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28 Comments

  1. 1

    Chad B.

    They should be required to add a stormwater and sewer vault. 100,000 gallons of storm water barreling down Elijay in a failed, untested piping system will harm the residents protected in the Zoning Ordinance (First sentence, Chapter 27.Zoning)

  2. 2

    Jeff

    The only thing surprising here is that version 5? of the plan wasn’t submitted 2 hrs before the council hearing. Just another backroom deal that they had to work out when they realized they were legally exposed.

  3. 3

    Thomas Porter

    City Council – end the charade, deny them.
    Some part of your brains may be saying “there’s the added parking” – won’t solve anything, you’d have to make all surrounding streets permit parking, and our Police cannot enforce that. You may think you’ve heard “they can build something worse” – no they can’t, their prior PC-2 zoning is void. You might think “but they tried so hard” – not as hard as they should have and not as hard as the many in the neighborhoods.
    DENY!

  4. 4

    Sham

    Bawaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! This is a real comedy show. Citizens point out code violation, developer threatens a lawsuit, citizens stand strong, developer admits citizens were right in the first place. DENY, DENY, DENY!!!!! This is not the deviant type we want doing business in Brookhaven. Mayor and Council – Run this guy out of town now.
    NO MORE APARTMENTS – NO 5TH STORY

  5. 5

    bldvl89

    Talk about bushwhacks and moving targets. This may be the third consecutive site plan Connolly has filed without any advance, published notice. It’s already a cluster trying to figure out which site plan the Planning Commission actually approved. They were bushwhacked with an amended site plan on the day of the 01/04/17 hearing, and although all deliberation centered on that plan, the PC recommendation appears to be based on a different amended site plan filed on 12/27/16. And of course, neither of those plans were presented timely under the PC’s rules for 15 days notice and publication. I’m not even sure what we got 12/14/16 at Briarwood Park that we wasted our time to go see . . .

    City Council needs to vote on the site plan considered by the PC and not grant any more deferrals – especially when the circumstances leading to a potential deferral were created solely by Connolly’s disregard of the City’s procedural rules about timely notice. They’ve had ten months now to “wow” the residents and bring their “A” game – which appears to me to just be code for “laying siege to the residents, playing shell games with our plans, and monkeying with established rules and the plain language of those rules until we can get a City Council appearance where no one shows up to fight.”

    I like to believe the D-1, D-2 and D-4 reps will see right through this nonsense and do the right thing tomorrow night. If Connolly had respected the other prong for Sub-area II Overlay development from the beginning – residential density – we wouldn’t be going through all these ridiculous machinations about getting extra building height. Seriously, what will it take for them and other developers to come up with their “A” game up front? (and at 48 units/acre, this is still no “A” game).

    I guess I should be glad to see Connolly had such conviction over the plain meaning of the word “contiguous” that they dropped it the day before the City Council hearing – after shamelessly shoving that down the throats of the PC and the public on Jan 4.

  6. 6

    Al

    How does a 6 story monstrosity of a parking deck alleviate traffic on a 2 lane road, in an area toted as being designed, created and envisioned as a walk-able, livable, bike-able community? For years now people could park at MARTA and walk BUT they don’t even do that! The city is not encouraging the vision, they are doing the exact opposite, they are encouraging more traffic with more cars. This parking deck is not for the community it is for the businesses that where allowed to open and expand without the enforcement of even the current underestimated required parking code. A large majority of the current parking is being used by the staff and employees of the existing businesses and these calculations are not even considered in the code calculations. How many failures of the city are they asking this one project to resolve at the cost of the surrounding, stable, single-family neighborhoods? We want our “Village” not a regional bar destination. Step-up, and stop asking us to accept band -aids to previous errors. The few votes you may gain by satisfying the ask of a few business owners doesn’t even compare to the votes you will loose from citizens.

