259 N. Clarendon Ave. proposed development and notes from the July 27th community meeting. I recorded this meeting and have referred to the audio for my notes:

Background: 259 N. Clarendon Ave., the lot being requested for a rezoning, is zoned Tier IV and as such is only wide enough at 100ft for one house. Tier IV requires a 60ft width. The request is to rezone to Tier II, to be able to split the lot into two, since Tier II only requires a 50ft width. Preliminary site plan can be found here. The property’s co-owners are Prime Management and Construction LLC and Urban Properties and Acquisitions Holding. The same two companies are co-owners for their other two adjacent lots at 272 and 278 1st Ave. All 3 lots, totaling .63 of an acre, lie between N. Clarendon Ave. and 1st Ave.

The client’s representative, Ms. Shauna Wilson-Edwards, noted in her presentation that there would be little additional traffic, but any traffic study would come from the DeKalb County Transportation Dept. The community noted the severe congestion that already exists at the juncture of Rockbridge Rd. and N. Clarendon Ave., including several local side streets, during school hours and pre-pandemic business hours.

Screenshot from the meeting:

GIS map of the 3 lots outlined in red. Green is Tier IV, orange is Tier II

Ms. Edwards also noted that there is currently no ingress from N. Clarendon for the lot to have frontage on N. Clarendon rather than 1st Ave. as stated in the current plan. However, the church has operated there for years with parishioners entering and exiting on N. Clarendon Rd. One property owner on 1st Ave. voiced preference for frontage of the new homes to be on their street.

There was a contradiction made by Ms. Edwards in her presentation; that dividing or splitting the lot would allow for more affordable housing. But the price point was acknowledged by the developer/designer on the call, Ms. Rosa Buckley, to be $600-700k, which is obviously not in any currently affordable range. Any home that is built on the sites, whether a combined lot is made (which is possible) or on the 3 current lots in our zoning, will most likely be in the market range of $500k to 700k or higher. The developer explained that materials costs are around $200-275 per house, which rules out her being able to offer an affordable product. 

Many neighbors in the immediate community attended the meeting to voice their opposition and explain why. There is no opposition to development, only opposition to the rezoning. The property owner may plan to develop all 3 contiguous lots that front N. Clarendon and/or 1st Ave. Three homes are currently allowable under our zoning in the Scottdale Overlay District, there is no financial hardship to build as is. We have had many local developers since 2010, like Stoney River, Elgin Pritchett, SEC and others, build new single family homes in our overlay district without resorting to rezoning. 

Suggestions from the community were to revise the plan to respect the current zoning. There was no confirmation last night of when the developer would file this submission. However, the deadline is 8/31/22 to appear before our District 4 Community Council meeting of October 18th. The meetings remain virtual as of now and the zoom link will be posted when it’s available. Here is the zoning and land use calendar for information:

Finally, during our Council meetings, we always ask any potential developer about their experience and which projects they have previously undertaken. I’m unable to find anything for Ms. Buckley other than a LinkedIn blurb that gives her background in electrical engineering and Survey Cad design. She apparently now works for Grant Shepherd & Associates, a construction and surveying company based in Lawrenceville. More info here.

The DeKalb 2050 Unified Plan has held many public meetings since 2020, and the draft is now complete. For more information on the DeKalb 2050 Unified Plan, please visit the project website here. Additionally, the forum is open for final public comments. To review the plan and submit comments, please visit their website, then click on the DRAFT 2050 UP for Review. 

Local development: 3113 Cherry Street. Site plans here and here. Elevations can be found here.

Friends of Cedar Park have been meeting since 2018 to develop plans for the park at 3165 Cedar St. between 3rd Ave. and Creighton Ave., it’s great to see the vision being well documented in the July 21st Saporta Report. Many thanks to our Park Pride partners. You can read the article here. A history of Cedar park, Park Pride’s engagement and the visioning process with the community can be seen here.

On a personal note, many neighbors know that I’ve been an exhibiting painter for decades, here’s the press release for a current group show I’m in at the Bowery Gallery in NYC. The gallery has been around since 1968 as an artist’s collective. The exhibit was curated by art critic, professor and author Lance Esplund. Thought it might be fun for everyone to see, my piece is third from left in the last row: http://www.bowerygallery.org/JuriedShow2022.html

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s