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73 Comments

  1. 1

    Drew

    This has been one of the best days for Brookhaven in quite a while.

  2. 2

    Eric Robert

    Wow I thought it would be very difficult to overcome the inherent bias for answering yes on referendums. And just over a 20% difference? I did not see that coming at all.

    But for those who wanted it, this doesn’t mean we can’t revisit the issue later.

    And how did Holmes Pyles come in First Place for District 1 DeKalb Commissioner?

    And the Doraville annexation failed?

    Wow.

  3. 3

    Brookhaven Bob

    The Mayor and his minions have been thumped……..Big Time. How will they interpret the results???????

  4. 4

    Riley

    Just an educated guess, but the Doraville annexations were in two parts. Governor Deal approved annexation of commercial properties that were adjacent to the current Doraville city limits. The residential annexation, which had to be approved by the voters, included large portions of I-285 and I-85. This would have expanded the Doraville police department’s reach; i.e, more speeding tickets.

  5. 5

    Harrison Williams

    You see in their statement how it will be interpreted. They told you the reason we got to vote on a referendum like this is because they allowed it in the city charter. BS. It is required in RPL law to allow the citizens to vote on it.

    Look for statements like, “It didn’t mean anything to us.” “We put it on the ballot because Mike Jacobs asked us for it.”

    Marie Garrett should be fired by Friday.

  6. 6

    Eddie E.

    After the District 2 Council Result, this is the most significant result on the entire ballot for the Citizens of Brookhaven.
    Now let’s hope the Council focuses on Governing (you know, following code and the law) in the best interest for Citizens who live here!

  7. 7

    Saul

    You think this will get the attention of our hardheaded, stubborn and myopic mayor and city council?

  8. 8

    Bob

    It’s safe to say they saw the writing on the wall ahead of this. Pony settlement and concurrent variances being shot down. But I doubt they were expecting the defeat to be this bad. There is no question JMD will try and adjust, but will it be enough to save him? If a warm body that is not too polarizing and has some D1 appeal emerges, then he’s going to be in trouble.

  9. 9

    blight rocks!!

    Good for Brookhaven., you just voted to keep Buford Highway the most neglected , undesirable and outdated area ITP. Avondale and Decatur use TAD’s, redevelopment includes great parks, resturants & connectivity.
    Dunwoody, smart city, smart people. Columbus and Statesboro voted for redevelopment powers yesterday, following Augusta & Macon’s lead.
    Look around Gwinnett,…every city there now has walkable downtown districts w/ greenways and parks, and the best schools in all of metro, yep,…..TAD’s. The Beltline will continue to circle Atlanta w/ parks, quality living options and new jobs, thanks to smart thinking folks supporting good development.
    Why would anyone be against smart development and community infrastructure?
    And now you’re already complaining about stamped sidewalks and zero landscaping along BuHi?? You just voted against the financing that helps accomplish good things like that for the community.
    It’s a damn shame. You voted against your own future.

  10. 10

    Drew

    “What sets our city apart from our prior jurisdiction as that our charter dictates issues such as these must go before our citizens for approval.”

    Have you learned NOTHING from this? You need to listen more closely: we are tired of half-truths, mis-truths, and mis-information.

    By law this issue had to go to a vote. If you don’t know that then not only are you being dishonest but you also don’t know the law.

    If you’re interested in moving ahead and moving on you’re headed in the wrong direction.

    (already?!)

  11. 11

    BigWheel

    Ummm, maybe because we don’t trust those in charge? It may be a great vehicle someday but the current officials have not shown that they know what “smart development” is.

  12. 12

    blight rocks!!

    They tried to take the steps necessary to attract quality development.
    They did what the law required, put it up for a vote. Like a bunch of babies, you guys cried and threw tantrums. Guess what, the city sure is hell has its hands tied now. If there was anyone waiting in the wings to work w/ the city to create a better Buford Highway, bet they just pulled their plans.
    Why would any good developer want to work in a city w/ no forward thinkers?

  13. 13

    Eddie E.

