City of Atlanta
Greenway Acquisition Plan

City of Atlanta Greenway Acquisition Plan: The Document

The Greenway Acquisition Plan is the document, along with the Consent Decree, that guides the City of Atlanta Greenway Acquisition Plan implementation. The Greenway Acquisition Plan was prepared in accordance with the requirements of Section VIII of the Consent Decree as entered with the U.S. District Court on September 24, 1998. As indicated in Article A of Section VIII of the Consent Decree, the provisions of the Greenway Acquisition Plan are incorporated by reference into the Consent Decree. Failure of the City to perform any obligations, or to observe or fulfill any conditions of the Greenway Acquisition Plan shall be deemed a failure to comply with the requirements of the Consent Decree. If there is a conflict between the provisions of the Greenway Acquisition Plan and those of the Consent Decree, the provisions of the Consent Decree will govern.

The Greenway Acquisition Plan was reviewed and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Georgia Department of Environmental Protection (EPD) on March 29, 2001.
(Greenway Acquisition Plan - download)

S.O.P.s
(Greenway Acquisition Plan - Appendix M&N ONLY - download) These appendices detail the Standard Operating Procedures for Utilities within the Greenway System.

City of Atlanta Greenway Planning Process

The Greenway Planning Process consisted of three phases: an Inventory Phase, an Assessment Phase, and a Planning Phase. During each of these phases, the citizen advisory committee, SAC, and a public participation process took place.

   Inventory Phase:
    January 4 through May 17, 1999

During the Inventory Phase, existing, relevant, and available data associated with the major components of the Greenway Planning Process (water quality; land development and planning; vegetation, wildlife and cultural resources; property and real estate; and environmental justice) were gathered. Data gathering involved contacting federal, state, and local agencies; public and private organizations; and individuals having potentially relevant data. The data gathered were categorized and reviewed. Wherever possible, maps were prepared to aid in presentation and interpretation of data. Appendix D of the Greenway Acquisition Plan presents summaries of data gathered and maps prepared during the Inventory Phase.

Following data gathering, review, and mapping, the goals and objectives of the Greenway Acquisition Plan, presented in Section 2.0 of the Greenway Acquisition Plan, were developed. Using these goals and objectives as a guide, the criteria for evaluating stream corridors as candidates for protection by acquisition or by conservation easements were established.

   Assessment Phase:
    May 18 through November 19, 1999

The Assessment Phase was directed toward determining the attributes associated with properties located within 500 feet of selected stream segments, evaluating and prioritizing properties, and defining the Preliminary Greenway System Configuration.

The process of determining the attributes associated with various properties involved reviewing the data gathered during the Inventory Phase; linking the data gathered during the Inventory Phase to associated properties; gathering additional data as needed to supplement the data gathered during the Inventory Phase; performing field reviews to verify data accuracy; and linking field data to associated properties. The evaluation and prioritization of properties involved developing technical criteria and applying them to properties within 500 feet of the selected stream corridors. The Preliminary Greenway System Configuration was defined based on the technical criteria and professional judgement.


   Planning Phase:
    November 20, 1999 through March 29, 2001

The Planning Phase involved reviewing the Preliminary Greenway System Configuration Map; preparing the Proposed Greenway System Map; developing the criteria for determining Greenway System widths; determining the widths for various properties located within the Proposed Greenway System; developing the criteria for identifying potential locations for proposed restoration projects; determining potential locations for proposed restoration projects; identifying public access concepts within the Proposed Greenway System; and preparing the Greenway Acquisition Plan.

The Proposed Greenway System Configuration is presented on Map E-1, Appendix E of the Greenway Acquisition Plan. The Proposed Greenway System Configuration reflects what the City of Atlanta, with input from the citizens advisory committee (SAC) and the public, has determined to have the greatest potential to improve, restore, and protect water quality by reducing and/or preventing erosion and non-point source pollution loads from entering the Designated Streams. Three levels of tract priorities are shown on Map E-1 (Priorities 1, 2, and 3). The Greenway Acquisition Plan explains that the acquisition effort will focus first on Priority-1 properties. Acquisition efforts will move to Priority-2 and Priority-3 properties as funds and opportunity allow. The prioritization allows the necessary flexibility in implementation and facilitates the voluntary nature of the Greenway Acquisition Project, since the City can readily skip over otherwise targeted property if a sale cannot be negotiated, or if a prioritized property is no longer available for purchase due to development or other reasons.