  7. 7

    Patrick

    At what point do the people opposing this project stop changing what they will accept? Looks like to me the developer, like apartments or not, has met all of the requirements of the ordinances. I may be wrong but it looks like to me that not matter what the developer presents will be met with opposing views. Am I wrong that this plan (and the others for that matter) meet the city rules? Otherwise, why did the planning commission recommend approval? One thing that does seem fishy though, the planning board did deny this once. Why did that not stick? How many projects get a reboot? I just think the developer and the neighborhoods have arrived at a happy medium. Am I wrong? What am I missing? Help.

  8. 8

    No Hill For High Steppers Like Us

    Imagine you are mayor or city councilperson or a city manager the morning after the election. You tell yourself for 3 months, “The developments all met the most liberal requirements of the code. I was right to approve. They can’t hold this against me.”

    Then you wake up and, boom, you’re out. Don’t think it can happen? Ask the last crowd. I’m talking to you Mayor Ernst.

  9. 9

    Randy

    Patrick, please go to the city site and watch the videos, go on Nextdoor and read the postings, read the Comprehensive Plan and the Overlay, if you haven’t attended a meeting please come tomorrow night. None of the people opposing this project have changed ANYTHING from their initially request. The confusion and the gaming is and always has been coming from the developer. Lipstick on a pig scenario, distract from real issues with something shiny over here. This is so wrong that it is too hard to explain here.

  10. 10

    Bob Sorrentino

    This modification gets it out of the flagrant code violation territory. Now it can be reviewed as any other rezoning would. Here are Brookhaven’s standard’s for review:

    The following standards and factors are found to be relevant to the exercise of the city’s zoning powers and shall govern the review of all proposed amendments to the official zoning map and the text of this chapter:

    (1) Whether the zoning proposal is in conformity with the policy and intent of the comprehensive plan.

    (2) Whether the zoning proposal will permit a use that is suitable in view of the use and development of adjacent and nearby properties.

    (3) Whether the property to be affected by the zoning proposal has a reasonable economic use as currently zoned.

    (4) Whether the zoning proposal will adversely affect the existing use or usability of adjacent or nearby property.

    (5) Whether there are other existing or changing conditions affecting the use and development of the property which give supporting grounds for either approval or disapproval of the zoning proposal.

    (6) Whether the zoning proposal will adversely affect historic buildings, sites, districts, or archaeological resources.

    (7) Whether the zoning proposal will result in a use which will or could cause an excessive or burdensome use of existing streets, transportation facilities, utilities, or schools.

  11. 11

    bldvl89

    Many of us (fm B-Fields, D-Valley and A-Park) have been fixed on 30 units/acre, Sub-area II development standards in the city ordinance, and the tapering principles outlined in the Comprehensive Plan from the beginning – which was last April. Outlined it in letters to the PC and CC multiple times (including the math and the Urban Land Institute’s policy considerations behind “compact development,” and why 30 units/acre next to SFHs should be the max).

    Connolly hasn’t reached out to me or anyone else who thinks like this even once, so it’s irritating when Connolly b*tches about getting a moving target from “the community.” In fact, I’m really curious as to who the “community members” Connolly has talked to since the Jan 4, 2017 PC hearing described in this quote actually are:

    “After the Planning Commission approved Dresden Village earlier this month, we took a fresh look at our site plan and engaged several community members in discussion regarding our project,” says CONNOLLY.

    It wasn’t anyone I know. Makes me wonder if part of our problem is that the target hasn’t moved at all, and Connolly is just talking circles around it.

  12. 12

    Stephany

    The mayor is becoming radioactive. This might be getting to bad to reverse the momentum.

  13. 13

    Smart Development in Ashford Park

    When have any of the residents opposing this project wavered from the position that density should be no greater than 30 units per acre? The residents are not the ones constantly submitting new plans and playing games with the process.

