By Sean Keenan
On Monday, the Atlanta City Council elected to extend a freeze on building permits in the areas around the Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry.
Specifically, the ordinance, which was initially approved by the council at the beginning of the year, puts a halt on the acceptance of applications for rezoning, building permits, land disturbance permits, special use permits and more licenses associated with development.
The legislation came about in an effort to stem gentrification on the Westside, where developers have been scooping up scores of land with plans to redevelop it and revitalize the area.
The moratorium, according to city officials’ logic, would give leaders time to study how development trends were affecting the area, which had historically been starved for investment, and how an uptick in developer interest would affect long-planted Black families in neighborhoods like Grove Park, Knight Park/Howell Station and Rockdale.
“We know that every permit triggers some form of change in these communities, and it is of the utmost importance that development is carried out in a deliberate, fair and thoughtful manner,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a statement earlier this year.
That, of course, was well before government officials had a firm grasp on just how monumental an impact the COVID-19 pandemic would have on the world. In response to the public health crisis, Atlanta officials extended the moratorium.
The moratorium is now expected to last 120 days from Monday.
(Header image, via City of Atlanta: A map of the area impacted by the building moratorium.)
Apparently the City and County are too busy participating in election fraud to do their actual jobs. Phase 1 of the park is complete, though 10 years late, and yet the park is not open. Well, at least not open to the public. There appear to plenty of homeless people living there. Or, maybe the park is their legal address used to commit voter fraud. It’s ridiculous.