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Georgia 'smart growth' gets high grades 

The folks who designed the East Lake Commons development sure must be smart. Lots of people are saying so these days. Clayton Preston, Greg Ramsey and their firm, Village Habitat Design, are getting international attention for East Lake Commons, a residential development just south of Decatur. The pedestrian-friendly development features 67 houses on 20 acres, with 55 percent of the land preserved as green space and six acres of vegetable gardens.

The project was recently named a finalist for annual World Habitat Award of the Building and Social Housing Foundation of Leichestershire, England. The winner will be announced in December.

East Lake Commons was also chosen last week by the Sierra Club as an example of smart growth in its 50-state survey, "Smart Choices or Sprawling Growth."

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