COVEReport – June 26, 2014

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Citizens of Victoria Estates (COVE) Annual Membership Meeting To Be Held on Tuesday, July 22, 6:30 – 7:30 pm, 1364 Rainier Falls Dr NE

Please join us in recognizing our one year anniversary. The meeting will include a presentation of accomplishments, election of board members, review of budget, and next year plans. Look for more details in the coming weeks.

Victoria Estates Neighborhood 4th of July Party, 1-3 pm

PatScott and I are hosting the Victoria Estates Fourth of July pool party at our home this year.  If it rains, we’ll move it to the 5th.  We will provide hot dogs chips and soft drinks, and ask guests to bring sides.  The pool/patio are handicap accessible. Visiting family members are also welcome to join us.

Please notify the neighborhood for us, and let me know if you have any questions.  If this goes well, we’ll make it an annual event!

Patricia Killingsworth
1364 Rainier Falls Dr NE

404.323.3720 (cell)


Dunwoody 4th of July Parade 9:00 am

City of Avondale Estates 4th of July Celebration, 10:30 am

The parade begins at 10:30am. Concert and fireworks in the evening.

City of Decatur Pied Piper Parade, Concert, and Fireworks, 5:30 pm

The parade begins at 5:30 pm. Concert, featuring the Callanwolde Concert Band, begins at 7:00 and fireworks begin at dark (approx. 9 pm).


Dog Walkers Unite! – July 8, 6:30 pm

Home of Jennifer, Barry, and “Teddy” Tipping – 1374 Rainier Falls

dog walker watchDear neighbors:

Please join us for an inaugural meeting to launch the Victoria Estates Dog Walker Watch:

Please RSVP for you (and your pet, if your pet likes to hang out with other dogs) so that we can plan the right number of snacks and milkbones.  Canine guests will have the opportunity to play in the fenced backyard.

We are launching a Dog Walker Watch program, a national crime awareness program sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW), in Victoria Estates to mobilize the dozens of dog walkers (as well as those who walk without pets) in our neighborhood who can serve as “extra eyes and ears” for our local law enforcement.

Al Fowler, DeKalb County Public Safety’s education specialist, will be there to help us learn about the program and some other useful tips, such as how to identify suspicious activity and what to do when we see something.

To learn more about the program before the meeting, you can visit

Thank you.

Your co-hosts,

Jennifer Tipping & Teddy (the dog)


Martha Pacini & Beau & Bacwyn (the corgis)



RUN-OFF ELECTION: July 22; Early Voting Starts Next Week 

voteCivic Association Network

June 24, 2014

By: Beth Nathan

Can voter turn-out be any lower than in a Primary election? YUP — in a Primary Runoff. And there’s one coming up on July 22; Early Voting starts next Monday, June 30. Remind your association members and neighbors that the primary isn’t over yet.

Voter-specific *SAMPLE BALLOTS* are available via

*EARLY VOTING**: *8am-5pm, Memorial Drive Complex, Suite 300; 4380 Memorial Drive; Decatur, GA 30032
06/30/2014 – 07/03/2014 (Mon-Thu) & 07/07/2014 – 07/18/2014
(Mon-Fri, Mon-Fri)

/Candidates appearing on DeKalb County ballots:/
*County Sheriff *(Vernon Jones / Jeff Mann)
*U.S. Senate* (Jack Kingston / David Perdue)
*State School Superintendent *(Mike Buck / Richard Woods)
*State School Superintendent *(Alisha Morgan / Valarie Wilson)

Proposed County Funding of YMCA Controversy


DeKalb County is considering spending approximately $5million of the remaining Parks Bond dollars (approx $1M from district-allocated funds and $4M from countywide funds which is ~38% of remaining countywide funds) to acquire the South DeKalb YMCA and then lease it back to the YMCA for 50 years at $1/year.  The YMCA is to devote the purchase proceeds to site improvements.  This YMCA is geographically close to several other DeKalb recreation/health facilities (parks & senior centers). The Board of Commissioners voted 5 to 0 to defer action on the South DeKalbe YMCA proposal until its first meeting in August.

Kathy Gannon’s Response

Fellow DeKalb Citizens,

Please see the attached letter regarding my position on the South DeKalb YMCA. While I appreciate the work of the YMCA and I’m in favor of partnerships, I am opposed to the current proposal. I hope that the YMCA will withdraw so we can consider a partnership that benefits DeKalb County as well as the Y.

