The Brookhaven Planning Commission has recommended approval for a rezoning that would allow a new medical office to be built in Brookhaven’s District 4. 

The new medical office building would be located at the currently vacant property 3020 Clairmont Road and operate as a DNA testing facility. The application originally came before the Planning Commission in November of 2021, but commissioners and residents in the area had concerns about noise, traffic, parking, and water runoff that might occur because of the new development. 

“We made some suggestions about what we thought was workable or might be workable as a compromise to protect both the homeowners and property owner,” said Commission Chair Stan Segal.”

The rezoning includes several concurrent variances to the city’s code. Initially, one would have reduced the transitional buffer along the northern side of the property from 50 feet to zero feet to account for a parking lot, a transformer, and amenities space. However, Commissioner Michael Diaz suggested amending the variance to allow for a 15-foot landscape buffer near the parking lot. The amenity spaces could still go all the way to the property line with this amendment.  

Another buffer-related variance would temporarily reduce the transitional buffer along the western rear lot line from 50 feet to 15 feet. 

A rendering of development area for the building, parking lot, and open space at 3020 Clairmont Road.

The 50-foot buffer on the western side of the property was a concern for some residents at the previous meeting in November. Originally, the application asked to reduce the buffer permanently to account for parking behind the building, causing residents close to the western boundary to worry the residential character of the neighborhood would be disturbed. However, Debra Kidd of Pimsler Hoss Architects – the architectural firm for this project – said in the new plan, part of the parking would be underneath the building and part of it would be to the north side. 

The temporary encroachment on the buffer is to allow for the installation of a stormwater pipe, according to city staff. Kidd said the 50-foot buffer on the western side would remain in place in the long run. 

“We are leaving the 50-foot buffer intact,” Kidd said. “There is a variance request to allow temporary construction within the buffer, just to get the project constructed, and then the buffer will be completely restored.”

Another group of variances would reposition the landscape zone along Clairmont Road to the inner side of the pedestrian zone, and allow for trees, streetlights, and street furniture along Clairmont Road outside of the landscape zone. According to city staff, these variances would improve driver visibility and pedestrian safety. 

The last variance would allow an open space area within a transition buffer zone. According to staff, the total development area of the property is limited, and this variance would allow the applicant to meet a 10% open space requirement.

Kidd addressed how the applicant would combat stormwater runoff, and said most of the stormwater would be retained on the property. 

“The approach to stormwater management will be to provide a combination of underground infiltration storage and a bioretention storage area in the front of the property,” Kidd said. “Both of these are intended to contain the water on the property itself by allowing it to infiltrate back into the soil.”

The entire meeting can be watched on the city’s Facebook page. The application is expected to go before the Brookhaven City Council in an upcoming meeting. 

Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers.