The scheduled neighborhood meeting tonight to review Michel Arnette’s proposal for a new music club at 1411 Dresden has been canceled.  Michele has informed us that he is withdrawing his variance application due to neighbors’ opposition and an uncertain agreement with the property owner.

Neighborhood Meeting on Dresden Variance Request

DeKalb Planning, BPCA Recommend Denial

There will be a neighborhood meeting Thursday night @ 7 PM at University Baptist Church (yes, the same place we vote) to discuss Michel Arnette’s application for variances to allow a restaurant/music venue in an existing building at 1411 Dresden Drive.  Please come learn more about Mr. Arnette’s proposed project and voice your opinion.

We have just learned that the DeKalb Planning Department has recommended denial of the variances.  The BPCA also is recommending denial and has sent the following letter to Board of Zoning Appeals representatives Bill Draper and Liz Beyer.   The letter details our reasons why we do not think the variances are a good idea.


1411 Dresden Variances

Michel Arnette, owner of Haven and Valenza restaurants, has requested several variances for the metal building located at 1411 Dresden Drive with the intent of opening a music/food venue on the order of Eddie’s Attic in Brookhaven.  The variances will be heard before the DeKalb County Zoning Board of Appeals on Weds., Dec. 12th at 1 PM.  A copy of the application and sketch site plan can be found here.  John A. Carlos of Dresden Properties LLC has signed the application as owner of the property.

The BPCA is currently trying to schedule a meeting with Michel and Brookhaven Fields neighbors to discuss the variance request.  Here are some areas of concern:

1) The property abuts several single-family residential properties.  How will Mr. Arnette protect surrounding neighbors from noise?

2)  Music acts run famously late, even thriving on late-evening starts.  What will be the hours of operation and how will that affect surrounding property owners?

3) The variance requests a total of 20 (valet) parking spaces, yet Mr. Arnette states that the venue could hold up to 200 patrons.  Where will everyone park?

4) The variance requests a waiver from Overlay District streetscape requirements–i.e. wide sidewalks, street lights and street trees.  If the music/restaurant venue is granted variances and is successful, it could operate ‘as is’ for many years, leaving a semi-permanent hole in the Overlay District streetscape in that block.  Its success would also prevent new mixed-use development in line with the LCI vision on the site.

We will post a time and location for a neighborhood meeting on this website and on the BFCA listserv as soon as one is scheduled.

Brookhaven Overlook Update

A good up-to-date description of Brand Properties’ proposal for Bellaire/Peachtree corner can be found at this link

Kevin Quirk Receives 3rd Star

The BPCA has awarded Kevin Quirk a third star for his knowledge and support of the Overlay.  Kevin is a candidate for City Council in District 3 and is in a runoff with Bates Mattison, who also has earned a 3 star rating.  Kevin recently met with Bill Roberts and Jack Honderd of BPCA and impressed on them his commitment to the LCI vision and Overlay zoning code.  Kevin attended 4 different BPCA-led meetings to ask questions and learn more about zoning.  He stated that the whole campaign has been a “wonderful learning experience” for him as he’s met and talked with many Brookhaven-ites, and that he wants Brookhaven to exemplify a very different urban paradigm than that of Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.

BPCA Hires Dunlavy to Oppose Overlook

The BPCA, supported by HBNA, has retained Dunlavy Law Group LLC to review the Brookhaven Overlook project with an eye to defending Brookhaven neighbors’ interest.  In particular, we feel the proposed project shows a building that is too high, contains too many units and creates a traffic bottleneck at Bellaire Drive and Peachtree Road as currently designed.

For a project summary and drawings, see this link.

Candidate Ratings Criteria

1st star 2nd star 3rd star
Standard Does candidate openly support the LCI vision and Overlay, and state as much on his/her website? Does the candidate know and agree with the specific vision and goals of the LCI and Overlay? Does the candidate know details of the Overlay requirements, and does the candidate publicly advocate for the Overlay?
Criteria  Self-explanatory Specific vision and goals for Brookhaven are 1) create a heart, a recognizable center  2) encourage development of public space, including parks & plazas, 3) promote mixed-use development, and 4) provide transportation options, in particular a walkable environment.  Candidate should be able to talk about these in general terms, even if he/she can’t list them all specifically. A candidate needs either a) to have read the Brookhaven Peachtree Overlay District zoning ordinance, or b) have reviewed either the “Overlay Slideshow” or the “LCI Guidelines” documents, or c) attended a BPCA education session.To get a third star, a candidate should know the answer to at least a couple of the questions like the following: How many sub-areas are in the Overlay? What max. bldg. stories are allowed in the Overlay? May parking lots be built between the street and a building? How wide must sidewalks be in the Overlay district? Must all building front doors face the street? Is mixed-use REQUIRED in new development?

BPCA Rates the Candidates

How do candidates for City of Brookhaven offices view the LCI vision for Brookhaven?

The BPCA held two educational sessions for Brookhaven candidates in the last month.  The first one occurred at the Brookhaven Forum at Rep. Mike Jacobs invitation; the second was held at Brookhaven Bank’s conference room.  All candidates were invited to both sessions.

We then asked all candidates to fill out a questionnaire regarding their view and knowledge of the LCI vision for Brookhaven and the Overlay zoning disrict.  We made follow-up phone calls to several candidates to discuss their views in depth, and we have had numerous face-to-face conversations at neighborhood candidate forums.

Here are our ratings, with 3 stars signifying a strong commitment and depth of knowledge.  Candidates whose name is not listed received 0 stars, signifying no measurable commitment or knowledge.  Candidates are listed alphabetically by last name. Ratings criteria can be found here.

We note that Erik Steavens and Jim Eyre are members of the BPCA Board.  They are temporarily on inactive status with BPCA due to their candidacies and had no role in this evaluation process.


Larry Danese            J. Max Davis              Sandy Murray

  * * *          * * *           * * *


 City Council– District 1

 Kevin Meaders         Rebecca Chase Williams

   * * *            * * *


City Council– District 2


Jim Eyre         Larry Hurst     Russell Mitchell

* * *      * * *         *


City Council– District 3


Deborah Anthony   Hope Bawcom         Bates Mattison

* * *            * * *         * * *


Bridget O-Donnell      Kevin Quirk            Julia Russo

* * *            * * *          * * *


Erik Steavens

  * * *


City Council– District 4


Joe Gebbia                 Kerry Witt

 * * *          * * *

Image-Bhaven Market

Brookhaven Market Day

BPCA Quizzes City Commission Candidates

The BPCA will send a questionnaire to all City Commission candidates asking for their vision of the Peachtree/Dresden Corridor and their view of the Brookhaven Peachtree Overlay Zoning District.  We will follow up with phone interviews and an education session for candidates so we can get a clear picture of each candidate’s thinking and support for the Overlay.

We will summarize our findings on our website, as well as put out a news release on our about Oct. 25.  Stay tuned!