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76 Comments

  1. 1

    City-Weary

    I can understand the residents’ concerns about parking. I can see many of league attendees who drive in deciding to park on the Remington circle versus the other side of the park. That’s a valid concern. The only way to remedy that would be gated access, but then the road would become private.

  2. 2

    Sick of MC Expansion

    Total BS. Just because a developer hasnt submitted an application doesn’t mean the city hasn’t been discussing it privately for months. They have been.

    These ideas don’t just appear out of thin air. Once the application is submitted, it’s too late for the neighbors.

    Mayor and Council use this strategy all the time…every time.

  3. 3

    Kale

    They don’t want it. Spend the money on something else outside of District 1.

  4. 4

    Hunter Burke

    There is a reasonable and strong foundation of mistrust amongst the citizens of Brookhaven that has taken almost four years to build upon towards their elected officials. Once our leadership fixes that we can move forward as a city and we should have better understanding of that before the year is out.

  5. 5

    Ellen

    What a bunch of babies those who are in opposition to this are. There are many reasonable ways to address their concerns but I am sure the me me me babies don’t want to hear any of them. Time to grow up. A private piece of land a neighborhood doesn’t is not a “private park”.

  6. 6

    Ellen

    When tempers flare, the capacity for rational thought evaporates immediately.

  7. 7

    Saul

    One thing for certain, if Brookhaven gets their hands on this land at some point in the future there is going to be a very expensive foot bridge over Nancy Creek.

  8. 8

    Howard S

    Interesting, District 1 wanted the city and now they have it, as Toby Keith sings” How do you like me now”?

  9. 9

    On the Record

    I totally get why the residents on Remington Road love their green space, but the only way to keep it green is to own it and have it deed restricted. Now that the property and the adjacent Ashford Glen property is in the public eye, someone is going to begin considering development. For the right price, the owners of 1664 Remington and the Ashford Glen property will sell. Even if 1664 were sold for a new private home, your access to the green space will be restricted. Let the City buy the property, take down the house, and deed restrict it to undeveloped green space.

  10. 10

    Joe Seconder

    Did anyone tell the attendees that the property is zoned residential, and the current land owner could clear cut it and put in a mega McMansion, all without any due process or requiring any variances or approval from the city?

  11. 11

    HMM

    I would like to upvote this x1000.

  12. 13

    Ellen

    Understanding that requires rational thought processes not present when tempers flare.

  13. 14

    Ellen

    Think I will buy it if the city doesn’t, build a McMansion, and grant public row to a bridge that I build myself.

  14. 15

    Fill in the Blank

    If land is deed restricted by a government, can that government come back at a later date and remove the restrictions? Think about it. We are restricted, government can do what ever the hell it wants to do.

  15. 16

    HMM

    It sounds as though they would much rather have a “McMansion” than traffic. Can’t say I blame them.

  16. 17

    Ted Gordon

    I would rather see the lot deed restricted as greenspace with the old house removed of course. I’m fine with no bridge and parking. If the city doesn’t acquire it I think eventually the lot will be developed as a large infill type house. A resident said “it been there 30 years as greenspace and will be for 30 more years”. I don’t think that is realistic. Bottom line you trust the city or a developer. Interesting last night at the same time was ZBA16-28 to build closer into the stream buffer of Nancy Creek. I can see that coming with this lot developed privately. This lot next to the Ashford Glen floodplain property would help meet the Greenspace goals for the whole city. It also would help provide a protected watershed for Nancy Creek which needs help. I’d rather have the peace of mind knowing it is protected. It was Fear and Loathing at the meeting last night to borrow from Hunter Thompson.

  17. 18

    Melissa

    That “strong foundation of mistrust” was built by J. Max Davis, Rebecca Williams both of whom are no longer in office. We have some new leadership in Brookhaven and we should acknowledge that Mayor Ernst, Councilwoman Jones, and City Manager Sigman aren’t responsible for the sleazy misdeeds of their predecessors.

  18. 19

    Ellen

    Under my plan, they get the McMansion and the bridge.

  19. 20

    Vox Silentium

    It’s already identified in the April, 2016 Bike, Pedestrian and Trail plan as Project ID 123. That paved multi-use path (MUP) would traverse across Nancy Creek, over the flood plain of Ashford Glen’s acreage and through the backyards of 28 residences in Dunwoody Forest. Now can you folks understand the concerns of the residents? Acquisition of 1664 Remington is the first move the city must make to begin this project.

  20. 21

    Vox Silentium

    Is that not the right of the current homeowner?

