To the editor:
We are the board of directors for Montgomery Elementary School’s “Mustang Fund,” a nonprofit organization supporting Montgomery’s pursuit of excellence, and working to ensure it remains a top-scoring, sought-after public school.
We are extremely concerned about the proposed rezoning of the Ashford Green complex on Ashford Dunwoody Road, which would add 500 apartments and condominiums to an already overcrowded corridor. We encourage the City Council to deny this request at the council meeting on April 22.
In the business world, one never wants to let tactics drive strategies. But approving this rezoning would do just that. Brookhaven has just begun a long-term strategic-planning process for the city’s future development. Ideally, this strategy will map out locations for multi-unit housing, commercial districts, and the associated infrastructure requirements needed to support these initiatives. We commend the city for engaging in this activity.
But we question why the City Council would consider the Ashford Green request — the largest proposed development since the city incorporated — without a comprehensive strategy in place.
We also wonder how Montgomery will absorb the new students, who will push the school to at least 115% of capacity; how commuters will navigate the already traffic-choked Ashford-Dunwoody-Perimeter Summit intersection once another 1,000+ residents are added to the mix; how the added traffic will impact the large number of children who get to Montgomery each morning by crossing Ashford Dunwoody Road or navigating its narrow sidewalks during rush hour; or whether the city has examined the developer’s proposal, which misleadingly uses trendy buzzwords like “mixed-use” (but adds minimal retail) and “transit-oriented” (but is not within walking distance of a MARTA station).
What is the strategy here? Why are we reacting to the whims of developers instead of proactively planning for the future? If the Ashford Green petition is approved before a master plan is in place, then what has changed? We are no better off than we were under the DeKalb County government we voted to leave.
Jay Cranman, Chad Duncan, Charles Gerrick, Angie Gunning, Tim Halloran, Craig Hoover, Chandra Ingram, Kathleen Jackowski, Kristi Thelen, Hilary Phillips, Elizabeth Werdesheim