12-15-17 Brookhaven

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DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018 • VOL. 9 — NO. 24


Brookhaven Reporter

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► Rabbi’s book recalls her silent retreat at a Christian monastery PAGE 21

- JAN. 4, 2018

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A path to th e future: Brookhave n’s journey fro m ‘yes’ to Gr eenway City leade rs create a which opened in

► PCIDs emerges with ‘next generation’ master plan PAGE 26

new scho Norcross in ol, 2016.







5th Anniver

sary | 5

Commemo rative Special Sec tion



Pro-cityho voters win, od 2012.


Brookhav en Police Departme nt opens, 2013 .

The Atlanta Hawks anno a local pract ice facility, unce 2016.


Georgia Tech students share visions for Buford Highway


The Peachtree

Creek Green way’s cons

truction begin






s in 2018.

Visions for Buford Highway’s future — some with big dreams, some with small details — were offered in recent weeks by two different groups of Georgia Tech students seeking ways to preserve affordability and diversity as the famous immigrant neighborhood redevelops. One group, taught by Ryan Gravel, the father of Atlanta’s BeltLine, envisions Buford Highway with expansive greenspace, public art, safer pedestrian access and an emphasis on the diverse cultural ties that make the road corridor unique. Another group, under the tutelage of Professor Gary Cornell, explored some of those same ideas, but under a more traditional land-use and urban-planning methodology that included a formal presentation to Brookhaven City Council.


Five years ago this mont city of Brook h, the new haven began down its own a journey path. It’s been a sometimes rocky road, but marked with major stones, and mileas former mayo rs look ahead they see succe , ss on the horiz on.

Georgia Tech students taught by Ryan Gravel, the creator of the Atlanta BeltLine, presented their projects on how to improve the Buford Highway corridor at a Nov. 28 open house. This project by Emily Wirt envisions a large public art installation at the highway’s intersection with Shallowford Road to provide “a moment of pause within a busy street and heavily trafficked intersection,” Wirt wrote in her proposal.

Cherry Blossom Festival debuts, 2015.

During its first five years, the has paved roads new city , improved parks model city for others to a police force, and set up look to,” Mayo and also has John Ernst begun effort r said. “We’r create afford s to e finding ways able housing, be innovative to update zonto ing codes to and showing deal with rapid ways to do the region things bette developmen and to take t r.” the first steps The battle for toward estab lishing the cityhood began long-dream with the form in 2010, ed-about Peach Creek Green ation of a group called tree way trail and izens for North park system Cit“We’re on DeKalb. Then . our way to “Brookhaven the group becoming Yes” was form a their state ed to lobby representa tives, notab ly for-

The first Martin Luth er King Jr. Day celebratio n at Lynwood Park, 2016 .

mer state Rep. Mike Jacobs, over desire to have their a local gover nment to take over some services from DeKalb Coun ty. The coun ty governmen t, they argue did not adequ d, ately repre sent them provide servi or ces comm ensurate with the taxes the community paid. Continued on

page 6

Gravel’s Generator

Students from Gravel’s Generator Workshop class, the pilot program for his new nonprofit urban design organization, Generator Studio, presented their projects at a Nov. See GEORGIA on page 13

STANDOUT STUDENT Lovett senior wins national service award

... Our small paper stared down a potential lawsuit from former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. The battle reinforced the importance of journalism to me, both as a student and in a larger world. Eddie Samuels Brookhaven resident and an editor at the Tufts Daily newspaper See COMMENTARY Page 18

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BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net


Page 28

Boys & Girls Club to be torn down for residences

Celebrating by candlelight

A controversial townhome and singlefamily development will be built on the 6-acre site of the Boys & Girls Club on North Druid Hills Road following a Dec. 12 vote by the Brookhaven City Council to approve the project. The council voted 3-1 to rezone the property from R-75 (single-family residential) to See BOYS on page 16

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2 | Community

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Townhome project would boost affordable housing, developer says BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

A Brookhaven developer said his company plans to build a 226-unit townhome complex off Buford Highway with units priced in the high $200,000 range as a way to fill a need for more affordable housing in the city and to also help transform the international corridor. The Ardent Companies is seeking to rezone a 17-acre tract of land that includes 30 single-family houses on Bramblewood Drive and two residential properties fronting Buford Highway to make room for a 226-unit townhome development. The development is estimated at 12.84 units per acre. Neville Allison, director of The Ardent Companies, told about 10 residents at a Dec. 4 community meeting that his company’s proposed development is one of the first new residential developments on Buford Highway. “I think Buford Highway is exploding,” Allison said. He said city officials and some residents want Buford Highway to be revitalized, which means new development. But one of the problems, he said, is that new residential construction in the city is typically for luxury townhomes priced in the $500,000 to $700,000 range and “that becomes unaffordable” for some people.

“My standard answer is, I want to sell them [townhomes] for as much as I can … but we want to help solve some of the affordable housing issues” in the city, he said. He noted the proposed project does not help low-income people, but rather will be targeted toward such middle-income households as a police officer and teacher who are married and each make $50,000 a year, for a combined $100,000 annual income. Mayor John Ernst and the City Council formed an Affordable Housing Task Force last year to come up with recommendations on how to deal with gentrification, especially along Buford Highway. The task force issued its recommendations in July and the city is currently undergoing a zoning rewrite in which affordable housing is expected to be addressed. The zoning rewrite is slated to be completed by mid-2018. Allison said he has spoken with the mayor and City Council as well as city staff about his project and knows the city’s concern about affordable housing. This proposed project is expected to have smaller, 3-story units measuring 1,200 square feet to 1,300 square feet, he said. The Ardent Companies has built or is currently building four other townhome developments in the city, including several near Buford Highway that are priced in the $400,000 to $700,000 range.


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Neville Allison of The Ardent Companies displays a rendering of the proposed townhomes to be built on Bramblewood Drive and Buford Highway during a community meeting at the Briarwood Park Recreation Center. The Ardent Companies hopes to start construction of the 226-unit complex in April, if it gains city approval.

Allison said his company has contracts with 29 individuals on 32 parcels and plans to close on the property in April and start building soon after. The project must first go to the Planning Commission on Jan. 3 and then to City Council on Jan. 23 before it is approved. The project also needs a zoning variance to build the buildings closer together than usually allowed and plans are to take the plans to the Zoning Board of Appeals in February to meet the planned April closings, explained Carl Westmoreland, attorney for the project. Full build-out of the complex would take about four years, Allison said. Plans are also to make the new townhome development a gated community, Allison said. He recently clashed with City Council members when a majority of the council voted to prohibit his company’s new development on Pine Cone Lane from becoming a gated community. Some council members objected to the gates and fences, saying they want to create connectivity throughout the city. The council reversed its vote after learning it was likely not legal, but city staff is currently working on a zoning ordinance amendment to prohibit new gated communities without a special land use permit. Concerns about stormwater drainage were raised by several residents living across from the proposed development in the Jackson Square Condominiums. According to some residents, during heavy rains stormwater drains under Buford Highway and into the complex, where it flows into the Peachtree Creek Greenway and floods the parking lot. Allison said there is currently no stormwater management where the single-family homes are now standing. With the new development, detention ponds and other stormwater maintenance will be installed

as part of city, state and federal development guidelines that should eliminate any stormwater concerns. “The idea is to have stormwater systems throughout the site … that will have controlled and clean runoff rather than a sheet of water,” Allison said. There are plans for private pocket parks within the development, but Allison said no study has been done to determine how many trees will have to be cut down to make way for the new townhomes. Trees within the 75-foot buffer of a stream on the property will be saved, Allison said. He also said the city’s tree ordinance requires new trees be planted to replace the ones that are cut down and during one of his company’s projects, 80 trees were cut down and were replaced with 377 new trees on the property. When asked by a resident, Allison said he did not know how many of the 32 homes were rental properties. He said he would give renters a minimum of 60 days to find a new home. The Ardent Companies came under fire this summer when residents at the Park Villa apartments, off Buford Highway, said they were only given 30 days to move out after the complex was sold to make way for luxury townhomes. Ernst intervened and worked out an extension for the residents to find new places to live. The Ardent Companies purchased the older Park Villa complex and successfully got it rezoned to make way for the new luxury townhomes now under construction. At the Zoning Board of Appeals hearing where the rezoning was granted, a couple of members expressed their disappointment with Allison that more was not done to let apartment residents know their complex had been sold. BK

DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018

Community | 3


Community Briefs M AY OR T O H O L D DEC . 21 TO W N H A L L M EETI N G Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst will hold a town hall meeting from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 21 at City Hall, 4362 Peachtree Road. Residents are invited to ask questions of the mayor and city staff in the open forum discussion.

SEC UR I TY C O MPA N I ES TO FA C E F IN ES FO R FA L S E A LA RMS After Brookhaven police responded to more than 4,000 false alarms in the city last year, the council is taking measures to reduce that number — by making the security companies pay for them. The City Council on Nov. 28 approved an ordinance that will require security companies to pay fines for false alarms rather than making businesses and homeowners pay the fines. The Brookhaven measure follows the city of Sandy Springs’ approach earlier this year by targeting security companies rather than homeowners or business owners for false alarms. The ordinance also requires security companies to obtain a city permit to install an alarm system. The ordinance goes into effect Jan. 1. The council voted unanimously to give security companies two warnings and then implement fines on the third and following false alarms. The fines are $25 for the third false alarm, $125 each for the fourth and fifth false alarms, and $250 each for the sixth and successive false alarms. An appeals process also is part of the ordinance. At a Nov. 14 work session, Police Chief Gary Yandura reported the department in 2016 responded to 4,145 false alarms and estimated that it cost the city $194,815 to respond to false alarms between July 31, 2016, and July 31, 2017. “Basically we’re just acting as security guards for these alarm companies,” Yandura told the council members. Yandura pointed to Sandy Springs’ recent ordinance that fines the security companies, adopted after no significant reduction in false alarms was found when going after homeowners and business owners.

WA L L S , F ENC ES O RD I N A N C E UP DATED The City Council updated its recent amendment to its walls and fences ordinance at the Nov. 28 meeting to clarify fence height and design requirements. The amended ordinance requires residents to get a permit from the city’s Community Development Department prior to installing a wall, fence or retaining wall. This includes submitting an application to the city. BK

The ordinance now includes these requirements: ■ No wall or fence will be more than 4 feet in height between the front of the primary structure and the right of way and no more than 8 feet along all other property lines. ■ Building walls or fences is prohibited in the city’s right of way, unless approval is granted by the city. ■ No wall or fence can be placed or maintained within the triangular area formed at the intersection of a street right-of-way lines. ■ Fences and walls over 3 feet tall shall be designed with a column or decorative element every 8-feet “to provide architectural variations and eliminate large expanses of blank area.

