Category: Top Stories

Brookhaven $40M parks bond validation delayed

A DeKalb County judge recently dismissed a case to validate Brookhaven’s $40 million parks bond, leading city leaders to go through the state-ordered process again next month. City officials said they requested the bond validation hearing be delayed after noticing an error in its legal advertisement of the hearing. DeKalb Superior Court Judge Tangela Barrie dismissed the case Dec. 14. City spokesperson Burke Brennan said there was a typo in the legal notice advertising the bond validation hearing. Because of the error, the bond hearing will have to be advertised again and a new hearing set sometime in January....

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With PATH400 funds at risk, a sneak peek of its newest section

With completion of Buckhead’s PATH400 multiuse trail at risk due to city funding shortfalls, recent behind-the-scenes tours gave a sneak peek of its newest section and what could be delayed or lost. Livable Buckhead, the nonprofit overseeing PATH400, led the construction-site tours on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. The new segment runs along Ga. 400 between Sidney Marcus Boulevard and the Gordon Bynum pedestrian bridge, and is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019. The future pathway includes dramatic views of woodland, overpasses, skyscrapers and MARTA trains. It also accesses a little-known wetland that Livable Buckhead Executive Director...

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Dunwoody marks a decade of cityhood

At midnight on April 1, 2009, dozens of people gathered in the parking lot at 41 Perimeter Center East to witness officers with the Dunwoody Police Department drive out on their first patrols of the newly formed city. Blue lights flashed and sirens wailed as the local residents cheered. “I’ll never forget it,” Ken Wright said of that night. “The sights and sounds and excitement were incredible.” Wright stood with the crowd that night as Dunwoody’s founding mayor. Just four months prior, on Dec. 1, 2008, nearly 82 percent of voters went to the polls and voted “yes” to...

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After bond vote, Brookhaven mayor seeks tax relief for seniors, residents with disabilities

Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst announced at the Dec. 11 City Council meeting he was asking city administrators to find property tax relief for senior citizens and residents with disabilities after passage of the city’s $40 million parks bond in November. The parks bond to be paid off over 30 years will raise the city’s 2.74 millage rate by half a mill, or an average of $98.34 a year to the homeowner with a home assessed at about $466,000, according to city officials. The millage rate is used to determine local taxes and is the amount taxpayers pay per $1,000...

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In Sandy Springs ‘cultural center’ plan, questions about earlier plans and future Holocaust memorial

Sandy Springs’ proposal for a new “cultural center” received a largely positive response at its debut public meeting. But some major pieces of the concept’s origins and its future remain unclear, including whether it can compete for a new state Holocaust memorial and whether it was essentially already approved by the public in an eight-year-old master plan document. The center would hold several offices, an art gallery and potentially be a place for the state’s Holocaust memorial, though that may be going outside the state Capitol, a lawmaker said. Groups interested in being part of the center, which is...

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Brookhaven pioneers an affordable housing requirement

Brookhaven is the first city in metro Atlanta to adopt a mandatory citywide inclusionary zoning ordinance as one way to tackle housing affordability. The new regulation is being praised by an Atlanta city councilmember who is working to create regional affordable housing policy guidelines, but is also being knocked by building professionals who say a mandate could hurt future development efforts. The City Council adopted its new zoning code at its Nov. 27 meeting that states when a special land use permit or rezoning is approved anywhere in the city for a multi-unit residential housing project, then 10 percent...

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Northside Hospital making moves even as Gwinnett merger has stalled

The mysterious delay in the merger between Northside Hospital and Gwinnett Health System is continuing, month after month. The mega-deal, once forecast to close in 2016, is still in the hands of the Federal Trade Commission, which must approve the transaction. But Northside hasn’t been sitting idly by, waiting for the FTC to act. The powerful Sandy Springs-based hospital system has developed a new medical office building in Midtown Atlanta – invading prime territory long dominated by Emory Healthcare and Piedmont Healthcare. Most of the new building is occupied by Northside medical providers. And the system has filed for...

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Dunwoody’s long-dormant High Street to break ground next year

The developer behind Alpharetta’s Avalon is joining the High Street team with plans to break ground on the long-dormant mini-city in Dunwoody’s section of Perimeter Center by the end of next year. North American Properties announced last month it was teaming up with High Street property owner GID to develop “High Street Atlanta” on nearly 40 acres at Perimeter Center Park and Hammond Drive near the Dunwoody MARTA station. As part of the announcement, NAP said a groundbreaking is expected in late 2019. NAP was behind Avalon in Alpharetta, a 1.1 million-square-foot mixed-use development on 86 acres. Other NAP...

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Highway toll lanes plan draws more anxiety, and some envy

The state’s plan to build massive toll lanes along I-285 and Ga. 400 continues to raise anxiety about local impacts, most recently from Fulton County Schools over possible land-taking. But in the world of transportation advocacy, the plan is drawing some envy, too – especially for using toll prices that vary with driver demand and for including a bus rapid transit line on Ga. 400. “Honestly, if you had BRT running on dynamically priced roads with real stations … Atlanta will be a national model,” says Chris Dempsey, the director of the Boston-based advocacy coalition Transportation for Massachusetts. “People...

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Dunwoody sees improved ambulance service

Dunwoody officials say an agreement worked out with DeKalb County to ensure quicker ambulance response times to address ongoing service concerns in the city appears to be working after its first month in action. The news comes as DeKalb County extended its contract with its controversial ambulance service provider for another six months. The DeKalb Board of Commissioners voted Dec. 11 to extend DeKalb Fire Rescue’s contract with American Medical Response until June 30, 2019. AMR’s five-year contract with the county was set to expire Dec. 31. The extension is needed as county officials continue to work with a...

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Brookhaven begins work on Greenway’s ‘model mile’

Construction of the “model mile” of the Peachtree Creek Greenway in Brookhaven is now underway with plans to complete the first link of the planned 12-mile regional trail within nine months. City officials are also set to invest $200,000 in a future bridge in Buckhead to ensure the Greenway connects to the Atlanta BeltLine. A ceremonial groundbreaking of the first 1.2-mile section of the Greenway between North Druid Hills Road and Briarwood Road was held Dec. 12. Officials from Atlanta, Chamblee, Doraville, DeKalb County as well as state lawmakers and federal officials were on hand for the ceremony held...

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Two Buckhead senior complexes plan major expansions

Two of Buckhead’s biggest senior residential complexes aim to get even bigger along their section of Peachtree Road near the Brookhaven border. Canterbury Court and Lenbrook currently have hundreds of residents living in their respective tower complexes, which face each other across Peachtree between Club Drive and Kingsboro Road. Lenbrook’s $100 million expansion is already approved by the city and may start construction in mid-2020. Canterbury Court is still in talks with Historic Brookhaven neighbors concerned about local impacts. The two facilities are independently operated, but have a similar model as not-for-profit “Life Plan Communities.” That’s an industry term...

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