    Could it be that the Citizens of Brookhaven could see that this was not a situation that would lead to ‘smart development and community infrastructure’?

  14. 14

    Eddie E.

    I wonder if the City is working with a certain Georgia House member on next year’s resolution yet?
    Chances are an ‘off-off year’ would be the time to squeak through a blanket Redevelopment Powers.

  15. 15

    blight rocks!!

    Any deep pocket developers that have been considering coming into the Buford Highway corridor to modernize & revitalize but were waiting for the referendum vote, have probably rolled up their pockets and plans and headed off to invest in more favorable municipal partnerships.

  16. 16

    Ben Pride

    Isn’t next year when Mayor Davis and Ms Williams come up for reelection? Is that an ‘off-off year’ ? Or am I wrong about the reelection dates.

  17. 17

    bldvl89

    There may come a time when the financial might that comes with redevelopment powers – i.e., being able to borrow up to $280 mil – is appropriate, but it was asking a lot to trust a completely green mayor/city council with this kind of borrowing power (and newsflash, when you borrow money, you have to pay it back), this early on into cityhood.

    I’m glad to see a majority of voting citizens recognized that the new city’s government should get its sea legs under them and prove themselves capable of effectively running a city with $100 mil (that they can borrow now) first, instead of empowering them to saddle a generation of city taxpayers and future council members with the kind of debt (and runaway development, because we haven’t already had enough of it so far) contemplated by red’vlpment powers.

    Everything in Georgia is now basically Republican, so I’m sure the city council won’t have any problem getting this measure back up for a referendum in the future. The lack of partisan balance aside, I am encouraged that the council reps for the districts actually affected by the Pink Pony had enough sense to tune out the District 1 rep’s moralistic and self-righteous preachiness about it (maybe it just seemed to me that way, since District 1 residents will never be affected by the PP in the way those in Districts 2, 3 and 4 are), and that they had enough sense to respect the will of its citizenry in rejecting concurrent variances.

    Things are looking up.

  18. 18

    South Side Bill

    It is called General Obligation Bonds.
    The City still has ability to issue bonds to pay/assist in Development.

    Just that it requires citizens to vote on the project.

    So if public assistance is needed (And actually developers are already getting involved in Buford HGW without TADs) it has to get voter approval. Sounds like a win win for the citizens of Brookhaven.

  19. 19

    MK

    So you are back to not using your name, Jealous?

  20. 20

    Don

    Exactly, Under many Circumstances a TAD is a great way to revitalize an area but the current Mayor and Commissioners have shown that they are more concerned with creating a Peachtree City inside the Perimeter as opposed to true smart mixed-use development. Now all that’d left is to vote them out when their terms up up and get some folks in who get it.

  21. 21

    Douglas Trammell

    Clearly you have ignored some of the pitfalls of redevelopment powers that have been detailed by others. You choose to ignore what California finally learned. You don’t talk about the redevelopment projects in Atlanta that have troubles like Beltline. Just because other municipalities choose to pass redevelopment powers tells me that someone did an excellent sales job on an undereducated (regarding redevelopment powers) citizenry. Although the citizens of Athens, Columbus and Macon did show common sense when they voted for consolidated governments.

    Our stretch of Buford Highway has what is known in the industry as having ‘location’. Developers are attracted to Buford Highway and when the time is right they will use their money, certain of the success in their development, and capitalize on what the area will support. Judging from the current population occupying homes, town homes and apartments in the area it just might turn out all right.

    Now if you want to talk about blight, you need to take Johnson Ferry from Hampton Hall Way on to Ashford Dunwoody to Kadleston Way. Driving south, just look at all of those old, raggedy fences we have to look at on the right side of the road. Many are falling down or are supported in an unsightly way. One guy even placed black plastic on his fence. You would think that people in this neighborhood would be a little more particular about their own property before they start telling others about their property.

  22. 22

    Tom Doolittle

    The entire fusillade of tax inducements for development for the entire metro region will be affected.