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■ Column, post and ornament heights are permitted to exceed the maximum height up to 2 feet. ■ No wall or fence shall be permitted along a road frontage of a residential development or subdivision that is more than 50 percent opaque. ■ Hedges and other vegetation shall be considered fences if planted and arranged in such a manner as to enclose, partially enclose or separate the subject property.

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■ Chain link fences are prohibited in the front of a single-family homes and along the right-of-way of multiple frontage lots zoned residential. ■ No fences on residential property are allowed to have barbed wire, spikes or similar devices or have an electric charge.

C ITY GETS J U M P-STAR T O N 2018 PAVING SCHED U LE An additional 17 streets in Brookhaven will begin being paved this year as part of a $1.4 million change to the 2017 budget that was approved Nov. 28 by the City Council. The approval of paving the nearly five miles of roads that were originally planned to be paved next year is so the city can take advantage of 2017 prices. “With the recent passage of the SPLOST sales tax, we anticipate there will be more demand for paving in 2018, which will likely drive the price up. We are locking in the 2017 contract prices, so we can get the most out of our available funds,” Public Works Director Hari Karikaran said in a prepared statement. In April, the Brookhaven City Council approved a $4.72 million contract with C.W. Matthews for paving 58 streets for a total of 10.7 lane-miles. Cost savings identified in September allowed for an additional 1.5 lane-miles to be paved in October with a further 4.94 lane-miles being approved at the Nov. 28 meeting.

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Our Lady of Assumption to expand school, add students BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church is set to add to its private school and build a new rectory after special land use permits were approved Dec. 12 by the City Council despite concerns raised by several neighbors about heavy carpool traffic. The council voted 3-1 to approve three special land use permits that allow OLA to expand its educational building, increase the number of students and build a new rectory for priests to live. The school currently has 530 students in grades pre-K through eight. With the council approval, the school will add up to 78 more students. Twenty-eight of the students will attend the pre-school. Councilmember Joe Gebbia voted against the plans because he said OLA should work more with area residents to come up with a better traffic mitigation plan. His motion to delay the vote 60 days died for a lack of a second. OLA is located on nearly nine acres at 1320 Hearst Drive, a circular roadway that serves the church and school as well as 21 surrounding single-family homes. Principal Lisa Cordell said the changes are needed because most of OLA’s buildings date back to the 1950s. “We are in need of becoming a 21st Century school,” she said. There are four main structures on the property: a sanctuary, rectory, pre-school and K-8 private school. Lisa Taylor, who lives on Hearst Drive across the street from OLA, opposed the plans because more students likely mean more traffic. “We are held hostage in our house twice a day due to the carpool,” she said. Clinton Fletcher, who lives on Humili-


Renderings of the building expansion at Our Lady of Assumption, which was approved Dec. 12 by the City Council.

ty Lane, said his narrow road suffers from heavy school traffic. “We are neighbors,” he said, “and we need to work together. The reason I’m voicing opposition is because there is no binding plan in place. This should not be an ‘us versus them’ ... but the brakes need to be pumped.” Many parents and neighbors also spoke in favor of the plans, noting the quality education their children receive at the school and how they chose to live near OLA so they could also be part of the congregation. Richard Sweeley said he has lived across the street from the school since 1987 and his four children received an ex-

cellent education at OLA. “I knew there would be change,” when he and his family moved there, he said. “Schools get bigger, airports get noisier. I like them both,” he said. Cordell said the church and school were founded on the mission of service to others. “We know there’s a traffic problem. We do everything we can,” she said. Carpools are started at 7 a.m. to try to mitigate the morning rush. The school informs neighbors of special events at night, such as Christmas concerts, to let them know about an increase of traffic. Attempts are being made to have more

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parents carpool, she said. The traffic problem at OLA is not a secret, Councilmember Linley Jones said. “That said, OLA is a great neighborhood school ... and it would be a tremendous loss if we don’t allow for additional students to attend,” she said. New sidewalks are being built on Lanier Drive near the school to make it easier for students to walk to school. Jones suggested OLA consider forming a task force to address concerns of neighbors and to find ways to encourage families to carpool.

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DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018

Brookhaven 5th Anniversary | 5



A path to the future Brookhaven’s journey from ‘yes’ to Greenway City leaders create a new school, which opened in Norcross in 2016.





Commemorative Special Section YES




Pro-cityhood voters win, 2012.

Brookhaven Police Department opens, 2013.

abc The Atlanta Hawks announce a local practice facility, 2016.

Cherry Blossom Festival debuts, 2015.

The Peachtree Creek Greenway’s construction begins in 2018.

The first Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at Lynwood Park, 2016.

BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Five years ago this month, the new city of Brookhaven began a journey down its own path. It’s been a sometimes rocky road, but marked with major milestones, and as former mayors look ahead, they see success on the horizon.

During its first five years, the new city has paved roads, improved parks and set up a police force, and also has begun efforts to create affordable housing, to update zoning codes to deal with rapid development and to take the first steps toward establishing the long-dreamed-about Peachtree Creek Greenway trail and park system. “We’re on our way to becoming a

model city for others to look to,” Mayor John Ernst said. “We’re finding ways to be innovative and showing the region ways to do things better.” The battle for cityhood began in 2010, with the formation of a group called Citizens for North DeKalb. Then the group “Brookhaven Yes” was formed to lobby their state representatives, notably for-

mer state Rep. Mike Jacobs, over their desire to have a local government to take over some services from DeKalb County. The county government, they argued, did not adequately represent them or provide services commensurate with the taxes the community paid. Continued on page 6

6 | Brookhaven 5th Anniversary

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A path to the future: Brookhaven’s journey from ‘Yes’ to the Greenway Continued from page 5

with the police, that rancor dying down.” For Rebecca Chase Williams, the city’s “I was initially opposed to [citysecond mayor, the first five years “have hood],” said J. Max Davis, the city’s first gone by so fast.” mayor and the chair of the Brookhaven “I look back and see so many accomYes movement. “My inclination was to plishments and have this overwhelming not be in favor for what I thought would sense of pride,” she said. be more government.” “We’ve lowered taxBut when he realized that es, we’ve paved roads, our he and other residents were parks are vastly improved, willing to pay for private sezoning and planning is curity to provide protection done closer to home,” she in their neighborhoods, he said. “All the promises we had an epiphany that tax made, we’ve kept.” money could be used to Williams became mayor fund a city police force. in 2015 after Davis resigned “We weren’t getting the to make an unsuccessful bid coverage from DeKalb police for the seat representing Diswe wanted. The higher-ups trict 80 in the state House of were not assigning officers Representatives. to patrol our area,” he said. “Part of our challenge SPECIAL When a police lieutenJ. Max Davis. is that Brookhaven is alant told him that DeKalb poready a popular and wonlice probably would not be able to provide derful place to live and lots of people the coverage he wanted, Davis felt he had no and developers are coming in,” she addchoice but to support the creation of the city ed. “We don’t want to infringe on the of Brookhaven, he said. “I think that was the great quality of life ... and so there is real impetus to support cityhood for many work to be done in finding that balance people — having real security,” he said. of growth and quality of life.” Creating Brookhaven wasn’t an easy The city’s first five years include some sale, however. In 2012, after state legislators rocky moments. Davis was accused of approved a vote on the new city, residents sexual harassment for allegedly spraying split roughly 55 percent to 45 percent in the aerosol at a female colleague. The city atvote to create Brookhaven. The new city torney was dismissed after some city officame into existence in December of 2012. cials said he tried to help cover up the accuThe city covered some 12 square miles sation against Davis. from I-85 to I-285, where it bordered DunResidents have packed City Hall in woody, another new city set to celebrate red shirts demanding city officials pro10 years of existence in 2018. (After an hibit certain kinds of new development, annexation, Brookhaven now extends including the proposed Brookhavensouth of I-85 into an area where ExecuOglethorpe MARTA transit-oriented detive Park and the North Druid Hills camvelopment (the city did pus of Children’s Healthagree to pause that) as well care of Atlanta are located.) as planned mixed-used deDuring the debate velopments along thriving over whether to create a Dresden Drive (the council city of Brookhaven, heathas approved one and deed “Brookhaven Yes” and nied another; both are cur“Brookhaven No” camrently locked in litigation.) paigns formed. One of When Ernst took over Ernst’s main campaign as mayor in 2016, one of promises when he took ofhis and the council’s first fice in 2016 was to find tasks was to dismiss former ways to unite the two. city manager Marie Garrett “When I got elected, there over a contract dispute. SPECIAL was no ‘Yes Brookhaven’ or Rebecca Chase Williams. Garrett had been with the ‘No Brookhaven,’” Ernst said. city since it was founded. “We are just Brookhaven. We’ve moved on “The whole thing with J. Max was a sad from that and are running a city now.” episode,” Williams said. “And I was sorry to There may be a little bitterness left besee how all that ended with Marie. She was hind. “There’s still one person on Osborne a great city manager for a start-up city.” Road with a ‘Brookhaven No’ sign,” Davis But, Ernst said, he and the council said with a chuckle. don’t look back and only look forward “People of both sides of the cityhood to keeping the promises that were the issues came together really well,” Dafoundation of forming the city. vis said. “In the beginning there was still Police, parks and paving are the “three some of that suspicion ... and there are Ps” many cities and municipalities promstill some negative nellies out there. But ise to spend their residents’ tax dollars I’ve noticed after about a year, especially on, and Brookhaven’s government con-

DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018

Brookhaven 5th Anniversary | 7


tinues to make those areas a priority, city continues to work to have its own Ernst said. “Our paving schedule is agschool system and admits disappointgressive. We have some of the best-paved ment that the state charter school known roads in the region,” Ernst said. as Brookhaven Innovation Academy decidThe new Peachtree ed this year to make its perCreek Greenway, a linear manent home in Chamblee park that is expected to conafter not finding a location nect Brookhaven to Chamwithin Brookhaven. blee and Doraville as well “We have to keep tryas PATH400 on Buckhead ing,” he said. “Economic and eventually to the Atlandevelopment is inherently ta BeltLine, is set to break tied to quality education. ground early next year. We didn’t seize on [the The police department new school], but I hope in has bumped up the numthe future we can.” ber of its officers from a Rather than its charter beginning of 54 to 74 now, school, Brookhaven will be SPECIAL and a new citizens’ patrol the home of the new John Mayor John Ernst. is in the works. Lewis Elementary School, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta selectnow going up where Skyland Park was ed Brookhaven as the home for its new once located. A new, smaller Skyland massive hospital complex at the I-85 and Park is being built adjacent to the school North Druid Hills Road interchange, and using the money the DeKalb County promises to invest millions of its own monSchool District paid for the property. ey on traffic improvements in the area. “We got a brand-new park and an exCity officials also praise the “halo tra $1.7 million that we’ve leveraged to effect” CHOA will bring to the surbuy more green space,” Ernst said. That inrounding area, especially along Bucludes 33 acres of former DeKalb-Peachtree ford Highway, where it is expected new Airport land expected to open in January medical-related businesses will pop up. as a city park including walking trails. Across the street from CHOA is Execu“I think a lot of good planning was tive Park, recently purchased by Emory done in the first few years and now we University. Although Emory hasn’t reare in the building stages and moving vealed its plans for Executive Park, city forward to keep those promises,” Ernst officials expect it to complement the said. “We are getting the job done on CHOA medical complex. The area also what we set out to do.” includes a brand new, state-of the-art Atlanta Hawks practice facility that’s a partnership with Emory Healthcare. City Hall is currently located in a leased building on Peachtree Road. Ernst said that finding a permanent City Hall building is not a main priority of his current term, but there are plans to use some $15 million in new Special Local Option Sales Tax funds to pay for a new police department and municipal court, perhaps to remain located on Buford Highway. Williams said she expects the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe MARTA station redevelopment to come back before the City Council in the next five years, if not sooner. “And I hope we go forward in a way in which both sides benefit,” she said. All three mayors agree the first five years included a great deal of planning: a parks master plan; a bike and pedestrian master plan; determining a fair way to pave roads; funding the Peachtree Creek Greenway; coming up with an affordable housing task force; a character-area study for residents to discuss how they want to see their neighborhoods preserved; and a citywide zoning rewrite designed to better handle the rapid development of one of the hottest cites in metro Atlanta. “I think the next five years are going to be terribly exciting,” Williams said. “We have wonderful master plans, which was Atlanta a long process. The real challenge is paying for them all and setting priorities.” 275 Collier Road, NW Suite 100-C Davis said when Brookhaven was startAtlanta, GA 30309 ed, there was no guidebook and a lot of lessons had to be learned. He hopes the

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8 | Brookhaven 5th Anniversary

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Happy Birthday, Brookhaven!

Mike Jacobs DeKalb County State Court judge and former state representative I wish to extend my congratulations to the city of Brookhaven on its five-year anniversary as a municipality. Working together as neighbors, I am confident the future of the community will be bright. Kelly Marsh Brookhaven Arts Festival director and real estate agent Currently, Brookhaven is one of the hottest real estate markets in Atlanta. Based on past history, it looks like the number of higher price point (over $800,000) homes will slow in the next five years, making the area more affordable for buyers. Brookhaven will remain healthier than the rest of Atlanta due to the improvements to the parks, roads and the high demand to be inside 285. Positive changes to our schools will take effect in about four years from now, creating movement amongst current residents and those wanting to move into Brookhaven. This will also stimulate the real estate market, giving buyers and sellers great opportunity. As for the Brookhaven Arts Festival, we are building on our most successful year so far in 2017 and I predict that in five years we will offer the highest-quality art in the most easily accessible environment, providing a fun and unique outing for Brookhaven residents and people from far away. Linley Jones Brookhaven City Council member The first five years of our City have been highly successful. The City is up and running efficiently and cost-effectively with top-notch police, community service and public works. Brookhaven has worked closely with citizens to gather feedback and plan for the future. Implementation of many of the City’s plans is already underway. I expect the next five years will see tremendous change and improvement as the City’s resources are directed to plan implementation. From the Ashford-Dunwoody Corridor Study to the Park Plans to the Nancy Creek Watershed Improvement and Peachtree Creek Greenway, our City will see the makeover continue as we tackle challenges like traffic improvement and growth, with citizen input to our grassroots government always critical to the efforts. Aníbal Torres Executive director, Latin American Association Brookhaven continues to deepen its commitment to diversity. In just the past year, it has commissioned an affordable housing task force, become a “Welcoming City,” and hired a public engagement specialist to lead the city’s outreach to Brookhaven’s diverse community. If current progress continues, within five years, Brookhaven will have become a leading example of a city that embraces Latinos, celebrates their culture, and meaningfully includes them in its public processes.

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Gabriel Sterling Sandy Springs City Council member, consultant on Brookhaven cityhood campaign “Like every city that’s been established since 2005, they’re different personalities … and all for the most part have been pretty successful. I agree with others who have said this isn’t Balkanization. This is allowing those areas, those regions, those cities to have a voices that were true. At the end of the day, I’m always going to say Sandy Springs is the best single example of how a city should run. But I think all of them are better than the alternative. With all of the drama and the heartache and the angst, they are better off than when they had been county protectorates.” Lawrence Schall President, Oglethorpe University Let me offer my congratulations to the city of Brookhaven on its fifth birthday. First and foremost, I want to thank the leaders of the city for being such good and thoughtful partners to the university. We have developed strong and collaborative working relationships with the mayor, all the City Council people, the city manager, and many others. Those relationships have grown over time and I certainly expect that to continue as we move forward together.

J.D. Clockadale President of Brookhaven Police Foundation and Zoning Board of Appeals member Our police department will continue to a model of how to build strong relationships with all aspects of our community while effectively ensuring the safety and high quality of life that make Brookhaven such a great place to raise a family. The community itself will continue to reap the rewards of dedicated greenspace, progressive road paving and rebuilt parks infrastructure, as well as boards and commissions served by engaged, committed residents who actively seek to grow Brookhaven in a way that serves our great history and even greater potential.

DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018


Brookhaven 5th Anniversary | 9

Georgia’s destination for pediatric care We’re proud to be part of the Brookhaven community for its first five years, and we look forward to celebrating more milestones together. Coming in 2018, we will be celebrating the opening of two new locations in the area—our first in town urgent care center, Children’s at Chamblee-Brookhaven, and the Center for Advanced Pediatrics. And over the next eight years, we have plans to build a new North Druid Hills campus that will transform the lives of children, families, and Brookhaven citizens with state-of-the-art care. Thanks again, Brookhaven, for working with us to build a better future for our kids and our communities. Visit choa.org/breakingnewground for more information.

©2018 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Inc. All rights reserved.

10 | Brookhaven 5th Anniversary

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News DUNWOODY

The changing face of Brookhaven Brookhaven formed as the country emerged from the Great Recession, and like many cities, is now dealing with the plusses and minuses of a development boom, from infill housing to such major concepts as transit-oriented MARTA station complexes. The city has seized the opportunity to massive effect, most notably by annexing Executive Park – bringing Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory Healthcare and the Atlanta Hawks to town as major players – and preparing for the Peachtree Creek Greenway park and trail. But it also faces challenges of preserving affordability and diversity, especially along Buford Highway, whose residents have found new activist voices. This map shows the places where the city is likely to change the most in its next five years.

A Executive Park/North Druid Hills Road DORAVILLE









Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is planning a massive 80-acre campus at the I-85 and North Druid Hills Road interchange, including an 8- story Center for Advanced Pediatrics and a new $1.3 billion hospital. Across the street, Emory University purchased 60 acres of Executive Park that now includes a new Atlanta Hawks/Emory Healthcare practice facility. Emory has not revealed its future plans for the site that is ripe for redevelopment.

B Peachtree Creek Greenway

The “model mile” of the Peachtree Creek Greenway between Corporate Boulevard and Briarwood Road breaks ground in early 2018. This is the first leg of the approximate 12-mile linear park that is expected to connect Brookhaven with Chamblee, Doraville, PATH400 in Buckhead and eventually the Atlanta BeltLine.

C Buford Highway

Redevelopment and gentrification along and near Buford Highway continues with older apartment complexes being torn down for luxury townhomes. Organizations such as We Love BuHi are trying to find ways to preserve and promote the cultural diversity of the international corridor as developers eye properties for redevelopment. City Councilmember Joe Gebbia has talked of wanting to see a performing arts center on Buford Highway.

D Brookhaven/Oglethorpe MARTA Station BUCKHEAD





The city rejected plans for a transit-oriented mixed-use development at the station, but city and MARTA officials fully expect redevelopment to take place within the next five years on the acres of mostly vacant parking lot.

E Dresden Drive Restaurants and retail continue to thrive on Dresden Drive. One multi-use development, Dresden Village, is currently being held up by a lawsuit filed by a resident after the project was approved by the city, and another multi-use development, Solis Dresden, is also still in the courts after the developer, Terwilliger Pappas, filed a lawsuit against the city for rejecting its proposed apartments and retail project.

F Skyland Park area


A new, smaller Skyland Park is under construction now and will open in early 2018. The DeKalb County School District is also building the new 900-seat John Lewis Elementary School at the site set to open in 2019, which is expected to alleviate overcrowding in the Cross Keys cluster.

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Brookhaven 5th Anniversary | 11


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BROOKHAVEN AT 5 BY THE NUMBERS Since the city’s formation, Brookhaven’s population has gotten bigger and wealthier, but also less diverse and with more people living in poverty. In terms of the “three P’s” — paving, parks and police — that residents wanted cityhood to improve, green space and the police force have increased significantly and about 29 percent of the city streets have been repaved.




Hispanic or Latino (All Races)


Median Household Income

Population Living Below Federal Poverty Level


49,000 52% 11.4% 30.2% 5% $56,231 12.2%


52,444 57% 9.6% 24.8% 5.6% $69,277 15.2%




Out of 120 miles of roads in the city, nearly 35 miles will have been paved from 2012 through the end of 2017.

In 2012, the city had 12 parks and 271 acres of green space. In 2017, the city has 15 parks and nearly 317 acres of green space.

The city had 54 officers in 2013 and has 73 officers in 2017.

Tr a n s f o r m y o u r s p a c e t o f i t Y O U







Sources: U.S. Census (*latest available statistics from 2015), Brookhaven Reporter, City of Brookhaven.

DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018

Community | 13


Georgia Tech students share visions for Buford Highway Continued from page 1 28 open house in an empty storefront at the Northeast Plaza shopping center on Buford Highway. The class was done in partnership with We Love BuHi, a nonprofit founded by Brookhaven resident Marian Liou that works to highlight the people who live and work on Buford Highway. The course discussed how students’ ideas could be implemented, but Liou said the class was especially exciting because the ideas weren’t limited by policies or feasibility. “Really, they just are some thought experiments for how to preserve cultural diversity as things are changing,” Liou said. Gravel said they all need more development to move beyond the conceptual stage they are in now, but if students put in the work, some ideas could move forward. One student’s project would create public spaces at MARTA bus stops along Buford Highway. The student, Christy Dodson, proposed creating a public garden space, a park or adding benches. “There is a lot of underutilized space along bus routes,” Dodson said. Chris Landry’s project focused on populating vacant storefronts along Buford Highway by allowing an afterschool program to set up shop in them. The programs would be led by a nonprofit and teach youth art, culinary or construction skills. “The program would be teaching youth skills they’re not being exposed to in school and create a renewed interest in the vacant space,” Landry said. A project by Seth Furman proposes legalizing street food carts and creating zones where they could be used. The overhead needed to operate a food cart is much less than a full restaurant, and this would give recent immigrants an opportunity to open

SPECIAL Top photos envision what Buford Highway could look like compared to how it exists today in bottom photos.

a restaurant with fewer legal requirements and a lower cost, Furman said. Another project by Chris Bailey envisions an expansive park and event space at the intersection of Buford Highway and Clairmont Road. T. Coston Dickinson tied his project into the Peachtree Creek Greenway, a park and trail that is planned to run along the road. He envisions creating pocket parks, including a large seating area, along the creek connected to the greenway. The project would also have wetlands created to filter the water and improve water quality, he said. Lauren Wells proposed major construction in her project, including a large amphitheater and a community park that would include an urban garden. Wells acknowledged the community may not want a large amphitheater and said her project is about creating any kind of public gathering space. “I don’t know if they would agree to the character I have proposed, but I think they would be on board with creating green space,” Wells said. Another project proposed creating a

large, colorful public art installation at Buford Highway’s intersection with Shallowford Road. Traffic would be redirected around the art to provide “a moment of pause within a busy street and heavily trafficked intersection,” student Emily Wirt wrote in her proposal.

Capstone project

Another 12 Georgia Tech graduate students this semester tackled some of the issues facing Buford Highway, including rapid redevelopment and the need for affordable housing, as part of their capstone project for a master’s degree from the School of City & Regional Planning. They were asked to find ways to assist the city of Brookhaven by making recommendations for equitable redevelopment linking Buford Highway with the Peachtree Greenway and made a formal presentation to Brookhaven City Council at its Nov. 28 work session. A major recommendation from the students was to divide Buford Highway into

three zoning districts to control future development, said one of the student project leaders, Ian Michael Rogers. BuHi Zoning District 1, or B1, would start at the Atlanta city line and run to Corporate Boulevard; B2 would run from Corporate Boulevard to Briarwood Road and include Northeast Plaza; and B3 would run from Briarwood Road to Clairmont Road. B1, for example, would include lowto medium-density mixed-used developments and is the potential site for a permanent City Hall, the students recommended. B2 would include medium-to high-density mixed-use projects. B3 would be for medium- to high-density residential projects. Other recommendations included gateway and signage along Buford Highway and more green space. Student John Saxton said that nearly 40 acres of parking is available within a quarter mile of Northeast Plaza — enough space for 383 basketball courts or 31 soccer fields. Talks with the owners of Northeast Plaza about potentially including green space in their parking lot is a possibility, he said. When it comes to affordable housing, the students determined 34.9 percent of renters along Buford Highway are paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing and utilities — a rule of thumb for unaffordablity. That’s a significant number, because 82 percent of residents along Buford Highway are renters. Nearly 62 percent of the residents are non-white Hispanics and another 26.6 percent are below the poverty line, according to data gathered by the students. Recommendations also include protected bike and pedestrian paths along Buford Highway, a trail connecting apartments to Montclair Elementary School and connections to the Greenway.t

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Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is set to break ground in January on its massive hospital complex at the I-85 and North Druid Hills Road interchange. The project will include a new $1.3 billion hospital. The Brookhaven City Council approved Dec. 12 annexing about 18 acres along the Northeast Expressway, where the beginning phase of CHOA’s development will include an 8-story office building and 7-story parking deck. CHOA’s 80-acre North Druid Hills campus also includes the Center for Advanced Pediatrics, which now is going up and is expected to be finished next year. The new, 446-bed hospital, to be 16 to 19 stories, is to be finished in the next eight years. Other plans for the campus include support buildings, a physical plant and more than 20 acres of green space. CHOA representatives have said they need to build the new office building and parking deck as soon as possible so they can relocate employees currently working in the office complex on Tullie Circle and Tullie Road into the new building. Plans are then to tear down the Tullie office complex buildings to make room for the new hospital that will replace the Egleston Hospital on Clifton Road near Emory University. That hospital is filled to capacity and is landlocked, requiring the new, larger hospital. The Dec. 12 council vote follows the Dec. 6 vote by the city Planning Commission recommending approval of the new office building and parking deck. The Planning Commission in September delayed moving forward on CHOA’s rezoning requests until after CHOA provided a clearer vision and master plan setting out its plans at I-85 and North Druid Hills Road. At the Dec. 12 meeting, the council also approved an intergovernmental agreement CHOA made with the Brookhaven Development Authority. The IGA states CHOA will spend: ■ $4.2 million for I-85 underpass improvements and bike/pedestrian con-

nection from the hospital campus to the Peachtree Creek Greenway; ■ $300,000 for an I-85/North Druid Hills interchange modification report and area beautification; ■ $10 million for I-85/North Druid Hills interchange reconstruction; ■ $6 million for sewer line upgrades supporting redevelopment in the Buford Highway corridor; ■ $10 million to purchase from the city 6.27 acres of right of way within the hospital campus for Tullie Road Northeast and Tullie Circle Northeast. CHOA attorney Woody Galloway has said the city can use this money as it wants but the current thought during negotiations was to put it toward building the Peachtree Creek Greenway. ■ $14.6 million cap on the anticipated city permits and fees. Galloway told the Planning Commission Dec. 6 that a development of regional impact (DRI) is expected to be triggered in late December or early January as CHOA moves forward in building its campus. DRIs, conducted through the Atlanta Regional Commission for projects that affect a region and not just a local municipality, are triggered with developments of 700,000 square feet or more. CHOA’s plans for the area — renowned for its traffic — also includes millions invested in traffic improvements, including CHOA’s preference for a “diverging diamond” configuration of the interchange. The plans have not been welcomed by all, especially some neighbors who worry that the expansion will bring more traffic gridlock.

Greenway concerns

Betsy Eggers, chair of the nonprofit Peachtree Creek Greenway, asked at the Dec. 6 commission that the CHOA’s rezoning requests be denied because, in part, the Georgia Department of Transportation has not signed off on allowing CHOA to build an access to the Greenway via the I-85 underpass. Right now the sidewalk path is only an idea, she said, and a Plan B needs BK

DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018


Community | 15


to be in place to ensure connectivity from CHOA’s campus to the Greenway. She also brought up the “cautionary tale” of the new QuikTrip gas station now going up on Buford Highway whose developers promised city officials to build a path from its site to the Greenway. The company broke its promise, she said, and now that sidewalk dead-ends into a dumpster. The company has said it will honor the commitment. “We were assured, but did not have enough in writing, and instead trusted what they said,” Eggers said. “The devil is in the details.” But at the Dec. 12 meeting, she eventually thanked CHOA for its support in working with the city to find a way to connect its campus to the Greenway. Her husband, Jack Honderd, a cyclist, also spoke against the project at the Dec. 6 Planning Commission meeting, raising concerns about CHOA’s intent to essentially close off its campus to the public when it is built out. He said the city’s bike-pedestrian plan, approved last year, includes planned bike trails that connect to CHOA’s property. Those plans are “wiped out” with CHOA’s long-term development, he said. He also said CHOA’s plans to close off its campus to the public and prohibit cyclists and pedestrians from cutting through the site to avoid the heavy road traffic on North Druid Hills Road and near I-85 does not promote alternative modes of transportation. Galloway said a 14-foot wide multiuse path for public use is planned around the perimeter of the campus, on North Druid Hills Road and the Northeast Expressway, where CHOA owns property and where such a path can be built. He said bike and pedestrian paths are included within the campus for use by physicians and staff who want to ride or walk to work. But because there often will be very sick children walking on the trails, sometimes using IVs and poles, it would be unsafe to allow commuters or other cyclists to zip through and put the kids at risk, Galloway said. At the Dec. 12 City Council meeting, Galloway reiterated CHOA’s plans to partner with the city to continue its mission of connectivity and providing alternate modes of transportation through trails and paths. Atlanta resident Craig Pendergrast also spoke against CHOA’s plans at the Dec. 6 Planning Commission meeting. He said he believed that CHOA’s plans for the campus were conducted “backwards” — that a DRI should be conducted first and traffic studies completed in conjunction with other neighboring jurisdictions, including the city of Atlanta. “You all had the good sense [in September] to require they present the master plan,” Pendergrast said. “But the master plan is extremely vague and highly conceptual. CHOA is doing this in a piecemeal fashion and it should be considered all together instead of rushing ahead and approving the unknown.” In an email to the commission, Pendergrast noted that while CHOA is a nonprof-


Ashord Park residents Matthew and Jamie Brewer, with their daughter Caroline, spoke at the Dec. 6 Brookhaven Planning Commission meeting in support of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s expansion plans. Caroline has had two brain surgeries at CHOA.

it and exempt from property taxes to local governments and school districts, its net asset value was over $4.2 billion in 2016. He suggested CHOA’s tax-exempt status not be considered for office buildings or parking decks. CHOA spokesperson Brian Brodrick said CHOA does own property around North Druid Hills Road where commercial businesses, such as restaurants, are located and they pay property taxes. “There are currently several businesses on Children’s-owned property on the site that pay property taxes, including some with long-term leases extending as far as 2028,” he said. “There may be other tax-

paying businesses in the future, depending on uses of various buildings.” Brookhaven residents Matthew and Jamie Brewer and their daughter, Caroline, spoke to the Planning Commission and City Council in favor of CHOA’s plans. In February Caroline had brain surgery at CHOA to remove a softball-sized tumor. Her prognosis was dire, Matthew Brewer said, but after an 8-hour surgery, Caroline was waking up and able to say hello to her parents. Caroline still has cancer, however, and had her second brain surgery just four weeks ago, Jamie Brewer said. “She is only here because of CHOA,” Jamie Brewer said. Rick Bennett, HOA president for Executive Parkview Townhomes on Woodcliff Way adjacent to the CHOA property, told the Planning Commission and City Council that overwhelmingly the people living in these townhomes support CHOA expansion efforts. The townhomes were annexed into Brookhaven a year ago. He acknowledged there would be inconvenience to residents due to construction noise and when the hospital complex is built out, people will have to deal with helicopter noise from children being flown to the hospital and sirens from those coming in by ambulance. “But we believe the mission of CHOA outweighs our inconvenience,” Bennett said.

