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800 Glenwood Ave. Project: Neighborhood Group Responds to Latest Application

'NPU-W requests that the City immediately confirm that it will summarily inform the applicant that it must submit a new complete new application, and not submit the second revised version of an application first submitted in September of last

After yet another rejection, Atlanta builder Fuqua Development LP last week resubmitted an amended plan to city planning officials for the 800 Glenwood Ave. project.

But Neighborhood Planning Unit-W thinks the company should stop amending its original application and simply submit a new one that conforms to the zoning requirements for the site on Glenwood, just west of the Glenwood-Memorial Connector.

The project would take the 20-acre site and create 197,590 square feet of retail and parking for 1,201 vehicles.

The company has repeatedly sought variances to zoning regulations that outline the scope of development for the site in its first and subsequent two resubmissions.

"There really is no reason for an applicant to not have a fully compliant plan other than they chose not to," Edward Gilgor, NPU-W's chairman told East Atlanta Patch.

But an additional wrinkle in the controversial project is that the company can continue to resubmit revisions to its original plan in perpetuity, something the ordinance governing development project planning submissions, doesn''t specifically address.

"My problem is Planning has opened up the proverbial Pandora’s Box," Gilgor said, explaining opponents to the project have spent some 700 hours on reviewing the plans and submitting rebuttals.

"The idea that there are multiple bites at the apple is not supported by the ordinance."

Gilgor wrote a response to city planning officials concerning Fuqua's latest submission on April 2 and shared it with Patch:

Via Electronic Mail
Ms. Charletta Wilson-Jacks
Office of Planning, Department of Planning and Community Development
55 Trinity Avenue, SW
Atlanta, GA 30303

Re: Neighborhood Planning Unit W’s Response to Second Revised Application for BL-12-035 – 800 Glenwood Avenue, SE, Atlanta, GA 30316

Dear Ms. Wilson-Jacks,

On behalf of NPU-W, I submit this preliminary response to the submission from the Applicant file-stamped March 26, 2013, which shall hereinafter be referred to as the Second Revised Application.

NPU-W has reviewed the Beltline District Overlay Regulations, Chapter 36, and the Special Permits, Chapter 25, and it finds no provision of any sort for revised submissions of the original application.

The Ordinance is explicit that Planning has three options in responding to applications: Issue the Permit, Accept the Permit conditional on certain changes being made, or Deny the Permit. The express language is reproduced below:

Action by Planning Director: The director, bureau of planning shall examine the application and supporting materials for conformity with the requirements and stated intent of this part, make such referrals as are called for in the circumstances of the case, and shall within 30 days (unless a longer period is mutually agreed upon) decide on the application. The director may issue the permit as applied for, may issue a permit conditional upon changes from the application, set forth in writing, as necessary to assure conformity with the requirements and stated intent of this part, or may deny the application, with written reasons for such denial.

Code of City of Atlanta, Part III – Land Development Code, Part 16 - Zoning, Chapter 25, Section. 16-25.004(3) - Special administrative permits, procedural requirements.

Therefore, NPU-W requests that the City immediately confirm that it will summarily inform the applicant that it must submit a new complete new application, and not submit the second revised version of an application first submitted in September of last year. If the City has a different interpretation the relevant portion of Chapter 25, then NPU-W requests that this information be immediately shared with it as well as the complete factual basis for that interpretation.

Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.

See our topics page for our full coverage on the Glenwood Avenue project: 800 Glenwood Development.

