Potential street parking layout, Love your Block grants, and NPU-D updates.
View this email in your browser
Items in the March'15 Newsletter

 





 





 
Mark you Calendars

BPNA Monthly Meeting
Third Tuesday of the month, 7:00 p.m. at TBA

NPU-D Meeting
Fourth Tuesday of the month, 7:30 pm 
Agape Center, 2351 Bolton Road, NW
All NPU Residents Welcome


Spring Fling and Chili Cook-off
April 26, 1-6 pm at Masterpiece Lighting parking lot (Forrest St)

2015 Yearly Membership Dues
Complete online

 





 






 
Contact Information
Yahoo Group

BPNA Officers

Have you signed up for NextDoor?

Questions or Concerns
info@berkeleypark.org


Sponsors




 
Facebook
Facebook
Website
Website





 
Mark you Calendars

BPNA Monthly Meeting
Third Tuesday of the month, 7:00 p.m. at TBA

NPU-D Meeting
Fourth Tuesday of the month, 7:30 pm 
Agape Center, 2351 Bolton Road, NW
All NPU Residents Welcome


Spring Fling and Chili Cook-off
April 26, 1-6 pm at Masterpiece Lighting parking lot (Forrest St)

2015 Yearly Membership Dues
Complete online







 








 
Contact Information
Yahoo Group

BPNA Officers

Have you signed up for NextDoor?

Questions or Concerns
info@berkeleypark.org


Sponsors
 







 






 
Facebook
Facebook
Website
Website

President's Report

Fellow Neighbors,

In February, we had our Beautification day on Saturday, the 7th. We had Trees Atlanta come help us plant 11 trees throughout the neighborhood. Thank you to Jacob Burton, Will Paschal and Margaret Camac for organizing this event, as well as, to all our Berkeley Park neighborhood volunteers!

Our next monthly meeting will be Tuesday, March 17th starting at 7pm with the location to be determined, so please keep a look out on our Facebook page for more information.

All the best,
Victoria Hurd

Spring Fling and Chili Cook-off


Mark your calendars for Sunday, April 26 for the Berkeley Park spring event, at Masterpiece Lighting parking lot (Forrest St) from 1-6 pm.

BPNA will furnish grilled food items, but ask neighbors to bring sides and desserts. There will also be the chili cook-off for those interested. More information to come.

Volunteers are needed to help with set-up and tear-down, and bringing tables and chairs. 

Watch Facebook for more information.

Beautification


A total number of eleven trees were planted in BP and we are grateful to Sue and Trees Atlanta for their excellent demonstration with Sue explaining the optimum means for tree survival beginning with planning for the size of the hole to be dug, how to detangle the rooting system for the newly planted tree, and how to maintain them over the summer. We plan to work with Trees Atlanta another time, as this is an excellent organization and a wonderful resource for Atlanta.
 
In the meantime please remember to pick up trash on your street and when walking in the neighborhood. We still have people who seem to prefer to throw trash out of car windows as they drive through the neighborhood. 
 
We will be planning an event to landscape around our benches that have been set in place in and around BP. A big thank you Will and Jacob for organizing the Trees Atlanta event. 
 

NPU-D and Neighborhood Updates

By, Jim Martin

 

We breezed through our NPU-D agenda once again on February 24th, wrapping things up after only an hour thanks to deferrals of our only two business items – both of them liquor licenses. The first of these was for the Family Corner Market on Hollywood Road in Riverside, a convenience store that is generally disliked by the surrounding community. For no stated reason, the applicant for this license decided not to show up at the meeting. I received no communications from him either before or after the meeting to explain this. The second applicant was present. He was seeking a liquor license to construct and bar/lounge next door to the Westside Pizza on Marietta Blvd. His application for this license was riddled with errors and the location did not appear to meet several of the requirements for such a business including the required minimum parking and the required minimum distances for various things. Prior to the meeting, this had seemed to be a pretty straight forward denial, but, at the meeting, we were all surprised to learn that the applicant had decided to change his plan for a bar to one for a restaurant. Since he didn’t have a copy of the new license application and no one had seen it, we chose to defer the matter in order to review the relevant material on the condition that the applicant would request a deferral from the license review board.

