• Neighborhood Planning Unit-X Meeting Minutes (March 12, 2012)

    I.  Call to order

    Ruben Burney, Chair, called the NPU-X meeting to order at 7:08 pm in the Stewart-Lakewood library with a moment of silence.

    II.  Approval of minutes from last meeting

    Motion passed to approve minutes from the February 2012 meeting.

    III.  Chair’s Report

    Mr. Burney had no news or information to report

    IV.  Treasurer’s report

    Ms. Read reported that the NPU’s account has a balance of $559.75. Enveloped passed to take donations.

    V.  Presentations

    No presentations were made.

    VI.  Public Services

    Atlanta Police Dept.–Lt. Dodd, APD Zone 3 Evening Watch (3-11 pm) Commander [mdodd@atlantaga.gov]. Zone 3 initiatives with assistance from other units– Strong and APEX units—increasing visibility in areas of Metropolitan, Cleveland, Sylvan and Dill. The units are assisting the zone with safety checkpoints (roadblocks) to help reduce crime in the area. Aware of home and vehicle burglaries. Residents encouraged to call 911 when suspicious activities are witnessed. APD focusing on vacant properties and are finding trespassers in the properties. Residents posed questions and shared concerns for APD follow up:

    • Q: Request that the lieutenant attend the Capitol View meeting. Also, could 911 be notified of “hot” zip codes or areas so that the dispatchers better understand and can respond to concerns and calls? A: Questions from the operators are helpful to responding to calls.
    • Q: What is the curfew for juveniles? A: 11 pm.
    • Q: Any update on the stabbing at CVS on Cleveland? A: The homicide unit investigates such cases and it is an open investigation. No one is in custody. No further comments at this time.
    • Please ask officers to be courteous and turn off blue lights when staged outside of a residence.

    MARTA Police Dept.–Lt. Jackson, MARTA police, Evening watch commander, south precinct. MPD will be implementing random bag checks in the MARTA stations. Officers will approach passengers at random (based on clicker number) and will check bags with assistance from TSA for bomb residue. Do not know when this will begin. Also, MPD plain clothes and uniform officers are on the trains to address the begging/panhandling complaints on the trains. The snatch thefts have gone done but they still occur periodically. An officer is staged on the platforms to catch juvenile offenders who snatch and attempt to run. Calling #MPD from a cell phone will reach MARTA police.

    • Religious solicitations in the Five Points ladies restroom and rat problem at the Ashby station.

    Atlanta Fire Rescue Dept.—No representative present

    Watershed Management—William Horton (ph. 404-546-3203) and Sue Sykes, Customer Service manager, provided update on the sewer pipe replacement project. Pipe almost under road at Macon Drive, then pipe installation will continue near I-75. Macon & Lane Drive area work should be done in next few weeks. Tunneling at interstate will take a few months.  More work will continue near former Nalley Chevrolet property. Provided brochures showing a map of where the pipe will be laid and the impacted streets.

    • Pomona Circle/Peg Rd. flooding problem will not be addressed by sewer replacement. There is a storm drain project that is in the initial stages of review and assessment for possibly upsizing the storm drains. Quaker & Baxter another flooding area. Drains will be checked for blockage.

    Department of Public Works (includes Solid Waste Services)—Santana Wright, ph.404-330-6333 or publicworks@atlantaga.gov. Right of way maintenance/ grass cutting season to begin in April and continue through October. Will provide a schedule at future meeting. Bulk collection reminder that canisters (trash and recycle) need to be out by 7 am on collection day. Bulk waste pick up days are posted by sign in the neighborhood (southwest is 3rdfull week of month).

    • Concerns about graffiti on University Ave—Keep Atlanta Beautiful or Dept of Parks and Rec will provide supplies to clean up problem areas.
    • Sidewalk inspection in Hammond Park will hopefully resolve tree overgrowth in the area.
    • Solid waste employees have been instructed not to place canisters in the middle of streets or driveways.
    • Astor Avenue sidewalk installation should be complete by late March 2012 weather permitting.
    • Street sweepers come through on a quarterly schedule covering all residential streets that allow safe access. Signs are posted notifying residents of impending street sweeping. In Hammond Park, 7th Ave., 5th Ave and Deerwood aren’t getting consistent sweeping.
    • Langston and Avery Park and other Perkerson streets have been hotspots for illegal dumping.
    • The city needs to remove all the “Vote now” signs placed in right-of-ways near 166. Also, no apparent effort to remove illegal signs attached to telephone poles throughout neighborhood.
    • Overgrowth of vegetation into right-of-way along Murphy Avenue near Dill and near tracks.