  21. 22

    Brookhaven Bob

    Unfortunately, the mistrust is still evident and raises its ugly head every once in a while. Max Davis & RCW should be ashamed.

  22. 23

    Saul

    Yes, your seeing a rare sight here, gentrification of D1’s blighted area of shabby older homes.

  23. 24

    Saul

    J. Max and RCW may be gone, but the C4ND and Brookhaven Yes machine is still in place. That’s the next Brookhaven obstical to over come.

  24. 25

    Ted Gordon

    You will need some trolls under that bridge. I keep hearing about Internet trolls, I think you can find some of them.

  25. 26

    Saul

    So you are saying there are people running our city that are purposefully not being truthful with its citizens? Imagine!

  26. 27

    Ted Gordon

    Maybe somebody will buy it as is and keep it as is, maybe the owner will deed it over to the city as a preserve, maybe the tooth fairy will move in.

  27. 28

    Remington Resident

    This property is improved with a home, two-car garage and swimming pool; the driveway splits a narrow steep lot which has a large clearing for the pipeline. It has the same amount of trees as any north perimeter home. There is nothing special about this residence. There is no magical forest to get lost in. There is no genuine threat to redevelopment. If the owner decided to build a larger home, it would still be limited by the utility pipeline easements, flood zone, topography and the sewer access easement along Nancy Creek. There is no legitimate reason anyone would cut all the trees unless they were going to grow corn. This property is only desired because of its location to the massive revenue generating sports complex 300 feet away. Ashford Glen’s property is flood land that can never be developed; so, that’s not going anywhere..

  28. 29

    SJHS

    Who owns the property in question right now? I have not seen this printed anywhere. Has the City of Brookhaven spoken with the owner of the property?

    My concern is that Georgia has a law (or maybe it is part of the Georgia Constitution since that document seems to be amended annually with policy matters) that states that a property owner cannot be denied “the highest and best use” of their property. The State of Georgia typically interprets “highest and best use” to mean “sell for the most money.” Zoning doesn’t usually matter when a property owner is trying to obtain the maximum amount possible for a piece of property. Check with Attorney Doug Dillard to get confirmation of that law or GA Constitution item. Doug usually represents the property seller(s).

  29. 30

    Question

    I don’t know that you’re correct about the floodplain. The restriction says you can’t build within 75ft of the creek. It’s expensive to build in an area that can flood, but is it restricted? The Ashford Glen parcel is about 350ft

  30. 31

    LEH

    Name calling is just about productive and grown up as people being irrational.

  31. 32

    Very concerned

    Right now there is a house on 1664. And it is zoned for a single home. With a pipeline in front and the narrow 100ft wide nature of the lot and topography there is little opportunity for anything different than what is there now. There will not be “a development”. The ashford glen 6 acres is flood plain and unbuildable. There will not be a development there. The only reason for this is to create a connection to murphey candler park. And this access is listed in Brookhaven documents as part of the plan. And if ashford glen and Remington neighborhoods don’t want public access why is the city spending the money? Listen to your constituents. Spend the money on the existing murphey candler park that is so much need of being upgraded(parking fixes, dredging, trash collectors, a play ground, etc etc,)

  32. 33

    Very concerned

    Ashford glen is in a 100yr flood plain and cannot be developed. It must remain previous. Which means if the city buys it they have 2 choices. Leave it forested and build a path/bridge. Or tear all the trees down and make a gravel lot. The existing gravel lot by the football fields used to be trees. And just ask the residents about the promises the city gave about not cutting those down. Linley and Ernst may have good intentions but the next mayor and council or the one after that may not. And with existing plans in the website the next council already has the plans. That is the issue.

  33. 34

    Trust your city

    NO!

  34. 35

    Royal Flush

    But then again, there is the surprise non transparent “Operation Windmill Dunk” deal with the Hawks and Emory with 36m in tax abatement. It will be interesting to see how that deal pans out long term.

  35. 36

    Janine

    Anyone have good feelings about Sigman? I don’t.

  36. 37

    HueyMahl

    I agree, it is a valid concern, but I think there are other remedies. For example, you could restrict parking on those streets to residents and guests.

    If those concerns can be addressed, creating a more walkable Brookhaven is in everyone’s best interest. If they are talking about putting a pedestrian bridge across the creek, that is a very good thing for the neighborhood and the city in general. No, we are not all of a sudden going to start biking and walking everywhere, but having the option instead of being forced to drive a mile when you could walk 600 feet? Seems like a win to me.

