By John Schaffner

Will Brookhaven find a sense of community?

Will it become more than just residential and commercial pockets along roadways to someplace on the other side?

Brookhaven—part in Fulton County and the city of Atlanta and part in DeKalb County—needs to determine what it wants to be and set out to become that, whatever it might be.

During 2010, a number of events took place, but none of them were defining in terms of determining the future of Brookhaven.

Possibly the closest to that would have been the vote for annexation by unincorporated DeKalb neighborhoods north of Chamblee to become part of that city and have an identity to cling to.

Part of those neighborhoods that voted for annexation were in what had been considered to be Brookhaven. But many in those neighborhoods apparently were unsure where they belonged and just what Brookhaven might be. They wanted an identity to cling to.

In 2011, we can expect that Town Brookhaven, the Sembler Co. mixed-use development on Peachtree Road near Oglethorpe University, will continue to grow, open new commercial and residential units and become a virtual mini urban development within ….within an unincorporated area of DeKalb County that is seeking an identity.

Just maybe, the various factions will come up with an agreeable plan for developing Brookhaven Park into something other than a forgotten tract of land on Peachtree Road in the heart of a commercial and residential area seeking a bonding agent.

And, maybe the Brookhaven Community Connection, a group formed to try and muster an interest among businesses and residential communities to build an identity and sense of community for Brookhaven and provide it with political clout in dealing with the county, will manage to generate interest among more than 30 or so faithful members in 2011.

I will pledge the help of this newspaper in finding a direction, a purpose, a vision for Brookhaven. We will be happy to host a forum of political and civic leaders to sit for hours and seek to map out a plan for plotting the future of Brookhaven. Then we will report on what these people foresee as a community plan.

I am up for the challenge. Are the business and community leaders of Brookhaven up to the task? Call me or e-mail me.

E-mail me at