Development

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CHCA: discussion on Emory Annexation

Emory Annexation FAQ

Dekalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader held a meeting Aug. 22 to discuss Emory University’s announcement that it would seek annexation into Atlanta. Clairmont Heights Civic Association President Peter Rumsey attended for the neighborhood.

Jeff Rader led the discussion, with input from Dekalb County School Board member Marshall Orson. Other public officials attending included state Sen. Elena Parent, state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, Atlanta City Councilman Alex Wan, and Dekalb County Commissioner Kathie Gannon. Also in the audience were about 40 people from surrounding neighborhood associations. No one from Emory spoke at the meeting.

A map showing Emory University’s land is available here.

Radar also distributed a handout about annexation methods.

Here is a summary of the discussion:

How will Emory be annexed into Atlanta?

Rader said that Emory will likely petition using the 100% method of annexation, which would not require voter approval. For this method, Emory needs 50 feet of land contiguous with Atlanta’s border. Radar believes this border is around the Sage Hills apartment complex on Briarcliff.

What do county officials see as the biggest issues about the annexation?

Rader cited zoning and land use as one of the biggest issues. He said it’s an open question how well Atlanta will represent the interests of the surrounding neighborhoods. He is also concerned about the fire station on Clifton and if services to Dekalb residents will be affected.

What is included in Emory’s map?

Rader showed a map that included all Emory property. Emory has said the map will not include Druid Hills High School. Although the CDC campus is within Emory’s borders, it’s exempt because it’s federal property. It’s not clear whether private homes, the Emory Point commercial area, or the Dekalb County fire station on Clifton will be included.

What is Emory’s timeline and what is driving it?

No one could say for certain, but audience members said:

  • Emory wants it done by year’s end

  • Emory is motivated by its interest in light rail. Atlanta has a half-penny sales tax on the ballot in November that is designated to expand MARTA. If Emory joins Atlanta, it could be involved in the conversation about how to use those funds.

  • The annexation is likely to move quickly

In a statement, the university said it was motivated by wanting an Atlanta address.

What will be the impact on schools?

Emory claims the move will not have an impact on schools, but Orson said he is not convinced that’s true. He sees a limited impact on tax dollars from the loss of some commercial area (if included in the map). He said there might be a secondary cascading effect where streets and neighborhoods also seek annexation. Orson said the state Legislature should help create something to ensure continuity of schools in DeKalb County by creating separation between Municipal Governance and School Governance. Rep. Oliver seconded this – saying it was very possible.  

What about surrounding neighborhood? Radar said surrounding neighborhoods have the same option to approach Atlanta as Emory does.   

What is the impact on services?

Radar said he is very concerned about the fire station on Clifton. It’s unclear yet what the impact would be.

What are the revenue implications?

Orson said there could be some minimal loss of commercial tax revenue and the loss of sales tax collected in the Emory area.   

What does Dekalb County have planned in terms of mass transit?  The county doesn’t have a plan.  One audience member was pointedly frustrated and said that this lack of strategy is what pushes people to get out of unincorporated DeKalb.

What are other neighborhood associations saying?

Anne Wallace of the Druid Hills Civic Association pointed out that the the Emory annexation would remove the option for Decatur to annex  commercial property along Clairmont Rd. down to the Emory Clairmont Campus. That “finger” has been on some Decatur annexation maps in the past. North Decatur Road would be the only access for Druid Hills to the rest of unincorporated DeKalb, and the law doesn’t allow for islands. Her major concern is that the annexation puts the Druid Hills neighborhood in a challenging position with their contiguity to the rest of unincorporated DeKalb.

Rader asked for input on what DeKalb County should do to preserve its interests.  He said there are narrow options for a county to challenge annexation but it was not clear if that was what people wanted. He did not elaborate on those options or discuss next steps.

Rader email: rader@dekalbcountyga.gov

News coverage:

Atlanta Loop

AJC

11Alive

 

 

Update on Subdivision Application for N. Superior Ave.

Yesterday evening (Tuesday, May 10, 2016), the City of Decatur's Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval for a Subdivision ("Lot Split") Application of a single property at 552 Willivee Drive into four individual lots (the existing house on Willivee and three additional lots on North Superior Avenue). The Decatur City Commissioners will take up this application next week (Monday, May 16, 2016, 7:30 pm).

Fuqua Development - Phase II

CHCA plays an important role in providing a formal way for our neighborhood's residents to influence how major property development occurs. Our county commissioners expect developers to reach out to groups like CHCA and respond to our concerns before they will consider things like zoning variances, for example. CHCA board members worked with others over the course of many months to hammer out the agreement described below. The CHCA board eagerly seeks your input, concerns, and expertise related to how development takes place around the edges of Clairmont Heights. Let us know if you're available to represent our neighborhood in this way.

