EACA Meeting – May 8, 2012
Meeting called to order at 7:10pm by Lewis Cartee.
Announcements: Thanks to everyone who came out to EACA’s earth day festival. Especially want to thank Katie, Moko and Lori who organized and executed the event.
EABF – Rose
Events Committee Chair – inviting us to participate in this year’s Beer Fest fundraiser for EACA. Generous donation of iPad2 from Microbatix and EACA also purchased a new iPad. Raffling them off at the festival instead of the manning the burger booth to raise more money. Trying to raise $3-5K. Tickets are for sale tonight at the meeting, the Midway the next two Thursdays and the day of the event. $5 for 5 tickets, $10 for 15 tickets and $20 for 30 tickets. Try to get your friends to buy at least one set of tickets. You will get a pretzel necklaces for a $20 ticket purchase. The drawing will be at the beer festival. Do not have to be present to win. The winner will be published in the newsletter, on Facebook and on our website the following Monday. Money will be used for our general fund.
Lewis – One of the projects we’ll use it for is the fitness trail in BrownwoodPark. We received a grant but have to match the funds.
BATL History Lesson – Henry Bryant, Chairman of BATL – annual event in July to commemorate the Battle of East Atlanta in a 2-3 square mile area right through the village. The Union troops were stationed in the village. General McPherson died on McPherson Avenue and he is the most top ranking US military man ever to be killed in battle. General Walker died where I-20 crosses Moreland Ave. BATL is about these events but also about trying to create a lasting evidence of the history so we can use that for economic and cultural development in our area. BATL received a grant from State of Georgia to restore the two monuments for these generals. Just completed a historical resource examination to get more information about the monuments. Henry presented documentation of the earliest known photos of the monuments. The original Walker monument was near Burgess-Peterson Academy but it was known that this was the wrong location. Glenwood didn’t always go through to Moreland. Henry will be back here for the next meeting to get approvals for the Urban Design Commission because both of the monuments are in city parks. BATL is coming up in July – July 21. There are many volunteer opportunities. You can find out more at www.batlevent.org. Tickets will be for sale soon. Most events are free but the tours and gala are not. The gala will be held at the East Lake Golf Club.
Kevin couldn’t be here tonight, but his announcements are: Adopt-a-Street – more information is now available on our website. EACA Rewards are also up and running on our website. There are pages for members and business owners who are interested in participating in the program.
Sargent Stevens, APD – Today he has the 17th and 18th week of reporting year. Having issue with car break-ins in Zone 6 zone-wide. Shifted resources in week 17 to this beat. 11 part 1 crimes in 612. Last week, we had 5 part 2 crimes (more serious). No murders, no rapes, 3 residential burglaries, 4 car break-ins, 2 shoplifting. Last week: no crimes against persons, 1 residential burglary, 1 car break-in, 1 shoplifting and 1 auto theft. Traffic cop on the road 5 days last week.
Question – Are car break-ins happening at a certain time of day.
Sargent – Yes – 11pm-7am.
Question – Is the crime concentrated in a certain area?
Answer – Car break-ins are taking place in the parking lot by the bars. But there isn’t enough of a sample size to generate a pattern.
Question – Still have a problem with speeding traffic on Moreland Avenue, especially with Henry and Spalding county license plates.
Answer – I’ve thought about my answer the entire time I have been sitting beside you. The state of Georgia has designed a set of laws that prohibit us from running speed traps. The road has to be designated for laser detection.
Question – About pedestrians in crosswalks.
Answer – You are obligated to stop in a crosswalk according to Georgia law.
Question – You said at least 100 traffic tickets were written, what were they for?
Answer – Officer White writes a lot of tickets. Reynoldstown was having problems with people rolling through stop signs.
Question – What about the offset intersections like East Confederate and Moreland?
Response to earlier question – Back to the speed on Moreland, you have to give 500 feet before you can run the laser. There aren’t a lot of good places for Officer White to safely run the laser.
Question – Are you going to increase patrols in the village in the evenings?
Answer – The Major has taken officers from morning watch and had them work from 8pm to 4 am on the swing shift. One thing that bugs me about the village is that there are no lights back in the neighborhoods. That makes too many good places to hide for a criminal.
Question – Are there any updates on the mugging in Ormewood or the kidnapping on Edgewood?
Answer – No; we have a description of the vehicle – a Chevy pick up truck. The investigator they gave those two cases to is a sharp guy and it is his main focus right now. Don’t know if the kidnapping is sexually oriented or a gang initiation.
