I recently learned that it has been proposed to the Newnan City Council by Central Baptist Church to permanently close Brown Street at the section adjacent to the church. As a long-time resident of Newnan, I am greatly concerned in regards to this request.
Brown Street is a street that I use frequently as do many, many other west side downtown residents and those who visit our downtown.
I understand that the church will request to remove one historic home and one commercial building and offer the city parking on their property. Alternative parking is already available in the lot between the church playground and city hall although I do not see many people park there. Maybe citizens need to have more awareness of this lot in order to help with downtown parking?
It is more concerning how a change of this magnitude will affect downtown. Many individuals have worked tirelessly for the city to receive a nomination as a National Registry District and very few cities can say that they’ve managed to preserve and keep the original town grid intact.
With a change of this magnitude, the grid is now compromised.
How will this affect the downtown future? How will this affect other downtown merchants who may not benefit from any outside financial resources because of a grid change?
With an accepted change on this proposed project, a precedent will be set that will be difficult to tell someone else no. While someone may say, “No, that will not happen,” you wait, somebody WILL think of another proposal that will hinder our already difficult downtown traffic.
An alternative is for Central Baptist Church to build whatever they want on their property. A build that will not damage any integrity of the downtown grid so in turn, we do not lose any value brought to our downtown merchants. Then, allow Central Baptist Church to install a walkover above Brown Street to connect their two properties just as another church has done in the past.