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27 Comments

  1. 1

    Janine

    MARTA: Have a problem with Brookhaven zoning? Talk to the hand.

  2. 2

    Tom Reilly

    Nicely done, Riley!! Any time I see vagueness and evasion when answering questions my suspicions arise. We are always either setting precedents or reinforcing precedents. We need t set a precedent where some developments would be very nice–somewhere else. Out City Council needs to say “NO!!” early on occasion–for all our sakes. –TomReilly

  3. 3

    Sherry

    Let’s not forget that it is the same developer that developed Lindbergh that MARTA chose to partner with on Brookhaven……

  4. 4

    City-Weary

    Keep in mind that there are many empty storefronts in Town Brookhaven as it is. We can’t seem to find retailers to fill up that complex and now we’re building more?

  5. 5

    Jennifer

    There are 120+ developments happening, scheduled or in approval for a on or within 4 blocks of Peachtree from Buckhead to Doraville https://wdanielanderson.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/over-120-projects-planned-along-powerful-peachtree/ We are going to have empty retail and appartments everywhere.

  6. 6

    Saul

    O’Riley, I had heard those charettes were not of value, just setting a stage. Thanks for confirming.

    There is also a thought that all of this TOD is part of a controlled attempt at citizen behavior modification on a national level. I can see where this kind of development is valuable in intercity areas. But in our area where resident travel patterns are so divergent projects of this density add to area congestion. The result is little change in transportation related behavior and a major change in local traffic patterns with areas previously with little traffic seeing increased traffic. Think cut through traffic.

    I have also read that many of these projects in a suburban setting fail at their intended goal due to poorly assessed site selection.

    You have thoughts on any of this?

  7. 7

    Chad

    The developer said last night “the multi family housing boom will continue for another 8 years.” Then produced no statistics. Sounds like 2006 all over again.

    Bravo on the article, Riley!!!

  8. 8

    RAJ

    Guess the citizens of Doraville,the “Assembly”(GM)developer, and the DeKalb County School Board are watching this one closely. Word I get from reliable sources is that starting these mega projects this late in the development cycle is quite risky! Are the developer and MARTA depending on “to big to fail” again?

  9. 9

    Bingo

    Saul -ee was his name-O.

  10. 10

    Riley OConnor

    I do not agree that the charettes were “of no value”. They were and are important for the community to express what it really wants. The developers ignore it at their own risk.

    As far as TOD’s being “…attempt at citizen behavior modification…”, there are a lot of attempts out there to modify behavior. Liquor and tobacco taxes are one example, grocery stores running “BOGO” specials are another.

    When the MARTA system was originally designed, in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, the design philosophy was that the system would not look like a traditional “subway”, with lots of gates and steel fences to insure that the system collected all fares. The net result was that some of Atlanta’s finest athletes were able to leap a fare gate in a single bound. When MARTA fixed the fare gate problem, I suspect that there was an eloquent increase in fare revenues. The point being that a lot of design comes from idealistic academia, with all that that entails. After a while, the theories start breaking down and something new has to be developed.

    One numeric that does catch my attention is the fact that younger people are less inclined to obtain driving licenses. And, if you’re curious, I’ve written on the subject of MARTA and how it compares to other systems:

    https://brookhavenbear.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/atlanta-heavy-rail-in-context/

    One thing to note is that only a few additional “subway” systems were built in the U. S. after MARTA. It is possible that MARTA is too much system for a city like Atlanta, and having the regional transit aspect taken away did not help.

  11. 11

    Terrye

    I have lived in Atlanta 30319 for 20 years. Recently we purchased a home in Brookhaven/DeKalb County. Based on the report from the meeting last night, I am having serious doubts about the leadership of Brookhaven. I had my doubts before the meeting.
    The presentation reminds me of a board presenting the budget for a project, yet they cannot explain the numbers, details of the project and the response is “we will have to get back to you on your question”. Wrong answer. Don’t waste my time with meetings which provide no information other than you do not have your ducks in a row. I did not attend last night, I will be attending one of the future meetings and I hope someone does their homework and can answer real questions for real people wanting answers.

    Progress is not progress if it adversely affects the owners who own and call Brookhaven home.

    Who has the brilliant idea to add a round about at Apple Valley? Please don’t mention the round about at Apple Valley again. What are you thinking? People do not know how to use the one round about at Town Brookhaven! That was not planned for traffic, it was planned for a small city with half the stores empty and high rent residential complexes. What is the occupancy rate of the stores and apartments? This is a question, and one someone should easily answer.

    Looking forward to the next town hall meeting and waiting for answers.

  12. 12

    Maria

    Yes Chad I hear that and Millennials only rent apartments and Empty Nesters are moving out of single family homes. Here are so things to consider, Gen X and Y also moved in to apartments – heck most people in their 20’s do – they can’t come out of college and buy a home in 99% of the cases. When they approach their 30’s and marry most will want a HOME they own. Say it ain’t so… Millennials wanting to live in HOMES, no! Now let’s talk empty nesters, yup, a % will want to down size and a large portion that means “townhomes” and “condos” where they can reinvest that profit from the sale of the family home … and avoid penalty taxes – can’t do that with RENT. Now let’s go a step further… Baby Boomers – you know that large group that are aging out of the workforce and unfortunately out of the need for housing above ground – that would mean that the “largest” generation is SHRINKING and as far as I know there was a population decrease for the generations after – the most recent baby boom is not living on their own yet. So how exactly is the Millennial and Empty Nester population that wants to RENT going to increase over the next 8 year? Even adding in immigration we are definitely over building.

