Buckhead residents continue to look for ways to fight an uphill battle against a proposed Walmart at Lindbergh and Morosgo drives.
The Sept. 4 meeting of Buckhead’s Neighborhood Planning Unit B hosted a brainstorming session on how to stop the development, which NPU members believe has tentative support among members of Atlanta City Council.
“This is a very political thing that’s being done because powerful forces want to get it done,” said NPU-B business coordinator Bill Bozarth. … We believe if there was a vote today, there would be eight council people in favor of it. Our challenge in the next two weeks is to turn that around.”
Save Lindbergh, an online group working to mobilize opposition to the project, has announced that it is planning a community action against the development. The group has not yet named a location or date.
NPU-B Chairwoman Sally Silver said some City Council members apparently worry that the city would be sued by developers if it does not grant a zoning change to allow the project to go forward. “Council members are wanting to know of any legal reasons not to approve this,” Silver told attendees at the meeting.
One controversial aspect of the plan submitted to the city by Fuqua Development, according to NPU members, is a surface parking lot that would accompany the development’s 150,000- square-foot anchor retail store.
“I’ve searched Google Earth all over the city. I can’t find a bigger parking lot until you get to the Georgia Dome or Turner Field,” NPU-B’s Development and Transportation Chair, Andrea Bennett, told residents gathered at St. Phillip’s Cathedral.
Members of the NPU insist that the development is not in keeping with zoning that require “transit oriented development” in the area surrounding Lindbergh Center, a hub for MARTA bus routes and rail lines.
In addition to encouraging residents to contact all 15 City Council members about the project, NPU members discussed the possibility of soliciting the help of Target, whose Sydney Marcus location would likely suffer as a result of the new competition posed by a neighboring Walmart. Other big box stores in the surrounding area include Home Depot and the Dump, which occupies Home Depot’s previous location.
“No one would think of putting a bunch of liquor stores on the same block but apparently you can shove as many big boxes and discount stores [together] as you want to,” Silver said.