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63 Comments

  1. 1

    Skeptical

    In fair disclosure, does JIm work for Connolly? Will he benefit in any way from this project being approved?

    Jim doesn’t sound like an “impartial” “unbiased” individual.

    Your readers should know.

  2. 2

    Easy Rider

    It seems like a very simple argument to make for the developers and one I haven’t heard. Basically, if you decline our application we will build what is allowed within the zoning that doesn’t require approval. Also, future developers will not risk a moratorium, but simply build what is zoned. If true, it could mean we miss out on some desirable mix-use properties to protect density. I think it is more complicated, but if true we might need to reconsider.

  3. 3

    Erik

    Jim makes a point that everyone needs to understand that there is a thing called the land of unintended consequences.

  4. 4

    Hunter Burke

    It is far better to view through a pinhole that to be blind. Your arguments are silly and baseless in facts. The existing PC-2 zoning doesn’t hold-up unless the original plan can be built, and it can’t, and now there’s a moratorium until the zoning holes can be fixed.
    Isnt it ironic too that you used to be able to vote on passing developments like this but cannot anymore?

  5. 5

    Janine

    OMG another one using the insurance salesman approach!!!

  6. 6

    lkaye

    “But they have no problem asking the family of an Alzheimer patient and all other long-term owners of the Connolly tract to accept a reduced density that equates to a valuation of 50¢ on the dollar for their property.” Is that sentence even based in fact? I thought Woodley owned all that property. Greed and profit should not [continue to] drive our development choices. This op-ed sounds very developer oriented – take what we offer, or you’ll be sorry. Why is compact and smart development not an option? You have

  7. 7

    lkaye

    Actually, we’ve heard that MANY times before. Not a new argument at all, in fact, it’s the main one they have.

  8. 8

    Kelley

    Let Connolly build a 133 unit mixed use, if they accept the conditions that city staff (professionals in this area) put on it.

    As far as the horrible people that we are for taking money away from a land owner with Alzheimer’s ….
    A fair price can be paid for the land, if the family is wanting to make a huge windfall from the property – then I guess I should also get a couple of million for my 1/2 acre too. Oh wait, that isn’t what the realistic value is unless thy can put a 4 story apartment building on it – which they can’t. I’ll have to settle for the 750,000 that it is actually worth.

    Mr Eyer, you do no favor to the development community when you use threats and scare tactics.

  9. 9

    Rob

    Exactly! It can’t be done as planned. But the family of an Alzheimer’s patient! WTF?

  10. 10

    Thomas Porter

    Mr. Eyre: You write in a condescending manner, the “density dogs” do not seek denial, in fact, they seek approval of this project… at a very justifiable and appropriate 30 units per acre.
    You also say the vote for moratorium was misdirected by the City Council, I also strongly disagree and believe it was the right and moral thing to do.
    60 meetings??? Too few where Connolly listened, including the Planning Commission hearing.

  11. 11

    Kelley

    There are several owners, Woodly, Dekalb County, a pilot that lives in Tampa…..all purchased land as an investment i.e. took on some risk and hoped for a windfall. I don’t believe any of them live in the area.

  12. 12

    Boots

    From LinkedIn:
    Jim Eyre
    Principal at J&E Real Estate Investments, LLC

  13. 13

    Lame stretch

    A re-zoning that happened in the early 90’s has absolutely nothing to do with today’s reality. Also, “an astounding 425%” increase in density is just a scare tactic. Do the math, it equates to adding 13 homes where there once was 4. Nice try Jim.

  14. 14

    Point made

    Good Points. It is a really complicated issue.

  15. 15

    DresdenDog

    It is a complicated issue. But, his “good points” are very biased and only tell half-truths in several cases. Isn’t a half truth just a lie?

  16. 16

    Paul

    Is Mr Eyre not entitled to an opinion? Everyone else is.

  17. 17

    Red

    Snarky, Jim!

  18. 18

    MKK

    Good points made.

  19. 19

    Come on!

    Jim, didn’t you resign from City Council in disgrace? Go away.

  20. 20

    Kelley

    Opinion yes, whining childlike name calling because he didn’t get his way …. Just makes him and the development community look bad

  21. 21

    Dean

    I think you must have been asleep. Jim wouldn’t ride in the clown car with the rest of the corrupt city council at that time and they threatened to sue him if he didn’t leave. It all had to do with your first city manager and how much she was paid.

