Though the heat is still very much present, summer is on its way out with students returning to school. BPNA would like to wish the best of luck to all the Berkeley Park students heading back this month! Hope everyone had a fun and safe summer!
We have a few big items coming down the pipeline for our community:
Howell Mill Rezoning: These meetings have occurred over the last few months and were spearheaded by city planners. Last week, BPNAâ€™s board along with the assistance of the NPU-D chairman met to discuss a proposal to the cityâ€™s current plans. The city planners and BPNA will be working together up until the monthly meeting on a resolution for the rezoning of the Howell Mill corridor to the community. This plan will hopefully rezone the Howell Mill corridor to meet our vision for the future area surrounding Berkeley Park. We are proposing regulations be made on what can be built on Howell Mill, as well as restrict certain types of businesses (gas stations, etc). This meeting will affect our community immensely and I strongly encourage everyone to attend. Please mark your calendars and plan on attending Tuesday, August 18th at the Senior Center starting at 7pm.
Fall Festival: Our Fall Festival is just a couple of months away and we would love neighborhood volunteers to assist in the implementation of this fun event! Please contact me at VictoriaHurd@kw.com if you are interested in helping plan or assist in this event. We are planning on this event to take place on Sunday, October 25th (the week before Halloween). We will hopefully have a costume contest for kids and adults, alike.
We look forward to a great turn out at our next monthly meeting on August 18th at the Senior Center starting at 7pm and hope you can join us.
TreesAtlanta - October 17
Just a reminder - please let me know if you are interested in a tree or several trees to be planted in your (front) yard during the October 17th Trees Atlanta event. The trees are free but your presence would be desirable. Trees Atlanta will have volunteers as well and there will be a demonstration prior to the planting by a Trees Atlanta volunteer who will show us how to best undertake the task for optimum results.
If you have a neighbor, whom you think might like to take advantage of this program, would you please pass on this information. Our neighborhood is eligible for 30 trees which would help keep our neighborhood green. The type of trees available for planting will be discussed later when I meet with the Trees Atlanta contact, Alex Beasely. Last February, the trees that were available from Trees Atlanta were Oaks, Linden, Blackgum, Tuliptree, Maples (red or sugar), and Hickory, 5 to 10 feet in height.
I was in Colorado during our last BPNA meeting but was told there was an enthusiastic response from those neighbors who attended the meeting. However, to date I have had no one contact me. If there is no interest in this project, then I will need to tell Trees Atlanta so that they can offer the date of October 17th to another neighborhood.
Please call me at 678 779 1443 and leave a message or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also neighbors, thank you for your continued picking up of trash from our streets and clearing of weeds in front of your homes during this very rainy summer which has made weeds proliferate â€˜en masse'!
NPU Report and QuickTrip Update
July NPU-D meeting: The NPU-D meeting on July 28th went pretty smoothly. We wrapped things up almost exactly on time at 9:00 PM. We had a resolution, three liquor licenses, the proactive rezoning on Howell Mill Road and a group of transportation-related amendments to the Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) on our agenda.
Our resolution was in opposition to the introduction of any legislation that would enable QuikTrip to get a beer and wine license for the site that we donâ€™t want them to build a giant gas station on. A copy of that resolution. No actual legislation has yet been introduced to enable this, but it seemed to be a good idea to get out in front of the issue so that the QT guys could not assert that they were seeking legislation that the community supports. We will have to wait and see how this plays out, but generally beer sales are a key part of the convenience store business model. Hopefully, the numbers will not work out for them without beer and they will look elsewhere for a community to despoil.
Our three liquor licenses involved a proposed convenience store on Hollywood Road in Riverside, the Starbucks Coffee in the Walmart shopping center and a special event called â€œThe Ultimate Tailgate Experienceâ€, which will be a football-centric street party in the Riverside neighborhood on September 20. The convenience-store people were an unannounced no-show, so we deferred their case. It should be an interesting one as they would like to build on a site with MRC zoning, which is not conducive to conventional gas stations and convenience stores. They do not seem to have applied for a building permit yet, as the liquor license is sine qua non for their operation. The Starbucks people were an announced no-show (they had a scheduling conflict), so we deferred them also and will hear that case in August. We unanimously endorsed the tailgate event with the condition that it also be endorsed by the Riverside Neighborhood Association (RNA) when they meet in August. Because of the License Review Board (LRB) schedule, we could not hear this case after RNA met as we normally would.
We again deferred the proactive rezoning on Howell Mill as both BPNA and UHNA had done earlier in July. Hopefully, we will be able to agree on the details of this and vote on it in August. The BPNA board met to discuss this on July 27th, so we should be able to come up with a written position regarding the planning officeâ€™s proposal pretty soon.