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Boys & Girls Club to be torn down for residences


A rendering of the planned Ashton Woods development showing its half-acre public access green space as seen from Sylvan Circle.

Continued from page 1 RM-100 (multi-family residential). The rezoning makes way for Ashton Woods to build a 59-unit development at 1330 North Druid Hills Road. The townhome project will replace the building used by an organization that has been located in the city for 40 years. The Boys & Girls Club will close its Brookhaven location Dec. 20 and open in a new, larger facility next month in Chamblee. The vote follows the Dec. 5 vote by the Planning Commission to recommend approval. The Community Development Department also recommended approval. The new multifamily residential development will be built in the midst of two established neighborhoods, Broohaven Fields and Brookhaven Heights. North Druid Hills Road runs between the neighborhoods, but some residents say they consider the two neighborhoods essentially one large neighborhood. Numerous residents living in those

neighborhoods spoke out against the Ashton Woods development at the Dec. 5 Planning Commission meeting and at the Dec. 12 council meeting. Several people urged city officials to deny the development because, they said, it does not fit with the character area study that calls for protecting, preserving and maintaining single-family neighborhoods. “This is in the middle of one character area. You are going to build a wall between me and Brookhaven Heights,” said Kristin Rader, who lives on Sylvan Circle. Tony Bonno of Logan Circle said he had hoped the city would “not be at the mercy of developers” after it incorporated five years ago. “I feel I am sadly mistaken. The residents are overwhelmingly opposed, only to have [our concerns] fall on deaf ears,” he said. Some residents also said they feared a precedent would be set that will pave the way for more higher-density and multi-

family developments along this stretch of North Druid Hills Road. But council members responded that North Druid Hills Road is a major corridor near the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe MARTA station and the area invites higher density development near public transit as part of the city’s comprehensive plan. “I think this area is prime for redevelopment,” Councilmember Joe Gebbia said before voting in favor. “It’s so close to MARTA.” At the Dec. 5 Planning Commission meeting, where members voted 4-2 to recommend approval, Commissioner Michael Diaz noted during the character area studies conducted earlier this year considered Brookhaven Fields and Brookhaven Heights neighborhoods as one neighborhood. Community Development Director Patrice Ruffin said North Druid Hills Road is considered a corridor separate from the neighborhoods and not part of the interior of the neighborhoods. Zoning codes en-


courage higher density development along corridors, she said. Commissioner John Funny added at the Dec. 5 meeting that North Druid Hills Road is different today than it was 30 to 40 years ago and will continue to change as the city and metro Atlanta continue to grow and more people move to the area. “This application lives within the spirit of a comprehensive plan and character area. I don’t think this will be a situation where it destroys the character of our community,” Funny said. Commissioner Bert Levy, however, said the overriding message of the character area study was to “protect, preserve and maintain” single-family neighborhoods. “While staff has labeled [North Druid Hills Road] a corridor, I don’t see how this rezoning serves that goal” of the character area study, he added. At the Dec. 12 council meeting, Councilmember John Park said zoning is a delicate balance between private property rights and ensuring the community’s quality of

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life but that the “city is committed to protecting single-family homes.” The new development will include underground stormwater detention ponds where there is currently no stormwater plan at all, resulting in flooding on Sylvan Circle, he said. The developer will also be adding a turn lane on Briarwood Road to North Druid Hills Road, which should alleviate traffic, he added. And the development includes a nearly half-acre pocket park on Sylvan Circle that will be accessible to the public, Park said. The original site submitted to the city in July included 74 townhomes before being modified after community meetings to 64 townhomes. Within the 64 units were a five-unit “manor house,” or condo building. The condo units would range in size from 900 square feet to 1,400 square feet and cost approximately $300,000, to accommodate Mayor John Ernst’s request for more affordable housing. The main entrance for the development was also moved off Sylvan Road to Briarwood Road, with the fire access road located on Sylvan Road. In October, however, the Planning Commission recommended denying approval of the project because of its density of development and concerns it did not fit in with the character area of the Brookhaven Heights and Brookhaven Fields neigh-

antee a pocket park accessible to the public, she said. The addition of single-family housing also addressed concerns about a mix of uses, she said. Councilmember Bates Mattison, who represents the district where the development will go, cast the lone vote against the plan Dec. 12. He voted no after failing to receive a second to his motion to deny the zoning needed. Mattison said the plans do not meet the criteria reached by a consensus of those living in Brookhaven Heights and Brookhaven Fields to limit the rezoning of the property to RA-8. He added he believes strongly in the mission of the Boys & Girls Club and will continue to support its work in Chamblee. “I know you need to extract enough money [from the sale of the property] to make your move,” he said to several Boys & Girls Club representatives at the meeting. But both neighborhoods are adjacent to Peachtree Road and will be heavily affected by the future MARTA station redevelopment, he said, and they need to be protected from more high-density development. Several people, including some with ties to the Boys & Girls Club, spoke in favor of the development. Greg Parker said he recently moved to Brookhaven because he wanted to live near a MARTA station. “This development

Community | 17

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A map showing the location of the new Ashton Woods development outlined in red and in relation to other area developments.


borhoods. After receiving a deferral from the council, the developer went back to the drawing board and came up with the final plan that did get approval — a 54-unit development that includes eight detached single-family lots and 10 “manor home” units. Some residents asked the property to be zoned RA-8 (single-family residential) to limit the number of units to eight units per acre, or about 50 units. But to do so would eliminate the inclusion of affordable housing, which the city is trying to address, Councilmember Linley Jones said at the Dec. 12 meeting. “There is only about a nine-unit difference, and that difference being the manor house,” she said. The RA-8 zoning also would not guar-

would allow me to purchase a home and walk to MARTA,” he said. “I know a lot of people are talking about how long they have lived here, but I want my future to be here.” Robert Dunn, who works for the Boys & Girls Club, said he has been part of the long process to sell the property and to work with neighbors to devise a plan that would appease most people. “We took on a lot of concerns from the community,” he said, resulting in three different plans. “We’ve done everything we can to appease the masses.” The development, other than the pocket park, will be a gated community. The park will be open to the public.

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18 | Commentary

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Commentary / Cityhood is leading to regional collaboration Across metro Atlanta, citters Initiative grant from ARC ies are making notable proglast year to collaboratively enress. vision the future of the Buford Sandy Springs is transHighway corridor that runs forming a dated shopping through their cities. center into a vital civic and The six cities in north Fulcultural center. Chamblee ton are now finalizing their is reinventing its historsecond North Fulton Compreic downtown as a vibrant, hensive Transportation Plan. walkable place. Dunwoody With planning assistance from is improving pedestrian and Sam Shenbaga ARC, the cities are developing a bicycle access to shopping Manager of the Atlan- strategy that will help improve and MARTA. ta Regional Commis- mobility options for residents sion’s Community De- of each jurisdiction, realizing These ambitious efforts velopment Group. that what’s good for one city is are to be applauded, as they promise to improve quality of ultimately good for all of them. life for so many people. Those same north Fulton cities also But cities are also realizing that there’s share ambulance and dispatch serviconly so much they can do alone. Many es, allowing them to save money while key issues, from traffic congestion to ecomaintaining efficient response times. nomic revitalization, cross political lines And recently, city leaders from across and require a collaborative approach. the top end of I-285 met to discuss possiIndeed, a growing number of cities ble transit options in that congested corare joining forces to tackle problems and ridor and other ways of improving momake significant improvements. bility across their city boundaries. It’s A notable example is the Peachtree likely they will meet again to dig even Gateway Partnership, which includes deeper into this critical issue. the cities of Brookhaven, Chamblee, Collaborative efforts are also taking Doraville and Dunwoody. place elsewhere in the Atlanta region. The group, which formed a few years Consider the Aerotropolis Atlanta Alago with help from the Atlanta Regionliance, which launched a few years ago al Commission, is working to build a cowhen local governments, businesses and ordinated trail network and coordinate civic leaders near Hartsfield-Jackson Aton a range of issues, from transportalanta International Airport came togethtion planning to branding and marketer with the goal of making the area a beting. There’s enormous potential, and the ter place for businesses and residents. group is just getting started. The alliance worked with ARC to deMeanwhile, the cities of Doraville and velop a long-range vision for the area Chamblee were awarded a Livable Cencalled the Aerotropolis Atlanta Blue-

print. The group is now working on a range of projects, such as connecting employers to qualified workers and creating a trail network that may eventually link to the Atlanta BeltLine. Other notable programs include Learn4Life, a nonprofit collaborative focused on improving educational outcomes in metro Atlanta, and ARCHI, a collaborative that is working to make the region’s residents and communities healthier. Meanwhile, the region’s transportation agencies — ARC, Georgia DOT, MARTA, and GRTA/SRTA — are working closely with each other and local governments to provide us all with increased mobility options. To reflect the momentum around collective action, ARC chose “The Power of Collaboration” as the theme of this year’s State of the Region Breakfast, held last month. Our executive director, Doug Hooker, told the 1,400 people in attendance that the most pressing issues facing our region are simply too big, and too complex, for any one organization or political jurisdiction to address alone. After all, challenges like traffic, health, and education don’t stop at a city or county boundary. At ARC, we firmly believe that a community that works together is the best way to ensure a stronger, more resilient future for all of us. We encourage individuals and groups to come together around regional issues and start working toward solutions. Sometimes, all it takes is a conversation to move an entire region forward.

