Bellaire Decision Delayed Until Nov. 20

The Brookhaven Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) deferred a decision on the Tomlinson family’s request for approval of a 6 story apartment project at the corner of Bellaire Drive and Peachtree Road for 6 months to give neighbors and the Tomlinson family more time to reach a reasonable solution.  About 75 neighbors showed up at the public hearing in opposition to the proposed project.  Many were disappointed with the deferment.

It’s an open question whether the Tomlinson family will lower their expectations on development density–and therefore price–on the property.  Until that happens, neighbors are intent on keeping any new development on hold.

See “Original Story” and other notes in the Brookhaven Overlook thread (Updates, bottom right).  If you want to see the current site plan, click here.

Bellaire Decision by ZBA

By a 5-2 vote, the Brookhaven Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) voted to defer a decision on the Bellaire property appeal until their May 15th meeting.  The purpose is to give the property owners and neighbors a chance to negotiate an agreement.

After a 2 hour meeting, the ZBA voted to defer, much to the disappointment of the 100 or so Brookhaven residents packing the Brookhaven Court Chamber.  Half the crowd had to stand along the edges of the room and in the lobby outside; everyone sweltered as the HVAC system, apparently turned off for the evening, failed to cool.

Each side was given 30 min. to make their case, with Atty. Kathy Zickert presenting for the Tomlinson Family (property owners) and Linda Dunlavy presenting for the BPCA, HBNA and Bellaire neighbors.  Zickert, et al., maintained that the DeKalb County Planning Dept. incorrectly interpreted the density allowed on the site in denying the owners a Certificate of Overlay Zoning Compliance.  Furthermore, she argued, DeKalb County should have allowed them to make any necessary changes to their site plan and continued to process their LDP application rather than pass on the application to the City of Brookhaven.

Dunlavy, et al., countered that DeKalb Planning Dept.’s interpretation of allowable density was a correct interpretation of the zoning code and therefore the denial of a Certificate of Overlay Compliance should stand.  The Brookhaven ZBA should read Brookhaven’s code and form their own clear opinion, with no deference given to prior decisions made by DeKalb County on other projects.

In the end, the likelihood that either losing party would pursue their case in Superior Court, with the City of Brookhaven as defendant, seemed to convince the ZBA to encourage a negotiated solution.

If such a solution isn’t reached by May 15th, the ZBA will be forced to decide yes or no on the property owners’ appeal.  For more details and a video, see this Brookhaven Post article.

Bellaire Public Hearing

The proposed Brookhaven Overlook project, at the corner of Bellaire Drive and Peachtree, will have a public hearing before the Brookhaven Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) this Wednesday at 7 PM at the Brookhaven Municipal Court Chamber (map).  The property owners, represented by Attorney Kathy Zickert, are appealing an administrative decision made by DeKalb County Planning Department to deny them a certificate of Overlay Zoning Compliance last November.  The application and appeal were passed from DeKalb County to the City of Brookhaven in December.

The BPCA, Historic Brookhaven Neighborhood Association, and Bellaire neighbors are supporting DeKalb Planning Department’s decision and opposing the property owners’ appeal.  Attorney Linda Dunlavy is representing the opposition.

The City of Brookhaven Planning Department recommends denial of the appeal.

This is the only item on Wednesday’s agenda.  Details can be found here on the City of Brookhaven website.  Under “Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting”, click on “Packet.”

See other posts under “Brookhaven Overlook” on this website for plans, elevations, and the BPCA analysis of the proposed development.


Brookhaven Overlook (Bellaire) Update

Brand Properties, developer of the proposed Brookhaven Overlook apartments at 3770 Peachtree Road, applied to DeKalb County for a Land Disturbance Permit (LDP) in early December, 2012.  This was just before the new City of Brookhaven began operations on Dec. 17th.  The DK County Planning Department denied the application after it failed to pass their review for Overlay Zoning Compliance.  One of the reasons cited was that the density of the proposed project (87 units/acre) exceeds the density permitted by the underlying zoning district (RM-75, 18 units/acre) and the underlying Comprehensive Land Use Plan (Suburban Residential, 8 units/acre).

Brand and the property owners–informally known as the “Tomlinson Family”–promptly appealed the Planning Department’s administrative decision to the DeKalb Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).  DeKalb County declared they would assume no further jurisdiction for the site and forwarded the appeal to the new City of Brookhaven.  After some discussion, Brand Properties reportedly withdrew from the project and the Tomlinson Family agreed to pursue their action in the City of Brookhaven.

The appeal is now scheduled to be heard before Brookhaven’s new Zoning Board of Appeals at their first public meeting, announced unofficially as March 20th.  The BPCA, Bellaire neighbors and HBNA, represented by attorney Linda Dunlavy, continue to support the Planning Department’s decision and oppose the appeal.  The Tomlinson Family is represented by attorney Kathy Zickert of Smith Gambrell Russell.

Brookhaven Overlook Update

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

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.