This story has been updated.
By Gabriel Owens, contributor
The Atlanta BeltLine Inc. held its fourth 2017 quarterly briefing Monday night in Atlanta to discuss its 2018 plans, which include the Southside Trail and Chosewood Park.
“We just got $6.4 million from [The Atlanta Regional Commission],” said Jenny Odom, Manager of Communications and Media Relations for the ABI. “That’s [funding for the] South and Northeast trails.”
Southside Trail, which connects the Eastside and Westside trails, remains a long way from implementation, however. Engineering and structural issues remain a challenge to ABI, but they promised to seek more community input in 2018. The last projected date for opening of the Southside trail is sometime in 2023.
ABI reported progress with transportation along a large portion of the Beltline.
“All our documents are with the [Federal Transit Administration] for routes along the 16 miles of trail, West, East, Midtown and cross town,” said Odom. “We have more plans for the North and the South, but this is what [is close to finalized].”
These plans include streetcar and bus route placement through the Beltline’s cross sections.
After the presentation, ABI officials took questions before breaking into small discussion groups. One trail resident raised a personal issue with damage done to her property with Beltline equipment, taking the floor for over 10 minutes.
ABI officials were aware of her issue, and apologized for letting it slip off their radar and promised to discuss it with her after the meeting.
Atlanta resident Steve Carr was critical of the turnout for the quarterly briefing, and blamed ABI for not publicizing their meetings enough. He was also present at the Chosewood Park meeting last Thursday, and did say the turnout was surprisingly heavy for that.
Here are some other highlights discussed during the briefing:
– New businesses have started to sprawl along the newly finished West Side. Lean Draft House opened in June, and breweries from the Atlanta area such as Avondale Estates’ Wild Heaven Beer, Westside’s Monday Night Brewing and ASW Distillery are slated to open new restauraunt/pub businesses there within the next year.
– The beginnings of the Chosewood Park plans were also discussed. To see our previous story about Chosewood, click here.
– A scoping study was done for University Avenue, with its corridor expected to run along Avon Ave. and University, stretching from Murphy Avenue to Hank Aaron Drive. The study evaluates the transportation corridors that can best be used by the Beltline trails and public transportation with regards to current traffic and future changes to the area.
– ABI noted that the Atlanta City Council recently approved inclusionary zoning for parts of the city, including the Beltline. The zoning will apply to developments with 10 or more units. According to WABE, that means developers there now will have to dedicate a portion of their units to people making 60 to 80 percent of area median income. Developers can choose between making 10 percent of units available to 60 percent area median income or 15 percent of units to 80 percent area median income, WABE reported.
The next ABI meeting will be the board of directors meeting December 13 at 100 Peachtree St. The meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m. but an agenda is not yet available.
Here is the full presentation from the quarterly briefing;
Correction: After the initial publication of this story, ABI officials said they had provided inaccurate information about the money received from ARC. This story has been updated with the correct information. Also, an earlier version of this story misstated the effect of inclusionary zoning. It will apply to developments with 10 or more units.