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31 Comments

  1. 1

    Riley OConnor

    Talk about interference from Russia, this thing looks like a Soviet-era apartment building in Stalingrad. No color, just bleak shades of gray.

  2. 2

    Charles

    How ironic, citizen comment is opened AFTER the vote. Guess it doesn’t really matter since the citizens had no idea it was even happening. This smells to high heaven. Couldn’t look more corrupt if you tried. Thank you council members Hogan and Kusman for trying to do the right thing.

  3. 3

    Orion the Hunter

    This is Tom Hogan getting ready to run for Mayor in 2017.

  4. 4

    Toff

    Hmmm. I thought HUD financial year was 7/1 not 1/1? Anyway, this project was always going to be approved. They snuck in a big change and got an extra floor. Looks like 3 out of the 5 knew what was going to happen before the motion was raised. Big companies lobby well.
    Looking forward to seeing it in place of a crappy dealership.

  5. 5

    NTH

    The owner of the property is the Hickman family. The developer is Del American. The architect is Wakefield Beasley & Associates. The developer did not sneak in another floor. The approved design is both lower than the allowable height and below the allowable density in this particular district. The changes were made to make the development more appealing, not to pull a fast one on anyone. The ARB gave the changes a unanimous approval as well as staff recommending approval of the changes. This should have been a simple process, but like Mock said, this was a political decision on the part of the decenters, not one based on the facts presented to them. I guess Hogan and Kusman would rather see a car dealership on this lot for the next 10+ years. This is a great development that will further enhance the new Chamblee. Way to go Mock, Robinson and Mesa!

  6. 6

    Jordan Fox

    Extra floor was needed because they were losing units on bottom. Even with added floor, building is still below max height.

  7. 7

    You Cant Fake Sneaky and Underhanded

    Snowjob. Doesn’t matter how you slice it. Also tells you exactly what Architectural Review Boards are good for…providing legislative cover for developer density over reach.

  8. 8

    Lunaville

    Meh. The developer had to sacrifice units on one floor due to a retaining wall. So, a floor was added. Had they gone from six floors to twelve, I would wonder what they were trying to pull, but this change sounds entirely reasonable.

  9. 9

    fyi

    No it is not. If you keep saying it, it is still from being so.

  10. 10

    Eddie E.

    Agreed, but it passed the “ARB”.
    See why we don’t need an ARB in Brookhaven?

  11. 11

    Eddie E.

    ARB = Sello de Gomma

  12. 12

    Confused by your point

    @Charles Chamblee has an agenda item for public comment towards the end of all meetings that they hold. All items discussed at the council meeting are also on the work session agenda that is held Thursday prior to the Tuesday meeting. This particular development went through two public hearings as well as three council meetings and a third work session. As well, it was discussed at multiple DDA and ARB meetings. I know that the council members are vert open and easy to contact. So I am very confused about the point of your comment. Hogan and Kusman, SMH

  13. 13

    Really?

    Allowable height is 90′. Building is aprox. 80′ measured from grade plane, as called for in Chamblee’s ordinace.

  14. 14

    Resident

    Indeed and the ARB picks the ink.

  15. 15

    Dave

    “’I take offense to that, especially since you were notified on Thursday this was going to happen,’ Mesa added.”

    Three members of the council are legislating outside of a public meeting and letting the other two members know what they are going to push through, privately, a few days ahead?

    Whether the project should or shouldn’t be approved, the way it was done smells. Time for some changes in leadership.

  16. 17

    Councilman Mesa

    Notified at the Thursday Work Session (Regularly Scheduled Public Meeting)

  17. 18

    Brian Mock

    I missed the November work session, the only meeting I’ve missed since being elected, due to being out of town for work. I did not hear the applicants reasoning for the changes and based my decision to deny upon information I had available to me at the time. As I saw this as an important project to the vision for Mid-City, I immediately reached out to the applicant and the developer to get answers. Any of my peers could have made those same calls over the past 30 days. I had multiple conversations and asked a lot of “what if’s”. As I liked the overall project, most of my time was spent trying to address the concerns of my peers. Fact is, I put in the time and effort to educate myself on a project that in the end I could happily live with. I felt their changes, although poorly communicated at first, to be reasonable. Our city staff which we employ to guide us felt they were reasonable. Our ARB, (a talented group of Chamblee citizens) which we appoint felt they were reasonable. A majority of our elected body felt they were reasonable. We are 5 members of council and more often than not, our votes are unanimous. However, we aren’t always going to agree on everything and I hope we can remain respectful in our disagreements. We have a lot more coming towards us in the months ahead and I look forward to a healthy working relationship. This project was approved, I expect its going to be something we can all be proud of and I wish them great success.

