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Notes on Neighborhood: September 2011

Grant Park Neighborhood Association Meeting, July 2011

By Laurie Baggett
At 7:40pm the Grant Park Neighborhood Association (GPNA) meeting was called to order with President Russell Baggett presiding. He reviewed meeting conduct and stated that all questions needed to be held until Open Forum at the end of the meeting. He thanked Zoo Atlanta for the use of their space and introduced and welcomed seven new members. The next GPNA meeting is 8/19/11. He discussed the 8th annual Grant Park Criterium bicycle race on Sunday, August 21 and asked for a motion to approve the event. A motion was made, properly seconded and unanimously approved.
Oakland Cemetery representatives David Moore and Mary Woodlan introduced Jim Weathersby, the new Deputy Director of Finance and Operations. They asked for support for an October 2nd Victorian- themed event “Sunday in the Park” from 12 – 6pm, and three Halloween Tours on the evenings of October 28, 29 & 30. Tickets went on sale on-line last Friday and sell out quickly. The events were both approved with no opposition.
Vice President Lauren Rocereta said the next Neighborhood Watch block captain’s meeting is Saturday, 8/13/11 at 11:00am in the Rec Center. GPNA’s Facebook page now has the largest participation in the nation! She passed out committee sign-up sheets and asked for volunteers for committees and new neighbor packets.
Sectretary Laurie Baggett said revised minutes from May’s meeting are in front for review. June’s minutes will be available at next month’s meeting.
Treasurer Michele Botwinick explained that all donations to GPNA and its affiliate organizations fall under a 501(c)(3) tax deductible umbrella. She updated accounts and expenses.
Public Safety Committee Chair Chris Newman introduced Lieutenant Browning from Zone 3. He updated crimes that occurred in June including 2 robberies on Confederate and Eloise, 6 burglaries, and 24 auto break-ins. GPNA stenciling is available for marking air conditioning units.
Chris introduced Atlanta District Attorney and Community Prosecutor Claire Farley said Alfred Miles is scheduled for trial on 8/2. One of the YouTube burglars were recently convicted at trial. A Junior District Attorney Program for 12 – 13 year old children is happening in July.
Economic Development Committee Chair Jeff Rogers was not present.
Education and Children’s Issues Committee Chair Meg Boeff was not present.
Fund Raising Committee Chair Zayra Fosse was not present. Gigi Connor updated the Mothball fundraising event scheduled for 10/8. Tickets are on sale for $20 each and $180 for a table of ten. Volunteers, sponsors, and attendees are needed. The Tour of Homes event on 9/24&25 needs more homes, gardens, workshops and volunteers.
Historic Committee Chair Paul Simo asked to contact him with any questions. The Committee meets the third Monday of each month at the Atlanta Preservation Center on St. Paul Avenue.
Land Use and Zoning Committee Chair Rick Hudson said next meeting is Thursday, 8/4 at 7pm at Zoo Atlanta’s Tech Lab. A special use permit application for 835 Mercer is currently going through the process. ENSO apartments are 85% rented. No news on Bar One.
Parks and Recreation Committee Chair Sharon Jenkins was not present. Russell introduced Suzanne Meleander who discussed a future neighborhood community garden that will be located on Grant St. south of Augusta on donated land. 10 individual plots will be available in the Fall. Visit Grant Park Community Gardening Project’s Facebook page for information.
Technology Committee Chair Stephanie Warner and Transportation Committee Chair Loiue Ingle were not present.
An update on the Cyclorama was given. Grant Park’s Farmer’s Market is awesome. Demos are held at 11:30am opposite the Milledge Fountain with guest chefs listed on the FaceBook page. Volunteers are needed, please contact Elaine Poon at
Open floor: President Russell Baggett discussed revisions and corrections on minutes from May’s meeting. A motion was made to approve revised minutes, was properly seconded and unanimously approved. Newsletters from Ziba’s were discussed and distributed. Paul Simo discussed opening air vents beneath homes for proper ventilation, and grading to ensure water flow away from foundations.
8:50pm: motion to adjourn unanimously approved. Meeting minutes are published in the Porch Press and on FaceBook as a courtesy and without revision or approval from the membership body.

SAND July 14, 2011 Meeting Minutes and Notes

By Sandy Lee, Vice President
The meeting was called to order by President Steve Norman.