Chris Anderson April 04, 2013 at 03:37 PM
@ John v. Thanks for the info! I agree, I do not want a suburban looking strip mall at all. yuck! Walmart would not be my preference either staci. But I do like the idea of a nice mid-rise development that resembles Glenwood Park!
GrantParkGal April 04, 2013 at 03:50 PM
"Enso brings enough riff raff in." Lovely. Hopefully you can avoid making eye contact with them during your daily errands. Lord knows that renters are the scum of society. And, yes, Glenwood Park is truly a magical place, isn't it? So magical, in fact, that's probably why it has had vacant lots for years and years. Let's get more of those across the way! I don't understand why more people don't want live right next to I-20 and enjoy the sounds and smells of rush hour, as well as the sounds of an operating concrete plant that gets cranked up before dawn. You NIMBY folks are so closed minded that it's ridiculous.
Rebecca M April 04, 2013 at 04:29 PM
@GrantParkGal I live in Enso, so I am well aware of the individuals that live there and I shop and walk around Glenwood Park daily. From what I can tell, there aren't many vacant lots and homes are being bought up rather quickly. While it's next to the 20, I don't hear much of the traffic and I am not exactly sure what rush hour smells like. For me, personally, I love living in the area, but my experience living in the apartments has been more than just appalling, but downright distressing. But, tha'ts not what this is about. I think encouraging a more walkable area with more shops in the spriit of what Glenwood Park was built will benefit the area. Besides, if you don't like Glenwood Park, then don't shop there, don't visit, and take your business elsewhere. What NPU-W is doing is right for the area.
Chris Kazakos April 04, 2013 at 05:22 PM
@GrantParkGal (most likely someone from Fuqua) It doesn't sound like you are living up to your screen name. I am going to go out on a limb and say you don't really live in this area. If so, you would care about a big box strip mall being built on two lane streets in your neighborhood. Proximity to an interstate should not be an open door for developers who want to ruin our way of life. Nobody ever said Glenwood Park is "magical," but those who live here overwhelmingly prefer a vacant lot (it's not a cement factory anymore) than this proposed strip mall monstrosity. Tell Jeff Fuqua to quit hiding and try talking to our local media and NPU. If you....I mean he..... gave us the same respect offered to the neighbors of other Fuqua developments, he will discover there's some middle ground. NIMBY? Damn right.
Chris Anderson April 04, 2013 at 05:57 PM
All I was saying was I supported a mid rise development if it was built like Glenwood park (not like a strip mall or gigantic ugly big box store). Why so pissy? Glenwood park it great. The vacant lot, not so much. I guess we agree to disagree. Love the passion though!
GrantParkGal April 04, 2013 at 06:48 PM
I do live in Grant Park (along with my husband and two boys), I don't work for Fuqua (or Wal-Mart), and have no personal stake in this development. Thanks for being so respectful of my position.
Chris Anderson April 04, 2013 at 07:05 PM
I didn't see grantparkgals comment. Thought you guys where taking a shot at me. Lol
ConcernedAtlantan April 04, 2013 at 07:06 PM
"Thanks for being so respectful of my position." What position is that? I didn't see anything in your previous post taking a side, just belittling Glenwood Park.
Loren Heyns April 04, 2013 at 07:19 PM
Two excellent grocers in this article, and a quote for Jeff Fuqua: Earth Fare to Atlanta: Grocer looking to enter metro market http://www.srsre.com/media_details.php?id=1409 Note that the agent representing Earth Fare was formerly with Dick Sporting Goods. How cool would it be to have two great mid-size stores that emphasize quality. Local produce, and great sports equipment on the beltline. Make it happen. Reach out.
GrantParkGal April 04, 2013 at 07:28 PM
My position: While not perfect, the proposed development seems relatively reasonable and I expect many of you would shop there (I would). I also fully understand that many of you would rather see more high-end development go in like Glenwood Park, but, in my opinion, that's not realistic. If it was, Glenwood Park itself would be fully built out.
Chris Kazakos April 04, 2013 at 07:30 PM
@GrantParkGal If you really do live in this neighborhood, you have a HUGE personal stake in this development.
Jarod Apperson April 04, 2013 at 10:12 PM
The Beltline has put out its 2012 report, and interestingly it includes "Glenwood West Park" (pg. 11) on the site where Fuqua has proposed his suburban retail project. Anyone know about this? This is the first i've heard of a "Glenwood West Park."
Jarod Apperson April 04, 2013 at 10:12 PM
Here's the link by the way: http://beltline.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/ABI_2012_Annual-Report.pdf
Jason in GP April 05, 2013 at 01:46 AM
Never heard of it myself. it is not in the current implementation plan. Click to page 23 - http://beltline.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Implementation-Plan-Study-Groups-presentation-round-2.pdf There's a meeting Monday where you could ask - http://beltline.org/events/atlanta-beltline-implementation-plan-next-steps-southeast-study-group/
