The proposed site of the big-box retail store on Glenwood Avenue.
The proposed site of the big-box retail store on Glenwood Avenue.

An appeal against a landowner and developer by a neighborhood association and residents for a special use permit to build a big-box retail store along the Atlanta BeltLine was unanimously denied this afternoon by the Atlanta Zoning Board of Adjustment.

The Grant Park Neighborhood Association and two residents asked the board to rescind a special administrative permit (SAP) granted to Fuqua Development to build the big-box store at 800 Glenwood Ave., which is rumored to be a Walmart. The board ultimately decided that the neighborhood association and residents did not having sufficient legal standing to request an appeal to the SAP.

Glenwood Park resident Danny Lanhart, who was one of the residents appealing the SAP, said the construction of the big-box retailer would “destroy the fabric of the neighborhood” by increasing the amount of traffic on the two-lane roads that surround the property, currently the LaFarge concrete plant. He asked for Fuqua to continue to work with the neighborhood residents to arrive at a mixed-use solution, which would create both residential and small retail.

Dana Maine, the attorney for the Grant Park Neighborhood Association, argued that Fuqua’s plan for the development did not meet the criteria of the Atlanta BeltLine Overlay district. “The plan for the district calls for human scale development to create a neighborhood feel,” Maine said. “Not this kind of big-box development.”

Fuqua attorney James Washburn said that his client had applied three times for the SAP before it was granted over the summer and followed the BeltLine Overly criteria to the letter with the industrial zoning that was on the books at the time. There was no mention of the lawsuits filed by Fuqua and Lafarge last week after the city voted in September to retro-actively rezone the Glenwood Avenue property from industrial to mixed-use residential.


Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.