City Council President Ceasar Mitchell threatened to recess the meeting and clear the chamber if protestors didn’t quiet down and allow a vote on the minutes.
The council ultimately voted 13-1 (Councilmember Felicia Moore was the lone dissenting vote) to allow Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration to begin negotiations with the owners to acquire the Peachtree-Pine site and surrounding property. The properties are owned by Premium Funding Solutions and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
Negotiations are expected to last 30 to 60 days, and Councilmember Andre Dickens crafted a resolution asking for a transition plan for the homeless people that would be affected by the closure of Peachtree-Pine.
Before the city agrees to purchase the Peachtree-Pine site or acquire by condemnation or imminent domain, it would have to come before the city council for approval.
Reed has vowed to to close the controversial shelter located at the intersection of Peachtree and Pine streets and operated by the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless. Crime, drugs and an outbreak of tuberculosis has plagued the facility, which houses 700 or more homeless people each night. Reed wants to open a public safety complex on the site, with a counter-terrorism command center, police precinct and fire station.
After the vote, activists continued to chant and disrupt the meeting and Mitchell had the demonstrators removed from the council chamber by Atlanta Police.