Guest Column / A high-profile media clash inspires a student journalist In my semester as one of two managing editors of the Tufts Daily, there’s one constant: everything is always an emergency. Often, I say that sarcastically, but Nov. 21 gave those words new meaning as our small paper stared down a potential lawsuit from former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. The battle reinforced the importance of journalism to me, both as a student and in a larger world.

correcting problems our copy editors uncover and doing a final check of our paper before it’s sent to our printer. I get out of the office at 12:28 — a full 32 minutes ahead of our deadline. The day isn’t over, though; I still need to finish an essay my professor had been kind enough to extend past its original Friday deadline. I Eddie Samuels plummet into bed around 4 Brookhaven resident, one of two managing ed- a.m.

itors at the Tufts Daily newspaper at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. He is a 2014 graduate of The Weber School in Sandy Springs.

Monday, Nov. 20: I get into the Daily’s office — three small rooms in a basement in a long-forgotten Tufts building — around 6 p.m. Five nights a week, I and dozens of other students work until the early morning to put together a paper to be distributed to the school community the next day. In my role as managing editor, most of my night is spent fact-checking,

Tuesday, Nov. 21: I wake up at 10 a.m. and check my phone. Nothing of particular note. We received a new op-ed from a contributor who had previously written a pair of pieces supporting a petition calling for Scaramucci’s removal from the board of advisors at the university’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. At noon, I make my typical run to pick

up a copy of our paper. I go to grab a bite to eat, mindlessly refreshing Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and emails. 12:08: I feel my phone vibrate on the table and reach to check it out. A new email: I’m sure it’s just another random emailing, informing us of some story that’s not a story. The subject line: “Demand to Immediately Retract Defamatory Public Statements and to Cease and Desist from Ongoing Defamation.” This was definitely not a typical email. Our opinion pieces had bothered a certain high-powered alum who spent 10 days in that White House job, before a profanity-ridden rant got him the boot. A brief series of texts back and forth to my fellow managing board members, and I was off to my 1:30 class. My phone never stops vibrating in my pocket and I step out to “go to the bathroom” and see 200plus missed messages. At 2:45, I get out of class, and at this point we’re in a weird holding position. Tufts is the smallest school with a daily BK

DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018

paper, and we are completely self-funded by selling ads. We can’t afford to fight a millionaire in a legal battle, but we’re not backing down. I leave Boston that night, headed to spend my Thanksgiving in St. Louis with family and, for the most part, we have our plan ironed out. We wanted to talk to an attorney from the Student Press Law Center to confirm that our understanding of the situation is right. At dinner one night, I pass my phone around the table as my family laughs at Scaramucci’s letter. By Saturday, Nov. 25, our strategy is set. We’re going to run the letter on our front page, and publish it online at 1 a.m. On Sunday, we’re all back for production, and we’re ready to run the cease-and-desist the following day. Halfway through the night, however, we get an email from the Boston Globe asking for comment. There’s nothing worse than being scooped on a story about your own paper. We end up releasing the cease-and-desist a few hours earlier than we’d intended to, but we got the story up. We expected some attention from media, but this story blew up in a way that we couldn’t have even predicted, with coverage in the New York Times and

Washington Post. The majority of the media frenzy told the story about how we expected. The small, sympathetic, student newspaper won the day. Scaramucci resigned from the board following the incident, describing it as “time to move on,” after a 35-year relationship with Tufts. In publishing an oped about the situation, our goal was never to force a resignation, and in fact, we were looking to talk to Scaramucci about the petition. It’s an interesting time to be a student looking for a career in journalism. Cries of “fake news,” whether from a Twitter troll or a politician, are common. This incident, more than ever, proved that there’s a group of people in this country who believe that money and influence give them the right to bully and deprive others of legitimate viewpoints. The incident was terrifying, but it was also thrilling. An attempt to stifle free speech ended up the largest story of the year and the most exciting night in the Daily office I’ve ever seen. These last few months have been frustrating, but rewarding, and this incident confirmed more than ever that journalism is what I want to do.

Letter to the Editor

GOP tax cuts are pure evil Karen Handel’s column that recently appeared in the Reporter amounted to an attempt to put lipstick on a pig when it comes to the Republican tax cut. [“GOP tax reform would help local families,” Nov. 24] In her column, Handel did what Donald Trump does best, which is lie lied through his teeth. The GOP tax plans amount to a massive giveaway to the wealthy and wealthy corporations. For every dollar of tax relief that benefits the middle class, fully $9 of tax cuts goes to the wealthy and wealthy corporations. This tax ripoff conclusively proves that Republican politicians are slaves of the rich. Favoring the rich is in the GOP DNA. This GOP tax plan will transfer billions of dollars of wealth from the bottom to the top, massively grow income inequality, and blow a trillion-and-a- half-dollar hole in the deficit. The Trump family will receive a billion-dollar windfall from this outrageous tax plan. The GOP politicians are massively cutting taxes on the rich in the expectation that the rich will show their appreciation over the GOP greed grab by showering massive campaign contributions on those GOP politicians who vote for this outrage. The GOP congressmen will attempt to pay for the deficit they caused with savage BK

Commentary | 19


cuts to the social safety net including cuts to Medicare, Social Security and Obamacare. How many seniors will lose their nursing room care? How many Americans will go hungry after they lose their food stamps? It is simply outrageous that the GOP would do away with the Estate Tax, which is only paid by the super-rich, and the Alternative Minimum Tax, which ensures that the wealthy pay something. The Trump tax cut would actually raise taxes of the least of these while savaging the social safety net the least of these depend on in order to pay for obscene tax cuts for the wealthy. The moral issue of our time is growing income inequality, which would be made worse by this evil GOP giveaway to the rich. It is time for a vicious and remorseless redistribution of wealth from the 1 percenters, who own so much of America’s wealth, to the middle-class, working-class and poor, who are cash-strapped. The GOP tax plan is pure evil ... especially given the suffering that will result from this class warfare. Forget the GOP class warfare. It is time for righteous class warfare that would benefit the many and not the few. W. Keith Watkins Brookhaven

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Taking the greeting card challenge If it’s Dec. 23 and I’m not sitting at my used to be my deadline. Then I startkitchen table behind a pile of unposted ed giving myself a grace period, and I greeting cards, then it’s just not Christstretched the deadline to New Year’s mas at my house. Day. When I still couldn’t meet that Suffice it to say that I have not mailed deadline, I got very liturgical, put three my cards yet. What’s more, I have not wise men on my cards, and marked the chosen the card theme, format, font or Epiphany (which arrives mercifully latgreeting, nor have I written my Annuer into January, on the 6th). al Blurb. (I’ve been writing I used the Epiphany deadthis column, instead.) line for a while, until one What I have done is year I tried following the Robin Conte is a writer lead of a friend who sends manage to corral all six of and mother of four who Valentine’s cards. But withmy family members togethlives in Dunwoody. She out the momentum of the er in the same spot long can be contacted at December madness pushing enough to take a group selfrobinjm@earthlink.net. ie, which will serve as the me along, I found myself pephoto for my card this year. tering out, like a balloon that This happened last June, beslowly wilts into a deflated cause the kids all materialand droopy state, waiting ized for a Father’s Day dinfor someone to poke the finer, and I couldn’t let that nal hole and squeeze the rest opportunity pass. of the life out of it. Yes, that The kids knew it was inwas my February-deadline evitable, as their main deself, and I still have a stack terrent to coming home is of Valentine’s-themed cards the threat of a family photo. from 1996 that never made it One year, I found myself to the mailbox. in mid-December still lackOne year I sent Easter ing a group photo, and I greetings, and one year I altook aim at the family treemost sent Fourth of July trimming in a last-ditch effort to capgreetings, but then I figured that Decemture the magic. I badgered the offspring ber was going to roll around again soon for poses and “candid shots” until one enough, so I just waited. son couldn’t stand it anymore. He took a But I never let more than two years picture of our namesake ornaments that pass, because I value the sentiment and were hanging on the tree and told me to the correspondence. More than wishuse that. I did. It worked great. ing people peace and joy and health So for me, The Photo is Challenge A and blessings and all the nice things of the card. that one can wish for at the conclusion Challenge B is Formatting the Photo of a year and the commencement of anonto 1,437 different options on Shutterother, the annual greeting card serves fly or Tiny Prints or Costco until I find to keep our personal connections alive. just the right fit, or deciding to scrap all (I know, I know, there’s always Facethat and format it onto a blank piece of book. But that’s another column.) paper. Truthfully, I only did the latter So if you’re on my list, I can pretty once, and five years later I’m still findmuch assure you that you will not reing drafts of it being used as scratch paceive a card from me by Dec. 25. But you per around the house. know what I look like, and you know Challenge C is The Blurb. that I wish you Merry Christmas and Here, I must provide you with some Happy Holidays. backstory. While I was smack dab And now I’ve told you something, as in the middle of my impressionable well. youth, I overheard my Girl Scout leader make a remark to a friend about holiday greeting cards. She said, “I know what you look like and I know you wish me a merry Christmas, so if you’re going to send me a card, tell me something.” And I’ve been telling people something with my greeting cards ever since. Challenge D is the SPECIAL Deadline. The greeting card snapshot of snowmen ornaments that Robin’s son took to get out of the dreaded family group photo. Christmas Eve

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Rabbi’s book recalls her silent retreat at a Christian monastery BY JOHN RUCH

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– ProsthodontisT – and we have one!!


Ordered by a doctor to rest her voice, a Sandy Springs rabbi retreated into the silent world of a Christian monastery, a religious experience she recounts in a new book called “The Voice of Silence.” Rabbi Dr. Analia Bortz of Congregation Or Hadash said her experience three years ago not only regained her voice, but was “revelation” of the power of meditation in an era of noise and distraction. “We live in a very cacophonSPECIAL ic world now, invaded every sinRabbi Dr. Analia Bortz. gle moment of our day,” Bortz said. “Our creative mind is going into filling spaces and time instead of [following] what the Greeks said, which was to admire the world.” Diagnosed with vocal cord strain and polyps, Bortz was advised to go many days without speaking. “It’s like a bird that their wings are cut,” Bortz said of being a rabbi, a professional communicator and counselor, receiving that order of silence. And in the monastery, she said, she found “a rescuer that restores the wings.” The Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Ga., is a regionally famous complex run by Trappist monks who live under a vow of silence and operate popular silent retreats where anyone can share in the contemplation. Bortz learned of it only by searching for retreats on the internet. A Christian monastery might not seem like a natural fit for a Jewish rabbi, and Bortz writes in her book that she was a bit anxious about some “conversion” references in its literature, but she is involved in interfaith programs and found the retreat appealing. “So I was curious. I was excited. I was not afraid,” she said. “I took it as an opportunity, a great opportunity, to learn.” On retreats, guests are given a room and basic supplies, then keep silent as they are free to wander the grounds or join the monks in five daily prayers. Bortz says she avoided the Christian rite of communion, but joined those prayers and some classes that were “very much about humanity and universal values and living an ethical life.” She also enjoyed one sound: the monks’ chanting from the Psalms, a section of the Bible sacred in both religions. “They never even knew I was Jewish,” said Bortz, as the many retreat participants naturally do not speak to each other about their identities or motivations. “I was surprised and very curious about, ‘Where are all these people coming from?’” she said, but instead focused on seeing “the divine spark in every human being, regardless of any religion.” “I found a lot of sound in silence,” said Bortz. “There is so much music that can go through your mind as you remain silent.” She does not mean literal music, but a realization of “the presence of God through nature” and in other people. Bortz has since returned to the monastery for a second retreat after experiencing the personal crisis of her mother falling ill, and says she would like to return again with a group of women for a special retreat. In her book, published in August by WestBow Press and available on Amazon.com, Bortz combines journal-like memories of her experience with advice on how others can experience and benefit from silence and meditation. “Silence may disguise loneliness or solitude,” she writes in her book, “or it can open the endless possibilities of an encounter with God, self, a fellow human, the world. Silence is an invitation to contemplate.”

