Affordable Housing, The BeltLine, and Inman Park
By Regina Brewer

In 1999, a planning group Inman Park met to create a long- term vision for our residents. A survey was sent out and answered by well over half the neighborhood (quite a feat in those days). We wanted to live here as long as we could, protect our historic buildings, require reasonable, quality designed mixed- use development, and ensure that Inman Park remained affordable. Those goals were codified in the Inman Park local historic district regulations.

At the August IPNA meeting, we discussed the new development at 670 DeKalb Ave that straddles O4W and Inman Park with the Beltline Trail (and future transit) running through it. It is a critical juncture and must be designed and implemented so that it can safely go under the Hulsey Yard (CSX railroads loading and distribution facility) and come out onto Wylie Street. Concern was expressed over the lay out of the transit/trail and that the proposed development might prevent the future implementation of the transit. In regard to the development’s proposed mix of uses, quality of design, and requested height variance, the neighborhood expressed its support and noted that if the transit issues were addressed, the development had the neighborhood’s full support.

At the September meeting Atlanta Beltline Inc CEO Paul Morris and his engineers gave a very thorough presentation and we now know 1) Inman Park can and should express its preference for the ABI straight trail/transit corridor configuration 2) CSX has sovereign immunity and they have to agree to anything that crosses under or over their yard 3) The development as it is currently laid out, with our preferred path/transit configuration, can absolutely allow for future transit to be built. One issue remains. ABI and their engineers have confirmed that the proposed trail/transit tunnel width of 80 feet with the preferred straight configuration can meet all the goals. Ryan Gravel has stated that the trail/transit width should be 105 feet to allow for unforeseen circumstances and have less impact on the outdoor spaces adjacent to the development. It comes down to 25 feet.