Our CDP amendments involved the incorporation of several planning studies into the CDP. These are the Move Atlanta plan, the Transit Oriented Atlanta plan, the Cycle Atlanta Phase 1.0 Study, and the Cargo Atlanta plan. These are all appendices to the Connect Atlanta Plan, which is the cityâ€™s grand vision for the future of transit. They can be found at http://www.atlantaga.gov/index.aspx?page=1228. At some point we may finish planning for our future and start actually building for it, but I donâ€™t know when that is likely to be. We unanimously endorse the CDP amendments in the hope that our endorsement might bring this day about a tiny bit sooner.
QT update: I have not received a response to the appeal of the BZA decision that I filed with the Fulton County Superior Court on July 6th. That appeal is linked in the July BPNA newsletter. I got an email from a city attorney named Jeffrey Haymore indicating that he would be responding to this soon. As far as I know, there has not been a staff approval of the most recent special administrative permit (SAP) application by the QT, which is described in the May and June BPNA newsletters. If and when that is approved, we will have 30 days to appeal the approval.
Beltline: At the Beltline TAD Advisory Committee (TADAC) meeting on July 28th, I had a chance to discuss the Connect the Comet project and its relationship to the Beltline with some of the folks from ABI. It was apparent that their earlier embrace of this project, which is reported in the July BPNA newsletter, is not without caveats. They are still a bit concerned that the Comet may compete with the Beltline for resources. The particular resources that they are concerned about seem to be the cooperation and beneficence of CSX railroad, which owns both the disused rail line that is the logical extension of the Comet trail into the city and the active rail line on the west side where the Beltline folks would like to put transit in the distant future. The publicâ€™s leverage on both of these things comes from the fact that the CSX main line is leased from the state, and they will be negotiating the renewal of that lease next year. Thus we can ask the state to ask CSX for certain things during this negotiation. The ordering of priorities on that list of requests may prove significant in determining what does or does not ultimately get built.
APAB: The Atlanta Planning and Advisory Board (APAB) met on July 18th and, in a surprising deviation from our usual routine, actually conducted some business. We passed two resolutions. One of these requested that the city make application materials for NPU meetings available online. The other requested a change to the way in which SAP reviews are handled in overlay districts. Apparently, other neighborhoods have been as frustrated as we have been with the opacity of the administrative process of these reviews, which seem to substitute the personal opinions of staff members for both the public interest and the letter of zoning law. Although the specific issue that the resolution was concerned with does not directly relate to our problem with the QT, it is interested to note that the underlying process is now receiving more widespread attention and criticism. Perhaps this will prompt staff members to be more diligent in their reviews of SAP applications that are currently in process. Or perhaps notâ€¦
Monthly Meeting Minutes
Hollie Meyer, Secretary
July 21, 2015 â€“ Senior Center
- Victoria welcomed everyone
- June 2015 minutes were presented
- Jim motioned to approve the minutes, Kevin seconded; approved by the group
- Website archives - Hollie
- Need to finish uploading old newsletters to the website
- Looking for someone to transfer Dreamweaver files into a pdf
- Treasurerâ€™s Report â€“ Will, as of 6/30/2015
- Income: Dues $722; Spring Fling $227; Merchandise $96
- Expenses: Misc (merchandise, etc) $1316.71; Beautification $120.33
- Bank of America - $7,373.34; will be closing out BoA account and transferring all funds to Fidelity.
- Fidelity - $37,017
- Operational funds include new and old merchandise
- Fall Festival - Victoria
- Looking at October dates and using Masterpiece Lighting parking lot again
- Victoria looking for volunteers
- Beautification - Victoria
- TreesAtlanta planting October 17
- Looking for locations to plant
- QT â€“ Jim
- Jim has filed an appeal with the Superior Court (see July newsletter)
- Next step to fight the liquor license, as QT is lobby council members to put in legislation for liquor sales.
- Jim will present at NPU-D meeting an opposition to legislation
- QT SAP application has not been approved yet, but BP will need to appeal once it has gone through
- Forrest MiniPark - Will
- Looking at designs for the retaining wall that will last for years; will need to hire a contractor
- Also looking for designs to utilize and organize the space
- Neighbors are supportive, but hesitant on making sure land is used appropriately
- Need to have property lines and liability clarified; contacting Atlanta Beltline Inc for suggestions
- Howell Mill Rezoning â€“ Karl Smith-Davids and interns
- Legislation has been updated with neighborhood comments and suggestions
- City still recommending MRC-2 vs MRC-1
- Jim moved to defer to discussion again to next month and see additional updates, Will seconded; 10 agree
BPNA Membership Dues
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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
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