Brookhaven City Council voted on several items at the June 28 meeting, including a resolution to maintain the millage rates and approval of a commercial development in Lynwood Park.

The meeting started with a public hearing on millage, taxes paid by property and businesses owners. Brookhaven determines millage rates by special districts. 

Public comments about Brookhaven’s tax structure focused on rolling back rates. Resident Adam Cashin asked for the city to “lower the millage rate while property values are increasing significantly.” 

The council voted unanimously to approve a resolution maintaining last year’s millage rate, the lowest in DeKalb County.

Since 2015, Brookhaven’s millage rate has been 2.74 and will produce $12.6 million in revenue. 

The General Obligation Bond, which funds park improvements is 0.49 mills, a decrease from last year.

The I-85 and North Druid Hills special tax district funds police, code enforcement, and infrastructure. The millage rate will remain 6.450 for FY2023, but it will produce 44 percent more than in 2022 due to an increase in the property tax digest.

Lavista Park special district funds the most recent annexation. The millage rate is being set at 1.6 mills for the last year of its repayment of the loan to the city’s general fund.  

Lastly, the special service district is staying at 4 mills to produce $1.97 million in revenue.  As the newest district which collects taxes only from commercial properties, not homeowners, is funding City Hall. 

The council also voted unanimously to approve a commercial development at Windsor Parkway and Osborne Road in the Lynwood Park neighborhood that has bounced between the council and planning commission for months. 

At the June 28 meeting, developer John Mansour said the property is designed for a family-friendly corner with a neighborhood restaurant and bar. Mansour said he “absolutely” intends to be involved in selecting a tenant. 

Councilmember Linley Jones said she met with constituents and worked with city staff to develop an amended plan. Windsor-Osborne Special Area Plan is one of the 13 character area studies that guides future development.  

Conditions of the development include more parking, fencing and landscaping, and public art. Commercial traffic will not be allowed on Victoria Street.

“I hope that where we land at the end of this evening is a place that benefits Lynwood and Brookhaven in the long run,” said Jones. “This has been a very long road on this approval process, and I’m thankful for that because it demonstrates the passion of the community about this pivotal corner.” 

Councilmember John Funny added: “In my urban planning experience, some 37 years, this is how you create that neighborhood-style development.” 

In other business, the council voted to approve: 

  • The release of $35 million to secure contractors in the building of a new city hall
  • An ordinance to amend the Buford Highway Overlay District zoning promote walkability, and limiting car maintenance and repair shops. 
  • An ordinance to amend the Peachtree Road Overlay to include language about Brookhaven’s master plan. 
  • A text amendment to adopt land use processes in Georgia’s House Bill 1405.  
  • An amendment to regulate donation boxes in the city of Brookhaven. 
  • An ordinance to amend the budget in the amount of $3 million for items including $450,000 to Burkhalter Law LLC and Bondurant, Mixon and Elmore LLP, and $46,000 for recruitment and employee morale. 

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