Jarod Apperson April 05, 2013 at 02:01 AM
Yeah, I went to one of the implementation sessions and it definitely wasn't mentioned. I just emailed to ask if any additional info was available. They usually aren't allowed to talk about land purchases that haven't gone through, so they may not be able to share anything. It sure would be great if it was a park rather than a parking lot.
Jason in GP April 05, 2013 at 02:40 AM
As of today, Fuqua has a contract on the property. The 2012 Annual Report showing "Glenwood Park West" is nothing more than erroneous/dreaming, IMO. Unless I'm wrong, I'm somewhat shocked/disappointed that they've shown it. Please reply back if you get a response from ABI to let us know what they say. Yes, a park would be better than Fuqua's plans, but I wouldn't advocate for one - nor do I think the city would spend that kind of money on a park in that location. It is going to take some ROI for anyone to buy and develop that land. Unfortunately, I'm not sure very many people see much beyond a big box retail right now to be a wise investment there. What we need to happen is true progress on the SE Beltline (not just empty promises and plans.) The day BL trail construction starts south of Dekalb Ave, that property significantly increases in value - maybe to the point of getting better investors/plans. Hopefully, it's not too late.
Jarod Apperson April 05, 2013 at 12:41 PM
At the implementation meeting, they said construction south of Dekalb will start this fall. The first phase won't reach Glenwood, but it will extend the East Side trail down to Memorial.
Chris Kazakos April 05, 2013 at 01:47 PM
@GrantParkGal Glenwood Park isn't the baron real estate wasteland you and others are making it out to be. Is it filled to capacity? No. But there are multiple businesses there including four restaurants. One of which (Gunshow) is under construction and already garnering national attention. The overwhelming majority of residents, most of whom have invested a lots of money and time into this neighborhood, do not believe this proposed development is anywhere close to "relatively reasonable" and would not shop at a Wal-Mart. This development is designed as destination strip mall to attract people off I-20 in a place where there is limited return access to the interstate. When the 10,000+ daily cars and 18 wheel delivery trucks invade our quiet neighborhood streets, our property values will fall, our way of life will never be the same and the future of the beltine will be questioned.
Rebecca M April 05, 2013 at 06:07 PM
+10 points for you, Chris! I have been blissfully ignorant of where the nearest WallyWorld is, and I intend to keep it that way.
Kirkwood Resident April 06, 2013 at 12:59 PM
Won't any development bring traffic? A mid rise would? An earthfare or trader joes most certainly would along with semi trucks. See midtown promenade for reference. The cost of building or digging a garage for cars is extremely expensive, especially when land is not a premium. How is this different than Edgewood complex? Also, on a side note, there is a reason trader joes and earthfare have not opened in our area yet or in stone mountain. They will when the demo and density is right. Oakhurst has tried but no luck so far. Maybe a little more compromise would work better? Based on the current market, if this dos not go through you may end up getting a lot more apartments in that area but probably just an empty lot. Fuqua, come rebuild the lot over on memorial in Kirkwood where esso used to be.
GrantParkGal April 06, 2013 at 02:02 PM
The nay-sayers just don't like what is being proposed. They don't care about traffic if it's for something they like. That "objection" would disappear in an instant for the "right" project. For example, no one in Grant Park objects to the fact that the zoo brings in 1,000,000 people a year on little surface streets.
John V April 06, 2013 at 02:21 PM
Yes, but they bring different amounts of traffic. Where as the zoo brings less than 2,000 cars per day and make it friendly to walk to if you are close enough, an auto-centric development like a WalMart where lots of people come from a distance to buy in bulk will bring over 10,000 cars per day. But that is not the main problem to me. I might support a WalMart or whatever in a nice mid-rise development with discret parking (they have done it other places). An auto-centric development does not belong there, on the beltline. Do we really want the Beltline going through a WalMart parking lot? Like you said, there are plenty of underdeveloped lots near by such as east on Memorial that could benefit from a auto-centric development like this.
Chris Anderson April 07, 2013 at 01:13 AM
I see both sides, still leaning towards a mid rise development. But Kirkwood resident makes some undeniable good points. You must work for Fuqua because your opinion sucks! Lol
RD April 08, 2013 at 02:30 PM
I think it has less to do with traffic than it does the type of people in that traffic. Low class Wal-Mart shoppers aren't welcome but high end Whole Foods shoppers would be. Yeah, I said it.
Péralte Paul (Editor) April 08, 2013 at 02:43 PM