  14. 14

    Terrell Carstens

    There has been this talk of entitlement concerning this application.
    At the last Planning Commission meeting Commissioner Levy asked Connolly, “Why PC-2 zoning?” After a bit of talking in circles he replied “entitlement.”
    There are plenty of examples and reasons throughout the city where one may have felt entitled but have been denied in previous applications. A zoning classification on a speculative property one may have purchased even a year ago does not solidify any type of entitlement. My property, and and several others on my street are zoned RA-8 on a single family residential street within a single family residential neighborhood. Although allowed, I would never consider building higher density, minimal setbacks and increased lot coverage on my property . Am I entitled to it? Yes I also know that it is not in keeping with the character or intent of the area. Would it make me a lot of money to slap 20 town homes on it? Yes Would that be fair and just to my neighbors and the community? Absolutely not!

    DENY RZ16-05 the Connolly project.

  15. 15

    Chad B.

    With regard to the sanitary and storm sewer analysis created over the last several weeks, please take a look at this letter to POTUS from Strong Towns.org. It describes in vivid detail why we should take a step back from the race towards more high density-additional capacity development. We are, indeed, getting way ahead of ourselves for the right reasons (walkable, liveable), but will have to endure the unforeseen outcomes (storm and sewer overflows, blockages, etc.) Our high density dreams will devolve into nightmares. It’s happening everywhere. Someone should write a book.

    http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2017/1/22/a-letter-to-potus-on-infrastructure

  16. 16

    Amanda

    The Mayor may think that he is immune to the consequences here because he only votes in the event of a tie and feels confident that he has this all wrapped up, but he needs to think again. This will cost him dearly. When this came before them in the past Mrs. Jones and Mr. Gebbia agreed and supported that 30 was the number on Dresden. I ask of them, please remember your prior convictions and cast your vote with the citizens of Brookhaven.

  17. 17

    Easy Rider

    This is pathetic and why you are losing people like me. There is plenty of grey area in this request, including the fact that a portion of the property is zoned for apartments. Correct? My biggest grip is blaming elected officials who make $16K year and governmental workers who left because of this BS. Gimme break.

  18. 18

    You Won

    If the ‘red line’ was so clear, why were the neighbors posting on this site, and presenting at the public meetings, so transfixed on the definition of ‘contiguous’. If the definition of the word contiguous was decided in favor of the community, all it would do is bring down the fifth story, it would not change the density from 47 to 30. The ‘red line’ message was not as clear as I’m sure you think it is. The battle was for more open space in return for bonus height. You WON.

    In the last few months, the density message became background as letters, emails, and postings focused on the definition in the ordinance.

  19. 19

    Previous Employee #38

    BINGO!

  20. 20

    Bob Sorrentino

    Are you new here? Karen Dernavich wrote a basis for the community’s case in this article back in December https://brookhavenpost.co/2016/12/16/commentary-a-holistic-approach-to-dresden/ where she laid out all the things wrong with this project. She did not even mention contiguous. Have you been to any of the hearings and saw any of the community’s presentations. Here are some slides from those presentations.

    https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1bYsSq6iEMmYIGEzjAO_GbzYjsS63n-OGVLNATBpu7tE/present?slide=id.g1b9e079d92_0_83

    I wrote my article to show exactly how flagrantly the developer was trying buck the code. Is it a win that the open space is now more meaningful? Yes. Does this plan satisfy the issues that have been laid out CONSISTENTLY since Summer? No.

  21. 21

    You Won

    On January 7, one of the community leaders posted “Personally – remove the 5th floor and I am fine with it as I told Brian with the development team but that is MY personal opinion.” My point is that the opposition to the density became muddled. Bob, you were consistent, but the neighborhood coalition frayed as the arguments strayed from the ‘red line.’

  22. 22

    Nuance matters

    What I think you missed “You won” is that removing the 5th story would drop the density by as much as 40 units and bring it firmly into the mid-30s (As in something like 35 units/acre). It’s a leap to suggest that one person saying she is fine with it (personally) if the 5th story (and resulting ~40 units) came off means the coalition arguing for lower density has dissolved/frayed/whatever.

