A decision by DeKalb County’s Zoning Board of Appeals in favor of an attorney who wants to carve three properties into a seven-lot subdivision in Druid Hills means the project can go forward, backers said.
Robert Buckler, an attorney with Troutman Sanders, said in a letter to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he intends to proceed with the development of the property.
But the ruling doesn’t resolve the legal tangle over land in an area that is on the National Register of Historic Places. On Thursday, a DeKalb County Superior Court judge extended a temporary restraining order on the project until March 18, when a hearing is scheduled.
The board’s ruling on Wednesday denied the requests of two county commissioners and a group of homeowners to rescind a permit for a subdivision. It is the latest turn in a legal fight over part of a neighborhood laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who designed Central Park in New York City.
Opponents of the plan to build a seven-lot subdivision called Clifton Ridge say the developers’ plans to cut down trees and clear land would permanently change the historic feel of the area.
Bruce MacGregor, president of the Druid Hills Civic Association, said the county issued an improper land disturbance permit, which would allow for excavation, sidewalks and a variety of other work around the proposed cul-de-sac. The association wanted the permit rescinded and to protect the area from being converted into higher-density uses.
The project should have received a certificate of appropriateness from the DeKalb Historic Preservation Commission before being allowed to proceed, MacGregor said last week.
The civic association previously said it was soliciting donations for a legal fund to challenge the project in court.