  22. 22

    Steve Walker

    Jim, once again has made some valid comments on an issue and everyone wants to shoot the messenger. All he is saying is if this devp. is turned down, the resulting potential devp. could be much worse.

  23. 23

    Reality...

    Valid points.. Something will be built there and right now the community has a say in it. Who cares about density we need ownership in whatever is built . No more apartments. I personally like the term density dogs. You live in the city get over it or move because change will come in one form or another. I here the Avalon is really nice….

  24. 24

    Kelley

    Key word here is “could” you could also argue that it will be better – remember that the lawyer for TP said that the message was loud and clear that any developer would have to work WITH the community. Jim and his thoughts would be received much better if he got rid of the chip on his shoulder because he isn’t getting his way and lost the childish name calling.

  25. 25

    bldvl89

    This commentary actually demonstrates a lack of command of the Comprehensive Plan and the City zoning ordinance.

    Development within the Overlay is guided by two things: “Density + Building Heights.” (Comp. Plan, p. 38). The vision for adjoining residential neighborhoods (such as Ashford Park) is to “protect existing residential densities.” (Comp. Plan, p. 38). The Comp Plan envisions the MARTA TOD as being the anchor of the Overlay; their re-zoning app seeks 30.8 units/acre. (Even so, this is not where the “density dogs” settled on 30 units/acre; Mr. Eyre will have to wait till tomorrow’s City Council hearing to see the “reality” from which this figure was derived).

    In any case, the Comp. Plan is also explicit that the “intensity of development” (i.e., “Density + Building Heights”) is to be tapered from the MARTA TOD to the adjoining neighborhoods. There’s only one relevant direction for this – east along Dresden for the 0.7 miles of the Overlay, where all the adjoining n’hoods referenced in the Comp. Plan are located.

    Comp. Plan is also explicit that there should be transition step-downs in the “intensity of development” from the Overlay to the single family homes that adjoin it. (Comp. Plan p. 78). There’s only two directions for that – north and south from Dresden Dr to Ashford Park (to the north) and to Brookhaven Fields (to the south). This is why Terwilliger-Pappas sank, and why Connolly will too if they persist on their current course without a dramatic reduction in their density ask.

    The City zoning ordinance – in fact the Overlay’s own regulations – contemplate the same step down in the “intensity of development” as you go east along the Dresden Drive. Overlay regs do not govern density, but they do govern “building heights” (the second of the two factors in describing “intensity of development.”) That’s why there’s a Sub Area I (which allows higher building heights) within 440 feet of Peachtree Rd-Dresden (the MARTA TOD) and a Sub Area II (which reduces building heights more than 440 feet east along Dresden from the MARTA TOD). See Sec. 27-1383, of the zoning ordinance for the Overlay titled, appropriately, “Development standards.”

    Knowing this, the only pinhole here is from someone putting on blinders in trying to apply a 1990s rezoning anecdote (turning a 4 unit/acre n’hood into a 13 unit/acre development), to a 2016 problem of dropping 45-56 units/acre on top of a 3 unit/acre n’hood. Mercifully, the 2016 problem is governed by a 2014 Comprehensive Plan and a 2016 zoning code amendment, not some personal vendetta against an extremely talented neighborhood advocate with no agenda other that doing what’s right by those who live here.

  26. 26

    bldvl89

    Once you read through the Comprehensive Plan and the City zoning ordinance, and take a look at what is already in place within the Overlay, it really isn’t . . .

  27. 27

    Andy

    And that is not true. That’s the point. Catch up on the facts.

  28. 28

    Come on!

    Jim was caught in a bold face lie about whether he was in discussions about her compensation. You, sir, are the one asleep.

  29. 29

    Sally

    Reality – So your position is to accept what ever comes along? If so, you would be shocked at some of the projects that have been submitted initially all over town asking for approval as is. Because of those citizens that stepped up and provided valid points, criteria, and neighborhood input these same projects were negotiated and became MUCH, MUCH better than originally proposed. If your not going to support the community and take the time to know the details of a development it is you that should move on.

  30. 30

    LOL

    I have to laugh at all the arm chair quarterbacks that have moved here and continue to comment on various articles that WE should accept, get over it, or move. Reality, that’s NOT Brookhaven. Get out of your chair.

