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Costco Gas Pumps At Town Brookhaven Meets Opposition

DeKalb commissioners will learn more about plans during its Tuesday morning meeting. In the meantime, take our Patch poll.


The located at wants to put in a gas station, and has submitted the necessary applications to DeKalb County, but is running into opposition from the community and some conditions from the county planning department that have been refused.

The county's planning department recommended six conditions, including one limiting gas sale hours from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and another that would point lights a certain way and have them go dark soon after the station closes for the night. A Costco representative rejected three of the conditions, including one for a privacy fence dividing the store from a nearby proposed townhome development.

Costco is basing its proposal on the idea that it fits a broad definition of a convenience store - convenience stores are allowed to sell gas - and that the gas station's customer base would be limited solely to Costco members, which would ideally reduce traffic.

But three area residents, one of whom is a Costco member, and an representative all spoke out against the gas station, citing potential issues like long lines spilling out onto two-lane Hermance Drive and creating traffic jams. Oglethorpe is concerned about property devaluation and wanted Costco to help fund a pedestrian walkway from the school to Town Brookhaven, an idea that has been rejected.

This community backlash caused DeKalb County commissioners to defer more discussion on the matter until July 10 at 9 a.m. in the Maloof Auditorium at 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur. The meeting is open to the public.

Shannon July 09, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Everyone I have spoke to about this didn't know this was even an option at Town Brookhaven. They are strongly against it but don't know how to get it stopped or delayed further. The hearing is tomorrow....how I can't get to downtown Decatur to express my opinion in the middle of a work day??
Jordan Fox July 09, 2012 at 12:13 PM
The poll that goes along with this story doesn't have enough choices. It reads: Should Costco be allowed to install gas pumps at its Town Brookhaven location? Absolutely. No way. Who cares? There should be a 4th choice: Yes, if they meet the County Planning Dept's 6 conditions.
Jen L. July 09, 2012 at 12:28 PM
There have been bright yellow zoning meeting signs up near Costco for several months. All of these meetings were held after typical work hours. As a resident of one of the Town Brookhaven apartments and a Costco member, I welcome the gas pumps at Costco! I noticed last week while pumping gas at the Costco at Cumberland Mall that they really have a great system. Multiple pumps that reach both sides of the car, a gas pump employee directing traffic, and of course, way cheaper gas prices. For someone that has to use premium gas and lives ITP, I absolutely love the idea of Costco adding a gas station. Bring it on! :)
Thomas T Telford July 09, 2012 at 02:10 PM
The issue is that Town Brookhaven has already WAY overstepped the original master plan for the development. Costco can do just fine without gas being sold in their neighbors back yard. If you look at the site plan, it is really close to neighboring properties. Additionally they are balking at the idea of building fence between the property and the adjacent homes. The biggest thing is that Semblers attorney, the ever popular Kathy Zickert, is trying to say that the site should actually fall under the zoning code for convenient stores. Costco is not a convenience store. But they are trying to get the zoning pushed though by stating that it is. You all should try to get involved in your local government.
Rick July 09, 2012 at 02:37 PM
I'm sure our representatives from Dekalb County will listen to the opposition, confer for 2 minutes, and then do whatever the hell it is that they wish to do. Maybe they'll even slip in authorization for a large, LED billboard while they're at it.
City Yes July 09, 2012 at 02:41 PM
This folks is why we need a city....
Jack of Kings July 09, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Very local representation is needed in cases like this COSTCO gas pump issue. LOCAL = City of Brookhaven. Having local zoning that affects the very zoning officials who are residing in the new city would be a real positive.
Jordan Fox July 09, 2012 at 05:04 PM
For the City Yes people in this forum, you do realize that it were other City Yes people that approved Savi Urban Market's request to add-on which violated the Brookhaven LCI, right? I'm glad they agreed to Savi's request, but my point is that zoning concerns and issues will persist if the city passes.
Bill Lowe July 09, 2012 at 06:01 PM
If you live near this monstrosity that already looks well out of place, what difference will it make to have a gas station there? Remember, there is a City Debate tonight at Oglethorpe at 7 p.m. Both sides doing battle in a public forum. What many have cried for is finally going to happen. Ring side seats still available, but you will need to get there early. http://www.reporternewspapers.net/2012/07/08/reporter-newspapers-hosts-brookhaven-forum-at-oglethorpe-on-july-9/