Dear YMCA Board Members and our DeKalb Community:

We appreciate all of the work across metropolitan Atlanta that YMCA’s do every day. Whether it is helping their members stay healthy and fit through exercise and recreation programs, or providing early enrichment to Head Starters or the numerous other ways that the Y helps build community – the service of the YMCA staff, volunteers and Board of Directors is of the finest American tradition.

As members of the DeKalb County Board of Commission we believe Partnerships which leverage complementary capabilities are a valuable tool and in the potential relationship with the South DeKalb YMCA, we hope to find one that is transparent, respects the taxpayers and serves the needs of the broadest group of citizens.
With this in mind, we have reservations about the proposed Master Agreement between DeKalb and the Metro Y that would use County Green Space Acquisition Bond Revenues to purchase your South DeKalb Y facility and lease it back to you at a nominal price.

Please consider these FACTS:

  • This Partnership agreement is exclusively negotiated with the YMCA, and nothing similar has been offered to any other non-profit, private organization or governmental partner. No terms or parameters for negotiation were authorized by the DeKalb Governing Authority, and the proposed Master Agreement was only made public when it was placed on the Commission Agenda on April 8th.  Neither the Green Space Bond Advisory Board nor the Development Authority of DeKalb County have had any input to the Master Agreement.
  • The Y brings no new money to the table.  The County has successful models for staffing facilities, and is experimenting with other partnership models. For example the Boys and Girls Club will manage the after-school program at the Redan Recreation center next fall, each entity receiving a benefit.  We should treat partners comparably, and negotiate openly.
  • The South DeKalb YMCA is in an area where significant County investments in recreation and senior services have already been made: the Y is 2.5 miles from Exchange Park Multi-Generational Recreation Center ($7.2million); 2.8 miles from Browns Mill Recreation and Aquatic Facility ($8.9 million); 4.1 miles from Lou Walker Senior Center with a heated indoor pool; 5.7 miles from Candler Road Senior Center, which will have exercise equipment when it opens this summer; 8 miles from Redan Park Recreation Center ($5.4 million); and 8.7 miles from Wade Walker Park and YMCA ($13.6 million).  In 8 square miles of this South DeKalb community, the County has already invested over $35 million in recent and ongoing Parks Bond developmental funds and additional county and federal grant dollars for the senior centers.  Investing in this location is not a good return on the citizens’ tax dollars.  It will duplicate services in this area while many areas of the county still do not have access to any recreation center. DeKalb County taxpayers will continue to pay for the operations of Browns Mill, Exchange, and Redan Centers. No current public expense will be reduced.
  • The Master Agreement provides no benchmarks or guarantees related to the health deficiencies the investment is purported to address.  Indeed, the question may be fairly asked:  why, after 40 years’ service to the community has the Y had so little effect on these deficiencies?  Why will a renovation have a transformative effect?
  • DeKalb County will purchase the existing YMCA for $5 million, using $1 million of District 3 and 7 Parks Bond Land Acquisition Funding and $4 million in County Wide Acquisition Funding.  The agreement diverts land acquisition funding to development, contrary to the Bond Referendum.   The property is appraised at $2.5 million for tax purposes, with the land appraised at $400,000.  The Appraisal provided by the YMCA estimates the value at only $3.9 million.  All appraisals supporting this proposed transaction are made using the “cost” method, which is inappropriate, given the multiplicity of similar facilities in the service area.
  • After the purchase, the County will transfer the property to the Development Authority of DeKalb County (DADC), who will lease the property back to the YMCA for $1 per year for 50 years. At the end of the lease, the property reverts to DeKalb County. The Return on Investment to the taxpayers footing this bill is $50.  The Y will book the lease as an asset, similar to the Wade Walker Y, whose lease is currently valued by the Y at over $10 million.
  • The YMCA will renovate the building to its own plan, and continue to operate the facility as a YMCA, charging a fee schedule of its own choosing, except that special benefits exclusively for residents of three surrounding zip codes, not all taxpayers, shall be provided.
  • Currently the SD YMCA operates with a $300,000 + annual surplus and there is no requirement to use surpluses to the benefit of DeKalb County taxpayers.  The Wade Walker Y likely generates a surplus as well, yet there is no provision in either Master Agreement to account for such surpluses.
  • The YMCA has other options for renovating this facility without using taxpayer funds. Typically YMCA renovations are completed with private capital campaign contributions through the umbrella Metro Atlanta YMCA organization and through fundraising within the service area being served by the facility.
  • The county does not have the funds to renovate the much needed repairs and upgrades at the Tucker Recreation Center, the Lithonia Recreation Center, the need for a real Recreation Center at Mason Mill and the long overdue replacement of a Tobie Grant Recreation Center in Scottdale.  There is no Parks and Recreation Plan Update that assesses the need for another recreational facility in this area whereas there is assessed need for a new Center in Southwest DeKalb County.

