The Brookhaven Planning Commission will consider Aug. 3 a request to rezone property on Dresden Drive to make way for a mixed-use development that includes 194 apartments along the booming corridor at the heart of the city. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at City Hall.
The developers are seeking to rezone the slightly more than 3 acres at 1336-1370 Dresden and 2544-256 Caldwell, where the DeKalb County Tax Commissioner office is located, to allow for the project that also includes a parking deck and 20,000 square feet of retail space. The mixed-use development is named Dresden Village and is a project of Connolly Investment and Fairfield Residential.
The city’s Community Development Department is recommending approval with several conditions. The most significant condition being that residential units be limited to 45 per acre for a total of approximately 135 apartments on the property, compared to the developers’ request of 194 units, or some 56 units per acre.
The Community Development Department explains that while the developers’ request for 194 units is within what is allowed in the city’s Comprehensive Plan and with the Brookhaven-Peachtree Overlay District, reducing the number of apartments “may be needed to mitigate potentially negative effects on adjacent and nearby properties,” according to a memo prepared for the Planning Commission.
Specifically, the rezoning request for the mixed-use development is very close to single-family residential homes and neighborhoods. Residents of the nearby neighborhoods have been fighting high-density development on Dresden Drive for months.
A months-long fight by single-family owners against a similar mixed-use complex, also on Dresden Drive, resulted in victory for the neighborhood activists when the City Council voted July 26 to deny a rezoning request for the Solis Dresden mixed-use development proposed at the corner of Dresden Drive and Appalachee Drive.
Dresden Village developers recent submitted modified plans to the city to appease to neighborhood activists. The changes include:
• 4 stories on Dresden Drive and 3 stories facing Caldwell Drive with Caldwell Drive frontage now having the look of townhomes.
• Reduced number of apartments from 206 to 194, which reduces density from 60 units per acre to 56.6 units per acre.
• Changed the access on Caldwell Drive from full retail/residential access to be residential, right-exit only. There will be no entrance on Caldwell Drive.
• Developer will contribute $20,000 to the city of Brookhaven to facilitate traffic improvements at the intersection of Caldwell Road and Green Meadows Lane to prevent cut through traffic into the neighborhoods.
• Relocated trash, deliveries and loading/unloading from Caldwell to Parkside.
• Added over 1⁄2 acre of public green open space in a pocket park and pedestrian pathway that connects Caldwell Drive to Dresden Drive (which will be a public easement).
• Designated 2 parallel parking spaces on Dresden for Uber/taxi (or other transportation drop-off and pick-up).
• Developer will contribute $5,000 to the Ashford Park Community for improvements at Parkside Park.
• Development will have over 140 publicly accessible paid parking spaces to help provide needed parking in the area.
At an April community meeting, residents said developers should reduce the number of apartments to about 150, the amount allowed by current zoning of the property, or should use townhomes instead of apartments in a portion of the planned development.
Concerns about increased traffic along an area already besieged by congestion is fueling the opposition from many residents in surrounding neighborhoods.