Lindridge Martin Manor Neighborhood Association president writes a letter to the community asking for help in opposing development on Lindbergh Drive
As a resident of the City of Atlanta, I am reaching out you each of you and bring to your attention an issue that will have profound negative long-term effects on residents in our neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods.
On July 12, 2012, the City’s Zoning Review Board (ZRB) heard a rezoning application (Z-11-19) for an 18-acre property located at the intersections of Lindbergh Drive, Morosgo Drive, and Adina Drive, all located in the Northeast section of the City.
The applicant has proposed developing approximately 18 acres of land to include a mixture of commercial and residential uses.
The development would include at least one major retail store (150,000 square feet of space).
In addition, the applicant indicates that there will be space for a multi-family residential building and several smaller commercial spaces as well as a 3-acre park, an area smaller than if the current zoning were to remain the same. The applicant requested that the property be rezoned from a residential subarea within the Special Public Interest (SPI-15) area to a commercial subarea.
The Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU) B, in which the property is located, recommended denial of the application, stating inconsistencies with the transit-oriented development goals encompassed in the SPI-15 plans.
However, at the July 12 meeting and despite clear opposition to the change by nearly 100 citizens from other NPUs and neighborhoods, the ZRB voted 4-1 to recommend approval of the rezoning request.
Still to come is a review by the City Council Zoning Committee slated for August 1, 2012; its recommendation will be heard and voted on by the full City Council on August 20, 2012. The recommendation of Council then will be forwarded to Mayor Kassim Reed.
- This ZRB-recommended rezoning constitutes a clear change in policy regarding the value of SPIs across City in promoting and maintaining a vibrant urban core. The ZRB decision clearly discounts the work and dedication of NPUs, individual neighborhoods, and the business community to foster this new urbanism through SPIs. Approximately 10 years ago, Carter and Associates, neighborhoods, and the City engaged in a 2-year planning process to establish the Lindbergh Transit Station SPI. Now, we have to ask why we should continue to put the time and energy into efforts such as SPIs if the City simply ignores the recommendations of its citizens. NPUs clearly see this decision as a signal to some developers that SPIs across the City are “free game.”
- Traffic conditions on Lindbergh Drive will deteriorate even further. As a major east-west corridor, this state highway, which is primarily a two-lane road, will be clogged with the additional traffic the development will attract. For example, the development calls for 642 parking spaces! Other major roads (e.g., Piedmont, Sidney Marcus) will be affected as well. Citizens in neighborhoods along Lindbergh already have difficulty entering and exiting their neighborhoods. Disabled people also use the sidewalks to maneuver wheelchairs along this certain-to-become-more-dangerous thoroughfare.
- Environmental concerns are real. Currently, the property is residential, comprising mostly apartments. If this property is developed as the applicant describes in its plans, the 642 parking spaces will add to the amount of impervious surface on that property and the runoff (including surface contaminants) into the nearby South Fork of Peachtree Creek will greatly increase. Flooding, always a concern in this area, would likely be more severe as a result.
- Current residents of the apartments on the property will have to relocate. I do not know whether these residents have been informed about what is in the offing. I do know that the majority of them are minorities and that many of them use public transit. Many of the children who live in these apartments currently attend nearby Garden Hills Elementary School and middle and high school in the area. Thus, demolishing their homes will also affect the school system.
I am asking each of you to please contact the Council Zoning Committee. This issue will affect all of us in and around the neighborhoods. Please email and call the following members to stress your concerns. The next meeting on this very topic is August 1, 2012. The following people list below could reverse the ZRB recommendation.
- Alex Wan Chair 404-330-6049 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Keisha Lance Bottoms, Vice Chair 404-330-6054 email@example.com
- Howard Shook 404-330-6050 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Carla Smith 404-330-6039 email@example.com
- Aaron Watson 404-330-6302 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lamar Willis 404-330-6041 email@example.com
- Ivory /young JR 404-330-6046 firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for helping and tell our Council Zoning Committee, how this could change our neighborhood and surrounding areas if ZRB starts over ruling local SPI’s.
Roxanne Sullivan, President Lindridge Martin Manor Neighborhood Association