The Brookhaven-Peachtree Overlay District, above, has its own set of zoning guidelines.
The Brookhaven-Peachtree Overlay District, above, has its own set of zoning guidelines.

Brookhaven officials have decided it’s time to crack open the Brookhaven–Peachtree Overlay Zoning District ordinance to see whether it can be improved.

Brookhaven’s new Community Development Director Susan Canon will be reviewing the zoning document to make necessary technical changes to tighten the language of the ordinance. During the review, City Council imposed a 90-day moratorium on development in the overlay district. The moratorium, which took effect March 27, will last until June 25.

“We want to make sure we make responsible development and land-use decisions,” Canon said. “The moratorium also allows city staff members time to evaluate the overlay district in relation to underlying zoning, and to determine whether any revisions are necessary for appropriate implementation.”

The overlay zoning district was created in 2007 in response to a Livable Centers Initiative study by the Atlanta Regional Commission. The study created a vision of a more urban- and pedestrian-friendly development in the portion of Brookhaven around the MARTA station on Peachtree Road.

What is “the overlay district”?

The Brookhaven-Peachtree Overlay Zoning District is a set of zoning standards for a defined area that is applied in addition to the existing zoning guidelines.

What’s the point?

The overlay aims to create a more dynamic community characterized by a mixture of uses in a multi-story, urban village surrounding the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe University MARTA transit station and the Peachtree Road corridor, from the Fulton County line to Ashford-Dunwoody Road.

How does it work?

The overlay standards are supposed to create a makeover. They’re applied to new development in an effort to gradually change the look of the Peachtree Road corridor.

The overlay calls for specific building materials, such as brick, stone and wood. Materials like vinyl siding, exposed plywood and synthetic stucco are not allowed.

To promote architectural interest, buildings should include windows and doors, and varying heights and detailing. A minimum of 65 percent of the ground floor of mixed-use and commercial buildings must be storefronts using clear glass windows.

To make the area serve pedestrians better, parking lots between buildings and the street are prohibited. The overlay also calls for sidewalks, landscaping, streetlights, street furniture and bicycle parking to enhance the area.

Buildings are to be located no more than 20 feet from the sidewalk. All buildings within the district must be at least two stories tall and 28 feet in height.