Where is the partnership in this proposed agreement? There is a no win for the citizens of DeKalb County, only for the YMCA.  It is clearly the wrong thing to do and should go back to the drawing board.

Please withdraw from this proposal and let us participate in a transparent process that assesses the needs of both partners to the “partnership.”

Commissioner Kathie Gannon, Super District 6
Commissioner Jeff Rader, District 2
June 23, 2014

An easy introduction to the proposal is found on Crossroads News:

Many important details are summarized in SoDeKalbYMCA_DetailOverview.pdf, compiled by Commissioner Rader’s office

Source documents on this proposal, the RPCA Master Plan, and parks bond funding are available on the Civic Association Network’s website in the reference materials section.  See

DeKalb County 2014 Transportion Plan Complete!

DeKalb Transportation Close UpCarl Lange – June 26, 2014

The DeKalb County 2014 Transportation Plan was unanimously adopted on May 13, by the Board of Commissioners. The development of this plan has resulted from the hard work of many individuals across DeKalb County including all of the stakeholders that sent emails and participated in focus groups, surveys, and public meetings.

Tier 1 plans, which are based on the current DeKalb level of spending through 2040 include improvements to Clairmont, Clifton, and Briarcliff. Houston Mill Rd. is not identified for improvements, which in my opinion can be a good thing as routing of traffic to Emory and CDC is envisioned around our neighborhood, not through it.

1675 – 31 Signal Upgrades on Briarcliff Road./Clairmont Road./Church Street. – Upgrades to approx. 31 signals on Briarcliff (from Sheridan Rd. to Johnson Rd.), Clifton (from Briarcliff Rd to N Decatur Rd.), Clairmont (from LaVista Rd. to N Decatur Rd.), and Church St (from N Decatur Rd. to Bell St.) – $5,000,000

5093 – Clairmont Road Multimodal Corridor Improvements – Corridor improvements to include a median (center turn lane or landscaped) as well as bike and pedestrian accommodations and operational recommendations at key intersections. – $45,000,000

5108 – Briarcliff Road at LaVista Road Intersection Improvements – Intersection improvements, including turn lanes and signal timing to reduce vehicular delay; pedestrian improvements, as needed. – $6,000,000

In one of the early public input meetings I made a recommendation concerning the intersection at Whole Foods, a frequent slow-down obstacle for me. I’m glad to see this included. Check out your frequent travel paths and see what might be improving the quality of your travels too! Plans include public transportation, bicycles, cars, trucks, and pedestrians.

The Recommendations Report, the Appendix, and the Project Fact Sheets document are available on the project website:

For a quick read, jump to this excerpt of Tier 1 projects Pages from DeKalb 2014 Transp Recommendations – Tier 1

Here is the full report DeKalb 2014 Transportation Recommendations

Emory Community Meeting – Emory Point Phase II

emory pointMartha Pacini

A few quick notes from the Emory Community Meeting that was held on Wednesday evening (June 11):