  23. 24

    Suzie Dunmyer

    I am sorry , but I disagree with your analysis. Without the options developers are seeking for infrastructure you aren’t going to see any meaningful development. So you seem to want good smart mixed use but you just voted out the means to start that process rolling.

  24. 25

    Suzie Dunmyer

    How does sarcastic nonsense make this town attractive to anyone?

  25. 26

    whodean

    The negativity emanating from District 2 doomed the proposal, hopefully COuncil explores other ways to kick start Development along Buford Hwy, to help reduce the rampant cRime if nothing else.

  26. 27

    Tom Doolittle

    Interested in the Ripple:
    Broadly, because of the publicity surrounding the Braves’ stadium deal and the Beltline TAD, questions are being asked about the impact on the tax base and assumptions made prior. There is a recognition of a “shift” in the post 2008 economy that no longer guarantees upward property valuations.

    Now comes a redevelopment powers defeat, the first that I’m a aware of. This will pile on to the consistently negative news which implies that taxpayers take a hit or risk that any time a financial instrument is used to to incent development.

    The discussion that the City of Doraville will have shortly on the GM site TAD should be watched closely–and of course the media’s approach to it. (Doraville passed development powers with few paying attention a few years ago–what a difference a few years can make).

    Note there’s a big difference between a small tax base city (ie:not Atlnata) and a metro county. Most develpment powers are in the hands of counties.
    Note also that the population of a city is no longer the prime determinant of it’s tax base since taxes are only collected for the service level. The new cities have veryy small service levels.

    So mark it here: few small cities or cities with small tax base will elect redevelopment powers and those few that already have them will have a hard time deciding to use them for TADs.

  27. 28

    Brookhaven4u

    Suszie,

    It was a mistake to say a no vote was a vote against development.

    Have you forgotten General Obligation Bonds?
    The city could have already started on projects before this election.

    Do you think it is an accident the city leadership never mentioned General Obligation Bonds as a funding mechanism?

    Admittingly General Obligation Bonds come attached in that Citizens would have to vote on any project. This could easily get in the way of “insiders view of what Brookhaven should be”

    Redevelopment Powers would have just bypassed the public ability to influence who/what/where.

    If our elected officials have a worthy project they want to have public funds ($10 million, $20 million, $30 million etc.) they can do this now with General Obligation bonds. All it requires is the Brookhaven Citizens approval.,

  28. 29

    Douglas Trammell

    Don’t worry, Mike Jacobs will put Buford Highway clean up redevelopment powers back on the Brookhaven ballot for the next election cycle. Until then, we can start by fixing up those raggedy, falling down fences visible on Johnson Ferry and Ashford Dunwoody owned by residents of Hampton Hall and Cambridge Park.

  29. 30

    Douglas Trammell

    Dean, you might want to give thought to Tom’s comment below.

  30. 31

    why be honest?

    http://www.daltondailycitizen.com/news/tads-pass-in-all-cities-but-fail-in-whitfield-county/article_5cfd7d64-64ab-11e4-8adb-d71ac5bc0d90.html
    Mr Doo, I do believe you just made up your last statement to fit your agenda.
    It’s quite interesting that yesterday 4 cities within Whitfield County, Ga. approved redevelopment powers, yet was voted down for the county.
    There are many more cities than counties that have voted to allow redevelopment powers.
    There was plenty of misinformation surrounding the anti-everything group

  31. 32

    enuff govt already

    Yes, Good for B’hvn because Buford Hwy is not the “most neglected , undesirable and outdated area ITP.” It’s a long long way from such a designation. It might not look like the neighborhood that most of us in B’hvn live in but I see families, stores and restaurants. The Hwy is a destination for some people whether its family connections, exploring the cultures or starting a business. In Avondale the downtown is still mostly empty and the guy who was mayor resigned about the same time a reporter started seeking records about real estate deals and the development authorities records. Decatur is close to $100M in debt and the majority of that came without a vote. Buford Hwy has never been considered B’hvn and drawing it into the city was a mistake. A simple low cost solution for the city is to divest itself of Buford Hwy or most of it; save on cops, lower the crime rate, save on law suits, avoid embarrassing public gaffs like the PP, etc.

