The Land-Use Action Team met with Stakeholders at the Westside Future Fund’s offices at the City of Refuge. It’s the fourth in a series of ongoing meetings for each of the five target areas that will influence and drive the action plan. This round focused on Booker T Washington, Ashview Heights, Washington Park and Just Us. Stakeholders were grouped into categories of Faith-based Organizations, Retail, Parks & Urban Agriculture, Culture, Heritage & Preservation, Public Safety & Infrastructure, Housing, Bungalow / Cottage Court, Arts Collaborative and Schools.
Ashview Heights positive
- Much better shape than English Ave./Vine City
- AHA – Collegetown – still very much conceptual –
- Have been talk of hotel –
- Once multifamily finished holding back.
- Going back to look at MasterPlan
- Getting local businesses/retail up and running rather than going after national chains.
- Incentive – only 10% fee
- Housing enterprise zone – abates tax – deferring property taxes –
- 8-10,000 before clearing the lot – looking at reducing fees for development –
- Underwrite commercial – for area
- Fruit trees on the street – good idea or not –
- Right tree – right place
- Plan for food orientated site
- Make sure incorporated
- 4 acres of production on site –
Truly Living Well –
- Looking for other avenues around this commercial area.
- Provide the Westside with Food – part of the culture –
- Pomegranate tree at every corner
- Community could feed itself (early 60s)
- Conversation to producing food for the community
Habersham – more of a Master plan
Expanding the vision of what Urban Agriculture can look like
- Right tree/right place.
- Right plan – an urban garden –
- Can take the cultural cues.
- Pollinator plantings
- More productive gardens
- Can be aesthetically pleasing
- Think outside the raised box.
Hearing a lot of self contained initiatives
- not impacting individual –
Education of residents
- how to grow
- how to eat foods
- will teach other
- starting small (Hands on- small scale)
- We don’t have a lot of dirt
- Need to create a quality product
- There are two schools have hydroponic labs
- water quality has to be maintained
- still in discussions about self contained agriculture
- What are innovative ways to be close – but maintain healthy systems to people, businesses, etc.,
- Request for vacant land
- someone wants to use it on interim basis
- becomes attached, etc.
- people reluctant – use at interim –
- people see it as permanents (would like to avoid that)
- Truly Living Well – Lots – not only food but activity – started old fourth ward –
- Owning versus leasing the land – challenge of Old 4th Ward
- Land trust for just agriculture
- ose lot to development
- could be including an edible landscape
- anywhere that gets sun is fair game
- changing landscaping
- can we have a food oasis peppered through the neighborhood?
- If we really question plant choices –
- be low maintenance –
- Fruit trees be part of solution –
- Look at food being an energy source
- how are we doing comprehensive food planting
- we have the resources
- it’s all there and available – have to plan for it.
- Discussion on permanent versus temporary –
- Grants for solar – USDA farmer grants
- Pollinator – linkages – Decatur first city pollinator in Ga – wished
- Have a percentage of area be urban agriculture
- Rather than sequestered food production – have it be integrated in a park
- Service cautious on private gain on public space – allowed community gardens – but only 5 percent.
- Facilities for processing, training, education
- doesn’t have to be in the neighborhood – could be on the Southside.
- Employment opps
- being able to use the space-
- value added products
- need to find warehousing/factory space
- don’t want to lose our trainees because we don’t have the space/building.
- When they complete the program –
- Access to land/and infrastructure – BIG ISSUE
- Been up to 7 people have to move off site – got bulldozed –
- That instability is challenging – we need permanent solutions.
- We have an opportunity to self fund itself.
- Creation of an urban agriculture trust – urban agriculture becomes a viable use
- Urban ag could be on the roof
- Lease to own options for farmers- these are viable businesses – land at a premium.
