The Canton City Council discussed the components for the city’s “roadmap for success” draft during its meeting on Thursday.

This roadmap draft, which was first discussed at the council’s retreat in October and again at an October council meeting, highlights a number of guiding principles that will help city staff and the community work together to help Canton develop and grow.

At the Oct. 15 council meeting, City Manager Billy Peppers went over the city roadmap draft with the council, detailing the first guiding principle, which looks to create neighborhoods that are “safe, attractive, connected, and inviting,” citing these aspects as the foundation of Canton’s hometown appeal. He said that the city will continue celebrating the economic, cultural, and social diversity of its community, and will continue to advance regional economic success by using existing business strengths in industry, healthcare, and an entrepreneurial spirit as Canton seeks to expand its economic footprint.

Other guiding principles include the enhancement of downtown Canton through “preservation, entrepreneurship, arts and culture, and community-centric activities, the need for sustaining the city’s natural environment, connecting citizens to parks and recreation through local parks, trails, sidewalks, and additional transportation options, and lastly, to lead with excellence.”

The draft also details how the city plans to accomplish these guiding principles, with a number of bullet points for all seven guiding principles listed. The draft also specifies projects that are underway that fit into these principles, as well as any materials and supporting documents.

Peppers mentioned at Thursday’s meeting that community members commented on their concerns regarding transportation and traffic, and that if staff has a recommendation, then council may want to consider creating an additional guiding principal that focuses on infrastructure that would include transportation, wastewater, and stormwater. Peppers said traffic concerns were about state routes Ga. Highway 140 and Ga. Highway 20, among others.

In a statement attached to the roadmap draft, Canton Mayor Bill Grant said the roadmap is not only a plan, but a call to action.

“This roadmap organizes the actions of local leaders, residents, private and non-private organizations, and businesses toward a shared vision for how our city operates through 2035,” he said. “First and foremost, it is a community plan, formed and guided by public input, to empower our citizens to be co-creators for their city, strengthen local connections, and to generate support and enthusiasm for how we build the “Coolest Small Town in America. The growth and development in the city must reflect how our citizens and stakeholders choose to live, work, play, and serve to achieve its full potential.”

Council will decide whether to adopt the draft at its Dec. 17 council meeting, and may hold a special called meeting to further discuss the guiding principles ahead of the Dec. 17 meeting.

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Ethan is a reporter covering the cities of Holly Springs & Canton. He also covers city governments and lifestyle. He is a graduate of Kennesaw State University.

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