GPNA Meeting Minutes
March 20, 2018
Time: 7:32pm – 8:58pm
Location: Zoo Atlanta ARC Building, Coca-Cola World Theater
Officers/Chairs Present: Dr. Michelle Kirby, President; Ron Hatch, Vice President; Lauren Rocereta, Secretary; Chris Newman, Public Safety; Steve Powner, Economic Development; Laura Keen, Fundraising; Heidi Reis, Philanthropic; Stephanie Warner, Technology; Rick Hudson, Land Use and Zoning
President – Dr. Michelle Kirby (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Welcome, housekeeping rules, and thanks to Zoo Atlanta for use of the theater for the meeting.
- Reminder: The purpose of the monthly general GPNA meeting is for GPNA officers/committee chairs, local organizations, elected officials, etc. to provide brief updates to the community. In-depth discussion occurs at the committee level.
- Per bylaws Article V: Section 5.06: Dr. Michelle Kirby announced the selection of Lauren Rocereta as Secretary to fill the vacant position. This selection was ratified by the membership via voice vote.
- House District 59 Rep: David Dreyer (house.ga.gov/Representatives/en-US/member.aspx?Member=4888&Session=25) – update provided by staff member Rob Smith. The legislative session ends soon, and David Dryer will attend the April GPNA meeting to provide an update on everything accomplished.
- Zone 6 APD Update: Lieutenant Ryan
- Vehicle larceny is the main problem in Grant Park, especially for visitors to the area in North Grant Park and Zoo Atlanta. Please remove/hide all items in your vehicle.
- Neighbor concern: Speeders during rush hour. LT Ryan said they have started addressing speeding in the area this week.
- Neighbor concern: Zone 3 precinct officers “test” sirens at all hours, and it is a noise disturbance for neighbors. Chris Newman and LT Ryan will report this back to the precinct.
- Friends of Erskine Fountain (facebook.com/FriendsofErskine)
- Neighbor David Mitchell, with the help of others, was successful in having an historical marker placed at Erskine Fountain.
- Neighbor announced: David Mitchell is the recipient of the Gibson C. Cornwell Keystone Award (info on page 4 at reporternewspapers.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Phoenix-Files-program.pdf).
- Grant Park Parents Network (GPPN) Update: Kristi Malloy
- Easter Egg Hunt (grantparkparents.org/events/egg-hunt-and-picnic) – 3/31/2018 – includes Easter Bunny and live music
- Run Before Your Crawl 5K (grantparkparents.org/events/run-before-you-crawl) – 4/414/2018 – Proceeds benefit Grant Park Conservancy (GPC) (www.gpconservancy.org), GPPN, Grant Park Security Patrol (GPSP) (https://grantparksecuritypatrol.wildapricot.org)
- Music in the Meadow – The Grant Park and Ormond-Grant Park live summer music series for families will begin soon.
- GPPN Playgroups (grantparkparents.org/playgroups) – Playgroups focus on getting Grant Park’s youngest neighbors together to play. Join a group!
- Oakland Cemetery: Richard Harker, Director of Programming and Volunteers
- Learn about all upcoming Oakland Cemetery events from Volunteer Days, Malts and Vaults, and Tunes from the Tombs by visiting oaklandcemetery.com/events.
- Trees Atlanta: Alex Beasly
- Tree Planting – Grant Park (https://treesatlanta.org/event/tree-planting-grant-park), 3/31/2018 – Meet at the pool area
- Interested in doing a tree planting at Atlanta Ave and Delmar Ave. Residents in the targeted area have received a flyer with information.
- Last year Trees Atlanta did a tree planting at the The Nest (https://thenestnurseryschool.org) nursery school in Grant Park.
- Grant Park Farmer’s Market (https://cfmatl.org/grantpark): Sam Gader, Market Manager
- Opening Day – April 8, 9:00am to 1:00pm, Milledge Fountain, 600 Cherokee Avenue
Vice President – Ron Hatch (email@example.com)
- Passed around committee sign-up sheet and encouraged neighbors to sign up for any committee they may be interested in. Interested neighbors should hear from the committee chair, but if not, please know all committees are open to the public. You can contact committee chairs via the email address by their name in these minutes for questions/concerns and see committee meeting dates on the GPNA calendar (http://gpna.org/calendar).
