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38 Comments

  1. 1

    Chad

    Welcome Home to Brookhaven Fields. We love it here. Thanks, Riley.

  2. 2

    Barbara

    You have great points but you really lost me when you started the childish insults about Bones and whisky. You are better than that.

  3. 3

    Saul

    O’Reily, unfortunately, there will soon be three developments approved for your immediate area with a fourth to follow in the future. I feel for you buddy, but it’s going to happen. The size may be a trimmed a bit, but with that number of developments and their size, life in your area will be impacted. Where is Bates Mattison when you need him? We are lucky we have the D1 Angel to sheild us from these kinds of neighborhood destructive happenings. We are so conscious of change up here we won’t let anyone do anything about our ratty fences!

  4. 4

    Chad

    Whatever….

    And we mean that in the kindest possible way.

  5. 5

    Toff

    Maybe they worked hard to earn their steak, whisky and gated residence?

  6. 6

    Saul

    In all sincerity Chad, good luck. I believe all of Dresden was once single family residential. Now look at how everything west of Conasauga has changed. Just wait until those two churches get bought out. I feel for you. Where is Bates regarding all of this? Looks like he is your “whatever” man.

  7. 7

    Tracy Garrett

    Spot on!

  8. 8

    Riley OConnor

    I like Bones and whiskey. Although, given a choice, I’d prefer LaGrotta and whiskey…..

  9. 9

    Riley OConnor

    I’m sure that they did, but the families living in Brookhaven did, too.

  10. 10

    flubber

    I assume there is some sort of rezoning connected with this. Hopefully you will be able to kill it.

  11. 11

    Marty

    As a 20 year Brookhaven resident let me say that Mr. O’Connor has hit the nail right on the head. My sentiments exactly well put.

  12. 12

    Howard S

    He’s missing in action again…

  13. 13

    Saul

    Chadwick, I am going to look to you for an answer to this question. If an important representative is MIA, who is ultimately responsible? The one MIA? Or those that tolerate the MIA?

    So vocal on many issues. So quiet on this and related issues. The “whatever” man.

  14. 14

    Saul

    I’ve always wondered if O’Riley was a good carpenter.

  15. 15

    bldvl89

    Riley – well written piece that accurately relays anecdotes that could only have come from someone taking the time to come out and attend all these d*mn meetings.

    Incidentally, dont you love the timing of the filing of both the T-P and Connolly rezoning applications? By filing in early April, both developers got a predetermined hearing schedule that ensures their cases come before the Planning Commission and the City Council after school lets out for the summer – when families will scatter for vacations.

    Great way to reduce resident participation – and therefore resistance – to these obnoxious projects.

  16. 16

    Allen

    So Saul, what would you suggest we do about our MIA rep? Fire him? You can’t make someone do something that they don’t want to do or don’t care about as far as their constituents. Last election cycle I chose to give him another round because JMax was on his way out and I felt that he was a big influence on Bate’s. Now I know that is not the case and will remember it next election cycle. Any wisdom or other solution is welcomed.

  17. 17

    bldvl89

    The key to fighting this is NOT having to count on our council rep.

  18. 18

    Riley OConnor

    Generally speaking, you don’t see the political types at meetings such as this. At least not in a speaking role. In recent memory, Linley Jones did host a meeting with the neighbors and the developer of the Ashford-Dunwoody properties. This application was later withdrawn without prejudice for a needed rework.

    Overall, the presence of a City Councilperson at these meetings would be to gather information only. They can’t speak, since this would later lead to allegations of prejudice, either for or against a project. Their role comes later, after the City Development Department, the Planning Commission and possibly the Zoning Review Board have looked at it. There’s a process there, ideally aimed toward fairness to all parties.

  19. 19

    Saul

    Allen, it didn’t take me long to see through Bates right after he initially threw his hat in the ring. You guys had what, six or seven people running for office the first go around? Any one of them would have been infinately better for Brookhaven than Bates. Was I the only one to feel uncomfortable with him?

    Then there is all of the drama with the BIA funding (you know our tax money for his pet project with no relationship to city government) and the possibility of Brookhaven funding a school for BIA (ditto). Another big red flag. I haven’t touched on all the other things that concern me with his judgement and decision making. Then there are concerns of a more personal nature.

    That was enough for me. I was simply shocked that no one else was vocal enough to run in opposition to the man in D3. It’s hard for me to say this without sounding harsh, but you guys blew it this past election cycle. Paying attention to the candidates and voting intelligently is paramount. Just because they are your buddy doesn’t mean they will represent you well.

  20. 20

    Allen

    This isn’t about one or 2 re-zoning cases. He checked out on us long ago.

  21. 21

    kbg

    “Perhaps in twenty years all will make sense, but for the moment the neighborhoods are faced with massive change that threatens the very character of our home. ”

    I remember when the first developments were planned for Dresden and the huge show of neighbors that were opposed to it. At that time, Dekalb County was in charge and flat out said they were going to highly densify areas around MARTA stations. Sleepy little Dresden has changed. We live in a neighborhood whose character we approved when we moved in, but we also only own 0.25 acres so our voice is barely acknowledged; we weren’t heard at all when the initial changes were proposed. Plenty of neighbors want to fight the increased density, but many others are silently accepting the change as it increases the value of their 0.25 acres dramatically. The bottom line is that we are in the way of progress, and 20 years from now it will make sense for all those people that moved in as we move out.

