Safety Alliance Stalls Condominium Development Near Emory

/ Courtesy of Minerva
One of Minerva’s development (drawn above) on Briarcliff Road received full clearance from DeKalb County and broke ground last month. / Courtesy of Minerva

DeKalb County Historic Preservation Commission voted Feb. 13 to defer its ruling on whether Atlanta-based real estate investment company Minerva can build a new condominium on Old Briarcliff Road.

The Commission requested that Minerva submit a revised proposal by March 3, according to Old Briarcliff Safety Alliance President Russ Haynie, who attended the meeting.

At the Commission hearing, the Alliance’s lawyer Frank Jenkins cited negative impacts on the environment, proximity to adjacent historic and architecturally significant single-family homes and threats to public safety as potential results of the new development project. The Alliance also presented the Commission a Nov. 10 letter from Trees Atlanta, a nonprofit working to maintain and expand Atlanta’s greenery.

“Trees Atlanta strongly supports the effort by Briar Park Court residents to prevent re-zoning and residential development by Minerva Homes for the sake of urban forest preservation along Old Briarcliff Road,” the letter reads.

Earlier, the Alliance claimed potential safety hazards from debris falling from a nearby television tower prevent construction of the condominium. However, DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader said the county ordinance prevents tall structures from being installed within close proximity to residences but does not prevent residences from being built near tall structures.

Still, Rader said that he believes Minerva will be able to develop the Old Briarcliff Road project without hindrance from the Commission.

“[Proceeding with construction] requires Historic Preservation review, but if they meet the guidelines for the preservation process then the Historic Preservation Commission will be compelled to approve their project,” Rader said. “Then all they would have to do after that is follow the rules when it comes to developing the project.”

Haynie said he met privately with Rader in January to discuss the future of the proposed development.

“[Rader] basically decided that he doesn’t necessarily disagree that there could be an issue … but as a matter of practicality, commitments had already been made to Minerva Homes from the county that [nothing would] come into conflict with any zoning ordinance,” Haynie said.

Minerva is also constructing another condominium complex adjacent to the proposed site. This development on Briarcliff Road received full clearance from DeKalb County and broke ground last month. The site will be a gated community and include 12 condos and 12 townhomes. Pre-sale is expected to begin in one month, according to Minerva Director of Marketing Mikala Carver.

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