The highly anticipated transformation of Atlanta’s infamous Bellwood Quarry, into what will be the city’s largest green-space, has been delayed yet again. The most recent council vote marks the third extension of an initial six-month moratorium, first established in February. The ordinance specifically states the halt of rezoning applications, building permits, or any special use permits associated with development. The Atlanta City Council says the ban is necessary while they work closely with surrounding neighborhoods (Grove Park, Howell Knight Station, Bankhead) to ensure equitable growth, and in an effort to stem gentrification. Now, with COVID-19 wreaking havoc, the local government is grappling with other issues in response to the global health crisis, which is likely to result in further delays.
With an insurmountable increase of public and private investments occurring since the park plans were publicly announced, promise after promise from city officials say the new multi-million dollar park would benefit the area — but a coalition of residents argue the park is only destroying the community. As more developers enter the area, the residents face housing affordability issues and rising property taxes.
Atlantans are patiently waiting on a response from city officials on how they plan to allow development to continue; in a manner that is both fair to current residents, and those looking to invest.
*photo courtesy of westsidepark-atl.com