  32. 33

    Catherine Bernard

    Please enumerate the misinformation to which you are referring. There were indeed false and misleading statements on the mailers from “Citizens for A Better Brookhaven” (the group that no one would attach his or her name to!) and from Ken Bleakly at the Monday night forum, but the BRRC double-checked all our information very carefully, and we have citations for anything you might be confused about.

  33. 34

    Ben Pride

    The Buford Highway Improvement Plan was vetted extensively through public meetings and citizen involvement. Failure of the RDPA referendum will slow the implementation of this plan. Mind you it won’t stop improvements along Buford Highway. But without public investments to build infrastructure with a common theme and architectural cohesiveness, Buford Highway will be developed with pockets of disconnected nodes.

    Mr Bleakly volunteered his time and did not deserved to be abused by Ms Bernard.

    The Buford Highway Plan was a road map developed with hundreds of hours of public input and unfortunately it will have to be shelved until organizations such as BRRC no longer attract the disaffected and disenchanted few.

  34. 35

    Drew

    There was not an ‘anti-everything group’ but there were several groups opposed to giving carte blanche to the city.

    “Why be honest?” indeed. When a real person is willing to associate their real name with their genuine, heartfelt beliefs, they are more inclined to be honest.

    It’s very telling how – even in defeat – the selfish and myopic continue to snipe from the shadows.

  35. 36

    Drew

    Given Bleakly’s profession and track record, why would we believe that his involvement was purely altruistic?

    Clearly we are not “few” – and clearly those voting against the referendum aren’t “disaffected.”

    If I had been proven wrong I suppose that I would be upset also – but I would have enough common sense to know when to stop spouting the same lies that were unsucessful in the first place.

  36. 37

    Drew

    Yeah – allowing people to vote against bad projects must be annoying to those who seek to unfairly profit.

  37. 38

    whodean

    Some people must wear goggles that make everything they see in Brookhaven a nefarious plot.

  38. 39

    Eddie E.

    Planners got to plan.
    Convincing those who are on the hook for the bill is part of the plan.
    If those responsible parties don’t elect to be part of the plan, it does not suggest a fault on the part of the voters.
    Mr. Bleakly did his job and was no doubt compensated. I can’t think of many ‘no-charge planners’.

  39. 40

    Eddie E.

    Or, one could invert that thought……
    A couple of years ago, many were wearing goggles to prevent them from seeing the underlying considerations driving municipalization.
    Many of those have removed the goggles.

  40. 41

    Ben Pride

    You do not have to believe he was altruistic. The door to the conference was not locked and Ms Bernard and the other gentleman who was so argumentative should have left. I wanted to hear what Mr Bleakly had to say, and I was denied that opportunity. I’m actually okay with RDPA being voted down, that’s how a referendum works some win some lose.

  41. 42

    whodean

    Right on cue

  42. 43

    Eddie E.

    Don’t put the ball on the tee if you don’t want it knocked out of sight.

  43. 44

    Catherine Bernard

    Ben, that is a very interesting characterization of my questioning of the city’s advertised expert. The entire exchange is on video – what do you consider abusive?

    And if you think the Redevelopment Powers Law referendum was such a great idea, why didn’t you start a citizen committee to inform people about it or at the very least submit a letter to the editor stating your position for discussion? The BRRC would have welcomed the opportunity for healthy debate on the subject – instead, our experience was that no Brookhaven residents wanted to attach their names to the RPL and defend it. Including our state representative, who sponsored it!

  44. 45

    Bill Roberts

    I am the “other gentleman” who was so argumentative. I am truly sorry if I came off that way,but I was a debater in both high school and college and it still bubbles up from time to time.

    The reason that I was argumentative is that the timing, staging, and dearth of elected officials present for this “event” was so very and clearly manipulative on the part of the City. They invited only a “pro-TAD” expert to speak. He failed to give an even-handed presentation. However, he was not interrupted even once while he was presenting. Since he continued to deflect numerous direct requests to offer cautionary tales of past TAD projects, I decided to cross-examine him until he gave up or gave in. Again, I am sorry if you feel this was argumentative. If the City had provided two speakers to present both sides of the story, I would have sat there with my mouth shut.

