Tell the Atlanta City Commissioner: Prioritize Increasing Affordability

Department of City Planning

Atlanta is working on Zoning 2.0, the first full update of the zoning code in 40 years. The zoning ordinance isn’t just a dry legal document: it defines the rules and tools that will guide the city’s growth and change, impacting every property on every street in every single neighborhood. The zoning of today will determine the city we’ll get over the next years, decades, or even generations.

What sort of city has the zoning of the last 40 years gotten us? For all its great qualities, the Atlanta of today has its flaws. Zoning rules keep housing limited in neighborhoods across the city, even as the cost of existing options creeps upwards, impacting the cost of housing and determining who can afford to live here, and who cannot. Throughout Atlanta there are corner stores, small apartment buildings, and charming homes that would be illegal to build today. Arbitrary requirements lead to huge parking lots and sprawling developments that are hard to navigate for drivers, and dangerous or even fatal for pedestrians. We know that with the right tools, our city will be able to provide everyone with an affordable place to live, in an area that is safe and enjoyable to get around, with jobs, shops, and other resources people need close by.

We know that the Atlanta of the next 40 years can meet and exceed that standard. That’s why we’re calling on Planning Commissioner Jahnee Prince and the entire Department of City Planning to create straightforward, flexible zoning rules that will allow Atlanta to prioritize thriving neighborhoods. Rules that prioritize pedestrian- and transit-centered design, and abundant and affordable housing for all Atlanta citizens – both those living here today, and those yet to come. If we don’t act now, many Atlantans will no longer be able to afford to live in this phenomenal City. Once the Department of City Planning acts, we ask the City Council to adopt those rules, and use them to guide Atlanta towards the future we know is possible.

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To: Department of City Planning
From: [Your Name]

We urge the Department of City Planning to prioritize ​increasing the total number of homes, increase affordability, and promote pedestrian-friendly policies when updating our city's zoning codes. Additionally, we ask that (insert our asks here).