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Items in the March 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
Tuesday, March 25, 7:30 pm 
Agape Center, 2351 Bolton Road, NW
All NPU Residents Welcome

Chili Cookoff
April, 13 at Monday Night Brewing
(790 Trabert Ave)
$5 for food, $15 for food and beer

Waterworks Park Event
Wednesday, April 24 at Monday Night Brewing
(790 Trabert Ave)

2014 Yearly Membership Dues
Complete online
Contact Information
Yahoo Group

BPNA Officers

Questions or Concerns

Corner Tavern
Florist Atlanta
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President's Report

Dear Neighbors,
I have some exciting news to report around Berkeley Park as spring, hopefully, arrives:
  • Berkeley Park Chili Cookoff - April 13 at Monday Night Brewing (670 Trabert Ave), in the afternoon.  Cherish Bailey ( is organizing the event and admission at the door will be $5 for food, and $15 for food & beer.  Make a pot of your best chili to enter into the contest!
  • BPNA Board meeting - There will be a BPNA Board meeting March 10.  If you have any agenda items to submit for board consideration, please let me know (
With spring here, I hope you get to take the opportunity to go out and enjoy the new miniparks around neighborhood at Forrest/Berkeley and Buchanan/Verner.  Also if you're out walking your dog, we've installed cleanup bag dispensers at a number of locations around the neighborhood in case you forget yours when you go out.  Please remember, to cleanup after your pup.
Finally, the Atlanta Water Works greenspace project continues to move forward.  We have set up a Friends of the Atlanta Water Works group through Park Pride that can accept donations.  Also last week I had a very positive discussion with Paul Morris, CEO of the Beltline, and several real estate developers regarding the project's feasibility and design.  I will be meeting more with the Beltline this week to understand where they are in the design stage.  If you are interested in being involved with this project contact me directly.  Two notes on this project:
  • Atlanta Water Works video - Nebo, an ad agency, has agreed to produce a video showcasing the Waterworks.  If you have pictures we'd love to include them.  If you remember going to the Waterworks before it was closed, we'd be interested to hear your story and possibly include you in the video.  Again, contact me.
  • Atlanta Water Works event - We may wind up delaying the event scheduled for April 23 into May to allow time for completion of several objectives prior to the event.  More information to come.
Lastly, I know it is still early in the year, but we will be electing BPNA officers again in November.  Now is a great time to get involved with the chili cookoff, cleanup days, or the Atlanta Water Works to start coming up with ideas for how you would want to serve the neighborhood as a BPNA officer.
Will Jungman
NPU-D, Beltline, ADA and BPNA Updates

By Jim Martin

February was another strange month in NPU-D. After not meeting at all in December, when we cancelled the meeting because of Christmas, or January, when a snow storm cancelled the meeting for us, we met twice in February. Our first meeting on the 11th was a make-up for our cancelled January meeting and our second meeting on the 25th was our regularly scheduled February meeting. This novel arrangement did not work out well. Although the meeting on the 11th was scheduled at the request of the Planning Bureau, they did not properly advertise it, which led to questions about its legitimacy. This was further complicated by the fact that another snow storm was expected on the 11th. That storm actually arrived early on the 12th, but its anticipation probably suppressed the turnout for the meeting. Ironically, the second snow storm led the city to suspend operations for several days and to cancel the board meetings whose schedules had been the stated reason for our special meeting in the first place.

At the February 11th meeting we approved the rezoning request for the residential development on Green St (behind Swinging Richards) that BPNA had endorsed in January. This approval carried with it the conditions that BPNA attached including the dedication of impact fees to our sidewalk project on Northside Drive. We also approved liquor license applications for the Central City Tavern in the Walmart development and for the Oasis restaurant in Riverside. Most of the city staff members who usually attend our meetings weren’t there on the 11th, so we were able to knock the whole thing out in about ½ an hour. Unfortunately, things did not go as smoothly on the 25th.

Our agenda for the February 25th meeting seemed pretty light, but that can often be deceiving. We had a turnout of folks interested in the Green Street development, who had decided to attend that meeting, where it was not on the agenda, rather than any of the earlier meetings where it had been on the agenda. The issue for them on the 25th was the legitimacy of the meeting on the 11th. They felt that they had not been given an opportunity to express their opposition to the development at that meeting because of the poor advertising, non-standard date, and expected snow event. It was not at all clear why they are opposed to the development other than that it will not fit in well with the strip club next door. Why we would want to let that strip club (about which the same folks have been complaining for many years) shape future development in the area, was never clear to me. After a fairly confused discussion about bylaws and proper procedures, we voted to re-list all of the business items that we dealt with on February 11th on our March 25th agenda. I was opposed to this, but I was in the minority. At that point, a reversal of our earlier position can have no effect other than to demonstrate that we are dysfunctional and should not be trusted in the future, and I see no reason why we would reverse what I believe to have been a sound decision rather than simply reiterating it.

The big winner in the snow-storm-induced, two-meeting-legitimacy debate was the proposed golf driving range at the corner of Ellsworth and Chattahoochee. They were originally listed on our January agenda and therefore relisted for the special meeting on the 11th. The second snow storm caused their Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) hearing date to be pushed back to February 27th, so they decided to defer from the meeting on the 11th to the regular meeting on the 25th. This gave them an extra two weeks to work on a site plan that had not been ready for the earlier meeting. We then conditionally endorsed their parking exception (without any legitimacy issues) on the 25th based on this new plan. Our conditions were a 110-foot stand off of the driving range from the northeast corner of the site at Chattahoochee and Ellsworth to permit the preservation of mature trees in that area and a reaffirmation of the Beltline strictures regarding the parking in the southeast corner of the site. There are issues there that they will need to work out administratively either by making a compelling case for their site plan, by shifting their parking westward, or by extending their building eastward.

