By Terry Horgan, 404-934-5508
As the nation digs itself out of the recession and the rebuilding begins, Berkeley Park is seeing the fruits of 6 years labor to put Selig’s neighborhood improvement funds to good work. Your neighbors Margaret Camac, Chandler McCormack, and Deborah Wagoner with their committees have worked hard to get us to this point and it is my hope that the beautification, sidewalks and traffic calming projects will provide a shot in the arm for all of our property values at a time when we need it most. And this is only the beginning! With the Beltline improvements being implemented in the CDP, the controls will be in place to guide the continued smart growth of our area. The discussions with Atlanta Watershed Management are in the process to make the Waterworks Park a reality as part of their trail and park component of this project which will hopefully include direct tunnel access from Berkeley Park Neighborhood. Come to the Beltline Northside 5K run
in Tanyard Creek Park on April 28th
to get involved and learn more.
What an amazing turnout for the neighborhood picnic! I want to send out a big thank you to Barry Sermons who solicited corporate sponsors and musical performances for the day; Chef Ron Horgan for working his magic at the grill; Joel Iverson for Monday Night Brewing samples; Peachtree Battle Chiropractic for sharing their information; and Jim Martin and team for cleaning the area and providing generators. See pictures below!
Our next meeting is on April 17th, so make sure you join us at the Senior Center at 7 p.m. I look forward to seeing you all.
By Jim Martin
The salient feature of our March 27th
NPU-D meeting was, once again, deferral. We deferred 2 of the 4 zoning cases on our agenda at the request of the applicants, who are trying to make their applications more palatable to the community. One of the deferrals was for the rezoning of the old Georgia Steel site next to the waterworks. We had also deferred this case in February. The applicants are still trying to come to an arrangement with the Department of Public Works (DPW) regarding the widening of Huff Rd at its intersection with Howell Mill in order to accommodate the increased traffic associated with this development and others in the area. The other deferral was for a special use permit that is being requested to operate a scrap metal recycling plant on Perry Blvd in NPU-G adjacent to NPU-D. This is overwhelmingly an NPU-G issue as the two NPU’s are buffered by several large industrial properties and a railroad line in the effected area.
In contrast to the scrap metal recycler in NPU-G, we considered a zoning case for the Georgian Hills apartments, which is in NPU-C just across Collier Road from NPU-D. The folks in Underwood Hills have taken a great deal of interest in this because it has the potential to impact their community. A few years ago the property was rezoned to a nominally higher density residential designation with an extensive set of conditions to ameliorate the impact of the increase in zoned density. The development that was planned by Coro at that time was not built, and the property is now under contract for sale to a different developer with a somewhat different plan. The current application was to modify the zoning conditions to accommodate this new plan. NPU-C’s principle objection to this application was not the nature of the new plan itself, but the lack of specificity in the proposed new conditions. After a few months of wrangling, an NPU-C task force came to agreement with the applicant over the details of these conditions shortly before our meeting. We could have formally endorsed or opposed this application, but this is optional for property that is outside the boundaries of the NPU. Since NPU-C had not formally endorsed the proposal prior to our meeting, we chose instead not to take a position on this matter.
The other zoning case that we took action on was an application for a parking reduction for the Family Dollar store, which is currently located in the Moore’s Mill shopping center, but plans to move to a location on the other side of Marietta Blvd when that shopping center is redeveloped. The new site that they are looking at is relatively small and the access from Marietta Blvd is severely constrained by its proximity to the intersection with Bolton Rd. The Bolton neighborhood association had already met with the applicant and voted overwhelmingly (25 to 2) to deny this application. For some reason the applicants decided neither to show up at the NPU-D meeting nor to inform us that they would be absent. After a brief discussion, we voted unanimously to deny the application. A few days after the meeting, I discovered that the applicants had thought that their absence would lead to an automatic deferral and that this was what they desired. They have now asked for a deferral from the Board of Zoning Adjustment, so this case may return to NPU-D in the future along with the two others that we deferred in March.
For the fist time in over a year, we were joined by a code enforcement officer, Stan Tucker, at the March NPU-D meeting. According to Mr. Tucker, we are likely to see more of him in the future as his presence in March was a harbinger of a new era in code enforcement. He did not have any specific information on the sites of our ongoing code complaints, but he did announce a new effort to move these things through the system quickly. He seemed to agree that the collapsing warehouse at 1095 Huff Road, which has been “moving” through the system since 2007, would be high on the new era’s list of priorities.
On March 28th
, I met with several DPW representatives to discuss the Berkeley Park sidewalk project. The progress of this had been stuck for several months on a seemingly minor issue involving a retaining wall. Although I had been expecting a brief meeting, it turned out that the folks at DPW had not been idle during those months. Instead, they had been working diligently to construct a rationale for ongoing inaction. The centerpiece of the new rationale involved all of the information that they had previously provided to us being incorrect. After 3 hours and a walking tour of Berkeley Park, we seemed to have successfully returned our starting point – they are now working on cost estimates for the sidewalks that we requested. On the bright side of sidewalks, GDOT is planning to install new sidewalks on Northside Drive from I-75 all the way up to Northside Parkway. Once that is done, the missing segment of Northside Drive sidewalks in Berkeley Park will be so glaringly obvious that it should be nearly impossible for the city to continue to ignore it. Unfortunately, the city has always step up to these sorts of challenges in the past. The GDOT folks will be coming to NPU-D in April and BPNA in May to describe their plans.
Next NPU-D meeting
: Tuesday, April 25, 7:30 pm
Agape Center, 2351 Bolton Road, NW
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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.
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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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