Council approves legislation for “Access to Legal Counsel” pilot program donation

Council members Liliana Bakhtiari, left, and Alex Wan

The Atlanta City Council approved legislation Tuesday authorizing the City of Atlanta to donate a total amount not to exceed $500,000 to the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation to support the foundation’s “access to legal counsel” pilot program that will provide eviction defense services to eligible Atlanta residents (Legislative Reference №22-R-3862). The foundation is the largest provider of pro bono legal services in Atlanta and provides more than 5,000 Atlantans with free legal services with the support of their staff and the other professionals and students who volunteer their services.

Other items approved Tuesday include:

• A resolution requesting that the Fulton County District Attorney investigate opportunities to criminally charge property owners and landlords who are in violation of the City of Atlanta’s Housing Code and grossly negligent in providing the minimum standards related to maintenance and security for leased and rented residential housing (Legislative Reference №22-R-3855).

• A resolution establishing the City of Atlanta Procurement Reform Task Force for the promotion of public trust (Legislative Reference №22-R-3712).

• A resolution urging the Georgia General assembly to amend Georgia state law regarding the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board to adopt “Mariam’s Law,” which expands the requirements for individuals currently on the sex offender registry to better protect Georgia residents (Legislative Reference №22-R-3852).

• An ordinance amending the City’s Charter to amend the authority of the City to charge and collect taxes and assessments for sanitary and solid waste disposal services, to establish and collect rates, fees, and charges for the same, and to authorize the adoption of an administrative procedure for the resolution of disputes regarding the basis of a sanitary and solid waste tax or assessment against a property (Legislative Reference №22-O-1280). This legislation required three readings as a Charter amendment.

• An ordinance amending the regulations of the Greenbriar Special Public Interest District by amending regulations to align with the Campbellton Road Corridor plan and the Reimagine Greenbriar Plan that supports redevelopment of the Campbellton Road corridor (Legislative Reference №22-O-1017).

• An ordinance to amend the City’s Zoning Ordinance to create an overlay district for the Campbellton Road corridor, an area of residential, commercial, and mixed-use land uses that function as a main corridor of Southwest Atlanta (Legislative Reference №22-O-1019).

• A resolution requesting the Department of Finance and Department of Public Works conduct a cost efficiency study for street-based sanitary services and general common good sanitary services and provide a report of study findings and recommendations to the City Utilities Committee (Legislative Reference №22-R-3858).

• An ordinance authorizing the Department of Watershed Management to expand the Care and Conserve Program to include funding to persons eligible for assistance under the program who have experienced certain property impact related to water infrastructure (Legislative Reference №22-O-1456).

• A resolution to encourage all the professional sports franchises of Atlanta find every way possible to partner together with the Department of Parks and Recreation to support and strengthen youth sports programming in the city to amplify the positive benefits attained through participation in youth sports (Legislative Reference №22-R-3854).

• A resolution urging the mayor or his designee to conduct a feasibility study to provide recommendations regarding the establishment of a unit of park rangers to serve as dedicated enforcement to ensure the safety of City of Atlanta parks (Legislative Reference №22-R-3857).

• An ordinance authorizing to enter into Amendment №3 of an agreement with Partners for Home Inc. to extend the term through June 30, 2024, to add funding for continued care of the homeless residents of the city, to be funded by American Rescue Plan funds in an amount not to exceed $6.2 million (Legislative Reference №22-O-1421).

• An ordinance authorizing the City of Atlanta to donate American Rescue Plan Act funds to the Urban League of Greater Atlanta in an amount not to exceed $1 million in order to administer grants to youth-serving nonprofits to increase capacity to serve students disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (Legislative Reference №22-O-1450).

• An ordinance authorizing an amendment to the 2021 Annual Action Plan to accept an additional award of American Rescue Plan funds made available to Atlanta through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Home-ARP grant to assist individuals or households who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, and other vulnerable populations, by providing housing, rental assistance, supportive services, and non-congregate shelter and to amend the Home Investment Partnerships Program fund budget totaling $7.9 million (Legislative Reference №22-O-1455).

• A resolution to establish an Atlanta Police Department retention incentive payment for Fiscal Year 2023 to provide that the payment will be for the purpose of retaining sworn officers of the department. This item was an immediate consideration.

• A resolution urging federal elected officials to pass legislation codifying the rights granted in the Supreme Court decisions of Griswold v. Connecticut; Loving v. Virginia; Lawrence v. Texas, and Obergefell v. Hodges, protecting the right to buy and use contraceptives interracial marriage, same-sex relationships, and the fundamental right to marry, respectively. This item was an immediate consideration.

The Council also presented proclamations in recognition of Aaron and Brenda Turpeau, DJ Toomp, and “Chronic Disease Day.”

Items were also introduced to be considered in committee next week, including:

• A resolution authorizing the City of Atlanta to donate a total amount not to exceed $300,000 to Access Reproductive Care (“ARC”)-Southeast to support the reproductive health care services provided by the organization.

• An ordinance to amend Chapter 22 (Aviation), Division 7 (Ground Transportation) of the City’s Code of Ordinances to update the regulations between taxicabs and rideshare vehicles.

• An ordinance to amend Chapter 162 (Vehicles for Hire) of the City’s Code of Ordinances to update the regulations between taxicabs and rideshare vehicles.

• An ordinance to amend the City’s Code of Ordinances, Part III (Land Development Code), Part 16 (Zoning), Chapter 36A (Affordable Workforce Housing — Beltline Overlay), Section 16–36A.001 (Scope of Regulations); Section 16–36a.002 (Findings and Statements of Intent); Section 16–36A.003 (Definitions); and Section 16–36A.004 (On-site Affordability Requirement).

• A resolution increasing the boundaries of the West End Community Improvement District (CID) by annexing certain real property and to provide for transmission to the tax commissioner.

• An ordinance to amend the 1982 Atlanta Zoning Ordinance regulating off-street parking to propose revisions to lower parking maximums throughout Downtown SPI-1 and Midtown SPI-16 to support ongoing transportation mode shifts and reinforce land use priorities near transit.

• An ordinance naming the Council’s Committee Room 1 as the Larry M. Dingle Committee Room.

• A resolution urging the mayor and the commissioner of the Department of Parks and Recreation to explore expanding the hours of operation of Rosel Fann Recreation Center, C.T. Martin Recreation Center, Willie Walker Recreation Center, Pittman Park Recreation Center, Dunbar Recreation center, Bessie Branham Recreation Center, Grant Park Recreation Center and Coan Park Recreation Center to include Saturdays from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sundays from 12 p.m.-6 p.m.

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Information from the Atlanta City Council

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