The Porch Press

Serving the Historic Atlanta Neighborhoods of Grant Park, Ormewood Park, East Atlanta, Benteen Park, Glenwood Park, and environs

East Atlanta Community Association Minutes

• Kevin called meeting to order at 7:10 PM
• Kevin made an announcement regarding the Beer Fest scheduled for Saturday May 18. This event is a major fundraiser for the East Atlanta Foundation, and a major source of funding for EACA. The Beer Fest is offering a $5 discount on tickets for EACA members. EACA and EABA are running a photo booth as a fundraiser for both organizations.
• Land Use & Zoning Report – presented by Andy Schneggenberger
– Andy presented two NC2 ordinance revisions for approval by the membership
The first was a map with a clearly defined area where cell towers would be permitted, bordered by Glenwood, Flat Shoals and McPherson streets.
The second related to the height of screenings allowed on the sidewalk/street side of buildings in EAV. The revision would allow applicants to file for a variance to the current regulations allowing screenings or barriers greater than 3 feet in height. Discussion ensued regarding this change, including issues of businesses trying to maintain the public space while still creating a separation for business purposes, and ideas about ways to allow obstructions such as temporary art installations without an actual variance (such as temporary permits for these activities). A motion was made to approve the revision including the map but not the variance from the 3 foot maximum height for obstructions. The motion carried, with 15 in favor and 1 opposed.
– Andy continued the report with news on the development of the Gordon School. The developer should be closing on the property by May 31, and work should begin at the end of June-early July. Attendees asked whether plans for the new development were available; Andy said he would see if they could be distributed in the newsletter or posted on the website.
• Kevin Spigener introduced new attendees/members.
• Brownwood Park Report – presented by Rebecca Kern
– Rebecca presented a slide show, and discussed a work day held at the park in April. A large number of volunteers, including a group from Buckhead Church worked on an erosion control project which included the building of terraced berms with logs inoculated with mushrooms and general clean up around the stream, mulching, etc.
– Rebecca also discussed the upcoming Frolic in the Park on May 19, with the theme “A Cure for What Ales You”.
– Mary Yetter briefly discussed proposed budget cuts, in the amount of $3 million, to parks in the mayor’s budget. The city council is meeting on Thursday at 6:00pm to discuss the cuts, and members were urged to attend the meeting, or call the mayor (at 404.330.6100) or Councilmember Archibong’s office in support of the parks.
• Atlanta Police Zone 6 Updates – presented by Sgt Tibbens
– Sgt Tibbens said crime in up in zone 6 compared to last year, and, in response, there are more police details patrolling in East Atlanta. There has been a wave of thefts of catalytic converters from Honda Elements, as well as vehicle burglaries and thefts. The officer encouraged residents to call 911 if they witnessed any suspicious activity – “see something say something”. There have been some arrests of repeat house burglary offenders. An attendee asked about groups of teenagers speeding up and down streets on scooters in the area around Glenwood and Clifton.
• Heart of South DeKalb Festival – presented by Paula Tate
– Ms. Tate announced the revival of the Heart of South DeKalb Festival scheduled for Saturday September 28 at The Gallery at South DeKalb. The festival will include a parade at around 9:30am, and music, food and activities for children. They are working on providing free food for kids to encourage attendance. Ms. Tate also requested anyone interested in volunteering for the festival should contact her at 404.683.3599 or heartofsouthdekalbfestival2013@gmail.com.
• Twilight Bicycle Race – presented by Jeff Blum
– Mr. Blum discussed the bike race scheduled for August 17. The race is in the planning stages now, and anyone interested is invited to attend meetings, dates of which will be posted in the newsletter. They are expecting about 350 participants, and hoping for lots of spectators. An attendee pointed out the continuing work on the streetscape in EAV may be an issue for the road race.
• Brownwood Park Mural – presented by Kate Crosby
– Kate described the latest mural project in East Atlanta, at the corner of Brownwood Ave and Ormewood (730 Brownwood Ave). The artist, Adrian Barzaga, is an East Atlanta resident. The work is described as a layered block painting on the street side of a wall, with “Welcome to Brownwood Park” on the other side. There was a motion to approve the sketch as presented, and the motion was approved. The next step in the process will be approval by the NPU, and then on to the City Council on June 6.
• City of Atlanta Dept. of Public Works/Streetscape – presented by Valerie Bell Smith
– Ms. Bell Smith delivered an update on the streetscape project, noting work on Glenwood should be complete by Memorial Day, with work on McPherson completed after Memorial Day. An attendee asked about the McPherson roundabout; neither Ms. Bell Smith nor Wiley (from DPW) knew the schedule, but they said the intersection would not be completely shut down during the work. Discussion ensued regarding lighting (new light poles next to old ones) and the availability of construction drawings (a request was made to make them available on the website). Kevin noted the first Adopt A Street sign was now up in front of Branan Towers.
• EACA Rebranding Project – presented by Paige Heurtin
– Paige briefly discussed the EACA rebranding project which was currently under way. Andrew Levine, EACA Secretary, is leading the branding committee with assistance from Ted Bradford, EACA Vice President. The first step in the process is gathering feedback from EACA members, East Atlanta residents and visitors to the neighborhood. Surveys would be going out soon via the newsletter, website and Facebook.
• Public Safety/491 Flat Shoals Ave – presented by Andy Schneggenberger
– Andy presented an alcohol license permit application for approval. He said the recommendation of the public safety committee was denial based on the business in question not meeting distance requirements from parks, residences and other establishments selling alcohol. Discussion ensued. The applicant was not present at the meeting to defend the application. Motion was made to deny approval based on the illegality of the application; the motion was approved, with 12 in favor, 2 opposed and 6 abstentions.
• Other Announcements –
– Venus from Sokkai Salon announced the salon would be hosting a Mommy & Me night in June, probably the third Wednesday of the month. The event will include hair and skin care with activities for children.
– There is a new EACA reward from Dance 411. Check the newsletter for details.
– Troy, an attendee at the meeting, asked if there was a hospitality fund for providing refreshments at monthly meetings. He and a few other members said they would work on a proposal for providing coffee, water and cokes at future meetings.
• Closing
– The treasurer’s report was approved.
– The April minutes were approved.
– The meeting was adjourned at 8:30pm.