Brookhaven, GA, May 26, 2015 – by The Post Reports – Brookhaven’s City Council met Tuesday and unanimously approved a new large-scale development in Ashford Green, located on Ashford Dunwoody Rd. near Perimeter Summit and I-285.
The development, which has been back and forth between the Planning Commission and the City Council for almost two years, a proposal made by John Hancock Life Insurance Company and represented by zoning and land-use Attorney Doug Dillard, for two 10-story office buildings and some 300 apartments.
Over the last two and a half years, nearby residents have expressed mixed feelings about the density and the potential impact it will have on traffic and nearby schools – adding to congestion as well as overcrowding. Some fear the number of students that could be added to Montgomery Elementary School will mean more trailers for classrooms.
Referencing those in opposition to the development, Dillard said some people, who likely voted to form Brookhaven as a City, are conflicted. “I’ll bet you, those that were registered to vote, when you had a vote on cityhood, voted for the city. They are having a hard time making up their minds, whether they really want to be in a city or not, because they still want to maintain land use decisions based on a suburban mentality, not on an urban mentality,” Dillard expressed.
Dillard added the density sought by his client is 1/3 the density recommended in the City’s Comprehensive and Land Use Plan.
According to the City’s Community Development Department’s Staff Report, the proposed plan is “adequate in size for the proposed use and the proposed development would be compatible with existing uses found in the area.”
Councilwoman Rebecca Chase-Williams, who represents District 1 where the development is located, said the residential component in the revised proposal enhances the project and she doesn’t think having them will “over bloat” local schools.
Williams said she would rather not see apartments because of some of the inherent negative effects which are possible, but doesn’t think the type of apartments being built in the Ashford Green development would find themselves in or create a downward cycle.
Williams commented she sees the apartments taking potentially 300 commuters off of the road who would likely be commuting to the Ashford Green development. She also said she would like to see more retail in the development. “I would like to see more retail in it, because it is correct, our Comp. Plan says if you’re going to put density anywhere in Brookhaven, Perimeter Summit is one of the main places to put it,” said Williams. “I think it’s appropriate.”
Back in 1997 under DeKalb County, the site was approved for 750,000 square feet of office space, an 18 story building and zero residential. Since then, after numerous revisions the Ashford Green development has ballooned to 1.13 million square feet with both residential and commercial components.