    Office of Code Compliance—No representative present

    Department of Parks, Recreation, Cultural Affairs—Visit recreation centers to register for spring youth athletic programs. Also, free swimming at city natatoriums on Monday thru Thursday 3-5 pm and Saturday 11am-1 pm. Other information on new and on-going programs available at www.atlantaga.gov. Perkerson Park spray pad design is at permits and construction should begin in late March.

    VII.  Elected Official’s Report

    • Rozalynne Echols from Councilmember Sheperd’s office—Thanks to attendees of public safety/neighborhood watch training on 3/10/2012. Announcing Earth Day clean up event on 4/28 from 8 am – 1 pm.  Dumpsters will be at the Rosel Fann Center and the AFRD training center. Several public hearings are coming up regarding the APS school closure plan. 6:30 – 7:30 pm on Wednesday, 3/14, public hearing at Capitol View elementary.
    • Rep. Ralph Long, State House district 61 (soon to be 58) cell 770-616-2130—Go to www.legis.ga.govto track new legislation like #1162, the charter school bill, which Mr. Long supported based on need for an alternative to the current challenges of the APS system. Other issues: Allyson Court demolition—doesn’t it meet the criteria of dilapidation for demolition? Why does Jefferson Park in East Point not have crime while Sylvan Hills on the north side of 166 was victimized frequently in December? Need to hold city government officials accountable. Where is the comprehensive plan to address crime? Mr. Long’s mattress bill got on the floor for a vote. He plans to revise and present the bill again next year.
      • If re-elected, Mr. Long’s new district, #58, will be north of 166 stretching north to Piedmont Park.
    • State Senator Nan Orrock—Disappointed that no jobs creation initiatives on the floor right now. Did not support the charter school bill. Sen. Orrock opposed to foreign outsourcing of customer service call center servicing state food stamp program. The state unemployment insurance system—bill to shorten benefits period to 12 to 20 weeks; down from 26 weeks.

    VIII.  Planner’s Report

    Garnett Brown, NPU Planner—no report

    IX.  Committees

    Lakewood Oversight Committee next meets on 3/13/2012 at 6:30 pm at the Rosel Fann Center. Anticipate receiving money from the amphitheater and the committee will be working on a community day.

    Request for meeting dates, times and locations for all the committees—provide NPU members with a list of meeting information.

    • Per Chase Randall, the Lakewood Finance Committee meets once a quarter but it must adjust its meeting time and location because of the changes in library service hours. Also, Mr. Randall will contact the economic development committee members and assemble them to make a plan to deal with the grant money received. The public safety committee will also be working on the plan for the grant money.

    X.  Matters for Voting

    Board of Zoning Adjustment

    • V-11-175, Robert Griffis, 403 Mt. Zion Rd., was voted on at our January meeting and denied. The owner would like reconsideration.  Motion for discussion of the matter to provide new evidence (seconded). Discussion limited to 3 minutes. Since last meeting Mr. Griffis presented at the Hammond Park neighborhood association where his application was approved. Claims that vice-chair was unethical in his involvement of the discussion of the matter since Mr. Hopkins is his neighbor. Addressed the matter with the city ethics committee. The matter had not come before Hammond Park before the January NPU-X meeting as the bylaws direct. Per Mr. Brown, the vice-chair should be recused from the discussion to avoid another ethics question. Per consultation with the ethics committee and Robert’s Rules of Order, Mr. Burney explained that a 2/3 vote of support would be needed on a motion to reconsider the original decision from the January meeting.
      • Motion for reconsideration from someone who voted for denial in January—made and seconded. Chair called roll of eligible voters and all eligible voters present were recognized. Chair also checked current meeting’s sign in sheet to determine the addition of other eligible voters. [Vote: 5 for; 8 against; 3 abstentions–16 eligible voters]. Result: Motion did not carry and the original vote taken in January stands.
      • V-12-015, 1058 Birch St—No application received and the applicant not present.

    Zoning Review Board

    • U-12-003, Ms. Bianca Smith of Mortuary Artists, 2891 Lakewood Ave (former Wachovia building)—Ms. Smith presented to the Sylvan Hills N.A. and SHNA supported her application with an understanding that processing waste will be properly contained and removed from the site. Ms. Smith was accompanied by Mr. Pugh, environmental consultant, provided information on the water sanitation system to prevent contamination of drinking water.
      • Motion to support made and seconded [Vote 10 for; 0 against; 4 abstentions]. Motion passed.

    XI.  New business

    Land Use Committee Chair replacement [not discussed]

    XII.  Adjournment

    Mr. Burney adjourned the meeting at 9:29 pm. [Motion to adjourn. 14-for; 6-against]

    Minutes submitted by:  Kenneth A. Johnson

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