Author: Melissa Weinman

City updates stream buffer ordinance, seeks public input

Brookhaven is looking to update the way it regulates building near streams. Following concern from residents, the Brookhaven City Council is asking for the public to weigh in on a new stream buffer ordinance before considering it on March 25. “Because there’s been so much commentary, I think it’s important we do treat it as a public hearing item,” City Manager Marie Garrett said. City officials said the three most significant aspects of the new stream buffer ordinance are that a variance would be required for any disturbance within the 75-foot stream buffer unless a building is grandfathered or exempted; no variances may be granted by the city within the 35 feet closest to a stream; and mitigation would be required for any variances to the stream buffer ordinance. Councilman Jim Eyre said he believes requiring mitigation for encroachments to the stream buffer will help prevent issues with water quality and storm water runoff. “In a nutshell, it provided a little bit more protection but it allowed for some more flexibility in exchange for minimum mitigation standards we required,” Eyre said. Eyre said he had been contacted by his constituents who were concerned by the amount of infill construction going on in Brookhaven. They worried that tearing down older houses to build larger ones could create more flooding as well as a loss of trees, he said. “People were...

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No new cities will be approved in DeKalb this year

None of the new cities proposed in central DeKalb County will make it through the Legislature this year. In a meeting of the House Governmental Affairs Committee March 17, legislators said part of a last-minute agreement struck between Lakeside and Tucker advocates was that the two cityhood efforts would move forward together – something that won’t be possible this year. “I’m very proud of the Tucker and Lakeside proponents who sat down and hammered out this deal,” Rep. Mike Jacobs, (R-Brookhaven) said. “I’m asking the committee today not to move forward with any of these bills so that we can come back and do this the right way in 2015.” Jacobs, who participated in the negotiations between the two groups, said a significant change to the legislative process would have been required in order to approve both cityhood efforts this year. Just two legislative days are left before the end of the 40-day session, which is scheduled for March 20. “I fully support this compromise between Tucker and Lakeside and I hope that it will continue forward in the future,” Jacobs said. Sen. Fran Millar, (R-Dunwoody), was the sponsor of the bill to incorporate a city of Lakeside. He withdrew the bill after committee members said they agreed that it should be postponed. “What you’re basically telling 70,000 people is they don’t have the opportunity to vote this year,”...

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Lakeside bill tabled by House committee

The House Governmental Affairs Committee voted  8-7 to table a decision on SB 270, the bill to create a city of Lakeside. Sen. Fran Millar, (R-Dunwoody), who sponsored the Lakeside bill, told the committee that the leaders of the Lakeside and Tucker organizations had worked out a compromise that would allow both cities to move forward this year. He said the Lakeside map was altered  to remove the Midvale Elementary School area and the area south of Northlake Mall. “This would certainly give Tucker enough revenue to form a city on its own,” Millar said. “I have agreed to what would be a future city of Tucker.” Despite Millar’s insistence that the issues had been resolved, Rep. John Meadows (R-Calhoun), made the motion to table the bill, saying he felt more time was necessary to consider the potential cities. But there is little time left. March 12 is the 37th day of the 40 day legislative session. The final legislative day is scheduled for March 20. Following the hearing, Millar said he believes there’s still time for Lakeside to be approved this year. “I don’t think it’s dead,” Millar said. “The committee can meet again and vote. We’ll see what...

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