Leaders of the Brookhaven-Peachtree Community Alliance presented their vision for the Peachtree Road corridor there during an informative session for Brookhaven mayoral and city council candidates late last month.
The group is behind the Liveable Cities Initiative, which began in earnest nearly a decade ago, targeting the Brookhaven Peachtree Overlay districts. Consistent enforcement of the existing LCI Overlay zoning ordinance is a key element of its mantra.
The alliance is pushing, among other things, the construction of a town center on the Brookhaven MARTA site on Peachtree Road.
That venue would serve as a community gathering place and the “heart” of Brookhaven, said alliance board member Kathy Forbes.
“Imagine [as a resident] how you will feel as you sit in the middle of that town center surrounded by trees, green space, fountains or other interesting architectural features,” Forbes said. “If you have children, imagine how wonderful it will be to stroll to the festival being held there … instead of spending $50 to entertain your kids at the movie theater.”
The Brookhaven Peachtree Overlay Ordinance — the actual zoning code adopted in 2007 — embodies the LCI study recommendations and incentivizes positive development, alliance insiders said.
The creation of mixed-use developments and a walkable city environment are at the top of the alliance’s priority list.
“With no expansion land for further development, new growth can only occur on our existing properties and promoting efficient use of land will limit new intrusion into existing single family neighborhoods,” said board member Michael Elliot. “Instead of single freestanding commercial buildings surrounded by an asphalt expanse or parking and circulation, new development will combine multiple residential and commercial uses.”
By that line of thinking, a single property could be comprised of an apartment complex, condominiums, office space, medical offices, retail space, restaurants and more.
“The community will have more opportunities for living, working and having access to commercial services,” Elliot said.
The alliance is holding up the Village Place property on Dresden Drive as a key point of reference.
“Village Place has shown the development community throughout Atlanta that the economics of well-planned, mixed-use development … can work on a small scale,” said board member Joel Putterman. “It has become the catalyst for attracting investors to commit to additional development projects in the area that will further the liveable community initiatives of the Brookhaven Peachtree Overlay districts.”