bill July 09, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Dekalb's current planning administration finds it hard to believe new gas pumps were allowed in the Brookhaven overlay, which would and should have made these pumps impossible. But this was an important element in early drafts of the overlay, written by DeKalb's own consultant. The fact is that Patrick Ejeke's former planning administration, at the time Sembler was in control of the area, refused to allow the overlay to include any prohibited uses (unlike all other overlays in which Sembler had no interest at the time). The current administration is considering the addition of prohibited uses to the overlay, although it's too late to stop Sembler from adding pumps now.
Me July 10, 2012 at 03:16 PM
For goodness sakes, there's a huge Costco, mega apartments and other buildings. So what if there are some gas pumps? If you have a development like that, you may as well make it worthwhile! If you don't like it, move!
Nubs July 10, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Completely on board with Costco selling gas. Why shouldn't we be able to save some money in gas when it will do no more visual or traffic harm than the existing site already does? What do you have against saving money? Same obstructionist mentality as those who oppose Walmart at Suburban Plaza. Everyone will shop at Walmart and buy gas at Costco but they want it in someone else's back yard. Hypocritical actions at work here...
Eric H July 11, 2012 at 06:49 PM
yes but it will be a lot easier in a City of Brookhaven to track the changes they made after the zoning was approved that led to Costco even being there in the first place, or that led to streams being piped. Its a travesty that this promised "smart growth" new urbanism development would have a large scale gas station in the back near the residential area. I don't know the details about Savi but it appears the non compliance largely had to do with the parking. Though I would expect Brookhaven to adopt the LCI requirements as its own for that area. Adding a large stand of gas pumps back there seems a far greater violation of the guidelines. Though the whole development is not compliant with the LCI.
Eric H July 11, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Bill I did not know that and unfortunately I am not surprised. How typical. And just another reason I think a smaller city can do a better job of Land Use, Zoning, and Development than the county. Ejeke was to well protected by a lack of accountability due to the size of the County.
Sheila July 14, 2012 at 07:38 PM
When City of Brookhaven starts to run out of money, I sincerely believe that those gas pumps will be approved if they are revenue producers! Wake up people.
Booyah July 14, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Unless I don't understand where the pumps would be located, there doesn't appear to be any residential property close by. Oglethorpe has a deep buffer across Hermance, LA Fitness adjoins the site, and there is an undeveloped piece of property probably town homes. What is the issue?? Surely the developer of the town homes would build a privacy fence.
Eric H July 16, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Yes that lot is for a residential development and it abuts other residential development. The Costco should be a transitional development to residential, by fault of DeKalb's permiting approval it turned into a Costco, adding gas pumps makes matters worse. A large gas station is not a what should go in this transitional portion of the property and a privacy fence does not address it. Bottom line its utter nonsense to try to call the Costco a convenience store.
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Bhaven Resi January 24, 2013 at 10:05 PM
I think many of you forget that we chose to live within a major metropolitan CITY. This is what happens and it is forced by the demand of consumers. Bottom line is that as much as some of you don't want to admit that you live in Atlanta, you do....and Town Brookhaven is a very popular development. As huge as the development is already what does it really matter if gas pumps are installed that we will all use? Eric, you don't know the development world and that is obvious by your comments, you should stick to something else. Odds are, Sembler owned that property before you even moved here, they have for several years. We live in the city people, a growing city, and that single Kroger (which is also expanding) isn't enough to sustain our needs and this is why Town Brookhaven is thriving. Why would you move into or within spitting distance of city limits such as Atlanta and then complain when growth occurs to meet the needs of citizens?
Eddie E. January 25, 2013 at 03:38 AM
Wowsers, there used to be even more residential development, but we chased those people away because they just don't 'fit the profile' of our urban fantasy.
parkplaceman39 February 20, 2013 at 05:51 PM
The only reason I do not shop the Costco there is NO GAS STATION! Costco gas stations are well managed and well-run and like the Cinebistro, an amazing addition to Town Brookhaven. You people are nuts to not want a Costco Gas Station in your area.
Eric H February 20, 2013 at 06:16 PM
Bhaven Resi Sembler did not own the property before I moved to the area. And I'm more than happy to discuss the intricacies of land development with you. I'm all for walkable transit friendly urban style development. What I object to is placing gas pumps on the residential side of the development. There are abandoned or underutilized gas stations along Peachtree if its more gas pumps we need. Parkplaceman39, while I don't have a Costco membership, I've heard they are good, and cheaper gas is always nice. Its not a question of wanting a Costco gas station its a question of where it was located.

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