June 9, 2020 (online meeting)
Meeting starts 7:05pm.
Opening Remarks – Myron Polster
EACA co-VP Sarah Kuehn reads a statement on behalf of EACA board and committee leaders expressing EACA support to the community at this time of protest and change.
East Atlanta residents,
As a community, we need change. As a community association, East Atlanta Community Association (EACA) pledges to help cultivate lasting change by standing in solidarity with our neighbors against police brutality, hatred, systemic racism, and social injustice. We recognize the rich cultural history and diversity of this community that we all call home and we will work to ensure that we do whatever is necessary to protect our citizens.
EACA pledges to use our platform to promote equality within our organization, neighborhood, our communities, and the city of Atlanta.
EACA supports the directives, resolutions, and common-sense policies presented by our lawmakers to direct our law enforcement departments to adopt the equality standards we are demanding for the Black community and all Americans. We demand that all public safety officials are held accountable to the people they were sworn to serve and protect.
EACA will continue to work with our Atlanta and DeKalb County police department resource officers to communicate our demand that they protect the dignity and human rights of all our neighborhood residents and community members. We will continue to encourage an open dialogue at our monthly meetings with the APD and DeKalb County PD representatives to ensure that they are working to improve and strengthen relationships with our community members.
EACA pledges to work with all of our community members to review, revise, and guarantee that our mission statement, goals, and directives directly reflect our wonderfully diverse neighborhood, ensure the safety of all our residents, and establish a strong foundation of equality within our own community.
We stand with you.
Your EACA Board and Committee Chairs
Myron: Please send your feedback on the statement to EACA board members and share any ideas on how we can engage the community. Andy S: Really fantastic that EACA putting a statement forward, but membership of organization is not representative of the community’s diversity. He would add to the statement that we make a commitment to build that diversity and proposes we work vigorously on that. Myron agrees we must work on that.
Introduction of Public Officials – Council Member Natalyn Archibong: Council is working on budget. They have gotten many messages to defund the police, but the council will not be doing that. However, they are looking at ways to improve the process of criminal justice in the city. They have closed the jail and worked on bail but realize there is more to be done. She notes there have been some issues with voting in today’s primary. Let her know if you had issues. Today the council voted the city will not be raising the water and sewer rates this year. They are hoping the ballot item to increase the sales tax will take care of the water system needs. The federal government is giving the city $88 million under the CARES Act. The city will vote on how to spend that, including $16 million for small business support. There also is $22 million for eviction, mortgage, foreclosure protection. The money must be spent by December 30 or the city will lose the money, so this will be a fast process. Q: Do the funds to support eviction/rents augment the $250K mayor had already committed? A: These are additional dollars. The $250K will be in a separate pot. Federal money has different reporting and accountability requirements and has to be Covid-19 related.
Screening of “True Justice” – Chris Brazell: Eastside Church received a grant to show this HBO documentary movie and have a panel discussion, but that was derailed by the pandemic. This will now be done via Facebook event with folks given access to the movie and then joining live panel discussions on June 23 at 800pm. Go to the Eastside Church Facebook page for more info and to sign up.
East Atlanta Business Association – Nate Minor: Community and businesses have talked about street closures to help with social distancing and provide for services outdoors. EABA has explored with various agencies and EACA transportation committee. In speaking with the business owners, it was learned closures would not benefit everyone equally, so they are exploring other options, such as dedicating some parking spaces to businesses to work with customers outdoors. Since protests have started there have been two break-ins in the Village but they have not been associated with the protests. Burks and EA Vape suffered damage but not much loss of merchandise. Thanks everyone for their continued support of local businesses. Also, thanks for ideas from the community.
