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17 Comments

  1. 1

    Why Bother

    Good luck with that.

    We tried to save the tree canopy.
    We tried to prevent too many encroachments.
    We tried to remind the city of infrastructure impacts.

    But the city was in the pocket of developers. And now the barn is (surprise) empty.

    I have no interest in helping to shut that door.

  2. 2

    Thomas Porter

    Stan Segal is absolutely correct, the only thing I would add is that the affected homes date up to the first decade of the millennium. We need big ideas, and, we also need to protect the existing neighborhoods. “Under utilized” is a term used mostly by politicians, not so much by neighbors, and, they are supposed to be ones afforded the rights of the zoning ordinances. Supposed to.

  3. 3

    Jennifer

    Big ideas yes but seriously if I hear one more time that the increased density won’t affect traffic because they will ride MARTA I will scream. If someone that lives in Alta or @1377 or in the Fernwood Town Homes or in Brookhaven Fields do not use MARTA becuase it does not give them the best option to get where they are going, why would they think that more appartments would achive that?

  4. 4

    Sally Eppstein

    The City of Milton is working on this same issue.
    Brookhaven does not have farm land but it does have very nice lots with great tree canopy.

    https://www.cityofmiltonga.us/government/community-development/transfer-of-development-rights-program/

  5. 5

    Chad

    Stan,

    You’re absolutely correct. Vast intellectual capital exists in our city. We had the ability to understand and reject RPL. We have a park advocacy group second to none. Chris Balch said as much when he first addressed our collective group. Republicans and Democrats actually agree on more than we disagree. Most of us love our protective and qualified Police Force. We have the all 3 of the most important RE traits…location, location, location.

    Unfortunately, we have a City Manager that blames volunteers for project delays, has managed unprecedented executive turnover rivaled only by The Apprentice, feigns inaction through a perpetual “planning process” in order to vindicate her misdirection. Her sole directive is higher density for density’s sake.

    When she is gone, things will become inherently better.

  6. 6

    Randy Watson

    Invest in parks – to the tune of doubling projected budgets for capital improvements in the parks.

    Concurrently with the park investment, execute a plan for connected bicycle and pedestrian trails. Greenways, trails, sidewalks, etc. are part of the infrastructure used to move folks safely to and from locations (schools, parks, restaurants, etc.).

  7. 7

    Melanie Pollard

    Sally, that is a great post. Nice to see other communities that can effectively protect the essence of their communities. I’m sharing this one with others…

  8. 8

    Susan

    “When I talk to friends and neighbors about Brookhaven the conversation often has the same tone. We love our city, but traffic is killing us, overcrowding in schools is hurting our children, and we are losing our beautiful tree canopy.”

    Funny. What I expect from D1. The very same people that destroyed part of the Cross Keys cluster. The people that actually belong in Dunwoody. Thank you, Stan.

  9. 9

    John Ernst

    Stan, great post.

    After listening to my neighbors at the door, I’ve been hearing that there is angst about the future of Brookhaven as higher density developments encroach on our lives with increased traffic and the potential for overpopulation of our schools.

    In many cases, these high density developments comply with our comprehensive plan, which is a critical factor in zoning decisions. Unchecked, however, Brookhaven could become unlivable in a very short period of time. Therefore, I call upon the Brookhaven city council to:

    1. Invoke at least a 6-month moratorium on rezoning applications that increase density. (There is precedent for this action in Sandy Springs and Atlanta.)

    2. Create a steering committee of the brightest and most committed citizens for each character area in the comprehensive plan. This steering committee would work with the citizens to create a plan that reflects the direction we want to go in their area.

    3. Direct the zoning ordinance re-codification committee to reflect the results of the new comprehensive plan into our zoning ordinance.

    As Mayor, I look forward to bringing the citizens of Brookhaven together to preserving the quality of life we all love here.

