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Decatur Diary | April 26, 2018

Forthcoming Meetings to Consider East Lake MARTA Master Plan

[NOTE: This post has been updated with additional materials and meeting dates.]

The recently completed master plan for the East Lake MARTA station area will soon make its way before the applicable Decatur review boards — first to the Planning Commission, who will issue a recommendation; and then ultimately to the City Commission, who will put the plan’s adoption to a vote.

Opportunities for review and comment are as follows:

TUESDAY, MAY 8 | 7:00 P.M.
PLAN PRESENTATION, RECOMMENDATION BY THE DECATUR PLANNING COMMISSION
CITY COMMISSION MEETING ROOM, DECATUR CITY HALL, 509 N. MCDONOUGH STREET

MONDAY, MAY 14 | 7:00 P.M.
DISCUSSION WITH OAKHURST NEIGHBORHOOD RESIDENTS
THE SOLARIUM | 321 West Hill StREET, Decatur

Tuesday, May 22 | 7:00 p.m.
PLAN PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION FOR PARKWOOD NEIGHBORHOOD RESIDENTS
Church of the Epiphany, Parish Hall
2089 Ponce de Leon Avenue NE, Atlanta

TUESDAY, JUNE 12 | 7:00 P.M.
DECATUR PLANNING COMMISSION
CONSIDERATION FOLLOWING PREVIOUS DEFERRAL, RECOMMENDATION
CITY COMMISSION MEETING ROOM, DECATUR CITY HALL, 509 N. MCDONOUGH STREET

What does “Adoption” mean?

Adoption by the City Commission would equate to a formal endorsement of this vision for the East Lake MARTA station property — particularly as it relates to maximum scale and density, general site design, mobility to and around the station, and affordability goals — and would establish the plan as the designated guide for any redevelopment efforts moving forward.

Such action is not to be confused with a rezoning of the property or an approval of any specific development proposal, both of which would require their own subsequent public hearings in the years ahead between both MARTA and the respective cities.

Project Background

The Make East Lake MARTA Yours initiative emerged from 2010’s Strategic Planning process, where the need for a long-term vision for the site was initially identified. That goal was then reaffirmed in the 2016 Comprehensive Plan when the effort, which was ultimately funded almost entirely by the Atlanta Regional Commission, was added to the city’s work program of tasks and projects.

In what will ultimately be a ten-month initiative that began in September, 2017, the process has included public meetings, a walking audit, a design workshop, two online surveys (here and here), and one-on-one onsite input with commuters — and has resulted in multiple design modifications in response to ideas and concerns voiced by the surrounding communities.

For example: Density was reduced, buildings were stepped back, public space was oriented to ease transitions between different housing types, pedestrian and bicycle enhancements were refined, and affordable housing (20% mandated with development incentives to meet 30% or greater) was included as a MARTA priority.

What’s the Timing?

The Make East Lake MARTA Yours process has been an exercise in advance planning. Actual implementation will be subject to a variety of factors — other MARTA redevelopment efforts currently scheduled ahead of this one, market demand trends, etc. Accordingly, the latest indicators from MARTA suggest the following anticipated timeline:

3-5 Years

MARTA seeks rezoning from Decatur and Atlanta
Issues RFP
Identifies development partner(s)

2-5 Years Thereafter

Site preparation
Construction
Leasing/Sales
Occupancy

Total timeline: ~5-10 years

  


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