By William Jungman
Sooner, or as was the case this year, later we knew spring would get here, and with it comes a new season of projects for the BPNA. I was out on my bike on Monday, riding down Berkeley Ave. (or if you’ve noticed the Dept. of Public Work’s new sign, “Berkey Ave.”) and it was great to see so many people outside.
We have some important events upcoming to add to your calendar:
· April 16 – Monthly BPNA Meeting at Monday Night Brewery
at 670 Trabert Ave. NW
(NOT the Senior Center)
· April 20, Neighborhood cleanup
– Margaret Camac is organizing
· May 5, BPNA Event
– Georgia Wooller, and team, is organizing a chili cook-off at Monday Night Brewery
This month’s BPNA meeting will be the most important to attend so far this year, and I hope many of you can make it. As an alternative to our typical meeting spot and prelude to the BPNA party, Joel Iverson is hosting us at the brewery. Don’t show up at the Senior Center. The agenda isn’t set yet, but we will likely address:
· traffic calming study, city feedback, and implementation,
· neighborhood commercial zoning,
· QuickTrip’s changes to their proposed site plan at the corner of Howell Mill
and Chattahoochee/Defoor Ave.
It is going to be my new goal to publish an agenda via the BPNA email list at least 1 day in advance. If you have items to add to the BPNA meeting agenda, please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last of all, please remember to pay your annual dues
to a board member, which if you haven’t done yet, you can do easily at any of the events over the next month.
By Jim Martin
NPU-D meeting ran just a few minutes past its designated 9:00 PM end time. This was mostly due to a lengthy debate over the liquor license for a proposed BP gas station at the corner of Marietta Rd and Bolton Rd. Folks who live over there don’t want the gas station, but it is already permitted by the zoning on the site, so the liquor license application afforded them with their only opportunity to voice this opposition. In the end, we voted to deny this liquor license 9 to 1. The case will now go to the license review board (LRB). They generally decide things as strict matters of law. Thus, community sentiment is not likely to factor strongly into their decision. The only obvious legal challenge to this license is that the site is located 1440 feet away from another package store and these are legally required to be separated by 1500 feet. 1440 feet, however, is a straight-line distance and the standard in the code is one of walking distance, which allows considerable leeway for the judgment of the license inspector. Other distance requirements, which are measured as straight lines, do not apply to businesses that derive less than 5% of their gross receipts from alcohol sales. Gas stations are generally covered by this exemption because they sell a lot of gasoline. Although the margin on this is relatively low, the legal standard is based on gross sales rather than net profit, so the business can still be heavily dependent on liquor sales to be economically viable. Also, as the applicant, Mr. Panjwani, pointed out, the sine qua non of a convenience store is convenience and this requires a certain product mix. Having to make an extra trip to get beer is obviously less convenient.
We were to have had a second liquor license on our agenda for Swinging Richards, the strip club on Northside Drive next to the waterworks. The application for this was mysteriously withdrawn at the last minute, but the applicants lawyer attended the meeting anyway. He told us that they intended to reapply later. The last-minute withdrawal of the license application came shortly after I quizzed the license inspector regarding his office’s half-hearted response to my freedom-of-information request for the license history of the site. In that conversation, he stated that the license was legitimized by a section of code that seems to have only existed in his imagination. He promised to get back to me with the relevant citation, but instead I received a letter announcing the withdrawal of the application. Of course, all of this could just be a coincidence.
We had four zoning cases on our agenda. We deferred two of them. The first of these was the rezoning application for the old Georgia Steel site next to the waterworks that we had already deferred for over a year. The applicant’s attorney, Jessica Hill, who was there to represent another client, explained that they had not yet given up on their plans, but would not be moving ahead until August at the earliest. We voted unanimously to defer the matter to our August meeting. Our other deferral was for the bio-solids processing facility special use permit next to the sewage treatment plant. We have been deferring that since November. The applicant and the neighbors are still working on the details of their community agreement and the associated zoning conditions.
We voted to approve our other two zoning applications. One of these was for a townhouse project near the corner of Collier and Defoors in Underwood Hills and the other was a transitional yard reduction for a renovation and expansion at the West Side Urban Market next to the waterworks. They will be adding a large paved parking lot in the southwest corner of the site where there is now a gravel parking area. The will also be demolishing and replacing the building the currently houses the Figo restaurant.
At the April 23rd NPU-D meeting
we will be voting on a parking exception for the QuikTrip gas station that has been proposed for the corners of Howell Mill, Defoors, and Chattahoochee. This will also be a business item at the April 16th BPNA meeting
and the April 15th UHNA meeting
. The UHNA planning committee voted unanimously to recommend denial of this application at their April 2nd
meeting. Berkeley Park neighbors who have voiced strong opinions regarding the proposed gas station (there are many of us) should plan to attend these meetings and the subsequent meeting of the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) (date to be announced
) where this matter will ultimately be decided. This will be the only opportunity for members of the community to voice their opinions on this and to influence the outcome of the process. Community sentiment is one of the factors that the BZA will consider in deciding this. Those who choose not to attend these meetings should plan not to complain about the way in which the site is developed in the future.
At the April NPU-D meeting, we will also be voting on a change of zoning conditions for the proposed Defoors Station development. This is an apartment complex that is planned for the south side of Defoors Ave just to the west of Howell Mill Road in Underwood Hills where there is currently a small forest of mature trees. Few if any of those are likely to survive the development.
There does not appear to have been any further action on my complaint regarding the illegal signage at the Advance Auto Parts store from February (complaint #13CAP-00000125). I spoke to the inspector, Robert Dinning, about this at the end of March. He promised a re-inspection of the site. I also mentioned the similar sign problem at the corner of Berkeley and Howell Mill to him (“We Buy Gold”). He told me that he would inspect that when he is in the neighborhood to re-inspect the auto parts store. If nothing seems to have happened on that in the next few weeks, I will file an additional complaint on it.
