The council entertained a public hearing on the matter the morning of May 28, then heard public comments at its regular meeting that night, before deferring the decision until Aug. 20. Council members want to speak with the police chief and hear from businesses and residents more, said Mayor J. Max Davis.
Aubrey Villines, attorney for the Pink Pony, addressed the council with his concerns in closing the club early, stating the business brings in $300,000 annually, and $450,000 in taxes to DeKalb County.
“But if you don’t want us, let us go,” he said. “And start talking about how you’re not pro-business and don’t want alcohol. The ordinance you have on the books puts Pink Pony out of business.”
Steven Marco, of Olde Blind Dog Pub, also asked the council to carefully consider their options before making a decision.
“I’ve spent many dollars to be in Brookhaven,” he said. “It’s unfair to change the regulations and not grandfather businesses in. To tell them they have to operate differently is ridiculously unfair and will end up with a lot of litigation.”
Others said they put all their money into their businesses and the council should consider people’s livelihoods.
“Don’t do a broad sweeping amendment that will hurt so many people,” said Justin Pate. “I’ve got every dime invested in my business here. It’s all I’ve got.”
In other business, the council heard concerns about a possible height maximum of 35 feet on homes.
Lifelong resident Joseph Bell said he wants to stay in Brookhaven and build his first home with his new wife and begin a family, but the requirement would not allow for a traditional two-story home, which is what he has in mind.
“We’re not trying to change the base of the community,” he said. “We’re trying to have a home we can grow into.”
Bell, along with others, added the larger homes would make Brookhaven an attractive city and raise the tax base.
The council will consider the possible ordinance at a later meeting.