A standing room only, and often vocal, crowd packed an Atlanta Zoning Review Board meeting tonight, Aug. 8, to support legislation to rezone property at 800 Glenwood Ave. to prevent a developer from building a big box retail development in the Glenwood Park community. Atlanta City Councilmember Carla Smith had introduced the legislation to rezone the property located on the Atlanta BeltLine from light industrial to multi-family residential to stop the large-scale retail development, which is rumored to be a Walmart.
After a number of failed votes for denial or deferral on the action, the ZBR ultimately voted by a slim margin to recommend approval of Smith’s legislation to the Zoning Committee of the Atlanta City Council. Clapping and cheers erupted from the hundreds of concerned citizens who had packed into the meeting room and others watching from monitors in the lobby.
Attorneys representing the property owner and Fuqua Development called Smith’s legislation “unconstitutional” and a willful attempt by the city to ignore the current light industrial zoning, which would allow the big box retail. The lawyers said they would have “no choice” but to file suit if the Atlanta City Council ultimately approves the rezoning legislation.
Fuqua Development has not named the anchor tenant for the 144,000 square foot development, but it was revealed during the meeting that Fuqua already has a demolition permit for the site and is in the administrative process for a building permit. Since the City Council is in summer recess, the next meeting will be held Aug. 19 at 1 p.m. at City Hall.