  • EmoryPointPhaseI is fully leased and there is a 50-person waiting list.  They will begin leasing for Phase II in 3-4 months, and are scheduling for occupancy in first quarter of 2015.  More than 90% of those leasing the apartments work or go to school on Clifton Road.  Parkingwillcontinueto be handled separately from the housing as an encouragement to take advantage of Emory’s bus system, etc.
    • Earthfare out of Asheville, NC, is taking 25,000 SF in Phase II.  This is one of four stores they are opening in Atlanta.  They are similar to Whole Foods, but not strictly organic. Earthfare’s emphasis is on strict nutritional standards.  My layman’s way of understanding this is that you will be able to get a Coca-Cola there, but it will be the kind from Mexico that is made with cane sugar, not high fructose corn syrup. Should open in May 2015.
    • I asked about car alarms in the parking deck.  There is a full-time security presence there, and they should be handling.  If the alarm continues to go off, we can contact the 24-hour security line—I’ve asked for the number, but some of you may already have it and can share with the group.
    • Noise.  I asked about the noise that rattled windows in our neighborhood the second weekend in May.  Several other attendees said that they thought the noise was coming from somewhere not Emory/Emory Point–like Toco Hills or North Druid Hills Road.  I asked for a contact with DeKalb County School System, because I think we need an early warning system for when things are scheduled at Adams Stadium.  As soon as I receive that, I’ll reach out and see about working out some form of communication with them.

Emory Point Security Number

The  24-hour number for Emory Point’s security to report something/contact someone there:  404-840-5751

Houston and Clifton Property Zoning Approval

Zoning approval at Houston and Clifton

DeKalb Ethics Board

dekalb_seal_hi-resJune 24, 2014

Civic Association Network

By Mike Cooper

WSB-TV reported at 5 p.m. that Acting CEO May “will recommend a huge increase in funding for ethics training and enforcement.”

The report, by Richard Belcher, says Lee May seeks to establish what would be the largest ethics budget of any metro-area government, if it is approved by the Board of Commissioners.

May is to recommend a mid-year adjustment increasing the Ethics Board’s budget to almost $470,000 from the current $118,000. His plan would create three full-time board positions — a Chief Integrity Officer, an investigator and an administrative assistant, WSB-TV’s report said.

Belcher’s report also said May will impose new limits on gifts county employees can accept.

DeKalb Commissioners Ethics Complaint

June 24, 2014

Civic Association Network

By Mike Cooper

The DeKalb County Ethics Board agreed Tuesday (June 24) to accept and investigate new complaints against Commissioners Larry Johnson and Sharon Barnes-Sutton and her aide involving their use of county purchasing cards.

The board agreed to consider the complaints, filed by Rhea Johnson and Viola Davis, after hearing the board’s legal counsel say the board had personal and subject-matter jurisdiction.

Earlier complaints against Commissioner Elaine Boyer and her chief of staff, Bob Lundsten, remain active, but action on them was delayed until the board’s next meeting. The board is awaiting the results of a preliminary investigation by attorney Victor Hartmann, who was chosen by the board to investigate the complaints made by Thomas Owens. Hartmann is expected to present his findings at the board’s next work session.

The board dismissed a complaint against the CEO’s office that questioned why the CEO did not investigate an internal 2011 finance department audit which showed three commissioners did not comply with county policy in their use of county purchasing cards. The board’s attorney was instructed to tell Robert Ballou, who filed the complaint, that he could resubmit it if he made more specific allegations.

A separate complaint by Johnson against suspended CEO Burrell Ellis was tabled until the conclusion of Ellis’ racketeering trial, which is
scheduled to begin in September.

Complaints against Kevin Walton, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Ellis case, and Nina Hall, Ellis’ former secretary, were tabled until the board could obtain a certified copy of grand-jury testimony that
was cited in the complaints. The board’s attorney said that attorney Oliver Halle, who conducted a preliminary investigation, believed it would be better for the board to wait until completion of the Ellis
trial, in which Walton is expected to be a witness. He said trial testimony might be a more “economically efficient” way to handle the investigation.

The board rejected an ethics complaint against Susan Apolinsky, a former member of the DeKalb Historic Commission, that said she should have disclosed in a vote that she lived three houses away from a
property being considered. The motion failed 2 to 3, with two abstentions.

DeKalb Government Operations Task Force

task force charterThe Operations Task Force was created by DeKalb Interim CEO Lee May with the support of the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners through an Executive Order in March 2014.

The 15-member committee is empowered to explore and study (1) the financial, business, zoning and quality of life impact on residents and government operations caused by the creation of new cities and annexations; (2) the effectiveness of the current governance structure of DeKalb County and ethics and transparency in County operations; (3) the equitable distribution of Homestead Option Sales Tax (HOST) proceeds and legacy pension costs between the DeKalb County and it’s cities; and (4) other related matters.