  • SAND voted 27-0 to deny the owner’s appeal of the city’s revocation of the property replatting at 731 Moreland Ave.
  • SAND approved without objection the special event permit application requested for Hotoberfest on October 1 in Glenwood Park.
  • SAND approved without objection a motion that the following message be transmitted to city officials: With the grant of almost half a million dollars for a Safe Route to School that includes Ormewood Ave., SAND membership resolves that a convenience store and gas station at the corner of Moreland and Ormewood Avenues with ingress and egress to Ormewood Ave. is an inappropriate land use for this location.
  • A motion was approved to have SAND leadership send a letter to city officials asking that legislation be developed to prevent the creation of intervening lots that serve to circumvent separation distance requirements.
  • Proposed NPU-W amendments to auto booting ordinances were approved without objection.
  • The minutes from the previous meeting on June 9, 2011, were approved without objection.

Public Safety: APD Zone 6: Major Dalton reported.

  • Crime is down, especially burglaries. Neighborhood assistance to officers in apprehending a perpetrator in a recent foot chase was appreciated.
  • Speeding enforcement is planned for Moreland Ave.
  • More officers are joining Zone 6, on both morning and evening watches.

City Watershed:

  • Lalla Wilson reported on sewer improvements. Most of the work has been done. The project is now in the assessment phase and smoke tests are being performed. Call the City hotline 404-658-6500 to report any sewer or water problems.

Battle of Atlanta:

  • Dave Bouvrette presented for B*ATL.
    Land Use and Zoning: Fred Smith reported.
  • The property owner at 731 Moreland Ave. has appealed the city’s revocation of the replatting. The committee recommended denial of the appeal. SAND members voted 27-0 to deny the appeal. This matter will be voted on at the NPU-W meeting on Wednesday, July 27, and at the Board of Zoning Adjustment on September 1, 2011.

Public Safety: Ron Lall reported.

  • A special event permit application is requested for Hotoberfest on October 1 in Glenwood Park. The committee recommended approval. SAND members approved the permit without objection.
    Transportation: Bob Titus reported.
  • The list of T-SPLOST projects is being developed. Moreland Ave. bus rapid transit, the southeast sector of the Beltline, and the MARTA East/I-20 projects are all still viable. Neighbors are encouraged to reach out to the state representatives and express support. A roundtable committee will vote on the projects in four weeks and present them to the full roundtable.
  • DOT reports that the lights on Moreland Ave. are all supposedly functioning properly. They will look at the signals on Boulevard at I-20.
  • Recent transportation surveys of neighbors indicate people want less traffic on Moreland Ave.
  • Funds needed to realign the Glenwood/Moreland intersection were appropriated by the City and will ensure the receipt of matching federal dollars.

Communications: Brian Regienczuk reported.

  • Neighbors may participate in county town hall meetings on July 23. Register online at
  • Neighbors are also encouraged to get involved in Atlanta’s 2040 Plan.
  • Kaboom Playgrounds is looking for a potential location in a park. They will provide matching funds. Anyone willing to be a neighborhood contact or sponsor should call Brian.

731 Moreland Ave. update: Steve Norman reviewed the history of the replatting, revocation, and appeal relating to lots where a QuikTrip is proposed.

  • The city revoked the owner’s replatting due to concerns about the narrow intervening lot between the gas station and adjacent residences. This lot is only 5 feet wide in some places. Setback requirements are a minimum of 20 feet.
  • A Board of Zoning Adjustment hearing on the property owner’s appeal will be held on Sep. 1 at City Hall.
  • The following motion was made, seconded, and unanimously approved: With the grant of almost half a million dollars for a Safe Route to School that includes Ormewood Ave., SAND membership resolves that a convenience store and gas station at the corner of Moreland and Ormewood Avenues with ingress and egress to Ormewood Ave is an inappropriate land use for this location.
  • All neighbors are urged to attend the BZA hearing at noon on September 1. SAND will be represented by an attorney but strong neighborhood support will be beneficial.
  • The following motion was made, seconded, and approved without objection: SAND will send a letter to city officials asking that legislation be developed to prevent the creation of intervening lots that serve to circumvent separation distance requirements.

