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Items in the October'15 Newsletter

 





 
Collier Chiropractic
Holiday Food Drive and Complimentary Services




 



 





 
Mark you Calendars

Fall Festival
Sunday, October 25 from 1-6 pm at Masterpiece Lightening parking lot

BPNA Monthly Meeting

Third Tuesday of the month, 7:00 p.m. at Senior Center

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


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


Fall Festival
Sunday, October 25 from 1-6 pm at Masterpiece Lightening parking lot

BPNA Monthly Meeting

Third Tuesday of the month, 7:00 p.m. at Senior Center

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


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

Linda Alcott, Realtor


Florist Atlanta


Victoria Hurd, Realtor







 






 
Facebook
Facebook
Website
Website

President's Report

Hi neighbors-

It’s officially fall and our neighborhood is starting to look quite festive with pumpkins on porches and spooky Halloween ghouls in front yards and windows!

As a reminder, our Fall Festival will be on Sunday, October 25th in the Masterpiece Lighting lot from 1-6pm. BPNA would like to thank Ron Horgan, Lacey Bradley, Thom Sokol, Kevin Barnes, Barry Sermons and David Soofian for their assistance with organizing this upcoming event! Without neighbors like them, these events would be impossible.  If you are interested in volunteering the day of, please email me at victoriahurd@outlook.com.

Suggested donation for the Fall Festival is $15 a person or $30 for a family up to 5 kids, we accept cash, checks and cards.  BPNA would like to encourage attendees to bring a side dish or dessert. We will have a costume contest for the kids, raffle items, s’more station, beer, bbq pork and chicken, as well as a visit from our local fire department. Please feel free to invite friends, other neighborhoods and family! This event should be a lot of fun and we look forward to seeing everyone there!

The next BPNA meeting will be October 20th at the Senior Center at 7:00pm. All are encouraged to attend.

Last month, Berkeley Park lost a long time neighbor, Veronica “Roni” Sermons. She was a well liked and respected member of our community and will be missed. Please read Barry, Roni’s husband’s dedication in this month’s newsletter.

Best,
Victoria Hurd


Veronica DJ Sermons a resident of Atlanta Georgia, whose spirit departed on September 28, 2015, came into this life on Friday, October 3, 1955, at Bronx Metropolitan Hospital, in New York was the oldest of five daughters born to Warren and Jean Jenkins and was known as “The Key Holder” to her siblings Leslie, Wanda, Sandy, and Laura.

Veronica RONI graduated from Evander Childs High School in 1974. With her adventurous spirit and quest for knowledge, she moved to Washington, D.C to pursue a career as a legal Secretary. Roni later attended Prince Georgia’s County College for Paralegal training and Howard University for Real Estate Sales training.  In a career that spanned over 25 years, Roni worked as a personal assistant, a legal secretary and Licensed Notary.

Roni met Barry in Washington DC thru their cousins Ed Marshall and Kevin Washington who were best friends in the Air Force.  On their first date in 1985 they saw fireworks-it happened to be the 4 of July!  In the early days of their courtship their relationship endured the separation caused by a career promotion that relocated Barry to Atlanta Georgia.  They reconnected on holidays, their annual vacation trip and many long phone conversations.  Following the September 11 attack, they both realized that life was unpredictable. Roni took the midnight train to Georgia early in 2002 and they were married in the hills of Tennessee on August 24, 2002.

Again realizing that life is unpredictable after several economic downturns she joined her husband DJ Sermons in his business to fulfill their entrepreneurial aspirations.  To solidify the tie that bound them together, Roni changed her legal name from Veronica Denise Jenkins to Veronica DJ Sermons.  Barry excelled in event production as a DJ and online marketing.  Roni took her notary license and started Sermons Serves Mobile Notary Service where she was named Notary of the Month by the National Notary Association.

Veronica was a long standing member of Unity Center of Light in Bowie MD where she served in the children’s ministry so, upon arrival in Atlanta, they found Unity North Atlanta Church and became committed members 2009.  Roni served in the Holy Grounds Café while Barry worked in the booth in the sky to start online streaming of the services.

Additionally Roni was known for her commitment to the community by her involvement in neighborhood and homeowner associations.  She was working on a seminar to educate seniors about mental health issues and how to seek treatment when she became ill.  Her husband Barry plans to continue her work by launching the auntRONI Foundation.  The mission is to inspire Education, Execution, and Elevation.  The goal is to build Healthy, Prosperous and Safe villages…because it takes a village.  We do this by teaching entrepreneurial skills and modeling healthy living while encouraging creative lifestyle solutions in our Communities.