    That’s a reasonable and consistent way to look at it.

  23. 23

    bldvl89

    Oh please. PC was going to deny this application in August after ‘hoods set line at 30 units/acre and 4 stories, before Connolly begged for a deferral instead, saying how they were going to wow us. Instead, all they’ve done since is lay siege to n’hood opposition and trample all over zoning ordinace, substantively and procedurally. The mistake the n’hoods made in August was not allowing the PC to kill this outright.

    Connolly otherwise came back with nothing in October, crap in November, got the PC to extend them through the holidays (dropping amended plans on everyone on Dec 21, 27 and Jan 4, while getting themselves a PC hearing date for the day after a holiday). Even so,I never heard anyone say a reduction fm 52 to 48 units/acre was remotely acceptable, much much less “wowing” anyone.

    Then on 01/04/17, they – not the n’hood – were the ones that walked into the PC hearing with a privileged letter parsing the sh*t out of the word “contiguous” to have to avoid giving the n’hoods 25% open space under Sec 27-1383(g)(6)(b) in return for a building tall enough to accommodate 48 units/acre. How greedy does a developer have to be?

    N’hoods might have been tied up with real life and the holidays when all this
    was coming out, but no one I know ever backed off of the “two defining characteristics” of redevelopment within the Overlay laid out in the Comp Plan: “residential density + building heights.”

    The whole “contiguous” fiasco was a lame developer driven attempt to bushwhack the n’hoods and the PC, and to distract everyone fm the fact that they were never going to come down to 30 units/acre. Shell game with multiple amended site plans, dropped on everyone with no notice. Dont fool yourself about who’s been pushing these distractions. Most neighbors I know dont have
    time for this kind of gamesmanship.

  24. 24

    REALLY??

    You Won and Previous Employee #38 – Catch up! Height and density go hand in hand. If you knock off the 5th floor you reduce the density. And yes, it would be closer to 30. All they did was eliminate 3 TH, reduce the home ownership portion to game the open space and keep ALL of the 5th floor apartments. From day one – Density, Height, Ownership. All of the developers manipulations have been to NOT address any of those. The 5th story got added – remember? The original plan was 4 stories. The latest battle was for another violation of the code that requires contiguous open space which was brought on by the developer not following the code. They denied this and was proven wrong. They also presented this new plan on the DAY OF the hearing. They got caught AGAIN so … the slight of hand BS continues. Then, instead of going back to 4 stories they TOOK AWAY FROM US a part of the minimal home ownership portion we had fought so hard to get. (Originally it was all apartments) So now instead of 10 TH out of 179 units we are offered 7 TH. None of the initial requests from the citizens have changed, the developer is the one that keeps changing OTHER parts of the plan in an attempt to never meet what has always been the ask.
    Stop the madness – Take off the 5th floor which in turn reduces the density, give us back our home ownership, stop trying to manipulate the code requirements and procedural requirements. TRUTH! – There are other quality developers with plans waiting to make an application that IS in line with what we have asked for.

  25. 25

    Not a paid shill

    No inconsistencies at all. Removal of the fifth story would reduce density by…wait for it…one fifth.

  26. 26

    We are Apartmenhaven

    Who pays the neighborhoods to keep developers within the rules? They should get the break – they pay the salaries of the city employees, even though they appear to be doing their job.

  27. 27

    Jordan Fox

    I don’t see how you can fault the mayor for this or say he is becoming radioactive.

  28. 28

    Nathan W.

    BINGO!!!!! You think you have traffic congestion problems now? No one will be able to walk or bike safely in this area if this is allowed to happen. Parking should be further away to enhance the idea of walking and biking in the immediate area. Think of the noise, lights, pollution, crime. Dumb idea for even dumber reasons.

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