By Paul Simo, Chair of the GPNA Homes and History Committee
Have you ever wondered why Grant Park is so inviting or why we have so many beautiful historic homes? It’s because of our neighborhood’s design regulations!
What are design regulations? If you own a property in Grant Park and want to make a change like installing a new fence or adding a second story, they’re the road map for how to go about it. It’s like a support system to guide you through the process, ensuring your property value and the neighborhood’s character remain intact.
Why does Grant Park even have design regulations? Our neighborhood is one of 21 designated historic districts in the city, and each require design regulations governed through review by the Atlanta Urban Design Commission (AUDC).
So, a long time ago, a group of forward-looking residents created regulations to preserve that “feel” of our neighborhood everyone loves. They not only cover the do’s and don’ts of making changes to a property, they also guide new construction and the proper maintenance of your historic building.
Grant Park’s current design regulations are from 2000. That’s 22 years ago! A lot has changed for the neighborhood and the world around us since then, and our design regulations need to reflect those changes. We’re a historic neighborhood, but we don’t want to be stuck in time!
The Grant Park Neighborhood Association (GPNA) Homes & History Committee, along with a dedicated group of over a dozen neighbors, industry professionals and City of Atlanta planning staff, have spent the last 8 years diligently drafting updated regulations. That time has been used to study how the AUDC currently uses our existing regulations and some unintentional loopholes.
This summer, there was an open invitation to participate in a reading focus group to review the initial draft. That group, comprised of approximately 50 engaged Grant Park neighbors, has completed an initial review to provide a first round of feedback.
In the coming months, there will be a call for more community input. GPNA currently has a working draft of the updated design regulations, and we want Grant Park residents to be involved. To ensure transparency and that all neighborhood residents have an opportunity to participate, here’s what the community can expect in the months ahead:
- November 2022-February 2023: Grant Park residents will have opportunities to attend informational sessions and workshops to review the draft of revised design regulations. Dates and times will be posted on www.gpna.org and announced at GPNA monthly meetings.
- February-March 2023: A potential final draft of design regulations will be sent before the GPNA body for approval.
- After that, it will go to NPU-W, then to the AUDC for review and approval. Then it will go to the Atlanta City Council for adoption. (This can take 3-4 months, and there will be opportunity for public comment at all stages.)
The important thing is this is your neighborhood, and if you want to play a part in how it’s going to look in the years ahead, attend one of the upcoming sessions! Look for more details at gpna.org or contact GPNA Homes and History Committee Chair Paul Simo with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.