There were several updates presented to the Neighborhood Planning Unit-B board Tuesday at the its monthly meeting at the Cathedral of St. Philip in Buckhead.
NPU-B board chair Sally Silver said the historic Crum & Forster house, 771 Spring St. in Midtown, is the subject of a recent controversy between the Atlanta Board of Zoning Adjustment and the Georgia Tech Foundation.
“The BZA had denied Tech’s request to demolish the building. It was appealed to the Superior Court by Georgia Tech,” she said. “The morning of the scheduled hearing [Nov. 1], the representatives for the Atlanta Preservation Center were approached and told there wasn’t going to be a hearing.”
The center was told there was an agreement between the city of Atlanta and Georgia Tech, Silver said, and then found the board of zoning and adjustment was not informed of the agreement in “any way, shape or form."
“This was quite troublesome to me and many others because they [the board of zoning and adjustment] are an independent, quasi-judicial board,” she said. “As long as I have been involved in anything to do with the city, the BZA has been held as a deciding body. To overturn their finding, you have to appeal it to [Fulton County] Superior Court, and this is quite irregular and a very important thing to keep our eyes and ears on because it seems as if in the past several months, there have been irregular happenings as result of administration involving themselves in zoning matters.”
In regards to the 88-year-old Randolph Lucas House on Peachtree Road in Buckhead, Silver said the Urban Design Commission struck an agreement between the city of Atlanta, the 2500 Peachtree Condominium Association Inc., and the Buckhead Heritage Society, to allow the association to acquire the demolition permit, which is required to move the structure.
“Then the clock starts ticking for 120 days, which is somewhat flexible, for sincere effort being made for someone to call the house,” Silver said. “The heritage society has at least seven folks that will be allowed to come in and check out the house, and construction folks are going in to get a more accurate estimate of what it will cost to move it and repair it.”
Silver said the commission approved it because the house was previously moved and had lost its historic value.
In other news, Silver nominated Andrea Bennett, current chair of the NPU's Development & Transportation Committee, to the new NPU chair spot, once Silver steps down at the end of the year. Bennett accepted under the condition that Silver sticks around and the board is active.
Silver said she will "ride as co-pilot" throughout next year if Bennett takes the position.
"There is a lot of work and time involved," Bennett said. "I want to talk to everyone individually."