1. 2

    Thomas Porter

    Suspending a more analytical response for the moment:
    I’m actually offended this has even be allowed to get this far in consideration. Amazed that Pulte has the nerve to propose this. Angered by their deceptively simple depiction.
    You know this was discussed by some or all in the administration already!

  2. 3

    Brookhaven resident

    I would love to see this happen! Let’s revitalize the area around Briarwood Park! Crime will most likely go down, and we can make the park and pool one that people will actually want to go to!

  3. 4

    Quick Question

    Can someone explain to me why this is a bad idea other than it benefits a developer? So if I am reading this right, the developer is going to do an even land swap, give the city $200k to use at Briarwood Park, and close off the road at the tennis court. I just don’t see where the park or we as citizens are getting screwed in this deal. Sure the developer is getting a sweet deal to not have to access his high-end townhomes from BuHi but they’re coughing up the funds for that benefit that could definitely be used at the park. I’m not sold on it but at first glance it doesn’t seem like a bad deal to me unless I’m missing something.

  4. 5


    I think it sets a BAD example to allow a developer to buy/swap or haggle for ANY public park land.

  5. 6


    it’s a normal request that benefits everyone. The forums on this site seem to be full of people that are outraged if any development takes place (other than the creation of their own street and neighborhood, of course).

  6. 7


    I agree…seems mostly like a win-win to me. Upscale single family residential in the back, higher density residential on Buford Highway and a kick-back for the City and Park.
    People want to “clean up” Buford Highway and they reject “Redevelopment Powers” because they want the private market forces to take care of itself… but then they complain when a developer does all of that plus offers a major voluntary financial incentive back to the community.

  7. 8


    It’s called pay-to-play. That little swap of land for trade appears to do nothing of value to the park. I thought that the road at the tennis courts is not being closed but the other entrance is.

  8. 9

    DV Mom

    My children and I go to Briarwood Park and pool all of the time. It is perfect as it is along with the new plans that have been approved and are coming. No developer needs to intervene or mess this up for us.

  9. 10


    Unless I’m missing something, this does not sound like pay-to-play. An example of pay-to-play is when one can only get a meeting with or be considered by a politician or the government if you donate to their campaign funds or private organizations.

  10. 11

    B\'haven Birdie

    No no no
    Do two curb cuts on Buford instead.
    Not a good starting offer from developer.

  11. 12

    Robert J.

    Only the area in yellow is being included in this development plan.

  12. 13

    South Side Bill

    Took a walk in Briarwood today. The land Pulte would give Briarwood is worthless. You could not even put in an additional parking space with this proposed swap that Briarwood would receive. Meanwhile Pulte would be granted pristine parkland to construct a private driveway.
    At 50 ft. this appears that this would go into that other condo community’s back yard? My measurements were taken with the naked eye so I could be off.
    There is already access to this property from Buford Highway so they don’t need this, Pulte just wants it.

    What plan does the city have over the next 2 years for the Pool that the $200K can provide?
    If the city does not use these funds in 2 years we lose them? Appears Pulte will not pay up front.
    How much additional incoming vehicle traffic would happen at Briarwood Park?
    Do you think that this would seriously be considered at Murphy Candler?
    Do you think that this would seriously be considered at Blackburn Park?
    Poor deal for Briarwood Park and the people of Brookhaven, great deal for private developer.

  13. 14


    Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! You are definitely missing something.

  14. 15


    That is correct. The brown shaded area fronting Buford Highway to the left of the entry will remain the same and the area to the right of the entry will be demolished and sold to another entity. No promises of what the future will bring for either portion.

  15. 16


    Everyone take a break. Can any of you detail the last land swap made in Briarwood Park? Describe it. Also, detail how it positively or negatively affected the park and it’s function. You new people act like fools.

    Now, what are the traffic implications? Does Briarwood need an additional traffic light? Do traffic lanes at Briarwood and Buford need to be modified for turn lanes on Briarwood and the light timing modified?

    It’s going to happen. Make it happen right.

  16. 17


    UH – because it destroys the peace in the park and takes away the safety for kids playing in the park!!! Ummmm because of traffic jams in the park.
    I wonder what the value of a Council vote is in this, enough to pay off some debt?

