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Zoning district added in Brentwood to preserve Old Smyrna Road corridor

West Point cadet recognized by city commission

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Rhea Little, Cadet Robert Allen

Brentwood Mayor Rhea Little stands with Cadet Robert Allen. Allen, a Brentwood native, is a student at West Point and was recognized by Little and the Brentwood City Commission.

Brentwood city commissioners on Monday approved a 14th zoning district for the city to preserve the scenic and historic qualities along the Old Smyrna Road corridor, one of the oldest stretches of the city.

All of the land within the city of Brentwood is classified into zoning districts that determine what the land can be used for and lot sizes. The new Agricultural Residential Estate ­– Innovative Project zone, or AR-IP, will provide greater flexibility by allowing a minimum lot size of 2 acres while still maintaining Brentwood’s overall one-unit-per-3-acre density of the regular Agriculture Residential, or AR, zoning district. The current AR zoning provides for larger estate-type lots with a minimum size of 3 acres and general agricultural uses. The property along the historic Old Smyrna Road corridor is an example of AR-zoned property.

If property owners want to pursue changing their property to the new zone, lots as small as 2 acres are allowed as long as they maintain an overall density of no more than one unit per 3 acres. Property owners can also design lots abutting Old Smyrna Road with setbacks that are smaller in the front yard and larger in the rear yard, making it easier to create more distance between new homes and Old Smyrna Road.  

The existing AR-zoned parcels are only required to have a rear yard setback of 75 feet along Old Smyrna; the new district would provide for a setback of 100 feet, in addition to a 50-foot landscaped buffer. The front yard setback would be reduced from 175 feet to 100, and side yard setbacks would decrease from 50 feet to 30.  

“I think there are people in Brentwood that are pleased we are doing this,” Brentwood City Commissioner Ken Travis said. “This is really good, and we thank staff for studying this and presenting us with this solution.”

The traditional AR zoning district was originally established and assigned to the eastern portion of town, according to the zoning map from 1973. It was meant to provide additional green space along arterial streets within the city. Over the years, AR-zoned area has diminished due to rezoning and development.  

“We hope that the added flexibility of the new AR-IP zoning district will be the mechanism that helps to protect the natural beauty of an area known for its historic dry stacked stone walls and notable tree canopy,” City Manager Kirk Bednar said.

You can read more about Brentwood’s zoning districts on the city’s website at

Commissioners recognize West Point student

Cadet Robert Allen, who was home from the United States Military Academy at West Point, was also recognized at Monday’s meeting.

Allen attended Grassland Middle School and Father Ryan High School, graduating in 2020. He’s majoring in physics and minoring in robotics at West Point and also may add a minor in German.  

“I am excited to be returning from West Point to represent the service academies and the armed services as a whole,” he said. “This past summer, I completed air assault school, a 10-day course designed to prepare soldiers for insertion, evacuation and pathfinder missions that call for the use of multipurpose transportation and assault helicopters. Air assault training focuses on the mastery of rappelling techniques and sling load procedures, skills that involve intense concentration and a commitment to safety and preparation.”  

Mayor Rhea Little and commissioners expressed their appreciation for Allen and all of the city’s active military members and veterans.

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