July 24, 2017
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41 Comments on "Opinion: Violating our own zoning code ‘amounts to a slippery slope’"

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Resident
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Resident
bldvl89
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bldvl89
Just imagine how much easier it would be to satisfy the Overlay’s open space requirement if the density of this project was capped at 30 units/acre instead of the 48 they’re trying to cram in there. All at a time when the WSJ says there’s clear glut in the luxury apt market for 2017, both nationally and in Atlanta. Connolly’s also trying to paint a picture of their opposition as a few disaffected neighbors who have no idea what they’re talking about, when it’s them playing the shell game with the Overlay rules, while trying to wear neighborhood opposition out… Read more »
Saul
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Saul
“And smaller cities like Dallas, Atlanta and Nashville are expecting some of the largest supply gluts.” “The sluggishness is expected to spread across the U.S., hitting markets from Nashville, Tenn., and Dallas to Los Angeles and Atlanta. Dallas is expected to see nearly 25,000 new apartments delivered, compared with the long-term average of roughly 9,000 new apartments a year, according to Axiometrics. Los Angeles is expected to get roughly 13,000 new apartments, nearly double the historical average. Nashville could see some 8,500 new apartments, more than triple the typical 2,400 apartments completed annually. John Tirrill, managing partner at SWH Partners,… Read more »
Frank scheuren
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Frank scheuren

If this is not approved what is the future look like for this area?

Lonnie Baer
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Lonnie Baer

Something lawful. 6 story office space.

Hunter Burke
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Hunter Burke

Silly comment, that’s not allowed, intended to frighten these readers. Typical shill.

The sky is the limit, not 5 stories
Guest
The sky is the limit, not 5 stories

Actually, this would be allowed. And so would 6 story apartments.

Hn Dan
Guest
Hn Dan

Does anyone know if the rezoning moratorium ended without a zoning code rewrite?

Frank
Guest
Frank

Yes the moratorium will end before the zoning code. the Character Area Studies were going on, the zoning rewrite should be starting shortly but I heard that it is a 18 month process.

The overlay dive down would have been close to complete but Bates….. Did his Bates thing and held up the overlay

Hn Dan
Guest
Hn Dan

Thanks.

Betty
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Betty

after he was pressured by “I want an iconic glass building” and the people “just need to be educated to know what is best for them” J&J with the BPCA.

???
Guest
???

Can it be implied from your letter that you would support this project, as submitted, if the fifth story was not included?

Bob Sorrentino
Guest
Bob Sorrentino
Not really. I have issues with the City confirming PC2 as an appropriate use on a 2 lane road when OCR is clearly the appropriate zoning district to be used here. I can understand and respect how people in the community may see things they like in this development. But it can not be 5 stories as the code is black and white on that issue. And a deliberate pass given to this one project will make defending future developments from getting the same pass impossible. So there is a real existential threat to the code that I wanted to… Read more »
???
Guest
???

What can, or should, be built with OCR that can’t be done with PC2.

Karen Dernavich
Guest
Karen Dernavich

Brookhaven has ten zoning designations that allow for multifamily. Only one of those codes allows for density over 30 units per acre and that is PC2 – which allows 60 units per acre. PC2 is designed for City center and major corridors like Peachtree and Buford Hwy. Not a two lane road. OCR is one of the ten designations that allows up to 30 units per acre and would allow them to do a very similar development just less dense.

Thomas Porter
Guest
Thomas Porter

Thanks Bob; the greatest threats we can face as a city are the ones that citizens don’t realize are wrong. You cleared that up.
Since inception, Community Development Department has wrongfully endorsed positions that are outside the ordinances. They did it again with this report/recommendation.

Planning Commission Members – please recommend denial as you did before!

Red
Guest
Red

Are the mayor and council listening? If not, I would seriously question their motivations.

Barbara
Guest
Barbara

I asked the other day who exactly is running Brookhaven, it seems no one is actually listening or working to improve this city. When we don’t even have a community development director or arborist after 3 months yet we can move forward with these projects that is a big problem. Where is the city manager? Has he been removed from economic development responsibilities like he was at his previous job?

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2015/05/04/county-administrator-removed-from-economic.html

Susan
Guest
Susan

Face it, Brookhaven is all about development, not about preserving what we have. It’s all about taxes and revenue for the city. Oh, don’t forget about the Brookhaven jobs program.

Welcome to Brookhaven.

Brittany Neighbor
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Brittany Neighbor

You are right, Susan. Who needs an arborist when the plan is to remove as many trees as possible? And the back up plan is to have an ordinance but overlook it in favor of fines.

Susan
Guest
Susan

So having a city arborist has worked well in saving your precious trees? Look again. The entire city is a jobs program. Look at the inflated salaries being paid.

Barbara
Guest
Barbara
We started a city to do things right and in a common sense way. Not having an arborist and not having development staff is not right. Nor is the current way Tyler are doing business. All we have managed to do is create a place where previous government employees find the same job they had in a new office with higher pay. Take our old and new city managers and their past employement history/salary, what exactly is DIFFERENT about Brookhaven? Nothing. We are the same as all these other places with the inability to listen to citizens or do things… Read more »
Lonnie Baer
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Lonnie Baer

Hiring good employees takes time. The current CM is paid $35 k LESS than the previous CM that had never even been a CM before. The current CM has 30 plus years of experience and will make calculated hires to replace the Dev Dir and the Arborist when the right candidate comes along. FYI, he did not hire the two who just quit. The old CM did. To answer your question, the CM runs the city. That’s our form of govt. But you already knew that I am sure.

