Stonecrest stakeholders have four opportunities to influence the new city’s future growth and direction at public planning events in June.

The city and planners are hosting four open houses for the Stonecrest 2038 Comprehensive Plan, which will set the direction for zoning, transportation, business, public safety, environmental resources, and residential living.

The plan’s theme is “CX3: Building Community, Culture and Commerce For Now and Into The Future.”

This opportunity comes once every 20 years.

People who attend an open house will have the opportunity to view displays, talk with staff one-on-one and provide their input.

There will be no formal presentation, so participants may stop by anytime during the two-hour meetings, where light refreshments will be provided.

Since the same information will be presented at each of the open house events, attendees are encouraged to choose the time and location that works best for them.

The June open houses are as follows:

- June 7, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., Lou Walker Senior Center, 2538 Panola Rd, Lithonia.

- June 12, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m., Ousley United Methodist Church, 3261 Panola Rd, Lithonia.

- June 16, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., Big Miller Grove Missionary Baptist Church, 3800 Miles E. Fowler Way, Lithonia.

- June 28, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, 6400 Woodrow Rd, Lithonia.

Stonecrest has contracted Atlanta company The Collaborative Firm to develop the plan, for about $140,000, with a view to it being adopted in March 2019.

The comprehensive Stonecrest plan will establish policies and goals with a 20-year vision for land use, economic development, transportation, housing, healthy communities, and the preservation of natural environmental resources.

Madolyn Spann, director of planning and economic development at The Collaborative Firm, announced details of the Stonecrest plan development project during a Stonecrest City Council meeting on April 16.

“This provides us with an opportunity to define the city of Stonecrest and the vision in which we see it,” she said.

At present, Stonecrest is operating under the DeKalb County 2035 Comprehensive Plan by default, as the city was only formed in 2017.

Twenty people have been appointed to a select committee to help shape the plan, which will depend heavily on community input.

“This is a broad group that will be representing and steering us through this process as well as taking input from the mass community,” Spann said.

The open houses are free and open to all, including Stonecrest residents, business owners, workers, homeowners, elected officials, city staff, and anyone else interested.

It is a state requirement for cities to follow a comprehensive plan to identify and address community needs, goals and opportunities across all sectors.

Once Stonecrest’s vision has been established and data collected, the plan will be drafted for review by citizens and elected officials.

Ultimately, the draft plan will be considered by the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

“When they’re satisfied with the document we’ve produced, then it comes back to the council and the council can adopt an official comprehensive plan,” Spann said.

Additional information is available at the project website – https://stonecrest2038.wixsite.com/compplan - where people can also complete an online survey to provide input to the plan.