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Items in the June Newsletter

 
Mark you Calendars

BPNA Monthly Meeting
Third Tuesday of the month, 7:00 p.m. at Senior Center (1705 Commerce Dr NW)

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


Senior Dinner
Sunday, June 29 2-5 pm

2014 Yearly Membership Dues
Complete online

 
Contact Information
Yahoo Group

BPNA Officers

Have you signed up for NextDoor?

Questions or Concerns
info@berkeleypark.org


Sponsors
Corner Tavern
Linda Alcott, Realtor
Florist Atlanta

Website Help Needed

The BPNA website needs an update and moved to a new server. 

If you have experience in either moving data between servers, designing websites, or are interested in maintenance and information of the BPNA site, we would love to hear from you!

Send your name and email to Hollie Meyer.
Facebook
Facebook
Website
Website

President's Report

Neighbors,
 
Welcome to the summer, while not officially here it will be upon us soon.  The month of May has been a busy one here at BPNA.  As most have heard there have been a few news worthy events with the recent unrelated issues at two different studios in Berkeley Park.   At our May BPNA meeting there was  a great turn out of support in the community for these issues.  I felt the meeting was very productive as we addressed the problem and have started corrective actions.  The Atlanta Police, Felicia Moore, the Fire Department and the Landlord for the studio on Forrest all came to address and talk on the issue.  We do appreciate everyone’s help and I do feel that with the increased awareness that the issues will be corrected soon.   The studios of course are part of the community and for the most part do not cause issues.  Resulting from this there has been a renewed interest in a community watch group for the neighborhood.  We are currently looking in to the steps for this.  Please stay tuned more to be discussed at the June BPNA meeting.     In other news the Friends of Waterworks park event was held a few weekends ago at Monday Night Brewery to great fanfare and positive press.  We thank Monday Night Brewery for all there help and support for us as a community.    This project would be a great addition to the Westside, and Atlanta as a whole.   Some may have noticed that the Jimmy John’s has started construction by Advance Auto Parts.  If there are any issues or concerns please feel free to reach out to me.  I do have the owner’s contact information and have already reached out to him to introduce myself. 
 
I wanted to thank Will for his hard work and great job as President for BPNA; we do appreciate all of his work and will miss, but look forward to his return to the community in a few years.  I plan to continue where Will left off for this year’s agenda. 

Thanks,
Jacob

Senior Dinner


Dear Neighbor,

Ron Horgan and I have selected Sunday, June 29th for our Senior Dinner. We create a special dinner for Seniors twice a year and need volunteers to help us in the kitchen from 2:00-5:00 pm. We also need volunteers to pick up the dinners at 5:00 pm and deliver them, so our Seniors can enjoy a hot home cooked meal. We encourage families with children to deliver. It teaches children to volunteer and respect our Seniors. Seniors also enjoy children.

Please let us know if you are interested in the following:

* Volunteering in the Kitchen - Ron Horgan's home
* Volunteering to deliver meal(s)
* Interested in becoming a Director of Seniors in your neighborhood
* Volunteering your services to assist Seniors, (Handyman, Yard Work, Errands, etc...)

Our goal is to establish a Director of Seniors in each surrounding neighborhood so we can work together. A stronger team of volunteers to help our Seniors! We appreciate all your support and could not do this without you! A special thank you to Florist Atlanta for delivering beautiful flowers to our Seniors for their birthdays and the single rose with their Dinners. Please don't forget to show your support to them.

We can add more Seniors to our group, so if you are 63 years of age or older, please email me direct. Thank you!!

Tawn Chi & Family
tawnchi@comcast.net
404-326-6969 cell/text
NPU-D and BPNA Updates

By Jim Martin

NPU-D
We didn’t have much business on the agenda for the May 27th NPU-D meeting, so we were able to wrap things up pretty quickly. We were joined by a new liaison from the police department, Lt. Christian Hunt, but he did not have anything new to report with regard to the recent shootings at the recording studios in Berkeley Park. He did tell us that all sorts of crime statistics have improved in our zone, but that always seems to be the case. I have begun to wonder if we only hear about the statistics that are down (i.e. when shoplifters take up armed robbery, we hear “good news, shoplifting is down”). There are probably enough different crime statistics that, at any given time, at least a few of them must be down. I feel pretty confident that recording-studio shootings are up this spring, but that doesn’t seem to be a statistic that is being reported.

