I am outraged by the actions of the Planning Department of
this City and, as I sat in the BZA meeting today, my heart sank when I think about what today’s decision means to Hundreds of Thousands of citizens in the
City of Atlanta. You should be outraged,
Over a three year period of time, hundreds of citizens all over this City spent thousands of hours working with dozens of planners and City officials developing a series of BeltLine Master Plans that outline, among other things, the preferred land use and zoning for most of the land within the Master Plan boundaries for the entire BeltLine.
These plans were heavily vetted by over 40 neighborhoods and 20 NPUs, blessed by the Department of Planning, voted in support by City Council and signed into the law of this City by the Mayor. NO redevelopment plans EVER conceived of in the history of this City has EVER been more carefully scrutinized nor more unanimously supported, as these Master Plans. And now all that work is at risk and this is the moment we MUST take a stand if we hope to actualize the vision of The Beltline.
The residents of Grant Park, SAND and other close by neighborhoods are fighting a battle they cannot, and MUST not, fight alone. They need our help. They are fighting to DEMAND the City of Atlanta follow its own codified plans for redevelopment around The Atlanta BeltLine. They are making a stand, there in Grant Park and SAND that, should they lose, could have a tidal wave impact on the development in neighborhoods all around the Beltline. They are fighting for us all!
Virtually all the land around the BeltLine is zoned industrial – it was used that way for a reason and at the time it made sense. Such zoning is NOT the basis for development along today’s Atlanta BeltLine. All of the BeltLine redevelopment Master Plans are fundamentally based on the assumption that virtually all of that industrially zoned land will be rezoned for sustainable, human scale, neighborhood supported and transit-orient developments. Different areas of the City have varying wants and needs – no ONE plan fits all areas. Some Master Plans specifically outline a desire for larger big box developments, they need and deserve greater access to food, services and merchandise. But all Master Plans are very clear and based on each neighborhood’s needs – there is no need for interpretation by developers.
If the current plans by a local developer for the redevelopment of an old concrete facility proposed along Bill Kennedy Way and Glenwood is pushed through then ALL our hard work will be for nothing, because every other developer will want THIS deal and the City, having set a precedent, will have to give it to them. Effectively, this will throw the Master Plans out the window and our vision be damned.
Join me now. Speak up. DEMAND our BeltLine Master Plans be followed by the City. Stop the City from capitulating to developers out of fear of being sued. Write to your City Council Member and the Mayor, and ask your neighborhood association to write a letter, demanding the Master Plans be followed.
Here is where to get more details at SMART Growth Atlanta . Grant Park has a legal ‘defense’ fund – make a personal contribution. Ask your neighborhood association to do the same. Save our BeltLine vision.