The Brookhaven City Council on Aug. 12 readopted its zoning map, which corrects errors on nearly 1,000 land parcels out of the 14,000 researched.
The errors were fixed after the council voted in November to audit the zoning map the city adopted from DeKalb County in early 2013. City employees discovered that 20-years worth of zoning changes was missing from the map adopted from the county.
Michelle Alexander, director of planning with Pond & Company, the firm hired by the city to lead the map auditing, told the city council that the new map will be “dynamic,” unlike the original map that was basically a photo. It will include zoning data that the company found by combing through DeKalb County records. She said it will make finding information easier for staff, constituents and applicants.
The planning commission voted to recommend the city council adopt the new map.
“We’ve done what we think is everything possible to try and ensure that we’re perfecting this map to the best of our ability,” said Brookhaven’s Community Development Director Susan Canon at a planning commission meeting on July 23. She added that the map can further be amended if property owners find more discrepancies.
Councilman Joe Gebbia said that 980 discrepancies equal a “7 percent failure rate. It was significant that we do this.”
Mayor J. Max Davis said the new map can give residents confidence knowing what the zoning classification of their homes are and that the city now has accurate records.
“It’s a sigh of relief that this is done,” Davis said.
The map’s problems were highlighted by a lawsuit the city settled in April with Ashford Park residents concerned that a home being built in their neighborhood was too close to the road. Residents told the council in November that while researching zoning for their neighborhood, they found many of the lots had different zoning designations on the city map than they did in county.
The residents later sued the city, which settled by agreeing to pay Ashford Park residents up to $20,000 to cover their legal fees, and $10,000 each to two residents on either side of the home to install landscaping buffers on their properties.
View the new map here.