by Colleen Kiernan
The Georgia Sierra Club was one of the earliest supporters of the Atlanta Beltline. We, like many Atlantans, were inspired by the vision of the BeltLine to focus development in places where sustainable transportation options will be available, and to help the city evolve from a poster-child for sprawl to a walkable, bikeable, transit success story.
But now that vision is at risk. Although detailed, community-supported plans have been prepared for transit-oriented development along the Beltline corridor, the zoning has not yet been updated to reflect this, and a suburban-style Wal-mart is now proposed for a key parcel along the Southeast section of the Beltline on Glenwood Avenue.
Councilmember Carla Smith has introduced legislation to rezone the property to be consistent with the Beltline Study Area 4 Planfrom Industrial to Mixed-Use Residential. The rezoning is supported by the local Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU-W), and passed the City Council Zoning Committee on a 3-2 vote on Wednesday.
The full City Council will take up the issue on Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 1 p.m. Please contact your City Council representatives and urge them to support this important rezoning and ensure that the vision of the Beltline is realized.
Thanks for helping us preserve the vision of the Beltline,
Ms. Kiernan, an Ormewood Park resident, is the Sierra Club's Georgia chapter director.