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Kirkwood Neighbors Organization

The Zoning Committee meets to review requests of neighborhood property owners for variances and special exceptions to the Zoning Code of the City of Atlanta, as well as applications for rezoning. The KNO makes non-binding recommendations to the appropriate City of Atlanta organizations that then issue the final ruling.


Variance Process

Potential applicants may request a meeting with the KNO Planning Committee prior to applying at the city’s Bureau of Buildings.  We will be glad to discuss variance perspectives and concerns that have arisen in the past, but every case is unique and recommendations can only be made on the basis of an actual application filed with the city.

When a variance is filed, applicants are given a calendar schedule listing the steps described below.  The paperwork trail leads from the city to the NPU to KNO and that can take some time -- so much so that deferrals are sometimes required in spite of everyone’s best efforts.  We urge applicants to independently provide NPU-O and KNO with electronic copies of all their variances materials and plans as soon as possible.  One’s chances of being heard as originally scheduled are greatly improved by such action, though no guarantees are possible.  Sometimes revisions are both desirable and inevitable, and that can lead to a deferral

Step 1: KNO Planning Committee Meeting and Recommendation


Once the application is in hand, the Zoning Committee will review the plan and its potential impacts and ask the applicants to notify their most adjacent neighbors of what is being proposed.  Applicants then meet with the Zoning Committee on the first Wednesday of the month at 6:30pm - please check in with the Zoning Committee to ensure your application is on the agenda. The Committee reviews the requests and may ask detailed questions, suggest modifications or other steps if needed.  It then makes a recommendation for action – usually approval or denial, though deferral is possible – to the KNO Board to include at the next monthly KNO membership meeting.


Step 2: KNO Membership Review and Vote


Applicants then meet with the KNO Membership at their next scheduled monthly meeting, held on the 10th of the month at 7:00pm. The membership will hear a report from the Zoning Committee, the Committee’s recommendation, and comments from members in attendance.  It then makes a recommendation for action – usually approval or denial, though deferral is possible – to the NPU at the next monthly meeting.


Step 3: NPU-O Review and Vote


Variances and special exceptions for Kirkwood go to NPU-O, which meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm. Details and registration information is posted on the NPU-O website or the official City of Atlanta NPU website. Representatives from the KNO Zoning Committee report and advocate for the organization’s vote and reasoning.  An open discussion follows among the NPU members in attendance, who will then vote to approve, deny, or defer. That vote is reported to the city Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) (for variances and Special Exceptions) or the Zoning Review Board (ZRB) (for rezoning cases.)

Step 4: City Variance or Zoning Recommendation


The BZA or ZRB then makes a recommendation to the Atlanta City Council.

Need more info? Please contact us at

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