Task Force June 5 Meeting – Report


Friday Jun 6, 2014
Beth Nathan, CAN (Civic Association Network)

Some details became as clear as mud last night about how the CEO’s Task Force is going to operate, but it sounds like a lot of the proceedings and materials will be made available to the public.  Last night’s meeting was simulcast on public television and will be rebroadcast on DCTV. The rest of the meetings are to receive similar treatment. No word on whether they will be web-available for those who do not get DCTV.

In addition, a website has been added to the main county website in a subdirectory named “*taskforce2014*” to carry all of the information given to the Task Force members (they received a loose leaf binder of information last night), beginning with the 40+ slide PowerPoint that Lee May presented covering his Executive Order (2014-1) creating this Task Force.  The PowerPoint was extensive and included summaries of the law on municipalization, history of municipalization with voting statistics and bottom line financial impacts on the county, history of county government (starting with the 1886 creation of 5 commissioners of Roads and Revenue), maps of proposed cities, maps of proposed annexations, collection & distribution statistics for HOST dollars, and more. A place for citizens to email their comments and suggestions may be added but did not seem to be part of the original plan.

11 of the 15 announced Task Force members were present last night  (absent: Patrick Ejike, Stan Watson, April Atkins, John Shelton) as Lee  May announced that the Task Force had been EXPANDED TO 17 with the  addition of Fran Millar and Mike Jacobs to ensure all areas and viewpoints are represented.  [The list of all Task Force members is now posted on the county web site.]

Phyllis Mitchell, assistant to the CEO, is coordinating organizational matters for the Task Force.  She outlined her proposal on the structure by which the Task Force would operate,  which prompted a good number of further questions from the members. She suggested that the full Task Force meet twice a month at the Maloof to discuss info from two SubCommittees which would meet in the  intervening weeks. She mentioned the date of Wednesday, June 25, for the next full Task Force meeting, at which the members are to elect a Chair & Co-Chair and hear an in-depth report from GSU (subject matter unspecified). The two envisioned subcommittees were designated as (1) Municipalities/Annexation and (2) Governance, but the division of work between those two committees generated several questions for clarification. There was an indication that citizens, many of whose names are already in the CEO’s hands, would be asked to participate on those subcommittees, but no indication of how or when they would be called. Subsequent to this meeting, the Task Force and its Chair are to have full power to run independently and the CEO will step back. Phyllis Mitchell will remain available to assist them.  Citizen comments were taken at the end of this meeting and it was suggested they would be taken at subsequent meetings as well.


Jeff Rader proposed that the Task Force needs an apolitical chair who is also qualified to deal with organizational matters. He expressed hope that the Task Force’s eventual recommendations would be taken seriously by the legislators even though the Task Force is not legislatively-chartered. He spoke of the uneven nature of the cityhood process which has been running in an opportunistic manner reflecting the lack of public support over large areas of the county for current county management practices. The recommendations need to aim to make the county more stable and have less people racing for scarce resources. Transparency and purchasing practices in the Organizational Act need to be amended, allowing citizens to know what’s happening.

Bill Floyd, former Mayor of Decatur, commented that, while HOST may appear to be disproportionately distributed, the data presented to this Task Force in the power point was incomplete and should be clarified to allow the Task Force to figure out what’s best for both the county and cities alike.  Lee May responded that the Task Force was free to challenge any materials/figures presented to them.

Several members asked for clarification on organizational issues, including Vaughn Irons, Sharon Barnes-Sutton, Gloria Butler, Elena Parent and Karla Drenner, who specifically noted the lack of citizen participation on the Task Force.


These were as varied as you might expect. Speakers included Mary Kay Woodworth (Lakeside Yes), Tess Knight (DeKalb Planning Commission), Charles Peigler, Robert Stanfer (Stone Mountain), Joe Edwards (Kings Ridge Civic Association), Debra Jackson (Mayor of Lithonia), Roj Frierson (Hidden Hills Civic Association), Patricia Killingsworth (member of COVE and former Ethics Board chair), Willi Pringell (retired transit worker), and Alan Venet (City of Briarcliff, Sagamore Hills). These comments included a thank-you for service on what looks to be an impossible job, a call to do it right and pull the county’s varied factions together, both that cities are good and that the county should not be broken up into cities, a call for the Task Force to throw away its charge and instead focus on economic development, a call to make the ethics board stronger and make timely appointments of new members, expectations that politics and racism will play big roles, a reminder to use technology to share info widely, and statements that some Task Force members are part of the county’s problems with a call to fix the problems at the ballot box.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 pm.

