3:33 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Full Council To Vote on Falcons Stadium Community Benefits Plan

City Councilman Michael Julian Bond

A community benefits plan for the neighborhoods surrounding the proposed new Atlanta Falcons stadium faces its last major hurdle Monday.

Atlanta City Council is expected to vote on the plan Dec 2., its last scheduled meeting before holiday break.

This week, the plan cleared two key committees following months of frequently contentious negotiations between city officials and neighborhood leaders.

Yvonne Jones, head of the neighborhood planning unit for Vine City and English Avenue, is still concerned the plan is too vague on how to divvy up millions in community redevelopment money, and cedes too much control to the city.

“All this has been a sham. Whoever comes in, whatever they say. All we can do is hope now. It’s just a hope and a prayer,” said Jones.

Thirty million has been set aside for community redevelopment. The city’s economic development arm, Invest Atlanta, and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation would divvy up the funds through an application process set to begin next year. 

Supporters of the plan say it lays a foundation to make a real difference in the neighborhoods. It creates a new program manager position that will act as a liaison between the city and the neighborhoods and sets up a three year timeframe to disperse the revitalization funds.

“This will ensure that there’s a more deliberative, more accountable path to make sure something happens going forward in the future,” said Councilman Michael Julian Bond, who chaired the main community benefits committee.

The city isn’t allowed to release $200 million in hotel/motel tax funds to help build the new stadium until the plan is finalized.