A new Tree Protection Ordinance will come this year one way or another, some Atlanta City Council members say, as they vow to move ahead despite the administration’s still-mysterious halt of a revision process in November. “I want to pass a new tree ordinance in 2020,” said J.P. Matzigkeit, who represents Buckhead’s District 8. “To me, we need to get something on the table and start to look at real legislation.” He and At-Large Councilmember Matt Westmoreland say they intended to reintroduce a 2014 draft rewrite as a starting point. The tree ordinance has been in a rewrite phase for months – or years, through various processes – amid concerns that clear-cutting remains too easy in a city that prides itself on its urban forest. The process stalled Nov. 7, when the Department of City Planning abruptly canceled a community meeting with virtually no notice or explanation. The immediate cause was negative reaction from a crowd at a meeting the previous day in South Atlanta over both lack of detail and unhappiness with what details were presented. Administration officials did not respond to repeated comment requests about the reason for the rewrite’s stall and its current status. Matzigkeit and Westmoreland said they haven’t gotten any further information, either, and that is part of why they and other council members will move ahead with legislation on their own. Read more of this story in Reporter Newspapers.
Star Community Bar, a fixture in Little Five Points for nearly 30 years, closed after its New Year’s Celebration, but what is happening at the venue is unclear. A post on the bar’s Facebook page said it had been evicted with just five days notice to vacate and that the owner planned to rent the space to another business. Star Bar appealed to other local restaurants and clubs to hire its staff who were suddenly without jobs. However, the venue’s Facebook page was full of patrons questioning the sudden eviction and a cryptic message about “new operators” getting a liquor licenses in a “week or two.” INtown has reached out for clarification and will update as we have news.
725 Ponce is now fully leased after Cushman & Wakefield arranged a 39,439-square-foot lease with Slalom LLC, encompassing the entire fifth floor of the building located in Poncey-Highland adjacent to the Atlanta BeltLine. The final lease comes on the heels of the building’s official opening, which took place in early December. Previously announced tenants include BlackRock, PagerDuty, Chick-fil-A, McKinsey & Co. and more. Kroger re-opened its 60,000-square-foot store at the base of the building in mid-October.