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Old 10-23-2012, 11:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by testa50 View Post
I think you guys are being overly hard on cwkim. It's a difficult balancing act to weigh the needs of a massive city that needs more room for dense development and an established residential district that could potentially be developed into extremely prime land. As it stands, there really isn't any mechanism for altering a SFH neighborhood into a very dense area; instead, SFHs are protected from the impacts of dense developments. Since Atlanta is mostly SFHs, we end up losing out on a lot of areas that could be really dense.
I understand the need for accommodating change but it seems like Peachtree Park is one of the last neighborhoods you'd want to mess with.

Aside from the fact that it's on the National Register of Historic Places, it is absolutely thriving and has already spent decades accommodating massive infrastructure changes (MARTA, GA400, major arterial roads such as Peachtree and Piedmont, etc.). It has learned to exist in harmony with massive retail, office and hotel developments. It is one of the most walkable parts of the city, and is an easy stroll to transit, hotels, nightclubs, grocery stores, restaurants, schools, churches parks, and every other urban amenity imaginable.

Peachtree Park has as much or more density as other intown neighborhoods such as Decatur, Candler Park, Morningside, Edgewood, Reynoldstown, Grant Park and Old Fourth Ward.

Peachtree Park has also been a proactive and progressive participant in local and regional planning studies, including SPI-9 and SPI-12, both of which it borders.

So instead of giving this successful historic urban neighborhood the Godzilla treatment, why not simply focus on developing the adjacent areas that have been set aside for ultra high density development? Peachtree Park has worked very hard to integrate with both the Village and the Lenox commercial district. Some very smart, detailed and forward looking plans have been put into place after years of study and coordination with all the major stakeholders. The city, outside planners, GDOT, MARTA, Ga Power, the CID, the commercial developers and the neighborhood are all in agreement. The plans have now been enacted into law. What's the advantage of throwing all this in the trash, despite the fact that there is absolutely no demand to do so?

Quote:
Honestly, the most appealing one to me is Home Park. It's surrounded by Midtown, Atlantic Station, West Midtown, and Georgia Tech. It has decent public transport infrastructure and very good interstate/roadway access. There are plans to enhance public transit (streetcar). It's within walking distance of thousands and thousands of jobs.
I agree that Home Park could be a candidate for redevelopment. It's already got good bones, but given its location some of the small residential parcels (a good many of which I gather are rental) seem underutilized. What kind of planning efforts have taken place there?
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:30 AM
 
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FTR I'm not advocating anything in Peachtree Park. I don't have an opinion on that neighborhood.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
I understand the need for accommodating change but it seems like Peachtree Park is one of the last neighborhoods you'd want to mess with.

Aside from the fact that it's on the National Register of Historic Places, it is absolutely thriving and has already spent decades accommodating massive infrastructure changes (MARTA, GA400, major arterial roads such as Peachtree and Piedmont, etc.). It has learned to exist in harmony with massive retail, office and hotel developments. It is one of the most walkable parts of the city, and is an easy stroll to transit, hotels, nightclubs, grocery stores, restaurants, schools, churches parks, and every other urban amenity imaginable.

Peachtree Park has as much or more density as other intown neighborhoods such as Decatur, Candler Park, Morningside, Edgewood, Reynoldstown, Grant Park and Old Fourth Ward.

Peachtree Park has also been a proactive and progressive participant in local and regional planning studies, including SPI-9 and SPI-12, both of which it borders.

So instead of giving this successful historic urban neighborhood the Godzilla treatment, why not simply focus on developing the adjacent areas that have been set aside for ultra high density development? Peachtree Park has worked very hard to integrate with both the Village and the Lenox commercial district. Some very smart, detailed and forward looking plans have been put into place after years of study and coordination with all the major stakeholders. The city, outside planners, GDOT, MARTA, Ga Power, the CID, the commercial developers and the neighborhood are all in agreement. The plans have now been enacted into law. What's the advantage of throwing all this in the trash, despite the fact that there is absolutely no demand to do so?