  13. 13

    Terrell

    For me, this is all rather simple.

    Do we want to move forward speculating on market trends and unknowns by chasing predictions of human behavior and economic forecasts OR do we want to move forward by preserving, protecting, improving, and strengthening the foundation we have?

    In real estate, the time tested favorite has always been location, location, location. Brookhaven needs to follow the defined character we have created. We moved here and we stay here because of what is here. Not because of what is coming here. If we “catch up” and “keep up”on our repairs and maintenance, spend tax payer money wisely and protect our citizens and businesses, everyone will be able to walk if you want to walk, rent if you want to rent, drive if you want to drive. It’s all about choices, anything else, your just chasing your tail.

    I’m not saying that the MARTA project should not be considered. All I’m saying is that there is room to negotiate if consideration is respectfully given to what Brookhaven represents and the basic principles we have worked so hard to put in place.

  14. 14

    Jennifer

    can I get an AMEN Terrell!

  15. 15

    Saul

    Amen. Let’s not ruin what we have here. If we do, at some point we will be seeking what we lost elsewhere. What we have now is ours to loose. Let our city leaders know your position and mince no words. Wake up Linley. Bates? You listening? Does he still live here?

  16. 16

    City-Weary

    “….the millennial generation represented the largest share of recent buyers, according to the 2015 National Association of Realtors® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, which evaluates the generational differences of recent home buyers and sellers.

    For the second consecutive year, NAR’s study found that the largest group of recent buyers was the millennial generation, those 34 and younger, who composed 32 percent of all buyers (31 percent in 2013).”

    Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the survey highlights the untapped demand for homeownership that exists among young adults. “Over 80 percent of millennial and Gen X buyers consider their home purchase a good financial investment, and the desire to own a home of their own was the top reason given by millennials for their purchase,”

    http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2015/03/nar-generational-survey-millennials-lead-all-buyers-most-likely-to-use-real-estate-agent

  17. 17

    Susan

    Something else to consider. When these young couples decide to settle down, purchase a house and have children what do they do? The smart ones seek a home where they can live for a while in an area with a good, stable school system. They do so for their children as well as resale value. Well, we can scratch Brookhaven off the list, dear. You people, thank you for demanding change in DeKalb schools. If you don’t call them out and drive them crazy you can’t complain.

  18. 18

    Jennifer

    I know a bunch of those empty nesters in condos – they live in Central and South Florida!

  19. 19

    Blah! Blah! Blah!!

    I heard that there is approved section 8 housing in this development. That’s how Marta and the powers that be already got it approved. Can someone confirm or deny?

  20. 20

    James

    They are “working” on a component of “workforce housing” but would not confirm if it was incliuded or not at this point. With the new vouchers, pretty much any rental unit can be low income housing, work force is rent controlled to an income of x% of the median income of an area.

  21. 21

    Dan

    Workforce housing is not a condition of approval of their rezoning request. If you don’t like the lack of sewer, traffic or stormwater design, tell your district representative and mayor to deny the rezoning request.

    That is the only leverage the City of Brookhaven has.

  22. 22

    Greg

    This development will happen in one form or another, and I bet all the elected officials are willing to lose their positions over this if voters are still angry about it at the next election. Long term it’s the right thing to do.

    The complainers need to focus on helping the city and MARTA improve the plan — like lower density, more greenspace, more government services (like a library), more frequent bus/shuttle service to the station, etc. — rather than pretending they can stop it altogether.

  23. 23

    Dean

    If the infrastructure will not support the density of the development then the development needs to be scaled back. That isn’t a complaint, that is being realistic. That said, regardless of infrastructure, the project will be maximized. The property is owned by a government agency in search of dollars.

  24. 24

    Chad

    No one, I repeat, NO ONE, is trying to eliminate or stop this development. We are trying to raise the alarms the only way we know OR HAVE TIME to raise. We all have full time jobs. We vote. We don’t make development or design decisions. That is the purview of the owner/developer. To repeat, you’ve never seen me raise one hoot about a new development. I have, indeed, mentioned @1399 and Alta. I think they’re beautiful. They were allowed by DeKalb Co.

    Long, hard fought battles over this site IN PARTICULAR ended in negotiated settlements for the current zoning requirements very, very recently. Those negotiations were the result of architectural and engineering input by CURRENT neighbors. Those negotiations should be honored. The current zoning classifications include multi-family housing, residential and office space. Any request to rezone based on a “walkable, liveable” initiative is already in place. There is no burden economic or otherwise on the owner.

    MARTA is trying to maximize. We are trying to hold them to our agreed vision.

  25. 25

    ART

    TOD developments require Section 8 housing as a component or they cannot draw down the federal tax funds to pay for it. The city cannot stop it because MARTA and the federal government make these decisions, not our local elected officials.

  26. 26

    Jennifer

    I have NEVER said we shouldn’t develop the area, I have always said a Haven style development would be perfect. I know of one maybe two that don’t want any changes and they know that they won’t get that but what I DO know is that the density that is proposed is not going to allow the neighborhood to continue to enjoy the quality of life that they expected when they moved in. I DO say that the developer that spoke at the meeting made it clear that they are not looking to stop with the station but want to look at expanding to a 10 minute walk area. I DO know that there are more that agree with me than not that we need to insure that this development is scaled down to fit the area or it should NOT be built.

  27. 27

    Tom Reilly

    Amen to that, Jennifer!!

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