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    Thank you for posting this Trey. As we are faced with all the development that has been filed and more to come it is important that we understand how the process works so that we can present an effective case for support or opposition. By having the tools and resources at our fingertips we can develop strong cases to present to the various boards, committees and council to insure we the residents have a voice in the future of Brookhaven. I strongly suggest anyone that plans to speak at any meetings on development attend this session.

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    Thank you Corey and Stan. Job well done!
    Excellent forum and information.

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    Riley OConnor

    A very interesting and useful meeting at a time when Brookhaven is getting ready for some serious construction projects. Mr. Siegel and Mr. Self are our neighbors who serve on these boards as a matter of community interest and concern. To be sure, we do not always agree with their decisions, but one takeaway from the meeting was seeing their deep knowledge of the subject.

    In part, this meeting was meant to help people be better at presenting their case for or against proposed construction projects. As an example, everybody talks about tree loss, but nobody talks about planting trees. Some trees, like Bradford Pears, for example, really deserve to be removed and replaced with a nice hardwood. But the larger issue is that there are a number of other points within the zoning ordinance that should also be discussed at a meeting about a construction project that are just as relevant.

    And, having organized and disciplined speakers is a good place to start. Having twenty people get up and say that a specific project is going to make traffic worse is somewhat pointless. Yes, traffic is bad, but saying it over and over again takes away the opportunity to talk about other more relevant matters about a specific project. And one long-winded speaker can take away time from others who also want to speak.

    Another takeaway from the meeting was seeing just how many of our neighbors are serious about this matter, asking questions and taking notes. To be sure, there were those who wanted to talk about a specific project, but that was not the purpose of the meeting. Rather, the stated purpose of the meeting was to show how the zoning and variance process works; a goal which they achieved.

    Just like lawsuits, which can be filed for whatever reason (rational or not), you can go to the Development Department with a drawing and completed form and ask to build anything that you want. The City employees of the Development Department can then either approve and disapprove, which then starts the process.

    In an ideal world, it is possible for the community to help guide the development process through thoughtful and informed input at meetings. It has been said periodically that “Greedy developers suck”, and while that is probably true, it also can be said that other developers want to do the right thing. If you’re not sure, take a look at the two story office building at the corner of Dresden Drive and Apple Valley. Or the building next to it, which was designed by an architect who does churches.

    It is in our best interest to be prepared for the upcoming construction events, and this meeting helped that process.

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    I’m grateful to both Stan and Corey for taking the time out of their evenings to do this and walking everyone through the PC and ZBA process. I was a huge cynic of cityhood, but for the first time since formation, I began to appreciate having neighbors and homeowners like those two serving on these commissions and boards. It helps greatly from a resident’s confidence perspective that both of them have it together and know what they’re doing.

    I was especially impressed with Stan’s grasp of issues that are still several weeks from coming down the pipe.

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    We’re lucky to have both not only willing but competently to work on our behalf.

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