‘Something else, please’: Chamblee rejects mixed-use project with nearly 300 homes

This is a rendering of the project proposed for New Peachtree Road in Chamblee.

Credit: City of Chamblee

Combined ShapeCaption
This is a rendering of the project proposed for New Peachtree Road in Chamblee.

Credit: City of Chamblee

The project, which would have included 268 apartments and 24 townhomes, received vehement opposition from neighbors

City leaders denied a large mixed-use project that was poised to come to Chamblee after several residents said their single-family neighborhood would be tarnished by hundreds of apartments and townhomes.

Landmark Properties, an Athens-based developer, proposed the large housing and retail project along New Peachtree Road, where Chamblee borders Brookhaven. However, the plan didn’t garner support from neighbors or city staff, who recommended the City Council deny every aspect of the project.

The applicant wanted to build a four-story apartment building with 268 units that would have ground-floor retail space in addition to two dozen townhomes and some dedicated greenspace on the 8-acre property. The City Council dashed those plans Tuesday by voting to deny the developer’s application, rezoning request and 15 variances and waivers.

“I wish you success (Landmark), but please do not do it at the edge of our single-family residential community,” Charles Stevens, a neighbor, said during last week’s work session, when the project was discussed in detail. “It is not a good project, and we believe strongly that nobody but the applicant and their investors want this on this site.”

The property is currently industrial land that includes a shuttered manufacturing plant and a truck parking yard. The site is located about a mile southwest of Chamblee’s city center, which is undergoing rapid development including several apartment complexes, mixed-use projects and the construction of a new City Hall.

City staff said the project site wasn’t appropriate, given its close proximity to multiple single-family neighborhoods. To get their approval, the staff report said a residential project would need to be roughly half as dense as the one proposed by Landmark.

Jessica Hill, a Landmark representative, argued that the city isn’t being consistent with its zoning decisions for the area. She said a property two parcels over is mixed-use with city staff’s endorsement.

“They are suggesting that parcel should remain mixed-use,” Hill said, “but for some reason on this parcel, which both of them abut single-family (neighborhoods), this one needs to remain single-family residential. So there’s an inconsistency in how the staff is treating the two properties.”

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Hill’s plea didn’t carry much weight with councilmembers or the group of neighbors who spoke against the project. Mandy Seaman, who lives nearby, said redevelopment will come to that property, but she urged city leadership to make sure it’s the right project.

“We understand development is going to happen — we want it to happen,” she said. “I’m definitely not naive enough to think that an abandoned industrial facility is good for the neighborhood. But something else please.”