As a member of the Berkeley Park Neighborhood association Roni served on the Crime Watch committee.  She also volunteered to help feed homeless neighborhood residents and could be found helping out by serving food at the Chili Cook Off or Spring Fling events.  Several neighbors called on Roni to motorize documents or when they just wanted to see her wonderful smile.

Roni transitioned on September 28, 2015 in the same manner as she lived her life with grace, dignity and a commitment to serving others.  She is survived by her husband Barry C. Sermons, father, Allen Foster Bronx, NY, sisters, Leslie Jenkins (Buck), Savannah GA, Wanda Agu (Edward), Virginia Beach VA, Sandy Peguero (Victor) Belair, MD and Laura Vittiello (Louie), Mahopac, NY, brother, Dennis Jenkins, Jr. (Knosha), Jacksonville, FL, and her In-laws, Barbara Sermons, M William Sermons and Alyson Sermons Bonnie Sullivan of DMV.  She leaves thirteen nieces and nephews: Collin Austin III, Iesha Jenkins, Robert “AKA” Bobby Henry, Devante Agu, Aleah Lynn Sullivan, Nia Jenkins, Najee Agu, Aja Lynn Sullivan, Maya-Loren Peguero, Isaiah Jenkins, Julian Vitiello, Zoe Sermons, Asa Sermons, her loving pet Bisquit, Certified Assistant Caregiver Lenora Griffin the many children who knew her as Aunt Roni and a host of Aunts, Uncles and cousins and friends who will miss her.
 

TreesAtlanta - October 17


Dear Neighbors,

Because of a lack of interest the Trees Atlanta Project, scheduled for October 17, it has been cancelled and the project will be going to another neighborhood. Mr Beazely said he would be happy to work with BP when we have interest in planting in and around the neighborhood - perhaps in Spring 2016?

Thank you, Margaret Camac

NPU Report and QuickTrip Update

By Jim Martin

September NPU-D meeting: The NPU-D meeting on September 22nd had a pretty full agenda, but went quite quickly despite this. It was the first meeting in long while where all of our votes were unanimous. This unusual level of harmony was probably more indicative of the nature of our September business than it was of a more general meeting of minds across the 7 neighborhoods and disparate personalities in NPU-D. On our agenda, we had the re-adoption of our bylaws for 2016, two liquor licenses, a rezoning and five city ordinances. Our bylaws re-adoption was a no-brainer. Since we had proposed no amendments to our existing bylaws last month, our choice was to either re-adopt them as is or to deal with the anarchy associated with having no bylaws to operate by for a year.
 
Both of our liquor license cases were for businesses outside of the boundaries of NPU-D, but within 300 feet of NPU-D. The first of these was a change-of-agent application for Depalma’s restaurant on Collier Road in NPU-C. We endorsed this with minimal discussion, since everyone in the area seemed to feel pretty good about it. The second was for a proposed gas station and convenience store at 1820 Hollywood Rd in NPU-G. NPU-G had already voted to deny this application and we did the same. The LRB will probably approve the application anyway because our issues with it are not relevant to their decision-making criteria. The site is extremely close to a library and day care center, where the community feels that sale of alcohol is inappropriate, but the applicant will claim that less than 5% of his revenue is from alcohol sales and therefore the minimum distance requirements of section 10-88.1b do not apply to him. Similarly, the applicant has a problem with the zoning on this site, which is MRC-3. Although that permits his proposed use, it prohibits many of the features that generally accompany this use, such as gas pumps and parking between the building and the street, multiple curb cuts, etc. The applicant did not have any plan to actually meet these zoning requirements. Thus it seems likely that we will see him again when he seeks either a rezoning or variances from zoning strictures to permit his intended use. Thus, it is good that he is already aware of our objections because, if and when that happens, the community’s objections to his project will be relevant to the decision-making criteria of the reviewing bodies.
 
Our rezoning case was in NPU-E just across the Norfolk Southern rail line next to the White Provisions building(s). It is the site that currently houses Scott Equipment. Here a group of developers are seeking to rezone an industrial site in order to build another 5-story wood-frame apartment building wrapped around a parking deck (AKA a “Texas Donut”), which has become the new standard built form in the area. In order to do this they would like to have an MRC-3 zoning designation, which is pretty much a license to do whatever they want. The biggest problem with their proposal (other than the fact that we already seem to have an overabundance of similar developments and that they seemed a lot more like real estate speculators than actual developers) is that the site is only accessible from a narrow street frontage adjacent to the intersection of Howell Mill and Brady Avenue. This is already a dysfunctional intersection through which the queue for the 14th street intersection routinely backs up. Since NPU-E had not yet decided on this application, we voted to support their decision whatever it might be. Hopefully, it will be for either a denial or a different underlying zoning with a lot of traffic-related conditions attached to it.
 
