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Atlanta council votes against proposed Walmart
by Staff
October 01, 2012 06:00 PM | 2214 views | 1 1 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In a news release, the Atlanta City Council announced a rezoning request for a $90 million mixed-use retail and residential development in south Buckhead failed to gain City Council approval at its meeting Monday.

The project as proposed would be anchored by a 150,000-square-foot Walmart Superstore, feature a 3-acre public park and 100 affordable senior housing units.

Two pieces of related legislation filed by the City Council were Ordinance 11-O-1248, which amends the 2011 Atlanta Comprehensive Development Plan to allow the property to be re-designated from a high-density residential land use, to a high-density, mixed-use and very high-density residential land use; and ordinance 11-O-1067, a related zoning paper. The papers were filed by a vote of 11-2 and 10-2 respectively.

The 21-acre property fronts about 1,500 feet on the north side of Lindbergh Drive, about 1,200 feet on the south side of Morosgo Drive, about 800 feet on the west side of Adina Drive north, and 60 feet on the east side of Piedmont Road. It is located across from the Lindbergh MARTA station.

Developer Jeff Fuqua, formerly of The Sembler Co. and now with Fuqua Development, sought the rezoning changes for the proposed development. Fuqua is responsible for several Atlanta-area “live, work, play” developments such as Town Brookhaven, Edgewood Retail Development, Perimeter Place, Midtown Place, The Prado, Lindbergh Plaza, Lenox Marketplace, Canton Town Center and Henry Town Center.

Both District 7 City Council members Howard Shook, who represents the area, and neighboring District 6 City Council member Alex Wan have voiced strong opposition to the plan as currently presented by developers.

On Sept. 17, the council voted 12-2 to defer the proposed Walmart development decision to the zoning committee, which on Sept. 26 again approved the plan, but with one change: some of the housing initially planned for the property would have to be used for 100 affordable housing units for seniors. The zoning paper was amended by at-large City Councilman Aaron Watson, on behalf of Fuqua Development.

In other news, the council announced it approved by a vote of 14-0 a compromise ordinance that will allow the city to regulate aggressive monetary solicitation across the entire city.

The substitute ordinance was sponsored by council members Keisha Lance Bottoms (District 11) and Michael J. Bond (Post 1 at-large). It expands the definition of aggressive solicitation by prohibiting someone from continuing to ask for money after he or she has been told “no.” (Legislative Reference No. 12-O-1324)

It represents a compromise between the administration and City Council after an amendment to the city’s commercial solicitation ordinance was vetoed by the administration last month. That amendment, as proposed by Bond, called for up to 180 days in jail upon conviction of a first offense for an aggressive panhandling violation.

Under the compromise ordinance, upon first conviction, a violator could be sentenced to the performance of up to 30 days of community service.

A second conviction for aggressive panhandling will require the violator to serve a mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail. Upon the third or future convictions, the violator will be required to serve a mandatory minimum of 90 days in jail.

The judicial system would have discretion in sentencing and social services options will be available.

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