Hi, Kirkwood Resident: The Organized Neighbors of Edgewood were pretty adamant about how the ERD ultimately formed and developed. They weren't opposed to it, but they wanted —some could argue justifiably so — a say in how that massive development would affect the character of their neighborhood. While everyone seems to think it's a Wal-Mart, the company only says it has had discussions with Fuqua, nothing more. Irrespective of what mix of retailers — big-box or otherwise — most folks I've interviewed have said they're not opposed to development, but what's the point of having District Development Overlays and master development plans drawn up by neighborhoods if developers are only going to get to ignore them through variances?
Bryan Farley April 08, 2013 at 02:49 PM
I think Fuqua's proposal is terrible and anyone who thinks there is any good is not supportive of what Atlanta is trying to do. Bottom line is even mid to high rise development is going to bring additional traffic because most are going to need some type of deck with it. This is ATL and some people are just going to drive no matter how dense and transit oriented it is. That's the case even in cities like New York. It's about developing it in the right way. No one wants to see a hugh deck on the main road unless there are street front shops in the ground floor and is build in a way that it looks more like an actually building versus a deck. Having condos cover the deck and having street front shops is probably the preferred style though. Also having the entrances to the deck dumping people onto the sidwalks along the main streets versus having access directly to the stores will make the area look more vibrant and probably increase sales in other businesses since people would have to walk past more stores versus going directly to their stores from the deck. I don't even think having a Walmart is a bad thing being that stores like that and Target are now doing "urban" and smaller versions of the stores now versus the normal suburban items in the bigger stores. Being that it will be walkable will still encourage some to take the bus or streetcar (when built) to the area.
Chris Kazakos April 08, 2013 at 02:59 PM
@Kirkwood Resident "Won't any development bring traffic?" Yes. But a Super Wal-Mart will lure thousands of cars off the interstate directly into our neighborhood. A Super Wal-Mart also will get multiple daily deliveries (more than a regular grocery store) by 18-wheel trucks to support its need for inventory. With limited return access to the interstate, these trucks will also clog our quiet neighborhood streets. "How is this different than Edgewood complex?" The Edgewood shopping center is on Moreland avenue, a major four lane corridor. Each of the three entrances and exits at this proposed development spill on to two lane, neighborhood streets. Two of which are directly across the street from a school. @GrantParkGal "They don't care about traffic if it's for something they like." Who are you speaking for? I have yet to meet one person in this neighborhood who doesn't care about traffic on our streets.
Kirkwood Resident April 08, 2013 at 05:08 PM
I agree completely that there should be community input especially for large projects. As long as people understand that if they are not flexible, they may end up with an empty cement yard for a long time. Which may be the best way to go for now because I don't see how any large retail development could meet the desires of what people are saying on these boards as well as be financially viable. Maybe parceling it out and developing smaller sections would work better if possible. I could see a portion of this property becoming condos in the near future after enough retail developers look elsewhere for opportunity. The fact that it is near the future build out for the beltline could help make this work. That, or discount rental apartments similar to what is happening further in around 4th Ward.
Josh April 08, 2013 at 09:17 PM
Glenwood Park is a lovely neighborhood. And there are lovely people who live there. There's not widespread renter hate—in fact, many residents are renters. For the record, those empty lots were being held by the developer. And there will be construction on them soon since they were all sold to a builder. I just hope Fuqua (or whomever eventually builds on the 800 Glenwood site) embraces the potential for the property and makes something that fits with the density and character of the area regardless of retail tenants.
Ellen Smith April 24, 2013 at 11:25 AM
I walked a section of the Beltline project for the first time yesterday with a friend. What an awesome, urban, (although really an injection of nature within an uban area)way to walk through the neighborhood! We need to take this to heart. None of us wants to walk across a long sunny section of Beltine, with traffic, and ultimately and insecure, unsafe feeling. Grant Park is an amazing area and residents need to stay firm on this issue. I'm a retail leasing agent and I can assure you that Fuqua's development of a large box use here would be disasterous for the area. There is no reason that a compromise can't be reached here - mostly that the site be used for something else adhereing to the Beltline regulations. It's the right thing to do and future genterations will thank us for not allowing an eye-sore to be built on the sight.

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