The BPNA beautification project continues to progress. In March we installed the last of the new benches in front of the Ace Hardware and continued the excavation of the planting beds for the mini-park at the corner of Verner and Buchanan. We received the checks from Selig and from the city for the new fence at the Senior Center. Those were forwarded to the fence contractor who indicated that the job would be done in the next 2 to 3 weeks, which should be in time for our landscaping projects on Earth Day, April 20th
. I submitted another grant application to the city for landscaping to buy topsoil, plants, gravel, and rocks. We should hear back about that in a couple of weeks. Thanks for assistance in March with this project are owed to Dan Cleveland, Mike Cosky, and Drew Jackson. Anyone who would like to help with the ongoing beautification projects should contact our Beautification Chairperson, Margaret Camac.
There has still been no word from DPW about our sidewalk project. I did not have time to pester them in March. Thus, their inaction, although completely unjustified, is understandable.
Next NPU-D meeting:
Tuesday, April 23, 7:30 pm
Agape Center, 2351 Bolton Road, NW
ALL NPU RESIDENTS WELCOME!
Monthly Meeting Minutes
By Hollie Meyer
No March meeting.
Beautification and Spring Clean-Up – April 20, 8 a.m.
Earth Day is April 20 and a perfect time for our Berkeley Park Community to undertake tasks that are now ready to be implemented. Andrew has the maroon Berkeley Park signs completed and waiting installation. Our two miniparks at Verner and Forrest need landscaping. Also the surrounds for the new benches placed around Fire Station 23 and along Bellemeade by Sizemore Architects and the Senior Center also need landscaping and in particular in front of a new wrought iron fence that will soon be replacing the current, rather unsightly, hurricane fence.
One way we might manage these tasks successfully is to divide our community into sections and ask one person to ‘captain’ their particular area and work in coordination with Dan, Andrew, Jim and Margaret.
The sections can best be divided into neighbors living on:
Bellemeade and Tallulah – bench and fence landscaping, sign installation and general tidy up
Holmes - Howell Mill to Northside Drive, Sign installation, assist with minipark landscaping at Verner/Buchanan including general tidy of streets.
Verner – sign installation, landscaping at minipark, landscaping (shrubbery) by drainage fence on Verner and Howell Mill by Flip and the Halfway House improving the appearance to the entrance of the neighborhood. The latter two projects still need to be considered regarding feasibility of watering shrubbery so that our efforts are not wasted.
Antone and side streets - Landscaping at Fire Station 23 around benches, and corner garden, sign installation, general tidy up including assisting with minipark at Forrest
Berkeley assist with landscaping of minipark, installation of sign and general tidy up for Berkeley and Forrest.
Weather permitting, I would like to begin around 8:00 a.m. and work as long as possible with a break for lunch at 713 Berkeley (back yard). We might have completed most of the tasks by noon but more than likely we will need another day to complete all tasks. However, if we have a good turn out on Earth Day, April 20th, we should put a good dent in our beautification projects.
Of course there will be other items on the neighborhood bucket list and we would welcome input. However, for the time being, let’s get started with the above items and improve the appearance of Berkeley Park.
There will be more information forthcoming, but please keep April 20th for a community work day!
678 779 1443
Chili Cook-off - May 5, 1-5 p.m.
Mark your calendars and get your spoons ready for this year’s BPNA Chili Cook-off on Sunday May 5, from 1-5 p.m. at Monday Night Brewery.
The cook-off will include three categories - Best Traditional Beef Chili, Best Other Meat/Veggie Chili, and Hottest/Spiciest Chili.
Watch for additional details of the event through your email and Berkeley Park Neighborhood Association Facebook page.
If you would like to help plan the event or volunteer that day, please contact Hollie Meyer or Georgia Wooller.
Yahoo Group Email List
If you have an announcement for the whole neighborhood, please send email to email@example.com. Guidelines for Yahoo Group.
If you have an opinion or need input from others, use firstname.lastname@example.org forum to discuss issues related to Berkeley Park .
You will need to be a member of either Yahoo group in order to send and receive emails. To join go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bpna/ or http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bpna-discuss/ and clicking on the "join" button. If that doesn't work for you, please send Hollie Meyer an email at email@example.com to let her know that you want to be add to the discussion list.
BPNA Membership Dues
Have you sent in your 2013 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)
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,
Vote in all elections
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Lost and found pets
FYI - updates
Berkeley Park was originally a farm owned by John Whitley. It was developed in 1921 and until 1995 was a part of Underwood Hills neighborhood . That year, Berkeley Park residents formed their own organization and called it the Berkeley Park Neighborhood Association.
In order to vote on issues at meetings, you must be a dues-paying member of the association. Effective January 1, 2009, BPNA membership is $20 per person (up to 3 adults per address are eligible to become members), and $10 for seniors. To join the association, attend a monthly meeting and pay dues to the treasurer, Nina-Daniela McCormack, or the president, Terry Horgan . If you cannot attend a meeting but wish to join, or for more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to fill out the form and pay online.
About the newsletter
The Berkeley Park Bulletin is published monthly in print and at www.berkeleypark.org by the Berkeley Park Neighborhood Association, a non-profit organization. To subscribe to the monthly edition, submit an article, or inquire about advertising, contact the editor, Hollie Meyer, at 765-532-1164 or email@example.com. We accept appropriate articles from all Berkeley Park residents or other interested community members at the discretion of the editor and as space permits.
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