On Monday, the Atlanta City Council approved legislation to establish a building and rezoning moratorium near Westside Park. The ordinance is aimed at assessing how development trends are impacting neighborhoods near the site, which will be Atlanta’s largest greenspace once completed. 

The legislation, introduced by District 9 Councilmember Dustin Hillis, carved out certain exemptions, including for applications from owner-occupied primary residences, emergency situations, projects with certain affordability thresholds, and applications already received by the Department of City Planning.

“This park can be a great resource for the community, but we want to make sure no one is left behind in the process,” Hillis said. “The legislation that we approved will give us an opportunity to pause and really examine the impact on the surrounding neighborhoods.”

Last month, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an executive order and subsequent legislation to enact the following measures:

  • Request that the Department of City Planning identify the immediate impact area, which is being most affected by the development of the Westside Park;
  • Develop an Equitable Development Framework for the Immediate Impact Area;
  • Re-engage the Westside Park and other Beltline parks in the Immediate Impact Area;
  • Align activities in the One Atlanta Housing Affordability Action Plan;
  • Develop a Westside Park Transportation Plan in alignment with the One Atlanta Strategic Transportation plan;
  • Identify City or other public agency-controlled land located in the immediate impact area.

“Longtime residents deserve the assurance that progress does not push them out of the very communities they built,” Bottoms said. “This moratorium allows the City to build planning and implementation efforts that ensure thoughtful and equitable development.”

The Council also approved an update to regulations for shareable mobility devices (Legislative Reference No. 20-O-1174). The ordinance revises the permitting process for devices, expands safety requirements, improves compliance guidelines, and sets standards for company-led educations efforts.

Legislation was also approved to authorize a $50,000 donation from the District 3 consulting and professional account to develop a participatory budget project in the district (Legislative Reference No. 20-O-1180). 

The project creates a Community Engagement Task Force to help connect residents to civic engagement opportunities and city resources. 

Approved by District 3 residents in October 2019, the project is part of a participatory budget pilot program that aims to give residents more involvement in how City funds are spent.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms joins Arthur M. Blank, members of the Blank Foundation and the Atlanta Beltline following a 17.5 million donation to the development of Westside Park. (Photo: City of Atlanta)

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