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    “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.”

    If the law says 60, that’s what the building needs to be. 30% higher and Chamblee staff and Review Board are okay with it?

    Government of and for the developers continues, despite what people want.

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    Jack Smith

    Since they are combining the zoning request with the variance request, which is a clear violation of state law, this could easily be contested if both are granted.

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    See you in court

    Challenging in court would require costly legal fees the taxpayer would pay for both the plaintiff and defense team. Mayor Clarkson, city council and the development authority are well aware of the financial advantage they have with our money.

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    Van Pappas

    I’m not a lawyer, so I could be completely wrong, but I think Jack is incorrect in this being a violation. Chamblee code states the following:
    Section 280 -6(c)(8)b of the UDO, “The mayor and city council may approve a PUD or DCI plan that includes approval of specific
    variances to the provisions of the zoning ordinance or waivers of other pertinent development requirements of city ordinances provided that such variances and waivers are specifically enumerated and approved in their action.”

    I read this to mean that the variances can be included in the DCI plan.

    Also, if you read the agenda packet for tomorrow’s meeting, the following is stated. It makes it sound like a separate variance will be voted on.

    Pulled from the Agenda:
    “Section 280-6(c) of the UDO states that DCIs are required to conform with all requirements of the future development map and the applicable zoning district, specifically permitted uses, densities and heights, and signage. The application does conform to the provisions of the future development plan and those provisions of zoning related to permitted uses, open space, parking, densities, and landscaping. It does not conform to the height limits of the Comprehensive Plan and the Unified Development Ordinance
    (60 ft.), but a separate height variance application was filed (Case 2016V-14).”

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    No rezoning mentioned or required.

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    Do it. You are trading a nasty gas station with gazillions of cars coming and going for a nice hotel with a lot less traffic and headaches.
    Height is higher than allowed thats why they are asking for a variance – and thats why its called a variance 🙂

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    Huey Mahl

    I don’t get the concern here. This is a heavy commercial area, with the parcel located on an on-ramp to 285. No residential abuts or is even very close. No loss of green space, better environmental profile vs. an existing gas station, and no appreciable change in traffic (possible even improved traffic with fewer trips than a gas station would incur). The variance asked is minor, and would appear to be an upgrade in all respects.

    Can someone enlighten me as to why this would not be a good project for the site?

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    Van Pappas

    @Huey Mahl
    Actually there is a Townhome community that sits directly on the back property line of the development. They would be affected by the hieght and it is those residents that have the concern.

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    I’m less concerned with what Chamblee can do rather than what it should do. As Van Pappas notes, there are people living adjacent to the site. They bought into the “nasty gas station,” they didn’t buy into perpetual shade. I think my original point is valid and worth expanding a bit.

    A variance should be an exceptional event, not something that a developer should expect to get, coming in low and giving as little as possible to maximize its profit. The GM site developer is doing its best to run over the City of Doraville and the DeKalb School Board. Dresden Drive is becoming an urban canyon. The Brookhaven MARTA development will add to the congestion. Peachtree Street, or whatever it’s called between Lowes and the Nissan dealer, is about to become a driving nightmare, not that it’s a treat now.

    If Chamblee’s council thinks 80 foot tall buildings are a good thing, it should say so and change the code. A variance here and a variance there, here a variance, there a variance, isn’t a proper way to govern. But that’s what Brookhaven, Chamblee and Doraville citizens get. To repeat, government of and for developers, not for the people that live with the developments.

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    seeker of truth

    “Perpetual Shade” from a property that due NORTH of the residents seems to defy the laws of physics. Very interested in seeing that happen.

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    Jack Smith

    Ah, no you are right. I assumed incorrectly they were asking for a rezoning which as you pointed out they are not. They are staying in CC. So not quite as big a deal as doing concurrent zoning (zoning plus variances at the same time by council) but still open to a superior court challenge since Chamblee lacks a formal ZBA.

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    Please allow me to edit that to partial shade. Now please let me know what you think about the substance of the comment. Or are you just into drive by snark?

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    seeker of truth

    I don’t have a problem with differences in opinion, but I do have a problem with misrepresenting facts. I am still interested in seeing even partial shade from a building that is due north.

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    I’m not sure I would say Developers expect to get variance requests approved. I’ve seen council deny many variances. I’m also not sure how much the height increase will really affect the adjacent residents. If the property gets build to code, they are going to still get a 60ft tall building behind them. Is 20ft really going to put it over the top. (<–pun)

    I would probably feel the same way they do if I lived there, but I suspect the objection over the 20ft difference is more about hoping the development will never be build rather than not having it build taller. Unfortunately the townhomes were built next to the vastly expanding corridor we call 285. You can't fault the property owner of the Exxon for wanting to create something better than what he currently has. Remember this is not some large corporation trying to come in an push us around. This is a single property owner, that from what I can see is a good member of the community. Like any business owner, he saw an opportunity when the hotel across the street loses it's flag and said I can be in the hospitality business.

    Having been born here, I grew up before any of the skyscapes on the Northern Arc. I remember how inspiring it was when the King & Queen building and the Rivinia were built. How many are there now from I75 to I85? That expansion along 285 will most likely continue, so I do not think this is the last of the 5+ story buildings.

    Last, I think the advantage of the variances, is it keeps the code someone restrictive and allows Council to decide it they want to easy up to let a favorable project occur. If you just set the code to 80ft, then they would all build to 80ft.

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    Chamblee Resident

    the concerns center around three fact as i see it 1) a large building for a relatively small site 2) they intend a rooftop bar and noise is concern for residences behind it. 3) there are very nice town home residences right behind this property who would be affected by height and noise of hotel 3) this intersection is heavily congested already and there is great concern at added traffic it would bring which is assumed to be greater than gas station (no traffic study done).

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    This looks like a great upgrade to this corner. And the ‘welcome to chamblee’ sign, nice touch.

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    Thanks. I was looking at the wrong place on the map (my error). I can understand the concern of the townhome owners. Regardless, it still seems like a significant upgrade to that corner. I would expect a rooftop bar could be configured so that it opens to the freeway, instead of the residential section, mitigating any noise completely. The height is potentially an issue, but there is a taller building across the street. Don’t see how this does not pass.

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    I live very close to the property and trust me, there are not “gazillon of cars coming and going” to and from that gas station. I pass by there at least 10 times a day and there are either zero or no more than 2 cars there at a time, In fact, I’m not even sure how the retail stays open (and Blimpie obviously did not.) Plus the store closes at night. However, the Holiday Inn with its rooftop bar will certainly bring many more folks in and out there and hotels never close.

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    You are incorrect that no residential abuts. There are townhomes that back up to the property.

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    Sorry but disagree. I see lots of cars there. I also frequently see impatient drivers cut thru the lot at speed to avoid the red light (CD to SD and SD to CD). its only a matter of time before someone gets killed. The hotel resolves that issue. Look at the images above and then look at the gas station. Whats better for the community?
    There are only 4 houses that backup to the site and they have always backed up the commercial area.

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    Only 4 townhomes that are really affected. Has anyone polled those residents to see what they think? I would rather have a nice bar to walk to than a crime infested nasty gas station next door.

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    Pretty likely this will end up being a show on National Geographic if they get shade.

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    I agree. That will be a very attractive building and a great additional gateway to Chamblee.

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    Concderned lives nearby

    There is an abandoned Arbys behind the Exxon. This area is not the safest and serves as an access road for North Peachtree and North Shallowford and 1-285.Also new americans work there not Richie rich

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