Q&A:

  The following are questions I receive regularly. While I’m touching on the high points, I am open to talking with each of you via email, phone or in person to expound on these questions or any others that may not be below. Please email me at joybasham@gmail.com and we can set up a time to talk. 

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1. What is meant by the phrase “Smart Growth”?

 Smart Growth could also be phrased “Smart Development”. Considering Braselton’s location, development is inevitable, so I am committed to Smart Development / Smart Growth. How do I gauge whether growth is smart or not-so-smart? Here are some questions I use as a filter: 

(i) How does the proposed development alter Braselton’s Comprehensive Plan and Braselton’s Development Code?

(ii) What impact does the proposed development have on the community? 

(iii) Does the development fit and make sense? 

(iv) Do we currently have the infrastructure to sustain the new development?

As future development decisions are made, we must focus beyond the present to ensure Braselton is a place that our children’s children will want to call home. Personally, I am a strong advocate for live, work, play communities.


2. How does Braselton handle the current warehouse vacancies and potentially vacant warehouses?

Warehouses, by nature, are large buildings. But, large buildings do not have to mean loud beeping back up indicators, large amounts of semi truck traffic, noise and added pollution. I have been in front of the Planning Commisson and Town Council pushing for denial of proposed warehouses until we are able to assess what to do with the current vacant buildings.


A few ideas I have to potentially fill current and future vacant warehouses are:


 Technology companies are known to re-purpose abandoned large building into office space with casual areas, play areas, and even on-campus cafeterias. 


In addition, developers re-purpose warehouses into residential living with the potential to also have a work component.  


Another option is collaborating with the Georgia Film Commission. Large buildings are needed for film, television, and sound studios. With our proximity to Interstate 85 and our vast opportunities for film locations, Braselton could potentially be an excellent location. Pinewood Studios, a similar development in Fayetteville, is the second largest purpose-built film and video facility in the US. The economic impact of such a partnership even on a smaller scale would be substantial. 


3. How can we protect our existing community to ensure we don’t force current residents to relocate

Development and traffic are frequent companions.
As we all know, there are many traffic and infrastructure related challenges throughout the Town. As I have been doing from the beginning, I will not only focus on my District, but the Town as a whole. However, if I drill it down to those issues that impact my District, the immediate concerns that I will research, educate and move to take action on if they are not already in motion are:

-Intersection of Ednaville/ New Cut and Hwy 53

-Intersection of Jessic Cronic, Ednaville and New Liberty Church Roads

-Intersection of New Liberty Church and Hwy 53

- Chadonnary Trace and 53. Working with the DOT and Pilot to not only find more immediate solutions for truck traffic, but also work with Pilot to improve the aesthetics/exterior look of their establishment. 

-Semi Truck Traffic on Piedmont Ave at Hwy 124/Broadway from the now closed northeast side of Braselton Industrial Blvd

- Semi Truck Traffic on Josh Pirkle Rd

- The traffic signals, turn and thru lanes at Interstate 85 and Hwy 53 at the Entrance and Exit Ramps to the Interstate

- What can be done about the two lane traffic flow on Hwy 53 from Interstate 85 through Downtown Braselton?

- How can semi truck traffic be better routed to stay away from the intersection of Jessie Cronic and Hwy 124/Broadway? In addition, keep trucks from traveling on Jessie Cronic to Hwy 211?

-The road alignment issues, missing turn signals and lack of proper turn lanes at the intersections of Hwy 211 and Thompson Mill/Grand Hickory and Friendship/BayBerry ahead of the 211 Widening Project

While these are immediate issues that need to be addressed, I do believe moving forward that issues like this can be avoided. With intentional planning improving infrastructure that coincides or is ahead of approved development, Braselton can maintain high standards for its residents. This includes not only roads but improvements, so that residents can travel by foot, bike, or golf cart. 

With resolutions to the current challenges and a comprehensive plan that is followed and complemented by Smart Growth, is certain to protect our community from future challenges for generations to come. 


4. Additional parks and green space areas are needed. What do you suggest?

 Green space can be a beautiful 70+ acre park, or green space can be smaller, tucked in areas that adjoin with daily destinations - consider the amphitheater in Braselton or the amphitheater / splash pad at the Mall of Georgia. 

Think about Braselton’s four geographic hubs: Downtown Braselton; the 53 Overlay; the 211 corridor; and Braselton West. Because these Braselton hubs span approximately 12+ square miles, are divided by I-85, and sit at the topographic foothills of the North Georgia Mountains, Braselton is not suited for a one-size-fits-all version of green space. I suggest creating more and more green space areas mixed into Live- Work-Play communities. 

Have you ever visited Vickery Village, The Forum, The Avalon, Pinewood Village, Suwanee Town Center, and Sugar Hill? These communities illustrate different versions of how to live-work-play. Braselton should be proactively reaching out to these developers for interest in extending these types of projects. 


5. Will property taxes increase to keep up with Braselton’s growth?

 Currently, Braselton residents pay ZERO property taxes. I am not in favor of creating a property tax, however progress and growth require funding.  The first step that will greatly benefit Braselton is the upcoming 2020 census. It will verify the significant growth that this Town has faced in order to re-allocate Braselton's proper portion of the surrounding sales tax funds. In addition, a top priority is educating myself on what additional options there are for fund sources without adding a Town property tax. 


6. The limited options for cable and internet providers including cell service in areas of Braselton

 I, too, am impacted by the technology obstacles and pledge my commitment to address the need for updated technologies to accommodate our community growth. Options for cable and internet providers and cell phone coverage areas are issues for research and change. Deliberate attention should be given to ensure technology growth complies with our live, work, play philosophy, e.g. location of cell towers. 


I look forward to serving you on the Braselton Town Council, and I thank you for your support and interest in Braselton's future. Please don’t hesitate to email me at joybasham@gmail.com to further address questions or to discuss additional concerns.