.

Neighbors Want Old Briarcliff Library Turned into Park

Request emerges in meeting on rezoning the property before selling.

County Library Director Alison Weissinger answers questions from residents in the Briarcliff Library area.
County Library Director Alison Weissinger answers questions from residents in the Briarcliff Library area.
The proposed rezoning of the old Briarcliff Library property, 2775 Briarcliff Road, took a new turn Thursday night as residents suggested that the location become a neighborhood park.

Meeting in a follow-up to a Sept. 18 session, neighborhood residents were invited to ask questions of District 2 Commissioner Jeff Rader, DeKalb County Public Library Director Alison Weissinger and Karen Hill of the county's Planning and Sustainability Department. The Library had been discussing rezoning of the property from RM-150 to O-I (Office & Institutional) prior to selling the property.

However, after some detailed discussion of the various forms of zoning and their impact, residents spoke up in favor of turning the property into a park.

Rader stressed to the group that they would need to commit to organize and work with Park Pride Atlanta, a firm that contracts with the county to find volunteers to help with county parks.

Alan Pinsker, president of the North Druid Hills Residents Association, also outlined the work and effort involved in a neighborhood taking ownership of a park. Pinsker is also on the board of Friends of Kittredge Park, which is roughly a mile from the library building.

Residents gathered into small groups to figure out next steps as the meeting ended.

The rezoning issue is scheduled to go before the county Planning Commission Nov. 7, so Rader urged the residents to work with the residents association board and officials to clarify what they wanted to present at that meeting. The Planning Commission could grant a two-month deferral on the zoning request for residents and officials to continue working through the issues.

The Briarcliff Library was closed three years ago after the county system changed its model to large-size branches. It is one of three closed properties it wants to sell. The other locations are the former Scott Candler Library in Decatur and the former Tucker-Reid H. Cofer Library.

The building was constructed as the result of a library bond, so should a park ultimately get approved by the County Commission, greenspace funds would have to reimburse the Library's capital program budget.

Early in the meeting, Weissinger told the audience that while she wants the property sold she also wanted to be sensitive to the concerns of the neighborhood and "find a middle ground." In a handout, the Library listed a number of possible conditions and concerns residents have had about future use of the property, including impact on traffic.

Officials had previously discussed options for the building that have been dismissed, including a proposal to move the Dresden Road county tag office to the location and another to turn the building into a recreation center.
kudzuqueen October 25, 2013 at 08:11 AM
I hope this is true. <Early in the meeting, Weissinger told the audience that while she wants the property sold she also wanted to be sensitive to the concerns of the neighborhood and "find a middle ground." In a handout, the Library listed a number of possible conditions and concerns residents have had about future use of the property, including impact on traffic. > ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Many people walk, run, ride bikes and walk dogs through Briarcliff Heights. A park would be a real asset. I enjoy driving out to Forsyth County to walk on the Big Creek ? recreational trail. I have advocated more greenspace in DeKalb for some time now. So congested in this area---high stress just trying to accomplish daily goals if a car is involved. Since we are 'part of Fernbank Forest'--it would be appropriate to create a natural environment of some kind. Then work on cleaning up the pollution of Fern Creek. jmo. Officials had previously discussed options for the building that have been dismissed, including a proposal to move the Dresden Road county tag office to the location and another to turn the building into a recreation center.
Kierstin Annalisa October 27, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Just as long as they don't try to put a cell tower on it...they can do a park or a tag office or a mortuary for all I care. Green space is the best idea yet though. We need a close by park with a play ground for the kids. Too many kids play in the streets in briarcliffheightsvstmobile heights. I use to play in the street back in the 70s but that was before text messaging and cell phones...people multitask now while driving...not safe.
Kierstin Annalisa October 27, 2013 at 03:05 PM
If we do a park with a play ground it should also be put under 24 hour filmed surveillance since it is near a busy road...this will deter unwanted visitors.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something