*The meeting scheduled for June 25th was postponed, and no future meeting date has been published.*


The Meeting Powerpoint Presentation :


Suburban Plaza Development

suburban-plaza-planCivic Association Network

Mon Jun 9, 2014

By Jim Smith 

New DeKalb Zoning Code to be Deferred until July 

Civic Association Network

Tue May 20, 2014

By Mike Cooper

DeKalb County Planning Director Andrew Baker told county commissioners this morning that his department will ask for deferral of a vote on the proposed new zoning code, with plans to ask the Board of Commissioners to approve it in July.

Baker asked commissioners for guidance on changes being considered in Article 4 (Use Regulations) and Article 7 (Administration). Meeting as a Committee of the Whole, commissioners agreed to discuss Article 4 at the May 27 Planning and Economic Development (PED) committee meeting
and Article 7 at the June 3 Committee of the Whole meeting.

Baker presented a list of changes he said had been made to the zoning code because of input from the public and the PED committee. He said about 50 people attended last Thursday evening’s public meeting on the new code.

“We did receive a list of written responses and comments from the Good Growth committee, which is made up of people in and near downtown Decatur, but also other representatives from other neighborhoods throughout the county. They provided a list of concerns that they had. And what we have provided for you today actually is our staff response to those items specifically that they raised,” Baker said.

Among the changes made to the zoning code:

– Reinstated the six-foot fence requirement in addition to required buffers

“The community was requesting that we add back the 6-foot fence as part of the buffer requirements,” Baker said. “Staff has made that change to the zoning code.”

– O-I when adjacent to SF zones requires undisturbed buffer separation, transitional height requirements

“There was some concern from the residents about O-I districts when they are next to the single-family neighborhoods,” Baker said. “If an individual or an applicant comes in and requests a rezoning to O-I, the Commissioners can also add additional conditions.”

– Pervious pavement – lot-coverage calculations have been revised limiting application to patios and pools

– Administrative variances

“We have specific criteria that is [sic] used by staff for the applications for variances.”

Additional examples of changes in response to public input:

– Deleted the reference to concurrent variances

“We had concern about concurrent variances,” Baker said. “We have deleted the section on concurrent variances.”

– Zoning petitions denied by the BOC require the applicant to wait 2 years (put back in code)

“We put back into the code the two-year wait period.”

– Provide better notice by posting agendas, staff analysis and recommendations on the web site. Considering larger signs or redesign of the sign copy to improve readability.

– Changes the definition of dormitories and provided clarification in Article 4 Table 4.

“The new code has taken measures to protect single-family neighborhoods,” Baker said. “We think we’ve made this document more protective for the neighborhood resident.”

Baker said planning staff wanted guidance on wireless-tower restrictions in Article 4.

“We’ve had some discussion regarding the wireless communication towers,” Baker said.

“The discussions we’ve had with the commissioners deal with the height of the proposed cell towers, the location, should they or should they not be allowed in residential districts and on public property, as well as the stealth design,” Baker said. “We are requesting additional policy direction on that particular article.”

Baker said questions also remained about Article 7, involving rights to appeal, appeals to Superior Court, as well as who has standing and the definition of an aggrieved person. “We continue to work with the law department,” he said.

Baker said the department would request a deferral at the May 27 County Commission meeting, while maintaining “an aggressive schedule.”

“We need individual meetings on Article 4 for wireless. We can possibly do that one at the PED committee meeting on the 27th,” he said. “We need an additional meeting with PED to discuss Article 7.”

Commissioner Larry Johnson said discussion of Article 7 could take place at the June 3 Committee of the Whole meeting, instead of waiting for the next PED meeting one week later.

Baker proposed that the Board of Commissioners approve the code at its July 22 meeting.

“We will be taking the map, the home rule and the code to the Planning Commission, hopefully on the (July) 8th, and we would like to have adoption on July 22nd,” he said.

He said he wanted to get feedback from commissioners between June 17 through 23, with plans to have a final document back from Pond & Company on July 3 before going to the Planning Commission on July 8.

