DeKalb: Brookhaven planning commission rejects disputed project

The Brookhaven Planning Commission recommended that the mayor and City Council deny a plan to annex land into the city to allow a controversial development.

Wednesday night's vote came after roughly 10 residents from nearby neighborhoods spoke out against the project planned for the northwest corner of Briarcliff and Clairmont roads. Developer Jay Gipson wants to build a gas station, Wendy's restaurant and new Express Oil Change and Tune-Up Clinic at a busy intersection.

Marisela Rodriguez, who lives in the Riviera Terrace condominiums adjacent to the proposed development, said she worries about noise and traffic impacting her secluded community.

“What we want is our safety and security as well as our property values to stay secure,” she said.

Gipson spoke about spending months to address residents' and elected officials' concerns when the project was being considered by the DeKalb Board of Commissioners. When the project stalled there, he applied to have the property and a nearby apartment complex annexed into Brookhaven.

The Planning Commission's vote mirrors recommendations from Community Development Department staff to reject that plan. Chairman Stan Segal said after the meeting that he supported denial after reviewing the city's zoning laws and criteria for Special Land Use Permits and determining the project was not a good fit.

Brookhaven’s mayor and City Council will have a final say in an upcoming meeting. Gipson said he has not decided whether he will amend his plans in an attempt to gain approval.