Brookhaven, GA, July 5, 2016 – by Trey Benton – Developers CONNOLLY and Fairfield Residential have released revisions to their plans for a proposed mixed-use development on 3.437 acres on Dresden Drive, between Caldwell Road and Parkside Drive, called Dresden Village. The developers say the changes are the product of “over 55 meetings in total with residents, City leaders and neighborhood advocates to obtain feedback and help shape the project.”
The original Dresden Village plan included:
- 20,000 sq. ft. of boutique shops and local restaurants with outside patios managed by local operators
- Pedestrian friendly streetscapes with wide sidewalks and interesting storefronts
- 206 luxury multi-family apartment homes at a density of 60-units per acre
- Approximately 200 parking spaces for retail customers and the general public
- A central parking deck with access points on Dresden Drive, Parkside Drive and Caldwell Road
- 4 stories throughout
Revisions to Dresden Village plan include:
- 4 stories on Dresden and 3 stories facing Caldwell Rd. frontage now has the scaled look of townhomes
- Reduced the number of balconies by making all first floor units on Caldwell walk out units with stoops and by eliminating the 4th story along Caldwell Rd.
- Reduced the total number of units from 206 to 194, which reduces density from 60-units per acre to 56.6
- Access on Caldwell Rd. has been changed from full retail/residential access to be residential, right exit only. There will be no entrance on Caldwell Rd., further reducing traffic on Caldwell and eliminating cut through traffic
- Developer will contribute $20,000.00 to the City of Brookhaven to facilitate traffic improvements at the intersection of Caldwell Road and Green Meadows Lane to prevent cut through traffic into the neighborhood
- Relocated trash, deliveries and loading/unloading from Caldwell Rd.to Parkside Dr.
- Added over ½ acre of public green open space in the proposed pocket park and pedestrian pathway that connects Caldwell Rd. to Dresden Dr. (which will be a public easement)
- Designated 2 parallel parking spaces on Dresden for Uber/Taxi (or other transportation drop-off and pick-up)
- Developer will contribute $5,000.00 to the Ashford Park Community for improvements at Parkside Park
- Development will have over 140 publicly accessible paid parking spaces to help provide much-needed parking in the area
Dresden Village developers say a 4-story development along Dresden Dr. is consistent with the Brookhaven-Peachtree Overlay District and the same as the two developments across the street. “Dresden Village will provide the missing retail and restaurant experience that the other two developments lack,” project developers say. They also say they are not pursuing any tax abatements for their project.
Back in 2006, a portion of the nine parcels Dresden Village will consume if approved, was zoned to PC-2 – allowing the development of 155 multifamily units (48.6 units per acre) and 35,000 square feet of retail/restaurant uses in two four story buildings with a central parking deck on 3.19 acres. The main reason the existing project proposal has to go before the City for a rezone at this time, is because of a triangular parcel zoned O-I which is included in the proposed Dresden Village project footprint. That parcel needs a PC-2 zoning designation as well to make the project work.
In terms of traffic, Developers anticipate moving the DeKalb County tag office to another location which the theory is, such a move would offset a large percentage of traffic Dresden Village would bring, effectively making increases in traffic negligible. One problem developers noted is staging coming in and out of the tag office and the poor design of ingress and egress.
Cody Owens, Project Manager from A&R Engineering said during an April Community Meeting, a traffic study showed “an increase of 78 peak time trips” as a result of the project. He explained it is customary to do traffic studies on days during peak AM and PM travel times, and do them on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday because that gives a more realistic count. Peak travel times were considered to be from 7AM to 8AM and 5PM to 6PM, which residents said is about half of the time traffic is really choking the area both in the morning and evening.
The traffic study was done over a three-day period – one day in January, one in February and another in March, Owens said. The locations tested were Apple Valley at Dresden, Parkside at Dresden, Ellijay at Dresden and Caldwell at Dresden. Owens said only one of the sites registered as “over capacity”. Residents maintain, however, Dresden Dr. has a “Level of Service” (LOS) rating of “F” and they want to see improvement.
Brookhaven’s Planning Commission will consider another proposed mixed-use development along Dresden Dr. during their July 6th meeting, a Terwilliger-Pappas project called Solis Dresden. The City’s Community Development Staff has recommended denial of that application, according to the Staff Report in the Agenda Packet here.
Below is a presentation outlining the differences between the original Dresden Village proposal and where the project is today.
The case is up for review by the planning commission in August.