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SAND Meeting Minutes – Thursday, October 12, 2023 

Update from Council Member Bakhtiari’s Office

Events – Cocktails with the Council Member event at Argosy on November 9.

Update from Council Member Winston’s Office

Red’s Farm – Activity is underway with the Conservation Fund to subdivide the homestead property before closing in November. This is an important step in the process of preserving the farm’s open space and agricultural heritage. The Conservation Fund is a national nonprofit organization that works to protect land and water resources.

Boulevard Meeting – The Council Member is conducting a November meeting with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to discuss the time and date for the Boulevard Safe Street project. The Boulevard project is a major infrastructure project that will improve transportation and pedestrian access to Grant Park.

Diaper Drive – The recent diaper collection drive was a huge success! More than 5,000 diapers were collected, thanks in part to the support of Red’s Beer Garden. Diapers are a basic necessity for families with young children, but they can be expensive. The diaper collection drive will help to ensure that residents of District 1 have access to the diapers they need for their children.

Sidewalks and Stump Removal – Discussions about repairing damaged sidewalks and stump removal for trees in the right of way are still underway with City departments. 

Update from U.S. Congressperson Nikema Williams’ Office

Legislative Priorities – following the election of a speaker are aid for Israel and Ukraine, and the budget.

Coin Release – legislation is pending for a coin commemorating the 100th birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

HBCU Medical Programs – legislation has been introduced for a grant program for HBCU medical programs.

Update from Fulton County Commissioner Natalie Hall’s Office

Meetings – Commissioner Hall’s future meetings will be held at 141 Pryor Street.

Community Outreach – Staff hours at Oak Hill Child Center will be on Tuesdays and Thursday from 9:30am to 5:30pm.

Youth Conference – this annual event will be hosted by the Commissioner on October 27. 

Commercial Property Appraisals – Attendees expressed a desire to receive a formal response to SAND’s letter regarding the differences between property tax assessments for residential and commercial/luxury properties.

Fulton County Jail Conditions – Concerns were expressed.

Updates from SAND Committees:

Education – The Atlanta Public Schools (APS) announced the introduction of the Student Bill of Rights, a groundbreaking document that guarantees students certain rights and protections. The bill of rights was developed after months of input from students, parents, and educators. To learn more about the bill of rights and upcoming online meetings, please visit

Transportation – Council Member Winston’s office released a list of quick-fix transportation projects that will be addressed in the coming months. The list includes items such as pothole repairs, crosswalk enhancements, and improved signage. A companion list of projects for Council Member Bahktiari’s office is expected to be released soon.

Land Use and Zoning – The developer of the 1109 Moreland Drive project has decided to pause their application and reassess economic conditions. The developer worked closely with Steve Stuglin, SAND Neighborhood Representative for Custer-McDonough-Guice, to manage the neighbor input process to this point.

Benteen Park Fall Festival – The inaugural Benteen Park Fall Festival took place on October 25, 2023. The festival featured a variety of activities for all ages, including live music, food trucks, and games.  It was a big success for the community!

Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU-W) Election – NPU-W elected representative elections were held on October 25th.  SAND has five elected Reps, with three positions open.  Please contact president@sandatlanta if you are interested.

Beautification – Trees Atlanta will be planting trees on Glenwood Avenue SE in November. This project is part of Trees Atlanta’s mission to plant 100,000 trees in Atlanta by 2030.

Matters for Voting

Elections for 2024: The following candidates were elected with no objections: President: Michael Snyder; Vice President: Paul Bolster; Secretary: Mike Gardner; Treasurer: Brent Huff; Benteen Park Representative: David and Joshua Lorenze-McElroy; Boulevard Heights Representative: Amanda Harwood; Custer-McDonough-Guice Representative: Steve Stuglin; North Ormewood Park Representative: Josh Milner; Ormewood Park Representative: Rachel Higgens; Woodland Hills Representative: Ben Braxley; Makers Festival Committee Chair: Christian Mendonca; Transportation Committee Chair: Abiy Kaltiso; Trolleys: Steve Carpenter; Webmaster: Christian Mendonca; Porch Press Representative: Paul Bolster; SMAWG: Greg Giuffrida, Paul Bolster, and Brent Huff. Congratulations to the new leaders!

Land Use Application Votes

V-23-119 – This application was for a revised request to reduce the rear yard setback from 15 feet to 5 feet, increase accessory structure size from 30% to 84% of the main structure, and increase the allowable lot coverage from 50% to 60.9%. The application had not been heard by the NPU LUZ committee due to a schedule issue. A motion to approve the application was put forward and carried with no objections.

V-23-143 – This application was to reduce the rear yard setback from 15 feet to 5 feet to construct an accessory structure for an existing single-family dwelling. The NPU LUZ committee had recommended approval of this application. A motion to approve the application was put forward and carried with no objections.

Community Updates

Tapestry – Julie Lowring requested that SAND send a letter of support to Park Pride for Tapestry, a park that is continuing development in the Ormewood Park neighborhood.  SAND members discussed the request and agreed that Tapestry was a valuable asset to the community and that they wanted to support its development. They made a motion to request that SAND leadership construct a letter of support to Park Pride for Tapestry. The motion was put forward and approved with no objections.

A request was made for SAND to consider sending a letter to the City of Atlanta regarding the opening of Michelle Obama Park. A copy of the letter was not available for review and discussion, but may be presented at the November meeting.

The next SAND meeting will be held on November 9 and will be online only. The link to the meeting is at

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