I agree that Home Park could be a candidate for redevelopment. It's already got good bones, but given its location some of the small residential parcels (a good many of which I gather are rental) seem underutilized. What kind of planning efforts have taken place there?
I have to dispute a few things. I know we will disagree 'nor did I really expect to find any widespread acceptance, but I can't think of a a better place to spot where hard choices could be made to really make an urban core integrate and form better but nothing can happen because every single family large-yard home in town is historical.

While I know we will overall disagree... I have to dispute just a few of your points

-Yes it is walkable...to other stuff outside the residential neighborhood. I fully understand that. It is all about location location location. It was walkable mostly, because of all the stuff built around it. However, within it, it is a big discontinuity... don't come through my neighborhood and cut off the through the streets. Not many people can enjoy that walkability because there are only about 150 homes in the most prime location where there could be a thousand+ and other businesses. In my view the single-family homes are taking away from the walkability more than adding to it, because they keep the walkable access for a few, rather than contributing to it where more walkable homes and businesses can be built.

In short... A few hundred people have access to walkability there. Go to another neighborhood, like virginia highland, it is built so about 7000 people have walkability.... to even fewer businesses.

It isn't placed there in harmony with what is around it. It is there in stark contrast to what it around it, where it takes in the benefits but doesn't give much back.

As far as your point on density. It just isn't a very dense neighborhood. Candler Park and large parts of Decatur are more dense.

The other thing is you gave the argument of lack of demand.... I'm sorry that is simply not the case... If demand didn't exist... all of these neighborhood wouldn't need historical protections for the most part. We enact protections to curb off land from being redeveloped, but we do so to protect something that is unique enough to keep. At some point... we have everything in a historical district and we need to plan things at the macro level a bit and say... are all of the neighborhoods completely unique from one another? Some are... some aren't Some aren't positioned for it to matter, but then some are two block wedged between two urbanizing areas.

The sidewalk issue isn't a sticking point for my either way, but just a quick FYI... the streets south and along E. Paces don't have sidewalks for the most part. It just the few streets to the north. So there are no sidewalks reaching the pedestrian bridge

It is ok to disagree, but at least use this as a case study to look at the extreme differences/development patterns we are wedging ourselves into.

There are many neighborhoods where demand for new development would take them over, but only in a few cases is there such a small amount of neighborhood, completely surrounded on 3 sides by an urbanizing, and creating a discontinuity within the area. The houses are also really nice, but they aren't incredibly unique to what can be found in many places throughout the city either.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cwkimbro View Post
-Yes it is walkable...to other stuff outside the residential neighborhood. I fully understand that. It is all about location location location. It was walkable mostly, because of all the stuff built around it.
Hm. Isn't that how we expect urban neighborhoods to develop?

Quote:
However, within it, it is a big discontinuity... don't come through my neighborhood and cut off the through the streets. Not many people can enjoy that walkability because there are only about 150 homes in the most prime location where there could be a thousand+ and other businesses.
Well, there are thousands of other businesses within walking distance, and they all co-exist nicely.

There is no need to eradicate Peachtree Park in order to make space for new businesses. There is LOTS of underdeveloped land along Peachtree and Piedmont, as well as throughout the Buckhead Village, which is literally across the street. That land has been specially zoned to support tens of millions of square feet of new mixed used development.

Maybe around in another 200 years that will all have been built out, and at that point there will be a demand for Peachtree Park to go under. At this point, however, (and no offense intended) the notion of flattening it to make room for new businesses is, well, unfounded.

Quote:
In my view the single-family homes are taking away from the walkability more than adding to it, because they keep the walkable access for a few, rather than contributing to it where more walkable homes and businesses can be built.
I think you're seriously misapprehending this area, CW. Just a week ago we met some friends who live at Terminus at the home of another couple who live in Peachtree Park. We all walked over to Pricci for dinner, and Peachtree Park in no way impeded the situation. To the contrary, it was quite pleasant.

Quote:
As far as your point on density. It just isn't a very dense neighborhood. Candler Park and large parts of Decatur are more dense.
It's not the densest area in the city but it's obviously a highly developed, built up area and it has been that way since the 1930s. Most lot sizes are around 8-10,000 sf.


Density (Residents/Sq. Mi.)

