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NPU-W Wants Traffic Study Requirement in Certain Development Projects

Goal: To mitigate potential traffic problems that come with development.

Neighborhood Planning Unit-W on Wednesday voted in favor of pushing the City Council to enact legislation to mandate professional traffic studies be part of the permitting process for some development projects.

As proposed, the measure would require traffic studies on any project that includes the construction of a structure that exceeds 100,000 square feet and/or the the project involves a site that exceeds five acres.

The findings from such studies would then be required to be part of the reviews conducted by the city's planning, public works and law departments of development projects.

"The city's has absolutely no voice when it comes to transportation projects," Bob Titus, who is chairman of NPU-W's transportation committee, said at the meeting. "So we hope to give them a voice on some level."

Such studies aren't unusual. In metro Jacksonville, for example, several communities require traffic impact studies as part of a developer's application process.

NPU-W's push for something similar follows the proposed controversial Glenwood Place project at 800 Glenwood Ave. in Grant Park.

That project, as proposed by Fuqua Development LLC, calls for the construction of 199,050 square feet of retail, including one pad of 155,000 square feet for a big-box type retailer.

It also includes 1,021 parking spaces and would encompass 20 acres.

Homeowners in Grant Park, Glenwood Park and Ormewood Park oppose the project saying it's not in keeping with the residential character of those neighborhoods and that it doesn't conform with development guidelines established by the BeltLine Overlay Zoning District, as well as the Connect Atlanta Transportation Plan.

The city's planning department rejected Fuqua Development's initial submission, citing several issues officials contend don't adhere to exiting codes and development guidelines.

Fuqua resubmitted a revised plan before Christmas and then another around New Year's.

NPU-W, which advocates for the interests of several Southeast Atlanta neighborhoods including East Atlanta, Grant Park and Ormewood Park, is reviewing the revised plans and expects to submit its response to the planning department by Jan. 25, the deadline to share its official view of the project its impact on the affected communities.

The text of the measure approved by NPU-W is as follows:

NPU-W hereby requests and recommends that the Atlanta City Council and appropriate City staff develop and adopt legislation which requires the performance of a professional traffic study, or studies, for any and all proposed real estate, real property or similar development projects, regardless of existing zoning conditions, wherein the proposed development project contemplates the construction of more than 100,000 square feet of enclosed space and/or the physical improvement of a site in excess of 5 acres.

Said traffic studies are to include the impact of vehicular traffic on any and all traffic intersections, controlled or otherwise, within one (1) mile, measured by line of sight, of the nearest proposed development site boundaries, are to be in compliance with standards accepted by the Georgia Department of Transportation and the International Institute of Traffic Engineers.

Furthermore, the findings of said traffic studies are to be considered by the Departments of Planning, Public Works and Law for the purposes of determining what measures may be taken to eliminate or reduce the negative impacts of vehicular traffic generated by the proposed development project prior to the granting of any development, demolition or building permit, especially as a means of maintaining or improving the single family nature of our neighborhoods.

Said traffic study findings are to be communicated to the affected Neighborhood Planning Unit(s)and recognized local community organizations in a timely manner prior to the approval or granting of any development, demolition or building permit.

SEE ALSO:

  • Developer Responds on 800 Glenwood Place Project
  • City Planning Director Finds Problems with 800 Glenwood Place Project
  • Glenwood Place Development: Where it Stands Now
  • Southeast Atlanta Rallies for "Smart" Development
  • Rally Planned to Oppose Glenwood Place Project
  • NPU-W Opposes Glenwood Place Development
  • East Atlanta Resident Starts Online Letter Campaign Against Glenwood Place
  • NPUs Give Their Support in Opposition to Glenwood Place Project
  • Major Retail Planned at Glenwood
  • Online Petition To Stop Glenwood Place Project in Grant Park
Ed Gilgor January 24, 2013 at 03:51 PM
NPU-W takes the position that the City of Atlanta has the inherent power to restrict development based on traffic impact. This opinion is based on the powers given to the City by the State in the City Charter. However, this is not currently the opinion of the City, NPU-W is seeking, in the words of Mr. Titus to "start a conversation" within the city which will hopefully lead to legislation which would allow for the city to limit or restrict a development the size and impact of the proposed Glenwood Avenue development.

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