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46 Comments

  1. 1

    Thomas Porter

    Listening has been a sore spot in the brief history of Brookhaven (at the Council & Staff levels), I hope that it is not in the future. The Terwilleger-Pappas denial was wonderful, but really a “slam-dunk” in terms of reasons to deny. This development should be approved… at 30 units/acre density.
    Mayor & Council: Please LISTEN

  2. 2

    Tom Reilly

    Karen, you’re my kind of gal–and I mean that in a nice way!! My years as a Credit manager taught me how to evaluate scare tactics. The fact is that quality development [and developers] will continue to seek us out preciously BECAUSE we’re so valuable!! We’re like the “Belle of the Ball” in high school: She knew that she could pick and choose her dates because there would always be more, and better, dates to come. Set a few automatic, reasonable standards and the troublemakers who would drag us down simply won’t be there !!–Tom Reilly

  3. 3

    Melissa Smith

    I could not agree more. I’m so tired of being asked to subsidize developers profit margins by compromising my quality of life. I’d love to make 50% more so “economics” work better for me, but I don’t expect my neighbors to pay for it, or city council to mandate it.

  4. 4

    Tom Reilly

    Make that “precisely” instead of “preciously.”

  5. 5

    Jeff Dernavich

    Please note that this matters to everyone in Brookhaven, not just those in the Ashford Park/Drew Valley/Dresden Drive area. If the city and the citizens go about working with developers in a smart way using data, our city vision and common sense then when the next development project comes to your neighborhood, a great baseline will be established for how this works. Please help your city council member and the mayor understand the choice we want now!

  6. 6

    Raul

    Karen, can we “hire you” in Buckhead? The powers that be are too powerful and our city cares not one bit for the future – only for $$$. This will become an impossible place to live and work which compromises the same promising future they claim development will deliver.

  7. 7

    Vote to Deny

    This should not be approved at 30 units/acre or any other number. The developer has asked for 56 units per/acre and that is the proposal in front of the City Council. The developer was given a chance at the Planning Commission meeting to request time to review the staff recommendation and revise their plan to a lower density. They chose not to do so and their submitted proposal should be denied by the City Council. A deferral at this meeting would be an opportunity for an attorney to bill more time, and for the community to sacrifice more time. What has come to pass rests squarely on the shoulders of JR Connelly, when he demonstrated he was not prepared to compromise.

    The message to future developers should be clear, the initial proposal should not ignore the word ‘maximum’ in the zoning ordinance. As in a maximum of 6 stories, or a maximum of 60 units/acre. The message should also be clear that property owners pricing their parcels with the assumption of maximum zoning density ‘will not realize windfall profits at the expense of Brookhaven’s future.

    VOTE to DENY, NO DEFERRAL, NO WITHDRAWAL,

  8. 8

    enuff govt already

    A seminal moment for the people who claimed this new govt was necessary to stop bad development decisions.

  9. 9

    May

    Why not hold out for condos or townhomes? I am horrified at all the apartments under construction in Brookhaven/Buckhead. It makes me want to move out of town!! Traffic is already out of control. I prefer ownership!

  10. 10

    Saul

    Suckers! We don’t have this problem in D1. And we won’t because we have the D1 Angel. We have our city and you are under our control. Your sacrifice makes our city better for us to do the things we want.

  11. 11

    Saul

    HA, HA, HAAAAAAA! Some folks just wouldn’t listen. Break out the I Heart Brookhaven bumper stickers!

  12. 12

    Doyle

    Saul,

    If you were so great in D1 you would have taken better care of the $20,000 worth of plants in the Ashford Dunwoody ROW that were put there to cover your ratty fences.

    Doyle.

    Ps. Enjoy your new bridge.

  13. 13

    Saul

    See Doyle, you have just backed into the beauty of living in D1. We do what we like. If we have a problem because someone complains about our ratty fences, we prevail on our councilman to use city money to camouflage ratty fences with city purchased landscaping. We have city control on our side, check our our elected and supporters. And, don’t forget about our influential D1 Angel! By the way, how do you like our new showcase bridge! Suckers!

  14. 14

    Doyle

    Saul,

    You should get out more. The plants have all died. Maybe that Soto guy could give you a ride over there and see for yourself.

    We need to expand our government more to include a watering truck.

    Doyle

  15. 15

    Saul

    Doyle, you do realize those ratty fences are on private property and their maintenance is a private matter. Furthermore, any buffering of traffic and street noise from the roads adjacent to the ratty fences is the responsibility of the concerned property owner. You know, the people that purchased homes that back up to a couple of busy roads? But see, we just don’t worry about petty things like this in the all powerful D1. That is because we are D1! Our city takes care of us!

