In our last post, we began looking at a proposal to build a convenience store in the Howell Station neighborhood and the objections local residents had raised about the proposal. As we noted, the concern was that the business proposing the project would disturb the Atlanta Beltline vision.
As it turns out, though, the business owner proposing the project will be required to follow Beltline Overlay District guidelines, which follow urban design standards. Among the goals of the legislation behind the guidelines is to preserve and revitalize existing neighborhoods, promote pedestrian-oriented environment, preserve the historic physical character of industrial districts, and to support green space.
The urban design vision includes features such as wide sidewalks and putting parking lots behind property fronts. The concern with the gas station project was that it would not comply with these features. Councilman Ivory Young Jr. more or less led the charge in addressing the fears of local residents concerning the project. Ultimately, Young assured residents that the business owner will be required to abide by the guidelines put in place for the Beltline Overlay District.
Navigating development disputes, as this case demonstrates, can require addressing multiple issues, including zoning regulations and neighborhood opposition. Some cases can involve important environmental issues as well. Addressing these and other concerns is important, but often requires experienced advocacy to do it effectively. Businesses looking for assistance with development issues should work with an experienced real estate attorney to ensure they move forward with effective guidance and advocacy.