Decatur 4929
Lake Claire 4880
Peachtree Park 4855
Piedmont Heights 4803
Reynoldstown 4728
Edgewood 4303
Kirkwood 4160
Ormewood 4025
Grant Park 4025
Sherwood Forest 3683
English Avenue 3677
Sylvan Hills 3528
Morningside 3415
City of Atlanta Avg. 3182
East Atlanta 3140
Capitol View 2904
Ansley Park 2852
Lakewood 2734
Grove Park 2576


Quote:
It is ok to disagree, but at least use this as a case study to look at the extreme differences/development patterns we are wedging ourselves into.

There are many neighborhoods where demand for new development would take them over, but only in a few cases is there such a small amount of neighborhood, completely surrounded on 3 sides by an urbanizing, and creating a discontinuity within the area. The houses are also really nice, but they aren't incredibly unique to what can be found in many places throughout the city either.
It's okay to use any area as a case study. However, given the history of Peachtree Park, and the intense level of planning and integration that has already taken place there it doesn't seem very high on the list of neighborhoods needing attention.

Last edited by arjay57; 10-23-2012 at 03:08 PM..
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post

I think you're seriously misapprehending this area, CW. Just a week ago we met some friends who live at Terminus at the home of another couple who live in Peachtree Park. We all walked over to Pricci for dinner, and Peachtree Park in no way impeded the situation. To the contrary, it was quite pleasant.
This is the root of the issue I'm raising.

It is pleasant, because it is perfect situated and placed to everything, yet has large lots and suburban housing mixed with urban amenities around it. However, that northern part is only about 160 actual homes and we aren't allowing transportation connections to pass through the neighborhood.

The problem I have is we are limiting access to the number of people who could live in the area and at the same time we are discouraging access between the Buckhead Village and the area developing around Lenox Station.

I'm not misapprehending it... I see it quite well, even if we disagree.

and I'm kind of going to spot something out.

All of the same arguments you have used so far can be made for Home Park, which actually has denser lot density.

They can walk to midtown, GT, and Atlantic Station.... yet you didn't really fight that area.

As far as your argument about reconnecting the road... I'm sorry... that doesn't impede on walkability or urbanism... It just makes it less pleasant for 30-40 homowners to own a home on a road more people will drive on due to traffic demand between two areas that need to be more accessible, but it makes walkability, transit, and transportation in the whole area much better.
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cwkimbro View Post
It is pleasant, because it is perfect situated and placed to everything, yet has large lots and suburban housing mixed with urban amenities around it. However, that northern part is only about 160 actual homes and we aren't allowing transportation connections to pass through the neighborhood.

The problem I have is we are limiting access to the number of people who could live in the area and at the same time we are discouraging access between the Buckhead Village and the area developing around Lenox Station.
What's wrong with having nice little pockets of single family homes in a city? These are built on small, 8-10,000 sf lots, and the owners and surrounding businesses are quite happy with arrangement.

Why is it so important to have more people living in this little enclave? There are MANY other options for living in this area, with many thousands more on the way.


Quote:
As far as your argument about reconnecting the road... I'm sorry... that doesn't impede on walkability or urbanism... It just makes it less pleasant for 30-40 homowners to own a home on a road more people will drive on due to traffic demand between two areas that need to be more accessible, but it makes walkability, transit, and transportation in the whole area much better.
If you lived in the area before, you'll recall that E. Paces Ferry was not a quiet local street, but a roaring cut-through for commuters from elsewhere. Personally I don't see any reason to encourage more driving between Lenox and parts north and the Buckhead Village.

The idea behind SPI-9 and SPI-12 was to create dense, urban environments that were not auto dependent. The plans also call for the preservation of the single family neighborhoods that border these denser urban areas. Peachtree Park was an active and progressive participant in both studies. The business community, the city, two major outside urban planning firms, GDOT, MARTA, Georgia Power and the CID were all part of these collaborations. They took several years and were unanimously approved and enacted into law.

As I said above, these plans allows for tens of millions of new mixed use development, while still keeping jewels like Peachtree Park intact. That way you get a finer grain of multiple uses throughout the area, instead of just apartment blocks and office towers. That is part of the charm of Atlanta.