Shared recommendations for
- Shiloh – no real plans for church 150 churches on west –
- AMVA – affiliated with
- Urban agriculture on church grounds
- Resource for food trees
Healthy corner store
- bicycle shop (WeCycle)
- ATL leaders group – headed by Atlanta Metro
Truly living well, relay, georgia organics
- access to help
- creating access –
- American Heart Association
- leveraging about 100,000 dollars
- Have an incubator
Red Store – corner store (not desirable)
- Value of building is not how it looks – but what income/location
AHA has the plans – have had for a couple years.
Capacity to seek out areas to have commercial development
- Historic preservation – coming up solutions for the future as well as people we want into the community.
- What would that look like – Live/Work/Play
- Make it a destination –
- First neighborhood designed as an African American neighborhood
I feel like missing something
- lean on a historical aspect
- beautifying the homes
- looking type of place.
- Make it look – historical –
- Make it a destination Civil Rights –
Get community behind to deal with troubled properties
- don’t like the face of our community
- Put pressure on the landlord
- Make it single family homeowners
- get more homeowners
- Concern for public safety
- get rid of prostitution and drug dealers –
- We need to bring in a diverse income structure –
- Eating/hanging/out – go to eastside –
- Would like to have more retail, etc.
- 960 MLK coffee shop
- AUC students own property
- If there were a lot of downpay assistance –
- Request – not issue funds
- have not been held accountable
- buying lots/houses
- six to 9 month/ plan that needs to take place.
- Old Paschal’s building
- it does have historic value. Could bring down to Westside.
- traffic not coming down MLK
- something that brings income but has historic
Christine Jackson – Ex. washington Park –
- holder 2015 visioning plan
- get an understanding
- how things are moving with the Land-Use Action Plan
Conservancy of Historic Park –
- moved in Wash Park in 1960
- really would like to see some improvements –
- Tennis Center – historic place –
First Black development
- story unique
- only way to preserve to get protection from City of Atlanta
- historic designation
- Just opened parking lot to MARTA
- Buying condos near there – then turning around into rentals
- No marketing of the neighborhood –
Safety needs to be addressed – better but still challenge.
Respect the historic character of the neighborhood –
- Research the developers that built the community – understanding the narrative –
Marketing and Branding –
- Live close to downtown
- MARTA and Beltline
- When Lena St. development – we need to do some outreach
- Economic self-reliance
- We’re not different than Inman Park
- Has not been a counterpoint to Crime, Heroin, Prostitution
Amenities similar from Ashby & Decatur
- eradicating prostitution/crime
- have services come into night
- Moving back in from suburbs
- We have to have real estate professionals to buy in (down to dollar and cents)
- elder have passed – few move back.
- Seniors have no plans to go anywhere –
- staying with family
- lack of connection to resources
- Westside Community Alliance
- Have seniors coming – needing dental work – where do I go?
- We have the desperately poor
- some gentrification
- enclave on Lena St.
Identify people interested in moving in neighborhood – and then helping –
- Millennials – not buying –
- So focused – not going to get the same thing – aren’t we going after middle class –
- No1 thing they want is entertainment – post graduation.
- New buildings being built are offering those amenities –
- There are people who want to buy
- we’ve outperformed every market
- making the link from historical –
- Dry cleaners –
- Cafe –
- Lawton – ice cream shop
- No more beauty shop, no more family dollar, wing places
- want to support small businesses –
- No pawn shops –
- Make it so people can walk –
Have incredible assets
- Ashby Movie Theater – restored and opened.
- Empty buildings – opportunities are there –
- Last building – beauty school – rib shack – old grocery store.
- Get the ABL to pay attention to what they already have.
AUC students – nothing for them.
- Bring something outside those gates –
- Adding rental housing across from the school – and something around the MARTA station.
More affordable to build a townhouse/multi unit house – but looks like a regular house.
Rental on corridors – and infill within the neighborhoods
- Apartment buildings – Desoto Street (empty) –
- Shanell Andrews family owner corner – most empty
Aging in place development –
Community gardens, etc.
Councilmember Bond – interested in
- Acquired land for College Town
- Land along Lowery – hoping to put condos –
- have a Master developer (waiting for the market to turn around)
- can’t get price points high enough.
