Final Whole Foods “365” Development Renderings Released, Zoning Approved by DeKalb County Commission

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Final Rendering

Old Rendering

Compare and contrast the final rendering of the North Decatur Square complex with the old one above. Subtle differences, but I know how dorky you all are.  As many of you know, Georgia’s first ever Whole Foods’ 365 concept store is part of the development.

The Decatur Heights Neighborhood Association notes that zoning for North Decatur Square was approved by the DeKalb County Commission at the end of September.  They also highlighted these negotiated improvements that will be included in the project:

  • Installation of thermoplastic pedestrian crosswalks at the intersection of Church Street and North Decatur Road, the intersection of Church Street and Sycamore Drive, and on Sycamore Drive near Rufus Evans Drive;

  • Installation of signage warning drivers not to block the Church Street and Sycamore Drive intersection;

  • Installation of either a traffic signal or a pedestrian crossing beacon on Church Street near Milscott Drive

  • Upgraded coordinated signal system timing for the Church Street signal system; and

  • To explore with MARTA the potential for a sheltered bus stop located at the development.

Also, here’s the final site plan…

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Retail Building Proposed For Scott Boulevard/North Decatur Chevron Station Site

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According to the Medlock Area Neighborhood Association website, the owner of the Chevron Station property at Scott Boulevard and North Decatur Road wants to redevelop the site to include a 6,000 square foot retail space at the intersection.  See the proposed site plan above.

MANA states that the site requires variances for side and rear setbacks and goes before DeKalb’s Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday, August 12th.  The owner has expressed an interest in gaining support from the Cross-Neighborhoods Committee and the community before the meeting.

The post states that MANA is concerned about…”sidewalks, improved landscaping, minimizing curb cuts, minimal signage, maintaining a buffer with the adjoining condominiums and adding a comfortable bus stop.”

I guess we’ll have to wait and see what modifications are made to this plan between now and then, but for now know that the Chevron Station may not be long for this world.

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Decatur City Commission Approves UDO

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Last night, the Decatur City Commission unanimously approved the UDO that’s been in the works for over a year, which cleans up the city’s current ordinances, creates an almost readable document out of a bunch of rambling, random ordinances, and also adds a few new laws to the books.  The UDO is 400+ pages long, and you can check out the approved draft as part of the meeting agenda here.

Among the new ordinances on the books,

  • a high efficiency building standard for new buildings and “substantial improvement” of residential buildings. The former goes into effect in November 2015, while the later goes into effect in February 2016.
  • A 15 notification period for a demolition permit
  • New zoning types – R50, R22 Multi-family residential, and Neighborhood Mixed Use District.

The majority of the UDO goes into effect February 1, 2015.

UDO: New/Amended Zoning Districts Meeting Tonight

From Decatur Next

New/Amended Zoning Districts
Wednesday, April 23 | 7-9pm | Decatur City Hall

The Strategic Plan’s goals for a more diversified housing mix reflect a gap — what we’re calling the missing middle — between our predominantly single-family residential and our downtown. This session explores the idea of transitional districts in the Unified Development Ordinance to accommodate things like live/work units, downtown-friendly townhouses, small-scale apartment buildings, neighborhood-scaled mixed use, cottage courts, and more, and gauges the circumstances under which such solutions might make sense.

The site also provides specific examples of what it’s describes as the “missing middle” and notes there will also be discussion of

  • Modifications to existing zoning districts
  • The possibility of a new R-50 residential zoning category
  • A suggested neighborhood mixed-use category

Photo courtesy of TheTinyLife via Decatur Next

Decatur UDO Idea #3: Neighborhood Mixed-Use

neighborhood mixed useNext up on the UDO idea’s list presentation: Neighborhood Mixed Use.  Here’s the “What?”, “Why?” and “Where?”

– WHAT IS IT? Allows neighborhood-compatible uses:

  • Small commercial uses (size limits)
  • Above-shop flats or offices
  • Live-work

– WHY? Existing zoning allows stores that are too large for a neighborhood setting and do not support mixed-uses or live-work uses.
– WHERE? Only available for future rezoning.

Decatur UDO Idea #2: Missing Middle District

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Up next on the laundry list of suggested zoning updates for the Unified Development Ordinance process, a new zoning designation: the “Middle Middle District”.  Again, here’s the description from the presentation from a couple days back.

WHAT IS IT? Allows urban, medium-density residential uses:

  • Small lot-single-family homes
  • Duplexes
  • Cottage courts
  • 4- and 6-unit buildings resembling houses

WHY? Existing multifamily district promotes incompatible development. The new district would provide housing options for residents who want to downsize, but don’t want to live in a large multifamily building in Downtown.

WHERE? Only available for future rezoning.

Illustration and photo courtesy of DecaturNext

Decatur UDO Idea #1: R-50 Residential District

There are many changes/updates being considered as part of the Unified Development Ordinance process, many of which were reviewed in a public meeting last night.  If you couldn’t make the meeting, you can check out this DecaturNext recap.  Over the next few days, DM will highlight the various changes being considered so no one is surprised once the UDO is completed later this year.  First up – R:50!

One part of the Unified Development Ordinance process is create new and updated zoning districts to “reflect the character of the existing residential and neighborhood commercial areas, or that serve an unmet need identified in the 2010 Strategic Plan.”  What is it? Why? and Where?  Here’s the answer straight from the presentation

  • WHAT IS IT? Allows 50 feet wide lots and includes urban design requirements so new houses are in harmony with the character of neighborhoods.
  • WHY? Much of the traditional residential fabric of Decatur is zoned R-60, although many lots are 50 feet wide. This new district would reflect the character of these older lots.
  • WHERE? Proactively mapped by the City or applied for by neighborhoods.