There are a few things going on here:
--Yes, Sweetwater is a good community partner and put on a fun festival. They came repeatedly to neighborhood meetings to get input when they weren't required to by the city.
--Candler Park (the park) does not belong to the residents of the neighborhood in Candler Park, but they should be able to communicate with the city about how events and festivals impact them.
--We live in a city and we need to embrace city-wide assets that mean we have to give up things like the parking spot in front of our home from time to time or we have loud music in a park on a weekend.
--The Sweetwater 420 Festival did get WAY too big for Candler Park. Even the city recommends a limit of 20,000 people for this park. Sweetwater was pushing 50,000+ and even they knew Candler Park was getting too small for them.
--The city did approve the festival before it came to the NPU and the neighborhood, which makes the NPU system look a bit like a joke.
--The city needs to do a better job of determining what festivals work best in what city parks and manage the process accordingly. There's no reason event organizers should have to attend multiple neighborhood meetings listening to every individual resident's rant, and there's no reason neighborhoods should have to spend huge amounts of time in their meetings debating the traffic management plan and noise levels of citywide events.
--Congrats to Centennial for getting a successful, fun event in their park - it'll be great for downtown!
wesley - I'm referring to all of Little 5 Points as being a walkable area, not just that one specific plot of land. And that cloverleaf intersection you refer to is indeed terrible, but there are plans to change that and create a greater connection between Inman Park and Candler Park. (Ponce/Moreland Corridor Study done in 2005 and adopted by the city.) Adding a drive-thru just makes it even worse.
aqpaksoy - yes, this application was about a parking variance. I'm 100% fine giving up those parking spots. More parking and more roads just mean more cars. But a drive-thru is not okay in this area. If DD had come back to the neighborhood with this exact same design but without the drive-thru, it would have been much more likely that the parking variance would have been granted.
Yes, having a business there in the abandoned building would be great. Yes, DD's design for the building retaining its mid-century modern characteristics is quite nice. The problem is that the City of Atlanta allowed a lawyer to come up with a loophole so they don't have to follow the neighborhood commercial planning regulations that they have adopted based on significant input from the surrounding neighborhoods and businesses. DD has refused to put their business in that location without a drive-thru. Little 5 Points is not conducive to drive-thru restaurants. It's a great walkable area and it should remain so. That's one of the main reasons people choose to live in these communities in the first place. If the city is going to work with residents and businesses to design plans that create livable, walkable communities and then adopt those plans as policy, they need to follow them instead of circumventing them. Shame on the landlord who has owned that building for so long and prevented other businesses from possibly moving in. It would be a fantastic restaurant, bike shop, ice cream store, coffee shop, anything. Just no drive thru.
Congrats, Eric - what a great way to take advantage of a move to a new city! Atlanta certainly has some challenges when it comes to cycling, but there are also plenty of places you can easily get to via bicycle or MARTA. Thanks for sharing your story with us, and I hope to continue to read more about how this develops for you!
Seems like a perfect case for Georgia Lawyers for the Arts. They help artists (who usually can't afford lawyers) with just this kind of copyright issue. http://www.glarts.org/
Definitely check out Atlanta Bicycle Coalition at www.atlantabike.org. They have classes for the beginning cyclist and a bunch of social events throughout the year. This Friday they'll be in the lantern parade at Flux and have a film festival in Candler Park. Plus, they advocate for cyclists at the city and state level. They're the reason we have those "sharrows" in the road and they were a big part of making sure the law requiring 3 feet of space when passing a cyclist was put into effect recently.
This kind of separatist talk is incredibly frustrating, particularly when North Fulton seems to have forgotten how they became so successful.
"Supporters of a new Milton missed the irony that their rural predecessors had welcomed the influx of tax subsidies that contributed to the prosperity of North Fulton. Now they were reluctant to share that prosperity with others in the county."
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