Archives for July 2012

Walgreen’s in court

On June 22nd, Judge Cynthia Becker heard arguments in the Walgreen’s vs. DeKalb County case arising from the DeKalb Zoning Board of Appeals denying Walgreen’s request for a new curb cut on Peachtree (see previous posts).  Judge Becker did not have time to review the legal briefs before the hearing and expressed some sympathy for Walgreen’s position.  However, John Jones, arguing on behalf of DeKalb County, continues to have confidence in the legal merits of the county’s position.

Lynda Martin attended the hearing and provided BPCA with notes and a summary.  We subsequently authorized our attorney, Linda Dunlavy, to file an amicus brief bolstering DeKalb County’s arguments.  This is an important case to win as it sends a message to all future developers that we have resources and expertise and are determined to defend the LCI vision and Overlay zoning.

Judge Becker is expected to issue her decision by July 20th.

UPDATES

-Savi expansion:  new plan

-Kroger:  letter to store manager, Bobby Smith:  letter

-Walgreen’s court case:  outlook

Kroger: Letter to the Store Manager

Kathy Forbes of the BPCA recently wrote a letter to our local Kroger’s store manager, Bobby Smith, at his request, summarizing our position regarding Kroger’s resistance to installing an Overlay compliant streetscape as part of their $8 million dollar renovation.  Bobby asked for the letter to present to his corporate superiors.

Bobby is a friendly guy and wants his store to be a good Brookhaven citizen.  He also wants to keep his customers happy.  Please use your next visit to Kroger as an opportunity to shake Bobby’s hand, say hi, and let him know how important the Overlay vision is to a better Brookhaven.  In particular, encourage him to get his company to install a wider sidewalk along Peachtree as well as Overlay-compliant landscaping. It’s an inexpensive step to making Brookhaven more walk-friendly and street-friendly.

Click on the link to read the letter:

Kroger ltr_Bobby Smith

Savi’s New Plan

Savi Market has scrapped their earlier plan–the one they received variances to implement–and is now submitting a plan that proposes to demolish the existing building and build a new, Overlay-compliant building along Dresden Drive.  We welcome this move and think it is a good business decision as well as a good community decision.

Savi will still have to find enough parking to meet the Overlay and fulfill their business needs. The new site plan shows 26 spaces, while the Overlay calls for 35 to serve 6,900 SF of retail.  Savi can meet this with a cross-parking agreement with a nearby property.

Apparently, when Savi looked more closely at construction costs and accepted the fact they’d have to close temporarily during construction, they realized that building new was their best option.  We were being honest and supportive when we told them so.  We look forward to many happy years with Savi a local grocer and specialty food mart.  We expect it to be a community favorite.

Alta Brookhaven

A new project, currently named “Alta Brookhaven,” has been submitted to DeKalb County Planning Department for review of Overlay Zoning Compliance.  The project fills about 2/3 of the block between Dresden and Peachtree View and consists of 230 apartment units on 3.148 acres.  It’s a 4 story structure with internal parking deck and some on-street parking.  See below for the drawings submitted.  The BPCA will be reviewing the plans in detail for Overlay compliance and providing our comments to the Planning Department.  Please feel free to chime in.

Site Plan/Floor Plan

Dresden Elevation

Peachtree View Elevation

City of Brookhaven?

A glance at Brookhaven-area yard signs is all one needs to surmise the hottest topic in town: should Brookhaven become a city?

What does the BPCA think?

The BPCA formed in 2004 to promote good planning in Brookhaven.  Our goal has been to create a recognizable heart for Brookhaven, a place where people meet, play, do business, and celebrate, a public center that everyone knows is Brookhaven.  The ARC study and subsequent Overlay zoning provide the vehicle to do this, and we now define our primary mission as promoting and defending them.

We can do this within whichever political framework Brookhaven residents choose to take forward.  The BPCA board is resolved to stay neutral in this debate.  We have received exemplary support for Brookhaven planning issues from Commissioners Rader and Gannon of DeKalb County to date, and we would fully expect to receive similar support from elected commission members at a new city hall, should that be local citizens’ decision.  Good planning is good for Brookhaven and enjoys strong neighborhood support no matter which form of self-government we choose.

This is not to say that members of the BPCA board have no individual opinions.  In fact, we have board members who favor a new city and members who favor no new city.  There are good arguments to be made on both sides of the issue, and we encourage everyone to participate in this lively debate.

The key for the BPCA is to keep its organizational focus and be prepared to work energetically with whichever political system Brookhaven citizens choose on July 31st.  For more facts and discussion of the city hood issues, we encourage you to attend the City Forum sponsored by the Brookhaven Reporter on Monday, July 9th, in Lupton Hall at Oglethorpe University.