February 27, 2017
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55 Comments on "Standing room only for MARTA Brookhaven/Oglethorpe TOD forum"

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Janine
Guest

Thanks to those who helped create such a showing of concern!!!!

Jennifer
Guest

Thank you Trey for posting the information from the meeting… What would we do without you????

Celia
Guest

Why do I think MARTA didn’t prepare because they know this is an already done deal and there isn’t any stopping it now.

Jennifer
Guest
or that they didn’t think that anyone would attend since it was only when some neighbors got out and informed everyone about the meeting that anyone really knew about it. As one of the neighbors that has posted on social media, handed out flyers put signs in neighborhoods and at intersections, talked with neighbors walking around in the evening I can honestly say that the mention on the city calendar and the piece on the Brookhaven Post would not have generated standing room only. I think if we keep up the pressure and attend the meetings and ask the hard… Read more »
Hunter Burke
Guest
Consider the utter arrogance of this “public servant” who needs zoning concessions from Brookhaven, who has already chosen their development partners, who have created economic models of the development… yet who come into this public meeting without ANY answers, and, say they want to start in ernest later this year. This person who hasn’t yet responded to citizen’s emailed concerns, knows the development will obliterate the neighborhood infrastructures, destroy the quiet enjoyment of every nearby resident, and, has undertaken no studies yet blithely states they don’t expect any issues. Thanks too D3 representative for your always looking the other way,… Read more »
Bob Sorrentino
Guest
I thought it was incredible not to have started the Traffic Impact Study when they said they would like to apply for rezoning around April 1. Well I’ll get them started…. Using the sq ft and apartment counts thrown out last night the development will add between 752-1,336 vehicles during the peak afternoon rush hour. The 2,007 vehicles that currently travel north on Peachtree during that peak rush hour will now have to split intersection time with the added load. Currently Peachtree backs up to Club Drive. What will be the result when that flow is increased by the 560… Read more »
Saul
Guest
Hunter, Bob, the points you two make tell me that these meetings are not to seek input but to tell area residents what is going to be coming their way soon. Look at the timeline Bob, with your experience would you say that the design phase of this project is well underway? If so, are MARTA and their development partner in sales mode as opposed to collecting area resident input? That’s the appearance. When I hold my meetings and give the dumb-ass look when employees ask questions, they soon stop. They instinctively know the meeting was for direction, not input.… Read more »
Arnold
Guest

Representative Mattison IS their salesman. He asked everyone to applaud MARTA for their efforts last night in his opening remarks. Crickets.

Saul
Guest

Just curious, is he being compensated for his MARTA work like he is for his BIA work?

Bob Sorrentino
Guest
Sual, without question a significant amount of the design process has already occurred, but I doubt anything is written in stone. When I prepare plans for municipal approval I am very aware that the governing agencies could throw wrenches in the design. Any financial commitments made prior to approval are conscious risks taken . While what I do is a little different and on a smaller scale, I am sure the developer/MARTA are acting similarly. They want to push forward a plan that will maximize their return but also has a reasonable chance for the City’s approval. I don’t fault… Read more »
Tom Reilly
Guest
Offer a lot of money, downplay the dark side, wear down the neighbors. You’d think that “they” would come up with something original!! Forty years of zoning/credit management experience have taught me that sometimes the only word that fits isn’t “yes,” ‘maybe,” or “later.” What we need to say, right now, is”NO!!” “NO” to soul killing density, to pollution, to irresponsibility, to the destruction of the quality of life we are fighting so hard to maintain. We don’t want easy, cheap, a policy of “going along to get along,” a policy of “grab the money and run. ” Decline this… Read more »
LKaye
Guest
How do you stop this heinous growth when the ‘decision-makers’ clearly don’t care? We elect a mayor and representatives who campaign with our best interests at the forefront, then quickly forget who elected them when lured by the money. I’ve lived in Brookhaven since 1997 and I am deeply saddened by the raping and pillaging of the neighborhoods. I want to truly believe we have the power and the voice to make this stop!! Reading this article is deeply depressing. MARTA has no answers to the hard questions because they don’t think they need any and that is absolutely terrifying.
Tom Reilly
Guest

Offer a lot of money. Disguise the downside. Wear down the neighbors and their elected officials. Rinse and repeat.–Tom Reilly

Jeff Spicolli
Guest

http://youtu.be/JxPBDWjp1qM

This is how it went last night.