  17. 18


    Lol! Well, it wouldn’t be the first time around here. 😉

  18. 19

    What\'s Next

    Why would you say such a thing about the Council?? A respected developer has made a public overture to a community group and the City. Neither of which has endorsed or opposed the proposition at this point.

  19. 20

    Hunter Burke

    There is also an uncomfortably close relationship between Pulte and a member of the Zoning Board. I concur with others who state that this process seems like a setup and I am reminded of one involved neighbor who has been asking about this for many months while everyone he asked in the current city regime plead pleaded no knowledge. We have trust issues with our government and situations like these increase that discomfort.

  20. 21


    Yes– this would be really good for the area. Those apartments are bad and that park needs some life. It’s gotten a lot better than it used to be but still creeps me out. I think this would create some activity. Picture Lenox Park when the weather is nice- no reason this couldn’t be like that.

  21. 22

    Steve Walker

    Correct. The road they want to add parallels the tennis courts

  22. 23

    Steve Walker

    They only want it to add prestige to the development so that the new development does have “Buford Hwy” as its address.

  23. 24


    Bill this would never happen to any park in D1. Anything south of Peachtree is free game.

  24. 25


    Cars and parks do not mix. One of the first things done to revitalize Piedmont Park was to remove the open flowing traffic. They still have too many cars, but compared to the 80s it is a 95% reduction. If they wanted to construct a pedestrian trail for their residents to use the park, that is one story. But to add a convenience entrance thru a public park with kids, bikes, pedestrians. No way!

  25. 26


    I’m assuming you’re the same person that always does this. . . what does the backslash mean?

  26. 27

    Rich WILSON

    This deal will allow for the redevelopment and improvement of yet another run down part of Buford highway. I support it.

  27. 28


    Again, nothing on Buford Highway is being developed.

  28. 29


    The park has a lot of life in it for those that visit it several times a week, and for those that work to keep it in good shape. The “bad” apartments are full of families whose children I teach and who will be displaced when their homes are razed. Imagine your whole neighborhood being bulldozed for even higher end homes that you have no chance of living in. But that’s not the point of this article. Access and exit from this future development should be via Buford Highway, not the park or apartments that you or I see.

  29. 30


    It can still be redeveloped fully without what purely amounts to a convenience cut thru. They would enter and exit on Buford Highway and drive thru a complex. Let the thru traffic be designated roads between parking lots vs between green space, tennis courts, dog walking area and a kids playground. Pulte is taking an easy way out and trying to see if it sticks. A pedestrian access point would be desirable and encourage using an amenity they can sell as their backyard.

  30. 31

    Brookhaven parent

    I am in support of this, and I do not feel it will be of huge detriment to the park. I would prefer to see these apartments start to go so I feel safer actually using a park over there. I do not currently use the park for safety concerns, and I know many of my mom friends feel the same way.

  31. 32

    Brookhaven parent

    Furthermore, with Ashford Park Elementary’s pending move back to Cross Keys district in 2022, I want as many of these apartments to be replaced by homes and townhomes as possible between now and when my kids start high school. If this project gets turned down, it will certainly prevent other reputable developers from wanting to work to make this happen

  32. 33

    South Side Bill

    Since you don’t use the park clearly you are in no place to judge the impact of this on the park. Putting a road through the middle of the park,, cutting down all those trees, adding traffic to walkers, joggers, bicycles, etc. is a detriment to the park and its users.
    Did you see all the dog walkers? Joggers? Tennis players? Parents with kids at the playground? Maybe your paranoia clouds your judgment.

  33. 34

    Mr. Ed

    I think everyone on here needs to take a DEEP BREATH and pause for a minute on WHAT EXACTLY THIS PLAN ENTAILS AND WHAT THE IMPACTS WILL BE for your quality of life!!

    While I do not reside in the ” city limits” of Brookhaven I am a stone’s throw away in Chamblee.

    As a native Atlantan I can see how much this city has changed and grown in many ways.
    The population has increased over 6 fold and continues to grow and expand unabated!!

    In the last year I have NEVER seen so much construction everywhere as demand continues to rise with a constant influx of transplants.

    I can objectively see both sides of this issue and like ANYTHING in life there are trade-offs either way.

    Those apartments have been around for decades and I know on N. Cliff Valley Rd. there are run down dilapited apartments that are an eyesore so I can the appeal in improving the aesthetics and safety of the area.