From Planning & Zoning Board Member Jim Smith:

Late last month, the Dekalb Board of Commissioners approved the rezoning and land use changes requested by the Fuqua Company to allow Phase II of their project at the intersection of Medlock/N. Decatur/Scott Blvd. Phase I involved the property of Scott Boulevard Baptist Church and the single family homes on Barton Way, immediately behind the church. Phase II involved the single family homes on Blackmon Drive, the next street to the southeast of the intersection. There have been many articles written in Decaturist, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and on both the CHCA and MANA websites, regarding the details of the project, but here are a few key numbers for Phase II: 450 apartments (with a certain percent set aside with rents that qualify as “workforce housing” per the Urban Land Institute); buildings designated retail/dining, including an organic grocery store;  potential office space; and either one restaurant with a drive-thru and one bank with a drive-thru or two restaurants or two banks, final layout unknown.

"Demolition finally begins for North Decatur/Scott site"

AJC: After months delay, demolition’s begun on the Scott Boulevard Baptist Church, future site for Fuqua Development’s mixed-use project. Razing the church and the nine homes behind it on Barton Way should take about 60 days according to Fuqua Principal Jeff Fuqua. Also, DeKalb County’s board of commissioners approved Phase two on Tuesday, which Fuqua calls the project’s “last major hurdle.” [READ MORE]

 

Fuqua Phase II plan deferred by Board of Commissioners

MANA: Fuqua Development presented its plans for Phase II of the Decatur Crossings development at the May 26, 2015 Board of Commissioners meeting (meeting notes can be found here). Fuqua had submitted four requests: 

1. change the land use designationfrom SUB(Suburban) to TC (Town Center); 
2. rezone property from O‐I (Office‐Institutional) and R‐75 (Single‐Family Residential to OCR (Office‐Commercial‐Residential), for a mixed‐use development with 95,000 square feet of retail,restaurant, and office space and 450 multifamily residential units;
3. increase the height of multifamily residential buildings in a mixed use development from the allowed maximum of two stories to five stories;to allow two drive‐through lanes for two commercial buildings; and 
4. allow a drive‐through restaurant  [READ MORE]
 

Emory Governmental and Community Affairs Quarterly Community Meeting Tue 3/31, 6:30-8:00 PM

Emory - Governmental and Community Affairs: 
Quarterly Community Meeting 
Tuesday, March 31, 6:30-8:00 PM
1599 Clifton Road Building; Room 5-C

(Great meeting for updates on Emory’s building plans including the hospital, as well as shuttle service, CCTMA, Emory Pointe Phase II etc.)

Directions: 
"Turn off Clifton Road by the entrance sign to the Emory Conference Center Hotel, and then turn right at the stop sign to go into the parking deck attached behind the 1599 building. Be sure to park on the Visitor Level so you can access the lobby entrance. There will be someone in the lobby to escort you to the elevator and room 5-C will be on the 5th floor, near the elevator."

questions:
Betty E. Willis
Senior Associate Vice President 
1599 Clifton Road, NE, 5th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30322
Phone: 404.727.5312
betty.willis@emory.edu
www.emory.edu/GCA
www.cliftoncommunitypartnership.org

 

"Decatur development’s second phase adds 450 apartments"

AJC: [READ MORE]

 

Notes from Phase II community meeting: Fuqua's "Decatur Crossing" development

MANA: The meeting was held on March 2 at the North Decatur United Methodist Church to share information about Phase II of Fuqua's proposed development. Phase I has been approved and Fuqua expects demolition of the old Scott Bldvd Baptist Church and houses on Barton Way to begin shortly.

Details on Phase I, approved in April 2014, are available here. Phase II plans had been vague because there was no certainty about Fuqua's ability to purchase homes on Blackmon and extend the development; those plans had included owner-occupied town homes as a buffer between the new development and existing Blackmon homes. [MORE INFO]

 

Community Meeting 3/2 for N. Decatur-Scott Blvd (across from future Walmart)

Fuqua Development, LP (“Fuqua”) will be hosting a meeting on Monday, March 2, 2015 to preview the concept for “Phase II” of its development at the intersection of Scott Boulevard and North Decatur Road.
 
As many of you know, Fuqua worked hand-in-hand with a Cross-Neighborhoods Committee on Phase I and has held preliminary meetings with the same Committee in an effort to ensure that Phase II is consistent with the communities’ vision for the area. 
 
Features of Phase II will include:
Community green space
A continuation of the sidewalk and streetscape treatment proposed for Phase I
A new north/south roadway between North Decatur Road and Scott Boulevard, with traffic signals proposed at each intersection
An authentic mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented environment, with retail, restaurant, office and residential uses
 
We encourage you to come hear about this exciting project and provide the meeting details below:
Monday, March 2, 2015
7:00 p.m. to 8:00 pm
North Decatur United Methodist Church
1523 Church Street
 

"Suburban Plaza update: bowling alley gone, may be replaced by book store"

Decaturish: Decatur’s Suburban Lanes Bowling Alley will not remain in the redeveloped Suburban Plaza. A book store may end up taking some of the basement space of the plaza on the Church Street side near where the bowling alley is now, according to developer, Selig Enterprises.   [READ MORE]

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