In March of 2014, the City of Brookhaven notified the County of its intent to acquire various parcels of county-owned property within the City limits. Most of the park properties were transferred, but Osborne was not one of them. Brookhaven Park, located at the corner of Osborne Rd. and Peachtree Rd., is also not transferred due to complications that involve the DeKalb County Service Center and other deed related issues.
Over the years, DeKalb used federal funds to acquire FEMA properties, including land that now lies within the City of Brookhaven boundaries, prior to its incorporation. According to the County, houses or structures on these properties were demolished/removed and are under County ownership.
DeKalb Director of Engineering, Hari Karikaran advised Commissioners the FEMA properties cannot be developed as they are located in the floodplain. “These properties are deed restricted so no development can occur on the land,” wrote Karikarin.
The deed restriction says the Property shall be dedicated and maintained in perpetuity as open space for the conservation of natural floodplain functions. Compatible uses may include parks for outdoor recreational activities; wetlands management; nature reserves; cultivation; grazing; camping (except where adequate warning time is not available to allow evacuation); unimproved, unpaved parking lots; buffer zones; and other uses consistent with FEMA guidance for open space acquisition, Hazard Mitigation Assistance Requirements for Property Acquisition and Relocation for Open Space.
No new structures or improvements shall be erected on the Property other than:
- A public facility that is open on all sides and functionally related to a designated open space or recreational use;
- A public rest room; or
- A structure that is compatible with open space and conserves the natural function of the floodplain, including the uses described above, and approved by the FEMA Administrator in writing before construction of the structure begins.
Any improvements on the Property must be in accordance with proper floodplain management policies and practices. Structures built on the Property according to the list above, must be flood proofed or elevated to at least the base flood level plus 1 foot of freeboard, or greater if required by FEMA, or if required by any State, Tribal, or local ordinance, and in accordance with criteria established by the FEMA Administrator.
Once the final signatures are in place and Brookhaven takes ownership, the City will have to take over maintaining these properties, including mowing the grass and other general maintenance.
See the list below for specific addresses.