Chamblee, GA, October 11, 2016 – by Trey Benton – Chamblee’s City Council will meet on Thursday, October 13th for a Regularly Scheduled City Council Work Session. On the Agenda: An application for a Development of Community Impact (DCI) attached to a controversial Holiday Inn proposal located at 4401 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd., near the intersection of I-285 and Chamblee Dunwoody Rd.
The original application submitted by Mohammad C. Hossain on behalf of Nirvana Land LLC, intends to construct a 150 room, full-service Hotel stretching out to 88,610 square feet on a .94-acre parcel. The parcel is currently occupied by an Exxon gas station and convenience store he owns.
Back in August, Councilmembers approved a deferral request to allow the applicant time to meet with neighboring residents who have expressed concern over the project. The request also stated the applicant intended to listen to the concerns of neighbors and attempt to address those concerns prior to presenting the application to the City.
Councilmembers also approved a separate height variance withdrawal request. That does not mean the applicant will not seek to build above the City’s height limits, only to include that variance request into the DCI study instead of the variance being handled separately. This allows the requested height of the proposed hotel to be considered in conjunction with all of the other components of the project.
According to the City, the applicant has met with neighborhood representatives and as a result, revised the plan submitted in August by slightly reducing the size of the building and number of rooms.
New plans were received by the City on September 7, 2016 that include some minor changes to the building design and elevations. The height of the building remains unchanged at 81’-9”, however, which is one of the surrounding community’s most contested characteristics of the plan. Chamblee’s UDO limits the height of buildings in the CC zoning district to 60 ft.
The applicant proposes the new hotel would sit on top of a parking deck with 162 parking spaces – although the City says 172 will be required. Guest access would be from an auto court accessed from a single curb-cut on Chamblee-Dunwoody Road. In one version of the site plan, the City says a second curb cut is shown on Savoy Drive.
An alternative site plan shows an interparcel connection that would be provided with the adjacent parcel along the property’s eastern boundary – adjacent to a climate controlled self-storage facility and restaurant previously approved at 1801 Savoy Drive.
In the October 13th Agenda Packet, the Community Development Department Staff Report recommends the project be Approved, with 10 conditions (The original condition #10 is recommended to be removed).
Those Staff Conditions are:
- Approval is subject to development in substantial conformity with the plans “Holiday Inn – 4401 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd., DCI Submittal Set” received on 9/7/16 with revisions to the plan as described below or as otherwise required by the Chamblee Mayor and City Council.
- The alternate site plan is accepted, showing an interparcel connection with 1801 Savoy Drive. A separate driveway for this development on Savoy Drive is subject to GDOT approval.
- At least 75 percent of the exterior walls, except for fenestration, shall be faced with stone or brick. The fifth story of the building shall be clad in a complementary material of contrasting color and separated by a prominent architectural sill or cornice line in order to reduce the apparent massing of the building.
- The applicant shall face all retaining walls with the same brick or stone veneer used for the ground floor of the building.
- The applicant shall apply stone veneer to the exterior face of the parking structure that is exposed along the southern property line adjacent to the Kingston Gate townhouse community. The openings on this side of the parking deck shall be covered by decorative metal louvers or a decorative metal screen approved by the ARB.
- Prior to making application for a land disturbance permit, the applicant shall submit a visual impact analysis as described in Sec. 230-5(d)(2)f. that examines shade and shadow patterns on the top floor of the parking structure and on the abutting property to the south.
- Exterior lighting of the parking lot, side and rear yards shall use fixtures designed to eliminate glare on adjacent residential properties.
- The location and design of the stormwater outlet shall be based on a hydrology study and as approved by the City Engineer.
- New sidewalk shown along Savoy Drive shall meet the standards of the UDO and be coordinated with the sidewalk provided at 1801 Savoy Drive so as to be continuous in grade, width, finish and materials. Sidewalk materials and finishes shall be extended across driveways. New sidewalk provided on Chamblee-Dunwoody Road shall meet the standards of the UDO and provide a transition to existing sidewalk south of the subject property along Chamblee Dunwoody Road as described in Sec.230-27(c)(2)d. of the UDO.
The applicant shall revise the tree protection and replacement plan or provide for alternative compliance to meet requirements of the UDO.
- Prior to the issuance of a building permit, the developer shall reimburse the City of Chamblee for the estimated costs of a traffic study and constructing recommended improvements to the intersection, signalization and crosswalks of Chamblee-Dunwoody Road / Savoy Drive, as determined to be necessary by the Public Works Director in order to maintain the current level of service and safety for motorists and pedestrians.
On October 4th, The City’s Architectural Design Review Board met to review the application and the Staff Recommendations. Their feedback is as follows:
- ARB supports Staff Recommendation #1 with the inclusion of the rendering received on 10/4/16.
- ARB supports Staff Recommendation #2
- ARB supports Staff Recommendation #3 and recommends that the color scheme on the rendering be followed. Further, all surfaces that are marked Color B and Color D on the A-10 sheet be brick of the same color with the exception of the prominent cornice (marked Color B) which may be painted.
- ARB supports Staff Recommendation #4.
- ARB supports Staff Recommendation #5 and recommends that the openings on this side of the parking deck be covered by decorative 6” metal louvers made of anodized aluminum, dark bronze in color.
- ARB supports Staff Recommendation #6.
- ARB supports Staff Recommendation #7 with the addition of a 3’6” wall at the porte cochere to screen headlights of vehicles entering the motor court.
- ARB supports Staff Recommendation #8.
- ARB supports Staff Recommendation #9.
- The ARB agrees to the removal of staff recommendation #10 with the addition of adherence to the Enhanced South Elevation Landscape Plan (S.EL lower rendering) and with a maintenance plan for the dry river bed installed between the hotel and the adjoining property subject to approval by the City Engineer.
- ARB supports Staff Recommendation #11.
- All metal elements of the building including railings, window trim, etc. will be dark bronze in color.
Given recent developments with the DeKalb County water and sewer system, Chamblee’s Community Development Department indicates the timing of this development may be affected. “The development is currently under review for capacity limitations that may affect the timing of development of this property,” says City Staff in the Staff Report.
A recent report by Tomorrow’s News Today, explains the Holiday Inn hotel that exists now in Brookhaven, across Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd. from the proposed Holiday Inn site in Chamblee, will soon change names to DoubleTree by Hilton. The report says, “Sources indicate the hotel will undergo a multi-million dollar renovation this November (historically a slow period for area hotels). The hotel will reportedly remain open during the renovation, with plans to reopen by late March 2017.”
The City Council will consider the application on Thursday, October 13th at the Chamblee Civic Center located at 3540 Broad St. at 6:00 PM.