Lawsuit Challenges Authority of BAR
preservation-admin , September 24, 2021
Conceptual design for 295 Calhoun Street, denied by the BAR in August 2021
The Georgia-based owner of 295 Calhoun has appealed the Board of Architectural Review’s denial of its design for an 8-story, mixed-use, residential building on the site. The applicant’s request for conceptual approval was twice denied based on inappropriate height, scale, mass and architectural direction.
Having strongly supported the BAR’s denial, the Preservation Society is unsettled by the applicant’s current effort to subvert the public review process by seeking a closed-door settlement. We will be pressing the City to defend its BAR as this case progresses. This Board has been a critical safeguard for 90 years to ensure the integrity of our historic district.
We are especially concerned that a pattern and practice has emerged whereby disgruntled developers with the financial means sue the City when they encounter roadblocks at BAR. Rather than committing to redesign and incorporating public and Board input, these applicants have inappropriately muscled-through their approvals in mediations, which allow for no public involvement.
The good news is that any potential settlement must be approved by a majority of City Council. As this case progresses we will be urging our supporters to make sure their elected officials know that they value the BAR’s judgment that projects of this magnitude must be carefully scrutinized and scaled appropriately.
Click here to find your elected official and make your voice heard.