History of the BPCA

The BPCA originated and authorized the application for the LCI study, represents major stakeholders in the study area, and is comprised of representatives from the various neighborhood associations, business owners, and county and government agencies doing business in Brookhaven.

To have a strong impact on the LCI process, it is important that Brookhaven “stakeholders” speak with an organized voice. “Stakeholder,” for the purpose of an LCI study, includes all property owners and user-groups within the study boundaries. BPCA is that voice, working with the DeKalb County Economic Development Department in setting up and guiding the overall process and to act as a conduit for information to/from the study area community.

BPCA’s goal is to have official representation from all study area stakeholders. To this end, we ask each civic and homeowners’ association in the study area to designate between 1 and 3 representatives to the BPCA. We are also recruiting 5 to 10 representatives from the local business community, and representatives from Oglethorpe University, MARTA, the DeKalb County Library, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Consulate General of Mexico. Other stakeholders may be added as they are identified.

The Brookhaven Peachtree Community Alliance (BPCA) was formed in early 2004 by several Brookhaven residents after they learned MARTA was planning to sell or lease the property around the Brookhaven MARTA station for development. A number of meetings were held by community members to gain an understanding of all the issues, and to set a vision and framework for how the property should be developed in the context of the surrounding area comprising the Peachtree Road Corridor from the Fulton County Line in the south to Oglethorpe University in the north and out Dresden Drive to the east.

The BPCA was not formed to stop development, but rather to guide it in ways that will make for a more livable, cohesive Brookhaven. After several meetings, and outreach to surrounding area neighborhoods, community groups and neighborhood associations, the informal group of community representatives organized under the name “Brookhaven Peachtree Community Alliance,” proceeded to outline a range of issues and general goals to guide the development process.

Not knowing the timing of the MARTA Request For Proposal (RFP) process, the BPCA searched for some way to prepare a development framework within which the MARTA project could and should occur. While the LCI was suggested as one option, the timing of such a grant process would not have allowed a plan to be prepared within the original MARTA schedule. MARTA eventually decided to delay the issuance of a RFP for a number of reasons, and this delay gave the community more time to develop a strategy.

In June of 2004, the BPCA initiated a meeting with Vernon Jones, key MARTA officials, as well as members of the Dekalb County Department of Economic Development and the DeKalb County Planning Department. Joel Putterman of BPCA made a presentation, as did MARTA, Vernon Jones and other representatives of Dekalb County. Dekalb County gave the community a commitment to support the application for an LCI study, and Vernon Jones made the commitment to provide $100,000 to fund a study in the event that the LCI application was not accepted. The BPCA also obtained a promise from MARTA that, if Brookhaven were chosen for an LCI grant/study, MARTA would participate in the study and would not proceed with development until the study was complete.

In mid-November 2004, members of BPCA initiated the application to Atlanta Regional Commission for an LCI grant that would pay for a planning study of a specific area, focused around an existing MARTA station or neighborhood commercial center. The aim is to connect homes, shops and offices, enhance streetscapes and sidewalks, emphasize the pedestrian, improve access to transit and other transportation options, and expand housing options

BPCA wrote much of the required purpose and justification, and established the study area boundaries. Key help and support, including the commitment of 20% matching funds, was provided by the DeKalb County Economic Development Department. A MARTA representative also participated in this process, and the Economic Development Department coordinated and submitted the final application, becoming the official applicant.

On February 14, 2005, the Atlanta Regional Commission announced the the Brookhaven application would receive $80,000 for an LCI study. With the matching DeKalb County $20,000, that means $100,000 total for a study. The DeKalb County Office of Economic Development will receive the money and oversee the study, including selecting the planning professionals and scheduling public meetings. They will do this with the help and input of study area “stakeholders.”