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22 | Out & About

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Center admission info: 404-814-4000 or atlantahistorycenter.com.



Stroll through the gardens and grounds of the Atlanta History Center, decorated and illuminated by candlelight, where you can shop at a holiday Christmas Market filled with local crafts and experience holiday traditions in three historic houses. Santa visit, puppet show, improv comedy holiday show, storytelling, singalongs and musical performances. $20 adults; $15 members; $10 children. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead. Info: 404-814-4000 or atlantahistorycenter.com.


Perimeter North Family Medicine

Through Dec. 23, Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.

The Spruill Gallery continues its 24th annual Holiday Artists Market of locally crafted gifts and decor. 4681 AshfordDunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: 770394-4019 or spruillarts.org/gallery.

Welcoming new patients! Perimeter North Family Medicine is proud to serve the families throughout the Atlanta area. Dr. Mithun Daniel provides comprehensive, patient-centered care to patients of all ages, and offers a full range of medical services, including chronic disease management, preventative care, acute illness care, mental health services and specialized care for men and women’s health. We accept most insurance plans and offer a convenient location for the families of the Greater Atlanta area.

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Saturday, Jan. 6, through December 2018, Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sundays, noon to 5:30 p.m.

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This major exhibition at the Atlanta History Center explores the ways that Latinos are shaping the South and the South is shaping Latinos. Developed by Charlotte’s Levine Museum of the New South in collaboration with the Atlanta History Center and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, “NUEVOlution!” shares personal stories behind the statistics. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead. History

The Buckhead Library hosts a “Women Empowerment Conversation” with New York Times bestselling author Mary B. Morrison, who strives to eradicate double standards. Morrison’s son, Jesse Byrd, will also appear at the library in a discussion with teens about his young adult/ teen novels “King Penguin” and “Werewolf in New Orleans.” Free. 269 Buckhead Ave., Buckhead. Info: 404-814-3500.


Wednesday, Dec. 20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Friends of the Brookhaven Library will hold a “Mini Book Sale.” To get there, park behind the library and enter at the lower level. 1242 North Druid Hills Road N.E., Brookhaven. Info: 404-848-7140.

FAMILY FUN DAY AT THE MJCCA Monday, Dec. 25, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

An activity-packed day at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta features family-friendly movies, inflatables and ride-on toys, arts and crafts, table tennis, basketball, indoor swimming, and a community service opportunity. Food available for purchase until 2 p.m. Free and open to the community. MJCCA Zaban Park campus, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atlantajcc.org or call Ashley Cohen at 678-812-3861.


The New Horizons Concert Band of Atlanta invites senior musicians, ages 55 and up, to join the band, whether your skills are polished or rusty. New Horizons performs at churches and community events in north Atlanta, often for senior citizens in independent living facilities. Hear the band rehearse Wednesdays at 1 p.m. at St. John’s United Methodist Church, 550 Mt. Paran Road, Sandy Springs. Registration info: AtlantaNewHorizonsBand.org or call 770-978-1287.

DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018

Out & About | 23




Dec. 18-22, Dec. 26-28 and Jan. 2-6.

Dec. 21-22, Dec. 26-29 and Jan. 2-3.

Half-day and fullday options are available at this camp for ages 2 to 13. Kids play outside and discover secrets of nature. 4055 Roswell Road, Buckhead. Registration info: bhnp.org.

Kids will study the winter climate’s effect on the animals, plants and habitats of Dunwoody Park. Half-day sessions for 3- and 4-year-olds. Full-day sessions for kindergarten through fifth-grades, with early drop-off and late pickup available. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Registration info: dunwoodynature.org.




Jan. 2-5 (for Fulton County).

Camp Kingfisher offers hikes, animal encounters, outdoor games and more summer fun in the winter. Full-day, with free extended-day options. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Registration info: campkingfisher@chattnaturecenter.org or 770-9922055, ext. 222.

Wednesday, Jan. 3, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kids ages 5 to 10 can explore art through drawing, painting, collage or clay projects as they create keepsakes. Extended-day available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Registration info: SUBMIT YOUR EVENT LISTING WITH US AT spruillarts.org.

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Healthy Holidays!! 5 TIPS FOR OLDER ADULTS TO STAY ACTIVE AND ENGAGED DURING THE HOLIDAYS • Physical activity: Taking a walk after a hearty holiday meal is a good idea for those of any age, but it is particularly beneficial to seniors. • Healthy diet: Lean meats, such as turkey breast, serve as a healthy alternative to red meat. Other “super foods” for older adults that are beneficial in holiday meals are blueberries, flax seed, carrots, eggs, nuts and salmon. • Sharp minds: Designing holiday festivities around skill-based games such as Scrabble, checkers, backgammon or Wii, not only makes the event fun for party-goers, but it can also help seniors enhance cognitive function. • Social ties: While group activities in family homes or senior centers can be the focus of holiday celebrations, aging adults can also benefit from receiving daily calls or emails to help them feel connected to those they care about.





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26 | Perimeter Business

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More than a year after a massive leadership transition lowered its public profile, the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts is emerging to launch a new master planning process that may be called “Perimeter: The Next Generation.” New Executive Director Ann Hanlon is essentially rebuilding the self-taxing business districts’ organization after longtime leader Yvonne Williams’ surprise resignation for personal reasons in September 2016 left it in turmoil. Hanlon has overseen a nearly clean sweep of the staff — former key members resigned or were laid off — and says the PCIDs need a sharper focus on transportation projects, better intergovernmental relations, and that coordinated master plan, which will be conducted with general public input. “I’m personally committed to make sure the entire community is on board with what we’re doing,” Hanlon said in a recent interview at the PCIDs office in Sandy Springs’ Northpark complex. “I live in Dunwoody and my neighbors are going to fuss at me if I don’t.” The PCIDs are two separate but jointly operated districts in Perimeter Center, one on the DeKalb County side and one on the Fulton County side, whose members voluntarily pay extra taxes to fund local improvements. The PCIDs funds some infrastructure projects — including a $10 million contribution to the state’s I-285/Ga. 400 interchange recon-

struction — and also such programs as Perimeter Connects, which advises employees about alternative commuting options. Most of those existing programs and planning efforts will continue, Hanlon said, though “we’re going to try to do a better job of explaining what we do.” With revenue of around $7.7 million a year, she added, the PCIDs need a master plan to organize and expand those efforts. “We’re going to begin a master plan process, hopefully in the first quarter of next year,” said Hanlon, who had a similar plan in her previous job running the Alpharetta-based North Fulton Community Improvement District. “Generally, [with] $7.7 million a year, we need to have an academic, thoughtful plan for how to spend it.” That may include such small, unglamorous projects as filling in gaps in local sidewalks. But it can include “very large things,” Hanlon said, and a “very compelling” one she has in mind is improving the looks and accessibility of Perimeter Center’s three MARTA stations. Earlier on the day of the interview, she had walked the property beneath the Dunwoody MARTA Station tracks where PCIDs has a long-stalled concept of creating a new park. “I’m coming from [North] Fulton, where we were trying to get transit for years,” Hanlon said, adding that in Perimeter Center “we’ve got [those] crown jewels of the commercial real estate market in our district.” PCIDs also need to adapt to a “new

DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018

day” in transportation planning, Hanlon said, with local cities launching new projects and new technology, such as self-driving vehicles, coming along. She said the PCIDs have not been involved in recent cross-city talks about I-285 transit and that it is unclear what role the organization might play, she said, but “we’d champion it.” Perimeter Center directly includes two counties and three cities — Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs — and its projects often coordinate with governments farther afield. Hanlon has hired a dedicated government relations director, Linda Thompson, who previously served as a liaison to Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker and Fulton Commissioner Liz Hausmann. Thompson says she’s well aware that Perimeter Center is the “center for gravity” for the economy of several jurisdictions. One relationship to immediately improve is with Sandy Springs, which is suing the PCIDs over the previous staffs’ paperwork errors on a streetscape project which forced a payback of $2.8 million in federal funds. “That was my first phone call … It’s important that we get that figured out,” said Hanlon, adding that the PCIDs is reviewing the files on all of its federally funded projects. As a local resident, Hanlon is also aware that local cities are more than Perimeter Center. She calls Dunwoody “the tale of two cities,” with her singlefamily residential area distinct from Perimeter Center’s mall and office towers. Within Perimeter Center, another goal is to expand the PCIDs’ membership. The North Fulton CID expanded by 40 percent under Hanlon’s leadership, she said, adding that organizations “should always be in growth mode.” One thing that won’t change is the focus on transportation. “Our strength here is … in building transformational infrastructure projects,” Hanlon said. “That is the lane I see us staying in … It’s what we do.”