  10. 10

    enuff govt already

    We were told instanteous cityhood would prevent and solve all the issues mentions but I sense it has exacerbating the issues. The lost of canopy has accelerated, density is promoted and overcrowding is ignored and all are direct decendants of cityhood. Is the problem the symptoms or the structure that has allowed the symptoms to flourish?

  11. 11

    Chad

    I told you Brookhaven’s best days are ahead of us. Great idea, J Ernst.

  12. 12

    Toff

    Stan – the best commentary ever on this site, well done young man !!!

    Interesting that most of the replies below still talk about the issues and not the original question you pose and what you are asking of the community. Sales/Negotiation 101 but what do some of these folks know?

    How do we go about this? meetings face to face or virtual? Rally at the school, church, synagogue, park or pub?

    Let the debate begin.

    What excites me most is we have folks such as yourself invested in the hood.BTW include Chamblee. Its got the same issues and perhaps at risk of upsetting the posters, it has a slightly more engaged and pragmatic population.

  13. 13

    Toff

    I was not for cityhood but I dont believe you were told it would solve all your issues.

    More fool you.

  14. 14

    Not the Mayor

    Hey John,

    How do you feel about the MARTA TOD in its relation to the above topic, even after the moratorium? Do you feel this project, and its size, is appropriate for the intersection on N. Druid/Apple Valley/Dresden/Peachtree?

    Thanks,

  15. 15

    Melanie Pollard

    Stan’s article is correct. The city does need big ideas and fast. But those ideas are only ideas unless they are listened to by all, assimilated and then acted upon.

    After literally 100’s of hours of work that our group did to help strengthen the Tree Ordinance, not one idea was utilized. Not one. And the majority of residents in Brookhaven who would have benefited were not there to hear the ideas nor, to my knowledge, did the city share these ideas openly with the residents. So the problem will go back to the city government, our elected officials and how those decisions are chosen and carried out. In a city of 50,000, we need more than 12 people there to weigh in on decisions that will effect residents for generations to come. We need a city that will welcome and professionally discuss ideas openly, thoroughly, more evenly across the table and across the clock.

    The City of Atlanta is about to let their Historic, Landmark, Champion White Oak that stands in a grove of perfectly healthy White Oaks ranging from 150 – 300 years old be cut down for 11 homes and a retention pond. Yes, that is the truth and no one is willing to do anything about it despite the work we’ve been doing to petition community signatures, pledges, volunteers, etc. That’s how Atlanta and Brookhaven does things under the current mindset. Even the Beltline, as wonderful as it is, has created a frenzy of development centered around Atlanta’s crown jewel but removing existing specimen trees and canopies in the process. Recompense is great for someone else 150 years from now. Retention ponds only last 50 years and are seldom maintained. 2 1/2 acres of healthy White Oaks that size will never return in the current urbanization of Atlanta. There simply isn’t enough space and clean air for trees to grow healthy to that size.

    So, I’m not sure we can win a better city when even City of Atlanta doesn’t have a handle on this as evidenced by a ride around the city on any given day. Up to 50 trees a day are being clear cut illustrated by the clearcut acreage removals for landfill on North Druid Hills, Clairmont, Howell Mill to name a few.

    I would love to share our work with Stan Segal. I encourage John Ernst to direct the Tree Ordinance to work equally and in tandem with Zoning. It is so very far from protecting our previous, current and future canopy.

  16. 16

    Brittany Mother

    Toff I disagree. That is pretty much the signal sent by C4ND and BY. The services selected that were to distinguish us from DeKalb have actually created more problems for us because of how the city and their appointees have handled them.

  17. 17

    John Ernst

    A complex project such as the MARTA TOD would be built after a proposed moratorium. By having a process that is designed to require more resident engagement/input through the use of Steering Committees, public engagement forums, and a visionary comprehensive plan, residents would have a say in the new zoning district for which the Marta TOD would rezone to in their application.

    The problem isn’t the development itself, but rather the plan and ordinances that do not match the vision of the residents of Brookhaven.

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