Glenwood Place Project Fight Far From Over

'Our position is clear and they know where we stand.'

by Chris Kazakos

Dear neighbors,

Thank you for signing this petition in support of stopping Fuqua Development’s proposed big-box shopping center in Grant Park/Glenwood Park at 800 Glenwood Ave. Unfortunately, this fight is far from finished and your continued support is vital.

As proud residents and homeowners, our sense of community is the common thread that binds us together. We represent a quiet neighborhood and remain ardently passionate about ensuring our streets are safe for children to play on. Let us not weaken our sense of community, but strengthen it with responsible economic development.

While Fuqua Development’s initial sets of plans for 800 Glenwood Ave. were rejected, unfortunately that was only a harmless pothole in Fuqua’s road to repave the landscape of our neighborhood. After a resounding public outcry and recommendations from the City of Atlanta Department of Planning and Community Development concerning the original concept, Fuqua was granted an opportunity to re-submit. Because of a loophole in zoning laws, Fuqua was only responsible for the minor stipulations set forth by the city and dismissed the community’s concerns.

On Dec. 28, 2012, Fuqua re-submitted site development plans that still include a 155,000-plus square foot major retail anchor with more than 1,000 parking spaces, a drive-through restaurant, and a bank. Perhaps the most glaring and troubling reality is the only entrances and exits for this proposed big-box development are on two-lane neighborhood streets, one of which is directly across from Maynard Jackson High School. There is also limited return access to Interstate 20. This will likely cause a significant increase in traffic throughout our neighborhood. The new proposal also asks the city to waive some Beltline Overlay District regulations.

In the past, Fuqua Development principal proprietor Jeff Fuqua has shown interest in the “input of neighbors” in previous developments. For this project, however, Fuqua has remained mostly mum. Judging by the latest submission, he has no interest in the Beltline’s future or the local residents whose lives will have a major negative impact as a direct result of this development.

Atlanta City Councilwoman Carla Smith (from District 1, which includes 800 Glenwood Ave.) and Mayor Kasim Reed have also remained silent. It’s another disturbing aspect of this issue. Mayor Reed and Councilwoman Smith have failed to represent the majority of their constituents who oppose this development. Our position is clear and they know where we stand. It’s time for these officials to do what we elected them to do.

Time is running out. Neighborhood Planning Unit-W is close (within the week) to submitting its official response to Fuqua's latest application and the City's next decision will be soon after. 

As a community, we have rallied around a central cause: Responsible economic development for Grant and Glenwood Parks. More action must be taken.

What can you do?

  • Find out how you can participate in the organized effort led by concerned members of our community by emailing smartglenwood@gmail.com
  • Call or write local media outlets

— Mr. Kazakos is a resident of Ormewood Park.

DooDooBird January 16, 2013 at 03:19 PM
@ChrisMurphy I think either option will do just fine...Since you seem to know firsthand what's going on, how about you write an article detailing the things she and the NPU are doing instead of flaming on a comment thread.
Ron January 16, 2013 at 05:16 PM
@JustAnother....oddly enough the Charter does not bestow "constituent services" responsibility to CMs. It puts constituent services in the Mayor's set of responsibilities. There's an Office of Constituent Services at City Hall, and on the City's org chart, it's in the Mayor's office. Sure, CMs help constituents with a number of things - everything from getting missed garbage picked up to dealing with fallen trees. They act as the middle person between the constituent and the City department responsible for that matter. Those "services" situations are different from matters involving the use of property, and property redevelopment. The SAP process requires that the application be circulated to the NPU for comment. The NPU is made up of residents who live within the NPU boundaries. The process gives the NPU (the residents) the responsibility to review, comment, provide recommendations etc., and in effect provide the oversight that you refer to. In this situation, and with many, but not all land use kinds of matters, the City has given the residents the right to voice their concerns through a defined process. Elected officials, and specifically CMs, don't have the same right - at least my read of the Charter and Code of Ordinances does not lead me to believe that they do.
DooDooBird January 16, 2013 at 09:28 PM
Constituent Services The Atlanta City Council prides itself on being responsive to its citizens. Each councilmember employs a professional staff to address questions and concerns of Atlanta’s citizens. If you have a comment or concern and would like to speak to the council, there are many ways to get in touch with the Councilmember’s offices. You can call the Council’s general number at (404) 330-6030, or contact your Councilmember’s office directly, or visit the Atlanta City Council’s website at citycouncil.atlantaga.gov
Jarod Apperson January 17, 2013 at 10:36 AM
@ Chris K, if you haven't reached out to Carla directly yet, I would encourage you to give her a call. I called her a few weeks ago about another development project and she was quite responsive. She called me back within 15 minutes and shared some insight into her reasons for supporting the project, primarily that it was supported by the NPU. She also said she has made it a policy to side with the NPU every time. In this case, that puts her on the side demanding a plan consistent with the Beltline, cognizant of traffic concerns, and consistent with neighborhood values. If you think she hasn't been as vocal as you would like, I think its ok to voice that, but your tone seems a little aggressive toward someone who has made it a policy to always side with the NPU (i.e. the side you're on).
Nicole B. January 18, 2013 at 04:35 PM
Whew. I'm exhausted reading this! It would make more sense to me for these posters to use this energy they've spent calling out each other and griping over the effectiveness or lack thereof of local representatives to actually go around said people or propose another more suitable project. The reality is, if it is in fact zoned commercial, everyone is out of gas on fighting some type of commercial project going up. Work together on it, people.


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