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EACA Monthly Meeting Minutes 

Opening: Meeting opened at 7:05 with new attendee introductions. May meeting minutes approved.  Mary reminded the group that members in good standing are eligible to vote

East Atlanta Village Farmers Market update, Dani:  Then EAV Farmer’s Market is open April through December, Thursdays 4-8 PM.  Currently they have 32 vendors, including local farmers and small businesses; many are located within 10 miles.  The mission of the markets is to supply fresh, local, and nutritious food to the community, and serve farmers in the community.  By joining My Market program residents get signed up for newsletter, $5 of tokens to spend at market, Chipotle gift certificate package, choice of tote bag, t-shirt, or apron after the 3rd visit.  Double EBT benefits, up to $50.  Upcoming events include June 26th, Peach Jam celebration, weeklong competition using peaches, including cocktail competition at Midway Pub.  Dance 411 will be facilitating kids dance activities this Thursday (6/12).  Biking / garden tour of East Atlanta at the end of August.  Every week there is a chef booth, live music, kids’ activities, etc.

Paceline Sports/Litespeed-BMW cycling event, Brady Rogers:Cycling event in East Atlanta is coming up on August 16th, same route, same street closures as last year. They will be approaching business owners in the next weeks to discuss ways to get involved, traffic plans, etc. and are distributing notifications about traffic plans to residents.  Mary suggested sending route to weekly newsletter for distribution.

B*ATL update, Henry Bryant:  The 150th anniversary commemoration of Battle of Atlanta is this year, July 11-20.  Front lines of the battle went through East Atlanta Village.  The topic:  Civil War to Civil Rights.  B*ATL had hoped to have Civil War monuments restored by this summer, but still have ½ of the $190k to restore the monuments left to raise.  B*ATL events raise enough money to cover the cost of the events.  There will be a Gala / fundraiser on July 12th, including food and dancing. There will be several theater offerings.   East Atlanta Gorilla Theatre will present productions at Lang Carson center in Reynoldstown on July 11th. with a take on “Gone With the Wind”, called “Went With the Wind” and “Letters Home From the Front”July 18th, dramatic storytelling at Lang Carson Author presentations:  “What The Yankees Did To Us”.  There will be a civil rights presentation by the Dean of Social Work at University of Georgia, topic on Donald Lee Hollowell at First Iconium Baptist Church. There will be a Battle of Peachtree Creek presentation.  Henry and Katina will present on East Atlanta book at Old DeKalb Courthouse.  The main events are on Saturday, July 19th and East Atlanta Village is HQ.  There are cemetery tours, van tours, walking tours.  Buy tickets online or day-of on the 19th. .  There is the annual 5k on the morning of the 19th starting in Kirkwood and following a “historic” path as much as possible.  Appearances from Abe Lincoln, Bobby Jones, Scarlett O’Hara and  music from 8th Regiment Band at the Old Fire Station, the Boll Weevils.  Find more info on website ( HYPERLINK “http://www.batlevent.org/main.html” http://www.batlevent.org/main.html) or Facebook.  Last year of B*ATL for a while; B*ATL’s focus will be moving to preservation.

Update, Councilmember Natalyn Archibong:  Concerns about Public Works’ proposal to raise rates for sidewalk installation were expressed.  CM Archibong doesn’t support this proposal; believes sidewalks are a public amenity.  To raise concerns, contact at-large councilmembers, Mayor; vote at NPU meetingsCommunity meetings discuss proposal to float $250M bond for infrastructure projectsThere is a proposal to ensure City restores streets to former status when streets are cut up.  Later in August, bringing neighborhood together to discuss future plans for Memorial Drive as community gatewayUpdate on Watershed Management investigation:  City has had to give Gilbert Warning to Watershed Management employees, meaning what they say could be communicated to APD.  Street signs have been stolen.  Any update on priority of repaving Flat Shoals?  Tentative list, sequence is driven by impact of the given streets.  Ed asked how streets on the list are being qualified, whether there are standards / metrics being applied.  Joe suggested folks come out to NPU meetings to voice concerns, ask questions on the 4th Wednesday of every month; Transportation committee meets immediately prior at 6:30 PM.

East Atlanta NC Master Plan/LUZ updates, Andy Schneggenburger: Variance applications: Renovating house at corner of Haas and McPherson; setback variance required because house was built before current zoning regulations.  Approved by NPU W LUZ; approved by EACA, 37-0-1.  511 Blake Avenue, corner of Blake and Glenwood; purchased by builder to renovate, add on, and sell.  Non-conforming home, built prior to R-4 zoning conditions; house was used in non-permitted manner as duplex, vacant for many months.  Project is to take house back to single-family home, mitigate and reduce impervious structure.  Approved by NPU W LUZ; approved by EACA, 41-0-1.  Presentation on NC Master Plan:  Haven’t discussed zoning ordinance in place in the Village in quite some time.  Commercial market is starting to heat up.  Background:  Neighborhood Commercial (NC 2) Zoning adopted in 2001.  Zoning has historically separated uses, this framework is used nationwide.  In 1999-2000, City of Atlanta recognized that the City is made of neighborhoods around small commercial nodes; resulted in NC 2 creation, with several objectives:  pedestrian orientation, street-oriented development over highway-oriented, support residential density to support commercial viability and transit.  Ordinance is also a growth management tool.  South Moreland Avenue Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) adopted in 2008.  It serves to manage projected growth to Moreland Avenue.  Recognizes Moreland as viable corridor for transit in the future.  Included rezoning of several properties as mixed-use residential / commercial (MC).  Specific goals:  Make Moreland more multimodal, support mixed-use development, pedestrian enhancements / support and long-term recommendations include fixed arterial transit (light rail, streetcar) on Moreland Ave.  Currently there are 30+ NC districts in the City, including Kirkwood, Little 5 Points, and Virginia-Highlands.  NC ordinances don’t happen by the City’s effort alone; requires community involvement.  There is a market demand for “Walkable Urban Places”,  ARC estimates 8,500 new residents to City 2010-40, growth trends have abandoned suburban sprawl in favor of “walkable urban places”, developers are figuring out that single-use, sprawl development isn’t as productive anymore  61% of Americans prefer small home, short commute; 52% want access to transit; 76% value walkability.  In Atlanta the Beltline has shown how this new type of development spurs real estate values. Why is this important for EACA?  Some developers are learning, but many still embrace suburban-style development.

