On 12/14/2011, the DeKalb County, Georgia Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBOA) heard the request of Selig Enterprises for a "special exception" (variance) from Section 27-585(m) of the County Zoning Ordinance for less parking per square foot of store space than required by County ordinance (5.5 spaces/1000 sq. ft. required, 3.9 requested).
The opening argument was made by Steve Rothman of Wilson, Brock, & Irby, LLC.
He based the argument for fewer spaces based primarily on a 1.5 hour study of similar malls in metro Atlanta, using this poster (click for larger image):
Due to operator error, the first few minutes of his comments were not recorded. The audio picks up with him speaking about Chamblee Village. To hear it, click on the bar below:
Following this, 25-30 citizens commented for 26 minutes (see earlier post to hear the audio). Citizen comments were cut off with 5-10 people still in line.
Selig was allowed rebuttal time of 14 minutes. Scott Selig (Sr. VP, Acquisitons & Development, and the fourth generation to be in the Selig Enterprises family business) starts, followed by Bill Stogner (Sr. VP, Retail Leasing, who says he's been trying to fill Suburban Plaza for six years) and others. At points, members of the board ask questions. Sometimes charts are held up to clarify. Representatives of supporting and non-opposing neighborhoods were called to speak. A copy of the the portion of the agreement between the Medlock Area Neighbors Association (MANA) and Selig/Walmart relevant to parking (linked in an earlier post) was submitted.
Click on the bar below to hear this segment:
Then the ZBOA deliberated for 26 minutes (see earlier post to hear the audio), ultimately voting to grant the special exception.
The County Zoning Administrator confirmed something closer to 3 parking spaces per thosand square feet of store space is the current thinking for malls, and DeKalb County is considering moving closer to that, especially for Living Community Initiatives (LCIs).