  31. 31

    Saul

    You guys can flap your gums and claim who is the smartest or smarmiest all you like. Wait a decade or two and that land will make a great location for a 10 story condo building. Especially so once MARTA builds out their land. Just look at Buckhead.

    We may put up with ratty fences in D1 but we would never put up with this. We would demand our city make a park out of this land for us. We have to save the kudzu you know.

  32. 32

    Susan

    Welcome to the NEW Brookhaven.

  33. 33

    Jennifer

    Saul,
    The sad truth is that more often than not your projection is true. The difference is the once silent voting majority of this city is now awakened. Gone are the days when a select few connected individuals marked a path of financial gain for themselves with no opposition. An engaged voting citizenry is far more effective at protecting their community than a few developer friendly groups are at destroying it. While we both agree that there should be development we don’t agree on size and scope. The citizenry is willing to compromise and we will have to see where the developers decide to draw a line. My money is on the compromises of the well educated citizens. I think it’s telling that a professional such as Jim Eyer has found it necessary to write a commentary like this based on anger and exaggerations. Apparently he also thinks the citizenry has some good arguments.

  34. 34

    Jimbo Tucker

    But it’s OK for you to huh, Jennifer. Cat calling the kettle black?

  35. 35

    Jennifer

    Where did I call anyone names or use scare tactics? And I use my real name Jimbo.

  36. 36

    lkaye

    I think the phrase includes a pot, not a cat. But you don’t sound too bright either way. If you have done 1/4 of what Jennifer has done to fight unchecked development, unruly growth and outlandish density, then say whatever you want, but since I doubt you have, please don’t bash someone who has sacrificed WAY more than you are aware of, or care to learn.

  37. 37

    Oliver Porters Ghost

    Thanks for this stupid City Mike Jacobs.

  38. 38

    CVIG

    AKA Douche Bag.

  39. 39

    Easy Rider

    Thank you for the detail bldvl89. So is Jim’s statement true? “This 133 unit apartment project will go straight to permitting without any input from the public.”

  40. 40

    Susan

    Maybe we should verify Jim’s assessment with that guy that sacrificed time from his family and became the planning and zoning expert from Ashford Park. He ought to be a real expert by now. Maybe he will grace us with his expert knowledge.

  41. 41

    Easy Rider

    Sorry, reading this thread the answer is not clear to what is a very basic question. If it’s true, Jim has very valid points. If it’s not true or 1/2 true, then shame on him.

  42. 42

    Jennifer

    Only for a portion of the land. Some of the lots are OI and some are PC 2 so they can’t put a large mixed use across all of the lots. My guess is the economics on the PC2 lots would not work at 4 stories so it is most likely a non starter, just a scare tactic.

  43. 43

    bldvl89

    I don’t think so on multiple levels. The conditional PC-2 zoning was granted to a 7-parcel assemblage in 2006 with a 48 unit/acre condition (meaning a max of 106 units on 2.21 acres of PC-2 prop). One of those parcels dropped out in 2015 (the Little White House) to become “NS” for a restaurant. This is a material change to the conditional PC-2 zoning (per Sec. 27-1558(b)) that makes development under that 2006 re-zone impossible. The problem is that the underlying zoning of those six properties no longer exists to which anyone can revert. But they can’t develop at as PC-2 now either.

    So, the remaining six properties (plus the 3 O-I properties) will have to get a re-zoning one way or another regardless of what happens next, or who comes along next with whatever new conditions are agreed upon or recommended.

    I could be wrong – had you asked this question on April 5, I would have thought Jim’s article was written in Swahili -but that’s what it looks like to me.

  44. 44

    Easy Rider

    Thank you for then answer. My guess, which you confirmed, was only 1/2 true which significantly reduces the credibility of the rest of the commentary. Personally I appreciate the efforts of the “dogs”

  45. 45

    Smart Development in Ashford Park

    Connolly’s attorney argued before the Planning Commission that the 6 lots could not be developed under existing zoning, which calls into question the author’s central scare tactic.

  46. 46

    Steve Walker

    It is…..done some work in that devp.

  47. 47

    Steve Walker

    Does or doesn’t the recent moratorium come into play here. The property is PC-2. Is it not correct that the moratorium keeps it that way for at least six months.?? Just asking….so if Connelly is turned down…..does that moratorium leave the door open for full density development during the life of the moratorium…….. totally against full density development that PC-2 allows otherwise.

