Chamblee, Doraville and the Atlanta Regional Commission are teaming up to develop an economic and transportation plan for Buford Highway as part of Livable Centers Initiative, but the city of Brookhaven is absent from the study group.

The reason? Brookhaven already has such a plan in place.

The Buford Highway Improvement Plan and Economic Development Strategy was approved by Brookhaven City Council in 2014. The city hired The Jaeger Company and Urban Partners to develop the plan with the help of citizens, elected officials and city staff.

“We weren’t able to get an LCI grant because we already have our Buford Highway improvement plan in place,” said city government spokesperson Ann Marie Quill, who said Brookhaven’s city manager will attend meetings when possible to keep up with discussions over the new plan.

Brookhaven’s plan will be “grandfathered” into the Livable Centers Initiative, or LCI, plan when Chamblee, Doraville and the ARC complete its study. “The Buford Highway LCI will incorporate Brookhaven’s existing plan combined with what Chamblee and Doraville do,” said Jim Jaquish, spokesperson for the ARC.

Councilmember Joe Gebbia said Brookhaven should be part of overall planning for the highway corridor that runs through the three cities.

“There is no way you can have a conversation about Buford Highway without including Brookhaven – this has to become a tri-city effort,” Gebbia added. “This is a hiccup.”

A community meeting was held Oct. 12 at the Canton House on Buford Highway to bring together people to discuss what they would like to see on busy corridor known for its international cuisine and as home to thousands of immigrants. Planning for the LCI is expected to continue through February 2017.

“This study supplements existing plans in both cities (Chamblee and Doraville) and will help develop a plan and process to revitalize Buford Highway, addressing connectivity, affordable housing and pedestrian safety,” according to the study’s website at

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.