Secretary – Lauren Rocereta (firstname.lastname@example.org) – No Update
Treasurer – Michelle Botwinick (email@example.com; Update provided by President – Dr. Michelle Kirby)
- Reminder: GPNA is a recognized 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax deductible.
- Answer to neighbor inquiry from April 20, 2018 GPNA meeting: How much money has Fuqua Development donated? Fuqua Development provided a $1,000 donation in 2015 as a Mothball “Yacht Level” sponsor and $5,000 in 2016 as a “Neighborhood Champion” level sponsor. In 2016 there were many $5,000 sponsors including Six Feet Under, Urban Realty Partners, Atlantic Realty Partners, Paces Properties and Fuqua Development. More information is available at http://gpna.org/info/108603.
Public Safety – Chris Newman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Public Safety meetings are held in conjunction with NPU Public Safety meetings every 4th Wednesday, 6:30pm, Village Church of East Atlanta.
- New restaurant, Patria Cocina (facebook.com/PatriaCocinaAtlanta), to open at The Beacon (www.thebeaconatlanta.com) is seeking a liquor license and has been asked to speak to neighbors at the April GPNA meeting.
- Chris Newman echoed LT Ryan’s warning to keep vehicles clear of any visible items due to large amount of vehicle larcenies. If you see someone peeking in a car window try to get a detailed description of the person and a license plate number and call 911. There were 30 vehicle larcenies last month.
- We had two burglaries the last week of February. One was at a new house still under construction. This occurred during the night on Mercer across from Parkside Elementary. The back door was kicked in and tools were taken. The second burglary was at a home on the 800 block of Confederate Avenue. A basement door was kicked in and tools were taken there also. This occurred sometime during the day when the homeowner was at work.
- Via Chris Newman, the District Attorney (DA) reported there are no cases involving Grant Park at this time. DA will be lobbying 3/21/2018 at the Georgia capital for support of a program to expunge the record of nonviolent felons so they can gain employment. Contact your rep to discuss why you are for or against this program.
- Officers continue to focus on prevention. LT Iosty has facilitated an introduction to the officers in the HOPE program. The HOPE officers collaborate with social workers to assist mentally ill persons who are indigent. We have a man here in the neighborhood who has begun to cause problems and was arrested three weeks ago. The judge declared him incompetent and he was transferred to Grady for evaluation. We are waiting for a report on the disposition of his case.
- Chris Newman will provide traffic alerts pertaining to street closures due to movie/TV production, road work, etc. on Nextdoor (https://nextdoor.com/news_feed) and the GPNA Facebook page (facebook.com/GrantParkGPNA). Road closure information can also be found at the Mayor’s Office of Special Events (https://ditweb.atlantaga.gov/mose/Default.aspx) or Atlanta Track Club (www.atlantatrackclub.org).
Fundraising – Laura Keen (email@example.com)
- The GPNA annual sponsorship package has been revamped.
- So far Mezcalitos and Six Feet Under have become 2018 sponsors.
- Money is used to give back to the neighborhood to support philanthropic efforts to improve the neighborhood.
- Tour of Homes: Heidi Reis – Please volunteer for the Tour of Homes Committee or put your home on the tour. Please contact Heidi Reis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Philanthropic – Heidi Reis (email@example.com)
- We have planned three evenings in the near future to prepare meals for the families at The Nicholas House (https://nicholashouse.org) in Grant Park. Volunteers are needed. Please email Heidi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Technology – Stephanie Warner (email@example.com)
- If you have any information you’d like to get out to the neighborhood please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Always looking for content help on this committee.
- Make sure you and your neighbors are signed up to receive email correspondence from GPNA at gpna.org.
- We are looking for a way to allow neighbors to electronically sign-in at meetings to speed up the process.
- A neighbor at the meeting volunteered to help with the GPNA Twitter account.
- Technology Committee meetings are every 4th Tuesday, 8:00pm, 393 Ormond Street.
