Plans to build a Walmart near the Lindbergh MARTA station won’t be subject to additional review by the Atlanta Regional Commission, removing another hurdle for the controversial development.
The ARC sent Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed a letter on Aug. 28 informing him that the project did not meet the requirements for review as a Development of Regional Impact. Under Georgia law, DRIs receive additional review to determine their effect on the surrounding area and to avoid potential conflicts.
The local municipality still has final say, however. Members of Buckhead’s Neighborhood Planning Unit B asked the city to deny the application and the letter shows that MARTA also has concerns about it.
ARC staff gave the city several suggestions based on its initial review of the project, a 21-acre mixed-use retail project proposed by Fuqua Development. Fuqua’s plans include 216,399 square feet of residential space, 183,600 square feet of retail space and a 3-acre park.
“Once we began our DRI review, we determined that the project does not meet the definition of a Development of Regional Impact under current rules,” ARC spokesman Jim Jaquish said. “Because the review was under way, we sent our recommendations to the city for their benefit.”
The ARC encouraged the city to do more to make the project more of a “transit oriented development,” asking the developer to include more residential and office uses.
“While there are many good aspects of this project, it does not appear to support the city of Atlanta’s 2011 Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) or MARTA (Transit Oriented Development) guidelines,” the ARC’s letter said. “The CDP provides guidance for TODs including ‘support a complementary, well- integrated mix of land uses’ and ‘provide a range of relatively high intensity uses that are transit supportive.’”
Click here to see the full letter from ARC.