Panola Resort Plans – Please review and attend Aug. 18 meeting

The proposed redevelopment of Panola Slopes, the mixed used townhome community on Covington Highway near Young Road, is worthy of your serious consideration. The request to change the zoning will come before the Community Council Aug. 18, 6:30 p.m., at Redan Library.


The developers want to recreate Panola Slope as a high-end entertainment and resort complex. In their words:

Panola Resort-front“The project originally contemplated as a residential/commercial development, will be converted into a luxury resort mixed-use concept. Panola Slope will be a one of a kind paradise destination in Atlanta, if not the Southeast, targeting a moderate-to-wealthy income clientele looking for the ultimate in luxury and seclusion.”

“A main feature of the project will be the provision of adult amusement through a first of its kind ‘Barcade’ that will provide a series of adult oriented video games, virtual reality and coin operated amusement.”

“The villas will be rented as high-end hotel options, vacation rentals, extended stay lodging, and time-shares.”

Panola Resort-aerialA document provided at some community meetings includes information about a second phase of development: “an additional 20,000 square feet of retail/commercial space and 100 mini suite hotel rooms.”



The developers are asking to change the zoning from its current overlay zone to commercial.

In addition, the developers are seeking a special land use permit to allow alcohol to be served past the current12:30 a.m. cut-off; this would apply to three buildings, a total of 17,862 square feet. When DeKalb County grants such approval, the cut-off time is usually extended to 2:00 or 2:30 a.m.


Rezoning Application


SLUP Application


Concept Plans filed with DeKalb County (includes pictures)


Posted by Jan Costello
President, Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corp.

Proposed Development at Adcox and S. Hairston Out of Compliance

The development proposed at 1332 S. Hairston Road does not comply with the Greater Hidden Hills Overlay Code, signed in law in DeKalb County in Dec. 2011. The proposed development (between Adcox Road and The Reserve at Stone Creek apartment complex) falls in Tier Two. In this tier, the overlay allows “lower-density development in a mixed-use context more compatible with the adjacent single-family neighborhoods. Sec. 27-730.4.5. 

The property was purchased for $427,500 on Oct. 9, 2012, by Kawaljeet & Son, Inc., according to DeKalb County tax records. The purchase was made ten months after the overlay code went into effect. The developer and architect discussed their plans with the community on Nov. 5, at Hairston Library. (Site plan photo attached).

Gas Station Site Plan-Compliance Issues








Among the ways the proposal does not comply are:

  1. Proposed gas station is prohibited in Tier 2 Sec. 27-730.4.10

  2. Proposed convenience store is prohibited in Tier 2 Sec. 27-730.4.10

  3. 3.      Does not provide publicly accessible open space. Twenty percent of the development must be publicly accessible open space, directly accessible from a public sidewalk and building entrances. Sec. 27-730.4.23

  4. 4.      Does not provide multimodal access (required to provide safe and convenient pedestrian access routes to sidewalks along streets and to each building entrance; required to provide connections to driveways, sidewalks, and bike paths; required to provide bike parking facilities) Sec. 27-730.4.31, and Sec. 27-730.4.13 (h) and (i).

  5. 5.      Does not meet sidewalk width requirement. Sidewalks along Hairston must be at least 10-feet wide Sec. 27-730.4.27

The plan is not complete, so we do not know if the requirements on transitional buffer zones are met. There must be 30 feet or more of natural state or landscaped area to provide a visual screen between the building and the adjacent property. Sec. 27-730.4.14

Overlay Created to Enhance Economic Development

More than one dozen neighborhoods worked for several years to create a vision for the economic vitality and quality of life of the Greater Hidden Hills community. These neighborhoods include Chapman’s Mill, Essex Farm, Hidden Hills, Kennon’s Walk, Kingsgate, Kings Ridge, Mainstreet Community, the Meadows, Muirfield, Redan Park, and Scarbrough Square.


DeKalb County established the Greater Hidden Hills overlay zoning district to:

  • Encourage economic development and smart growth
  • Improve connectivity on foot, by bike, and by motorized transit.
  • Attract preferred types of businesses
  • Conserve greenspace
  • Create design standards for new buildings, signage, landscaping, streetscaping, and parking lots


Certain kinds of businesses are specifically prohibited because they do not meet our economic and community goals. However, we actively encourage many enterprises. The overlay zoning code allows streamlined approval for these community-supported businesses:

  • Banks, credit unions and financial institutions
  • Business and professional offices
  • Educational services
  • Production, audio and video studios
  • Fitness and health centers
  • Medical and health services and supplies
  • Mixed-use development
  • Restaurants and late night establishments
  • Retail shops
  • Personal services such as day spas, beauty and barber shops, laundry and dry cleaning, alterations and repair
  • Family entertainment centers, including bowling and games
  • Art gallery, cultural facilities, movie theaters, and art supply stores
  • Hotels
  • Animal hospital or clinic, supplies, grooming


If the owner wants to pursue his development plans, he will have to go through the special land use process. This entails hearings by the Community Council, the Board of Zoning Appeals, and the Board of Commissioners. The Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation will continue to monitor the situation. We have asked to meet with the developer again to try and work out an acceptable solution.