Thursday, August 2, 2007

DeKalb County Limited Building Moratorium

I just received this from Jenna Graber, the DeKalb Association of REALTORS PR person. It was forwarded from the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association. Quoted as follows:

On Tuesday, July 24, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners adopted a 30-day moratorium on the issuance of certificates of appropriateness, land disturbance and building permits respectively for non-conforming multiple lots of record held in common ownership. The moratorium only impacts these properties and does not prevent a landowner from rezoning land. The county will seek to amend this process so newly created lots are not smaller than those currently allowed in the existing zoning ordinance. This measure was taken to address inf ill development in older communities where larger non-conforming lots were being subdivided to create multiple homes. According to Commissioner Jeff Radar, the County does not plan on extending the moratorium beyond 30-days. For a copy of the ordinance, please contact Leroy Sutton at 678-775-1473 or via email at or Chris Burke at

Chris Burke,
VP, Government Affairs

For those of you that weren't aware, there has been a lot of chatter and activity in DeKalb County about "infill." Infill is the increasing the number of homes in an area, either by building on previously unused areas in established subdivisions, or by breaking up a larger lot into smaller lots and increasing density. Of course, there are two sides to the coin. Those in favor of infill (especially builders and some residents with larger lots) cite that there is a shortage of housing closer in to town. They also point out the increased value of surrounding properties as newer (and often, bigger) homes come into the area. On the other side of the issue, many homeowners argue that services and infrastructure are already stretched in many areas. Increased load on water, sewer and roads devalue their property.

I can understand and appreciate both sides of the issue, and think it DOES merit closer inspection on an area by area basis. Some of the corridors that have had increased infill are well able to handle at least the traffic loads (I'm not going into the sewer to see how that is coming along). Other areas can't deal with the traffic they have, and increasing it would be VERY damaging. Further, some can't support more or bigger roads.

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