Brookhaven, GA, Feb. 20 – The City of Brookhaven’s Zoning Board of Appeals met Wednesday night to hear case ZBA 14-04, an appeal of a decision by the city to lift a Stop Work Order (SWO) at a controversial homesite under construction at 2802 Ashford Rd. in Ashford Park. The appeal was filed on behalf of a group of Ashford Park residents by their legal counsel, Dunlavy Law Group, LLC. (appellant).
After testimony and public comment from the appellant(s) who presented issues with the map, violations of the Zoning Procedures Law and arbitrary decision making, the city made their case that essentially boiled down to the known flawed map was what was legally adopted and they are standing behind it.
Community Development Director and Assistant City Manager, Susan Canon said after she reaffirmed the rationale behind her decision to lift the SWO, said, “If the law the we have is not producing a result that the city would like to see occur, then we need to change the law. But, currently the law that is in effect and what it results in, is how we are implementing the ordinance.”
In coming to her decision, board member Hope Bawcom said, “The reason that we created a city was so that we could create a better city. My concern is if we allow this loophole to cast over this mistake that was made, if we allow this to happen, we are going to have long-term implications in our city. We are setting precedent.”
The ZBA denied the appeal by virtue of a tie vote, 3-3.
Board Members Bawcom, Self and Nama all voted in favor of the appellant while Beardsley, Gipson and Viers noted in favor of denying the appeal.
Don Bolia was not present – who would have represented the tie breaking vote.
This is the second appeal case decided by appointed boards of late where tie-breaking members were absent. Both cases ended up in tie votes and both cases were important issues. The first being the Alcohol Board of Appeals Pink Pony alcohol license appeal case and Wednesdays precedent setting Ashford Rd. ZBA case.
More in the video attached to this story.