A 63-unit townhome development may be built in place of a former hospice care center in Brookhaven. 

During a Feb.3 meeting, the city Planning Commission unanimously recommended rezoning approval for the project, which sits close to the Buckhead border at 1234 and 1244 Park Vista Drive, the site of the former Hospice Atlanta.

The commission’s recommendation included the approval of variances for reduction of the street setback from 50 to 35 feet and to waive design requirements for garages at the front of the homes and minimum distances between driveways. The developer, Minerva USA, will take the proposal to the City Council for a final vote. 

A design concept for the townhome development proposed to be built at 1234 and 1244 Park Vista Drive.

Brian Davison, managing partner for Minerva USA, said designs for the development have been presented to many of the surrounding neighborhoods to make sure the developer’s plans are in line with residents’ desires. 

“The goal, as always, is to try and understand everybody’s issues and concerns and try to solve for as many of them as we possibly can,” Davison said. “We can never usually solve everything, but a lot of times we can make tweaks and adjustments that will dramatically improve what we’re doing in the eyes of our neighbors.” 

Davison said one issue that came up was the walkability of the area and proposed a realignment of the intersection at Park Vista Drive and Lenox Park Boulevard to make crossing the street easier and to ease congestion. 

“I think whether or not you approve our plan, I think this is probably a wise thing to do at this intersection anyway,” Davison said. 

A site plan of the Park Vista development shown by Brian Davison of Minerva USA during the February Brookhaven Planning Commission meeting.

During the public comment section of the meeting, many residents came forward in support of the project, but some still had concerns. A representative from Brookhaven Woods, a  townhome community that abuts the proposed development, named privacy as the neighborhood’s number one concern. Adding more trees and a higher fence to reduce visibility would gain community support, the representative said. 

The commission discussed the possibility of adding more interior sidewalks to the development so that both sides of the street have walkways for residents. 

The commission added those conditions to its recommended approval, including a suggestion to restripe and improve the intersection of Park Vista Drive and Lenox Park Boulevard, subject to approval by the Brookhaven Public Works Department. 

Commissioner Michael Diaz also suggested an amendment to recommend the inclusion of sidewalks on both sides of the street within the development. The amendment was approved by a 3-2 vote.

The meeting was the last for Commissioner John Funny, who served as vice chair. Funny is stepping down to focus on serving as the chairman of the Social Justice, Race and Equity Commission for the city of Brookhaven. The Planning Commission voted for Commissioner Conor Sen, who is also an investment advisor  and opinion columnist for Bloomberg News, to serve as the new vice chair, and re-elected Stan Segal as chair. 

Sammie Purcell is Associate Editor at Rough Draft Atlanta.