Friday Food for Firefighters: SAND neighbors are needed to make and deliver food to Station 13 on Friday, August 12. Items may also be brought to the SAND meeting on August 11 and will be delivered the following day.
Hotoberfest Volunteers: Volunteers are needed to staff the beer tent on October 1 and earn tips for SAND. Contact Steve to assist.
SAND 2012 Officers: A slate of officers is needed by November.
NPU-W meeting on July 27:

  • Votes will be taken on proposed amendments to the auto booting ordinances. A summary of the changes was printed on the agenda. A motion to approve the changes was made, seconded, and approved without objection.
  • A vote on the appeal of the owner at 731 Moreland Ave. will also take place at this NPU meeting.
  • New Business: Music Midtown is returning after a hiatus of several years. SAND will investigate fundraising opportunities.
    Minutes approved: The minutes from the previous meeting were unanimously approved.
    Adjourned: The meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

    The Porch Press Spring Board Meeting

    By Penny Luck
    Meeting called to order at 9:40am on April 30, 2011. Present were Henry Bryant, Darin Glass, Nancy Leighton, Lyn Hillman, Genie Strickland, Mia Pond, and Penny Luck.
    Minutes of the winter board meeting were read and accepted. Treasurer’s report was given and accepted.
    We have been printing the paper with insufficient revenue to pay for the expenses of producing the paper and being an active community organization. This has been done on purpose for some time using cash reserves to modestly maintain the size of the paper, print the articles that come in and support community programs. Serious budget reductions now need to be initiated, however. Donations in the community must be downsized as well as perks to board members and volunteers (which also were donations to community programs). The total loss for 2010 was several thousand dollars. Production losses were minimal which means The Porch Press will have to seriously curb its philanthropy. The cost of a volunteer appreciation dinner was also discussed. It was voted to post phone the volunteer dinner to the fall or even later. Darin Glass to check into possible venues for this event.
    Taxes are currently being done at Botwinick and Botwinick.
    The first class mailing of the paper scheduled for July was discussed. It is done once year to verify the accuracy of our mailing list. It was voted to suspend the first class mailing and revisit the process in the future. It was also voted that if spendable funds go below $5,000 in the next year, the treasurer will automatically withdraw needed funds from the BOND account. New advertisers are sorely needed. A discussion was held as to whether an advertising sales manager would help increase advertising revenue. Henry Bryant will discuss same with Treasurer Fred Smith as he was not in attendance. Penny Luck volunteered to send an email thank you to current advertisers. Calling cards will be printed to use when soliciting new advertisers. A motion was made and passed to spend $30.00 for cards and a motion passed to allow Genie Strickland to spend up to $75.00 in postage to solicit new advertisers. Another motion passed to donate $500 to the August Run for the Park sponsored by Adams Realty.
    Distribution: Three new distribution boxes have been purchased and will be placed throughout the neighborhoods by Genie Strickland. One will replace the old box at Adams Realty. East Atlanta boxes can be located at Grant Central East Pizza, The Graveyard Tavern, Traders, and the East Atlanta Library. Grant Park boxes are at Adams Realty, Grant Park Coffee, and Georgia-Hill facility. Ormewood’s boxes are located at Dance 411, Helmut and the Enso Building. Several suggestions were made for new locations.
    Website: The website is up and running new need back-up information on site such as contact information for ads, how to submit an article, a volunteer information page, and the masthead. Lyn Hillman continues to work on the website.
    Production: June deadlines will change as the Fourth of July interferes with the regular production date. Production will be moved up one week to insure that the paper will be on the streets before B*ATL Atlanta.
    Meeting adjourned at 12:23 pm.

    SEABA Updates

    By Ashley McCartney
    Our June Soiree at AGAVE was a great success! We gained several new members at this event and, in the company of new and familiar folks, we networked our hearts out. In keeping with its extraordinary reputation, AGAVE provided us with a gracious staff and delicious treats. We appreciate AGAVE’s hospitality and commitment to our organization.
    On June 30, 2011, Zoo Atlanta hosted the quarterly SEABA business luncheon. Our guest speaker, Steven Brown of Transworld Systems, gave an insightful presentation entitled “Ten Tips for Maximizing Cash Flow.” I feel confident that every guest left the luncheon with valuable information that they will use in advancing their business here in South East Atlanta. We thank Zoo Atlanta for hosting us again.
    In other news, our new website is live at This site will provide a variety of useful tools to help our members grow their businesses. For instance, all members have the opportunity to post their business profile on our website. Use our contact page to find out more. SEABA sends a HUGE shout out to right Clique Design, LLC for developing this incredible website.
    Please check out our new SEABA website at for information about our new membership guidelines, leaders, membership benefits, and tactical and strategic plans for 2011-2012. If you would like to be on our mailing list or know more about our organization just send an email to and we’ll get back to you. We are also now on Facebook.
    SEABA (South East Atlanta Business Association) was created through the merger of the Reynoldstown/Cabbagetown Business Association and the Grant Park Merchants Association in 2006. Our most important goals are to strengthen and grow the business community and enhance the quality of life for all residents. SEABA is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit corporation operated by volunteers.

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