The DeKalb County Zoning Board of Appeals asked for an additional 30 days to make a decision on a variance request from Chase Bank, which is hoping to build a branch on Peachtree Road.
Chase Bank asked the county for several variances to Brookhaven’s overlay zoning regulations, including a request to build the bank further from Peachtree Road than the overlay allows. The branch would share an easement with its neighbor, Kauffman Tire.
Bonnie Jackson, chairwoman of the board, asked for the 30-day deferral to allow time to see if there are other options.
Chase attorney Carl Westmoreland said Kauffman Tire is not willing to give up or relocate the easement.
“If that’s not an ‘exceptional circumstance,’ I don’t know what is,” Westmoreland said.
Members of the Brookhaven Peachtree Community Alliance said the purpose of the overlay zoning district is for new development to be more urban and pedestrian friendly.
The organization’s attorney, Linda Dunlavy, said there is not enough of a hardship for Chase to justify granting the variance. Allowing one business to get around the overlay zoning would open the door for more businesses to not comply. “It will have a negative domino effect on their neighborhood, she said.
Chase would be leasing the property from the same owner who leases to Kauffman Tire.
The board also delayed a decision on a request for 15 or more variances to zoning for the Kroger grocery store at Cherokee Plaza shopping center in Brookhaven. Kroger says it plans to renovate and expand the grocery. The board voted to defer consideration of the proposal for 30 days so Kroger could provide more detail about its plans for pedestrian access and landscaping.