In November, the LaFayette Historic Preservation Commission met with local residents to discuss plans to return the Square to its 1960s look as an area park.
The reasoning behind the proposal was to create a place for people to walk, eat lunch, and hold small concerts, Edgemon said in November.
Edgemon said that creating a place for people to gather has helped other communities increase activity in downtown, bringing more people into stores and restaurants.
However, business owners on the Square were apprehensive about the plan.
In 2006, about 23,600 vehicles each day traveled North Main Street in LaFayette. (Source: Georgia Department of Transportation website)
According to Edgemon, Josh Chapman, owner of Chapman Jewelry, who was tapped by the Preservation Commission to collect the opinion of business owners operating on the Square, said, the overwhelming majority to whom he has spoken oppose recreating the Square because of the parking, traffic and safety concerns.
At least for now, the businesses are against it, Chapman said.
Edgemon said the commission nevertheless asked the citys building and engineering staff to do a rough design of how the Square could look and to count how the number of parking spaces would change.
This effort by the commission to provide better details on the specifics of the redesigned Square is an attempt to persuade the businesses to support the initiative.
At this time, Edgemon said, a higher priority for the HPC is to look at designating a historic district and to develop guidelines for that district. The Square is now a lower priority issue. I will ask the staff (of LaFayettes engineering department) to work on the design when time permits between more urgent tasks.
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