Planning and Zoning Projects

Planning and Zoning Projects

Planning and Zoning Issues

Neighborhood Needs
and Plans

Development pressures on this neighborhood area are severe. The NDHRA Planning and Zoning Committee wrestles with this constantly. It is a NDHRA tradition to aggressively monitor all area development projects.

We do not limit our concerns to our neighborhood boundaries We express our opinion on any project that in our judgment impacts NDHRA. That includes the surrounding major street corridors and intersections, as well as new development and expansion proposals

We have established relationships with adjoining neighborhoods. We have joined County-wide organizations such as the DeKalb County Civic Coalition (DCCC). Communication and support between all areas of the County is essential to counter-balance the extraordinary influence developers and their lawyers exert on County government.

The highlighted letters in the following sections refer to locations on the adjacent map

Briarcliff Road Area

Nolan Ridge (A) This three-house development on a private drive off Briarcliff Rd is sold out. The drive was built with a porous surface to reduce runoff, but only half of the surface is porous.

Cliff Valley Apartments (B) are complete – all 272. Fairly good landscaping but overwhelming massiveness. This was totally beyond NDHRA influence.

Target (C) was rebuilt, but without provision for pedestrian access from surrounding areas.

Property Assemblages have been proposed along Briarcliff at various times. Two solicitations have been offered to the Childerlee Lane neighborhood (E), one recently which was rejected

Briarcliff Rd is a minor thoroughfare between North Druid Hills Rd and Shallowford Rd, requiring only two lanes in a 70 ft right of way (ROW). Other sections are designated as major thoroughfare with 100 ft ROW. The Comprehensive Plan designates Briarcliff Rd as a scenic highway.

North Druid Hills Rd Area

Emory Place (F) is complete. Neighbors met with developers on a tree-planting program along property lines as specified in the rezoning conditions and in a contract between the developers and the NDHRA.

Simsberry Park (G) is for sale again. A previous zoning application was withdrawn without prejudice. Another application is expected soon. There is a question whether the previous application is still valid.

Berkeley Oaks (H) property on Berkeley Lane has been sold. The Superior Court allowed a “voluntary dismissal” by the previous developers of their appeal of the Board of Commissioners decision upholding NDHRA appeal of the Planning Commission’s approval of the Preliminary Plat. That file is closed. A new development would have to be filed under the new Subdivision Ordinance.

Churches and Schools

There are 13 churches, a synagogue, and a private school in our area of concern. Recently there has been a flurry of church expansion projects. Part of that is due to the lack of adequate public school facilities in this neighborhood and area in the lower grades. The expansions include recreation and educational facilities as well as new sanctuaries. The expansion of churches everywhere has generated concern over what is being termed “mega-churches”.

First Alliance Church (I) has permission for a gymnasium addition. An agreement between the church and the NDHRA listed 17 conditions aimed at protecting neighboring properties from noise, lighting, etc. A major condition was a requirement for a site landscape plan emphasizing perimeter tree planted buffers subject to review by neighbors. The church has applied for an exception for street improvements along North Druid Hills Rd

The Christian Church (D) adjacent to the First Alliance Church has been sold to Congregation Shaarei Shamayim for their new synagogue. The site will be totally redeveloped. An SLUP was approved by the BOC that includes an extensive set of conditions worked out between the synagogue and NDHRA.

Cliff Valley School (J) on Clairmont Rd is under construction. This project has had a brutal environmental impact.

Intown Community Church (L) on LaVista received approval for a new educational building as part of a two-phase SLUP limiting the height of new buildings to 35 ft as required by the zoning ordinance. The first phase permits the educational building plus parking changes. The second, long range phase, permits a new sanctuary on the corner of LaVista and Houston Mill. The SLUP included conditions worked out between the Church, our Association, Merry Hills Civic Association, and County staff.

Lutheran Evangelical Church (M) on Briarcliff at North Druid Hills decided to relocate further out in the County on a larger site and raised the money by selling out to a commercial developer for a Walgreen’s drug store and a strip center. NDHRA was not happy with this project, but since it could not be stopped we negotiated conditions which were approved by the BOC.

Central Congregational Church (N), located in a wooded site between the end of Rosalind Dr and Clairmont Rd, built a major addition, renovated its original building, and improved its parking area.

Unitarian-Universalist Church (O) on Cliff Valley Way at I-85 built a large addition to its original building parallel to the I-85 frontage road.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church (P) is preparing and showing to its congregation plans for a new sanctuary in its parking area along Briarcliff Rd. An SLUP will be required, but no application has been filed yet.

Commercial Developments


CVS built a new drugstore at North Druid Hills and LaVista (Q) – open and thriving. They already had one at North Druid Hills and Buford Highway. Eckerd’s is in Loehman’s Plaza at North Druid Hills and Briarcliff and on Buford Highway near NE Plaza. Walgreen’s has a new store at LaVista and Oak Grove and is planning another on the Lutheran Church site at North Druid Hills and Briarcliff (see (M) above).


A new bank is proposed for the heavily treed site on LaVista in front of Kroger’s on the old Arnold family site. (R). Both NDHRA and the Merry Hills Civic Association object to that use and advocate a community park instead, which the County and the owners are considering.

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©2003 North Druid Hills Residents Association, Inc.