In addition to our business items, we had two presentations at the February NPU-D meeting. One of these was by Adam Brock describing changes that were made to the Westside Station site plan. This is a PDH (planned development housing) project that Brock is constructing on the site of the old APL truck yard on Marietta Road in Bolton. NPU-D approved the PDH rezoning to permit this project about a year ago, but that is a zoning category that is intrinsically site-plan-specific, so Brock was obliged to notify us about any significant changes to the approved plan. In this case, his original survey had misplaced a major sewer line. The true location of that sewer precluded the construction of several of the originally planned homes, so he had rearranged things in an attempt to maintain the originally planned density without constructing homes above the sewer line. The most significant complaint from the community about the new plan appeared to involve the way in which some of the new lots would subdivide the required buffer for the Whetstone Creek, thus making this buffer into the property of several of the new homes’ owners rather than the property of the home-owners association as a whole. A potential problem with this could arise down the road when some of these home owners are “surprised” to learn what they can not do in their new “backyards” (like build anything, landscape, or plant grass). This in turn, would be apt to lead to unauthorized encroachments into the stream buffer or contentious variance applications at the NPU.

Our other presentation was by Kenyata Mitchell with the Waste Management Corporation. The city has now issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the reprocessing of solid waste from the RM Clayton plant, and Waste Management intends to respond to that along the lines of the special-use permit that we approved for them last year. This would involve the construction of a new facility at the northern end of Marietta Road to turn our sewage into fertilizer. The only real “news” in this presentation is that the RFP has been issued, which indicates the city’s intention to move ahead with a project that they were just talking about last year. It is not known whether any other proposals will emerge, but the Waste Management proposal is apt to be the best for the community as it would minimize truck traffic by piping the sewage to the treatment facility on the Waste Management property adjoining the plant and only trucking away the finished product of the reprocessing (i.e. fertilizer rather than sewage).

We still have not had any updates on the next round of grants in the NPU grant program. The city has announced a grants program for art projects, which has a link in the January BPNA newsletter, and another round of grants in the Love-Your-Block program, details of which can be found here (information) and here (application). There will be two rounds of grants in the 2015 Love-Your-Block grant program. The deadlines to apply for these are March 13th and October 15th. Both deadlines are at noon. Anyone who is interested in pursuing any of these grants can contact me for more information or assistance.

At next month’s NPU meeting, we will be discussing a administrative appeal against a staff decision that a concrete recycling facility on Marietta Road, which is under construction, is in violation of its zoning because it does not have a special use permit. This is not explicitly a business item for us, but is of great interest to the community as the facility would be a source of dust, noise, and heavy truck traffic in the area. It is likely that the community will choose to support the staff position with a resolution on this matter. Thus, we may end up arguing both against one appeal of an administrative decision and for another (the appeal against the administrative approval of the QuikTrip on Howell Mill) at the same Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) hearing. If nothing else, this ought to insure a pretty good turnout for the hearing.
 

QuickTrip and BZA

On February 12th, the BZA again considered our appeal of the administrative decision regarding the QT, which they had deferred in November. Unlike the previous meeting, there was a very small turnout from the community (~ 6 people), which seemed to embolden the board members to discuss a possible rejection of our appeal. I attributed the small turnout to last-minute confusion over whether or not the issue would be considered at all since there had been a flurry of requests to defer the case from folks who were not parties to the appeal. In the end, the BZA again decided to defer the case, to “allow more time” for discussions between the community and QT. Since all of these discussions have focused on a plan for the site that is substantially different from the one that is the subject of the appeal, it seems that they could have just as easily provide time for discussion by upholding the appeal and thereby discarding the now-obsolete plan. They seemed to be concerned that doing that might set a dangerous precedent regarding the infallibility of city staff members (how could they be wrong if they say that they are right?).

Although the online version of the BZA’s March 12, 2015 agenda shows this case, they the city did not post the notice on the site, so there will be an automatic deferral. It seems likely that the case will be heard again in April or May. I will send out notice once that hearing date has been set. When our case is next heard, it will be important to have a good showing from the neighborhood at the hearing. While all this is going on, a second plan submitted by QT should also be moving forward. It is better than the first plan, but it is still a giant ugly gas station that will do nothing good for the community. The elevations and site plans for this proposal are here and here. The current appeal is of the administrative approval for the first plan, which is linked from the September 2014 BPNA newsletter, rather than the most recent. As of now, the second plan has not received an administrative approval. If it does, there will be a 30-day window in which that too can be appealed in a separate action.


Infrastructure Bond Issuance

On March 17th we will be asked to vote on the proposed infrastructure bond issuance. A list of the proposed projects along with an interactive map can be found at www.infrastructuremap.org . It would be a good idea to look at the actual projects and to appreciate the fact that what is proposed is to borrow money to pay for these and pay that back later out of property tax revenue. Rather than basing your vote on the vague statements that are circulating regarding this proposal, it would be a good idea to check the actual project list. If you are planning to continue living in Atlanta for a while, you will be paying for all of these projects along with the interest and borrowing costs associated with the proposed funding mechanism. You will also be living with the opportunity cost of not doing other infrastructure projects that aren’t on the list, e.g. Waterworks Park, for what may be a very long time.


