The legal battle with the City of Atlanta has been settled. As part of the settlement, the petition for writ of certiorari to Fulton County Superior Court has been dismissed. The certiorari petition was from the denial of a second appeal to the Atlanta Tree Conservation Commission, in September 2018.
The settlement provided some notable gains. But sadly, the majority of trees will still be lost as the parking deck goes forward.
In summary, what we have gained by our fight is as follows:
1) The City agrees to preserve 10 additional Grant Park trees. Five are in the bowl, five are down by the pond.
2) The City agrees NOT to stockpile dirt in the bowl during construction. This will minimize damage to the surrounding trees and the 4 specimen trees which are to be preserved in the middle of the bowl.
3) The City agrees to attempt to save #2745, the large water oak on the corner of Boulevard and Confederate. The City also agrees to attempt to save #2731, the 100 year old white oak in the southern end of the Boulevard lot.
4) The City agrees to redesign the flyover bridge to make it ADA compliant and to make it friendly for use by cyclists. There will be future design meetings about this.
5) The City agrees to turn the southern end of the current Boulevard lot into greenspace. They will cover the remaining asphalt with dirt and greenery. (Ripping out the asphalt would likely damage the roots of the remaining trees, more than leaving it in). This area will not be a bus parking lot.
6) The bandstand on top of the deck will be redesigned as a pavilion. There will be future design meetings about this.
The above points were excerpted from a letter written by Leigh Finlayson, one of the petitioners, posted to the Save the Trees of Grant Park facebook page on 27 December 2017.
As noted in the letter, please continue to stay awake, aware and involved in Grant Park. Support our brothers and sisters who fight to save other trees, such as those in Ormewood Forest. Go to the Grant Park Neighborhood Association (GPNA) and Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU) meetings. We cannot be asleep at the switch the NEXT TIME the Zoo comes grabbing 125 trees for the elephants.
There are still legal fees to pay from the petition. Please consider donating to Save the Trees of Grant Park. If by chance there are left-over funds, they will be donated to a similar 501(c) non-profit tree saving organization.