We had two liquor licenses and two subdivisions on our May NPU-D agenda. There should have been a third liquor license for a new restaurant, Cooks and Soldiers, on 14th Street. This restaurant will be in NPU-E within 300 feet of NPU-D. Listing it on our agenda was optional. I announced it as an informational item. The first listed liquor license was for the Family Corner Market on Hollywood Road in Riverside. Neighbors of this business are not big fans of it because it seems to have an aura of minor criminality (illegal dumping, vandalism, shoplifting, public drinking, etc.).  The extent to which this business and its sale of beer and wine are a cause of its ambiance was not clear. The neighbors seemed to think that a vote to deny the liquor license was in order as this might either curtail the supply of alcohol to would-be criminals or, at least, register local opposition to it with the License Review Board. The NPU voted 9 to 1 to deny this license with 7 abstentions. The large number of abstentions seemed to be related to the dubious causal link between the business and the unwanted criminal activity. Our other license was for a microbrewery that is planning to open on Logan Circle off of Chattahoochee: Second Self. We voted 16 to 0 to approve that license. This will be our third microbrewery in NPU-D. That seems like a lot historically if not geographically. I don’t know if we are observing a larger demographic trend or gradually becoming the brewery district.

In addition to the liquor licenses, we had two subdivisions on our agenda. Both of these were residential subdivisions in Riverside. We deferred one of them until June because that was that date indicated on the posting. The other, which was on Lowe St, appeared to conform to all of the zoning requirements and there were no other comments made when we reviewed it. The owner of that property is a developer who is dividing one lot into two in order to build two spec houses. This is fairly typical in Riverside where the older lots are often large and the zoning allows for greater density.

At the June NPU-D meeting we will be voting on a resolution of support for a group called “Connect the Comet”. They are lobbying for an extension of the Silver Comet Trail into the city along a currently unused section of CSX rail line that terminates at Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard. This would bring it to a point that is nearly adjacent to the proposed Beltline trail in our area. Apparently, the trans-loading facility on the west side of Howell Mill Road is only served by the rail lines to its south not those to its northwest. It is not clear what government agency might be willing to take the lead on this project, but it sounds like a good idea. In June, we will also be hearing a rezoning application to permit multi-family redevelopment where there are currently some single-family homes in the Hills Park Neighborhood behind the Crest Lawn cemetery. This one promises to be controversial as the only rationale that the developer has presented for the rezoning involves the precedent set by a 9-year-old rezoning that most of us now regret having approved (i.e. he seems to be asking us to repeat a past mistake).

The residential rezoning on Green Street by the Waterworks, which was approved by BPNA and NPU-D in January, appears to be moving ahead. I saw the developers at the Waterworks Park event at Monday Night Brewing.  They indicated that they were currently both negotiating with the adjoining property owners to expand their assemblage and moving ahead with their plans to redevelop the existing assemblage. I received a copy of the Beltline SAP application for this project in May and submitted my comments on that application to the planning office.

The partial undoing of the giant West-town (AKA Brocktopia) PDMU zoning in Blandtown  to allow for an MR-2 townhouse development along Fairmont Ave also made bold strides in May. Planning staff finally relented in their opposition to it and allowed this case to go before the Zoning Review Board with a recommendation for approval. Apparently, they (i.e. planning staff) are still in love with the remainder of the PDMU district and believe that that they can preserve it. My hope is that this will set a precedent that other developers can now use to undo the whole ugly mess and finally redevelop some of those vacant properties.

