Council to consider legislation to ban commercial harassment of residents

Post 2 At-Large Council member Matt Westmoreland, left, introduced legislation that will be considered Monday to prohibit the commercial harassment of residents into selling their homes.

The Atlanta City Council will consider legislation during Monday’s remote meeting to prohibit commercial harassment by investors seeking to intimidate and pressure Atlanta homeowners into selling their properties for prices far below the estimated fair market value (Legislative Reference №20-O-1668).

The legislation notes that while Atlanta has seen increases in home values, legacy residents are missing out on those profits by selling their homes at artificially low amounts. Fulton County property records indicate that such predatory tactics are especially prevalent in predominantly Black communities such as Pittsburgh, Venetian Hills, Grove Park, and Sylvan Hills where more than one in four occupied homes were sold at less than half the estimated fair market value.

The Council will also consider legislation aimed at addressing street racing concerns in Atlanta that would require the detention of a defendant until the initial appearance hearing for certain offenses related to street racing and unlawful operation of all-terrain and off-road vehicles that create dangers to people or property (Legislative Reference №20-O-1653).

Other items on Monday’s agenda include:

• An ordinance to transfer $4.6 million to Invest Atlanta to address affordable housing in Atlanta (Legislative Reference №20-O-1671).

• A resolution requesting the City’s Department of Transportation commissioner develop a street lighting plan to promote safety along Atlanta’s streets (Legislative Reference №20-R-4509).

• A resolution requesting the City’s Department of Transportation commissioner develop a sidewalk master plan that prioritizes installing sidewalks in high-injury areas, streets where mass transit is provided, and other highly traveled corridors (Legislative Reference №20-R-4510).

• A resolution requesting the City’s Department of Transportation commissioner conduct a study to determine the feasibility of establishing a program to train and hire City employees for transportation infrastructure-related job opportunities (Legislative Reference №20-R-4512).

• A resolution requesting the City’s Department of Human Resources work with all City departments to develop a preliminary plan to outline opportunities for eligible City employees to work remotely following the COVID-19 pandemic (Legislative Reference №20-R-4511).

The Council’s Zoning Committee and Committee on Council will be held in committee of the whole during Monday’s meeting.

The Nov. 2 meeting will take place remotely at 1 p.m. in response to the telework protocol activated for City Hall. The meeting will be simulcast on the Council’s website, YouTube channel, Channel 26, as well as the Council’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Media and the public can tune into the remote meeting by dialing (877) 579–6743 and entering the conference ID number 8315991256.

Pursuant to 20-R-4119, remarks from the public for all remote meetings will be accepted between the hours of 4–7 p.m. on the day before the scheduled meeting.

Residents can participate in the public comment portion of the meeting by calling (404) 330–6001 and leaving a voicemail, including their name and contact information.

Public comments for the Zoning Committee may be left by calling (404) 330–6035, and for Committee on Council by calling (404) 330–6069. No public comments are allowed on legislative items that have gone before or will go before the Zoning Review Board.

Information from the Atlanta City Council