  22. 22

    Eddie E.

    Riley,
    Probably the best, most comprehensive and accurate article representing those of us who have invested into our neighborhood as homes over the last few decades.
    Current zoning already allows substantial changes that would offer a reasonable profit.
    If the developers want more, maybe they should seek locations that allow more.
    I just hope the Mayor and Council are paying close attention to the will of their constituents.

  23. 23

    Mickey Roberts

    Well said, Riley. These rezonings are in the initial phase, and there is a long way to go. I believe there will be changes and amendments to both applications, based on the concerns you specifically address, and It will be interesting to see the recommendation ofbrookhaven staff . As far as the “low blow” comments about “missing” council members, it would be unethical for a sitting member of city council to comment on a proposed rezoning, and anyone who states otherwise either is just ignorant of the process or has an agenda.

  24. 24

    Saul

    Mickey, et al, it’s funny about ethics. It is a two way street. Yes, it would be a conflict for a seated city councilman to inject himself in planning and zoning issues that are pending. Just make sure you also note which side of being ethical the MIA has been on past issues. He certainly picks and chooses his ethics doesn’t he? And some of us have selective memories.

  25. 25

    Brittany Mother

    Riley just curious, are any of our elected officials or people like Ben Song are attending any of these meetings as observers? If so are they asking clarifying questions about these developments when appropriate?

  26. 26

    bldvl89

    Is it a low blow to point out that the attorney for T-P donated $1000 to our district rep’s uncontested re-election campaign last November when this project was in the works?

    Or that our council rep was the beneficiary of another develo

  27. 27

    bldvl89

    Or that our council rep was the beneficiary of another developer s fundraiser last year – the week before he was scheduled to vote on that developer’s re-zoning application?

  28. 28

    yakety-yak

    Blame yourselves brookhaven!! Builders want to build, period! It’s what they do! Banks want to loan, it’s what they do.
    They weren’t willing to loan on risky ventures w/out a front end committment to jump start the infrastructure! The redevelopment powers act would have been the incentive the builders needed to have opened up Buford Highway to this type of density. But no, no, no…can’t see that sometimes you gotta pay to play! Now you guys are sure in a pickle!!

  29. 29

    Stan S

    The meetings beng held are community involvement meetings required of the developer to begin a dialogue with the surrounding neighbors. Although city officials will sometimes attend, it is not their meeting and listening is the appropriate action. The first meeting where city appointed officials get to ask questions and delve into the project is the Planning Commission. Everyone is on the hot seat, developers, supporters , opponents, and city staff. The seat gets hotter when those same stakeholders testify in front of the City Council.

    It’s our hope that these early meetings will produce a compromise solution that the community can support. The recent zoning on Apple Valley had community support after a number of iterative designs and meetings.

    We encourage all sides of an issue to be vocal and fair in looking to find that sometimes elusive middle ground.

    After that the Planning Commission has structured evaluation criteria, formal process, formal record keeping.

  30. 30

    Eddie E.

    Builders want to build, it’s what they do.
    Governments make and enforce the rules, it’s what they do.

    This is clearly a situation where Governments need to enforce the rules.

  31. 31

    yakety-yak

    Down votes!?! So down votes imply you don’t understand all this density fit better along wide open Buford Highway than squeezed into the single family setting of Dresden Rd. Come on people, use your brains!
    There should certainly be some incentives & public partnerships in place to get that jump started,..duh!!

  32. 32

    Jimmy

    Yakety-yak –
    When one of the developers were asked, “Why is Dresden being so heavily pursued over Buford Hwy or Clairmont Rd?” The response was “demographics”.

  33. 33

    Walter

    Sounds like land and development costs on Buford Highway are not near as profitable as J. Max thought they would be. I wonder if development connected Joe G. has a clue when he pushes his development oriented agenda. D4, is this guy really representative of your population or is he more reflective of Mike’s D1 desire for your redevelopment? D4, better wake up down there!

  34. 34

    Guest

    I acn understand the dislike for the man yet he runs unopposed. Someone has to set up or you will just continue in your misery.

  35. 35

    Yakety-yak

    …yes, but everyone really knows it’s because redevelopment powers act was voted down which led to no TAD being created along Buford Hwy. to help with teardown of existing outdated apartments, create public spaces, parking decks and stormwater/drain pipes, and other infrastructure, etc. I assure you , all those monstrosities being squashed onto Dresden were in the developers portfolios set for Buford Hwy.!

  36. 36

    Phantom Bonds

    Ahh, the old nemesis. Redevelopment Powers Law and it’s wicked Step Father Development Authority Bond for Title deals.

    Everyone google Phantom Bonds. Then Google Puerto Rico Development Bank. Then wonder why we are making an interest free $36m loan to Piper Jaffray. Have a great week.

    Yakety – Yak? So uninformed. So cynical. So selfish.

  37. 37

    Chad Boles

    Hey Yakety Yak,

    Can’t infrastructure repairs be paid for with general fund assets and a General Obligation bond we all vote on? Yea, that’s right we can.

    But you keep telling everyone the only way to fix our streets is to give our city government unlimited debt capacity to do as they wish.

    Keep trying. We’ll be right here. I’m not moving. I love Brookhaven.

  38. 38

    Guest

    Bates should make the most of his BIA job. I can promise you he won’t be unopposed again.

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