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Lindbergh 'Big Box’ Development Again Denied by NPU-B

The mixed-use development in question would include a Walmart but was voted down Tuesday night.

Is anti-Walmart sentiment to blame for the recent denial of a zoning request to build a mixed-use development off Piedmont Road in the Lindbergh area? 

The full board of Neighborhood Planning Unit B voted 19-3-1 Tuesday night to deny the latest in a to build a mixed-use development that would include a “big box” Walmart store. The Sembler Co.'s plan to build a commercial center at Lindbergh, Morosgo and Adina Drive and Piedmont Road has been ongoing for a year to no avail.

People in communities around Atlanta certainly seem to have a love/hate relationship with Walmart. A recent poll conducted by Patch asked readers, "Do you shop at Walmart?" 

Out of the 315 people polled at the writing of this article, 30-percent said they never shop at Walmart and have no plans to. By comparison, 31-percent said they regularly shop at Walmart — an almost even split. However, those voting against Walmart seem much more passionate in their comments than those in favor of the retail giant.

Drew Plant July 07, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Glad this project was blocked. It is too much on that already-crowded corridor. Too, I live near the site of another, previously proposed Sembler development and feel they were not always the most straightforward communicators. And, finally, I do feel Walmart has run roughshod over communities and I'd rather not see them here and do not shop there.
Stacey July 07, 2012 at 03:25 PM
I would like to encourage the use in articles of this type of more careful language about exactly what the NPU can do. The NPU does not have the power to "deny...a zoning request." NPUs were created by a City of Atlanta ordinance for the purpose of providing community INPUT to the City or to the License Review Board, Zoning Reviewing Board, etc. on certain types of issues. The NPU can vote to RECOMMEND approval or denial of zoning requests and other things (like liquor licenses, special administrative permits, etc.). Every time I see an article that makes it sound NPU has denied something, I wonder how many people read this and really think that the application has been denied.
Bill Golden July 07, 2012 at 03:35 PM
I couldn't be happier to see Walmart's zoning request denied. Aside from my issues with Walmart itself (questionable employment practices, devastation of small town businesses, etc.), I live near that area and it is already way too crowded to support a development of that size.
David Berger July 07, 2012 at 04:19 PM
I believe in private property rights. The area in question is appropriate for a big box store and so the property owners should be allowed to build. The area is currently a garbage-littered area and a haven for many who are in this country illegally.
Stacey July 07, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Drew & Bill, See my comment. This is not a blockage or a denial, just community input. For variances (or similar things such as "special exceptions), the Board of Zoning Adjustment considers input from the applicant, NPU and City staff to decide whether or not to grant a variance from the current zoning requirements. For actual changes in zoning law, the Zoning Review Board considers input from these same parties in determining its recommendation to the Zoning Committee of the Atlanta City Council. I believe the Zoning Committee then introduces legislation on changes to be made in the actual City ordinance.
VLD July 07, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Have you ever been to the Howell Mill Road Walmart? I feel like I'm risking my life both times I have been there. There have been shootings in the parking lots, many, many car break ins, it smells horrible and it's just gross. The store is also relatively new. If you really want a Walmart, go to that one and keep Lindbergh the way it is, Target, Home Depot and Best Buy.
GMCM July 07, 2012 at 06:12 PM
This sucks, that area is becoming super ghetto and could use some business development! Build something there already!!
GMCM July 07, 2012 at 06:15 PM
I agree with vhd though, it doesn't have to be a Walmart. And David, don't focus so much on the "illegals" that you forget about the natural born American crack heads, they live there too ;-)
silver July 10, 2012 at 05:52 PM
The reporter was more concerned in making this about WalMart than reporting the full story. NPU-B recommended denial of the plan because it is suburban in nature, not urban and does not meet the SPI-15 requirements. Area is currently zoned for residential and plan is to build one story big box, some small retail (1200-500 SF), 240 units of residential (no SF given) and a HUGE surface parking lot. Developer touts they are "giving" the area street grids and a 3 acre park. Master plan of area calls for street grid and a 3.7 acre park - not a gift, but a requirement!
Bob September 17, 2012 at 11:15 AM
I totally agree with your comments. That area is a blight in that section of town, and why not a Walmart? The "Dump" is in the area, so why not another big box store. It has not affected traffic, as some may worry. Let's also remember, that means more jobs.

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