    I’m not sure if Underground Atlanta was a TAD project or not, but that is exactly the type of free-wheeling “other people’s money” nonsense that happens when municipal bonds are available to fund a project that the private sector would scoff at.

    The MARTA station redevelopment project is gathering steam as we speak. It is going to be the single most significant initiative that will happen to Brookhaven over the next 50 years, and it will set the tone for EVERYTHING else that happens up and down Peachtree Road and throughout Brookhaven. The City should be all over this; planning for streetscapes, parking, lighting, public plaza’s and gathering spots, water features and green spaces, architectural landmarks, etc. Instead, our City officials are chasing their tail over a strip club that isn’t bothering anybody and has had no negligible effect on crime during its 25 year history. The City of Brookhaven is ignoring an opportunity to set the bar high for this project and define the minimum acceptable standards for the quality of the construction.

    I am a pro-city supporter and I expected normal growing pains; but there is also absurd ambition (arrogance) being displayed by both our Elected officials and the professional staff and they need to simply slow down and stay humble.

  45. 46

    Thomas Porter

    Mr. Pride: 12 hours before an election is a REALLY unprofessional time for the City to decide to educate voters, and, the sheer tonnage of information available for reading was astounding long in advance from many sources. I think the questioners showed very reasonable outrage. That being said, Catherine’s line of questioning began at the very conclusion of the program and Council Member Williams was already leaving. The ruination of the event from your perspective is inexplicable IMHO.

  46. 47

    Brookhaven Bob

    I wish Jealous would come out of her cocoon and comment on all this.

  47. 48

    Susan

    Thanks Bill!

  48. 49

    Silver Lake

    Whodean, Ben and others, you do realize that Brookhaven Redevelopment was voted down by a 60% margin don’t you? Remember, you have the city you wanted. Just don’t dare vary from the reasons you created your city. Evidently, that is what got this issue in trouble, along with the untrustworthiness our elected officials have exhibited over the past two years. Oh, not to mention our city manager that they insist on retaining.

  49. 50

    Saul

    Actually I think Carrie Mayor may do a more entertaining job with her explanation.

  50. 51

    sabotaged

    http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2014/11/06/680717/10106839/en/Plans-Unveiled-for-an-Ecologically-Driven-Mixed-Use-Development-in-Roswell.html
    Way to go Roswell !! Brilliant voting for redevelopment powers.
    Most cities that have voted yes are seeing large developments knocking at the door.
    To vote against something that could have encouraged the transformation of Buford Highway from shanty town to vibrant Atlanta commercial corridor ,..is about the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever witnessed. Developers are not lining up.

  51. 52

    Eddie E.

    Then move to Roswell if it is that important to you.

  52. 53

    effing

    sabotaged–are you saying Roswell woudn’t attract development without TADs???? Also–in your book, Roswell should have died and gone to heaven when the high density development was originally proposed. Not!

  53. 54

    Brookhaven Bob

    And please take Jealous and Carrie with you.

  54. 55

    Thomas Porter

    … but Roswell probably has competent seasoned leadership. Apples & oranges.

  55. 56

    Drew

    “a group whose only goal was accomplished … protect Buford Highways illegal labor” (sic)

    Ther’s a little voice in your head that says “maybe I should just keep that thought to myself” – you need to listen to it.

    You would be better off by sticking to those statements which, though incorrect, sound like they might be plausible.

    – “anywhere in the metro area needed that option to attract development, it is Buford Highway” (nobody believes this, including you)

    – “nothing new along the … corridor in 35 years” (anybody who has lived here for more than 5 years knows this is nonsense)

    – “doing what is expected of a city … making their city attractive to business & developers” (growth & development are great if properly managed – and are necessary – but who are you to say that this is what is ‘expected’ of a city?)

