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UPDATED: Atlanta council defers Lindbergh Walmart vote
by Staff Reports
September 17, 2012 03:45 PM | 3008 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print

In an email to the media, Atlanta City Council spokesman Dexter Chambers announced that at the request of District 7 Councilman Howard Shook, who represents the area of the proposed Walmart in Buckhead’s Lindbergh area, and by a vote of 12-2, the council on Monday deferred the zoning ordinance back to the Community Development Committee. Council members Alex Wan and Felicia A. Moore voted against the measure, and Councilman C.T. Martin was not in council chambers during the vote.

If approved, the ordinance would allow Walmart to build a new location off Piedmont Road. The ordinance states it would amend the city’s land-use element of the 2011 Atlanta Comprehensive Development Plan “to re-designate properties that are located at 690 Lindberg Drive, 723-745 Morosgo Drive, 2472-2480 Adina Drive and 2455 Piedmont Road, from the high-density residential land use designation to the high-density mixed use and very high-density residential land use designations (Z-11-19); and for other purposes. (Legislative Reference No. 11-O-1248).”

The matter now goes back to the city’s zoning committee, which will vote on it at its next meeting, Sept. 26 at 9:30 a.m., in committee room No. 2 at City Hall, 55 Trinity Ave., downtown.

In other news, according to a news release, the council:

o approved, by a 9-5 vote, an amendment to the city’s commercial solicitation ordinance to combat aggressive and persistent panhandlers.

Under the new amended ordinance it shall also be unlawful for any person to commercially solicit in any of the following manners:

1. By blocking the path of the person solicited; or

2. By following or walking alongside the person solicited; or

3. By using profane or abusive language, either during the solicitation or following refusal; or

4. By accosting or focusing oneself upon the company of another; or

5. By any statement, gesture, or other communication which a reasonable person in the situation of the person solicited would perceive to be a threat; or

6. By touching the person solicited.

Upon conviction, the violator could be sentenced to imprisonment of up to 180 days in jail, although a judicial system would have discretion on sentencing.

“It is my intent to address what my constituents say is a problem,” said Councilman Michael Julian Bond, the author of the amendment. “We need to change behavior. I want to be clear. This paper is not about homelessness. It’s about aggressive panhandling.”

“This city is just at a breaking point,” said Council Member Cleta Winslow. “We need to get a better handle on this.”

A special work session is scheduled Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon in Council Committee Room No. 2 at City Hall to discuss the city’s overall commercial solicitation ordinance which address soliciting in the tourist triangle among other prohibitions. 

o approved a communication by Mayor Kasim Reed appointing Duriya Farooqui as the city’s chief operating officer. Farooqui had served as interim chief operating officer since December. 

o approved a resolution by Council Members Kwanza Hall, Carla Smith, Cleta Winslow, C.T. Martin, Ivory L. Young Jr. and Bond as amended by Transportation Committee adopting a parking bill of rights. It states that it is the belief of the Atlanta City Council that the city should have (1) working, easy-to-use (parking) meters; (2) clearly marked parking spaces; and (3) clear and understandable signs. A certified copy of the resolution shall be sent to the city’s chief executive officer, the chief operating officer and the regional manager of ParkAtlanta and its parent company, Duncan Solutions Inc. The bill was initiated by a petition drive from the viewers of Atlanta’s WXIA 11Alive television.

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