations, while others were determined to no longer be relevant. As part of a 10-year plan update, TSW was retained in 2016 to review the plan and create a new implementation-focused strategy for the core of Buford and nearby areas in light of current market conditions, funding sources, and community needs. This process was known as “Forward Buford.”
Through a community-based planning process, TSW worked with Buford residents, businesses and property owners to establish a vision for Forward Buford. The study process began with an extensive existing conditions assessment of the study area, focusing on previous LCI accomplishments, current land uses, market trends, and transportation systems. The community outreach effort included core team meetings, stakeholder interviews, a public workshop, and various other public meetings, and communication tools, including a project website and public meeting notices.
Existing conditions assessment and community input were then used as a starting point for recommendations. Plan recommendations included the following:
- Continue streetscape and transportation updates on major corridors
- Preserve and enhance the existing character of the downtown core
- Encourage the re-use or redevelopment of aging shopping centers and historic structures
- Expand housing options
- Support quality development
- Provide an interconnected street network to create multiple routes and reduced congestion
- Create an interconnected trail network that links to a regional network
- Establish active economic development programming
The City is now in the process of implementing several key Forward Buford projects.