Howard S
Guest

I felt like I was watching The Music Man listening to confidence man Harold Hill at River City( insert Brookhaven) intending to cheat the community

Anon
Guest

I think it could be cool!

Bingo
Guest

If you could hire a developer to build hyper cool in a city near you, would you hire the MARTA team to do it?

Anon
Guest

Amanda Rhein, the Senior Director of Transit Oriented Development for MARTA, and the one who presented the project to the group at the meeting last night, has a Masters from GA Tech in City and Regional Planning, and was the Interim Managing Director of Redevelopment for Invest Atlanta before working for MARTA. If anything, I’d prefer to hire someone like that over a developer.

Jennifer
Guest
Amanda maybe all that and a box of chocolate but let’s be real here – building in a metro city arena with density and tall buildings around the site like Atlanta is not the same as a neighborhood like Brookhaven. If the residents of Brookhaven wanted to live in Atlanta there are more than enough empty apartments to move to. Why does everywhere have to have 6-7 story rust and tan cement buildings with thousands of apartments. I wish we would come up with something clever and useful… but that would require thinking out of the box but 10 to… Read more »
Daniel
Guest

Pfft. Existing home owners have a vested interest in limiting the addition of new housing units because existing home owners benefit directly by restricting supply. People have to live somewhere and that somewhere is going to be better around transit hubs than way out in the exurbs.

Chad
Guest

Especially when you live on the downhill side of the enormous sewer impact. They will have to create an entire closed system to transport the sewer from this one development to Peachtree Creek. No study has been created. We love “sustainable” development. “Sustainable”? That’s the buzzword to use these days, right?

Greg T
Guest
Very direct and pointed questions about Storm-water and Sewer requirements with no answers last night. Yet they plan on going in front of ZBA board for zoning changes in April? I am not an expert on this but with that April timeline I have a hard time believing they are starting from Scratch. My suspicion is they have a very this down to a few or possible 1 option, but knew those answers would not be popular last night. Financing these infrastructure requirements from this project have me concerned. Will they expect Brookhaven citizens (This includes some sort of Brookhaven… Read more »
Eddie E.
Guest

They probably don’t have much experience with water running downhill.

Greg
Guest
It’s not like the huge parking lot 1) produces no traffic, 2) enriches the environment, and 3) prevents stormwater runoff. A lot of residents will choose to live there because they can easily access MARTA to commute to work. Sure, a lot of people still have “issues” riding MARTA… but after a lifetime of 2-3 hours a day stuck in traffic, a subset of those people will get over it and choose to live in a TOD. I wish the layout were less dense, but that’s what’s necessary to make a profit in an urban area. If you want the… Read more »
Getting really pissed
Guest
Getting really pissed

No, if you want urban try Lenox or Buckhead. They already exist and have lots of available apartments, we shouldn’t have to give up our homes and quality of life when what you want already exist!!!

Tom Reilly
Guest

Would you be interested to know that one acre of Buckhead land costs ten million dollars?? No wonder that they’re coming here!!–Tom Reilly

Barbara
Guest

Where did you come up with number? Clearly you have no knowledge of the real estate market in Atlanta. Tom, if you are going to make something up at least make it believable

New 18,000 sq ft house on 1.5 acres, $7.5 million
http://www.sothebysrealty.com/eng/sales/detail/180-l-948-c6nrez/magnificent-custom-built-european-masterpiece-buckhead-atlanta-ga-30342

35,000 sq ft home on 17 acres for $25 million
http://www.sothebysrealty.com/eng/sales/detail/180-l-948-5grqpg/atlantas-most-compelling-estate-buckhead-atlanta-ga-30327

10,000 sq ft on 2.3 acres for $3.4 million
http://www.sothebysrealty.com/eng/sales/detail/180-l-1486-4nw5yx/the-ultimate-buckhead-estate-buckhead-atlanta-ga-30327

Tom, I like you. and what you stand for, but you have to knock off all the extreme exaggerations.

fyi
Guest

Perhaps Tom was referring to commercial property. Disclaimer – I certainly know less about real estate than most folks on this blog.

