Hope everyoneâ€™s keeping warm and is off to a wonderful 2015! I want to thank everyone who came out to our BPNA January meeting at Mama Nikis, as we had a fantastic crowd of about 40 people! Also, thank you to all who signed up to become members of BPNA last month! We hope to see more even neighbors join up and attend our meetings, social events, and support our neighborhood causes.
For February, we have our Beautification day on Saturday, the 7th â€“we will meet up at the Underwood Hills Park at 9am and the event will end at 12pm. Trees Atlanta will be here to plant trees and we will also have clean-up projects throughout the neighborhood. We will have pizza for all the hungry Berkeley Park volunteers afterwards at the Verner Mini Park. Thank you to Jacob Burton, Will Paschal, and Margaret Camac for organizing this event, and I hope everyone can make it out! If you would like more information about this event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or look on our website at www.berkeleypark.org.
Our next monthly meeting will be Tuesday, February 17th starting at 7pm, with the location to be determined, so please keep a look out on our Facebook page for more information. Like the last meeting, we will have dinner provided and we encourage all current members to invite surrounding neighbors to this event. The agenda will be published the Friday before the meeting. Thank you.
All the best,
Beautification - TreesAtlanta
Saturday February 7
We will meet up at the Underwood Hills Park at
9 a.m. and the event will end at noon. Bring shovels, picks, wheelbarrows. Volunteers will be broken up into groups to dig holes for the TreesAtlanta planting.
NPU-D and Neighborhood Updates
By, Jim Martin
The January-27th NPU-D meeting was a pretty quick one The first of these was a rezoning application for a portion of the old Midtown West apartmentsâ€™ site on Marietta Boulevard between Chattahoochee and Bolton Road. Here, a â€œmaster developerâ€ has proposed a mixed residential and commercial area at the southern end of an overall residential project. The Midtown West rezoning application was for a conventional MRC-2 designation that did not restrict the development of any adjoining parcels of land. We unanimously approved this rezoning with two conditions. The first of these prohibited certain commercial uses that would otherwise have been allowed under MRC-2 and the second limited the non-residential component of the development to 90,000 square feet, which was a small fraction of what is permissible under MRC-2. The reason for this was that the proposed development was primarily residential, but the requested zoning category was primarily commercial. The reasons for not seeking an underlying zoning with a smaller commercial component sounded a bit sketchy, but the city does not really have a quality-of-life zoning district that suited the proposal, and other issues might have arisen with an older zoning district such as C-1. This rezoning case constituted three separate business items on our agenda, which we dealt with in a single unanimous vote of approval: the rezoning itself, an amendment to the comprehensive development plan (CDP) to permit the rezoning, and a set of variances to permit the proposed development under the new zoning district. The variances relaxed the streetscape requirements along Marietta Boulevard, where topography made these difficult to satisfy, and the transitional requirements that would have been created between the portion of the site that was being rezoned and the remainder of the site that is to be developed under its existing RG-3 residential zoning.
Our second business item involved a parking reduction for a warehouse building on Hills Avenue where a Cross-Fit gym has been located. The gym constituted a change of use for the building and a reevaluation of the available parking. Here, the parking lot was considerably larger than the number of striped spaces would imply so there were many uncounted spaces, there were no nearby residents who would suffer from any overflow of parking, and the adjoining businesses operated with different peak parking hours. We approved this exception unanimously.
We had two cases on our agenda on which we decided to take no action. One of these was a liquor license in NPU-C adjacent to NPU-D, which we also had listed in November. Although the city sent a second set of paperwork on this for unknown reasons, the applicant was again a no-show and no one seemed to care enough about it to want to weigh in. The other case was the zoning variance application for reductions to rear- and side-yard setbacks at 818 Antone in order to accommodate a shed. In that case, the Board of Zoning Adjustment had decided the issue before we met, so there was not point to weighing in.
There have still been no updates on the second round of NPU grants from the city. This may be related to the fact that the cityâ€™s NPU coordinator, Miltresa McMichael resigned her position and has not yet been replaced. She had been coordinating the NPU grant program since its inception a few years ago. The city also has a neighborhood art grant program, which BPNA could apply for. The application and information is linked here and here. The deadline for applications is February 25th. I probably will not have time to put an application together for this program, but anyone in Berkeley Park (particularly you artist types) is free to apply, and I would be happy to assist in any way that I can.
Quick Trip Appeal â€“ Feb 12
Our appeal of the SAP approval for the proposed QuikTrip on Howell Mill is scheduled to be heard by the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) on Thursday February 12th. The meeting is at noon, I was expecting our case to be toward the back of the agenda because it was deferred from an earlier meeting, but it turns out that appeals are always placed at the front of the agenda, so our case will be first. The agenda for the meeting can be found online.
Since our last newsletter, we have had another meeting with the QuikTrip folks. This one took place at the Atlanta Beltline Inc. offices on January 26th. When I arrived a few minutes early for this meeting, I was surprised to find that an accord had already been reached with regard to what our new QuikTrip should look like. Apparently, the appendage proposed for the north end of the building should be replaced by a courtyard, the fake windows on the east side should be replaced by bricked-over fake windows (or fake bricked-over windows, I am not sure which), an east facing entrance should be added to the north end of the building adjacent to the courtyard and the eastern-most curb cut onto Defoors should be eliminated, leaving one on Defoors and two on Chattahoochee. There should also be some additional landscaping and aesthetic changes. Unfortunately, the building would still have its windowless back to Howell Mill and there would still be an enormous 20-bay fuel service island to its west. There are several ways in which the new plan falls short of the overlay requirements, but it is definitely closer to those than any plan that has come before.
