Cobb officials suspend SunTrust Park parking ordinance

Cobb County commissioners voted Tuesday to suspend enforcement of the controversial special event parking ordinance for SunTrust Park until December.

County officials said the ordinance needs to be rewritten and should not be approved until code amendments had been made.

“Since then, there has been a lot of public dialogue as it relates to this particular code section,” said Dana Johnson, the county’s community development director on Tuesday.

The ordinance closes off potential revenue for dozens of businesses that own more than 10,000 private spaces — many of which could compete with the team for parking revenue.

County officials said the law was necessary for public safety, and note that property owners ineligible for a license because of their proximity to the stadium can file an appeal to the county commission. But critics see it as a heavy-handed attempt to protect Braves parking revenue, and help the team as it negotiates leases with nearby lot owners for supplemental parking.

The Braves collected $4.6 million in parking revenue last year at Turner Field, according to documents the team provided to the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority.

Commissioner JoAnn Birrell voted to approve the moratorium Tuesday, but expressed that she would rather the ordinance be amended and passed “sooner than later.”

The moratorium ends Dec. 31.

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