Meeting Summary: Subarea 3 Recap
June 24, 2017
Mt. Ephraim Baptist Church West Midtown Atlanta
(PDF File – Adobe Reader Required)
On Saturday morning, June 24th, the D3: Westside Revive planning team hosted a public meeting at Mt. Ephraim Baptist Church in West Midtown focused on the future of Subarea 3, a section of City Council District 3 which includes Howell Station and Knight Park. This “Recap Meeting” was a follow-up to the initial Subarea 3 Workshop held on June 12th, and many of the original attendees gathered to hear the findings of the planning team and comment on the proposed concepts for their subarea.
After a welcome from Councilmember Young’s chief of staff, Mi-Lan Henderson and Jessica Lavandier with the Office of City Planning, Project Manager Contente Terry reintroduced the D3 project, schedule, goals, and consultant team.
Next, lead urban designer John Skach presented the draft framework plan for Subarea 3. He started by reviewing the synthesized feedback by quadrant. The northwest quadrant is dominated by the former recycling plant, which could be an opportunity for catalytic redevelopment that becomes an asset for the community. The southwest quadrant needs thoughtful connectivity to the future Westside Reservoir Park, Bankhead MARTA station, and the future Emerald Corridor along Proctor Creek. The northeast quadrant needs improvements to West Marietta Street and better integration between the neighborhood and isolated businesses. The southeast quadrant focused on the former Mead plant, reducing truck traffic and peripheral development.
In general, two big ideas that will be formalized in the framework plan: rebuilding the edges and supporting the core. “We heard a lot about the edges, but what about supporting the core?” asked Skach. “Where do we need housing and preservation? What streets make sense for a sidewalks?” He asked for additional comments and feedback in the second half of the meeting.
In response to audience questions, transportation Planner Olen Daelhousen talked in detail about transforming West Marietta and Marietta Boulevard into multi-modal streets as the area transitions from industrial to mixed use. Jessica Lavandier, with the City’s Office of Planning, responded to an audience member’s question about the difference between a historic district and historic landmark designation. Many residents were concerned about Mead buying up residential properties, demolishing houses, or consolidating parcels to create out of scale developments. Lavandier said that zoing was the best tool to manage such growth and suggested that the City’s Office of Design could come do a workshop on the benefits of historic landmark designation for the neighborhood.
At this point, participants were invited to move to the adjacent classroom to review draft plans and to talk with the planning team at maps. Participants reviewed and commented on large concept boards of the draft Framework Plan and Development Plan for Subarea 3.
Attendees were encouraged to follow the project website (www.d3-westsiderevive.com) and to participate in future public meetings, particularly the final District 3 Recap in August where all the subarea plans will be presented as a comprehensive District-wide vision.
Subarea 3 Workshop Summary
June 12, 2017
Mt. Ephraim Baptist
On Monday evening, June 12th, Councilmember Ivory Young and the City of Atlanta Department of City Planning welcomed the public to a “subarea workshop” for the D3: Westside Revive project. Due to the range and diversity within District 3’s many neighborhoods, the planning team divided the district into 9 geographic “subareas,” so that residents can focus on the issues and opportunities specific to their community.
For this event, [30-40] neighbors and stakeholders gathered at Mt. Ephraim Baptist Church to participate in a workshop designed specifically for Subarea 3, which includes Knight Park and Howell Station.
Council member Young welcomed attendees and discussed the overall vision for D3. “Howell Station is one of the gems of Atlanta,” he said. “How do you protect your investment in this community; how do you ensure that what you bought into is what you’ll keep, what you’ll preserve.” Young referenced some of the challenges (industrial uses, dangerous traffic) and opportunities (Knight Park plans, interest from outside developers) facing the neighborhood. “The process that you’re embarking on now,” he said, “will give direction to future land use and zoning and complement your planning work for the future park.”
Lead consultant Contente Terry then reviewed the planning process, timeline, and introduced the planning team. She explained the purposes of the workshop and how participants would be able to give feedback at the activity stations.
Next, transportation planner, Amber ___ shared some preliminary analysis of the neighborhood’s traffic challenges. At this point, several audience members commented on their concerns about their neighborhood “being used a cut-through” as traffic increases in the area with new development and destination parks.