- Boutique hotel (we do have to undergo a master plan to think how that works)
- There’s a sewer trunk – Truly Living Well Farm looks great – the neighborhood is excited about that give away their development
France Apt. owner reaching out
- interested in redeveloping
- wants to rehab –
Concerned about the owner as well as residents –
- Property owned by City of Atlanta/APS
- Store and apartments – key acquisition
- All kinds – targeted store and apartment building –
- Challenges with acquisitions – some owners asking for too high a price.
- Choice – Fair St. – connector – City =
- 7 houses scheduled to be torn town.
- Focus area – camella/ashby grove – going about two blocks.
- Would give us a critical mass – as well as visibility
- a focus on history
- more seed money/consulting
- thinking about redoing the neighborhood
- making it visual
- Looking at alternatives ex. Katrina Cottages
- Targeting deep lots –
- Stacking houses one behind the other –
- Concerns about density – keeping single family housing –
- set a limit of 20 Percent affordable housing – interested in seeing market rate housing
- Bungalow courtyard- gives a sense of security – not alone.
- Making a 100 percent corner – – Lawton and Westview (center of the neighborhood)
How do we tie them in –
- The beltline – Thinking about how the Beltline – a really difficult – challenges to connecting to the beltline.
Against multi family
Burnt out YMCA
Houses on Lena –
Lower than park – need some density on East park
Shenandoah – did notice that fixing up.
Focus on density on corridors and near park.
- Want technical assistance- Can invest Atlanta? – anyone can come visit – how to put a financing plan together – where do you go to find which type of funding. We do that for free.
- connecting Wecycle with Invest Atlanta
- Demolition – city places a lien on the property for cost of demolition
Focus on 80 percent AMI – 100% AMI – up to %120
- Downpayment can do – construction –
- 80 to 120 is a challenge
- CDBG – for housing related – 1.4 million restricted to
- Community development block grant
Homeownership program –
- Most of mechanism – Westside Roots – roll out in Vine City/English – phase two is expansion to Choice neighborhoods.
- Kick off Westside Roots in Sept.
- Owner occupied rehab – there is TAD funding for that –
- Vine City and English Ave. partner dollars –
- Information shared on housing potential –
- Looking at price points –
- Also identify landowners and developers interested in doing something.
- Some type of green infrastructure.
One things to say community wants single family – something that the community had – was housing single family homes. Looking for that sense of place – that existed before. During segregated times – had to live – had to be – socio/cultural fabric that made it what it is today.
- How do you restore the sense of community and sense of place?
- When are you going to stop sewage?
- When can we find a job?
Bring transformative development
- that the decline is deliberate
- come in an invest and flip it
- Getting business to move in here
- Asking major foundation/corporation – let’s commercial folk.
Challenging to build any of it
- we looked at affordable
- everybody has a different idea of what affordable is.
- Focused on professional jobs $50,000 and better.
- Being elitists – have campus operations.
Issue on new stadium over proposed uses of land – between
So much opportunity
- should have people be living here
- so much wealth that is active in some way in this community
- the community doesn’t benefit from it.
- Those salaries are in this community, but work somewhere else. 20% of housing stock – in 2 percent of the city.
Have a different look
- first time homeowner opps.
- In partner with Fannie Mae in 80s/90s – give Lowery a different look.
- Chose this area to be catalytic – UCDC as the sticks and bricks development arm to develop it. Then transferred to UCDC.
- Opportunity for density on Lowery – going south to MLK – this is the most corridor for Morehouse – really needs to be improved. Be a complete street
Security is a real issue –
Ashview has already had a community garden –
Only reason about burying cable – redevelopment – initially put widening the street –
Need to rethink streetcar route –
Cameras are the after effect – after effect – has to augmented with more preventive measure – concentration of effort –
Infill housing – do block by block infill housing to help stabilize –
- Which pockets –
Need a back wall – bring down to the BeltLine –
- What’s schedule for BeltLine – can cross Lena st. in their plan – make Lena St. as a road going through.
