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Ryan Gravel, father of Beltline, resigns from trail’s board of directors

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He is joined by Nathaniel Smith, founder of the Partnership for Southern Equity, in disagreement over inclusivity

The visionary behind the Atlanta Beltline, Ryan Gravel, has resigned from the Beltline Partnership board of directors, along with fellow member Nathaniel Smith.

According to the Saporta Report, the dual resignations stem from a concern about the lack of equity and inclusivity as the path barrels down the tracks.

Chaired by Wells Fargo executive Mike Donnelly, the board serves as the private entity that oversees "fundraising, advocacy, and affordability" for the trail.

The resignation letter raised questions about the group’s commitment to encouraging affordable housing along the trail. It cast doubt on the recently announced $7.5 million in funding intended to support just 200 affordable units — a "drop in the bucket when compared to the need" and little progress toward the promised 5,600 units.

The letter went on to highlight the growing need for inclusiveness as prices continue to skyrocket in the city, especially along the Beltline.


Gravel’s departure from the board hardly suggests he's going to stand idly by. He recently released a book and earlier this year was named head of the Atlanta City Design Project.