Whenever I read the words “master plan”, lyrics to Eric B. & Rakim’s 1987 hit song “Paid In Full” course through my head. Regardless of context, once I hear “master plan”, I hear these words:
Thinking of a master plan
Cause ain’t nothing but sweat inside my hand
It’s unlikely that the Virginia-Highland Civic Association was spurred on by this call to action, but their move to develop a neighborhood master plan is a huge step forward. It’s a bold step towards placemaking one of Atlanta’s pre-eminent neighborhoods, a relatively large area dotted with parks, retail and restaurants. With access to major intown thoroughfares and the Atlanta BeltLine, it will be interesting to see the finished product. It won’t be an easy task, but it’s an essential step forward for a community focused on smart growth. From the Association:
The advantages of a formal master plan are considerable. One is obvious: it’s a formal chance for citizens to examine alternatives and create goals in the context of existing development plans, policy and research. Visions that are formed absent such contexts have very limited chances of being implemented. Additionally, most governments – including the City of Atlanta – are far more likely to approve and fund projects that are broadly consistent with their own approaches and have been formally adopted through a recognized master plan process. Once just a very good idea, community-based master plans are now a practical necessity in large urban areas. Neighborhoods that have such plans are far better situated than those that do not.
The timeline and method for creating this plan is approximately 8 to 12 months, with public engagement and meetings throughout the process. The process will be led by our longtime planning consultant and partner, Market +Main, under the guidance of Aaron Fortner, who played such a key role in the adoption of the Neighborhood Commercial Zoning along North Highland Avenue.
Market + Main will facilitate a variety of focus groups on broad topics such as:
- Neighborhood businesses and market conditions
- School site analysis and planning
- Historic preservation, zoning, and land use
- Parks, green space, and environmental resources
- Traffic and transportation
For more information on the Virginia-Highland Master Plan, check out the organization’s website. If you live in the neighborhood, this is also your opportunity to get involved, and share your feedback regarding one of the topics listed below.
If you have no interest in Master Plans, Virginia Highland, Candler Park or Poncey-Highland but do want to see Erik B & Rakim live, I’ve got a link for that as well. Whoever said that you couldn’t mix Atlanta real estate with old school hip hop clearly hasn’t visited this site before.