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800 Glenwood Updates: Letter from GPNA and SAND Presidents

By Lauren Rocereta, GPNA President & Ana Allain, SAND President
Amazing Neighbors,
Thank you so much to everyone who could make it to City Hall this week for committee meetings 2 and 3, and to the over 600 who set a new attendance record on August 8! We know it’s very difficult to get away during the day to go to these meetings, so please know it’s very much appreciated and it’s very effective. We’re gearing up for the remaining critical meetings: On the day after Labor Day, this Tuesday, September 3, and Thursday, October 10. Both meetings this week were nail-biters!
On Tuesday, August 27 at the CD/HR Committee Meeting, about 30 people from many neighborhoods were in attendance in the middle of the day, and we filled half the room. The committee members in attendance were Council Members Kwanza Hall, H. Lamar Willis, Cleta Winslow, Joyce M. Sheperd, and Ivory Lee Young, Jr.
There was public comment at this meeting, and five people spoke for our cause: Ana Allain, SAND President; Lauren Rocereta, GPNA President; Rick Hudson, GPNA Land Use & Zoning Chair; Paul Zucca, Grant Park resident and past President of GPNA and past Chair of NPU-W; and Seth King, GPNA resident. Seth King was a pleasant surprise. We had no idea that Mr. King was going to speak, and his timing was perfect, because he was suddenly compelled to speak. He spoke after the Fuqua lawyers’ stiff presentations, and he was able to soften the air with a very personal touch. We all met Mr. King afterwards and thanked him very much!
Joyce M. Sheperd asked the most pointed questions which seem to reveal how uncertain many Council Members are about Carla’s legislation. There seems to be confusion surrounding why we want an area rezoned in which the City has already approved a Special Administrative Permit (SAP). The current SAP that is approved is for a style of development we are not in favor of and is not in line with the Atlanta BeltLine spirit and vision.
To explain, we have two tracks: 1) We want to rezone 800 Glenwood for all future SAPs. 2) We are appealing the City’s approval of the current SAP, and if we are successful the developer has to go back to the drawing board under the new zoning.
In the end we received a vote of Support from the CD/HR Committee! There were three votes of Support from Council Members Kwanza Hall, H. Lamar Willis, and Cleta Winslow, one vote of Abstention from: Joyce M. Sheperd, and one vote of Non-Support by Ivory Lee Young, Jr.
On Wednesday, August 28 at the Zoning Committee of Council, close to 80 people from many neighborhoods were in attendance in the morning, and we filled the room. There was standing room only, and most people were wearing yard-sign blue to show solidarity. The committee members in attendance were Council Members Carla Smith, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Joyce M. Sheperd, Alex Wan, and Ivory Lee Young, Jr.
Legal questions arose, so the Council Members went into Executive Session. They had to leave the room to speak with City of Atlanta lawyers for about 10 minutes.
At this meeting, we learned the ZRB vote of support from August 8 was voted on incorrectly by the ZRB committee members, so it is now null and void and considered a vote of “No Recommendation” from ZRB. This is the meeting where we made history with more than 600 people in attendance. The possible votes that can come out of ZRB are “Support,” “No Support,” and “No Recommendation.” During that meeting, there were two votes for Support, one vote of No Support, two Abstentions, and three members did not vote. The members who didn’t vote were the issue and caused the result to be lacking the necessary amount of votes for any real vote at all. We are still moving forward full steam ahead, but we are working on a strategy for what our next moves will be. You are needed every step of the way!
In the end we received a vote of Support from the Zoning Committee of Council! There were three votes of Support from Council Members Carla Smith, Alex Wan, and Keisha Lance Bottoms, and two votes of Non Support by Joyce M. Sheperd and Ivory Lee Young, Jr.
After both committee meetings, Council Member Carla Smith met with all neighbors in a nearby City Hall meeting room to explain to us all what happened, answer questions, thank us, and encourage us to keep it up!
We received votes of Support this week from both committee meetings, so we are moving forward. We will definitely need many, many, MANY more people to show up on Tuesday, September 3 for the Full City Council Final Vote (the biggie!).
Please wear yard-sign-blue again. We will also have either buttons or stickers for everyone to wear so it is very apparent to Council Members what we are all there for.
We will have a battle in court with our appeal, so please continue to give donations at
This is our one shot! Please continue to show up and hang in there with us!
Thank you!
Lauren Rocereta & Ana Allain
GPNA President & SAND President

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