At the Tuesday, August 20 meeting of DeKalb County District 2 Community Council, Fuqua Development delivered a major surprise by presenting plans that deleted five-story apartment buildings totaling 260 units from their proposed development at the Scott Boulevard Baptist Church site at the intersection of N. Decatur Road and Scott Boulevard. Fuqua altered its plans at the last moment apparently in response to significant community opposition.
Residents of Blackmon Drive, one of the streets behind the church, expressed concerns about the proposed development which threatened to destroy their neighborhood. Good Growth DeKalb Co-Chair Louise Runyon spoke against recommending the new plans without the community being able to study them. The Community Council voted unanimously to defer two of Fuqua’s rezoning requests, and to deny the third. The third request was for a Special Land Use Permit to allow 5-story buildings, and was moot as these buildings were no longer part of the plans.
DeKalb County Community Council votes are advisory in nature to the Planning Commission, which in turn makes recommendations to the Board of Commissioners which has the actual power to make decisions. The Community Council voted on “full-cycle deferment” of Fuqua’s first two requests.
On agenda item after agenda item, members of the Community Council and citizens in the packed meeting room asked hard questions of developers. Other hotly contested items included an application by Green Community Development to build a 100-unit senior housing development at 2964 Briarcliff Road, multiplying the number of cars and driveways 20-fold on this this tract of land on a major thoroughfare; a proposal by Peachland Homes to build 27 town homes on a mere 1.78 acres on N. Druid Hills Road, also a major thoroughfare; and Arrowhead R.E. Partners LLC & Acadia Homes seeking to replace 12 homes with a 65-unit townhouse development on 8.13 acres at North Druid Hills and Merry Lane. None of the re-zoning requests made by developers were accepted by the Council on Tuesday night.
Says Good Growth DeKalb spokesperson Louise Runyon:
“Communities are fighting back. All around DeKalb, developers are seeking to build high density projects on small plots of land on streets that are already extremely traffic-challenged. Good Growth DeKalb sees this type of project as poorly-conceived growth and calls for our county to have vision, foresight and creative thinking and to listen to the concerns of its citizens.”What are you thoughts on this latest twist in this developing story?