By John Schaffner
Buckhead residents, developers and other stakeholders will get their final opportunity March 10 to review and possibly influence the revised and expanded Buckhead Village SPI-9 overlay district plan, which will set the tone for development in the area by establishing zoning rules, green space, parking and street-level usage requirements, and criteria for the height and appearance of buildings.
The plan soon will be submitted to the City Council for approval.
The final public forum will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, 3180 Peachtree Road. Two public meetings were held at the Atlanta International School last fall with consultants working for the Buckhead Community Improvement District (CID).
The purpose of the ordinance update is to extend the public space and design standards while providing incentives to create a more integrated, dynamic, walkable environment in the Buckhead Village area. The update should provide additional flexibility in development options in return for desired public amenities and improvements, said Scottie Greene, the executive director of the Buckhead CID.
Among the major goals of the update is to extend the Buckhead Village district east to Piedmont Road, west to East Andrews Drive and north and south along Peachtree Road, encouraging mixed-use development. It is also designed to create visual interest and design cohesiveness of streetscapes, signage and building.
The plan provides for what are deemed “appropriate transitions” from a high-density, high-intensity Village core along the Peachtree Road corridor to an urban, mixed-use character in the surrounding areas and lower-density residential neighborhoods that border the district.
The proposal provides incentives for quality public facilities and open spaces while reducing auto dependency and increasing the use of public transit, bicycles, ride sharing and walking.
The ordinance also would aim to spur more environmentally responsible development and provide a more cost-effective way to address infrastructure improvements.
According to the proposed ordinance, when 60 percent or more of a principal building is removed or destroyed, a property must be redeveloped under the SPI-9 requirements. Ground-floor commercial uses must have entrances opening directly onto the sidewalk by the street or to a required usable open space.
According to Denise Starling, the executive director of the Buckhead Area Transportation Management Association, who is heading up the SPI-9 update project for the CID, materials will be posted on the Buckhead CID Web site (www.buckheadcid.com) before the March 10 meeting.