We’re being asked to approve re-zoning of a commercial property away from NC, which sets a legal precedent of re-zoning / future degradation of NC.  City of Atlanta won’t have legal ground to defend existing zoning ordinance.  Re-zoning away from NC would irreparably harm the legal integrity of NC for any future re-zoning request anywhere in the NC 2 district.  Q&A How does Sembler proposal differ from NC?  Sembler plan includes pharmacy, which requires drive-thru; doesn’t meet NC requirements.

If Cookout was allowed to have drive-thru despite NC ordinance, does that present a risk to NC?  Drive-thru was allowed via clerical error on City’s part; not the same as changing legal precedent.  Contact Andy with questions at  HYPERLINK “mailto:landuse@eaca.net” landuse@eaca.net

Committee updates: 

Events, Jeanne Fore:National Backyard Campout Day, June 28th at Farmer Red’s farm.  They will be selling tickets soon, possibly at Farmers Market this Thursday.   HYPERLINK “mailto:events@eaca.net” events@eaca.net

Membership, Tony Crump:  If you’ve recently joined, Tony has your membership cards.  Reminder that membership is $10/household.

Disc golf course proposal:  First meeting to discuss grant funding usage was July 27, 2013—brainstorm ways to improve park; 1 community member joined.  Ideas submitted included bocce court, horseshoes, new roof for Rec Center, lights for tennis court.  Most feasible ideas for grant were bocce court, horseshoes, and disc golf course.

EABF grant was received for bocce and horseshoes.  EACA submitted a proposal for a Love Your Block Grant to facilitate putting in a temporary disc golf course to explore the idea.  Proposal has not been approved; requires approval of the community.  The intent is to create enthusiasm for the park, continue to maintain and improve the park.  Based on the negative feedback from the community, EACA has no interest in fighting over the disc golf course; currently planning to approach the Love Your Block Foundation to change the purpose of the grant to support basic trail maintenance.  Q&A / Feedback

Gentleman mentioned that he’s very impressed with what EACA has done to support the park and make it look great.  Alex Susor lives on Brownwood Avenue and said that he was under the impression that grants and other efforts would support the Brownwood Park Master Plan.  Mary mentioned that the Brownwood Park Master Plan is not a legally binding document, per Park Pride; dog park was never feasible based on size of the park and zoning.  Sebastian Rand is concerned with the suggestion that neighbors who aren’t able to volunteer or support improvement of the park shouldn’t be involved in the decisions about the park; also mentioned that having to give back grants could negatively impact EACA’s ability to get grants in the future.  Jill Sieder, Executive Director of the East Atlanta Kids Club in

Brownwood Park has concerns about destroying the park as an urban sanctuary; Jill was a part of the Master Planning and believes the vision was to leave the south end of the park relatively undeveloped.

Joe looked at Henry Bryant’s East Atlanta book and saw that the original plan for Brownwood Park, written into the deed, was for the south end of the park to remain completely wild—no trails, no bridges, nothing.

Upcoming ways to get involved, Susie Aquino: Brownwood Park Stewardship Sunday on June 22nd, 10 AM – 2 PM; bring gloves, wheel barrows, etc.  Focus will be addressing invasive species.  Send additional ideas for park improvements to  HYPERLINK “mailto:parks@eaca.net” parks@eaca.net

Sembler revised proposal, J.P. Guzzaro:

Clarified that Cookout question is a completely separate discussion.  Distinction between Sembler proposal and NC 2—primarily drive-thru, and size of retail (14k sq. ft. for proposed retailer vs. 6-10k sq. ft. for NC 2).  Sembler received comments from neighborhood groups; many were addressed:  Lack of pedestrian access to retail on Portland; addressed.  Pedestrian access / usability; addressed.  Bike path proposed on Glenwood Avenue.  Solar and rooftop garden; garden is a liability, but “nationally recognized pharmacy chain” has an internal solar initiative and could roll it out to this location.  Concern about existing trees; addressed.  Doctors’ office above smaller retail parcel; not possible as retailer is considering a medical clinic.  Proposal includes accommodating food trucks 1-2 nights/week.  Drive-thru:  Forecasting 10-35 trips/day at this location for a pharmacy; vs. max of 1600-1900 for quick service restaurant.  In regards to drive-thru and NC 2, Sembler is proposing a deed restriction that would prevent use of a drive-thru if the pharmacy chain were to leave the property.  2 votes at NPU LUZ meeting: 1) rezoning of 4 residential lots to light commercial, 7-4 approval; 2) re-zoning of commercial property to MR designation, 6-6 vote.  Q&A:  Why is the drive-thru so important for the retailer with only 35 trips/day?  Key attraction to clientele; retailer wants people walking through the store, but drive-thru is a must-have.  What is the lease term on the proposed pharmacy?  20 years locked in, 75 years thereafter.  Next steps:  Sembler going before City Council for re-zoning of 4 residential lots.

Closing: Meeting adjourned at 9:25 PM

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