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    Thomas Porter

    The lower part of this City will be unrecognizable/unliveable if any of these are passed and our future lay in your voices in the Character Area studies.

  2. 2

    Tom Reilly

    Very well thought out and written piece, Karen!! It shows the extra dedication and effort that goes along with being a resident of a city that both of us love!! Too many developers want it fast, easy, cheap, and profitable [for them]. We always need to remember that we live here, and they don’t. We will live with their consequences, they won’t. Keep up the good work–our best defense is a group of active, alerted, and articulate citizens!!–Tom Reilly

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    From out of the morass of excessive sized and incompatible re-zoning requests coming one right after the other; the tired eyes of wives, husbands, parents, and volunteers who’ve completely burned their spring and summer attending meeting after meeting, endlessly poring through the Comp Plan and the zoning code trying to figure out what PC-2 really means; and the frayed nerves of neighbors and homeowners, whose very homes, neighborhoods and way of life are so casually dismissed by those with no connection to areas they believe are theirs to do with as they please, a voice of light and reason shines!!!

    I shudder to think where we would be as a city without residents like Karen, who are motivated by nothing more than a desire to ensure uncontrolled development doesn’t dictate what we were led to believe our city could be.

  4. 4

    One of your neighbors!

    Karen you are amazing! I can say that one good thing has come out of the onslaught of meetings this spring and summer, I have gotten to know some great people. I look forward to the days when instead of nightly meetings with them to discuss the next project or board meeting to defend our community, we can meet and celebrate that we have made our voices heard and zoning has been amended so that we know our city reps understand what is acceptable and have the tools to enforce it.

    The Character Area Study will consist of the intro meeting (2 more on the 19th) and two Charrettes (stakeholder workshop meeting) one in August, one in September. The zoning rewrite will be taken up at the completion of the study and will utilize the additional information that is gathered in these meetings. 3 meetings is all it will take to make a HUGE impact to the future of Brookhaven. The project site is

  5. 5


    The Haven development was denied because the city knew they couldn’t approve both pending developments and that was a total rezoning from commercial and single family to PC-2 multi-family. That was a no brainer and a carrot to the community. But they REALLY want the Dresden/Caldwell development to go through because it includes 140 paid parking spaces for the disaster that is Dresden Village parking. The community push back made a big difference in look and smaller difference in number of units. Somehow the paid parking also went from 200 to 140. This one will go through. This isn’t the scary one though. The scary one is STILL the Marta TOD.

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    Can someone explain to me why the city wants more revenue? We were formed on the basis on limited employees and a better community right? So why the perceived push for paid parking spots and higher tax base? I guess I just dont see why any government, especially a small and wealthy city like Brookhaven, needs more money. Why can we not manage on the above average tax revenue?

  7. 7

    On the Record

    This is just a tactic by ‘homeowner’ to raise anxiety levels. There is no evidence either way as to the outcome of this Dresden/Caldwell project. Nor is there any evidence that the city is hunting for revenue. One factoid that is REALLY true: a large piece of this parcel is ALREADY zoned PC-2, making the outcome a bit fuzzy. Thank you DeKalb County.

  8. 8


    On the Record, you are correct. The property in question is already zoned, thank you DeKalb county, for 45 units per acre. PC-2 is 60 units per acre. The changes have brought it back to 50 something units per acre. The difference in number of units between the two is not large and as I said above the developer is also throwing in a huge carrot in the paid parking spaces provided for the city. I am not in any way trying to raise anxiety levels. It just is what it is. I personally attended meetings at the District 2 council persons home where he asked if we would be willing to let the developer put in more units in return for parking. So, I am not full of you know what.

  9. 9

    Thomas Porter

    PC-2 zoning is unlike other zoning categories, it can ONLY be given based upon approval of a comprehensive plan. The plan approved by DeKalb on portions of the Connolly project cannot be built anymore. So, in all seriousness, the zoning SHOULD revert to the prior zoning.
    I just hope the City will acknowledge this.

  10. 10


    The Comp. Plan calls out Johnson Ferry, Clairmont, Peachtree, and Buford Hwy many times as targeted development areas. Can you imagine maximum high density PC-2 along Johnson Ferry? Nightmare! Same goes for these attempts on Dresden. We need to define exactly where particular zoning classes are acceptable.

    Thank you Karen for another well written, fair, and knowledgeable article.

  11. 11

    Bob Sorrentino

    A more accurate statement would be that Dekalb authorized a PC2 project for 155 apartments with a density of 48 unit/acre. The current proposal looks nothing like this as it does not include all the original parcels and added others. This easily triggers Sec. 27-1558 in the code rendering that approval meaningless. Thankfully so, as we all know how good DeKalb was with their approvals (@1377, Rosewood). Now if they want to argue that they should be able to keep the same density on those original lots that were approved PC2, then they would be able to put in 109 units across those original lots. A good bit shy of the 194 they are currently asking for. But because there is no possibility of them executing the Dekalb approved PC2 project, Brookhaven has all the authority it needs to award ANY zoning it feels is appropriate.

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    That’s terrific! Means Connolly has to start from scratch and the City can actually do what it couldnt with @1377 and Rosewood: fix a DeKalb County mistake, and get it right from the start.

    Which is amazing, because opportunities to fix past zoning mistakes are so few and far between.

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    Bob, should the PC2 designation be blamed on DeKalb or on the fact that there was limited objection from uninvolved residents in the area. My observation was DeKalb was attentive to community participation or the lack of and unless unreasonable voted accordingly. Also, remember there were D1 people on some of the DeKalb boards voting on those matters.

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    Bob Sorrentino

    Saul, Brookhaven wasn’t even on my radar when these lots were rezoned PC2 (I had just met my future wife while living the dream in a 1bd condo in the Vi-Hi). So I have no idea how it was hashed out. I will say that by approving @1377 (roughly 65 unit/acre) and Rosewood (70ish unit/acre), I don’t see how DeKalb could have remotely justified that scale on a two lane road directly adjacent to single family homes regardless of community input. But you are absolutely right, community input is very important. And that is why everyone needs to be aware of what is being proposed and voice their concerns for or against.

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    Donna Elliott

    Thank you Karen. Great article. Hoping to be at the meetings to fight for less density.

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