Tom Reilly
Guest

Hi, Barbara!! That figure was quoted to me by a local resident with a responsible position in the community. No more, no less. I’m inclined to think that it was at the high end of the spectrum, but look at what’s already been built on Buckhead’s Peachtree/Lenox Square section!!

homeowner
Guest

Join the discussion That is a truly stupid comment. If you want urban YOU can move to Midtown or Buckhead. People moved here to buy a single family home that is still ITP but has a single family home feel.

Eddie E.
Guest

The needs to ensure any developer will ‘make a profit’ is of no concern to me.

If the development ‘must’ be built, then the City of Brookhaven (remember local control) should ensure that all conditions meet the needs and expectations of those who have decided to ‘invest’ here and any ‘profit’ derived should occur only after all those needs and conditions are met.

Otherwise it is just a ‘loss’ to the already existing investors.

Tom Reilly
Guest

Sums it up in a nutshell, Eddie!!–Tom Reilly

Chad
Guest

HB 313

Here’s a new twist. On lines 102-120 the MARTA bill clearly states the 1/2 penny sales tax is NOT for an Alpharetta extension. It is first to go to bond holder interest payments and second to buses and other operational costs.

Is MARTA aware Brookhaven is in DeKalb Co. and will probably get a chance to vote on this referendum? Do they begin to see we are one of the most informed voting sectors in the entire county.

Sure hope so.

Eddie E.
Guest

It is a shame the folks in Alpharetta, Johns Creek and Milton so vehemently oppose the present and the future.

Jennifer
Guest

While I agree that they should be willing to buy in to a good rapid transit system, 1) it will take a lot more than that to get MARTA to a truly functional option for the metro area and 2) with the way that MARTA is trying to run over Brookhaven residents – they probably just figured it was easier to keep MARTA at bay rather than have to deal with some nightmare like we are.

Dan
Guest

Republican Brandon Beach sponsored the bill.

http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2015/07/25/thinking-big-about-transit-would-you-rather-ride-marta-or-the-atl/

Seems the compromise the Republicans are having to make is the actual expansion is third in line to current MARTA bond holders and operating expenses.

It’s a shame liberal Dems take a rail car mile when given a bus stop inch.

Eddie E.
Guest

That’s quite a sleight of hand.
To ‘blame’ the folks who have been attempting to expand MARTA over the last few decades for not making it happen while ‘crediting’ those who have fought tooth and nail to starve MARTA for anything.

A careful reading of the legislation (and legislation attempted over the last few years) might provide everyone with a much clearer picture.

El Tee
Guest

I wrote the mayor of my concerns. Thank you to all of you who are weighing in on this topic.

Janice
Guest

I am a Brookhaven resident with an expensive house very close to the station and just don’t see why the problem is here. As long as the development is high quality what is wrong with the area getting more dense? This is what happens when cities grow. Right now the Marta site is totally underutilized with way too much surface parking. If anything we need to be making it harder to drive everywhere and encouraging more people to walk, cycle and use alternative transport. It makes total sense for Marta to be developing there land in a dense manner.

Jennifer
Guest

That would be great if MARTA was a viable option for more than 10% of us.

Eric Robert
Guest

For those who live in Brookhaven, MARTA certainly is a viable option for more than 10% of the people. For those who will be working and living in this development it will likely be a viable option for 50%. Will 50% use it, no, but it will be a viable option.

AJD
Guest
Agree! I’m very excited about the prospect! As for those for whom MARTA isn’t a viable option now, how about broadening your vision and looking towards a future where our city has a usable, vibrant transit system? The city’s population is expected to NEARLY DOUBLE within the next 25 years. Why not leap at the chance to make sure this growth happens in an intelligent and beautiful way? This growth will happen whether we want it to or not, but right now we have the unique opportunity to shape how this project develops. I don’t remember any community design meetings… Read more »
City-Weary
Guest

I don’t have a problem with expanding MARTA, and creating a usable, vibrant transit system. I am opposed to overdevelopment of the TODs in terms of too many offices, too many apartments, retail that may or may not thrive (have you seen all the empty storefronts in Town Brookhaven?) Our infrastructure can’t handle it and the masses of humanity that will converge in these structures will not be using MARTA, so traffic will only get worse.

