Mayor Andre Dickens renewed his executive order to temporarily halt any redevelopment of the 25-acre Atlanta Medical Center site, a necessary step as the Atlanta City Council considers an ordinance to ratify the moratorium.

Atlanta City Councilmember Marci Collier Overstreet introduced the ordinance which earned the support of 11 additional council members.

“I appreciate the Atlanta City Council’s full partnership in ensuring that the future of the Atlanta Medical Center property is in line with the needs and vision for the Old Fourth Ward community,” Dickens said in a statement. “This moratorium provides the time and space necessary to work with the community, health care providers and other stakeholders to address the impact of this unusually abrupt closure of one of Atlanta’s most important medical centers.”

The moratorium directs the Department of City Planning to refuse any applications for rezoning, building permits, land disturbances, special administrative permits, subdivisions, replatting or lot consolidations for 15 parcels of land that are part of the current Atlanta Medical Center footprint.

“Wellstar’s decision to abandon South Atlanta has far reaching consequences,” said Councilmember Marci Collier Overstreet. “My family has been impacted by the closure of the Atlanta Medical Center. My community is being affected by clinics closing. Our state is being impacted by healthcare not being prioritized by government. This moratorium will thankfully provide a pause for our region to regroup. Especially as chair of the City’s Zoning Committee, it’s paramount that we play an active role in the planning and zoning of this highly visible and impactful area for the betterment of the communities, our city, and our region.”

Dickens originally issued the moratorium on Sept. 26 after Wellstar announced it would close the Old Fourth Ward hospital on Nov. 1. Atlanta Medical Center started diverting patients to other facilities today and will close its emergency room on Oct. 14.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.