By Louis Mayeux

At NPU-C’s August meeting, chairman Paul Melvin sought potential help from Fulton County in the neighborhood planning unit’s battle against a Colonial Homes redevelopment plan.

Fulton environmental planner Monica M. Robinson, who appeared at the Aug. 2 meeting to discuss her new position, said she determines how county laws, policies and development affect residents’ health as related to the environment.

Melvin asked whether Pope & Land Enterprises’ plan to build a five-story apartment building at Colonial Homes would fall under her review. Residents claim the plan increases the threat of flooding in the area and want the developers to remove some units in return for adding others.

“We’ve had more flooding in this district than any other district in the city,” Melvin told Robinson. “The overflows from sewer systems, we’ve had a horrible situation with that.”

Robinson agreed to check out the Colonial Homes plan, which is now before the Atlanta City Council, to see if it poses any environmental threats to health.

NPU member Roger Moister, who lives near the sprawling apartment complex built in 1947, said one possible area for Robinson to consider might be water in which mosquitoes breed. Robinson said the mosquito problem would be the responsibility of a separate unit of the Fulton County Health Department, a West Nile Virus section.

Robinson said her “environmental justice initiatives” post was funded in March through legislation sponsored by District 5 Commissioner Emma Darnell.

Melvin said a street abandonment issue at Colonial Homes that already has delayed a City Council vote had still not been resolved. Melvin said the council won’t consider the redevelopment at its Aug. 16 meeting, where the street abandonment is scheduled for first reading. With the zoning component in the Zoning Committee and the land use proposal in the Community Development Committee, the council will likely not consider the complete proposal until September, he said.

In other business, MARTA spokesman Louis Grisoglio reported that fiscal year 2011 budget cuts will reduce bus routes from 131 to 91 on Sept. 25, including the loss of Route 44 through the Peachtree Hills and Peachtree Battle neighborhoods. Train service on weekends will begin at 6 a.m. instead of 4:45 a.m., he said.

On Oct. 3, fares will increase, although the base fare of $2 will remain unchanged. The weekly fare will go from $15 to $17, the monthly fare from $60 to $68, and the monthly mobility fare from $108 to $110.