Brookhaven, GA, January 5, 2017 – by Trey Benton – After a considerable “Q&A” regarding Brookhaven Zoning Code between Planning Commission members and City Staff during the Jan. 4 meeting, Commissioners voted to unanimously recommend City Council approve a code amendment to limit the maximum residential density permitted in Sub-Area II of the Brookhaven-Peachtree Overlay District to 30 units per acre.
The proposed code amendment and associated density limitations will not impact land use petitions currently under consideration; however, it will address future requests until the Overlay District Rewrite project has been completed. The code amendment also allows that a Special Land Use Permit may be authorized by the City Council to exceed the residential density up to a maximum of 120 units per acre.
The City Council will take up the item during their January 24, 2017 Meeting. If Council approves the amendment, any applications that come in for development in Sub-Area II after adoption will be subject to the new amendment. Any new proposals prior to that adoption (between now and then) will not be.
That is particularly relevant to a lawsuit City Attorney Chris Balch told Commissioners the City is involved in whereas a Brookhaven property owner is claiming the City violated his Constitutional rights as a land owner when Councilmembers denied a controversial Terwilliger-Pappas (TP) mixed-use development also on Dresden Dr. back in July. (See rendering above)
The Appeal and Verified Complaint was filed on August 23rd in DeKalb Superior Court by Attorney Lauren Hansford with The Galloway Law Group, LLP. Property owner John A. Carlos, Manager of Dresden Properties, LLC. wants a DeKalb County Superior Court Judge to review the case and decide whether Brookhaven’s denial was proper.
The complaint says the City’s July 26th denial of TP’s plan to build 121 Apartments, 3,600 square feet of Live-Work Units, and 9,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, was unconstitutional. It says the denial was illegal, null, and void, constitutes a “taking of Plaintiff’s Property in violation of the Just Compensation Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Georgia, and the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.” The specific land parcels are 1411, 1417, 1423, & 1427 Dresden Dr.
Balch said if the Court decides the TP denial was improper and the development proposal is resuscitated, TP would also not have to conform to the 30 units per acre Sub-Area II amendment limitations. CONNOLLY’s proposed Dresden Village development is also unaffected by the proposed density reducing code amendment.