Barbara
Guest
Barbara

4 months to find “the right person”? No, it doesn’t take that long if you are searching and doing your job.

Joe P
Guest
Joe P

Why do you think employees are leaving the COB? And I am seriously asking for your opinions.

Opinion Granted
Guest
Opinion Granted
They leave because of one of several reasons. It’s the nature of municipal employment, or any mobility of employment. Maybe they are being offered more money to leave. COB doesn’t have an unsustainable pension plan, but one is coming as our city manager encouraged and included it in the new Financial Policy. The idea was then affirmed by a unanimous vote of the city council and mayor. COB employees are ideologues meeting resistance from a powerful, vocal constituency. They don’t like their old boss or their new boss. They want to be in a larger organization where incompetence is hidden… Read more »
Susan
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Susan

Barbara, welcome to Brookhaven!

Barbara
Guest
Barbara

I’ve been here a very, very long time. Change can be good, so far though I am unimpressed with what I have seen in this new city. Wish there was more concern about what citizens want while preserving property rights and obeying ordinances. If the city staff suggest disobeying the ordinances then there is a severe leadership issue for us to resolve.

Charles
Guest
Charles

Excellent article. The Overlay and Zoning re-writes can’t come soon enough. We are all indebted to the smart citizens like Mr. Sorrentino that have dedicated their time and efforts to call out this nonsense and protect us all and our quality of life. Thank You, You make Brookhaven better.

Easy rider
Guest
Easy rider

Personally, I appreciate the efforts of Bob & others both in representing the community interests & also in taking the time to educate us. However, there is a serious disconnect between the developer & the community reps. I can’t believe there have been over 50 meetings without an agreement. Sorry, it seems both sides are addressing moving targets.

Daniel Harrison
Guest
Daniel Harrison

The developer is asking for something that is not allowed. Look at the pictures of the property. The developer intentionally blocks of the bottom floor so it looks like 4 stories. They all do it. Constantly ‘give up’ concessions that aren’t allowed. Tell the community we should be happy to have them build. Include an over inflated property price in their pro formas and expect us to roll over.

Not happening. Thank you, Bob.

Julie M.
Guest
Julie M.

@Easy rider – 50 meetings or 150 meetings, doesn’t matter when the developer won’t listen to what has been said since meeting #1. Instead they decided to try the divide and conquer route concentrating on trying to flip a few by making changes to things that were never a part of the core conversations. Density, Height, and Apartments.

Easy Rider
Guest
Easy Rider

Hopefully, there is a satisfactory resolution. Personally, I like the idea of the community simplifying the argument to one thing, no PC2 zoning. This wouldn’t take 50 + meetings & would give the community more credibility.

Julie M.
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Julie M.

@Easy Rider – I would have to say that the community credibility in this case far outweighs any that the developer may still be trying to grasp onto.

Riley OConnor
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Riley OConnor
As has been repeatedly pointed out, the apartment boom is getting a little long in the tooth. Phrases such as “The turnaround follows a more than 26% jump in U. S. apartment rents since 2010, far outstripping inflation and income growth.” have been our daily news for seven years. So, there is the powerful temptation to build yet more, but at some point, the music stops and everybody has to find a chair. Please see here: http://www.wsj.com/articles/luxury-apartment-boom-looks-set-to-fizzle-in-2017-1483358401 None of this takes place in a vacuum, just look up Peachtree Road to Chamblee to see all the new construction taking place… Read more »
Saul
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Saul

Mr. Sorrentino, excellent article. You have been gracious with your presentation and facts, no doubt all involved with our city, elected, non-elected and in related city boards are well aware of the facts as you have detailed them. Now how about elaborating on the motivations and quality of city leaders, unelected staff and anyone else involved representing our city that would let this continue as long as it has without raising the same objections as you have.

By the way, this would NEVER happen in D1.

flubber
Guest
flubber

Your obsession with D1 is crazy. Stop the crazy.

Saul
Guest
Saul

Flubber, just letting you know whose boss. BTW, SAVE THE RATTY D1 FENCES!

Barbara
Guest
Barbara
Do you really think this would come anywhere close to flying in D1? Serious question? The place that the parks take a majority of the funds for all the parks in the city? The place where traffic is bad but not as bad as buford peachtree or roxboro yet the D1 issue is fixed first. Or the private property and fences all of us had to pay to spruce up? ONLY in D1. Although Saul is more than repetitive his points are more than valid and are becoming more concerning with developments like this from our city leadership.
Kathy Forbes
Guest
Kathy Forbes
A big thank you to Mr. Sorrentino for taking the time to so clearly articulate the primary reasons why this development should not be approved. Coming from someone who really cares about Brookhaven but is presently too busy to stay on top of every development (I’m talking about me) . . . this type of well-researched commentary is very valuable. It’s easy to simply express an opinion on-line – anybody can do that. It’s a whole different thing to do the work behind the scenes . . . attend countless meetings, study the zoning codes, conduct a careful analysis of… Read more »
Brookhaven Mother
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Brookhaven Mother

Sad we have to have citizen watchdogs watching over elected officials and nonelected city officials that are in charge of a city created to eliminate the waste and corruption that many objected with in DeKalb County government. History once again repeats itself!

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