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EACA Meeting Minutes – Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Call To Order 7:01pm. Start Meeting Recording 52 online participants, 49 in person. August 8, 2023, Meeting Minutes approved without objection. August 2023 Treasurer Report  approved without objection

Elected Officials’ Reports

Commissioner Johnson’s Office – Florence Coram – Planning a forum on drug addiction. See chat and meeting recording for info. Motion made from the floor that EACA write a letter to the DeKalb CEO and commissioners asking when Intrenchment Creek Park will be reopened.

Council Member Bakhtiari – City has closed on Ormewood Forest purchase. This will not be a park but will serve as a conservation area. She’s working to protect trees throughout the district and the city. Has arranged a fix for a sewage problem in the Village that affected the EARL. NC-16 zoning is moving forward. Making “huge strides” in improvements to Brownwood Park. Sewage issues near tennis courts will be fixed before the end of the year. Drug-free zone proposal: She says its intent was to go after dealers in the neighborhood who are openly selling drugs outside in the Village and at certain known houses, but she found out the way the zone would work was not what she had been told. She apologized for that mistake. See meeting recording for more details. She is looking for housing-first options for unhoused in the neighborhood. The city is going to clean up the Long John Silver’s lot because the owners have been unresponsive. There will be an in-person public safety town hall, probably late September, or early October. It will include various city departments, not just police. Q: What’s the construction around Maynard Terrace. A: GDOT is doing preconstruction on the roundabout, and she is looking for a timetable and updates. She also asked GDOT about crosswalks in front of Branan and also the preschools on Glenwood. Q: What’s the latest on the South River Forest report? A: She’s working with Ted Terry on this issue. Please see meeting recording. Q: McPherson resident saw the “paper streets” developer in the area. Developer told him the city has given him approval for development behind the houses on McPherson. Is that correct? A: Liliana will look into this. Q: Is she looking into bike lanes on Glenwood and also crosswalks farther down from the Village. A: She has a list of crosswalks from Chase that he will share. She will broach bike lanes.

Public Safety Update – Zone 6 Representative and Myron Polster: Newton and 610 Flat Shoals shooting: two suspected taken into custody and charged. 1381 Glenwood Ave shooting: appeared to be a domestic violence incident. SGT. W. Williams Zone 6 Crime Suppression Unit City cell: 470-985-9092.

Outreach – Ishita Chordia and Brad Schweers, Intown Cares: East Atlanta Homeless Services Case Manager: EACA, with the support of our Councilmember Bakhtiari and the City of Atlanta, is working with Intown Cares to establish a contract for a dedicated Case Manager to serve East Atlanta for the next year and provide support to our unhoused neighbors. Why? Homeless neighbors in East Atlanta often experience “barriers to housing” – things that prevent them from accessing resources that provide support, temporary housing, and eventually permanent housing. The idea is that a dedicated Case Manager can build trusted relationships with these individuals and connect them to vital resources that enable them to get into temporary and permanent housing solutions. See more from Intown Cares’ Katie Farmer’s presentation in the meeting recording. The East Atlanta social worker will be Michael Nolan, who already is working several days a week in the neighborhood under a grant received by Intown Cares. He also spoke at the meeting. 

 Vote: EACA has committed to funding $20,000 as a community in support of this solution. East Atlanta Strut has already committed to fund $10,000 of that and will work to raise $10,000 more via a challenge to the community to match the Strut’s donation. EACA will also drive fundraising efforts in the coming months. We will be seeking the approval of the EACA General Body to allocate $20,000 of raised funds for this effort. You can access a copy of the current draft contract here to understand the details of services provided and financials. 

Parks & Greenspace Update – Alex Levy and Matt Day: Special Guest Lauren Trotter, and Margaret Spalding. Ormewood Forest – The sale of a portion of Ormewood Forest to the City of Atlanta is officially closed. We’re especially grateful to the Friends of Ormewood Forest and to engaged neighbors in the area who worked tirelessly for so many years to see this through. EACA is excited to play a role in shaping and stewarding this greenspace over the years to come.

Friends of Brownwood Park – see meeting recording for photos and presentation. 

The Department of Parks & Recreation has largely finalized plans for the playground revamp which are now working their way through the process. Estimated build timeframe could be early 2024.Next phase: Pavilion update: At Tuesday’s EACA Meeting, Patrick Hand, Landscape Architect, and Lauren Trotter, local architect, will present current plans for the pavilion.  EACA has issued a “Letter of Intent” for the below projects and is applying for funding through the City of Atlanta / Park Pride: Pavilion update and re-vamp, an inclusive/accessible playground, an adult fitness area, and revamped park entrances on the north side of the park. We’re considering ideas for the old volleyball court. Saving Sky Haven – Margaret Spalding, A community-led initiative to protect the former Sky Haven Elementary property – see meeting recording for photos and presentation. Join the Saving Sky Haven list. We send occasional emails + ways to get involved.

Land Use and Zoning – Chase Miller: Leadership Update – Chase Miller will be serving as Interim Chair for the Land Use and Zoning Committee effective Friday, September 9, 2023. EACA would like to thank Karla Lightfoot Causey for the four years she has served as the Chair and express our gratitude for the many hours she has spent serving the community in that capacity.

Z-23-035 and CDP-23-004: Bouldercrest Triangle Neighborhood Commercial-16 (NC-16) The legislation has been deferred to the next cycle of Zoning Review Board (ZRB) and Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) cycles. Final copies of the legislation that was submitted from NPU-W to the City can be accessed here. The new expected timing for the legislation is outlined below: Oct 5th: Zoning Review Board (ZRB). November (Date TBC): Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) Hearing, Early December: City Council Vote. V-23-120 515 Flat Shoals Avenue – “Churchill Grounds” – Background: Lot/building at northwest corner of Flat Shoals and Glenwood Ave. Applicant seeks a special exception to reduce the required parking requirement from 50 spaces to 26 spaces (20 Spaces Shared, 6 onsite). Key Considerations: The business idea for this property represents an exciting opportunity for East Atlanta. Planned jazz club “Churchill Grounds” was previously an Atlanta institution. The variance request is significant so thoughtful consideration should be given as to how to accommodate. See the rendering. Current Status: The LUZ committee is currently evaluating this variance. Next Steps: If you have an interest in this application, you should attend the September EACA LUZ meeting taking place, Monday, September 25 at 7:00pm.

Announcements / Community Updates

Save the Date: EACA Member Event BBQ – Saturday, October 28. Anita Allgood, Invest Atlanta – / 404-614-8338 See meeting recording for slide presentation.

EACA Call for Volunteers – We’re excited for what we will accomplish in 2023. But we won’t get there without engaged members of the community to help make it happen. Please reach out to or any member of the EACA Executive Committee to find out how and where you can support.

Closing Remarks and Adjournment – 8:47pm.

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