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GPNA Meeting Minutes – Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Call to Order–7:30pm.

President’s Introduction, 2024 Steering Committee Election Results: Phill Kelly – President, Lauren Watt – Secretary, Sky Hassan – Land Use & Zoning Chair, John Sitton – Homes & History Chair, Loyal Charles – Public Safety Chair, Nate Cook – Economic Development Chair. Open positions are: Vice President, Treasurer, Fundraising Chair, Transportation Chair, and Philanthropic Chair.

Technology & Communications Chair Appointee – Ariel Jordan nominated by Catherine Manci & Phill Kelly. She will be appointed in January 2024.

Special thanks to Chris Newman for his many years of service to the neighborhood! He served in the public safety role for more than 10 years.

Grant Park Neighborhood representatives to the Porch Press Board of Directors – Rob Sarwark: The Porch Press serves NPU-W. Each neighborhood sends 3 representatives to the Board of Directors. Lyn Hillman (coordinating editor) is rolling off, but willing to serve another term. Grant Park needs one more representative, which would serve three years. The roles/responsibilities would be dictated by the specific person’s interests and skill sets. 

Anyone interested in community journalism and loves Grant Park can reach out to Rob Sarwark at

Announcement of 2023 Philanthropic Gifts: GPNA to give $500 grant to each recipient – The Grant Park Recreation Center, The Atlanta Preservation Center, The Porch Press, Parkside Elementary, King Middle School, and Maynard Jackson High School.

Voting Items

LUZ: U-23-33 – 408 Woodward Avenue:  Applicant seeks a special use permit as part of SPI-22 to allow for a church to operate in a planned structure which will replace a portion of the current parking lot. GPNA LUZ recommends Approval 2Y-1N-2A. NPU-W LUZ recommends Denial 7Y-4N-2A.

LUZ: V-23-161 – 408 Woodward Avenue: Applicant seeks a special exception to reduce the required minimum parking from 70 spaces to 16 spaces. GPNA LUZ recommends Approval 2Y-1N-2A. NPU-W LUZ recommends Denial 7Y-4N-2A. Neighborhood discussion was a mix of support and concern, with those concerned citing precedent issues, parking challenges for neighbors. Comments of support centered around the quality of the specific architect, the church is willing to meet with and work alongside neighbors. Several immediate neighbors (Oakland, Woodward) state it would be a welcomed addition to the neighborhood. The motion was made to recommend approval of U-22-33 and V-23-161 408 Woodward Avenue to NPU-W, which meets 12/20. The vote breakdown: Yes: 24, No: 3.

Public Official Update

Jennifer Freeman, Community Outreach Representative, U.S. Congresswoman Nikema Williams’ Office Congressional District 5. A resolution was introduced recognizing the 10 Days of Peace recognized by the international community. Jennifer can be reached as follows. Direct: 404-623-5453, Office: 404-659-0116, Email:, FB: @RepNikemaWilliams,  IG & Twitter: @RepNikema, Website: www. HYPERLINK “”

Special Orders

Item One – Public Safety, APD Zone 6 & Fire Station 10 Update: Lt. Capell joined to share an update on crime, which was reduced from summer into fall. Recently, there’s been an uptick in Hyundai and KIA thefts, related to school being out. Administrative officers and investigators are helping patrol in hot areas. Day shift made an arrest this week of a juvenile who stole a vehicle. Memorial Drive area will see more patrolling for the next several weeks. Zone 6 held a childrens holiday toy drive and catered dinner. Additional items: Updates from NPU-W Safety Meeting, presentation from Foster Life Group for 2024 Event, possible presentation for a 2024 BBQ Festival, informational notice of alcohol permit for restaurant on Decatur Street near Grant Street.

Item Two – Transportation Committee Updates: South Boulevard Complete Streets – GPNA will keep the neighborhood up to date. We’ve also asked to help in the spring input session. Woodward Avenue – Resurfacing from Kelly Street to Boulevard. This will likely start mid-January. The city will likely start putting what looks like a parking ticket on cars to move them off the road. These are not parking tickets, but designed to get your attention quickly. All-Way Stop Signs – Some residents have raised concerns about the need for additional all-way stop signs. If there are signs you’d like to add, you can propose them in this survey: Memorial Drive Road Diet & Bike Lanes – GDOT owns Memorial Drive and is proposing a road diet with one travel lane going each way and one middle lane. More updates to come.

Item Three – Homes & History Committee Updates.

Item Four – Fundraising Committee: Small Sunbursts make great gifts! They can be purchased at

Approval of the November Minutes.

New Business: Terry Maple, Head of Zoo Atlanta, passed away earlier this month. Neighbors can read more about his legacy and how he impacted Grant Park at

Adjournment – 8:30pm.

GPNA Officers and Steering Committee – Online Directory: Visit www. HYPERLINK “” for committee meetings and Zoom links.

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