Once a rural byway, North Druid Hills Road has developed into a major thoroughfare to the upscale commercial district of the Buckhead, Lenox and Lindbergh communities.
Now the DeKalb County government wants a unified plan for future development along the North Druid Hills corridor, a 2.5-mile section from Buford Highway to Clairmont Road. On Dec. 7, the Board of Commissioners voted to incorporate the results of a study into the county’s comprehensive plan for development.
“A good plan gives land owners relevant direction for the development or redevelopment of their own property, and a good idea of what is likely to happen in the area,” wrote Commissioner Jeff Rader, on his Web site.
Mixed-use districts, raised and planted medians, six-foot-wide sidewalks, bicycle lanes, realigned driveways into townhomes, new signal lights and improved traffic flow are part of the proposal for North Druid Hills, according to the study.
Another goal of the study is to encourage new development and redevelopment of under-used or outdated buildings, complexes and parcels.
The North Druid Hills plan was funded by a $120,000 grant in 2009 from the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Centers Initiative. In addition, 20 percent in matching funds came from DeKalb Development Authority ($15,000), DeKalb transportation division ($12,000) and Edens & Avant ($3,000), co-owners of the Toco Hills Shopping Center.
Currently, North Druid Hills Road is usually congested and winds through an assortment of retail, office/industrial buildings and apart-ments mostly constructed in the 1960s during Atlanta’s initial suburbanization boom.
Several of the retail buildings in the area are abandoned, and no reinvestment in a significant number of the buildings is being made, which acts as a deterrent to buyers who may be interested in building or investing in the study area.