Regarding Home Park, I said I wasn't aware of what planning may have done there. It's my impression that many of the homes are rental units, and some areas look like they could support higher density development. But until I knew more about what was going on there I certainly wouldn't suggest imposing a fruit basket turnover.
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
What's wrong with having nice little pockets of single family homes in a city? These are built on small, 8-10,000 sf lots, and the owners and surrounding businesses are quite happy with arrangement.

Why is it so important to have more people living in this little enclave? There are MANY other options for living in this area, with many thousands more on the way.




If you lived in the area before, you'll recall that E. Paces Ferry was not a quiet local street, but a roaring cut-through for commuters from elsewhere. Personally I don't see any reason to encourage more driving between Lenox and parts north and the Buckhead Village.

The idea behind SPI-9 and SPI-12 was to create dense, urban environments that were not auto dependent. The plans also call for the preservation of the single family neighborhoods that border these denser urban areas. Peachtree Park was an active and progressive participant in both studies. The business community, the city, two major outside urban planning firms, GDOT, MARTA, Georgia Power and the CID were all part of these collaborations. They took several years and were unanimously approved and enacted into law.

As I said above, these plans allows for tens of millions of new mixed use development, while still keeping jewels like Peachtree Park intact. That way you get a finer grain of multiple uses throughout the area, instead of just apartment blocks and office towers. That is part of the charm of Atlanta.

Regarding Home Park, I said I wasn't aware of what planning may have done there. It's my impression that many of the homes are rental units, and some areas look like they could support higher density development. But until I knew more about what was going on there I certainly wouldn't suggest imposing a fruit basket turnover.

Arjay, I have been very nice not to make this personal, because I realize you have a personal connection to the area. I am listening to you and your arguments very carefully, have alot of respect for you, and I have answered your questions time and time again, even if we disagree.

I am getting a bit tired of comments like this "imposing a fruit basket turnover." That is and never want my intention and I think you know that.

Disagree, but I have thought about these matters very carefully and didn't just suggest them on a whim. Nor am I asking for overnight destruction of the neighborhood just so -anything- can go in its place and we shouldn't address issues of what, how, and where. Instead I'm suggesting a few limited spaces are too valuable to the potential life of the city and these areas to just let -everything- be given strict historical protection. There is a balance and the more we don't examine that balance, the more we give other things. Some of my 'favorite' posters on this forums are the ones that rant and rave about Johns Creek and OTP areas (and I know that isn't you), but the one thing I always try to get them to understand... we never built this city to handle enough people with OTP areas booming. Part of this is the big balancing act, which clearly we don't always see eye to eye.

Given that we aren't in a building boom and there are redevelopment lots nearby this doesn't need to happen immediately, however as things progress that won't always be the case and 30-50 years out will be very different. I also see that road connection important to connect two urbanizing areas. yes, it would be busy, but it isn't just a roaring cut-through. It connects two dense residential and retail districts w/o forcing all traffic/transit onto just two east-west streets. I am also aware if the reconnection was made the homeowners directly on the street would not be happy, which is partly why I feel the homeowners deserve full value for their property and potential redevelopment. I am also aware that such a connection can help the northeastern part and southwestern part grow together and can increase in value from that connection.

Of course Peachtree Park were active and aggressive participants in the studies... To me... they got a sweetheart deal... low-density suburban housing with full yards, no cars driving through their neighborhood, and an abundance of transit and urban amenities all around them. None of that changes the arguments I'm trying to raise. It is bad planning to create street discontinuities or have a single family neighborhood stick up into an urban district like that. We can call it progressive, but that doesn't mean it is in every way. I see the land use and lack of road connection a very conservative thing, that only benefits very few, with other progressive things going on around it.


Our city is mostly areas of quiet residential streets and many of them border busy areas. I looked for the limited few areas where the opportunity might make sense in the long run. The unique features of that northern part of the neighborhood are different from the many other quiet ones throughout the city in a few key ways that led me to home in on it.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:47 PM
 
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CW, I like and respect you, too, and have also tried to keep this conversation on a high level. So I hope you are not getting offended.