Question about the kidnapping in Edgewood.
Answer – There are sketches available on the Atlanta PD website.
Public Safety Committee – Two liquor license applications tonight.
543 Flat Shoals – The Asylum – Applying for beer, wine, liquor, live entertainment and plan to operate as a restaurant.
Question – What type of entertainment?
Answer – Like Eddie’s Attic and cabaret. Upper-scale entertainment.
Question – When are planning on opening and what type of food will you serve?
Answer – June 1. Restaurant – Americana barfare with fried appetizers, taking burgers to a different level, sandwiches, chalkboard specials with different cultural cuisines. Planning on doing a breakfast buffet. Will have smoking.
Question – Where do you plan on people parking?
Answer – Making plans to lease a few parking lots and also have valet. Have already contracted with a valet service. 2 lots are available to us and 2 lots to rent.
Ted, Public Safety Committee Chair – There is a little confusion about the application that Ron Lall will address. Ron is the Chair of NPU Public Safety Committee. The issue is that the alcohol license definition for a restaurant in the ordinance does not contemplate restaurants having live entertainment. Restaurants are exempt from separation distances in the ordinance. If you have a restaurant you don’t have live entertainment and vice versa. That is the issue we need to sort out with the applicant. We aren’t going to do that tonight. It comes down to their application which seeks to serve liquor, beer and wine. The location is permissible to beer and wine. Once you move into live entertainment, according to the ordinance, the issue becomes more cloudy. Some of you may recall the previous business at this location, Ice House. They wanted sell beer, wine and liquor. Never got liquor approved.
Question – Does the ordinance state that the business must be 300 feet from the nearest residence. How far is the business from the nearest residence?
Answer – 376 feet.
Question – How do we know what we’re voting for?
Answer – We are voting that we understand the nature of the application and that the Liquor Review Board should look at the issue with great care. The applicant has also signed the good neighbor agreement.
Question – How will you address the litter problem caused by the use of postcard size advertisements to advertise live entertainment.
Answer – They are employing a company to do clean up after closing. Second, they want to sign up for adopt-a-street for an adjacent street. They want to participate as much as they can in the neighborhood cleanliness.
Question – Referring specifically to the postcard issue. How will you keep the postcard litter from getting out of hand?
Answer – They aren’t putting them out in droves. The intention is to limit that, clean up after that. Also, the applicant will deal with promoters on a one on one basis if they abuse the process. Motion is to made to approve the license request. Moved to approve. Approve – 14 Abstaining – 4
470 Flat Shoals Rd – The Argosy – Restaurant that serves liquor, beer and wine. No entertainment. Mural looks great and there is a video available on Living Walls. Hope to open the end of the summer. Food – will be similar to our other restaurant The Bookhouse. We are calling it as gastropub, although that is a broad term. Upscale American, doing a lot of beer pairings. We will do inhouse charcuterie, and we have an 8K pound woodfire oven.
Question – Smoking?
Answer – Inside is no smoking. There will be a smoking patio that will be recessed into the current front of the building. In about a year we should be able to build off the side of the building as well.
Question – How bad have your problems been with city planning?
Answer – It’s taken a year.
Question – What is going on next to you? The bulldozing?
Answer – That is our parking lot. There will be a curbcut there but in the long run there will be a different solution. Will be sharing the lot with the neighborhood and it will be very well lit.
Question – There are many rumors about what’s going on in there. Will there be a 2 lane bowling alley?
Answer – No bowling alley. Front half of the building is a restaurant and bar. The back half is still not permitted.
Question – What does Argosy mean?
Answer – Argosy is a fleet of ships and it is also the first known pulp magazine published in the 1870s.
Motion made to approve the licensing request. Motion approved. Approved – 19, Abstaining –1.
Ron Lall gave a presentation on the Shotstopper program – How many gunfire events do you think there are annually in the COA that are reported to 911? Ron presented a map that is a heat map generated by 911 calls reporting gunfire. The data is about 18 months old. Can see East Atlanta/I20 on the map. This represents about 10K calls to 911. Not all gunfire is reported, probably 50-80%. If we use those numbers we probably have 50-80K events in Atlanta. The Shotstopper program uses microphones that are triggered when gunshots are heard. By having multiple microphones in targeted areas, they are able to target gunshots.
