Friends of Kensington

Promoting a Multi-Use, Transit-Oriented Destination for the Kensington MARTA Station

Update 4/16/19: Variance requests were approved for Phoenix Station on Wednesday, April 10

 The requested variances for the Phoenix Station project were approved at The DeKalb County Zoning Board of Appeals public hearing held on Wednesday, April 10, 2019.

In August 2018, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners approved the rezoning of this land to high-density residential.  The rezoning approval was based on a conceptual site plan.  At that time, the general plan was for a 7 story residential complex with 244 apartments with some retail and other uses on the first floor.

In March 2019, the developer submitted a revised site plan and requested the following variances:

1.  Reduction of the rear yard setback from 20 feet to 10 feet.  This is necessary to accommodate the Kensington Road streetscape. Friends of Kensington advocated for and supported this rear yard variance request.

2.  Elimination of the 50 foot transitional buffer along the western boundary line. 

3. Reduction of the Eastern boundary transitional buffer from 50 feet to 15 feet.

The developer also submitted a revised site plan for 222 apartments including some retail or other uses on the first floor.  The revised site plan has a larger footprint, relocates the swimming pool & courtyard and has other important changes.

The need for the elimination of the Western & Eastern transitional buffers was described in small print on the August 2018 site plan.  

Last week’s Board of Appeals approval will allow the developer to proceed with detailed design work.    Additional aspects of the development may change as the process moves forward. Some changes require approval by DeKalb County agencies.  Some changes require public notice.  Let's hope this last public notice snafu was a one-time event.

Unfortunately, this building will not solve the affordable housing crisis.  DeKalb County needs inclusionary zoning and should aim for a successful solution to the affordable housing crisis as well as a model development at this location.


Phoenix Station Variance Application 3:7:19 (pdf)


Phoenix Station Variance Application Revised Siteplan (pdf)


2019-04-10 Staff Review (pdf)


2019-04-10 Pub Hearing Notice (pdf)


About Us

Who We Are



Friends of Kensington (FOK) is a diverse group of DeKalb County citizens advocating for a multi-use, transit-oriented destination for this site anchored by the Kensington MARTA Station. We support the various plans developed by DeKalb County, the Atlanta Regional Commission, MARTA, and area stakeholders over the past 16 years. These plans envision Kensington Road from Covington Highway to Memorial Drive as a pedestrian-oriented main street lined by street front businesses, wide sidewalks, and canopy trees. We support affordable housing around the Kensington Station as part of the mixed-use development envisioned by years of community planning. 


Mixed Income housing coupled with Mixed Use provides much-needed services and amenities to local residents, integrates the project into the surrounding community and fosters social interaction and solid and inclusive neighborhoods. This is especially true in communities such as this that are underserved by retailers and service providers. Mixed Use developments with services and retail are more affordable for residents since transportation costs can be decreased. Mixed Use projects are more sustainable because they provide an added income stream for the developer.  

See the PDF section for the latest renderings of Phoenix Station and ,as comparison, the East Lake MARTA TOD .

Why We Formed



LDG, an out-of-state developer, intends to build an apartment building in place of six single family homes located across the street from the Kensington MARTA Station. LDG has filed a request with DeKalb to rezone the land to High Density Residential for a six-story, 244 unit, multi-family project. It will provided needed work force housing.


We are opposed to LDG’s proposed plan because it is not a Mixed-Use development.

  • It goes against the 2003 ARC Livable Centers Initiative.
  • It goes against the DeKalb County 2035 Comprehensive Plan.
  • It goes against MARTA Transit Oriented Development Guidelines.
  • It goes against the DeKalb County 2014 Transportation Plan.
  • It goes against the proposed Kensington-Memorial Drive Overlay District. 
  • The proposed design of the building and lack of mixed use creates a development that is socially, physically, and economically isolated.  
  • The project contains 28 one bedroom, 108 two bed room and 116 three bedroom units. In spite of targeting families, the site includes very limited places for children to play or for social interactions.

How You Can Help


  1. Attend The DeKalb Board of Commissioner's meeting July 24th.  Wear black to show support!
  2. Writie and/or call the DeKalb Commissioners who will have the ultimate vote on the rezoning (contact information listed below)
  3. Forwarding this info as you feel appropriate 
  4. Ask your friends and neighbors for their support
  5. Contribute to the Friends of Kensington fund which will be used to pay our Zoning Attorney.

Whether you help through monetary donations, volunteering your time, or spreading our mission through word-of-mouth, thank you. We need your assistance to convince The DeKalb County Commission to deny the proposed rezoning and insist on a Mixed Use development to benefit residents of Phoenix Station and residents of DeKalb County.


Donate Now


Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card

Thank you for contributing to the Friends of Kensington fund to pay our Zoning Attorney and cover the costs of mailings, flyers, and signage. Your contribution today helps us make a difference.  Thank you.


Contact Information for DeKalb County Commissioners

Nancy Jester  (District 1)

Mike Davis , Jeff Long - Assistants


Jeff Rader (District 2)

Caroline Enloe - Assistant


Larry Johnson (District 3)

Colet Odenigbo, LaShun Atwaters - Assistants


Steve Bradshaw (District 4)

Alesia Brooks, Robin Detar - Assistants


Mereda Davis Johnson (District 5)

Demetrius McCoy, Demetrius Pinkett - Assistants


Kathie Gannon (Super District 6)

Kelly Cato, Davis Fox - Assistants



Gregory Adams (Super District 7)

Sonia Gilbert, Karren Manuel - Assistants


Planning Documents outlining the vision for the Kensington Marta Area

Livable Kensington - Kensington Station LIvable Centers Initiative 2003

DeKalb County 2035 Comprehensive Plan

MARTA's Kensington Station Transit Oriented Development plan

MARTA Transit Oriented Development Guidelines

Dekalb County 2014 Transportation Plan Recommendations Report

Kensington-Memorial Drive Planned Overlay District - Tier II DeKalb Business & Lifestyle Center, which includes the Kensington Area, starts on page 15

LDG Development, LLC - The Good and The Bad

LDG Development, LLC

Austin TX Police Department extends Operation Strike Out to patrol The Harris Branch Apartments in response to 142 calls to police in the past year

Cambridge Station has been called the "Epicenter of Crime" by the Indianapolis Housing Authority

Downloadable PDFs

Friends of Kensington letter to members of the DeKalb Planning Commission July 5, 2018

DeKalb Planning Department Staff Analysis and Recommendation for Rezoning Application Z-18-22040

Phoenix Station Renderings revised June 11, 2018

Phoenix Station Site Plan revised May/June 2018

DeKalb Rezoning Agenda July 2018

Kensington Station Planning Document Excerpts including:

1 – 2. “Kensington LCI Concept Plan” and “Kensington Station Illustrative Plan,” Atlanta Regional

Center's Kensington Livable Centers Initiative (Kensington LCI)

3. “Kensington Station Land Use Map,” MARTA’s Kensington Station Transit Oriented Development


4. “2035 Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Concepts,” DeKalb County 2035 Comprehensive Plan

5. “Kensington Station Activity Center,” 2035 Comprehensive Plan – Chapter 7 ‐ Land Use

6 – 7. “18. Transit and Land Use” and “Livable Kensington,” DeKalb County’s 2014 Transportation Plan

Recommendations Report

8 – 9. “Kensington‐Memorial Drive Overlay Boundary Area” and “Tier II: DeKalb Business and Lifestyle

Center,” Kensington‐Memorial Drive Overlay 

East Lake MARTA TOD Plan

Rezoning Meetings

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Friends of Kensington