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. Beyond The Call.
Healthcare of Atlanta
Monorail study for Brookhaven/
Chamblee gets green light
Brookhaven City Councilman Joe Gebbia is contributing $10,000
from his city discretionary fund to pay for a monorail study.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson de
clined to comment, saying he hadn’t
heard the monorail idea before. MAR
TA and PDK did not have immediate
Gebbia believes monorails could help
MARTA expand on east-west corridors
because, unlike heavy rail, they don’t
require buying expensive rights of way
and could run on city- or county-grant
ed easements. He also believes such a
“unique” project could better attract
federal transportation matching funds.
But cost is where “the rubber hits the
road,” he noted. The preliminary city
study essentially will determine wheth
er a deeper, fuller study is worth doing.
“I don’t know how valid the idea is. But
I think it’s worth spending $10,000 to
find out,” he said.
The study technically is “open to
anything and everything” for transit so
lutions connecting the various areas of
Brookhaven and Chamblee, but the
monorail vision is the driver.
The consulting firm Gresham, Smith
and Partners has already agreed to con
duct the study, Gebbia said. That firm
previously created Brookhaven’s trans
portation plan and is now doing its Ash-
ford-Dunwoody Road improvement
plan. Gebbia said the study will co
ordinate with MARTA, the state De
partment of Transportation and the
Atlanta Regional Commission. The es
timated timeframe for a report is four to
Tas-Hng 4he Ci+y
One Bi4e a4 a TiMe
CONVENTION + 7
Google Fiber hits roadblock
with zoning denial
Google Fiber’s arrival in Brookhaven
hit a roadblock Dec. 16 as the city’s Zon
ing Board of Appeals rejected its plan for a
utility hut in Parkside Park.
“We’ll continue exploring potential
sites for our fiber huts so we can bring
Google Fiber to Brookhaven,” a Google
Fiber spokesperson said in an email after
“This was not Google’s fault,” said Griff
Sims, one of several residents who opposed
the plan. He blamed the city for confu
sion about the application and a plan that
would place a long, high fence along the
park’s Dresden Drive frontage.
Google Fiber is a forthcoming fiber
optic Internet and TV service that Google
claims will be 100 times faster than typical
broadband connections. Atlanta and sever
al metro-area cities—including Brookhav
en and Sandy Springs—were chosen for
Google Fiber pilot installations earlier this
year. Google Fiber has declined to provide
its timeline for starting the service.
Google Fiber’s system requires a num
ber of utility huts in central locations. In
Brookhaven, the city agreed to provide
space for two huts in public parks. One
in Blackburn Park is already under con
struction. The other was to be in Parkside
Park, a narrow strip of green space run
ning along Dresden Drive between Apple
Valley Road and Parkside Drive.
The hut—a 336-square-foot box sur
rounded by a fence—was originally in
tended to go alongside the DeKalb Coun
ty fire station at the park’s western end.
But, Sims said, it turned out the city was
mistaken in thinking it owned land there.
That meant the Google Fiber hut had
to be placed deeper into the park, much
closer to a stream and Dresden Drive.
The proximity to Dresden triggered com
munity complaints about a fence at least
55 feet long fronting the street in a pub
lic park. There were zoning-oriented ques
The ZBA voted 4-0 to deny the vari
ance, city spokeswoman Ann Marie Quill
14 | DEC. 25,2015 —JAN. 7, 2016 | www.ReporterNewspapers.net