BP Sidewalks
May another month with little to show regarding our sidewalk project, but June is off to a promising start. I crossed paths with DPW commissioner Richard Mendoza at the APAB meeting on May 17th and asked him about this. He apparently did not remember our earlier correspondence on the matter. I followed up with him in an email summarizing the situation on May 21st. I crossed paths with Yolanda Adrean at the Waterworks park event on May 20th. She was amazed to hear that the sidewalks we all had agreed to last September had not already been built, much less that had not even been able to get an update on them since that meeting. I copied both Yolanda and Felicia Moore on my May 21st email to Commissioner Mendoza. I heard back from Kathy Kingsbury in Felicia’s office on June 4th. They had some discussions with the DPW folks on June 3rd. According to Kathy, “Based on the conversation that took place yesterday, Public Works will draft legislation allowing our annual contactor to begin work on the sidewalk construction.  Legislation of this type typically takes 45 to 60 days.  Design work will be in house and Michele will let us know when that can be done, hopefully shortly, so that when legislation is approved construction can be scheduled.” This sounds like the initial stage of something that might turn out to be real progress. I don’t know why legislation is required to get it done or why it took 9 months to figure out that it was required. Still, progress (or the appearance of progress) is progress.

Bond Infrastructure
There has been a lot of talk recently about a new infrastructure bond that may be on our ballots in 2015. As in the past, it seems likely that we will be promised many wonderful things if this bond referendum is passed. This should give us all plenty of opportunities to remind city officials that, in Berkeley Park, it has not been money standing between us and needed infrastructure, but rather years of lethargy and indifference from those who would be charged with utilizing the giant new pot of money that might be raised through the proposed bond issuance. Not the sort of confidence-inspiring narrative that they would want to see promulgated…

BP Beautification
We completed a few small beautification projects in May, notably the extraction of the bent sign post at the corner of Berkeley and Antone and cleanup at the mini-parks and fire station. In May, we finally nailed down the exact locations for our four new benches, which had been delayed by the indecisiveness of Braxton automotive, the property behind the bus stop on Howell Mill opposite Verner Street. After five months of contemplation, Braxton decided that they did not want the bench for unstated reasons. I approached the management at Gordy tire, which owns the adjoining property to the south. After a few days of consideration, both Gordy and Flip manager Barry Mills, who leases the parking spaces in the northeast corner of the Gordy Tire lot, agreed to a bench being located there instead. We should have the slabs for the new benches poured this next week and the new benches installed before the end of the month.

QT Case
May was a tragically disappointing month with respect to the appeal of the QT parking exception. As I reported early in May, our lawyer, Brian, told me that the court order in this case had been entered on February 24th, but the court had failed to notify him about it. This was way he did not notify me and the deadline for appeal elapsed in March without our having taken the required action. I was downtown on May 20th, so I went by the Court Clerk’s office to get a copy of the order against us. As it turned out, this was entered on December 13th, not February 24th. The later date was the date when the case was closed because the deadline for appealing the December 13th decision had elapsed. As far as I can tell, on December 13th the court did mail the order to Brian’s office as it should have. Unfortunately Brian had moved 4 days prior to that mailing and did not notify the court of his change of address until 6 days after the mailing. Thus, the alleged notification failure, if it had occurred at all, was not a failure of the court but a failure of the Post Office to forward mail from his old address. I confirmed that the city attorney, Lem Ward, received notice of the filing on December 13th, which is a pretty good indication that the court mailed this stuff out. At this point, Brian proposes that we either drop the entire matter or pay him more money to file a motion for reconsideration with the court based on the alleged post-office failure. This seems to me to be a bit like claiming that your dog ate your homework. It is the sort of motion that I would probably deny if I were the judge despite my belief in the merits of the underlying case. I am also bothered by the fact that, in order to pursue this, we would need to make a motion defending the diligence our attorney (for a second time) and pay him to do that (for a second time). I have not decided what to do about all this. I am open to suggestions if anyone (particularly someone with legal expertise) would like to make one.

Monthly Meeting Minutes

By Jacob Burton, fill in secretary

Meeting opened at 7:05pm  There was a very good turnout probably 20-25 people plus special guests.

Guest Alvelyn Sanders State rep for Georgia house district 55 is running for office and introduced herself and her platform.  More information on Ms. Sanders can be found on her facebook page at AlvelynSandersGeoriaHouse55   https://www.facebook.com/AlvelynSandersGeorgiaHouse55
 
Fire Captain Scott Blackwell of Station 23 (He is on Shift B).  Spoke for a short bit on the current fire Station 23 renovation work and its scheduled to be completion this summer.  Currently station 23 is being operated from station 8.  He also spoke of how they wanted to get involved in the community more, BPNA members offered ideas for a CPR class and also a monthly book reading for the kids.  One book reading had already taken place last month? And was very well received by the kids.  The Captain also mentioned he stays up to date on our events through our Facebook and website.
 