– Mike Cooper
Community Affairs Representative
Little Creek Farm Conservancy

Community Zoning Review Meeting

BE IN THE KNOW! At the Community Council meetings, the public has an opportunity to discuss zoning or land use map amendment applications that will eventually be decided upon by the Board of Commissioners. After the Community Council meetings, the public has opportunities to comment on applications at public hearings that are held by the Planning Commission and by the Board of Commissioners.

Community Council Zoning Meeting – June 17

From Martha Pacini

Hi all,

I went by tonight’s community council meeting to make sure there wasn’t anything on the agenda that affected Victoria Estates.  Good news—there wasn’t!

Two things were on the agenda.  One involved a person who actually was going through the zoning process for her small in-home daycare off of Woodridge Drive in the Medlock neighborhood.  The council members congratulated her on actually going through the process since so many people ignore it.  Her request was approved.

The second item involved an application to put a liquor store in an existing building out on Lawrenceville Highway.  There were about 100 people from the surrounding neighborhoods wearing red shirts there to speak against it.  I didn’t stay for the fireworks since the 4th is just around the corner.

Public Hearing – DeKalb County Millage and Mid-Year Budget – July 8

The public meetings for the 2014 mid-year budget will be held June 24 and July 8 as part of the public hearing portion of the regular Board of Commissioners meeting.  The public hearing portion of the meeting begins at 10:00 am.  The millage rates will be adopted at the July 8 meeting.

Public Hearings – DeKalb Schools Millage Decision – July 7

Wed, June 25, 6pm
Mon, July 7, 11am
Mon, July 7, 6:30pm

DeKalb School System
Administrative and Instructional Complex
1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd
Stone Mountain

The DeKalb School Board is holding 3 public hearings regarding its decision not to roll back the millage rate to compensate for higher revenues from increased property tax assessments.

DeKalb County Launches the Vacant Property Registry 

 vacant registryThe Vacant Property Registry Ordinance requires the owners of vacant properties to provide the County with official contact information for party responsible for bringing the vacant property into compliance. Property owners are required by law to register their vacant properties with DeKalb County or face fines up to $1000.

Contact: 404-371-2289 |

Thompson Park

Thompson ParkFrom Patrick Noonan

Greetings Neighbors and Friends of Thomson Park –

As we wind down our park volunteer activity a bit during the hot summer months, I thought it a good idea to give you an update on some progress and other recent park news.

— We have one more regular volunteer day planned for the summer: Saturday, July 5, 9am-12noon. We’ll be finishing our work in the wooded area surrounding the tennis courts and upper parking area.

— Thanks to Derek Sampey of McConnell Road and Pack 43 of Twin Oaks LDS Church on Wesley Chapel, we’ve been able to start restoring the trail markers in the park. The Cubs and adult leaders helped give the existing posts a fresh coat of paint, and we’ve started replacing some of the missing posts and filling in other gaps. (As the new ones weather they’ll get painted, and they should fade into the woods and not stand out quite so much. Also, as we are able to add some trail maps at the entrances, we can probably remove a few redundant ones to reduce their visual impact.) A very *rough* initial sketch of the upper trail system is attached. The Cubs also donated a nice redbud tree, which now lives adjacent to the tennis parking area.

— Google finally admitted that they’d been misspelling the name of W. D. Thomson Park on their maps for years (leading to most of the Internet calling it “Thompson Park,” because Google). The County fixed the spelling on their site, too. When you see online references that are misspelled please write to the host and ask them nicely to change it. Now they *can* “Google it” to confirm!

— In addition to the July 5 volunteer day, we are in need of some help over the summer for other projects: Repairing, replacing and adding bridges over the creeks and drainage channels; cutting up and removing some large fallen trees from the paths; repairing the stairway from Mason Woods Drive. If you’ve got the will and the skill (and perhaps a chainsaw, which doesn’t fit that rhyme scheme), please contact me and we’ll coordinate some time to work together on this.

Many thanks to all the volunteers who have contributed literally hundreds of hours of work this past year. If you’d like to support the work of our Friends of Thomson Park group with a donation, you may write a check to the Mason Mill Civic Association and designate it for the “Thomson Park Fund.”

Best regards
Patrick Noonan
Coordinator, Friends of Thomson Park

Past President, Mason Mill Civic Association

Check out the map of the trails:

Upper Trails – rough map 5-28-14



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