45% of gunshot calls in the city come from the 25 mile radius shown. One problem is trying to determine where the gunfire is coming from. The beat officer gets dispatched and has a vague description to act on. This technology captures the audioclip of the gunfire and sends that to the 911 operator in addition to a map showing the source of the gunfire. The system can tell how many shooters, the direction of the gunfire and allows police to playback exactly what happened. Covering 25 miles in COA would cost $1.4M in initial year and then $1M each year for maintenance. There are a lot of advantages our current 911 system can’t provide to us. Michael Julian Bond has initiated an ordinance to use fees from cell towers located on city property to start the funding for this program. That program collects about $800K now. Some of that money is used to subsidize water bills for the needy, but there is a chunk that isn’t allocated. Doesn’t make sense to do it 1 square mile at a time; need to do it over a wide area.
Question – Does this system distinguish between a gunfire and a vehicle backfiring?
Answer – Yes; also nailguns and hailstones on metal roofs. The technology will filter these sounds out. Ron doesn’t work for the company; he is the public safety chair for NPU-W and a resident in a neighborhood that has constant problems with gunfire
Question – It’s triggered by sound, so it’s in an off position prior to hearing a bang?
Answer – It is tuned to react to the gunfire sounds.
Question – Will it be primarily in commercial or residential areas?
Question – Budgeting – Is there a set location for the installation?
Answer – city council has to allocate the money and the police would make that decision based on their analysis. Where the microphones go is based on the topography of the area.
Question – About privacy concerns – how is the data stored and how long is it stored. It’s kind of a slippery slope. Wondering what are the long term privacy issues?
Answer – This technology is a sensor, so it can’t listen for other things like certain cameras could. Ron does not know how long the data is kept.
Question – 25 square mile area but won’t have contiguous coverage throughout that area?
Answer – Doesn’t know how closely the microphones have to be placed.
Question – Generally speaking you’d have continuous coverage in the area.
Question – This is a private company working with Atlanta PD. Would these records be subject to the same data access and privacy laws that the government is required to abide by.
Answer – If government funds are spent, yes would be subject to open records act. Ron thinks all the information requests would go through the APD.
Question – My question is about personal information.
Answer – The system only picks up gunfire, not human voices. Andy – the funding source is not considered public dollars because it is considered private revenue.
Ron – Although it is revenue generated by private buildings on public land.
Question – If it were possible for this to record someone’s personably identifiable information, I would hope all privacy laws would apply.
Question – Would the microphones be in a place subject to vandalism?
Answer – Are you familiar with pelican products? It would look like a pelican box on a telephone pole. One of the audio clips Ron heard was bullets ricocheting off the pelican box. Not easily vandalized or recognizable. Lewis – We invited Ron so we could know more about it. Ron – when you talk to your council people next, it will take a vote to get the ordinance passed.
Question – What other cities use this?
Answer – This is in the brochure.
Land Use and Zoning – NC2 Revision Update – East Atlanta commercial districts have zoning referred to as NC – promotes pedestrian friendly, small business environment and promotes healthy interactions between businesses and residents. When EA adopted NC in 2000/2001, a boilerplate template was adopted. The other NC districts in the city added on to customize the zoning for their neighborhood. Issues have come up over the last few years. Last summer we convened an NPU committee to take a look at our ordinance and others in the city to put together a revision document. After going through that process, we now have an ordinance that is ready to be dropped – been submitted to zoning and Councilman Archibong.
There is still some communication in process with the city’s legal department that may end up tweaking it a little bit. Here tonight to walk you through a summary (handout) of the changes and answer some questions and then vote on the recommended changes. Did not address the parking issues because it needs to be handled independently. NPU will be voting on this at the next meeting. It is being driven by the council’s agenda.
Question – There are a lot of people in the business community and neighbors. Suggest delaying it 30 days.
Question – For the businesses currently in operation – are they grandfathered in? Answer – No impact to anyone who is currently zoned except for razor wire and barbed wire.
Question – Is the farmer’s market affected by vending requirements? Answer – there may be some impact but Andy isn’t familiar enough with the farmer’s market ordinance.
Ed – Yes, would affect it but it would require more research. Right now they have to apply for an SUP and a pedestrian safety plan.
Question – What does active use mean?
Answer – If there is a new building or parking structure built, active use refers to the business or life that happens on the sidewalk. No parking deck that is parking on the first level that is on the sidewalk.
Question – Does that only apply to parking decks or lots?
Answer – Any structures.
Question – How would it affect craft fairs going on at Midway?
Answer – Wouldn’t because that is internal to the business.
Question – Signage and advertising? Has any of that been taken into account in these changes? Are we tightening it up for EA for NC2?
Answer – We are giving ourselves a safety valve to un-tighten the process if we need to through an ordinance. The city doesn’t consider anything a sign that is inside a building.