Perhaps I'm not clear on your objection to the "low-density suburban housing with full yards" and "large lots and suburban housing" you are talking about in Peachtree Park. Those lot sizes are no different from our place in Virginia-Highland, yet I never hear anyone complaining about Virginia-Highland being too suburban or too low density. Likewise with the single family neighborhoods in Decatur, Candler Park, Piedmont Heights or other intown areas.

It isn't easy for intown communities to survive the impact of having freeways, heavy rail transit systems, and massive commercial development crammed into their neighborhood. Yet Peachtree Park is one of those areas that has not only survived, but is thriving with greater vibrancy than ever. There are a lot of very smart, urban minded people there who have made the commitment to live in the city, despite all its problems and the high price tag that comes with it.

So telling them that they've been handed a sweetheart deal or that they are using their little suburban neighborhood to stick up the progress of urbanization and block walkability doesn't resonate very well with them. The reality for the residents of Peachtree Park is that they've salvaged a little piece of old Atlanta and helped turn it into a robust community where people want to live and raise their families.

So, yeah, I am passionate about sticking up for these intown neighborhoods. They are the lifeblood of Atlanta's rebirth. They are fragile, and deserve to be treated with consideration.

I don't doubt that you have thought about your ideas a lot, but I can assure you they have been discussed in detail in Peachtree Park for many years. Peachtree Park has yielded to progress in many significant ways over the years, and they continue to do so. Why fault them for hanging on to their little place in the sun?
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
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Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
CW, I like and respect you, too, and have also tried to keep this conversation on a high level. So I hope you are not getting offended.

Perhaps I'm not clear on your objection to the "low-density suburban housing with full yards" and "large lots and suburban housing" you are talking about in Peachtree Park. Those lot sizes are no different from our place in Virginia-Highland, yet I never hear anyone complaining about Virginia-Highland being too suburban or too low density. Likewise with the single family neighborhoods in Decatur, Candler Park, Piedmont Heights or other intown areas.

It isn't easy for intown communities to survive the impact of having freeways, heavy rail transit systems, and massive commercial development crammed into their neighborhood. Yet Peachtree Park is one of those areas that has not only survived, but is thriving with greater vibrancy than ever. There are a lot of very smart, urban minded people there who have made the commitment to live in the city, despite all its problems and the high price tag that comes with it.

So telling them that they've been handed a sweetheart deal or that they are using their little suburban neighborhood to stick up the progress of urbanization and block walkability doesn't resonate very well with them. The reality for the residents of Peachtree Park is that they've salvaged a little piece of old Atlanta and helped turn it into a robust community where people want to live and raise their families.

So, yeah, I am passionate about sticking up for these intown neighborhoods. They are the lifeblood of Atlanta's rebirth. They are fragile, and deserve to be treated with consideration.

I don't doubt that you have thought about your ideas a lot, but I can assure you they have been discussed in detail in Peachtree Park for many years. Peachtree Park has yielded to progress in many significant ways over the years, and they continue to do so. Why fault them for hanging on to their little place in the sun?
Well I can find lots in that neighborhood that are only 8000-10000 square feet, but they are long lots with lots of trees behind them. I clicked on a lot that seemed to be a median sized lot for the area got a lot that was slightly over 1/3 of an acre and 16000 sq ft.

Some of the longer lots along Paces Ferry are over 1/2 acre, one of which is 26,000 sq ft.

Virginia Highlands is more dense, but also includes alot of lots off of Ponce for a few blocks that are multifamily dwellings on narrow lots. Over 7000 people live in that neighborhood. I click on a median size lot in VA-Hi and its 8,500 sq ft and slightly under 2/10 of an acre... and it is not located surrounded on 3 sides by an urban core district, there are some multifamily dwellings on the residential streets, and all the streets connect through.

In all fairness I clicked into a longer and wider lot than typical for the area and found one that was over 12,000 sq ft and .29 acres and I found several lots in VA-Hi less than 5,000 sq ft (0.112 acres) with old homes on them.


I'm not faulting them so much as saying... maybe the area shouldn't be protected from a natural cycle of development.

I'm also not trying to fault them by saying an "urban" neighborhood should have streets that connect through to all sides of a neighborhood, so neighborhoods on all sides continue across.

