Caldwell Variance Denied

The Zoning Board of Appeals denied the requested height variance for “the little white house” on Caldwell Road last night by a 4-2 vote.  While ZBA members and public speakers generally welcomed a new restaurant by chef Scott Serpas, the applicant could not demonstrate a hardship that warranted a height variance.  Many area residents also voiced concern about parking on nearby residential streets and traffic congestion.

In the BPCA’s view, this site should be redeveloped with the surrounding properties as part of a cohesive, mixed-use development in accord with the LCI vision.  There has been at least one effort to assemble that block already and it looks like it will happen in the near future.

In the meantime, the “little white house” can continue to serve as an office for small business per its current use.

Caldwell Road Variance Request

There is a zoning variance hearing coming up on Monday night (3/4/13) for 2536 Caldwell Drive (the white house behind Savi Market). The hearing is at 7:00 PM at the Brookhaven Bank, 2221 Johnson Ferry Road. Here’s a summary:

The applicant wants open a restaurant keeping the existing house structure & adding additional building that will almost double the current footprint . The application requests a waiver of the height requirement under the zoning regulations. The plans submitted indicate a little over 100 seats including a 16 seat bar. The site plan submitted indicates a total of only 10 parking spaces provided on-site. The owner purchased the property in mid-2010.

2356CaldwellSiteThe complete application, including site plan and sketches, can be found here, pp. 25-38.  The Brookhaven-Peachtree Community Alliance (BPCA) has filed Oppositions with the City of Brookhaven – Zoning Board of Appeals to the variance request citing numerous technical concerns.   (Click here for the full text of the Opposition as filed).

One of the chief concerns is that BPCA estimates the restaurant will need parking for 50+ cars when busy. The excess 40+ cars (about 2 2/3 football fields long parked end to end) will be parking on the narrow single family streets nearby that have no sidewalks or adequate lighting, plus the streets are narrow. Additionally, Caldwell Drive has no obvious easy driving returns to Dresden drive other than the way in on Caldwell Drive. That intersection is already congested with traffic, inadequate parking and valet services generated from Savi, Kaleidoscope, Sushi One and the soon to be opened Rock Pizza. BPCA is concerned that this will additional traffic volume & noise at nighttime through the residential streets with drivers distracted to find a route out, and, cause dangerous U-turns on narrow Caldwell Drive.

Anyone who shares these concerns should consider attending the hearing, and or making their concerns known beforehand, speaking with their community leaders or contacting your City Council representatives.