Councilmember John Funny introduces the Buford Highway Cultural Corridor designation at a press conference.

Opening access to Peachtree Creek Greenway is one way the Brookhaven planning department is looking to shape the future of Buford Highway. 

Brookhaven city staff and Councilmember John Funny have been assessing the Buford Highway corridor while the area is under a development moratorium

Buford Highway corridor zoning ordinances like density requirements are under review, as well as stream buffer requirements, public art, transportation and design standards. 

At the March 14 City Council meeting, City Planner Samantha Trust presented accomplishments in the area has seen under the direction of Atlanta Regional Commission, DeKalb County and the city of Brookhaven.  

“Public Works has been working really hard on improving the pedestrian and bicycle conditions on Briarwood, the frontage roads for I-85, as well as Buford Highway. They’ve installed new bike lanes, pedestrian crossings, and filled in sidewalk gaps,” Trust said. 

The area is expecting progress on projects including residential development, an adaptive reuse project, LUV Carwash, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Arthur M. Blank Hospital and two city-owned buildings for public safety and services. 

“One of our main goals is to make sure that we’re cohesive between the Comprehensive Plan and the zoning ordinance,” Trust said, referring to a number of proposals for reuse that do not meet the density requirements. “And so, it’s making sure that what we are requiring is more easily allowed in the zoning ordinance.”

Trust said short-term goals for the department include a potential change to require affordable housing for all new residential developments and a housing study. The Buford Highway moratorium is set to expire July 1 but can be rescinded when the Comprehensive Plan and zoning updates are enacted according to the city. 

“As I rub the crystal ball of Brookhaven, I can see over the next 10 years 80% of the development is going to happen along Buford Highway, North Druid and Briarcliff in my district,” said Funny. “It’s very helpful for the developer to really see a vision of what the city aspires to be in those areas.”

Logan C. RitchieStaff Writer

Logan C. Ritchie writes features and covers Brookhaven for Rough Draft Atlanta.