AJD
Guest

Comparing the MARTA development to Town Brookhaven is problematic because of their fundamental differences in design. Town Brookhaven is like Atlantic Station – you must drive to get there, and it’s effectively a cul-de-sac (i.e. unconnected to other neighborhoods or streets) once you’re in there. In fact, I’d be curious to see if the number of housing units constructed there is enough to support the retail and restaurant facilities located there. On the other hand, this MARTA development will see many more casual passers-by as well drawing from a much denser surrounding area.

Netty
Guest

And the need for our city to have a usable, vibrant transit system is to go where? From McDonalds to Verda? Right now it’s a pass thru stop to get to Buckhead and downtown. Always will be.

AJD
Guest

Respectfully disagree. Hundreds of people rely on MARTA to get to work every day from Brookhaven (myself included). It’s one of the most affordable and quickest options for getting to the airport. Several students who go to GA Tech but can’t afford Midtown apartments take it. Lastly, it was the safest mode of transportation during “Snowpocalypse” 2013. Even the MARTA buses slapped on chains and made it up the hills that others couldn’t.

Barbara
Guest

MARTA connects malls and hospitals…thats it. If you work at one of those or at the airport you are in great shape. The rest of this city may as well be without public transportation. No other major city has a defunct system like marta. They can’t even get trains to stations on time and now they want to be developers for profit.

Government should never be in the profit game. Otherwise there is no reason they need our tax dollars.

AJD
Guest

And “pass through stop” is an oxymoron.

Bob Sorrentino
Guest
Intelligent growth involves planning. Look at the CHOA development that will be going in on N. Druid Hills. The Traffic Impact Study for that project showed a significant impact if streets were left unchanged so the City approved the project contingent on: CHOA adding additional lanes on N. Druid Hills and Tullie Rd, adding overhead signage and improving street markings, and improving timings. There was an engineering solution there that was funded by the developer. Hopefully there will be a solution for MARTA. Traffic doesn’t just happen, it happens due to poor planning or accepting it. And about increasing riders… Read more »
Bob Sorrentino
Guest
I just want to point this out for all that think this may be a done deal in its current form… Here is a direct cut and paste from MARTA’s own Request For Proposal that they sent out to potential developers. “In order to redevelop the property around the Station, the site will have to be rezoned to a PC-3 zoning classification by Brookhaven. PC-3 is a site plan specific zoning classification so the rezoning of the site will take place AFTER the Firm with the successful Development Proposal has been identified by MARTA. By submitting a Development Proposal, Proponent… Read more »
Chad
Guest

The MARTA rezoning request in public and on their website has always been to rezone the parcel to Pedestrian Community District 3 (PCD 3). In the Planning Commission (PC) work session meeting last night, Ben Song, advised the PC MARTA was requesting PCD 2 (PCD 2).

Does anyone know the difference? All I can tell is PCD 3 requires 20% open space. PC 2 only requires 10%. I wonder if MARTA will redo their rendering??

City-Weary
Guest

To quote Mr. Wonderful from Shark Tank, 10% is a nothing burger.

Guest
Guest

They said PC2 in the meeting ,and when asked what size the open space was they said 1.5 acres and it is a 15 acre parcel right?

Frank
Guest
MARTA is in the transportation business and not very good at that. Now they want to be in the development business. Remember, MARTA has and does not receive any state funding. It gets bonds, tax abatement, and sales tax funds from Dekalb and Fulton County. Aka taxpayers. Then they do land leases on the property they own and pay no property taxes on it because they are exempt. Now they are asking for more sales taxes from Dekalb, Fulton, and Clayton counties in the current legislation session. SB313 and SB330 which is a good laugh in itself. Corruption? Probably. Cronyism?… Read more »
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