How area is served for reducing minimize outages –
- Have problems with power outages –
City’s position on maintaining public garbage cans – in a pedestrian area – need to dump trash
Alternative ways of transportation (bicycling/ golf carts)
Informing their zoning rewrite – protecting historic structure – protecting stream beds – will no build over underground stream beds –
AUC Neighborhood Association meets every third Thursday –
- The first two – houses – possible donation
- First two on the corner – in court – owner’s actual owners to donate
- in court – code violations –
- Owners not in city – bought them sight unseen –
- A lot of boarded up buildings
- you can only keep it boarded for 6 months
- start enforcing 6 month boarding.
- people are going into it if boarded it.
- In winter a real problem – city resources really get used –
- A lot are owned by the same people
- some are owned by Faith Based
- Have priority streets identified –
- Help who is owner – we have designated people – it’s become a project – folks from code enforcement – the big parcels that are boarded .
- A lot of times nothing happens unless you can find an owner –
- Very rare – if we find the owner – their options (Sale it, tear it town or rehab it)
- Can go after to become city property – in order to demo – it’s a demo – survey done – from 60 to 90 days. You have to pull a number of permits – inspectors, etc.
- Demo can take 3 to 6 months
- Sales – wants to sell to highest bidder
- sales and donations – 30 to 45 days.
- Rehab (must start in within 90 days)
- Placard – already identified –
- Or get a neighborhood to testify – most think that if it’s boarded up that it’s OK
- fire department – walling it the burned out structure – if a building is burned out – HAD a fire – handing over active fire – looking at the property – pull all the utilities – you have to get a permit from building department. Taking that list – looking at property – who is the owner, insurance. Turn over the property to – insurance fraud. Get these buildings torn down. What properties are viable. Needs to be demo – we’re looking at that list –
- July 1st – put this into our budget – with the fire department – from there – have investigators go out – what can be salvaged – Start up and running on July first
- Code enforcement – new people – once the budget gets approved –
- APF – working some projects – for housing officers – get a home there
- Occupying a dive – put it back on the books – nuisance under title 21
- have so many convictions or arrests
- build up to a bigger case.
Truly Living Well
Rashid Nuri – Biography
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Have gone through 11 or 12 sites
Located at “crossroads” – know locally –
- Have all their constituents right there
- Bill Boelling – TLW is the anchor
- Transformative (both people and places)
- Grow people and grow food’
- Composting is his mantra –
- Have the largest compost site in the city
- Drafted Urban Ag ordinance – but did not have a single urban farmer there
- Mindy Goldstein (urban law center) – Turner Environmental Law Clinic and interim director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law
Just leave out meat and oil _ won’t have vermine
Started out as an LLC – changed to non-profit to get money
Challenge in getting money
Training and education institution
- Six after school programs
- In Centers of Hope from the Mayor
- Charles Moore – training people
- Most people who are urban ag – come through
- Urban growers program
- Bootcamp –
- Expanding programming (challenge is getting resources)
Are you self sustaining? No
- All education subsidized
- All agriculture is subsidized
- Brought all of the dirt and trees
- Already have testimonials
- Brought love back into the community
- Intentional to be a focal point
- Creating an oasis – of clean air
- Thousands of volunteers –
- Affect and effect on the communities that we serve.
- Atlanta – greenest city in terms of tree canapy (taking 25000)
- 81 percent living in urban areas
- Clean air
- Real estate going up
- Crime going down
Urban Agriculture –
- Agriculture and education – subsidized
- 1864 Homestead Act
- Established Land Grant colleges
Can grow 52 weeks in Atlanta
Need to have more efforts geared toward urban agriculture
Challenge – soil contamination (big problem)
- Food/ shelter/ water/ housing
Friday meetings – underlying concern that hasn’t been addressed (still have issue of race) – that’s not where the money is.
Concerned about people that are displaced –
- Where did people go after projects torn down
- Who are addressing mold in homes