  48. 48

    Jennifer

    I could be wrong but there are only a few of the lots with PC2 and it is some what in question since the parcel that was rezoned with conditions was divided. Regardless the economics for the smaller lot will most likely prevent the horrible abyss you and Jim think will be built.

  49. 49

    Steve Walker

    Don’t want either, just want to know that the door is not open for worst case scenario….

  50. 50

    Steve Walker

    I hope so….

  51. 51

    Eddie E.

    Yes, let’s put as many units as possible on every square inch. Make them large floorplans so that Dresden drive can be the Buford Highway of 2025!

  52. 52

    Riley OConnor

    Word has it, reliable or not is to be determined, that Connelly will ask for a deferment so that a rework of the project can be completed and presented to the City Council. We’ll see tonight.

  53. 53

    Eric Robert

    The majority of the property is currently zoned PC2 that allows a high density development. One of the comments seems to say that the PC2 zoning was tied to a site plan that vanished when the White House property was sold. But if that is true why is the remaining parcel still zoned PC2?

  54. 54

    Bob Sorrentino

    Several of the lots were rezoned PC2 in 2006 for a 155 unit site plan. That rezoning applied several conditions, one being that the development must match the site plan submitted in 2006. When the White House property was rezoned by itself, it meant that that original site plan could never be built and thus all the lots have to be rezoned for anything to be built on them. If you dig up the White house’s 2nd ZBA case, you will find that the city was explicit on this point. For the White House to strip the condition of the site plan, it would HAVE to rezone. The same situation applies here for the remaining lots. To build anything, they would HAVE to rezone to strip the old site plan condition.

  55. 55

    Bob Sorrentino

    Sorry Eric, I realized that I didn’t actually answer your question there. The remaining lots are still PC2 because they simply have not rezoned yet. In fact, that puts us where we are now with the current applicant trying to do just that.

  56. 56

    Eric Robert

    Thanks Bob, interesting and helpful history to put this all in context. I guess the question would be, what if they could build something that substantially complied with the site plan less the White House property. It makes sense that the White House property to start from a blank slate on their piece of the property would have to then seek a rezoning. But could the remaining PC2 parcels win in Court if they came up with a PC2 plan that largely complies with the approved site plan.

  57. 57

    HMM

    Even if you can’t see a bus coming, you can always hear it.

  58. 58

    Bob Sorrentino

    That could happen but I would be very doubtful they could make a compelling argument for that. See the link for the approved 2006 site plan. I crudely highlighted the White House parcel. You will see that a substantial modification would need to take place to build the 155 apartments without the lot. One huge one would be relocating the egress on Caldwell somewhere further down. Now site plans submitted for rezoning are always considered preliminary, but this would like be too much of a change to simply be approved administratively.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5Yy_gzkoowzYjBEakRuVDd2YVU/view?usp=sharing

  59. 59

    Eric Robert

    Thanks for the 2006 plan. I agree, I don’t think such a modification could be made administratively. And the modification I was thinking of would entail shrinking the # of units to keep the Density at the same approved level and thus the only significant change or change with negative impacts from the approved site plan would be moving the Caldwell entrance.
    Bottom line based on the decision yesterday it sounds like there is more discussion to be had on this development. Which is good. The developer clearly faces significant risks from a denial since including the new lots makes legal action less likely prevail in Court when challenging the council’s decision. But should a developer walking in and just trying to develop the PC2 area with the same density #’s and overall design as the 2006 plan could fare better in Court. The deck and building would be reduced because of the reduced # of units/acreage and the need to move the Caldwell entrance. But overall they might be able to argue that it otherwise meets or exceeds the spirit of the original site plan.

  60. 60

    Joe Palladi

    Well stated Jim!

  61. 61

    Joe Palladi

    Not if you have headphones on, as many wear on the sidewalks and driving, unfortunately.

  62. 62

    Joe Palladi

    As I understand the ordinance, anything submitted previous to the approval of the ordinance can move forward to a vote by the Council.

  63. 63

    Arte Ginse

    Amazing this talk of a bus.

    As I recall Mr. Eyre threw an entire district under the bus when he resigned his seat.

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