Brookhaven, GA, July 3 – Counsel for the applicant, Doug Dillard, of Weissman, Nowack, Curry & Wilco, addressed the Planning Commission Wednesday evening regarding the rezoning of 3.9 acres of land at 1475 N. Druid Hills Rd., to build a 31 unit townhome project. The applicant is seeking a rezoning from R-75 to R-A8 to allow for the projects construction.
Mr. Dillard said to the Commission, “I would like to thank this board and the City Council for giving us an opportunity to meet with the neighbors and try to work something out. Unfortunately we’ve not really been able to reach an agreement yet.”
Some in the community still have concerns, however, and feel as though they have not had their concerns heard and addressed adequately in a neighborhood meeting setting. “There have been some conversations with some of those in the community, although there has been no ‘neighborhood meeting’ where all have been invited to attend as a whole. We would like that opportunity,” a community member told The Brookhaven Post. “There are still some significant items we would like to discuss.”
Storm water management and refuse management [trash compactors, etc] are among other items of concern for neighbors close to the proposed project – along with traffic.
Mr. Dillard said that they are considering underground storm water detention and management systems and trash compactors are being placed away from surrounding neighbors. He also said that he received a traffic letter prepared by Kimley-Horn just prior to Wednesdays meeting. “We have a traffic letter which I have yet to submit to Susan [Community Development Director, Susan Cannon] – we just got it today from Kimley-Horn – relative to the perceived traffic improvements,” said Dillard. “We think the traffic conditions can adequately be handled with the conditions as recommended by Staff.”
The traffic letter by Kimley-Horn is not a comprehensive traffic study – rather an opinion – due to the size of this development and the cost of a comprehensive traffic study being quite large. It is estimated that this new development would generate around 100 trips per day.
Community Development for the City of Brookhaven placed 15 conditions on the rezoning case. Dillard said that he submitted 7 more conditions to Community Development.
“The conditions [seven conditions] which I sent Susan [Susan Cannon, Community Development Director] today, was a result of our initial meeting with the neighborhood. I feel like we are making sufficient and good progress in trying to reach an accord. I think that if we can do that within the next 30 days – these conditions have been submitted to them for their response. We’ve had preliminary responses from some of the residents. We had a meeting with them last week where we had over 20 representatives or neighbors of the neighborhood,” said Dillard.
The Planning Commission conditions are:
- The development shall be limited to a maximum of eight (8) dwelling units per acre.
- The site shall be developed in substantial accordance with the site plan entitled “A Master Planned Townhome Community” received May 31, 2013. Any variances required, if authorized by the Zoning Board of Appeals, may result in altering the site plan to the degree necessary to incorporate revisions.
- The owner/developer shall dedicate sufficient right-of-way to the City of Brookhaven along the total property frontage along North Druid Hills Road to provide for a right-of-way width of fifty (50) from the existing centerline of the roadway or to provide for twelve (12) from the back of the curb, whichever is greater. The dedication of right-of-way shall be submitted to the City of Brookhaven prior to the issuance of a development permit.
- Prior to the issuance of a land disturbance permit, the owner/developer shall submit a completed traffic analysis prepared by a registered engineer to determine the needs for a left turn lane and right turn lane along North Druid Hill Road.
- The owner/developer shall install a left turn lane and right turn lane along the property frontage along North Druid Hills Road, if warranted by the required traffic analysis.
- The owner/developer shall develop the subject property to allow for adequate intersection sight distance from both directions at the project’s entrance onto North Druid Hills Road. Landscaping, fencing/walls, and signage shall not obstruct sight distance.
- The developer shall install a five (5) foot wide sidewalk with a minimum two (2) foot grass “beauty” strip between the back of the curb and proposed sidewalk along the total property frontage along North Druid Hills Road.
- The owner/developer shall design the site to meet the current International Fire Code, in accordance with DeKalb County Fire Rescue requirements. The DeKalb County Fire Marshal’s Department shall provide a complete plan review prior to the issuance of any permits.
- The owner/developer shall provide access drives in accordance with DeKalb County Sanitation Service requirements.
- The owner/developer shall install five (5) foot wide sidewalks along the private streets within the development.
- The owner/developer shall install an entry wall along the total property frontage similar to the property to the South.
- All exterior architectural treatment shall prohibit vinyl siding.
- Exterior façade treatment may include brick, stone, stucco, wood-cement based siding or similar materials.
- Each grouping of attached buildings shall provide for variation and visual relief between units.
- Approval of this project by the Planning Commission serves as the required sketch plat approval for the creation of the proposed private street network. Planning Commission approval of the sketch plat does not negate the requirement that the applicant receive Fire Marshal, City Engineer, Planning and Public Works preliminary plat approval before land development activities are authorized.
Mr. Dillard requested that the Commission defer the case for 30 days.
The Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend deferral by City Council at their next meeting – July 23rd.
**Note: Susan Cannon, Com. Dev. Dir. explained, “Due to some language items in our zoning ordinance even with Mr. Dillard asking for deferral by the Planning Commission…it is still required to go on the City Council agenda because of the way our ordinance is worded.”
The item should appear on the City Council agenda for their July 23rd meeting, where if they decide to agree with the Planning Commissions deferral, the item will appear on the next Planing Commissions agenda on August 7th.
The City Council could, however, decide to approve the rezoning without the case making it back to the Planning Commission.