Question – If all goes well, how fast will this be put into effect and as this moves a long the chain, is there potential for line item veto?
Answer – Will go first to the Zoning Review Board and then zoning committee and then full council, each requiring approval. Andy believes there is potential for changes along each step of the way.
Question – Any monitoring of private parking lots to make sure there isn’t over committing to renting businesses.
Answer – No; that is why we are expanding the parking regulations. We need to increase the parking capacity ourselves. The city has no interest in monitoring.
Question – Even though the business community hasn’t met in a while, they should be able to weigh in on this.
Question – What is Natalyn’s opinion?
Answer – She is generally supportive. She has had staff actively working on this and moving it along.
Question – The vending – that’s open air vending.
Answer – Vending was for all types of vending. Anything other than a brick and mortar business.
Question – Under principal use changes, the numbers on the body art studios, beauty shops, etc. would y’all consider putting a restriction in there for them to not be licensed for liquor licensed.
Question – Owns the garage across the street, tore down the chain linked fence? What other business are you referring to?
Answer – Martha Brown, Post Office, Armour tire.
Question – What solution would you recommend?
Answer – Electric fence.
Question – Are there any solutions? He understands the way it appears in the neighborhood. Believes it would draw more crime than prevent it.
Answer – because it is number one doesn’t mean it is the number one concern. Also, ordinance only concerned with barbed wire and razor wire. The chain link only has to be replaced when it needs to be replaced. Most of the initiative is targeted toward barbed and razor wire applications.
Question – if Mike’s chain link gets damaged not of his own accord, can he repair it or need to replace it with chain link?
Answer – yes.
Question – Was it considered to allow chain links if it was covered by vegetation
Answer – No.
Question – So for security purposes, you could have wrought iron with spears on top.
Answer – yes.
Question – Steve doesn’t think this has been vetted enough and recommends a delay on this. Should pass out to every business owner and ask for comments.
Answer – Next EABA meeting is June 6 at BrananTowers at 7:30 pm. Move to approve. Second. In favor – 12, opposed – 1, abstentions – 3. Question – when are you voting at NPU – May 30. Andy is acknowledging that this is a work in progress and their attempts early on trying to engage a lot of the business owners. He is happy to come by on the 6th.
Question – Are Dorothy Rose or Scott Pendergrass active in EABA?
Anwser – Not sure. When the committee was formed early on, they represented the business community. Think it is more of a timing and organizational issue from the business side.
Variance application – 730 Gresham Avenue, intersection of Gresham and Ormewood. Has been vacant for at least a year or longer. Someone has gotten control of the property and wants to put a 1 story addition on the home and it is part of the existing setback. Does not protrude further towards the street.
Question – Are they here?
Answer – No.
Question – Do you have a site plan?
Answer – Yes. The footprint is changing a little towards the back and the street.
Question – What was the committee’s recommendation?
Answer – To approve and ask them to seek approval from neighbors.
Question – Is this Parklife homes?
Answer – Yes.
Question – Was the approval contingent on neighbors approval?
Answer – No, only good faith suggestion.
Question – Park life homes have been focusing on East Atlanta renovations and they do great work.
Approve – 19, Abstain – 1 Motion passes.
EACA is trying to foster a relationship with the business community and trying to re-form EABA. Motion is made to approve the April 2012 minutes. Unanimous approval. Meeting adjourned at 8:59.
By Ashley McCartney
On May 17, 2012, H. Harper Station graciously hosted our networking soiree. The staff, food and drinks were exceptional and truly set the tone for an evening of networking. From the feedback I have received from members and guests alike, these soirees are really paying off. Thank you H. Harper Station! We look forward to your continued participation in SEABA.
On June 21, 2012, Village Pizza on Carroll Street will host our soiree from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m. We are excited to welcome the new chef to the neighborhood and appreciate her interest in SEABA. Come try the new pizza recipes, see the remodeled interior and meet entrepreneurs in the area. Bring your business cards! This is where deals get started.
In July, we will have our business luncheon. Stay tuned for details.
If you have not paid your dues for 2012 ($24 for an individual and $60 for an organization), please do so either by sending a check to SEABA at 199 Estoria Street, SE, Atlanta, GA 30316 or you may pay with your credit card at any of our events.
Good things are on the horizon for SEABA. Please check out our new SEABA website at www.seabaga.org 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 email@example.com 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.
Notes on Neighborhood: June-July 2012
EACA Meeting – May 8, 2012