By Nathan Clubb
Atlanta has embarked on a multi-year ATL Zoning 2.0 process to rewrite its zoning ordinance, which has been largely untouched in over 40 years and is out of date. Zoning truly influences everything because it impacts what we can build and where, as well as what we can use properties for (such as housing, office space, coffee shops, or restaurants). Atlanta City Planning held its first in-person work session on the zoning overhaul on November 29. During this meeting it was stated that the City was approaching this zoning rewrite from a blank sheet of paper, and that the plan was for each community to have increased flexibility with what Zoning would allow. The rewrite will be guided by the recently created Atlanta City Design plan, existing city policies and plans, as well as the public engagement process, with a goal to have the new ordinance adopted by the summer of 2024.
Why does it matter?
- It influences what our city and neighborhoods will look and feel like, impacting our daily lives.
- We have a housing supply crisis making it increasingly unaffordable to live in Atlanta, and zoning changes can make it easier to increase housing supply and density, particularly where the city can best support it.
- Increasing uses for properties can increase the walkability of our neighborhoods by making more businesses (such as small, corner retail stores) possible.
- It will impact the preservation of greenspaces and Atlanta’s cherished tree canopy.
What will the process look like?
- Atlanta City Planning will hold a series of ATL Zoning 2.0 meetings over coming months, including focused workshops to gain public input into the rewrite.
- Eventually, an ordinance will be proposed, and the public will again have an opportunity to review and comment prior to any vote by City Council to adopt the new zoning ordinance.
How can citizens get involved and impact the zoning rewrite?
- Attend future ATL Zoning 2.0 meetings and comment online! (https://atlzoning.com/meet-and-contribute).
- NPU-W has created our own committee to discuss what we want from the zoning rewrite for our neighborhoods. We meet the second Wednesday of the month at 7:00pm. More information can be found at https://cityofatlantanpu-w.org, please join your neighbors in discussing what you want the future of our communities to look like.
We can either shape our development or it will shape us. This is an opportunity to create a more sustainable and equitable Atlanta with needed housing, more walkable communities, and increased transit usage all while protecting our City in the Forest. The alternative is an unsustainable, unaffordable, traffic-choked city. Get involved today to shape the future of our city!