The existence of this new plan should not directly impact our current appeal as that is against the approval of the prior SAP application (i.e. the old plan) and it is an issue between us and the city rather than directly between us and QT. If anything, the revised plan should provide additional evidence in support of our appeal, as even the applicant has now admitted that he can build a #3 QT store that is more in line with the requirements of the overlay than the one that city staff approved. Whether or not our appeal is upheld on February 12th, the QT guys can submit another SAP application. If the appeal is upheld, then they must submit another application. This application could be for the plan that they presented on January 26th or for any other plan that is significantly different from the one that we appealed the approval of. This will then need to make its way through the SAP process as its predecessors have.
Another round of public meetings was held regarding the proposed infrastructure bonds at the end of January. The issuance of these bonds should be an item on our ballot in March. A list of the proposed projects along with an interactive map can be found at www.infrastructuremap.org . If you like street resurfacing and signal-light replacement, it will make you very happy. If you like parks, trails, and sidewalks; prepare to be disappointed.
I traded email with Kathy Kingsbury in Felicia Mooreâ€™s office about our sidewalk project again in January. Apparently the Department of Public Works (DPW) has been doing nothing about this for so long now that they must search their archives in order to discover why they are doing nothing (there has to be a good reason, right?) before they can begin to contemplate actually doing something as the pledged to more than a year ago following their prior 3-year period of inaction. It is not clear how long this new search for information might take. These are the same guys who will be charged with spending the proceeds of the infrastructure bond issuance. Maybe it is harder to spend the $47,000 from the last bond issuance than it will be to spend the new $250,000,000. It doesnâ€™t seem like it should be.
Please review the article in last monthâ€™s newsletter regarding the beautification project and the unexpended Selig money. We were not able to discuss this at the January meeting because of the large turnout at Mama Nikiâ€™s, but we still need to formulate a plan that will allow us to take action on the matter. Doing nothing about this is the functional equivalent of throwing away approximately $37,000, which is probably not something that any of us would otherwise choose to do.
Neighborhood Zoning â€“ Feb 17
A meeting has been tentatively scheduled for February 17th to discuss our proposed NC zoning district. The meeting will be coordinated by Felicia Mooreâ€™s office at city hall. If you are interested in participating in either this meeting or any other aspect of the creation of this zoning district, please contact me or one of the new BPNA officers.
At the annual Beltline TAD advisory committee retreat on January 24th, we had a 13-year-old entrepreneur come to speak to us about plastics and plastic recycling, and how the latter is a vastly inferior alternative to reusing. His website is here. One of the many issues that he was concerned about was single-use plastic containers like those bags that groceries often come home in. These are ill-suited to reuse, difficult to recycle and unlikely to ever be recycled. If you are someone who still uses these things, there is an obvious alternative: you can get a Berkeley Park reusable grocery bag, which proudly displays the neighborhood logo. This will order to demonstrate your concern for the planet, community spirit, and stylishness every time you shop.
Monthly Meeting Minutes
Hollie Meyer, Secretary
January 20, 2015 â€“ Mama Nikiâ€™s
- Victoria welcomed everyone and thanked Mama Nikiâ€™s for the location and BPNA for providing the pizza
- November 2014 minutes were presented
- Jim motioned to approve the minutes, Patrick seconded; approved by the group
- TreesAtlanta â€“ Feb 7
- Will and Jacob are heading up a TreesAtlanta planting
- Trees are free and TreesAtlanta will help plant and maintain
- Trees need to be in the front yard and commitment to Jacob or Will by next Tuesday
- Neighborhood Recruitment
- Encouraging neighbors to join and pay $20 dues
- Need people to assist with committees
- Neighborhood Watch
- Join BPNA Facebook page for updates
- Looking for someone to Chair the BPNA neighborhood watch group, along with street captains
- Training will be available in February
- Call 911/cops for everything; even if the situation has passed, it will get the police in the neighborhood
- Dwight announced plans are moving forward with the WaterWorks park, with renovations starting as early as 2016.
- Public input will be asked as the planning process moves forward
- CrimeWatch â€“ Amy Hoover
- Code and Zoning â€“ xxx
- Beautification â€“ Margaret Camack
- Communications â€“ Hollie Meyer
- Seniors â€“ tawn Chi
- Membership â€“ xxx
- Land and Planning â€“ xxx
- NPU-D â€“ Jim Martin
- Traffic Calming â€“ xxx
- Social â€“ Linda Sokol
- Donation to NCA
- Ron Horgan brought to BPNA a request to donate $100 to Northwest Community Alliance (NCA). This group focuses on neighborhood leaders, community service and they use the Senior Center for a meeting location.
- Will motioned, Ron seconded donating $100 directly to the Senior Center is support of NCA meeting charges. 21 yes, 0 oppose
- Other business
- Old DaysInn location â€“ proposed State Employees Retirement office park
- QuickMart on Northside â€“ tearing part of it down to install gas pumps
- Quick trip Appeal â€“ Feb 12 at City Council Chambers at noon
- Meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.
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:
A free reusable Berkeley Park Branded shopping bag with membership,
- Individual Member ($20)
- Senior ($5)
- Business ($50)
- Vote in all elections
- Neighborhood events
- Receive the monthly Newsletter
- Receive neighborhood watch alerts
- Lost and found pets
- Suspicious activity
- FYI - updates