  16. 16

    Traitor

    Karen “Traitor” Dernavich must be in the pockets of the developer. It must be “no” not approve for less. How much are they playing you, Traitor. If this gets approved it is you , and your little paid off gang .

  17. 17

    Doyle

    Saul,

    You D1 people make me sick. Wasteful, entitled, anointed, spoiled city creators. Bring back J Max Davis. The only honest man we had hold office.

    The Dresden rampant development would never get to the point it has if it was in D1.

    Doyle

  18. 18

    The Brookhaven Post

    No personal attacks please. Debate all you want. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Thanks.

  19. 19

    Saul

    Doyle, no problem! Just another favored D1 expense you people will not know about. If the city doesn’t have enough common sense to plant when the season is best for our plantings and natural irrigation from God, we’ll just spend more city money! Don’t forget we are D1!

  20. 20

    Randy Watson

    I too hope the City leaders will follow the law and do the right thing – limited density, smart growth and for good sakes – no more tired arguments from developers that Brookhaven & the communities will lose out. The developers are free to take their $$ anywhere else they want to in/around Atlanta.

    Those same pro-developer positions are already starting to be bandied about by Pulte Homes for an assemblage project they’re putting together on Buford Hwy (stay tuned for more on that soon enough…).

    Remember folks: you’re dealing with FOR PROFIT companies that do not give two cents about the communities they work in – they want to pay as little as possible to get what they want in concessions from Brookhaven. From there, the rest of the profits from the project are siphoned to their shareholders – many times out of town and out of state.

  21. 21

    Kelley

    We felt the same way until we banded together and demanded to be heard.

  22. 22

    Kelley

    As much as you might want to say no to everything we have to be realistic – something will be built and working for a compromise is the best for everyone. While I would love to see single family homes there and on the Marta property I know that is a non starter so the question becomes what can we live with. I’ve met Karen and the others that are working so very hard to protect Dresden and can assure you they are NOT traitors or working with developers. Some have cancelled vacations and taken time from work and family to study and understand the underlying zoning and comp plan. They have spent their own money to host a neighborhood breakfast, put out flyers and signs. If your are so concerned and want to offer some constructive help you can reach out to them on the website on the flyer: http://www.wearebrookhavenga.com

  23. 23

    Greg

    The vocal minority are the only ones speaking. Future residents of such developments probably don’t live in the city now, so not like they can vote on it. Build it and they will come, don’t build it and they won’t come.

    The #1 reason there is apartment boom is that banks will not finance condo developments. The only condos being built are $1 million+ per unit.

  24. 24

    Dumb Comment

    Greg needs to know what he is talking about before he speaks. Do some research before talking nonsense.

  25. 25

    Bob Sorrentino

    This proposed development is 420 linear feet of 4 story facade facing Dresden. This is just about the exact length of the Rosewood 4 story structure. The 4 story @1377 is roughly 400 linear feet and will sit between 110-120ft across from this 420 ft monolith (or about the width of my front lawn). This concrete canyon is just one of the derivatives that very high density on a two lane road yields. It is safe to say this is far from being permeable.

    Lowering the density would allow variations in eave height for this 420ft like the Kaleidoscope mixed use (which runs a max of 325ft of mostly 3 stories before it opens up at Verde).

  26. 26

    Dumb Comment

    Ha, Ha, Ha! Ignorance at it’s best!Traitor, you’re the traitor.

  27. 27

    Justin Owings

    Yes, potential renters of yet-to-be-built apartments are silent. So are any “future residents” of anything built in Brookhaven. Yes, if you build it they will come. If you build townhomes, they will come. If you build condos, they will come. If you build apartments, they will come. Their silence is because these ghost residents don’t yet exist; they don’t get a say. That’s how it works.

    And what about that “Vocal minority” you speak of? Let’s talk about a few numbers — and before we do, let’s put them in context: only 3800 people voted for any Mayoral candidate the Mayor last November.

    As for metrics around this development?

    – Nearly 800 Brookhaven residents have signed a petition for Smart Development that specifically asks for 30 units per acre
    – Over 1200 people haven read through a 90 slide presentation arguing for Smart Development in the City of Brookhaven (This: https://goo.gl/Wo7GHv ).
    – Packed, standing room only Planning Commission meetings with people wearing red
    – Karen’s letter here alone has garnered over 28 shares on Facebook in less than 24 hours. I’m sure it’s making the rounds on Nextdoor, email, etc., too.

    Does that sound like a minority of Brookhaven to you? And for every one person who did any of the actions above, there are lots and lots of silent others who didn’t because they aren’t aware of what’s going on, don’t have the time to participate, or believe that the hundreds of people already taking action are doing a good job speaking for them.

    But maybe you’re right. Maybe some large number of Brookhaven residents are clamoring for this kind of development. If they are, they are free to speak up, put in the hours of work to support their beliefs, and get involved.

