Clarkston City Council debates variance at East Avenue development

Clarkston City Hall. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Clarkston, GA — Clarkston City Council members met July 27 for a work session. The agenda spanned from residential zoning to construction of sidewalks.

Council members heard from an applicant with plans to develop 30 homes on six acres of land at 3890 East Avenue. The high-density neighborhood is designed for 1,600- to 1,800-sq. ft. cottages to start in the mid-$300,000 range.

Tad Braswell of Oak Hall Companies said a previously submitted variance calling for the installation of ornamental trees instead of shade trees was withdrawn. Braswell asked council members to focus on a new variance to encroach on the front yard setback, taking an additional five feet to increase porch size.

Braswell said the encroachment would not affect anybody outside the development. The DeKalb County ordinance allows for an eight-foot setback, he said.

“We really feel like this will make it a better project,” said Braswell.

Clarkston Planning and Development Board previously recommended the variance be denied.

“We have just clear-cut seven acres of forest above a stream at that location, so all of that water filtration is now gone,” said Councilmember Laura Hopkins. “It’s very much a concern. If we’re talking 50 to 60 square feet per house for [23 houses] on six acres, that is a lot more impermeable surface, again with no filtration of a stream.”

Clarkston City Council will hold a public hearing and vote on the variance at the next meeting, Aug. 4.

Under new ownership, Thriftown Grocery applied for an alcohol beverage license application. Owner Subata Khan said she owns two other groceries in metro Atlanta, and is excited to be a part of the Clarkston community. City Council will hold a public hearing on Aug. 4.

The city is entering into an agreement with Georgia Power to install an Electric Vehicle charging station at City Hall Annex at Market Street and East Ponce de Leon Avenue. Councilmember Awet Eyasu called it a “great leap toward environmentally responsible, sustainable growth that we would like to see in our city.”

Next month City Council will vote on three proclamations proposed by Mayor Beverly H. Burks: National Senior Citizens Day on Aug. 21, Women’s Equality Day on Aug. 26 and the 50th anniversary of the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age to 18.

In other news:

– City Council members said they want to push for sound barriers to protect residents from the increased noise on I-285. Mayor Burks said she plans to appeal to U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Lithonia) to help. A resolution was not proposed.

– The city will go out to bid on installation of sidewalks on Market Street.

– National Night Out is Aug. 3 at Milam Park from 6-9 p.m.

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