Brookhaven approves Dresden Village development

 

BrookhavenThe Brookhaven City Council voted unanimously Jan. 24 to approve the proposed Dresden Village development.

The future mixed-use development will sit on 3.73 acres along Dresden Drive between Caldwell Road and Parkside Drive. The council approved the project with 31 conditions.

Before the council’s vote, supporters of the project and Timothy “J.R.” Connolly II, chief executive officer of the developer, pleaded their case to the council.

“We believe we have the right plan, the right architecture, the right density, the right retail, the right restaurants, we have the right sponsors for this site, and now is the time to move forward and finish off this missing section of the Dresden corridor,” Connolly said.

The approval came three weeks after the Brookhaven Planning Commission approved the city’s community development department’s report for the proposal, which recommended approving the project with 29 conditions. The city council approved two additional conditions.

In October 2016, Connolly submitted an updated amendment for the proposal, which reduced the number of multifamily residential units from 194 to 169, added 10 townhomes and increased the amount of commercial space from 20,000 to 20,700 square feet,” according to the report. Proposed on-site parking increased from 397 to 485 spaces. One parcel at 2536 Caldwell Road was added to the rezoning proposal, and included the redevelopment of a standalone restaurant.

The council approved the project with seven townhomes, 169 apartments, 20,700 square feet of retail and restaurant space, a six-story parking deck with 473 spaces and a fifth story to the apartment buildings.

Several residents spoke against the project. Karen Dernavich said changes made by the developer were done within hours before the hearings and none of the changes address density or building height.

“They have not brought their A game,” she said. “How many last-minute changes are we going to put up with that do nothing to address the density and height issue here? How many bites of the apple are we going to give them to try to find a way to shove 169 apartments at a site that can only handle about 110?”

Councilman John Park, who represents the district where the project will be constructed, said he doesn’t like the project because of the density but said the developer has rights to the property.

“For me, ultimately what it comes down to is balancing the property rights of the owner with the health and welfare of the neighborhood, and so we have to look at all of those various components,” Park said.

“There is no one gotcha thing that will definitely say we have to approve this or we have to deny this.

There are a lot of different factors and I spent the past year listening to both sides…and taking a step back and trying to assess the basic fairness of the process and how are we going to go about.

“We may not agree but it’s a basic fairness issue, it’s a basic rights issue,” he added.

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