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Grant Park Neighborhood Association Minutes 5/21/2013

By Kimberly Gibson
President Lauren Rocereta welcomed everyone and instructed attendees to make sure they sign in, explained the agenda and open floor rules and thanked the zoo for allowing the use of the building.  She also explained voting eligibility, noted that the next meeting is Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 7:30pm, made new member welcomes and introductions, and  acknowledged the elected officials present (Carla Smith).
Zoo announcements, by Laurie Doncer described the Brew at the Zoo (6th annual), tickets on sale now, new VIP area, and description of brew events.
Gifts were presented to those who volunteered their homes for the tour and one was presented to Nicole, Fundraising committee chair, for her efforts.
Vice President Jeff Rogers passed around sign-up and volunteer sheet, make sure info is correct, advised the attendees that contact info for committee chairs and officers can be found on the agenda,  He stated that the subcommittee for bylaw changes supplied a list of the proposed changes last month and are to be voted on at this time, discussion – 503 and 504 were mentioned and discussion was had but no further changes were made. Motion made, seconded and moved with only one opposition.
Secretary Kimberly Gibson presented the minutes from April 2013.
The treasurer was not present but the president advised of 501 (c)(3) status.
Public Safety Committee Chair Chris Newman introduced the evening watch sergeant, discussed recent catalytic converter thefts effecting Honda Elements and CRV’s (which only takes about five minutes), noted that vehicle break-ins still occurring and are attributed to personal items being left in vehicles in plain sight.  A recent assault crime investigation is on-going and can’t be discussed at this time.  He asked that all citizens be diligent about reporting suspicious activity, be safe when walking and don’t be alone.  A community prosecutor has been promoted to major. The DA is interviewing to fill the position.  The Hill St victim is stable. He further stated that an armed robbery behind Tin Lizzy’s had occurred but the three suspects were apprehended.
Last week a vehicle larceny suspect was apprehended.  Mr. Newman advised that when attending Braves games to use secure lots instead of side streets.  A 911 tour was held this month with 5 attendees, very informative.  He spoke of crime alerts, email notifications – sign up on  He discussed the Grant Park Security Patrol – neighborhood patrol consists of five officers patrolling 30 hours a week.
Land Use and Zoning Committee Chair, Rick Hudson stated that at 303 Oakland – immediate neighbors process for permission to demolish, previously used as an illegal boarding house and has been found to have compromised structural integrity, up next month for a vote.  Also that 408 Woodward – application for townhomes, next Thursday at 7pm.  800 Glenwood – very focused on it being a major decision out of Grant Park, work together with all the local neighborhoods to speak in one voice.  A question was raised about 303 Oakland – will be going through historic committee review.
Technology Committee Chair Jason Parker said that respondents were  85% satisfied with GPNA’s current means of communication and type of information provided.  Public safety and events are the number one interests of those that completed the survey.  He asked that attendees  forward our Facebook page and to new neighbors.
Fundraising Committee Chair Nicole Levine stated that the Tour of Homes and Gardens was a great success, made $5550 profit with approximately 500 attendees. Thank you to everyone who participated. Sunbursts are for sale (email or purchase online).
Grant Park Parents Network Chair Marie Mower announced that she resigning from her role to join the Parks and Rec committee. The Cooke Elementary bldg. is now being used to house Wesley International in the fall for a one year contract which may be extended. Box Top collection is on-going. Thank you to Reuben McDaniel and Brenda Muhammed and SEACS.  President, Lauren Rocereta thanked Marie for her service.
Parks and Recreation Committee Chair Robert Greenage noted that event updates are available on  He asked that if vehicles are seen in the park please report them as they are not allowed.  He discussed bringing back the Grant Park Ambassador Program ( and the need for residential volunteers. The Fun Fest has been rescheduled to June 22, the Farmers Market reopened and that Friday, June 7th is work day in the park – people from Deloitte doing annual give back.  The next Parks and Rec meeting is June 27.
He presented Charity Woods and Eric Barnes representing Fun Fest Atlanta 2013 on June 22. Fun Fest is a green event with food, music, and family oriented.  They are still taking sponsors (Sierra Club participating) and is supported by GPC and Comm. John Garner. A motion for support of the event was brought forth, seconded and moved without opposition
He then presented Christopher McArthur representing Bronx Day Atlanta 2013 on July 27.  The event is a cookout celebration for the community. Second year held in Grant Park but has been taking place since 2006. They expect nearly 4000 in attendence, open to the community and is family oriented with a kid zone. Amplified music. Suggest using Marta. Last year they had 6 off-duty APD officers and private security doing night patrol.
On Sat the conservancy is participating in astronomy project from 10-2 at rec center. A motion for support of the event was brought forth, seconded and moved without opposition
He also presented Ramon Guyton and Karin Smoot representing House in the Park Atlanta 2013 which will take place September 1 noon to 8pm.  The event is family friendly and consists of house music for those in attendance to enjoy.  Both pavilions have been requested, expect close to 6000 in attendance. Ran out of parking previous years so they are considering shuttle service. Event has taken place for 9 years without issue. A motion for support of the event was brought forth, seconded and moved without opposition.
Transportation and Historic committees had nothing to report.
The April meeting minutes were brought forth for approval, seconded and approved without opposition.
Open Floor Discussion: Carla Smith, city council rep for District 1, advised that amnesty in place currently regarding business licenses so if you have any questions please speak to her. Beltline 101 has put in place framework and implemented zoning suggestions. Envisioning going through zones 1,3,9 (6-9 month process). Historic committee meeting with LUZ regarding certificates of appropriateness for a type 4 (highest level) on May 8 regarding 696 Oakland. Advocating against demolition. House is derelict – potential for house to be removed but footprint to remain.
Historic tip of the month: Paint your house which helps maintain the integrity (scrape not blast old layers), most homes have wood siding which may appear grey in color due to age but can be replenished rather than removed.
A local tennis company was approved for youth programming and will begin hosting local events. Brenda Muhammed, APS school board rep, welcomes Wesley International into the Cooke Elem building and states the parents and children are very happy about this move. A question was raised regarding the house on Eloise and Berne – historic sign out front, this will be looked into. The City of Atlanta is going through a budget hearing and information can be found online.
Motion for meeting adjournment made, seconded and approved without opposition.

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