Decatur commission voting on storage facility, East Lake MARTA LCI

Decatur’s city commission will vote on two hotbed issues this week. According to the meeting agenda for 7:30 p.m. Aug. 20 at city hall, 509 North McDonough Street.

First up is a proposed storage facility on Clairemont Avenue. A recommendation for that project was denied several weeks ago by the city’s Planning & Zoning Board, citing concerns with size, noise, traffic, storm water runoff, and loss of a potential residential environment.

The vote is a complicated one, involving the change of land use and zoning on three separate properties. The commission will also have to vote on whether to annex two of the properties, now in unincorporated DeKalb, into the city.

Later, during what promises to be a long night, the commission votes on the East Lake MARTA LCI Study, approved last week by the P & Z Board.

The study calls for 430 multi family units with 20 percent affordable housing, and building height of three to four stories (with a potential fifth story on College Avenue if affordable housing jumps to 30 percent).

This is, however, a concept plan and not a development plan. According to current estimates it could be three to five years before any project commences, or longer depending on the economy. For instance the LCI Study for development of the Avondale MARTA Station—which began construction in Dec. 2016—was approved in 2003.

Nevertheless it’s strongly opposed by those in the surrounding neighborhoods that date to the 1950s or even much earlier.

“This is not like [the Avondale MARTA district], where there are [few] residences,” said Don Rigger who lives in the adjacent Parkwoods neighborhood. “I think most of us favor development over there. But [what the study shows] is too big and too tall. “We don’t need a second downtown over there.”