The official Brookhaven city seal.
The official Brookhaven city seal.

MARTA plans to put plans for the agency’s transit-oriented development at the Bookhaven/Oglethorpe station on hold, Brookhaven’s mayor announced Monday night.

Meanwhile, city officials plan to hold a series of public meetings as part of a plan to rework the city’s two-year-old comprehensive plan, a process that could take at least six months, Mayor John Ernst said.

Ernst said MARTA would announce today that officials “have pushed back the time they are going to ask for rezoning” for the transit-oriented development surrounding the MARTA station on Peachtree Road. Ernst said city officials,  transportation officials and representatives of MARTA and the Atlanta Regional Commission would meet “to take a look at our infrastructure problems.”

Brookhaven city officials decided they should gather residents for new discussions of the 13 “character areas” outlined in the city’s plan, which was adopted in 2014. City officials want more detailed information after residents at recent public gatherings said they felt they had been left out of the original process of drawing up the plan, Ernst said. “People didn’t feel they had the proper input,” he said.

He said a planned rewrite of the city’s zoning code would be delayed until after the reworking of the comprehensive plan.

The mayor announced both the delay on the MARTA project and the proposal to rework the character area studies during a Feb. 22 town hall meeting at Briarwood Park that drew more than 80 residents for a discussion centered on zoning.

Aerial view of planned development at Brookhaven/Oglethorpe MARTA station.
Aerial view of planned development at Brookhaven/Oglethorpe MARTA station.

UPDATE on Feb. 23: A Brookhaven spokesperson said the MARTA rezoning application will be postponed until June 1.

“I’ve heard residents’ concerns, and there are many unanswered questions regarding these plans,” Mayor Ernst said in a prepared statement issued Feb. 23. “Any development at this site will have a big impact on our community for decades, and this process cannot be rushed. I’m pleased that all parties agree that we must plan smarter in order for this property to meet the needs of our city.”

MARTA GM/CEO Keith Parker said, “MARTA looks forward to continued discussion with all of our stakeholders. We expect the Brookhaven TOD to be an excellent example of collaboration.”

From the press release:

Over the course of the next several months, Mayor Ernst plans to augment the City’s Comprehensive Plan and review zoning regulations through a resident-led initiative to strengthen Brookhaven’s development policies and regulations. As part of this initiative, task forces comprised of residents in each of Brookhaven’s 13 Character Areas depicted in the Comprehensive Plan will review their neighborhood plan in depth and make recommendations for the Zoning Code rewrite efforts. The current Zoning Code Rewrite Committee will be suspended until the completion of these Character Area task forces. More information on timing and how residents can get involved will be released soon.

The city, MARTA and Brookhaven City Center Partners will continue the outreach program currently underway with residents and interested parties on this project during the postponement period and throughout the course of the permitting process.

Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst.
Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst.

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.

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