Zoning and land use changes for a proposed mixed-use development near the Lindbergh MARTA station will go back before Atlanta City Council on Oct. 1 with no recommendation from two council committees on whether or not it should be approved.

The council on Sept. 17 sent the project back to the zoning and community development/human resources committees to give developers and neighborhood groups more time to reach agreement on how to make the project, which is anchored by a Walmart Supercenter, palatable to residents.

But the committees voted to return the plan to the council without a recommendation on a yes or no vote. The zoning committee voted Sept. 26 to add a requirement that at least 100 apartments in the project be “affordable housing” for senior citizens.

In a committee meeting Sept. 25, District 6 Councilman Alex Wan voiced his objection to sending the project to the full council for a second time with no recommendation.

“This is starting to feel like a Ping-Pong game. I feel like we’ve punted to council once and it’s gotten punted back to us and I was expecting a significant change in the dialogue or the underlying facts of the case,” Wan said before voting against the proposal to move the resolution forward.

“The basic premise of whether a land use change is appropriate for this or warranted, I don’t think the conversation has changed over the last two weeks.”

District 7 Councilman Howard Shook who, like Wan, sits on both the zoning and CD/HR committees, was in favor of moving the resolution forward.

“I sense a commitment to settling this by our Monday [City Council] meeting,” Shook said.  “By sending it forward with no recommendation, we’re one step closer to that.”

On Oct. 1, the council will consider a number of amendments to the original zoning and land-use requests, but those changes do not address some of the residents’ complaints about the project.

The proposed changes do not alter the single-story footprint of the project’s anchor tenant, the amount of street-level parking the project will add or the amount of space dedicated to residential development at a site currently zoned exclusively for high density residential development.

–Chuck Stanley

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.