The Brookhaven Community Development Department is recommending the Planning Commission at its July 6 meeting deny a rezoning request to developers seeking to build a mixed-use development on four parcels of land on Dresden Drive.

The staff’s recommendation was made public June 30 when the agenda for the Planning Commission’s meeting was posted to the city website.

Terwilliger Pappas is seeking to rezone four tracts of land at the corner of Dresden Drive and Appalachee Drive to build Solis Dresden, a four-story apartment complex with a restaurant and retail on the ground floor.

The property is currently zoned for three single-family homes.

Shri Ranganathan, center, who lives on Canoochee Drive, discusses proposed plans for the Solis Dresden City Homes mixed-use development at a recent community meeting. (Photo Dyana Bagby)

As part of its reasoning for denying the request, the staff memo to the Planning Commission states the proposed development “would not be compatible with the existing character of the area.”

More intense development is designed to go closer to the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe MARTA station as outlined in the Brookhaven-Peachtree Overlay District whereas this proposed development encroaches within an area of the overlay that calls for “less intense uses to include townhomes and single-family residential dwellings,” according to the staff memo.

“As such, the building design of a 4-story mixed-use development does not conform with the intent of the Comprehensive Plan to create appropriate transitions moving further away from the MARTA station and in scale to neighboring uses …” the staff memo states.

The city staff also points out the development may adversely affect nearby single-family homes due to noise and glare from lighting. Also, those living on the fourth floor of the complex could intrude visually on adjacent single-family homes.

“The proposed development does not provide adequate transition to the  adjacent single-family neighborhood and a lower intense development could be recommended for the subject property to create a compatible relationship, and to better protect and enhance the residential neighborhood,” the staff memo states.

Developers held a community meeting June 23 to describe renovations to its plans as the result of community input, including the number of residential units being reduced from the original 206 apartments to 113 apartments. Eight for-sale townhouses and two live-work units were also added to the plans.

The developer is proposing to spend more than $1 million to add 44 public parking spots. Fifty-six parking spaces for residential and retail have also been added, from 214 to 270. Retail space stands at 9,000 square feet.

Many people living in single-family neighborhoods surrounding and near Dresden Drive have been outspoken at community meetings in their opposition to apartments being built along this corridor, citing too much traffic as a major concern as well as what they say is a disturbance of their neighborhoods’ characters. Some people in the neighborhood have also spoken in favor of the development.

Another controversial apartment complex is proposed on Dresden Drive and is expected to go before the Planning Commission next month. MARTA is also planning a large mixed-use development at its site on Peachtree Road.

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