Citizens in the neighborhoods of the Dresden East Civic Association (DECA), an area between I-85 and Buford Highway, Clairmont Road and Chamblee Tucker Road, have voiced opposition to the study map that Citizens for North DeKalb (C4ND) has been using for the Brookhaven feasibility study.
This opposition concerns two parcels. The first parcel is Century Center, the office complex on the east side of Clairmont Road just north of I-85. The second parcel is bounded by Clairmont Road, Buford Highway, and the Chamblee city limits, and includes Plaza Fiesta and the southern half of PDK Airport.
C4ND has decided to exclude Century Center from its final map of the Brookhaven study area that was released to the public yesterday. Click here to view the map.
When the City of Dunwoody was created, I worked with Senator Dan Weber and Representative (now Senator) Fran Millar to exclude the Perimeter Summit office complex, located just south of I-285, from the City of Dunwoody. This complex has a vital connection with the Murphey Candler and West Nancy Creek neighborhoods directly to its south. If these neighborhoods were to control their own destiny – as is currently happening – the entire area needed to remain intact.
In my own opinion, Century Center is to DECA what Perimeter Summit is to Murphey Candler. After listening to the affected neighborhoods, C4ND made a decision in the interests of fairness and equity to exclude it from the Brookhaven study area.
Century Center is estimated to have been worth substantial net revenue to a City of Brookhaven. By contrast, the PDK parcel is more of a wash from a revenue standpoint. It is mostly comprised of tax-exempt property and may have some significant expenses associated with it.
The PDK parcel will remain in the Brookhaven study area for a different reason. Some citizens in the Ashford Park and Drew Valley neighborhoods have made a compelling argument that this parcel is inextricably connected to their neighborhoods.
First, putting the airport aside, the heaviest development on this parcel is along Clairmont Road, directly across the street from Ashford Park and Drew Valley, and includes late-night clubs that sometimes negatively impact the adjacent neighborhoods.
In addition, Ashford Park has airport-owned property located directly in their neighborhood. This property, a roughly 30-acre parcel known as a runway protection zone (RPZ), is vacant. It is anticipated that the airport no longer will need this property once it shuts down the runway that the RPZ is intended to serve.
As we draw closer to the 2012 legislative session in which the Brookhaven city charter (click for information about House Bill 636) could move forward, I want to continue talking with citizens in the neighborhoods adjacent to the PDK parcel about its inclusion in these boundaries. Please feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com with your thoughts.
You also may have heard that Commissioner Jeff Rader is asking the county commission to ask the General Assembly to impose a moratorium on new cities in DeKalb County. Then, he wants a study committee of the General Assembly to be formed to “develop a rubric for determining reasonable boundaries for the existing or new cities using theories of urban organization.”
This proposal is not likely to gain any traction in the General Assembly. It is a delay tactic. The county commissioners who will be voting to make this request do not actually support creating new cities in DeKalb in the first place.
Here is the bottom line on cityhood: After the feasibility study is done, and if HB 636 is passed, you will get to vote on whether or not Brookhaven becomes a city. It will be in your hands.
I trust you to make the best decision for our community. Some of our county officials do not.