Atlanta, GA

A closer look at BeltLine's Design Review Committee

Amy Cheribelle

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ATLANTA — As the Atlanta BeltLine pushes new development and growth, BeltLine's Design Review Committee (DRC) plays a crucial role in fostering design excellence and a high standard for quality development throughout the BeltLine corridor.

The DRC is an advisory board of subject-matter experts providing a review, design consultation, and recommendations for all Special Administrative Permits within the district.

Atlanta City Council created the committee in 2015 to provide recommendations for Special Administrative Permits to the City of Atlanta's Office of Development and Zoning to ensure conformity to BeltLine Overlay District requirements.

Designed after the Midtown Review Committee, the eight members of the DRC — four of whom are City Council appointees and four that are staff of the Atlanta BeltLine — meet every month to provide and evaluate recommendations for the building projects under consideration.

Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. Director of Planning, Lynnette Reid, explained that the DRC is a part of a larger vision to help to ensure that high-quality design and development happens in Atlanta.

Whether a modest project or large development, the DRC expectations remain the same: to improve overall quality by diligently providing feedback on topics like architecture design, the public realm, site layout, landscaping, affordable housing, trail activation, or connectivity.

Bear in mind that not all projects coming through the DRC have received a recommendation of support. Some of them have not been in accordance with the BeltLine Overlay District nor the goals of the BeltLine's Subarea Master Plans, which supposedly function as a policy tool to guide future growth for livable and vibrant mixed-use communities.

DRC meetings are usually held on the third Wednesday of every month at 5 p.m. Interested parties can learn more at Design Review Committee.

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