Brookhaven, GA, November 2, 2016 – by Trey Benton – Brookhaven Planning Commissioners voted Wednesday to recommend that during the November 9th City Council Meeting, Councilmembers defer an amended application filed last week by developer CONNOLLY, and remand it back to the Planning Commission in January 2017. Attorney for CONNOLLY, Carl Westmoreland requested their rezoning application for parcels associated with the Dresden Village planned mixed-use development be heard again by the Planning Commission in December. But taking into to consideration the upcoming holiday season, Commissioners opted for a January date instead.
Prior to Wednesday’s Meeting, Planning Commissioners had not seen CONNOLLY’s newly revised plan and amended application, although Commission Chair Stan Segal said they knew one had been filed. There was no presentation of the newly revised plan either.
During the last trip through the Planning Commission in August, Commissioners recommended City Council deny CONNOLLY’s application. During the August 23rd City Council meeting, however, the case was deferred and remanded back, giving the developer a chance to make changes to their site plan. The original plan created with input from Fairfield Residential, who is no longer part of the Dresden Village project, called for 56.6 units per acre comprised of 194 multifamily units.
Back in 2006, a portion of the parcels Dresden Village will consume if approved, was zoned to PC-2 – allowing for the development of 155 multifamily units (48.6 units per acre) and 35,000 square feet of retail/restaurant uses in two four story buildings with a central parking deck on 3.19 acres.
The revised Dresden Village plan now includes a .3 acre parcel the “Little White House” occupied before it was torn down by the property owner, Fritz Rybert. The addition of this new parcel into the overall plan, brings a planned restaurant concept from Chef Scott Serpas. This parcel inclusion raises the total Dresden Village site acreage to 3.73 acres, all situated along Dresden Drive, between Caldwell Road and Parkside Drive. The multifamily component in the revised plan reduces the units per acre count down to 45.3.
Changes in the new Dresden Village Master Plan also include:
- Reduction in density from the original 206 total units to 169 multifamily units and 10 “For-Sale” Townhome along Caldwell Rd.
- Improved transition of the project into the single family homes by stepping down the height and density from the multi-family portion of the project to townhomes
- Addition of Dixie Moon restaurant, which now can get built with adequate parking
- Improved landscape and tree save areas by reducing the amount of building encroaching on Parkside and opening up a view corridor, which also saves trees
- 20,700 sq. ft. of Retail
- Townhomes will have 2-car garages underneath each unit
- Parking deck will have 420 spaces – 180 for commercial/retail, 240 for multifamily, 40 for townhome
- 25 on-street parking spaces
Residents in attendance, while no one spoke for or against the project Wednesday, told The Post they are still not sold on the proposed height of the project, nor the number of residential apartment units still in the plan. They said a number in the 30 units per acre range, at the most 40, is more in line with what they would like to see in their community. Other concerns were whether CONNOLLY meets Overlay requirements for the bonus 5th story on the Dresden Drive side of the proposed development. They say for Dresden Village to qualify for an extra story bonus, the code pertaining to the Overlay’s Sub-area II requires 25% of the site be contiguous publicly accessible open space. 22.78% is specified in the new site plan.
The case will be considered on November 9th by the City Council. At that time, Councilmembers will decide whether to send the case back to the Planning Commission to hear in January. With the addition of the new “Little White House” parcel and a new site plan, Planning Commissioners are asking for City Councilors to allow the case to be treated as a net new case.
Residents said because of the changes to the plan being significant, they would prefer CONNOLLY’s application be withdrawn and be made to start over from scratch – with a new public meeting process in the mix. If the case does have to start over, the existing moratorium prohibiting the acceptance of new applications that increase density, could factor in. That moratorium is set to expire in February 2017.