A Sandy Springs affordable housing advocacy group will hold a public meeting on Nov. 7 to continue voicing opposition to the North End Revitalization Task Force’s final report. The meeting will host speakers from the Atlanta BeltLine project to learn how the city can avoid traffic congestion and skyrocketing housing costs through its revitalization plans.
Sandy Springs Together, an advocacy group focusing on housing affordability for the city, will host the meeting at Sandy Springs United Methodist Church, 86 Mount Vernon Highway, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Speakers will include: Dwayne Vaugh, vice president of housing policy and development with BeltLine Inc, the organization behind the multiuse trail, park and transit project; David Jackson, deputy executive director of BeltLine Partnership, a nonprofit to support the BeltLine’s initiatives; and Bill Bolling, founder of the Atlanta Regional Housing Forum, a quarterly gathering of affordable housing stakeholders.
They will speak on their experiences and issues with the BeltLine and what Sandy Springs can learn from them, the release said.
“We feel it is necessary to educate our community about the mistakes made, and that Sandy Springs is about to make,” Melanie Couchman, co-founder of Sandy Springs Together, said in a written statement. “We would like Sandy Springs government to anticipate the obvious consequences and impact on the affordability of housing in our city from the proposed master trail system and take the necessary steps to avoid the displacement of hundreds of working families.”
Sandy Springs City Council recently approved a trail master plan that will include 31.4 miles of paths throughout the city and a 2.3-mile extension to Buckhead’s PATH400, which will eventually connect to the BeltLine.
Sandy Springs Together founders David and Melanie Couchman worked with the city for years behind the scenes for years on affordable housing policy, particularly in Sandy Springs’ north end.
In February, the couple launched Sandy Springs Together, an initiative out of their philanthropic Couchman-Noble Foundation, in opposition to the task force’s North End Revitalization Plan. They both opposed the plan because they believe it would drive gentrification and displacement, particularly through its plan to have a multiuse path called the Greenline that has been compared to the BeltLine.
In March, a group launched in support of the task force’s north end concepts, the North End Improvement Coalition.
For more information, visit sandyspringstogether.com.
Correction: Reporter Newspapers incorrectly reported David Jackson as deputy executive director of BeltLine Together.