Representatives for a Brookhaven Kroger store hope to convince DeKalb County officials that renovations planned for the grocery don’t fall under the community’s overlay zoning requirements.
On May 9, Kroger representatives addressed the DeKalb County Zoning Board of Appeals about several variances they would like in order to complete a renovation and expansion of the store at 3871 Peachtree Road.
The board voted to defer consideration of the proposal for 30 days so Kroger officials could provide more detail about plans for pedestrian access and landscaping.
Kroger plans to spend about $13 million on its renovations. Kroger also will take over several existing storefronts in the Cherokee Plaza shopping center in order to expand.
Taylor Robertson, Kroger’s architect, said he doesn’t feel the project needs to comply with overlay standards because it’s a renovation, not new construction.
“There will be minor skin changes in materials. But the structure will remain exactly as it is today,” Robertson said.
Brookhaven’s overlay zoning regulations aim to guide the future look of the community by requiring developers to build more urban-looking structures close to the street and provide better pedestrian access and landscaping.
Robertson said Kroger takes issue with the overlay requirement that all buildings include windows at the street level. Kroger is located in a shopping center away from the street, he pointed out.
“The purpose is so that walking down Peachtree Road, you can look into the windows,” Robertson said. “If we made it all glass it wouldn’t benefit people walking down Peachtree, which is the intent of the ordinance.”
Brookhaven resident Mike Elliot said he and others in the community have met with Kroger representatives.
“This project is difficult in that it’s a renovation,” Elliot said.
“From our standpoint, our priorities are pedestrian safety, which it sounds like they’re addressing, landscaping and streetscaping. I think there are some details that need to be worked out.”
Bonnie Jackson, chairwoman of the Zoning Board of Appeals, said she would like to see the store put more effort into meeting the overlay zoning requirements.