    If this deal does not pass REST ASSURED another developer will try and redevelop this same tract of land and/or Pulte may come back with a ” counteroffer” or may try again in a few years.

    If the citizens and council decide to proceed with ANY offer they should at the VERY LEAST play hard to get and shrewd to get the maximum benefit as with any business they will ALWAYS start with their LOWEST OFFER TO MAXIMIZE THEIR PROFITS as that’s what all business do or at least most!!

    Something to think about!! In the meantime let’s all be good to one another and civil as we ALL LIVE IN THE SAME CITY and there is more than enough hatred, violence and anger in this world without anyone else fueling the fire!!

  34. 35

    Mr. Ed

    As an addendum to my earlier post I remember when Sembler proposed Town Brookhaven and many low income and seniors were displaced but if memory serves Sembler paid them for 1 years worth of rent to offset the hardship of moving and findong new housing.

    While Town Brookhaven is a nice deveopment that I do patronize I came across an article awhile back where residents were ” furious’ that Sembler Clear Cut 20 acres of land/ trees!!

    I would say if this does pass in any iteration that there should be a Certified Arborist on hand to protect as many trees as possible and if Pulte should ” inadvertantly” cut down any of these designated trees they should be FINED $100, 000 per tree to ensure they do not get out of control.

    I do trust deveopers…….but only as far as I can throw them!! LOL

  35. 36


    Thanks Drew Mom. Since the Briarwood Park Conservancy and the Briarwood Barracudas have begun enjoying the City’s renovations, the pool, playground and park visitors have exceeded our expectations. Plenty of work to to be done articulated in the Master Olanning process.

  36. 37


    We look forward to the success of any developer. There are several reasons this is a bad idea.

    First, the land swap gives the park a useless piece of land in return for a driveway that we’ll have to maintain, will constantly flood the tennis courts, runs thru badly need master planned parking spaces, an Ampitheatre and a trail. The Master Plan was touted as our city’s stated commitment to parks.

    Second, if the road planned for closure remains after a new set of electeds are in office, there is no guarantee it will be remived. Don’t believe me? Why are we having discussions about the elimination of currently master planned amenities.

    Third, the developer has asked for full use of the amenities. They don’t even have to ask. It’s a public park, but they should build their own courts with lights and out lights on ours because they are at capacity now.

    Fourth, the useless strip of land they have offered is already in a buffer zone so nothing can be built there anyway.

    Next, they have stated no cars from the front of the development will come they the park. They can’t guarantee it unless a brick wall or barrier separates the two housing areas. Ever lived in an apartment complex? Everyone knows the code to come the back way thru Briarwood Park. Existing road not closed and Briarwood Park looks like Frand Central station.

  37. 38


    It’s a huge lose lose. Briarwood Park gets a poke in the eye. BuHi’s redevelopment is diluted because it’s not really a BuHi redevelopment.

  38. 39


    Correct, Saul. Sorry, had to say it.

  39. 40


    Yes. The Kiddie Tanch was traded for the ball fields where now stand Briarwood Fields (beautiful condos). We got the land where DC built the playground in 2012. The developer promised to build sidewalks all the way down to the Rec Center and lights. After the wait period, similar to the $200k wait period in Pulte’s proposal, they folded the LLC and left. No sidewalks, no lights.

  40. 41


    Plenty of life and BP. Many have given the last 4 years of theirs.

  41. 42


    What? You must never drive on BuHi.

  42. 44


    What’s the first statement in developer negotiation to a municipality? ‘If youbdontbtake our crappy deal, we won’t develop.’ What’s the second thing? ‘You neighbors should be glad we’re impending on your way of life’

    How many times have you heard this In the last 2 years? Hasting Reno, terwilleger Pappas, Connelly, MARTA TOD.

    And finally, their still is NO SEWER SOLUTION for the MARTA TOD.

  43. 45

    Jack Smith

    If you look at the current developments taken together they have 3 curb cuts on Buford Hwy. Sounds to me there are multiple buyers for the total properties and one buyer would like to develop the back property completely separate from the other parcels. It’s the only thing that makes sense IMHO. You would never normally develop only part of a large track due the duplication costs of demolition and grading and in this specific case no road access.

  44. 46


    I appreciate your thoroughness of the optic, but I can assure you, the person you speak of on the ZBA is one of the nicest, smartest, hard working guys volunteering his time for the city. Regardless of his employer, this is a business deal. Nothing, NOTHING, should be perceived as emotional or combative during this negation. I hate it that were in it, but were in it because our elected officials have known about the idea since last Spring and haven’t addressed it publicly.

    My vote is not NO but Hell No, but I am only one. Many people have different ideas and vision for the park. $200K wouldn’t cover a trail improvement, much less the pool improvements….already master planned. We’ve master planned over $5M of park improvements at Briarwood Park alone. Expect a $40M parks bond on next year’s ballot for all of Brookhaven’s Parks. That’s what I was told anyway.

    It’s because of these types of shenanigans we still don’t own Brookhaven Park. DeKalb County thinks they sold us all the parks for $100/acre. Now were parcelling them off at a clip of one park every 3 years, minus the one we don’t own yet. Talk about new Green Space opportunities??!

    Please bring all of your questions and comments to the meeting Tuesday Oct. 4th.. Please like on Facebook at Briarwood Park Revitalization Project.

  45. 47

    Erik Steavens

    I had not had a moment to read this having been out of pocket the past few days but it seems to me that is does not pass the smell test.

    First they are looking to tie to a road that connects to Briarwood. That seems to be problematic operationally.

    Second, it would seem park land is being bisected. Never a good thing if you are trying to plan and manage a park.

    Third, safety comes to mind as there are lots of kids that use this park. Introducing more traffic elements here is bad.

    If this project has federal money in it, or one could make an argument that anything the city does is contaminated with federal dollars, is argue that this violates Section 4(f). Section 4(f) refers to the original section within the U.S. Department of Transportation Act of 1966 which established the requirement for consideration of park and recreational lands, wildlife and waterfowl refuges, and historic sites in transportation project development.

    Probably hard to do but suspect that will get someone’s attention.

    It would seem if someone was looking to do the right thing, there would need to be more land given to the community, proper spacing and relocation of park facilities to ensure it is safe and will operate properly.

    This comes across as half hearted effort to appraise folks by giving some fractional piece of land for one that obviously has higher and better use for the developer.

  46. 48


    Think about the townhome owners in Briarwood Fields who currently have woods in their backyard, but will instead have a busy driveway in clear view of their units (with the expected loss of trees). This diminishes their property value and increases noise (the traffic will be clearly visible from all levels of their townhome except maybe the basement).

    Pulte has no reason to split the property in two with a fence in between them just so the ownership component doesn’t have to experience Buford Hwy on their way back from their “luxury upscale shopping experience” at Lenox/Phipps.

    If Pulte is terrified of having a Buford Hwy address, build a new road the length of the development and call it whatever they want.

  47. 49

    Randy Watson

    DECA, this has the potential to be a win-win situation IF Pulte were willing to step up and offer a material cash donation – e.g. enough to completely renovate the pool, pool house, etc., close off Briarwood Way road access – this to avoid more than 500 new car trips each day through Drew Valley – pay to add right turning lane at Briarwood Rd/Buford Hwy, etc. as called for by the master plan (that capex sum is would be in the millions). Pulte has been asked point blank on whether they’d fully fund the proposed capital improvements called for by the master plan and they said ‘no.’

    Instead, what you have is this ‘for profit’ company that will be materially and financially benefited from this transaction who is doing what for-profit companies do – seek to maximize their returns while paying as little $$ as they can in the process. That is purely an economic decision this for-profit company must make and their $$ profit shouldnt be borne on the backs of Briarwood – unless Pulte is willing to step up with some significant $$ spend.

    Pulte has said point blank: we wont do the deal unless they can have the Briarwood road address – they are not willing to put their $$ where their mouth from the literal perspective on the Buford Hwy ingress/egress (said there’s no enough value to their Mercedes/BMW driving home buyers if they have a Buford Hwy address – again, why this is the public’s concern is not addressed. Pulte went on to say that by having the access from Briarwood (as opposed to just Buford Hwy) that will ‘permit them to sell their homes at a higher price point, and (if you believe in voodoo economic theories like trickle down economics) tangentially benefit the values of the neighborhoods surrounding Briarwood Park.

