Proposed residential community seeks access through Briarwood Park
Brookhaven, GA, September 21, 2016 – by Trey Benton – Pulte Homes Corporation (dba John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods) is seeking to re-develop the Terraces at Brookhaven Apartments and the Northeast Plaza Apartments, adjacent to Briarwood Park. And according to a letter sent to the Briarwood Park Conservancy from Pulte’s Vice President of Operations and Land Acquisitions, Joel Reed, Pulte is asking members of the Conservancy to endorse their plans to create an access point through the park and swap approximately .403 acres with the City of Brookhaven.
Pulte indicates they will ask the City of Brookhaven to convey a swath of land approximately 50 feet wide located between the current Briarwood Field Condominiums and the Briarwood Park tennis court. In exchange, Pulte says they will convey to the City of Brookhaven a strip of land “equal in size” located along the current land boundary between Briarwood Park and the Terraces at Brookhaven Apartments – in the area of the park’s swimming pool. (Click rendering above for larger view)
Pulte is also proposing:
- The City of Brookhaven will grant to Pulte and its successors and assigns (including future homeowners in the new community) a permanent and unrestricted access easement over an acrossthe private drive, referred to as “Briarwood Park Drive”, that leads from Briarwood Road to the Community Entry Parcel.
- Pulte will have the right to construct an entry road on the Community Entry Parcel to connect the new community to Briarwood Park Drive. The City will grant such additional construction easements for the construction as may be reasonably be required for construction of the road.
- Pulte will seek to remove only such existing trees and vegetation as may be required for the construction of the road or as may otherwise be requested by Pulte and agreed upon by the park authority of the City of Brookhaven. Pulte will landscape both sides of the road in an aesthetically pleasing manner that is consistent with the park.
- The directional signage, entry monuments and gates for the new community will be designed to be in a proportion appropriate to the park, with colors that will blend with the park, and will be constructed on the Community Entry Parcel.
- Pulte will support the closure of the road that currently leads from Briarwood Way into the park.
- Pulte will construct a main entrance from the community out to Buford Highway so that only a portion of the community’s traffic will exit and enter the community through Briarwood Park.
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.
Briarwood Park Conservancy President Greg Trinkle told The Post, within the basic confines of this proposal, he believes this subject should be closely vetted with the public. “I am a big believer that Great Parks are needed in Great Communities. The Conservancy was founded 4 years ago with the ‘Revitalization of Briarwood Park’ as our goal,” Trinkle said. “We are an advocacy group on behalf of Briarwood Park with a mission of promoting public usage and to increase value for our community now and into the future. Those fundamental principles should be the driving force behind any decisions made concerning Briarwood Park’s future.”
City Manager Christian Sigman told The Post it is too early to comment on the merits of the proposal, but commends the developer for reaching out to the community in a proactive manner. “The Conservancy works very hard to maintain and protect Briarwood Park,” he said. “I look forward to the results of the developer, Conservancy and City’s Parks Department working together.”
From a process perspective, Sigman says, he envisions the Conservancy, the developer and the City Parks Department eventually reviewing the proposal with the existing Briarwood Park Master Plan in consideration, to see if the proposal can be accommodated. If so, then the developer would presumably make an official ask of the City of Brookhaven. “The City’s response to such a proposal would include public input and additional discussion as to the proper consideration for the land transfer proposed within the correspondence from the developer to the Conservancy”, Sigman adds.
According to Pulte’s rendering, their aim is to divide the combined land currently being utilized by the Terraces at Brookhaven and Northeast Plaza Apartments into two halves. The rendering shows the “front” half, accessed primarily via Buford Hwy., will be redeveloped in to up-scale rental and/or senior housing. The rear half will be redeveloped as a future residential community and accessed primarily through Briarwood Park. The front and rear developments are shown as having gated access between them.
No decision has been made whether the Conservancy will endorse Pulte’s plan. Expect to see more on this topic as the conversation continues to develop.