Brookhaven, GA, August 23, 2016 – by Trey Benton – Brookhaven Councilmembers voted to unanimously defer a proposal filed by SSP Dresden, LLC., to construct a controversial mixed-use development on 3.437 acres along Dresden Drive, between Caldwell Road and Parkside Drive, called Dresden Village. Developers CONNOLLY and Fairfield Residential are seeking to construct the project at 56.6 units per acre and 194 units.
The conversation seems to have pivoted after the City’s Planning Commission voted on August 3rd to recommend City Council deny the application, despite a Community Development Staff Report recommending approval, but with 29 conditions. At the Planning meeting, developers said they could commit to accept all but one, the most controversial, the density condition to construct no higher than 45 units per acre.
Ashford Park resident Brian Levy told Councilmembers that on Monday, a group of community members met with the applicant and agreed to support a 90 day deferral to go back to the drawing board. Levy said they expect to see a significantly reworked site plan. “We have reiterated our concerns with the pending application and Staff’s recommendation,” he said.
Levy noted concerns included issues with access in and out of the development, the need for a residential component, a more gradual transition into the existing single family residential neighborhoods and a density not to exceed 30-units per acre.
Councilman John Park said that he normally is not in support of deferrals because he believes developers should bring their “A-game” at the outset of the process and engage the community. “That being said, when the residents come to us and ask for a deferral and are willing to work with the developer to bring a better project, it is within our scope to listen,” Park said.
Park said he saw the video of the Planning Commission and found the presentation by neighbors opposed to the plan compelling. He said he sensed that the Planning Commission would have liked to have had more information, which Park said was lacking during that meeting. “Therefore I support the deferral,” Park added.
Developer JR Connolly told The Post, “We appreciate the support of the community to work together to find a project that is a win-win for everyone.”
The deferral will send the case back to the November 2nd Planning Commission Meeting where Connolly will have an opportunity to present a revised site plan.