Neighborhood Rezoning

On February 17th there was a meeting at City Hall to discuss our proposed proactive rezoning for Howell Mill Road, which has been described in several prior newsletter articles beginning in the summer of 2012. Our original proposal was to rezone the corridor of Howell Mill between the waterworks and the freeway to a neighborhood commercial designation. That proposal, which has already been conceptually endorsed by BPNA and NPU-D, is linked here. The planning office’s new proposal is for an MRC-1C zoning, which might accomplish the same thing depending on the conditions that are attached to it, which are designated by the second “C”. They have hired two interns to draft the legislation for this rezoning and are hoping to bring it to the NPU in April. They are trying to organize community meetings in March and April to discuss this proposal. The evening of our March 17 BPNA meeting has been discussed as a possible time for one of these meetings, but that has not yet been confirmed.


Sidewalks

I have still had no updates about our sidewalk project. Apparently the entire Department of Public Works (DPW) is currently so busy pitching the infrastructure bond that they are not able to determine why they have been unable to do anything about that for over a year. Once they settle into well-funded inaction regarding the infrastructure bond projects, they should be able to devote more time to actively ignoring our sidewalk project again.


Selig Funds

We have still made no decisions regarding if, when, or how we might move ahead with the expenditure of the remaining $37,000 pledged by Selig Enterprises for the improvement of our community. This issue is described in the January BPNA newsletter. We still need to formulate a plan that will allow us to take action on this matter. Our indecisiveness and inability to act on this in the almost ten years since this pledge was made does not help our credibility. Both the value of this pledge, which is fixed in present dollars, and the likelihood that we will ever be able to do anything about it are gradually eroding with time.

Monthly Meeting Minutes

Hollie Meyer, Secretary

February 17, 2015 – Mama Niki’s
  1. Victoria welcomed everyone and thanked Mama Niki’s for the location and BPNA for providing the pizza
  2. January 2015 minutes were presented
    1. Jim motioned to approve the minutes, Margaret seconded; approved by the group
  3. Treasurer’s report
    1. Review of last years funds
      1. Start $4800 + $1100 in dues+$600 in advertisements and merchandise-$35 events-$230 beautification and misc=$7700
      2. $4400 operating budget, remaining in three reserves Crime Prevention $690; Park $1400; Selig $1100
      3. Jim asked to move the neighborhood bank account to Fidelity, since they will be moving into the neighborhood
      4. $37,000 remaining in Selig funds, need to use before it dissolves.
        1. Use of funds was voted on a couple years back, those projects have stalled, therefore need to relook at the use of funds.
        2. Funds need to be used for the ‘betterment of the community’
        3. If you have project ideas send to info@berkeleypark.org
        4. May have a special meeting just to discuss this issue   
  4. TreesAtlanta – Feb 7
    1. 11 trees planted, water and trimming done by TreesAtlanta
  5. Chili Cook-off
    1. Looking for volunteers for the event mid April
    2. Looking for locations to hold event and sponsorship
  6. Traffic cones / Slow kids signs
    1. Looking to purchase slow driving signs for each street
    2. Will need people to put them out into the street
    3. Can we look into the solar “how fast are you going” signs
  7. Other business
    1. Dog Park? Possibly expanding Forrest minipark
  8. Waterworks Park
    1. Infrastructure funds for renovating lodge, but has been taken off the list
    2. Contact city council to push it back on
  9. QT appeal
    1. BZA deferred to next month
    2. QT put together a new plan, however not sure if that plan can be accepted or need a new building application
      1. Design altered, door added to Howell Mill, outdoor seating by DeFoor corner, 4 to 3 curb cuts 
Submitted by Hollie Meyer, secretary
BPNA Membership Dues

Have you sent in your 2015 membership dues?  Click here to complete your application online!

Become an active part of a lively and innovative urban setting by joining the Berkeley Park Neighborhood Association. The neighborhood teems with restaurants and other amenities, and includes the largest number of technical and production facilities in Atlanta. Its residents love food, and love art and technology.

Join the Berkeley Park Neighborhood Association
Membership has privileges Annual Membership dues:

  • Individual Member ($20)
  • Senior ($5)
  • Business ($50)
A free reusable Berkeley Park Branded shopping bag with membership,

Other Benefits

  • Vote in all elections
  • Neighborhood events
  • Receive the monthly Newsletter
  • Receive neighborhood watch alerts
  • Lost and found pets
  • Suspicious activity
  • FYI - updates

Newsletter Sponsors

Copyright © 2015 Berkeley Park Neighborhood Association, All rights reserved.


unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp