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Vision and Memories in Suwanee

City officials roll out a draft version of their planning initiative with a nostalgic touch.

Updated 3:48 p.m., April 30

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"I remember the smell of the creosote plant/when we used to eat on Easter with my crazy old uncle and aunt/They lived in a big house, antebellum style/and the wind would blow across the old bayou when I was a tranquil little child."

--"LIfe Is Just A Tire Swing," Jimmy Buffett.

Jimmy Burnette remembers music at the before the barn was even built.

He recalls going into the main house on the Everett property in the mid-1960s, and he remembers someone with a string and a washtub. Russell Everett remembers that too, and believes that the fellow is still running an auction service.

-- What do you think of Suwanee's 20/20 Vision effort? Tell us in the comments below.

Burnette is now Suwanee's mayor, and he was at the Everett property Sunday in an official capacity. He and other city officials were on hand to roll out a draft version of the strategic planning initiative, 20/20 Vision. It is the near-culmination of a collaborative effort with citizens that began last summer.

"Welcome to my family home," Tommy Everett told those gathered on the property's front lawn before events began. The day included a potluck/barbecue lunch, exhibits on various aspects of the 20/20 Vision plan, and a short bluegrass concert in the concert barn at the rear of the property.

Scott Page of Interface Studios, which worked with the city on the initiative, said that officials are "still looking for comments." Attendees were urged to leave comments pro and con on results that were available in literature and on wall exhibits.

Also, the Suwanee Gateway area that includes the I-85 exit on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road was identified as a work in progress. "What should (the Gateway) say when people get off the highway," Page asked.

Officials hope to have the planning initiative completed by the end of May.

The 20/20 Vision effort focused on seven areas: communications & engagement, economic development, public safety, planning, community culture, parks and open space, and transportation.

Suwanee businessman Scott Auer was among those participating in the effort.

"I'm very proud of it," Auer said at the picnic Sunday. "It's amazing to me that the city will go to so much trouble to get so many people involved."

Auer noted that various focus groups, such as Asians and youth groups, were consulted.

The event concluded with a bluegrass concert by the Everett Family Band in the barn/soundstage.

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An executive summary and draft version of the strategic plan are available on the city website.

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