Homes & History – Paul Simo (email@example.com; Update provided by President – Dr. Michelle Kirby)
- Looking to expand Grant Park National Historic Register to Northern Grant park (Mattress Factory Lofts, etc.)
- Neighbors from South Grant Park and “Taco Town” expressed their desire to be included.
Land Use and Zoning – Rick Hudson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Introduced new Vice Chair of LUZ, Liliana Bakhtiari.
- Introduced new Vice Chair of Transportation, Chrissy Spencer.
- Grant Park Conservancy applied for a Park Pride Visioning Grant to explore ideas for enhancing Grant Park from the existing Boulevard parking lot to Atlanta Ave. There will be four public meetings announced for June, July, August, and September.
- McDonald Street seeking “Don’t Block the Box” designation – no update this month.
- Loomis Street – Asked the City to start procedure for making it a two-street.
- 800 Glenwood Affordable Senior Housing: Via voice vote neighbors supported reaffirming original commitment of the intent of 800 Glenwood which included affordable senior housing, Kroger, Chick-Fil-A, office building, and apartments.
- A meeting will be rescheduled the first week of April with Columbia so neighbors can learn why they didn’t qualify for low income tax credits. Atlanta Housing Authority will be invited. Check GPNA calendar for updates. The meeting will be announced on GPNA Facebook page and Nextdoor.com.
- Fuqua Development expressed concern for the perception neighbors have regarding not having affordable senior housing in this location and have committed to finding every possible way to accomplish this before proceeding with anything else.
- There is currently no application for rezoning for a self-storage facility.
- Rick Hudson will provide a written meeting update for the two meetings on 3/13 and 3/15. All updates can be seen at gpna.org on the home page where there is an announcement specifically for the 800 Glenwood info.
- Buteco, Brazilian Coffee Bar coming to The Beacon in Grant Park, requested support for a special use permit to allow a permanent food truck in one parking space due to lack of space for a kitchen. This is a 5-year vending permit request. Usually a vending permit is only 90 days, so the request is for this to extend to 5 years to avoid reapplying every 90 days. The special use permit is not transferable. Via voice vote neighbors supported the request.
- Grant Park Gateway Project:
- Some trees have come down and dirt will start to be moved.
- One neighbor asked why there still “Save the Trees” signs in peoples’ yards if the Gateway fight is settled. Jim Voris, speaking for “Save the Trees,” said the organization is now a nonprofit and feels there will be other opportunities to save trees in Grant Park and/or provide care for existing trees.
The following items received support via voice vote:
- January 2018 meeting minutes
- February 2018 meeting minutes
- GPNA action plan 2018
- GPNA 2018 proposed budget
- Neighbor question: Why $5,000 for credit card fees? Grant Park Parent Network (GPPN) and Grant Park Security Patrol (GPSP) fall under GPNA 501(c)(3). ALL events/merchandise for GPNA, GPPN, and GPSP take credit cards and this is a budgeted item for the associated credit card fees.
- Neighbor question: Why $1,200 for Quickbooks? Treasurer was absent so we couldn’t have an exact answer, but guesses included: online subscription, update to new versions annually.
- Neighbor question: Why not pay a neighbor to store GPNA stuff in their garage instead of paying self-storage fees? This has been done and it was very inconvenient for both parties at different times for different reasons. Due to tax purposes GPNA cannot provide receipts for a person to deduct this.
- Neighbor question: Why $3,000 for Grant Park Stories project? This has been on the budget for several years and no money has been spent, so this rolls over yearly. The idea is to have all homes entered into an online database so people can research their homes. GPNA has binders full of pictures and information about each home, and this would require an exorbitant amount of time scanning documents. The desire is for someone to volunteer time, but if this ever gains steam the money is budgeted to pay someone if necessary.
New business/open floor
- New school boundaries lines are being explored in Grant Park due to overcrowding at Park Side Elementary. There will be a series of “Cluster Community Conversations.” Visit the gpna.org home page for information to be posted soon. This could cut Grant Park in half and send neighborhood children to different schools. Visit the links provided in the minutes online at gpna.org/march2018.