Two of our five ordinances were easy approvals. One of these corrected an ambiguous definition of a “materials processing facility” in the existing city code. Last year Metrogreen recycling exploited this ambiguity to construct a concrete recycling facility in our NPU without a special use permit, although the existing code was clearly intended to require one. Although that horse is now out of the barn, the correction should prevent this from happening again. The other ordinance was a modification to our existing sign ordinance in response to recent Supreme Court decision (Reed vs the town of Gilbert Arizona) that would have rendered large portions of it unconstitutional. Essentially, that decision held that signs could not be regulated based on the information that they contained. Folks in the planning office worked diligently to modify our ordinance to comply with this requirement while maintaining its original intent. Since the ordinance itself is really (really!) long and complicated, we weren’t in much of a position to second guess their decisions, and the alternative of keeping an unconstitutional ordinance on the books didn’t seem particularly attractive.
 
Another two of our ordinances were pretty easy denials as they seemed to be attempts to resolve site-specific issues with city-wide zoning changes rather than merely addressing the specific issues. One of these dealt with separation requirements for medically related uses, which it proposed to do away with if these were all “part of the same facility”. When or if two things really are part of the same facility seemed like a pretty nebulous and easily subvert-able concept to us. In our experience, distance requirements are frequently waived for liquor licenses by legislation that only addresses a specific site. We were given no reason that the same thing could not have been done here. The other ordinance proposed to allow storage facilities in the OI zoning district where they are currently forbidden. Our comment on this was that a developer who wishes to build a prohibited use should seek a rezoning to a district that permits that use rather than seeking to modify the strictures for every parcel in the city that shares this zoning designation as he seemed to be in this case.
 
The last of our five ordinances was to establish a fee for intercity buses that use public rights of way for pick-up and drop-off. These would include both the private bus lines, such as Megabus, and the public suburban buses like CCT. We decided that this was a good idea, particularly since our suburbs have resisted the expansion of MARTA thereby increasing the burden on our roads.
 
QT Update: I still have not received a copy of the transcript from the June 4th BZA hearing, which the city was supposed to file with Fulton Superior Court in response to the appeal that I filed of the decision reached at that hearing, awarding a parking exception for the construction of the QuikTrip. I have also not been notified of a hearing date for this case, which I presume will not be scheduled until the transcript has been filed. In the mean time, QuikTrip has continued to pursue a Special Administrative Permit (SAP) for this project. I understand from our neighbors in Underwood Hills that the city has required several modifications to the plan that they previously submitted. They have indicated that they are willing to make these modifications, some of which are things that they had previously contended were “impossible”. They have not yet submitted a new SAP application reflecting these changes, and they will need to have any new application vetted by UHNA based on the agreement that they reached following their last submission. It seems likely that whatever they submit will contain many variations to the overlay requirements that can form the basis for us to file another appeal.

Bench Update: In the early morning on Tuesday September 22nd a tractor trailer shortcut the driveway off of Howell Mill opposite Verner Street and crushed the bench that BPNA installed at the bus stop there last year. The truck driver was probably the one seen unloading a tractor trailer at the D&H automotive that morning, although a D&H representative was vociferous in denying this. He knew nothing about the bench except that he was certain that the damage had occurred before the truck arrived and was “probably done by a car” (despite the dual-wheel tire treads leading over the bench’s mangled remains). I filed a police report about this incident. The bench seems to be beyond repair. I am not sure how or when we will replace this bench, or how we will protect its replacement from similar damage in the future.

Monthly Meeting Minutes

Hollie Meyer, Secretary
September 15, 2015 – Senior Center
  1. Thom welcomed everyone
  2. August 2015 minutes were presented
    1. Jim motioned to approve the minutes, Margaret seconded; approved by the group
  3. Captain Williams and Officer Chapman – Zone 2 APD
    1. Be on the lookout and call 911 immediately when see suspicious activity.
    2. Get to know your neighbors
    3. Clean cars – don’t leave things in view
    4. Stop at stop signs
  4. Forrest MiniPark - Will
    1. Working with City ‘green team’ regarding the land and connecting it to the future Beltline and Waterworks projects
  5. Fall Festival - Victoria
    1. October 25 at Masterpiece Lighting parking lot, 1-6 pm
    2. Need volunteers for the day
    3. Neighbors bring desserts
  6. Howell Mill Rezoning
    1. Passed with conditions at BPNA and NPU-D meetings, conditions were not in the zoning announcement
    2. City working with Legal on what issues may arise
  7. Beautification - Victoria
    1. TreesAtlanta planting October 17, looking for locations to plant
    2. Trees can be planted as far back at 20’-30’ from street
    3. Treesatlanta.org to see tree options
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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.

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