  28. 28

    Mason Barge

    The answer to your question: As long as developers are able to line the pockets of unknown people in the City Council and/or Mayor’s Office. Look at the history of the redevelopment of Colonial Homes, if you want to become utterly cynical.

    We had a protracted battle, with solid community action opposing the development, at every step of the process. When the zoning board approved it, we took our fight to the City Council, which reversed the Zoning Board and killed the project!

    Or so we thought. The developer then sued the City — without any notice to us and without our knowledge — and the City quietly declined to defend the lawsuit. Once the period for intervening and/or appeal had expired, bulldozers showed up to begin building the development that the City Council had disapproved, with no legal recourse.

  29. 29

    Eddie E.

    Could we expect the city to at least stick to the code once in a while?

  30. 30

    Karen Dernavich

    Thanks. I feel like the City has been very responsive and has made great strides in making zoning information specifically more accessible. My intent here is to show that there is a path to smart development and ensure that the people are paying attention.

  31. 31

    Kathy Forbes

    A big thank you to Karen and everyone else who has invested an enormous of time and energy to ensure smart development in our community.

    What upsets me is that we are having to fight over and over again every time a developer comes in that wants to revise our vision for Brookhaven. It doesn’t have to be this way.

    What we need is a set of Development Principals that are created by the community and that our city leaders adopt and live by. The principals would serve to guide their everyday decisions and actions in regards to zoning development, interpreting zoning, managing developer expectations, appointing/firing ZBA members, educating the ZBA, deciding on which projects to approve or disapprove and so forth.

    All successful people and organizations operate by a set of principles that help them be successful. Without principals, our city leaders end up reacting to circumstances that come at them, without considering what the community values and how to make choices that ensure that we (the community) get what we want.

  32. 32

    Karen Dernavich

    Everything must be balanced with zoning law, property rights, and resident rights. It is a tough balance.

  33. 33

    Brittany Mother

    Kathy, I think you are overlooking the fact that Brookhaven is a city of ethics. That is all we need.

    http://www.brookhavenga.gov/home/showdocument?id=176

  34. 34

    bldvl89

    We are effing lucky to have bright, committed residents like Karen, Bob S and Justin just to name a few – willing to sacrifice their time, effort and brainpower to keep deep pocket, lawyered up developers from coming in and doing whatever they want.

    The irony is that as miserable as this summer has been for them and for a number of other folks toiling behind the scenes, sweating out each of these hearings, attending meeting after meeting, and dealing with thankless bs rants from ungrateful n’bors, they’ve palpably demonstrated what makes where we live so freakin’ great – having neighbors just like them.

  35. 35

    Eddie E.

    I don’t know why my original post disappeared but if the code is 30 units per acre, why should staff (or anyone else) ‘settle’ with anything more than 30 units per acre?

    IF the developers don’t like that, I’m sure they can find somewhere else to wreck.

  36. 36

    Hunter Burke

    We actually have principals in-place: the ordinances, the 5 criteria for ZBA approvals, the criteria for Planning Commission rezoning, but, when Community Development skirts these regularly with their recommendations it becomes much more difficult. We need a new Community Development staff too. One that respects the ordinances and is more immune to influence.

  37. 37

    The Brookhaven Post

    It probably disappeared during a software update I was doing this week. A couple of others vanished just as strangely. Sorry about that.

  38. 38

    Gabby G

    Sour grapes Greg? If developers would bring their A game that fits in to the fabric of the neighborhood and not just fills their pockets they would probably get the support they want. It’s an easy ask, minimal density and height, lots of landscaping and owner occupied.

  39. 39

    Gabby G

    We also need an overlay that is clear about the transition zones for the developers to know that they have to fit in to the neighborhoods. I’m still upset that the Character Area Studies are NOT including the overlay which has been the biggest problem with zoning request of late.

  40. 40

    Susan

    Hey Gabby, Brookhaven Sux.

  41. 41

    Eddie E.

    Thanks Trey!

  42. 42

    Eddie E.

    Any ‘overlay’ should first conform to the existing regulations and laws.

    If it doesn’t what need is there for municipal governance?

  43. 43

    Kelley

    Chamblee is only a short drive, or Buckhead, I hope you like it better there. I’ll take Brookhaven and work to keep it GREAT. Everyone can have an opinion and a choice where to live.

  44. 44

    Audry

    If you are going to make Brookhaven great you have your work cut out for you. Please start with our police department. Joe Gebbia is on record stating our police department is stretched beyond its limits.

  45. 45

    Kelley

    And that is one of the reasons to attend planning commission and city council meetings. As a resident you need to make sure your voice is heard or you will get what developers can make the most money off of including large dense apartment buildings that will even further tax our police department.

  46. 46

    Audry

    Yes, that is one way to address an undermanned police force Kelley.

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