A controversial proposal to build nine single-family houses on Roberts Drive across the street from where the new Austin Elementary School is under construction drew a split vote from the Dunwoody Planning Commission at its March 12 meeting.

The Planning Commission voted 3-3 on the request from Rock River Realty 2018 LLC to rezone nearly acres at 5318 and 5328 Roberts Drive, behind the Swancy Farmhouse, from R-100 to R-50. The tie vote essentially means no recommendation from the commission, according to city officials. The full City Council will take up the rezoning request in April.

A developer is seeking to build nine single-family homes where two houses now sit at 5308 and 5328 Roberts Drive. The new Austin Elementary School is under construction where the baseball fields are shown in this Google Earth image.

The proposed development includes razing the two single-family homes on the property to make way for nine houses that would be targeted to homeowners 55 and older. The property is across the street from where the new school is being built and within walking distance of the Dunwoody Nature Center and Dunwoody Village.

Residents living on Dunwoody Knoll and Roberts Drive spoke out against the development, raising concerns that included drainage as well as the density the new development would bring to the residential area.

Dave Haverty of 5308 Roberts Drive said if the development is approved, his home would be surrounded by three roads.

“We’re at our wits end,” he said. “We don’t want to live here anymore.”

John Calloway, a board member of the Fairfield Townhomes homeowners’ association spoke in favor of the project, saying final details are still being worked out with the developer about who would maintain the relocation of a drainage easement.

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