Felicia Moore spoke briefly on issues with Advance Auto Parts.  The city has told Advance that a no right turn sign must be placed at their exit on to Holmes Street.  Also, it was brought up that Advance Auto  delivers with full size transfer trucks to that location.  This was promised not to occur by Advance when they came to the neighborhood.  Video footage was provided to Felicia Moore of the weekly delivery and the damage the truck is doing to sidewalks, landscape, and the city roads.  Felicia said she would working with Atlanta public works on that.
 
Margaret Camac for the BPNA Beautification spoke briefly on the projects for beautification in our neighborhood.  She would like to plan some small greenery at NTB’s corner of Howell Mill Rd and Bellemeade.
 
Victoria Camac Hurd spoke about the Bavarian Auto Parts toxic waste that is flowing in to the stream at Forrest Ave and on to the street.  She has contacted the EPA and has documented the events leading up to the overflow of this toxic waste.  
 
Patrick Brady spoke briefly on a water main break at Bowen and Berkeley.  From repairs that had been done recently by public works on an existing issue, it has caused more water to seep up in various other locations around the original, this has caused some damage to the street and adjoining driveways.

Residents on Bellemeade spoke on speeding and the 3-Way Stop at the Kroger.  Many people run that stop sign, and they were concerned about safety in general.  Multiple ideas were suggested for helping traffic in the area.  Speed traps were suggested.  Officer Woody spoke up here that the area may not be conducive to speed traps because of distance, visibility, stop signs etc.

Recent Shooting discussion
(most of the meeting was focused on the recent events)
Police Officer Lt. Woody is the Zone 2-Officer of criminal Investigation.  He spoke about the shooting on Forest and the shooting death on Berkeley at the studios.  He was not able to release any details on the investigations but did provide ideas and ways that the community and Atlanta police could help the community as a whole.  A lot of discussion surrounded the shootings occurred.  Officer Woody did say patrols would be stepped up for the neighborhood, also that police stops would occur at the Stops signs in the neighborhood.    He did encourage the neighborhood to be careful at the stop signs, as the police do not discriminate on tickets.  **update since the meeting multiple stops have been made, tickets and one arrest has occurred at the stop sign at Forrest. 

Paul Kelly from PEK Real Estate Services in charge of leases for the studios on Forrest spoke about the noise, shooting and other issues he has had with a tenant.  He did discuss that all in all most tenants, currently about 20 do what they are supposed to at the studios on Forrest.  He does agree he has one or two tenants currently that are causing issues, and he is more than happy to work with the neighborhood on removing them.  He has asked BPNA to provide him any information that may help him and the police department in removing them.  Direct contact info to the officers and Paul Kelly can be found on the Berkeley Park home page.

Mike Fitzpatrick provided and update on his communication with CSX railroad on the trespassing of the tenants at the studio on to the railroad tracks of CSX.  Mike said that CSX takes trespassing very seriously and they can arrest on the spot with their officers from CSX. 

Multiple BPNA members also spoke on the shootings.  A google document has been established online to document any issues with the studios that occur.  There are also, template letters and overviews of what has occurred for the recent studio shootings.  If interested in more info please feel free to reach out to a BPNA board member.

Sign up for NextDoor

Several of the area neighborhoods are using a private online network called NextDoor.  Berkley Park has its own feed for neighbors to share community events, recommendations, items for sale/rent, crime reports, other neighborhood updates, and more. The local police zone is also using this as a way to stay in touch with the neighborhoods.

When you sign up, you can restrict the messages to just Berkeley Park or include Underwood Hills, Loring Heights, etc.  Join today and help build community networking, share local recommendations and see what others are doing around the area.
BPNA Membership Dues

Have you sent in your 2014 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)

Discount shopping and dining coupons from local merchants

VIP membership in the Berkeley Park Mobile Shoppers Club www.BerkeleyParkMobileShopper.com

A free reusable Berkeley Park Branded shopping bag with membership,

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