  37. 38

    HueyMahl

    We need that bridge and that multi-use path. It is good for the city and good for the neighbors. I wish people would take the time to research the effects of creating a walkable environment. All these NIMBY’s. Studies consistently show that not only does crime NOT follow bike trails, instead, access to parks, greenspace and bike trails increases property values of those closest to them.

  38. 39

    Mark

    Yeah. He’s a good dude. Just remember. He’s an employee doing what he is told and trying to make the best of it.

  39. 40

    Dana

    If available, please share any crime related studies you reference.

  40. 41

    Daniel Harrison

    Restrict the parking? Yea, that works. Nice try, Huey. How’s the prize fighting going since you lost RP?

  41. 42

    City-Weary

    Restricted parking doesn’t work unless there is someone onsite to enforce it. Just ask the people who live near the ballfields. I don’t think having a police officer on Remington to monitor parking every day is a good use of my taxes. Thus a conundrum — If there is no parking, access to the trail is really limited to those living in that neighborhood or the very few people outside that neighborhood who are willing to walk some distance to get to that trail. Thus, the trail becomes a de facto “Dunwoody Forest/Ashford Glen” neighborhood trail vs a city trail which is not a good use of taxpayer funds either.

  42. 43

    Ted Gordon

    The gravel lot was cleared ages ago by Dekalb County, long before the city formed. Linley and Ernst said they had no problem keeping the land as a restricted Greenspace. Mayor Ernst also said he understood the mistrust in government.

  43. 44

    Eric Robert

    I agree it would be difficult to restrict parking. Though if there was a way to do that it would actually provide good access to Huntley Hills since when we rezoned Gramercy Park on Chamblee Dunwoody across from Dunwoody Forest, we had Warren Jolly put in a pedestrian connection in the back between the 2 parcels.
    Though in light of what is being allowed to be done in the flood plain by the football field gravel lot (storing of tree removal debri and wood palletts, large piles of gravel and sand, a commercial truck parked overnight, intrusive 24/7 lighting and flood plain tree clearing) I am worried about what could happen to this lot under Brookhaven control. On the other hand to expect the lot to never be developed is also not realistic. Though one should expect that no structure would be built in the floodplain (which much of this lot appears to be) and that it remain R100. And Brookhaven needs to add back the prohibition of tree clearing in floodplains that the DeKalb Code had.

  44. 45

    Eric Robert

    Ted, did they deny the variance request to build closer to the Nancy Creek? I certainly hope so. We are spent all this money to study the water quality and flooding problem on the Nancy Creek and have a proposal to spend millions implementing it. It would be crazy to make matters worse by approving such variances.

  45. 46

    Good Luck

    Good Luck the owner does not want to sell to anyone plus I don’t think you could afford it.

  46. 47

    Eric Robert

    Joe as has been stated numerous times, most of the property is flood plain so if a McMansion went in it should be limited to the front of the property. But yes a Mcmansion could be built. I DO LIKE the idea of a trail. But the league running MC Park along with some others who want to develop more structures and parking in the park does give me pause about how best to preserve this rare asset of largely undisturbed greenspace around a significant water body (Nancy Creek) inside 285.

  47. 48

    Rob

    This one is easy…
    – If the residents along Remington want the city to buy the land and deed restrict access, then I say NO WAY. You want to use taxpayer’s money to ensure your secret/exclusive park access continues in perpetuity? Not on my dime.
    – Instead, let the current land owner sell to the highest bidder – just like all of us will do when we sell our home. Then, the folks who live on Remington can cross their fingers and hope the new owner lets them cut through his property to access the park. Roll the dice.
    — OR, let the city buy the property, construct and maintain a simple path and enjoy it along with the handful of other people who walk or drive there.

    Lastly, criminals? Really? Like people are going to park on Remington, walk 350++ feet through a woods to rob someone and then walk back to a car parked on a dead end street with only one way out. Or maybe the criminal will park by the ball fields and take the path through the woods to rob people on Remington (getting that big screen TV through the woods would be a chore). Or, maybe the thief just drives to Remington, robs a resident and drives out – like he could today. I don’t see what the ownership of the land, the path or the park have to do with crime in that location.

  48. 49

    ellen

    I live outside the neighborhood and would use this trail all of the time. It would make it easy to have a 4-5 mile circuit where a walker could visit 3 different parks in one walk. I could foresee a lot of people outside the neighborhood who live in the area using it on foot only. Do you run??? Runners would use this trail all of the time! No conundrum whatsoever.