Transportation Committee – Karlyn Beer: The committee has been collaborating with EABA to support the businesses while reopening, and as Nate said, they were working on lane closures, but have set that aside. But the legwork is done, so if the landscape changes, this can be revisited. From a transportation perspective, they’d like to get community input about pedestrian spaces. Zoom poll of those at meeting. Nate notes this kind of thing is being discussed as part of the Atlanta Mainstreets program, which EABA is a part of. Karlyn: They also are working with EABA on geofencing rideshare pickup and drop-off spots. Glenwood Moreland realignment status: The project is a go although committee hasn’t seen any ground broken. Natalyn says a couple of dates have been floated and she will advise. Chat: Large pothole on Patterson. Please report to ATL 311. Phone app is easy to use. Transportation committee drafting a statement on curfews to bring to membership. Q: What are we doing to
get bus routes returned or alternatives to routes closed by Covid? A: Route 107 is running more often, but that is a different route so it doesn’t really compensate. Karlyn doesn’t have more info but asked Nat, who says she will try to find out.
Changes to NC-2 Zoning – Andy Schneggenburger: Andy is speaking as EACA zoning chairman and also as someone with an interest in one of the parcels involved. (This is a short summary of Andy’s remarks. Apologies if anything is unclear. Please see the recording of the meeting for his full remarks.) One and a half years ago, NC2 zoning was amended to require new development in the district to have a mix of commercial and residential. As time has gone by, that doesn’t seem to make sense for several properties, and so Andy is proposing the rules be amended for those properties, which are shown in blue on the map. Andy will soon ask Carla Smith to propose legislation that will be put before NPU and EACA. Q/comment from Ed G: Ed agrees with these exemptions and thanks Andy for taking it through the process. As a side note, Ed takes issue with the fact that many of the boards in charge of variances have not restarted meetings since they stopped because of the pandemic. He urges them to start meeting via Zoom if not in person. Natalyn says Council has asked for a path forward but the law department is concerned about people having problems appearing at the meetings. Deadline is July 9 for getting that path forward to live meetings or virtual meetings. There was a question and answer in the chat, but I was unable to copy and paste it before the meeting ended.
Land Use and Zoning – Karla Causey: Former Earthshaking/543 Stokeswood update: Approved plans do not appear to have commercial on ground level, in violation of the NC2 zoning. Karla has complained to the city and has asked for a stop work order. She’s waiting to hear back from the city. 839 Cavanaugh at Flat Shoals update: There is a problem with the development getting its certificate of occupancy because the developer is in violation of setback rules and the developer will have to apply for variances. Microbrewery ordinance update: Legislation has gone through to allow microbreweries. Special use permit application from Sabbath Brewing has not yet been reviewed by land use and zoning committee, so it cannot be brought to the full EACA. That is usually done before NPU takes it up. Another option is for the committee to review the application in the next week and make a recommendation to NPU without bringing to the full EACA meeting. This application is to go to NPU before EACA’s next meeting. Motion made and seconded to allow LUZ to make recommendation directly to NPU. Motion passes 24-1. Jen Murray on housing development near Bouldercrest and Flat Shoals. She says the historic lot pattern is being put in jeopardy by the development of 21 single-family homes in addition to town homes. Jen has drafted a letter that concerned residents can copy or adapt and send to the city planning department. The letter will be emailed to EACA members this week. Alcohol license application–Myron: Sabbath has submitted updated alcohol license application as a microbrewery and it is asking to do less than the maximum allowed production and to have occasional live music (several times a month or less) ending no later than 11:00pm. Building capacity is 70. Motion to approve license made and seconded. Motion passes 21-2.
Treasurer’s Report – Ralph Green: Motion to accept minutes and financial report. Passed with unanimous consent.
Public Safety – Myron Polster: EASP has been suspended but will be resuming normal patrols on Monday. Recently there have been several break-ins, so restart timing is probably good. Q: What is patrol’s role in the business district? Myron: There is not an official patrol policy, but they will respond to any immediate needs. Myron is happy to work with Nate on that.
Final Remarks – Myron Polster, who turns it over to Sarah: EACA members were out today demonstrating at Flat Shoals and Glenwood and will be out again at 5:30pm Wednesday.
Meeting ends 8:52pm.