The Brookhaven Zoning Board of Appeals has deferred a decision on a controversial apartment development on Peachtree Road near the Historic Brookhaven neighborhood.
After more than an hour of presentations from attorneys representing the property owners and nearby neighbors, board member Glenn Viers made a motion to defer the vote. The delay was approved 5-2.
The property owner, Teresa Tomlinson, wants to develop the roughly 2- acre property, which straddles the line between Fulton and DeKalb counties, into a six-story, 176-unit apartment complex.
In late 2012, DeKalb County denied applications for a land disturbance permit and a certificate of compliance with the Brookhaven-Peachtree Overlay District. Since the property is now in the city of Brookhaven, the property owner went before the city’s ZBA to appeal DeKalb’s decisions.
Attorney Kathy Zickert said her client and others working on the project were told by DeKalb County every step of the way that a high density, multi-story building would be appropriate for the property.
“None of these folks are unfamiliar with how zoning works,” Zickert said. “They wanted to make sure they could do what they wanted to do before they spent a penny.”
Attorney Linda Dunlavy spoke on behalf of the Historic Brookhaven Neighborhood Association and the Brookhaven Peachtree Community Alliance. She said that the main issue with the application is the density of the proposed building.
Currently, there are 16 apartments on the property. It is zoned for medium density multifamily development, which is limited to 18 units per acre, according to the underlying DeKalb County zoning code.
“The RM75 rules are very clear: you cannot put more than 18 units per acre,” Dunlavy said.
The overlay zoning district, which requires urban, pedestrian friendly development in the Peachtree road corridor, is silent when it comes to density.
“In DeKalb County, the determination was made that it was unclear,” Zickert said.
Jed Beardsley and Hope Bawcom, the two dissenting votes, both live in the Historic Brookhaven neighborhood.
Chairman Tim Nama asked Zickert and Dunlavy to attempt to reach a compromise. The board will reconsider the issue on May 15.