Brookhaven, GA, December 29, 2016 – by Trey Benton – Developer CONNOLLY aims to construct Dresden Village, a controversial mixed-use development comprised of 169 apartments and 10 for-sale townhomes sited on 3.73 acres along Dresden Drive, between Caldwell Road and Parkside Drive. But in order for any of the development to take place, the City must allow the entire site to be rezoned to PC-2. Currently the parcels are zoned with a mixture of NS, PC-2, & O-I.
Ahead of the January 4, 2017 Brookhaven Planning Commission meeting, the City’s Community Development Department has released their Staff Report after reviewing a newly revised site plan filed by SSP Dresden, LLC. on December 27th. Staff is recommending the project be approved with 29 conditions – the same number of conditions they previously suggested in their July Staff Report that also recommended approval.
Perhaps the most significant change in the conditions since the previous go-round, is one that limited the project density to 45 units per acre with a maximum of 155 units in total. In the new list of conditions, those levels have been set to a maximum of 169 multifamily residential units and 10 for-sale single-family townhomes at a combined density of 47.98 dwelling units/acre. This density increase is allowed because the site acreage increased by .3 acres after the “Little White House” parcel was added in to the mix, according to the City.
Another significant change in the Staff Conditions is the building height limits of four stories (55 feet) along Caldwell Road and five stories (70 feet) along Dresden Drive and Parkside Drive. That’s up from the July limit of three stories (45 feet) along Caldwell Road and four stories (60 feet) along Dresden Drive and Parkside Drive. The commercial floor area of the development has slightly increased in the new site plan from 20,000 square feet to 20,700.
A “bonus” 5th story is being sought by CONNOLLY along Dresden Dr., an extra story they say they are entitled to because the requirements allowing it have been met in their site plan. The proposed 5th story has also been a major sticking point in the community, and whether it is even allowed along Dresden Dr. Another sticking point in the community is that the open space shown on the site plan is not contiguous.
The Staff Report says CONNOLLY shall provide at least 25% percent of the total acreage of the development site as publicly accessible open space, as prescribed in the Brookhaven-Peachtree Overlay District. The language in the City’s zoning code found on the MuniCode website that residents frequently cite says the open space must be contiguous and must be publicly accessible. The December 27th site plan shows the total public open space at 27.6% which is partly achieved by making a fire lane turnaround out of grasscrete.
The new plan incorporates Dixie Moon, a 2,500 sq. ft. restaurant concept by Brookhaven resident, Chef Scott Serpas. CONNOLLY says the plan is to construct the restaurant as closely as possible to the original two story “house-like” design, with minor modifications possible in order to incorporate a drive and valet station.
The apartment homes in the Dresden Village plan, an average of 850 sq. ft. in size, will be two-thirds one bedroom units and one-third two bedroom units. The rent is expected to range from $1,400 to $2,300 per month and the 10 townhomes would likely be listed in the $700,000 to $800,000 range, according to CONNOLLY.
Should the Planning Commission and City Council vote to approve the project, CONNOLLY says the project would likely take between 20 and 24 months to complete, with the construction of the townhomes and the Dixie Moon restaurant coming first, then the balance, and would likely begin in the Fall of 2017.
The case has bounced back and forth between the City Council and the Planning Commission for several months:
- August 3, 2016 meeting the Planning Commission recommended denial of this rezoning request.
- August 23, 2016 City Councilmembers remanded the case back to the Planning Commission
- November 2, 2016 Planning Commissioners recommended a two month deferral, and at the November 9, 2016 City Council meeting, Councilmembers deferred the case to the January 4, 2017 Planning Commission hearing.
Planning Commissioners will contemplate the application on January 4, 2017 at City Hall located at 4362 Peachtree Rd., at 7:00 PM. The case is scheduled to be in front of the City Council during their January 24, 2017 meeting.
The Full List of Conditions recommended by the Community Development Department are below, as well as a Dresden Village townhome elevation rendering.