Demolition-permitting process
On February 14th, I met with Mayor Reed and his advisor Michael Sterling to discuss problems with the city’s demolition-permitting process. Mayor Reed was interested in addressing demolition issues on a case-by-case basis rather than discussing legislation that would address systematic problems. That will presumably need to originate from City Council. On February 18th, Michael Sterling and I toured the two sites in NPU-D where property owners have recently been unable to get needed demolition permits. The first of these was the old Salvation Army site at the corner of Antone and Howell Mill. We were lucky in that Chandler McCormack, who owns the site, happened to be passing by and was able to explain his travails with the planning bureau to Mr Sterling. The second site that we visited was the Midtown West apartments off of Marietta Boulevard north of the intersection with Chattahoochee (across the street from Buckhead Beef). The issue there is more complex because the demolition was prevented by a HUD deed restriction. The current owners, who have repossessed the property, are now waiting that restriction to expire. I have been told that it will now expire in less than a year, although it was about 2½  years from expiration when they first brought the matter to NPU-D. Here the city could have aided the process either by lobbying HUD for the removal of the restriction or by condemning the structures in need of demolition in order to circumvent it, but instead chose its usual mode of delay and inaction. Mayor Reed seemed to think that he had enough pull with HUD to have the restriction removed, but it is not clear if this can now accelerate the process significantly over simply waiting for it to expire. I have not heard back from the Mayor’s office yet about either of these properties.

Perry Bolton TAD
The Perry Bolton TAD bond issuance, which I reported on last month, is apparently complete now. Felicia Moore has indicated that this means that the Redevelopment of the Moores Mill shopping center will proceed. She will be contacting the developers of that project to get a time frame for it. Hopefully, she will update us on that at the March NPU-D meeting. Exactly how the bond funds will be divided between this and the two other approved PB-TAD projects does not seem to have been stated. Presumably that is public information, so we should hear about it later.

BPNA Beautification
We didn’t get any neighborhood beautification work done in February. Now that the weather is improving, we will be scheduling some work days to catch up on that. The recent cold snaps have caused a lot of die-off in our plantings, so we will need to redo some of those for the spring.

BPNA Sidewalks
I did not hear anything back from the city about our sidewalk projects in February. The Department of Public Works was probably overburdened by the snow storms and is obviously way behind now on cleaning up the gravel that they dumped on the roads in response to those. Hopefully we will hear about sidewalks from them in March.

BPNA Selig funds
At the February BPNA meeting we again discussed the process for spending the unexpended Selig funds. We still have no plan for doing that and no process outside of the one that we defined 3 years ago for coming up with a plan. That will again be a topic of discussion when we meet in March. If we were to continue with the defined process we would move ahead with a tree-planting project. One possible outline for that project is described in the January BPNA newsletter.

QT Zoning Case
The Superior Court has still not issued an order with regard to the QT zoning case. When that occurs, we will have 30 days to file a notice of our intention to appeal should we choose to do so. The discussion of this was deferred at the February BPNA meeting. We will be discussing it again in March. Because of the filing deadline, indecisiveness in this case will amount to a decision to lose.

Beltline Rezoning - Howell Mill and Northside Dr
I still have not heard back from the Planning Bureau regarding the Beltline proactive rezoning effort in our area or the scheduling of a meeting with affected property owners to discuss our proposed Neighborhood Commercial zoning district on Howell Mill Road. Hopefully, I will hear back about these things in March. It is not clear how the proposed residential development on Green Street might affect the Beltline rezoning effort in that area. Both the site of that development and several adjoining properties were proposed for a more dense residential designation in the Northside Drive Corridor Study. I was contacted by a realtor who was interested in assembling the property in the block bounded by Northside, Holmes, Leona and Bellemeade. It was not clear what he intended to market this assemblage for, but it was obvious that he did not appreciate that our Techatorium problem is immediately to the west of there and would not be alleviated by a redevelopment of that block. Luckily, we were able to correct the errors that the Northside Drive study introduced into the Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) in that area during the Beltline sub-area 8 planning process.

Monthly Meeting Minutes

By Hollie Meyer, Secretary

February 18, 2014 – Senior Center
  1. Modifications to BPNA Board
    1. The board is looking to change a few roles on the board of directors. Specific changes will be presented in September, but the idea is add one At-Large member and have specific roles for each at-large member.
      1. Beautification chair
      2. Land planning/zoning/traffic
      3. Social chair
      4. Goals, events, special projects
    2. This would also require adjustments to the standing vs ad hoc committees
    3. Any suggestions or ideas can be sent to Will.
  2. Chili Cook-off
    1. Looking at dates in April and May at Monday Night Brewery
  3. Water Works event
    1. Group established “Friends of Atlanta WaterWorks”
    2. Wednesday, April 23 at Monday Night Brewery, time to be determined
  4. Benches
    1. 4 locations have been confirmed.  These locations were announced in the February newsletter.
  5. QT case
    1. Still no decision sent from the judge.


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