Archives for April 2012

Hines Variance Approved

Hines variance request to reduce the public sidewalk along Dresden from 10′ to 8′ was approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals yesterday.  BPCA supported this request.  You can read more about this in our earlier posts by clicking on the “Hines Co. (Apartments)” link in the box next to this window.

Hastings/Chase Variance Deferred

At yesterday’s Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, Chase Bank’s pursuit of 3 variances so it can develop a new branch bank on the Hastings property was deferred for 30 days at their request.  DeKalb County Planning Department had recommended “Withdrawal without Prejudice” while producing an analysis that argued for “Denial.”

In this light, Chase asked to defer for 30 days so they could try to bring the plan into conformance with Overlay requirements and community expectations.  They plan to meet with BPCA to determine what changes they can make to comply with the Overlay.  For BPCA’s analysis of the current site plan, see this prior post.

Save the Overlay! Urgent Action!

Please sign this petition if you agree with BPCA’s analysis below.

On Wednesday, May 9th @ 1 PM, Chase Bank’s appeal for variance to DeKalb County’s Board of Zoning Appeals will be heard in the Manuel Maloof Auditorium at 1300 Commerce Drive in Decatur.  We MUST defeat this request for variance if we want to preserve the vision of the LCI Study and Brookhaven Peachtree Overlay District!

Chase Bank’s variance application to DeKalb County poses a major threat to the vision Brookhavenites created with the LCI Study and Brookhaven Peachtree Overlay District.  The plans submitted for the old Hastings site show a standard-issue suburban-style fast-in/fast-out branch bank which, if permitted, will seal the fate of Brookhaven’s Peachtree Street corridor as a fast food and service strip hospitable only to those in automobiles.  Yes, we currently have McDonald’s, Kauffman Tire and Wells Fargo already developed in that mode.  Do we want to continue and extend that?  Do we want even more car congestion without “total street” design that makes people feel safe walking or biking?

Brookhaven residents said “no” through their public participation in the LCI Study in 2004.  They said they want a Mainstreet feel along Peachtree with a safe pedestrian zone that will encourage people to walk, shop and meet.  We are lucky enough to have a Zoning Ordinance that plans for this.  Now we need to defend it.

Note that we have nothing against Chase Bank–we welcome the choice they bring as a competitor to Wells Fargo, SunTrust, Brookhaven Bank and Ironstone Bank.  We simply want them to be part of a development that honors the spirit and regs of the Brookhaven Peachtree Overlay District.  It is within their power to do this.  See BPCA’s more in-depth discussion of the issues here.

NOTE:  DeKalb Planning Dept. recommends “Withdrawal.”