Developer’s Request To Demolish Garden Hills Apartments For Luxury Townhomes Denied By City Council

The Atlanta City Council voted unanimously Dec. 4 to deny a developer’s request to rezone a property in the Garden Hills neighborhood and demolish existing apartments to construct several luxury townhomes. The Council’s vote continues a string of opposition against the proposed development, including from nearby residents. Neighborhood Planning Unit B and the city’s Zoning Review Board (ZRB) previously voted to deny the request.

Development called for demolition of existing apartments 

The existing apartment building at 71 Sheridan Dr

The proposed development from Hedgewood Homes aimed to demolish the existing apartments, which were built prior to WWII, at 71 Sheridan Drive for the construction of three luxury townhomes. Three variances, including a reduction of the front yard setback, were included in the developer’s plans for the 0.3-acre site.  

Two previous rezoning requests by Hedgewood Homes nearby along Sheridan Drive were previously approved. However, the NPU-B took issue with this development, noting in its letter to the ZRB the proposal is “inconsistent with the neighborhood character along Peachtree” among other concerns. The NPU-B voted 19-4 to deny the rezoning request Nov. 7.

The NPU noted Hedgewood’s proposal was inconsistent with the area’s comprehensive development plan. The apartments currently on the site serve as an appropriate “line of demarcation” between the lower density homes nearby and the multi-family housing near Peachtree Road, characterized by the NPU as “middle housing.”  

“The proposed use is not consistent with the future comprehensive land use plan or neighborhood character,” the letter said. “While the concerns were numerous, the NPU felt that the proposed attached single-family bespoke homes were not suitable given the proximity to Peachtree Road and the history as missing middle housing.”

The NPU’s letter also said neighbors of the property were generally not supportive of the rezoning “as it would permanently alter the historic nature of the street.” Another issue for residents was the proposed elimination of an affordable housing option in the area.

Additionally, the NPU’s letter suggested the request to alter front yard setbacks is inconsistent with surrounding properties, and the property is already economically viable.

Atlanta’s ZRB voted to deny the rezoning request at its Nov. 9 meeting before the City Council’s unanimous denial Dec. 4.

Previous rezoning was approved in the area

The denial throws a wrench into Silver Creek Development and Hedgewood Homes’ apparent plan to revamp the Sheridan Drive area of Garden Hills. Hedgewood, owned by Buckhead residents Pam Sessions and Don Donnelly according to the company’s website, also led efforts along with Silver Creek to demolish three multifamily homes along the road for the development of a 13-home upscale housing complex. That project was approved by the city in 2021. Hegdewood is also developing a 35-unit luxury townhome complex along Delmont Drive and Sheridan Drive adjacent to the Atlanta International School and Garden Hills Elementary School. That project included the demolition of several buildings within the former Delmont Townhomes complex.

As of this writing, several homes in Delmont by Hedgewood are listed for sale with prices ranging from $1.67 million to $1.79 million.

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