The Brookhaven Planning Commission meets Wednesday, Feb. 1, and will take up the establishment of the city’s first Design Review Board that will provide guidelines for development projects in the city.

The City Manager’s office is making “broad, overall recommendations” to the Planning Commission for the initial DRB that will  include regulating exterior appearances design and appearances and buildings in development projects proposed only in the Brookhaven-Peachtree Overlay District “to ensure a smooth implementation and sufficient staff support,” according to a memo from City Manager Christian Sigman to the mayor and City Council.

In the memo, Sigman explains the Department of Community Development has determined the beginning cost to create a DRB with a city-wide purview would cost approximately $150,000 compared to $75,000 within a limited area.

Other recommendations from staff include the DRB be made up of seven board members who will meet at least once a month. The recommended DRB ordinance will apply to all construction that requires a building permit in commercial, industrial, single-family detached and multi-family residential zoning districts include PC-1, PC-2, PC-3 and NS. Construction of single-family detached residential units will not come under the scope of the DRB.

Late last year, the City Council asked City Attorney Chris Balch to draw up an ordinance to create a Design Review Board to help define guidelines for developments, specifically the proposed Brookhaven/Oglethorpe MARTA transit-oriented development that is to serve as the “city center.” The original plan was to have a DRB in place before the Jan. 24 vote on the MARTA redevelopment.

At the Jan. 10 council work session, however, members decided they wanted the DRB to be including in the Zoning Code and therefore it was necessary to gain input from the Planning Commission on what the parameters of the new DRB should be.

MARTA’s developers requested a postponement of the Jan. 24 vote until Feb. 28 to give the city time for the Planning Commission and City Council to create a DRB.

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Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.