Clifton Ridge Email Archives
On Tuesday morning, Dec. 8, 2015, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to overturn the Certificate of Appropriateness the Historic Preservation Commission had issued on Oct. 19, 2015 for one house in the proposed Clifton Ridge subdivision.
This important BOC vote occurred because our legal team appealed the HPC’s October decision. Commissioner Jeff Rader, whose district includes most of Druid Hills, made the motion below; it was seconded by Commissioner Kathie Gannon and approved 7-0 by the full Board.
Commissioner Rader’s Motion:
“I move to reverse the Historic Preservation Commission’s decision approving the property owner’s application for a Certificate of Appropriateness for the design of a proposed home in the purported Clifton Ridge subdivision located within the Druid Hills Local Historic District on the grounds that:
(1) the purported subdivision was not created legally and does not exist because a Certificate of Appropriateness authorizing the subdivision of the property was not obtained by the property owner from the Historic Preservation Commission before the Planning Commission voted to approve the sketch plat, as required by the Code of DeKalb County and state law;
(2) the pending appeal of the sketch plat’s approval in the Georgia Court of Appeals acts as a supersedeas, prohibiting any action in furtherance of the purported subdivision’s development, including issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness by the Historic Preservation Commission for an individual home design, until that litigation is concluded; and
(3) the proposed house is not “consistent with the dominant massing patterns of existing buildings in the area of influence” as required in section 7.2.4 of the design guidelines for the Druid Hills Local Historic District. Specifically, the proposed house is more than twice as large as the average size of the houses in the area of influence and its square footage to acreage ratio is more than twice the average of the houses in the area of influence.”
The BOC’s Vote is Significant for Several Reasons
The vote marked the first time in at least the past several years thatthe BOC has voted unanimously in favor of denying a key component necessary for Clifton Ridge to move forward — a COA for a house.
Also, by approving the second point of Commissioner Rader’s motion, the BOC has gone on record as agreeing with one of our basic legal arguments: that is, while our primary lawsuit (the “Sketch Plat Case”) is currently under review by the Georgia Court of Appeals, there should no action “in furtherance of the purported subdivision’s development … until that litigation is concluded.”
As we wrote in our last message to you, we don’t expect the Court of Appeals to reach its decision in our Sketch Plat Case until well into next year — which means the BOC agrees with us that nothing more should be done on the Clifton Ridge site until that time.
We want to thank all the Commissioners for standing up on behalf of preserving the original Olmstead vision of Druid Hills. If this is an indication of a new direction for DeKalb County, it’s a direction we should all appreciate and support.
And thanks once more to you — our steadfast supporters — for staying informed, for displaying your yard signs, and for letting your neighbors know about this very positive BOC vote. It represents a major turning point in our efforts to preserve the neighborhood we all believe is worth fighting for.
We hope you have a wonderful holiday season,
October 29, 2015 – Misinformed HPC Approves One Clifton Ridge Lot COA by Narrow 3-2 Vote
Sept 23, 2015 – Good News — and Great News
July 30, 2015 – Rulings on Our July 9, 2015 Hearing
July 10, 2015 – Court Hearing Update