City of Atlanta Greenway Acquisition Plan contents

The Greenway Acquisition Plan contains information on the following topics:

  • Goals ands Objectives of the Greenway Project
  • Greenway Planning Process
  • Proposed Greenway System
  • Proposed Restoration Projects
  • Proposed Design and Construction Standards for Restoration Projects
  • Public Access Facilities
  • Design and Construction Standards for Public Access Facilities
  • Proposed Land Acquisition Strategies for the Greenway System
  • Model Conservation Easement
  • Land Management Guidelines
  • Proposed Criteria for Measuring the Environmental and Public Health Benefits Resulting from the Implementation of the Greenway System
  • Implementation Plan and Schedule
  • Proposed Budget for Implementation of the Greenway Acquisition Project
  • Appendices (supporting maps of data contained in the Greenway Acquisition Plan document)

Actions/Items regulated by the Consent Decree

The restrictions listed below are excerpts from the Consent Decree and were used as guidance to develop the Greenway Acquisition Plan. Restrictions apply to properties that are acquired with monies from the $25 million set aside for this project. Since none of these funds will be spent on donated properties and conservation easements, the restrictions do not apply to properties acquired using these methods. As indicated by the Consent Decree, all restrictions shall continue in perpetuity and shall survive the termination of the Consent Decree.

  1. "The primary purpose of this project will be to reduce and/or prevent erosion and non-point source pollution loads from entering the Designated Streams, by setting aside land in perpetuity for the protection of the Designated Streams, such that the Designated Streams may be maintained in, or be restored to, their natural condition." (Section VIII.B.1)
  2. "The Defendant will hold the Greenway properties in perpetuity, or for as long as legally permissible, for the purpose of improving, restoring, and protecting the water quality of the Designated Streams." (Section VIII.D.1.b)
  3. "The Defendant hereby agrees to implement the Greenway Acquisition Project for the purpose of reducing or preventing pollution to the Designated Streams, with primary emphasis on non-point sources." (Section VIII.D.2.a)
  4. "The Greenway Acquisition Plan shall contain or provide…(iv) assurance that no more than ten (10%) percent of the area of Greenway Properties acquired may be developed for public access or use, such as bicycle and hiking paths;…" (Section VIII.D.2.j.iv)
  5. "Any infrastructure for human activity within the Greenway Properties shall be designed and constructed with prevention of non-point source pollution as the primary consideration." (Section VIII.D.2.m)
  6. "Bicycle and hiking trails, canoe launch ramps, and picnic facilities and other public access facilities located within the Greenway Properties shall be designed and constructed with non-point source pollution prevention as a primary consideration. Location and construction of such facilities shall be subject to the approval of the EPA/EPD." (Section IVVV.D.2.n)
  7. "The Defendant covenants that it will not take any action pursuant to state or local law, if such action or omission would result in, facilitate or in any way contribute to, any alienation of the Greenway Properties or change their use in a manner that is not consistent with the purpose of the Greenway Acquisition Project as set forth in this consent decree and the Greenway Acquisition Plan unless approved by EPA/EPD." (Section VIII.D.2.o)
  8. "The Defendant shall maintain the Greenway Properties in a manner that preserves environmental value and furthers the purposes of the Greenway Acquisition project." (Section VIII.D.2.p)

Where can I find a copy of the Greenway Acquisition Plan?

Copies of the Greenway Acquisition Plan are available at the following public repositories:

  • One Stop Capital Shop, City Hall East, First Floor, 675 Ponce de Leon Avenue
  • Georgia Hill Branch Public Library, 250 Georgia Avenue, SE
  • Center Public Library, 1 Margaret Mitchell Square
  • Dogwood Branch Public Library, 1838 Bankhead Highway
  • Peachtree Branch Public Library, 1315 Peachtree Street, NE
  • City of Atlanta's Internet-based Document Library

 


If you are interested in participating in the Greenway Acquisition Project, please contact us directly.