A panel that will work to resolve DeKalb County’s opposition to an annexation of some 30 acres of commercial property into the city of Brookhaven is expected to reach a final decision by April 10.

The panel was appointed Feb. 10 by the state Department of Community Affairs. The volunteer members are Charles Mitchell of Lilburn, a political science professor at Troy University in Alabama; Bob Weatherford of Acworth, former Cobb County commissioner; Charles Glass of Barnesville, chair of the Lamar County Board of Commissioners; Hampton City Council member Errol Mitchell; and Peachtree Corners City Councilmember Eric Christ. The panel does not authorize or deny an annexation, but may decide to attach zoning, land use and density conditions.

DeKalb County opposes the annexation of nearly 7 acres at 2601 North Druid Hills Road into Brookhaven. The annexation would make way for a mixed-use development including more than 300 luxury apartments, a 7-story hotel and other office and retail buildings at the busy corner of North Druid Hills and Briarcliff roads.

The owners of several other commercial parcels totaling approximately 20 acres adjacent and near the 2601 North Druid Hills Road property are also requesting annexation into the city. They include Target shopping center at 2400 North Druid Hills Road, the QuikTrip at 2375 North Druid Hills Road, the Chick-fil-A at 2334 North Druid Hills Road, a LensCrafters at 2368 North Druid Hills Road, and the Boston Market at 2535 Briarcliff Road.

The panel is working with DeKalb and Brookhaven officials discuss their disputes to try to come up with a solution agreeable to both parties. Solutions could include shrinking the annexed area or reducing the density of the mixed-use development.

The arbitration panel must then issue its decision within 60 days of being appointed. If the city or county disagrees with the arbitration panel’s decision, they can take their case to DeKalb County Superior Court.

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