DeKalb denies residential development of old forest

A proposal to develop 21 acres of undisturbed forest land has been voted down by the DeKalb County Planning Commission, handing a victory to community members who sought to preserve the area in the northern part of the county.

The commission voted 5-2 Wednesday to deny a sketch plat submitted by the developer, TPA-Arrowhead Real Estate Partners, that envisioned building 43 homes.

The Briarlake Community Forest Alliance, made up of residents in 13 neighborhoods, opposed rezoning the land, which contains about 60 trees with trunks larger than 30 inches. The group was concerned about stormwater runoff, traffic and the impact on streams that feed into two lakes.

“The BCFA now enters a new phase of working with DeKalb County and national conservation groups to determine what the best course of action may be to save a 21-acre tract of pristine and natural forest in the heart of communities of northern DeKalb County,” the group wrote in a statement.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.