EACA Meeting Minutes – November 8, 2016
The meeting was called to order on November 8w at 7:05pm by President Lewis Cartee.
2017 EACA Officer Nominations: All offices are up for nomination for 2017. Henry Bryant helps with the nominating process and if someone is interested in a position, they can email henry at email@example.com. In December the NPU will hold a separate election for 8 delegates to the NPU-W board. These nominees do not have to be a member of EACA but must live within the EACA boundaries.
Holiday Potluck: Our annual EACA Holiday Potluck will be held after next month’s meeting. During the meeting we will elect 2017 officers but will try to keep the business side of the meeting short. Please bring a side dish to share with other community members. EACA will also be adopting another family for the holidays. Look for sign-up in newsletters in the coming month.
Vigil for Alex Newton: There will be a vigil for Alex Newton, the young gentleman who was murdered at the Alexan on October 31, on Thursday, September 10 at 6:30pm in the Argosy greenspace. Speakers will be begin at 7:00pm. We invite everyone to come together as a community to try to heal from this senseless act of violence.
East Atlanta Foundation New Year’s Eve Fireworks: Jonathan Barhite made a short presentation about potential NYE fireworks display sponsored by the East Atlanta Foundation (East Atlanta Craft Beer Festival). Currently they are seeking the proper permits and will have an update at the December meeting. The fireworks are planned for the B&W & Secret Spot lots and there will be a partial street closure on Glenwood to Patterson for approximately 3 hours during the event. The fireworks will last 10-12 minutes. The EAF is looking for support from the community to proceed. Questions: Is the drought a concern? No the site will be watered down completely and the Fire Department will be on standby. Can we get Uber/Lyft involved to help cut down on parking needs? Both have been contacted about working out a deal. How many people can attend and where will people stand? Attendees will be able to see the fireworks from most locations in the village. Trying to reserve the Dollie’s lot specifically for Branan Towers residents. Also working with businesses to stage the event in their parking lots. There will be no alcohol sold at the event but will likely be hot chocolate and snacks available. Jonathan asked for a motion of support from the members. Motion was approved and seconded.
Foresight Augmented Reality – FAR presentation: David Furukawa, a blind East Atlanta resident, was struck by a car in 2013 while walking his son to school. While in the hospital recovering from his injuries, a friend stopped by to talk to him about ways to make mobility simpler and safer for the blind. One big issue for blind people is locating buildings. David’s friend, Chris, is an electrical engineer and thought they could use beacon technology to designate doorways and spaces inside businesses so people that are blind or have low vision could navigate neighborhoods. Together they created the company Foresight Augmented Reality (FAR) and have built a smart phone app that works with beacon technology to alert people to businesses and help them navigate inside as well as exit during an emergency. Currently they are piloting the app with three East Atlanta businesses: Argosy, East Atlanta Copy Center and Village Fitness. There are advertising opportunities available through the app and it can even read a full menu of services or offerings to the user. Right now the app is in beta testing but it has been submitted to the app store for distribution. The app is provided free to the user. Businesses will pay to be a part of the app on a subscription fee basis and are currently being offered a year’s subscription for $299. Questions: We have a lot of turnover in businesses in the village. How would you track that to keep the village saturated with beacons? Should work with the building owners so that beacon can be maintained if the business shutters. Currently there are beacons deployed in Virginia Highlands, Centennial Park and Riverside. Hoping to install in stadiums, hospitals, hotels in the future. Gaining some media attention right now for the app. What about public places like libraries? A phase 3 rollout is planned that is includes more public places. The problem with getting public place installation expedited is dealing with government and committees. Title 2 of the ADA says the government has to consider all accessibility options presented to them but that process can take time. When citizens show that they want the option, it is easier to sell to the government entity. If the EAV is the pilot for the app release, what would it take to make it happen? There are some non-profits in the neighborhood who provide grants for things like this. Suggestion from community member is to try to tie it to an art walk or establish beacons in public places like cross walks and points of interest (historical markers) that tell the story of the location via the app.
Land Use and Zoning -391 Monument Variance, Andy Schneggenburger: Increase maximum allowable square footage of a detached garage or workshop. Will go from 30% of main living space to 68%. NPU-W voted 11 in favor, 1 abstention. Residents provided a presentation on the proposed building. They have the neighbors’ buy-in and they have plenty of room in their existing space for the structure. Motion made to approve. Seconded. Approved – 17 Opposed – 0 Abstained – 0.
Housing Affordability in our NPU: Andre Dickens, council member at large, introduced legislation this week that calls for more affordable housing in the Beltline study area which includes Ormewood Park and Grant Park. The NPU will likely vote on this because it is a zoning issue. Andy would like EACA to weigh in on this legislation even though we are outside of the study area. He would like us to support a value statement for future multi-family developments. He will provide more information in the upcoming months but please call Councilperson Archibong regarding your support over the recently introduced legislation. Comment from community members – the council is using $38K as the median income for affordable housing and this is too high for our area. The city is in the middle of rewriting the zoning codes so now is the time to weigh-in with our councilperson on any issues that need to be addressed.
Canopy Conservation from Trees Atlanta and Conservation Fund- Christina Gibson and Shannon Lee: The Conservation Fund assists City of Atlanta Parks and the Beltline organization with land acquisitions. They buy the land on behalf of these agencies but they do not hold the land in trust. Right now is it is imperative that we figure out how to protect our city from massive tree loss. Shannon is asking for support to change the Tree Recompense Fund distribution. The Tree Recompense fund is generated by fees paid when trees are cut down in the city. Currently, the money can only be used to plan new trees. The new rules would allow the purchase of land lots of older growth trees. Please contact Councilperson Archibong with your support. The bill number is 16-0-1353 and is called the Forested Land Preservation Amendment. Link to Saporta Report article on this issue. Trees Atlanta is offering free shade trees this fall and winter for your front yard. Contact Alex at Trees Atlanta. firstname.lastname@example.org. Current the city of Atlanta has 48% tree canopy. The Office of Sustainability would like to maintain a 0% canopy loss over time. Recently Trees Atlanta worked with Georgia Tech to quantify the existing tree canopy in Atlanta. Link to Urban Tree Canopy Study The above local legislation, Forested Land Preservation Amendment, is important to maintaining and improving the existing canopy. Please contact Council Member Archibong with your support. Please also report any illegal tree removal to the COA arborist. Tree removal requires a permit and that permit should be with the company removing the tree.
Closing remarks: The Neighbor in Need gala raised $16K for emergency senior home repairs in East Atlanta. Thanks to all the community members and EACA members for planning and supporting this event. EAVOWEEN – This year marked the largest attendance for EAVOWEEN ever. There were some safety concerns during the event and the committee is planning to address these concerns for next year’s event. Partial street closures are an option as well as crossing guards.
The October Minutes and Treasurer’s report were approved. The meeting was adjourned at 8:20pm.