  49. 50

    ellen

    That’s not namecalling. It is the trut

  50. 51

    Saul

    If it is true that the owner does not want to sell, why is this even being discussed? Who started this discussion about the city purchasing this property anyway? Our D1 councilwomen?

  51. 52

    Ted Gordon

    Eric, I missed the end of that zoning. I hope they don’t build closer to the creek. I had 2 issues I wanted to check on and saw the ZBA16-28 Colt Drive request by chance. Interesting to note a 75 foot stream buffer and 20 ft wide sanitary sewer easement.

  52. 53

    Concerned Mom

    I also attended the meeting.

    Linley Jones, councilmember, outlined the Greenspace goals as 8 acres/1000 residents and Brookhaven is currently 6 acres/1000 residents. Christian Sigman, City Manager, defined Greenspace as any green space including back yards.
    Most of Dunwoody Forest homes sit on ½ to 1 acre lots with much of that yard being greenspace. Their ratio is more like 1 acre/4 residents. I would also challenge that district 1 is higher than the goal while district 4 is lower than the average. I cannot find stats on this although I have searched. Dunwoody Forest already has more than its ratio of greenspace while other areas and districts do not.

    Linley, John and Christian defined 1664 as being a Mini Park or Pocket Park. Per the 2014 Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan page 142, a Mini Park or Pocket Park is defined as having a service area of 0.25 miles. Per the subdivision plan handed out during the meeting, approximately 35 homes are within this 0.25 area. Per the handout survey results, 20 homes said “no”, 2 homes said “yes”, the others did not respond. The majority of the homes in the defined service area do not want this City Owned Greenspace.

    During the meeting and printed in the Post, Linley stated that the grassroots community decides what the space would ultimately be if purchased. We have a lot of dogs in Dunwoody Forest. The Committee could decide to make this space a Dog Park. There are kids in the neighbor. The Community could make it a playground. As much as the City or several residents want this land to be a Nature Preserve, no one person decides. The community decides. Those in favor of the City owning the property need to be prepared for the Community to decide how it is used and it may not be what you chose or think it should be.

    As a final note, the Master Plan also defines “Greenway” space on page 144. I believe that this is the true intent of the City based on its adjacency to Murphy Candler. Christian was clear that 1664 fell into the category of an Adjacency Purchase (as compared to PDK was a Big Hit Purchase).

    I do believe our elected officials to be intelligent and thoughtful professionals. As such, they do not make poor decisions. Purchasing 1664 as a Pocket Park for a 0.25 service area is not a smart acquisition. Purchasing 1664 as Greenway space due to its adjacency to Murphy Candler makes perfect sense.

    For those in favor of the City purchase of 1664, please make sure that you also look at the facts that this purchase only makes sense as an adjacency purchase to Murphy Candler and the City cannot guarantee how it is used – both today since decided by the Community or when they are out of office and the new officers decide they want to use it otherwise.

  53. 54

    Lawson

    Interesting about that sewer easement, some would say the creek meets that classification.

  54. 55

    Ellen

    That Dunwoody Forest green space ratio is quite a stretch and not relevant. The ratio applies to the entire city rather than individual neighborhoods. This will increase property values both in and around Dunwoody Forest.

  55. 56

    HMM

    I don’t have them but there are quite a few available- I imagine you could find them if you spent some time on Google. There used to be a good number of them listed by some on nextdoor in the D4 area if you can get access to that I would guess they might still be there.

    My problem with most of the studies/articles people use as “proof” of major improvement is that most of the places were a nightmare to begin with. Think NYC piers where people were being killed Tony Soprano style, drug dealing, junkie hangouts etc. . . unused areas where dozens of homeless lived. . . . So yes, if you improve places like that of course crime will go down and real estate values will go up.

  56. 57

    Tom Reilly

    “I don’t have them…I imagine you could find them…they might still be there…” Funny what happens when people demand evidence.

  57. 58

    Tom Reilly

    Cheers to the adult in the room!!

  58. 59

    HMM

    The links may very well still be there- I personally am not going to go back to check- as I said- I’m sure you can find them on Google. Nothing has disappeared from the Internet.

    Again though, while I think those studies/references probably apply to parts of Buford Highway where there are many arrests where the peachtree greenway will be (though I do empathize with people upset about a potential trail by their backward)I don’t think you can apply these things to a quiet cul-de-sac near MC that has little crime.

    Not sure why you’re being so hostile (except that you and your buds always are to me) when I’m directing people towards links used by some to support your “side”.🙄

  59. 60

    HMM

    Why do you guys always have to be so nasty?

