City Government NPU-B chair Andrea Bennett, center, during one of the recent board meetings.

Published on June 10th, 2015 |

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NPU-B board concerned over planned Connect Atlanta legislation

The board of Neighborhood Planning Unit-B, which represents most of eastern Buckhead, June 2 expressed serious concerns about legislation proposed by the city to alter the Connect Atlanta plan in at least two areas: transit oriented developments and a Cycle Atlanta bike route plans.

The NPU-B board, which will be asked to vote on the proposed four legislative appendices to Connect Atlanta at its next meeting July 7, formed an ad hoc committee to provide a list of

NPU-B Board Chair Andrea Bennett

NPU-B Board Chair Andrea Bennett

comments regarding the NPU’s concerns to the city prior to that vote next month.

The major arguments voice at the June 2 meeting related to the strategy for advancing transit-oriented development was that the city already has sufficient legislation in place defining TODs (transit-oriented developments) and that this new proposed change to that could adversely affect established residential neighborhoods in Buckhead.

For instance, the new legislation would extend high-density development of a TOD to an area within ½ mile of an existing or proposed transit station. The concerns voiced were that a ½ mile from the Lindbergh, Buckhead and Lenox MARTA stations would include several well-established single-family home neighborhoods.

NPU-B Board member Jim Cosgrove

NPU-B Board member Jim Cosgrove

Among those established single-family home neighborhoods would be Garden Hills, Peachtree Hills, Peachtree Heights East, Peachtree Park, Pine Hills, Roxboro Estates and possibly the lower end of North Buckhead.

While the NPU-B board had encouraged high-density transit-oriented development directly around the MARTA transit stations such as Lindbergh, chairwoman Andrea Bennett, a resident of North Buckhead, said it is also the feeling that the NPU must do what it can to preserve the integrity of the single-family home neighborhoods surrounding those TODs.

Bennett and others on the board expressed the opinion that the city’s Comprehensive Development Plan and supporting legislation presently sufficiently govern TODs.

NPU-B secretary Jim Cosgrove voiced objection to city’s plan to add bike lanes to major thoroughfares, including Peachtree Road in Buckhead. He said he has nothing against have bike routes in the city, but they should be routed through less dangerous areas and on less congested roadways.

“We have to decide do we want to ride bicycles or drive cars on Peachtree,” Cosgrove said. “I think this is really, really critical.”

Former NPU-B board chair Sally Silver, who now works in the Dist. 7 Council office of Howard Shook, told the board, “Mayor Reed is very robust in his desire to make the city a leader in bike trails and transit.”

NPU-B Board member Abbie Shepherd

NPU-B Board member Abbie Shepherd

The two other legislative actions to be voted on are Move Atlanta: A Design Manual for Active, Balanced & Complete Streets and Cargo Atlanta: A Citywide Freight Study, which no one on the board seemed to understand.

Since the NPU board will be called upon next month to vote on the four pieces of legislation that would form appendices to 2015 Connect Atlanta Plan, the board members were asked to thoroughly study each piece of legislation and attend one of the information sessions if possible.

The information session that will be held in Buckhead is Tuesday, June 23, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at Atlanta Plaza, 950 East Paces Ferry Road, suite 850.

In addition, the ad hoc committee was set up that included Cosgrove and board members France Campbell of the Pine Hills neighborhood and Abbie Shepherd of the Garden Hills neighborhood.

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