A proposed new ordinance that would allow adult daycare facilities to be built and operated in all of the city of Atlanta’s zoning classifications, including single-family neighborhoods, with a special-use permit, has some residents in Buckhead and elsewhere worried.

Ordinance Z-18-128 is expected to be voted on by Atlanta’s Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU) boards at their meetings starting Tuesday and by its Zoning Review Board at its meeting Feb. 7.

“There have been no neighborhood hearings (like there were under the quick fixes) and we have been unable to give feedback. This is the most concerning zoning issue to face our neighborhoods in a long time,” Debra Fowler said in a message posted to the Nextdoor neighborhood website/mobile app for the Chastain Park community. “For several years, our single-family residential neighborhoods have been under assault by developers who wish to rezone our single family residential properties for other land uses.

“Your neighborhood zoning leaders worked tirelessly to thwart these efforts. Now we need the neighborhood’s help.”

Fowler then urged residents to call or email five city council members (the two who represent most of Buckhead and the three at-large members) and email carbon copy Keyetta Holmes, the city’s interim director for its office of zoning and development and secretary to the Zoning Review Board, and the three Buckhead-area NPU board chairs to weigh in on the issue.

In comments posted below Fowler’s message, other residents said the ordinance is a bad idea.

“This should concern every resident in our area,” said Jennifer Dollar, a Chastain Park resident. “We moved to Atlanta a year and a half ago from California. Our small, close-knit community there had recently slipped in a similar ordinance much to the dismay of the residents. We had a residential treatment facility immediately behind our home. This one was for people recovering from eating disorders, others were for drug and alcohol recovery. The traffic, parking and noise issues alone were a huge problem. Nursing staff, therapists and visitors were constantly coming in and out – 24 hours a day.”

Sandy Springs resident Erin Nations said, “We had one of these directly next door to us in Sandy Springs. Our house is tucked away in a neighborhood pretty far from any commercially zoned areas. After almost a year of us working with the city of Sandy Springs, the operation was shut down. While it might seem like a good idea, this is not a neighbor that most people would want in a single-family residential area. Various workers and care vehicles at the house all day and the middle of the night – literally 24/7. We saw a huge increase in traffic on our very quiet street.”

Brinkley Dickerson, NPU A’s board chair, said though he doesn’t know how the board will vote at Tuesday’s meeting, he said its executive committee “will recommend a vote against the change.”

Dickerson said all NPU board votes are only advisory. But Atlanta’s other boards and committees, plus the city council, which participate in any city zoning process, normally vote the same way the NPU boards did on zoning issues.

District 1 Councilwoman Carla Smith, who chairs the council’s zoning committee, said she had no comment on the proposed ordinance other than saying she’ll let the NPU boards and the Zoning Review Board weigh in on the issue before she forms an opinion on it.

To view the ordinance on the Zoning Review Board’s agenda, visit http://bit.ly/2HJWMQm.

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