The City of Atlanta’s City Council and Mayor’s office in collaboration with the building department have been doing a much needed diagnostic on the city’s zoning ordinances. Over the years, Atlanta has changed but ordinance updates have not kept up. Additionally, new design and master plan overlays have been added to the CPD, including our own Midtown Garden District Master Plan and updates to the Midtown Blueprint for the Midtown Improvement District, and need to be incorporated into decision matrix for all development.
The city’s diagnostic is implemented in two phases:
- QUICK FIXES – recommendations that can be implemented in a relatively short period of time; these were passed in May 2018.
- MEDIUM FIXES – those that would require a comprehensive overhaul of the current ordinances and would take two to four years for implementation.
Phase 2, the “medium fix” category, is currently passing through the community partners review process. This process follows a series of public town hall meetings across the city where input from residents was collected and questions answered.
Phase 2 addresses the following areas of the ordinance. It reflects issues consistently highlighted by stakeholders during the first phase of the diagnostic:
- Accessory Dwellings (Section 2.1)
- Definitions Update (Section 2.2)
- Industrial Districts Uses (Section 2.4)
- Loading Requirements (Section 2.6)
- MRC –Mixed Use Residential Commercial Residential Density increase (Section 2.7)
- Missing Middle Zoning District (Section 2.8)
- Parking –on street shared old buildings- (section 2.9)
- Neighborhood Design Standards (Section 2.10)
- Telecommunications Updates (Section 2.11)
- Transitional Height Plane Updates (Section 2.12)
- Quality of Life Districts (Section 2.13)
The city has produced both a Fact Sheet and an Information Booklet that outlines the potential changes to the ordinances currently being vetted.
To assist in understanding the impact that these changes would mean for Midtown residents, MNA has compiled the sections from the Information Booklet that most directly relate to Midtown - both the Midtown Improvement District (MID) and Midtown Garden District (MGD) – and included helpful explanations.
It is critically important that Midtown residents understand this very important fact:
Any application required to be submitted to the BZA must also go through the community partners review process. The application will come to the NPU-E and the MNA Land Use Committee for comment and a vote of opposition or non-opposition. MNA believes that all such applications should be reviewed by the neighborhood.
After a detailed review by MNA’s LUC, we support this proposal and feel it is a step forward in creating a clarified and modern zoning ordinance that enhances and protects Midtown for many years to come.