    None of this is true but is vague enough that people might not question it, but when you end with that Jealous-inspired zinger about “illegal labor” you make it clear that all of this is smoke and mirrors to justify your racist views.

  56. 57

    Eddie E.

    There is the key.
    Roswell has been around long enough to have their OWN water system.
    They have an established enforcement for storm runoff and stream protection (that puts stream protection ahead of ‘builder profit protection’).
    They actually place the rights of Citizens and protection of the environment ahead of chasing that next dollar.

  57. 58

    Brittany Mother

    The first husband of district 1 made no mention of development powers for Brookhaven being voted down on his program today. Normally he gushes with glee about anything Brookhaven.

  58. 59

    Jealous no more

    Yet another night of gunfire amongst the gangs of Buford Highway.
    4:00 a.m.,..2 cars firing at each other around the QT at Buford Highway & Clairmont.
    Voting down to clean up riff-raff along Buford Highway was just plain foolish.
    The no vote gang had a hidden agenda that in no way had the best interest of surrounding homeowners at heart. Foolish and just plain dumb!!

  59. 60

    effing

    Brittany Mother–good pickup.

    Actually, we could use a voice here that keeps an eye on Georgia Gang. When you hear someone say anything bad about taxpayers underwriting development, pls let us know–its a red letter day. Can’t risk that Commerce Club membership.

    Conservatives hell!

  60. 61

    Thomas Porter

    Jealous: That was in Chamblee, has nothing to do with Brookhaven. You need to get Chamblee to vote Redevelopment Powers, create a TAD, invest millions to “clean-up” Buford Highway. Those in Brookhaven will applaud Chamblee’s efforts. Please also keep the gangs within your city limits, the gunfight started and ended in Chamblee and we would hope as a good city you would contain them.

  61. 63

    Jealous no more

    Well, ain’t dat someting…. while 2/3 ‘s of this city lies in squalor!! That development is right there past B’haven,..should have been developed 15 years ago.
    That will have no positive impact on Buford Highway,…except more cash in the pockets of the workers that inhabit BuHi!!

  62. 64

    Jealous no more

    The QT is across the street from development planned at B’havens Bryton Hall.
    Anyone with any sense understands the detrimental effects of too many low income apartments concentrated in one area. I imagine the developer there will take note.
    It’s all the same along there, Thomas, and if you’re honest, you wouldn’t try to insinuate otherwise.

  63. 65

    Ben Pride

    Nodes of development will occur with or without Redevelopment Powers. RDP can be a catalyst to spur development. RDP also can be used for infrastructure, so this looks like a nice new mixed use project, but is it connected to other projects by sidewalks, bike paths, and parks. Eventually it all happens, but as we can see in Chamblee; sometimes pretty slowly..

  64. 66

    Shawn Brown

    damned if you do and damned if you don’t huh Chamblee? Good for yall.

  65. 67

    Thomas Porter

    It occurred in C-H-A-M-B-L-E-E !

    Get your city officials to fix your city’s problems with your citizen’s money before asking our city officials to fix ours.

  66. 68

    Jealous no more

    Our city ushered in these problems!! They don’t care!!

  67. 69

    Shawn Brown

    True That TP. Jealous, go hijack NextDoor or something. Please.

    Maybe start your own Chamblee website. But whatever it is please quit yer whining and telling Brookhaven People what they should do about anything. It ain’t your place and it ain’t your city. Shoo!

  68. 70

    Jealous no more

    Eventually it will all happen? Not necessarily. BuHi has gone down over the last 35 years, while many other parts of metro have grown significantly.
    BuHi COULD stay as it is. Noone that owns a home in this area should want that.

  69. 71

    Eddie E.

    My late grandfather was a conservative.
    His word for this current crowd would be more like ‘traitors’.

  70. 72

    The Brookhaven Post

    Hi. This article is about Redevelopment Powers. Please direct comments accordingly.

  71. 73

    Susan

    Mary, you do realize that the development at the old Bryton Hill apartments is being privately funded don’t you? Why get government involved in ANYTHING if you don’t have to!

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