    Happy Holidays, Brian

  18. 19

    Wendy

    With all due respect. You voted to deny. Not defer. You now say you did not attend a work session and did not have enough info.
    How many other times have you taken the responsiblility of voting so lax? I am ashamed of you.

  19. 20

    Turd Ferguson

    Let me see if I understand this all.

    Big shot Mayor Clarkson sees an opportunity for his employer because Nissan site is available (after some convincing). His employer does their plan, gets their $11 million tax break, and gets their project approved at 289 units. Employer pats Mayor on the back. Clarkson is the man around the office.

    But oh crap! Olmsted has a wall on their project we hate!

    So they change the plan, ARB and Comm Dev plays ball on a new plan that increases the density almost 10% and approves it. Mayor remains the hero around the office.

    But city council says nay nay, the project is good but the visual impact on the Peachtree and Malone side are negatory and we won’t support that but we will support something and we aren’t their yet and denies it. Mayors company is now up sh?t creek because they have spent millions to date and their HUD financing is now in jeopardy because they have to close by the end of the year and a delay to get the project right would eff that up.

    Mayor calls good buddy Mock and Mesa to play ball and they do. Mesa, who can barely make complete sentences on his own, suddenly becomes a governmental process genius (with the help of the city’s lawyer) and Mock plays song because he and Mesa are told to.

    Mock reverses his vote and Mayor is hero again, employer gets what they wanted. Mock falls on sword. Mesa looks smart for 5 minutes,

    Sound about right John? Brian? You should both be ashamed of yourselves.

    What a great day for honest governance in Chamblee. Great job.

    Losers.

    Drain the Swamp in Chamblee.

  20. 21

    Flubber

    Did you not read his post? He reached out to the developer, had multiple conversations with them, and asked a lot of questions. Your post is completely disrespectful and not a reflection of reality.

  21. 22

    Chamblee Bubba

    Ah, it’s a wonderful life!

  22. 23

    Resident

    Hat Tip to Turd.

  23. 24

    Frank S

    Never let the facts get in the way of a good ole political slander, eh Turd?

  24. 25

    Blinded Authority

    And approved an $11M tax break that will now have to be itemized, along with another $85M in tax breaks on Chamblee’s audited statements via GASB Rule 77. It will show a liability of bond debt and an expense of lost taxes. No where else will economic development be itemized…except on the financial statement of the developer….as a gain.

  25. 26

    chambodian

    wishful thinking that this suburban hotel-looking building would every get converted in to condos. something this hideous would never pass in Brookhaven, but Chamblee bends over backwards to get this in. I’m all for density and transit, but can we have some character? please?

  26. 27

    Pell

    Thanks Brian. Your honesty is commendable. Happy Holidays.

  27. 28

    NMW

    The Hickman family has a dealership on this lot valued around $10 million. When the development is complete the Hckman family will continue to pay the same amount of taxes as if it wer still a dealership and Chamblee will get a nice TOD in its place. A great job by the DDA and 3/5 of the council I would say. BA, you really should leave the discussion on this to the informed in the city.

  28. 29

    Brian Mock

    When the Mayor is absent, I am the presiding officer. As such, I can not make motions and I can only vote to break a tie. There was no motion to defer, only to approve or to deny. I had returned on Sunday and reached out on Monday, not receiving a return call. Councilman Kusman informed me on Tuesday that he had left messages with no return calls as well. When someone doesn’t call you back, the outcome may not be in their favor. Its not good policy to make decisions without proper information.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  29. 30

    Blinded Authority

    To the uninformed in the city:

    You’re Development Authority is leveraging the future of your Parks and Police while taking investment risks on your behalf, engaging in real estate speculation and providing almost 100% financing a bank would never consider.

    “A nice TOD” does not equal economic development and you’ll never be able to prove it worked. Next rececession? Good bye police bonuses, park upgrades and updated stormwater system.

  30. 31

    Betty

    Just wait, next month Brookhaven will be approving two developments that make this look like a dream come true. We are all being sold out by the developer community public officials.

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