The Brookhaven City Council has approved zoning for a 63-unit townhome development close to the Buckhead border at 1234 and 1244 Park Vista Drive, the site of the former Hospice Atlanta.

The council’s Feb. 23 vote followed the advice of the Planning Commission, who unanimously recommended zoning approval for the project at a Feb. 3 meeting. However, the council approved the zoning without a recommended amendment from the Planning Commission.

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

At its Feb. 3 meeting, the commission discussed the possibility of adding more interior sidewalks to the development so that both sides of the street have walkways for residents. Commissioner Michael Diaz 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.

Brian Davison, managing partner for the developer Minerva USA, said adding sidewalks to one side of the road would force the townhomes on that side closer to the property line, which would compromise the privacy of abutting neighborhoods, such as Brookhaven Woods to the north. 

“The request from the Planning Commission … was to see if we could do sidewalks on both sides of the street,” Davison said. “We would have to pick up the extra 10 feet of the sidewalks if we put them in.”

During the public comment section of the meeting, Brookhaven Woods resident Sharon Safriet said the addition of the sidewalk amendment would put Brookhaven Woods homeowners in a “fishbowl.”

“It will negate weeks of negotiations between Minerva and Brookhaven Woods,” she said. “We feel that they will be a good neighbor. We’re going to hold them to what they said they would do to keep our privacy and make it as good as it can be … but the sidewalk amendment would negate all that.”

Brookhaven Woods resident Paulo Pereira said the proposed amendment from the Planning Commission would allow homeowners in the new development to see into his bedroom. 

“They will have a view direct to my bed,” he said. “It means that I will never be able to wake up anymore without having my shades down. This is a direct impact on my privacy.”

Davison 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. 

“I think we’ve accommodated most people,” Davison said. “Perhaps not all, but I think we’ve accommodated most things.

Sammie Purcell is Associate Editor at Rough Draft Atlanta.