  60. 61

    Dana

    I know at one time the wooded area to the right of the MC lake had an issue with kids and drugs. Has that been solved?

  61. 62

    Justin

    This town sure likes to spend taxpayer money. It’s been said many times now that “we” are afraid of change. It appears that what “they” are really afraid of is leaving something that works just fine alone. Heaven forbid, a real city does something and we don’t copy it. Get a vision for Brookhaven that fits Brookhaven and stop chasing national data with the false implications that it is good for “us.”

  62. 63

    HMM

    I honestly don’t know the area that well-I just know a lot of the articles and examples people in Brookhaven often reference NYC. Having lived there I am aware of some of the “before”‘ referenced and can state (what should be obvious)- Brookhaven is not NYC.

    I don’t know about this MC kid drug issue or how severe it was, but I will say having lived next to conservation land and trails in a very safe place (not NYC) kids used to hang out and drink and smoke pot and goof off often (including in our yard occasionally 🙄). On some level I think that’s something kids will try to find a place to do anywhere though. The only thing really scary was when someone stole our propane tank and the cops said it was probably to make meth 😬- that was on the fourth of July however when many flooded the area to watch fireworks.

    I enjoyed the nature trails and my husband biked them literally every single day at times . . . but I can confirm what others are worried about regarding speeding drivers and loss of privacy. People can sometimes be nosy regardless, but there’s something about living next to conservation land that makes people stare at/in nearby houses and yards in a way it would not be accepted normally. Having lived in NYC it didn’t bother me too much, but I can definitely understand why people that didn’t buy into that sort of situation would be very upset.

  63. 64

    HMM

    “We need that bridge and multi-use path. It is good for the city and good for the neighbors. I wish people would take the time to research the effects of creating a walkable environment. ”

    Different people like different things. People buy what they like and it’s not unreasonable for people to be very upset when they’ve made a huge financial and lifestyle investment in one thing to hear they may be forced to live with another.

  64. 65

    HMM

    If the logic of this is purely to protect the nature and trees, then why is Brookhaven not buying up wooded lots for sale in D4?

  65. 66

    Tom Reilly

    Private homeowners have to constantly pay taxes and be subject to developers’ offers. Overall, public land is more stable that private land.–Tom Reilly

  66. 67

    Barbara

    The city will still pay taxes to Dekalb and we will all have to spilt the cost of the acquisition and upkeep. Public land is not stable by any means, especially with the crew that runs Brookhaven.

  67. 68

    HMM

    Seriously- two huge lots right next to each other full of old trees overlooking a creek just sold in D4- if the goal is *purely* to save nature why didn’t the city buy those?

    One of them that went for $375,000 ish is already listed for rent— which means there’s a huge chance it was purchased by a developer that’s going to wait a few years, raze everything, and build a house to sell between 1 to 1.5 million.

  68. 69
  69. 70

    HMM

    Yes, there are a good number of expensive homes buying built around here (what you call “the ghetto”)- I’m surprised you haven’t heard of this from the tree activists.

  70. 71

    Not from Brookhaven thank god

    I love the references to increased property values on both articles related to this. With increased property values comes increased property taxes. And what does any government do with more tax revenue? Spend it on residential lot purchases under the guise of green space. Suckers!

  71. 72

    HMM

    I would love to hear how the city plans to acquire a huge amount of commercial property in the Buford Highway area (like gas stations) that isn’t struggling. The city is going to convince them to sell? With the proposal of a greenway won’t their gas stations etc be worth infinitely more? No one has addressed this– it’s just like “oh, we’re putting in a hotel where the gas station is”. Uhhh, okay, HOW? We dont like this building- something new is going there! Again- how???

  72. 73

    HMM

    Don’t worry about it- it will happen- in the meantime let’s spend more money on D1!

  73. 74

    Saul

    Sadly you are right. Brookhaven elected officials have ignored the tax roll back fr its citizens for as long as the city has been in existence. Even under John Ernst.

  74. 75

    Tom Reilly

    I am tired of the minority in this city that never reveal their true selves, never do their homework, never take the responsibility for their actions, and never contribute anything to our quality of life besides dishonesty, disrespect, and disunity.

  75. 76

    Saul

    Tom, anyone that objects to anything the C4ND and BY lunch bunch agrees with meets your test. As for anonymity, in Brookhaven, anything else puts a target on your forehead. It didn’t start out this way, those that were against the city yet wanted to participate in its and their future were singles out and black-balled. People aren’t as stupid as you make them out to be.

    I refer you to The Dick’s comments about the moderator if the HD80 debate.

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