Now why I feel it is clear Virginia Highland is more dense in several ways, I'm a little concerned that a small part of my argument is mistakenly getting lost too. It isn't the central piece of my argument, but a small piece.

It isn't just about lot size... as much as it is saying... this overall is a very small amount of homes impacted for a really big neighborhood to neighborhood connection/impact.

In many ways Home Park has smaller lots and more lots to start with, but it just happens to be a very high impact area to connect a dense core from Midtown to the dense developing Midtown West and Atlantic Station. If there were any high character streets or unique homes to other parts of the city I'd try to save them, whether or not the whole neighborhood was redeveloped or historically protected as s a whole.

Another thing I haven't explored... Buckhead is in some big need of some park land. It doesn't have to just cede way just to development. It could become a premier Buckhead park in part, but the key thing for me is it connects/integrates the Buckhead Village with the Lenox Station/Rd area and The Lenox Park area. Those areas are stronger together, than they are apart. I mention this, because I'm not just trying to seek our land for high value development. I'm trying to pull everything together into a cohesive urban core in all directions.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by testa50 View Post
I think you guys are being overly hard on cwkim. It's a difficult balancing act to weigh the needs of a massive city that needs more room for dense development and an established residential district that could potentially be developed into extremely prime land. As it stands, there really isn't any mechanism for altering a SFH neighborhood into a very dense area; instead, SFHs are protected from the impacts of dense developments. Since Atlanta is mostly SFHs, we end up losing out on a lot of areas that could be really dense.

Honestly, the most appealing one to me is Home Park. It's surrounded by Midtown, Atlantic Station, West Midtown, and Georgia Tech. It has decent public transport infrastructure and very good interstate/roadway access. There are plans to enhance public transit (streetcar). It's within walking distance of thousands and thousands of jobs.

In my opinion, if you could extend Midtown to the west and "fill in" Home Park with as high of density as possible, it would probably be for the best. You can pick and choose historically relevant structures in the neighborhood to save, but overall I just don't get the feeling it is of a character that is overwhelmingly important to save. I've live in Midtown and stroll through HP occasionally...it mostly looks like student rentals and a lot of houses from the 1950s. There are nice spots here and there like Hemphill which could be preserved, but the ordinary HP block just doesn't wow me (unlike Ansley Park, for instance).

To me, a large part of the question is this: is the neighborhood's character worth saving, or does the neighborhood merely contain structures worth saving? Castleberry Hill, Inman Park, Midtown east of Piedmont, and Ansley Park are picture-perfect examples of the former. Midtown west of Piedmont is a great example of the latter: there are numerous historical structures that need to be saved, but in general the character of the neighborhood has already been compromised an extremely high density should be encouraged as a result.

I know that a retort is going to be we have plenty of undeveloped land within Midtown, so let's focus on developing that. And I agree that should be the priority. But 20-30 years down the road, even at the snail pace of development we are experiencing right now, most or all of that land will be gone. When there is no developable land, prices increase very quickly and living intown becomes something only the rich can afford (even highrises). I think that would be a bad outcome for Atlanta.

I think in general it's time to start identifying what parts of town can handle large density increases and creating a process by which it can actually happen (and hopefully would benefit current landowners also, which in many cases in HP are not occupants). Instead, it's happening in an ad-hoc way, where large density increases happen in areas that have no SFHs to impact, but also no infrastructure to handle the development (see: the westside). IMO that isn't the best way to go about things. I think that certain SFH neighborhoods should at least be on the table.
I agree with everything here.

My thing is let say a McDonald was in a historic neighborhood, and some people want to redeveloped the spot. The Mcdonald is not of any value, I don't understand what's the issue. If anything placing the Mcdonald in the historic neighborhood in the first place was the sin. In the spot of the plan mix use redevelopment is a non historic commercial building. I just don't understand. But I completely agree with you on Home park and it's not a historic neighborhood so the restrictions are not there. The west side is kind of along the Beltline so in the future that may change. The residential area of Midtown is knocking on a greater extent of this Inman Park issue. This is also a national historic neighborhood but there's a lot more non valuable developments mix in the district. Some of it works other don't some of the 70s and 80s style apartments can be redeveloped to increase density this will save the buildings of value.
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