Atlanta City Council approves inclusionary zoning laws near BeltLine, Mercedes Benz Stadium

by Rincey Abraham

Affordable housing continues to be a concern for many Atlanta residents and government officials. In order to continue to provide affordable rent, the city council has voted to enact inclusionary zoning policies in the neighborhoods near the BeltLine and the Mercedes Benz Stadium.

According to WABE, developers in those areas will need to dedicate a portion of their units to people making 60 to 80 percent of area’s median income. Developers can either make 10 percent of units available to 60 percent area median income or 15 percent to 80 percent median income.

Mayor Kasim Reed said Atlanta will be the first city in Georgia to enact inclusionary zoning and hinted that this may cause some friction on a state level because of a Georgia law that prohibits rent control — caps on how much landlords can raise rents.

“And so I think that I and my successor will have to see how the state responds to the effort to have inclusionary zoning,” Reed said.

Curbed reported that property values within a half-mile of certain BeltLine segments have grown between 2011 and 2016 up to 27 percent  more than elsewhere in the city, according to a Georgia Tech study. Additionally, a formal social contract with developers is the best means of making a dent in the city’s affordability problem.

“Today’s inclusionary zoning policy ensures that people aren’t left out as new developments go up around the Beltline and Westside, but it’s important to note that there’s still lots more work to do in order to solve our all of our affordability problems,” Post 3 at-large Councilmember Andre Dickens said in a press release.

Mayor Reed also recently announced a deal with the Atlanta Housing Authority on the Civic Center, where at least 30 percent of the future housing will be reserved as affordable housing.