Historic Westside News May2016 Issue1
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Transcript of Historic Westside News May2016 Issue1
By Brent Brewer
Where We Want To Live, Ryan
Gravels story of the Atlanta BeltLine, is
not the blueprint for a successful
BeltLine neighborhood that you might
have hoped for. Rather, it is a detailed
tale of how Gravels vision became the
To summarize the book, his vision
suggests that transportation
infrastructure does more than move
people. It builds communities, and it
constructs our way of life.
He calls his vision catalystic infrastructure.
To Gravel, spontaneous interactions
along infrastructure is just the kind of
Atlanta he wants to live in.
As West End neighbors forgo the car
and bike/walk the West End trail to the
park or grocery stores, and meet
neighbors in passing, these neighbors
create Gravels vision on the Westside.
Their experiences breath life into his
vision, making it our Atlanta BeltLine.
Our infrastructure has always linked our
neighborhoods. Shared vehicular
boulevards, bus routes traversing from
West End to Ashby MARTA stations,
and newly repaired sidewalks provide
safe passage to our common parks and
green spaces, Washington School cluster
public schools, and shared
With the completion of the Westside
BeltLine Trail, historic barriers will
transform into a new public common
ground. Westside neighborhoods with
their own history, culture and politics
will be connected.
We dont have to wait for the Trails
completion to celebrate the diversity of
the Westside neighborhoods while
showing our common ground.
We can do this by sharing our stories
with each other.!
May 2016 Linking Neighbors and Celebrating Diversity Issue One
Where We Want to Live: Westside
Historic Westside News
Calling Local Reporters,
Photographers and Artists.
The Historic Westside News is back!
Bigger and better than ever, this
newspaper covers Atlanta University
Center (AUC), Ashview Heights,
Castleberry Hill, English Avenue, Vine
City, Washington Park and West End.
Our mission Linking Neighbors and
Celebrating Diversity says it all. New
school, old school or your school we are
looking for stories about your/our
communities. Submit stories and graphics
to email@example.com. See
your story ideas in print and distributed
throughout the community. Deadline is
Third Monday of each month.
Inside This Issue.
Brent Brewer , a West
End resident, is the
publisher of the Our
West End Newsletter.
Fund Needs Community
From Public Spaces to Homes
PAGE 4, 5
Historic Washington Park
Legacy of Mr. Perry and Mrs. Dove
2 Historic Westside News May 2016
Community Input Needed on Land Use Plan
A calendar with times and locations is at http://planwestside.com/events.
Mondays and Tuesdays: Face-to-face fact-finding sessions at the Westside Future Fund office. The Land-Use Action Team is holding a series of Stakeholder Meetings specific to each target area to get input on whats happening in the community, what stakeholders would like to see happen and what are their concerns. These sessions are with stakeholders grouped into similar categories such as Community Leadership, Residents, Faith-Based Organizations, Developers & Property Owners, Public Safety, Environmental Organizations, and Infrastructure Implementation. If you would like to be included in one of these groups, or have a suggestion for a Stakeholder category that should be included please contact the Westside Future Fund Director of Programs Nasim Fluker Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone: 404-793-2676.
Tuesday evenings: Presentations for public input in each neighborhood. This is a series of neighborhood fact-finding sessions in the six target areas. Residents, businesses, churches, landowners and those organizations providing services in the target community are invited to take part in a series of breakout sessions following an informational presentation on the Westsides Land-Use Action Plan.
Wednesdays and Thursdays: The Land-Use Action Team will spend two days at the Westside Future Funds offices intensively taking all the input from the previous two days to create a draft design and implementation strategy.
Fridays: A draft of recommendations for each target area will be presented at the first Friday of the month at Transform Westside Summit with Q&A after. The draft will be posted online at planwestside.com later that day for review and additional feedback.
Saturdays: For English Avenue and Vine City, the Land-Use Action Plan team is presenting to the local neighborhood associations for feedback on the draft plan. These meetings are open to homeowners, landowners and renters in the specific target area.
Since 2002, over 18 land-use plans have been conceived for the Westside. Understandably some community members say they have planning fatigue and have been through this before. The biggest weakness of these previous plans was the lack of a robust implementation strategy an Action Plan! The Westside Future Fund is therefore building on the good work and extensive community feedback put into previous plans by city agencies, city council members, partners and residents to create a comprehensive, up to date Land-Use Action Plan. You can find links to the previous plans as well as an analysis of each one at http://planwestside.com/previous_westside_studies
Community input is critical to creating a Land-Use Action Plan for the Westside. As Atlantas Commissioner of Planning and Community Development, Tim Keane said at the April 1 Transform Westside Summit, To be successful,
this has to be something that the people who live here - and are invested in here - support and are a part of. The Westside Future Fund has partnered with the citys Planning and Community Development to create the Land-Use Action Plan thats headed up by Dhiru Thadani, an internationally recognized architect/urbanist and author of The Language of Towns and Cities: A Visual Dictionary and co-editor of Leon Krier: The Architecture of Community.
Thadani and his team of local and national experts are holding multiple stakeholder meetings that are followed by a Tuesday night neighborhood informational and input meeting . Other opportunities for public input include the first Friday of each month, when the Land-Use Action Plan team presents its draft recommendations to the Transform Westside Summit and a Saturday morning neighborhood presentation for additional public critique and comment . Throughout the process, all the information collected and the draft plans will be posted at
planwestside.com for review and additional feedback.
Preserving The Identity
A consistent concern in the stakeholder and public meetings on Boone Corridor was losing the areas culture and history. The Land-Use Action Team took these concerns into account for its first round of recommendations with special mention of Sunset Avenue and its historical significance, as well as identifying existing viable homes and buildings. It is precisely this history and sense of place that researcher Lauri Volk of Zimmerman/Volk Associates said will make the area attractive to the biggest demographic in the country right now - the millennials. What many of them want is to live in a walkable neighborhood thats mixed use and authentic. Authenticity is one of the most important aspects that young people are looking for today, said Volk. And I must say that authenticity can certainly be found throughout the Westside.
Focusing on market potential instead of demand, Volk said a housing program can better respond to housing preferences for the people in different life stages who are moving from one place to another - and be very successful without displacing existing residents. Theres a fear that people who live there will be driven out by the new housing, she said. That's why our methodology has been developed to encompass everyone, not just people who can afford market rate - but the people who require public housing and affordable housing because it's really important that neighborhoods be mixed income and diverse. Those are the strongest neighborhoods that will last over time. Her analysis will look at markets by income and housing preferences - which she said is a long process. We break them out by income so we can understand how much housing needs to be set aside for affordable housing, and how much housing needs to be set aside for households who don't need assistance.
continued from Page 2
Volk said once the study is finished, she will create a housing program that goes beyond the status quo to strategically expand the housing types in each neighborhood. This increases housing choices for people already living there and for people who want to live there. It attracts new households, she said. And that's what you need to restore the vitality of the neighborhood - support existing residents, retain existing residents and attract new people. Support for the existing community is a top priority for the Westside Future Funds Executive Director John Ahmann. I want to be very clear that we're first going to focus on existing homeowners, businesses and institutions, he said. Our first focus is on wha