  48. 50


    Putting aside why they wouldn’t just use BuHi, why does the community entrance have to be where you would need such a long driveway? Why not put it up closer the rec center where it would be like 50 feet to connect the new buildings to Briarwood Park?

  49. 51


    They just don’t want the Buford Hwy address and I don’t want a road in my back yard. It doesn’t help the park at all, it’s just a pay to play case and be very careful as this standard could be coming to a park near you!

  50. 52


    First you don’t even live here so the personal impact is zero. I don’t want a road in my backyard, thanks. I bought to overlook the park not a road. The green space should be safe space from development for profit.

  51. 53


    You don’t need a road in a public park to improve the city. The developer should focus their attention to Buford Hwy and leave the park alone.

  52. 54


    They can put a road in off of Buford Highway and give it a name if it’s own. They can have a shared road with the front parcel. They don’t want to do the right thing, because they know C4ND, Brookhaven Yes and J Max promised to redevelop Buford Highway.

  53. 55


    Regardless, if they are employed by the developer it’s a clear conflict of interest. They should be removed from weighing in on this or any other Pulte ruling. Otherwise it smells from the start. I also state a strong NO to this development.

  54. 56

    South Side Bill

    “In addition, Pulte says they will contribute $200,000 toward improvements to the Briarwood swimming pool facilities as long as the improvements are constructed and completed within 2 years of the date of the land conveyance.”

    Check the details. This would require the city to upfront the payment of Pool Facilities over the next two years of at least $200k. In the Master Plan, there is nothing earmarked for this. So for the city to receive these funds, they would have to redo the master plan, pull at least $200k from another park’s budget and put into Briarwood Park’s. Who’s park takes the hit for this?

    This clause would make not only changes to Briarwood Park Master plan, but adjustments to another Park’s Master Plan. Who’s park should we make these changes to?

    You don’t think Pulte knew about this Master plan not having anything budgeted for Briarwood to meet this requirement?

  55. 57

    South Side Bill

    I understand the mistrust that has come about this city. You should have seen the fireworks at last nights city hall meeting for the 1.7 acre parcel at the end of Remington Rd.

    The individual you speak of is not part of the lack of transparency that has crept into this city.

    There would only be a conflict if rezoning and or variance requests are required from the project. Current zoning does not appear to be a problem. Variance depends on the details.

    Not against the development. I am against putting a road through a public park for a private developer. The last land swap for Briarwood was a disaster fro Briarwood. This too would not benefit Briarwood or the public that has been paying for and using it.

  56. 58

    Randy Watson

    SBLP – entertaining the question, an entrance deeper into the park effective ‘cuts off’ the part of the park property between the entrance road and the property line for the existing apartments/proposed new development. Stating this another way, you will see significantly increased car trips through the park (reasonable estimates of 500 trips a day – that’s 2x the approx 250 residences proposed for the new development). With all those cars traveling through the park, families and their children will not be able to safely play/hike/ride their bikes, etc. anywhere near that busy road. This is why, should everything else be somehow resolved in favor of Pulte’s ‘request,’ that the entrance must be as close to Briarwood Rd. as possible

  57. 59


    Where is there development on Buford Hwy? I drive it everyday. The only thing I’ve seen close by is the old Skyland apts but that’s not on BuHi.

  58. 60


    It seems like we as a city need to consider whether we are getting swept away with anti-development fever. For the record I was not in favor of either Dresden development due to the density but as I understand it they are not seeking higher density here so I’m trying to figure out what people are concerned about. The entrance thru the park doesn’t seem dangerous and it’s so close to the entrance it’s not really that intrusive. John Wieland Homes built the condos across from Cherokee Plaza and behind Lowe’s in Chamblee and many others. They do good work and their homes seem to hold their value. Sometimes there is a rush in fighting for a cause and that’s not a bad thing but it’s unwise to transfer negative emotions about one project or developer to another one that is completely unrelated. Let’s save our ammo and political capital for when we really need it. Like Marta for example.

  59. 61


    Thanks for the explanation! Love getting down voted for a legitimate question but I honestly didn’t understand. I appreciate you sharing.

  60. 62


    Nothing along Buford Highway concerning this development Mr. Know It All.