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28 | Education

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Jordan Jones

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Editor’s note: Through our “Standout Student” series, Reporter Newspapers showcases some of the outstanding students at our local schools. To recomeryday praying they get something to eat.” mend a “Standout Student” for our series, Jones was inspired to volunteer by his please email editor@ReporterNewspapers. sister’s service accomplishments. net with information about the student and “She really paved the way in introducwhy you think he or she should be featured. ing service to me. There was never realJordan Jones recently won the Gold ly a big epiphany. Service was just somePresident’s Volunteer Service Award, thing that I always made sure to do, not which is awarded for achieving over 250 because I had to, but because I wanted to,” hours of community service — almost said Jones. “Usually, if a service opportuni10-and-a-half days — in one year. ty came about, I’d just decide to do it and The honor is awarded by the federal government for volunteering at qualified organizations. The gold award requires the most volunteer hours. Jones primarily volunteers at Crossroads Community Ministries (CCM), a nonprofit organization located in downtown Atlanta that provides homeless people free meals and other services. Jones said he brings his set of SPECIAL skills and knowledge to Jones and Clyde Corbin, the kitchen director at CCM through many difCrossroads Community Ministries, pose with toiletries collected in a drive Jones organized. ferent activities. “I have done all sorts go with the flow, so to speak. It’s weird, I of things. I have run toiletry and book bag know, but I haven’t really thought that drives, sold fidget spinners to raise money, much of what I’ve done. It was always just made sandwiches for them to serve to the common sense to me.” homeless, and served breakfast early in Jones said his one regret is not getting the morning in their kitchen,” Jones said. more of his fellow students and friends While serving breakfast has been a to volunteer at CCM, but he is working to great experience for Jones, he saw othmake Lovett a certified organization for er community needs where he felt he the President’s Volunteer Service award could help. so hours students spend volunteering for “It is definitely the most fun, but I reLovett organizations can count towards realized I could help out more by doing the ceiving the award. other things I did,” he said. “Looking back, I wish I had gotten Jones made $373 to donate to CCM by more people involved with me,” Jones selling fidget spinners, handheld spinsaid. “However, this year, I am working ning gadgets that have surged in popuwith my service coordinator at school to larity in the past year, to his classmates. make Lovett a certified organization for “It also felt good that it was a money the President’s Volunteer Service Award. donation. I am positive that my friends The intent is to give students the extra moat CCM know where that money needs tivation to not just rack up the hours, but to go most,” he said. rack up the experience of working with In addition to his fidget spinner enterthe different people of our community.” prise, Jones has also organized a toiletry drive for CCM. What’s Next? “I reached out to various private comJones plans to attend college in Georpanies, like my dentist and mother’s health gia. He laments he won’t be able to volunclub, who sent loads of toothbrushes, teer as frequently as he has while in high toothpaste, floss and various other staple school, but hopes others will continue to items that most people don’t think about. volunteer as he has. I couldn’t imagine living without tooth“There is always time to do something paste or soap,” Jones said. “I organized the for someone else,” he said. toiletries myself into plastic bags and then This article was reported and written by gave them to CCM. CCM then distributed Charlie Benedict, a junior at The Westminthe kits to the homeless men, women, and ster Schools. children who walk through their doors ev-

DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018

Classifieds | 29


HELP WANTED Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber - Event Coordinator/ Administrative Assistant - Oversight of all Chamber Events: Plans and executes all aspects of events, Weekly/Monthly Newsletters/ Graphics, Administrative Duties: Welcome Receptionist, Onboarding of new members, Manage Database (ChamberMaster), Answering Telephones/order supplies & Securing Conference Rooms. Send resume to jenny@sandysprings.org

Creative Hospice & Palliative Care of Marietta, Inc. d/b/a Homestead Hospice seeks Certified Nursing Assistant to work under the direction and supervision of an RN, assumes responsibility and accountability for assignments for designated time frame, assisting other nursing staff in providing patient care according to established methods/policies/standards within the scope of Certified Nursing Assistant practice. Licensed CNA with min High School diploma or it foreign equivalent plus one year experience as nursing assistant. 40 hrs/week. Send resume to 1 North Tennessee Street, Cartersville, GA 30120.

Home Services Directory

Front Office – Well established psychology practice in Sandy Springs looking for a parttime front office staff/receptionist. Looking for someone to join our team who coordinates closely with clinical staff to meet the needs of our practice, warmly relates to clients, and is resourceful, detail-oriented, and organized. Computer skills required. Please email resume to dr.spencer@bia1.com

SERVICES AVAILABLE Driveways & Walkways – Replaced or repaired. Masonry, grading, foundations repaired, waterproofing and retaining walls. Call Joe Sullivan 770-616-0576. Home Tending – Regular inspections of your unoccupied property…”0n market or just away”. Call Charles at 404-229-0490.


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30 | Community

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City Council delays vote on Overlay District rewrite




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BY DYANA BAGBY The City Council says it wants more public input before voting on recommended changes to the Brookhaven-Peachtree Overlay District that address density, height and parking. The council voted Nov. 28 to delay the vote until Jan. 23 after Councilmember Bates Mattison said he wanted more time to receive comments from residents. The council did seem to favor many of the recommendations made by the Planning Council at its Nov. 1 meeting. The district covers Dresden Drive and Peachtree Road, including the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe MARTA station. The draft Overlay District rewrite recommends the area be divided into three distinct zoning districts that address issues such as building height and the number of units allowed per acre. The Brookhaven-Peachtree Overlay rewrite is the result of comments received during the Character Area Study on Brookhaven residential areas. Throughout the public process of the study, participants discussed the existing zoning regulations in the Brookhaven-Peachtree Corridor Overlay and the need to better define the community’s vision for this area and to provide regulations that would support it. The draft proposes the area be divided into three Peachtree Road Districts, or PR Districts: PR-1, currently known as sub-area 1, includes the Peachtree Road corridor from North Druid Hills Road to Oglethorpe University; PR-2, the current sub-area 2, includes Dresden Drive, Brookhaven Park and Town Brookhaven; PR-3 includes Apple Valley Road. The Planning Commission on Nov. 1 recommended a version of the rewrite that included several tweaks, including requiring developers to apply for special land use permits for multi-family developments in PR-1 with more than 120 units per acre. CHANGES PROPOSED IN THE REWRITE INCLUDE: • in PR-3, reducing the height buildings are allowed to rise to a maximum of three stories, but allowing up to four stories as an incentive for developers. To receive the incentive, a developer could, for example, make 20 percent of a project green space. • no minimum parking requirements for multi-family developments in PR-1. While financers of such developments tend to require one parking space per unit, city officials say they want to set the tone for future development and redevelopment as the city tackles affordability issues and tries to create a more walkable, transit-oriented community. The City Council voted in February to award a $135,000 contract to Atlanta-based urban planning firm TSW to rewrite the Overlay District, with the intention of completing the work in six months. The draft rewrite follows the city’s study of neighborhood character areas, which was added to the city’s comprehensive plan this year. Mayor John Ernst and the City Council also wanted the rewrite to address concerns raised by residents living in neighborhoods surrounding bustling Dresden Drive. Apparent confusion between what the city wants and what developers say the Overlay District allows also led to the rewrite. Two proposed multiuse developments on Dresden Drive — one approved by the council and another denied — are currently in litigation. A proposed 6-story multifamily complex on Peachtree Road is also in litigation.

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DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018

Public Safety | 31


Police Blotter / Brookhaven From Brookhaven Police reports dated Dec. 3 through Dec. 10. The following information was pulled from Brookhaven’s Police-2-Citizen website.

3900 block of Peachtree Road — On


3100 block of Buford Highway — On

4400 block of Peachtree Road — On

Dec. 3, in the early morning, a home was forcefully burglarized.

Dec. 5, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting. Dec. 5, in the evening, parts were taken from a car. 3100 block of Clairmont Road — On Dec. 5, at night, a car was reported stolen.

2400 block of Briar-

cliff Road — On Dec. 3, in the morning, a shoplifting incident was reported.

1100 block of Town Boulevard — On Dec. 6, in the evening, mail theft was reported.


block of Brookhaven Lane — On Dec. 3, in the evening, an entering auto incident was reported.

1800 block of Northeast Expressway — On Dec. 6, at night, items were stolen from a car.

Dec. 3, after midnight, a man was arrested and accused of aggravated assault.

night, a man was arrested and accused of driving unlicensed.

2700 block of Buford Highway — On

2600 block of Buford Highway — On

Dec. 3, in the early morning, a battery was reported.

Dec. 4, after midnight, a woman was arrested and accused of violating probation.

1200 block of Executive Park Drive —

3400 block of Buford Highway — On

On Dec. 3, in the early morning, a simple battery was reported.

Dec. 4, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of public intoxication and consumption.

1300 block of Briarwood Road — On

Dec. 3, at night, an aggravated assault involving a gun was reported.

3300 block of Buford Highway — On

3100 block of Buford Highway — On

Dec. 4, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of robbery.

Dec. 6, in the early morning, a battery was reported.

2700 block of Buford Highway — On

3800 block of Peachtree Road — On

Dec. 4, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of public indecency.

Dec. 6, at noon, a man was arrested and accused of family violence.

3300 block of Buford Highway — On

3500 block of Buford Highway — On

Dec. 4, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of driving unlicensed.

Dec. 9, at night, a man was arrested and accused of simple battery.

3500 block of Buford Highway — On


Dec. 4, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of marijuana possession with intent to distribute.

Brookhaven Connect

3300 block of Buford

Highway — On Dec. 3, at night, a man was arrested and accused of strong-arm robbery charges.

3300 block of Buford Highway — On

Dec. 4, at night, items were stolen from a car.

1200 block of Executive Park Drive —

3100 block of Buford Highway — On

On Dec. 3, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of criminal trespass.

Dec. 9, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of an armed robbery.

3500 block of


1500 block of Dresden Drive — On

Buford Highway — On Dec. 4, after mid-

3200 block of Buford Highway —

On Dec. 4, in the morning, a man was charged with marijuana possession.





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124 Perimeter Center West, Atlanta, GA 30346 • (770) 395-1678 Mon-Thurs 8am-10pm, Fri & Sat 8am-11pm, Sun 12:30pm-10pm

Prices valid 12/15/2017 - 1/1/2018. Total Wine & More is not responsible for typographical errors,

human error or supplier price increases. Products while supplies last. We reserve the right to limit quantities. It is illegal to sell alcohol below cost in the State of Georgia. In the event of a price error or price match, customer satisfactions cannot go below our purchase cost. Some items in limited quantities at the listed prices. Total Wine & More is a registered trademark of Retail Services & Systems, Inc. © 2017 Retail Services & Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Please drink responsibly. Use a designated driver. * Spirits available in our Kennesaw and Alpharetta locations only.




Perimeter Square Shopping Center

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740 Ernest W. Barrett Pkwy., Ste. 500, Kennesaw, GA 30144 (678) 354-0168 Mon-Thurs 8am-10pm, Fri & Sat 8am-11pm, Sun 12:30pm-10pm

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