The Brookhaven-Oglethorpe MARTA station area. Image via Southface

While the results of a four-day Brookhaven MARTA station workshop in October have been released, the city says it’s not ready to implement any of the suggestions yet but will use them as a valuable tool moving forward.

“We want to make sure we get all the information we need first,” said city spokeswoman Dana Johnson. Brookhaven has begun the process of developing a comprehensive plan that looks at the city as a whole, she said.

The four-day charrette in October, though, focused exclusively on redevelopment of the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe MARTA station parking lots. It served as a planning and brainstorming session for architects, urban planners, transportation experts and stakeholders to discuss ways to make transit-oriented development at the station a reality.

The Atlanta Regional Commission chose the Brookhaven station as a study site because of its large amount of space, community desire to revitalize the area, business community interest and MARTA’s initiative to increase ridership and revenue.

Southface led the charrette and released the report, which found that participants wanted the area to become more pedestrian friendly and supportive of alternative forms of transportation, with the MARTA site morphing into a town center or gateway.

The report suggested that development on the parking lot consist of a mixed-use center with office, retail and residential built around a central open space.

Southface officials during the charrette also advised the city to go ahead and rezone the property for mixed-use before a developer is chosen to ease the process, but city officials resisted that idea.

“Having the zoning done before you know what the development is going to be is a bit ‘cart before the horse,’” Mayor J. Max Davis said at the time.

While it will be in MARTA’s hands to find a developer, the city says the transit authority has pledged to be an active participant in its comprehensive and transportation plans to ensure the development fits within the scope.

Johnson said the city’s transportation planning will serve as an addendum to the comprehensive plan.

Public Works Director Richard Meehan said his department is in the early stages of going through the charrette report, and that it would be used as one of the reference documents when developing the transportation plan.

He said the transportation plan will work as a 20-year guide and will use public input in prioritizing projects. An open house will take place on May 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Briarwood Recreation Center, 2235 Briarwood Way.

Find the full charrette report here.

Ann Marie Quill

Ann Marie Quill is Associate Editor at Reporter Newspapers.

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