  61. 63


    I encourage anyone on this site commenting on the proposed 50 foot cut through to come over and take a look in person. Nothing about it feels or looks natural. 500+ cars, UPS, FedEx, and service vehicles passing through or technically to the rear of Briarwood Fields 24/7 is insane. If there wasn’t an additional option like (Buford Highway) then maybe I could have some compassion. Purely done for marketing purposes. Sad.

  62. 64


    There’s stuff going on near North Druid Hills Road- between there and Atlanta (next to The Rusty Nail and beyond).

    Also there’s all sorts of stuff that they *hope* to buy or redevelop near there with the greenway plan, but I’m not really sure how that’s going to happen.

  63. 65


    Agreed, TRC. The only “hardship” to the developer is having to be “faced” with a Buford Highway address. However, wouldn’t the addresses be the names of the roads within the community anyway?

  64. 66

    Royal Flush

    Mr. ED, have you Googled Sembler and DeKalb or Sembler and Brookhaven? You do recall them whining about needing a tax abatement? I guess a lot of people are just tired of the developer games and of losing park space on the “South Side”. Developers want zoning changes, variance changes mid project, tax abatements, and etc. It gets old.

  65. 67


    Agreed, I’m shocked that they city would even consider this especially with Mayor Ernest running on the platform of preserving greenspace and parks. Selling public park space that does nothing to improve the park or zero for public good sure sets the tone for the exact opposite. This is nothing but helping a developer with an address change. Perhaps they should use that $200k to improve the Buford Hwy entrance. Trust that if Pulte wants to pull out if this doesn’t pass, thier competitors will be more than happy to develop there.

    I also thought the city’s mission was to create a walking city so how does adding 300 plus cars a day into a park fall in line with that goal?

  66. 68


    I walk my dog every single day in the park and I’ve had zero problems or safety concerns when doing so. It’s a great park and would be a true shame to have it ruined by adding tons of traffic into the park.

  67. 69

    Tom C.

    There is already senior housing going across the street called The Orchards. Don’t think we need more of that.

  68. 70


    Don’t feel bad- I got voted down for asking about Georgia education topics that will show up on the ballot in November – as I don’t have children I don’t know. Some people around here are just hateful.

  69. 71


    The Senior housing was simply a write in on the plan to make it look more appealing. There is no plan for Senior Housing. Much like drawing the plan inaccurately, using only the term ‘entrance’, etc, etc. Its a rendering with no contractual obligation. It’s a pretty picture worth the cost of an opinion.

    Compare the pretty picture to the engineered Master Plan. The road will go through not one, but two Ampitheatre seating areas (one for early childhood education experiences). The road will be so intrusive as to create unbelievable noise pollution for the existing residents and the park as a whole. Their is no guarantee the master planned road removal will happen making our beautiful park a highly trafficked area. The road they seek will eliminate much needed new parking spaces that were intentionally created in the Master Plan. The $200,000 is a joke. They should use it on the Buford Highway entrance THAT WILL NOT BE DEVELOPED IN THE PROJECT. The split in the middle of the development is a misnomer. Nothing but a brick wall will keep them from using the cut through.

    The financial transfer is not only illegal, it’s highly suspect as it is conditional after 2 years and could be used somewhere else. Finally, the cash wait period for pool improvements could very likely outlive the election cycle and the LLC created for the build. For instance, park advocates have been requesting a new bridge since January 2013. Funding was authorized Jan 2015. It just got completed 42 months after initial request. What happens if all the electeds are gone and the road hasn’t been removed? We’ve had all Park Master Plans in place since mid summer. Still no new construction.

    Please join us Oct 4, 7 pm at Briarwood Park for the quarterly BPC meeting.

  70. 72

    Brookhaven resident

    There is a lot of outrage here over the park that I think is warranted, as someone who lives directly next door. But I would love to see some more concern for the hundreds of residents that will be displaced. When those commenting mention how they would love to see more single family homes and townhouses, what they are really talking about is gentrification. They want to live near people who look like them and make as much money as them under the guise of “safety”. Do people who make less money not deserve to get to live in as wonderful a place as Brookhaven? Do their kids not deserve to go to good schools? Buford Highway is an incredible resource for Brookhaven specifically because of its diversity. These issues are going to continue to challenge us as a community and I hope we are able to find solutions, have open dialogues, and show compassion for people who may be different than us, but are our neighbors nonetheless.

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