The proposed rezoning of the DeLido Apartments at the corner of Chamblee-Dunwoody Road and North Shallowford Road has some City Council members concerned about future redevelopment of the site as well as potential displacement of current residents.

A concept aerial view of DeLido Apartments with landscaping and parking improvements. (City of Dunwoody)

The owner of the DeLido Apartments is seeking to rezone the 8-acre parcel where the apartments are located from RM-100 to RM-75 to allow for more units. RM-100 allows 12 units per acre while RM-75 allows for 18 units per acre.

“If we rezone this are not opening ourselves up for a future developer … to scrape the land and start over?” Councilmember Terry Nall asked at the council’s March 12 meeting during first read of the rezoning request. Second and final read is slated for two weeks.

The DeLido complex currently has 12 two-story apartment buildings with a total of 102 residential units. Of the 102 unites, 20 of them have four bedrooms. The owner is proposing eliminating the four-bedroom units and replacing them with reconfigured one- and two-bedroom units, raising the total number of units to 120. The total number of bedrooms would go from 295 to 264.

Because the complex would then be over the 12 units per acre allowed in RM-100, the rezoning is needed.

David Kirk, attorney for DeLido, said the property owner would agree to ensuring the RM-100 zoning would be tied only to the DeLido development. A condition of the rezoning is that it is site specific to what DeLido’s owner is proposing, city staff explained.

“We are happy to add another condition to limit the number of units to what we are building … to limit future density and to no more than what we are proposing,” Kirk said.

Council reached a consensus that another condition be added to cap the number of residential units on the property at 122 units.

Councilmember Lynn Deutsch also raised the issue of affordability at DeLido Apartments. With the new renovations DeLido has planned to the interior as well as the exterior of the buildings and also to landscaping and other amenities, rent prices are going to increase, she said.

“Historically, they have been a place for residents to live a long time, such as retirees. I’m curious what the impact will be on your current residents,” she said. Deutsch added she knows of two families that have already moved out because they cannot afford the rent increase.

Sue Mied of Madison Property Management, which manages the DeLido Apartments, said there are two different rate structures being used – one a market rate and another a below market rate available to current residents.

“We do try to keep our current residents in place,” she said. The discount rates for current residents will eventually be raised, she added.

Mied noted that rents at DeLido have been below market rates for a number of years, but no estimated rents for the renovated complex were provided. Rent for a 3-bedroom apartment at DeLido runs about $1,600 a month now.

As part of the rezoning request, the property owner will also donate right of way along Chamblee-Dunwoody Road and North Shallowford Road to be used for the Georgetown area multimodal improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists as well as to provide connectivity to shopping centers and parks.

Dyana Bagby

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