• Neighborhood Planning Unit-X Meeting Minutes (January, 9, 2012)

    I.  Call to order

    Ruben Burney, Chair, called to order the regular meeting of NPU-X at 7:12 pm in the Stewart-Lakewood library with a moment of silence.

    II.  Approval of minutes from last meeting

    Motion passed: Minutes from the November 2011 meeting approved. (vote: 15-for; 0-against; 0-abstentions)

    III.  Chair’s Report

    Mr. Burney announced that he would be serving as chair of the Lakewood Oversight committee.

    IV.  Treasurer’s report

    Ms. Read reported that the NPU’s account has a balance of$590.50. Contributions were not collected at the last meeting. The envelope was circulated to collect donations.

    Motion passed: Donation of $100 to the Sullivan Center. (vote: 11-for; 0-against; 1-abstention)

    V.  Officer Elections

    Under the direction of Garnett Brown, the following were nominated and elected to officer and committee positions:

    ChairRuben Burney,
    Vice-chairMichael Hopkins,
    TreasurerSigrid Read,
    Co-secretariesJackie Crenshaw and Kenneth Johnson, [Note: Review of bylaws did not preclude two people of serving jointly in the position.]
    ParliamentarianOscar Leonard, and
    Sergeant-at-armsJulma Tucker.
    Lakewood Finance CommitteeJolivet Thomas, president; Lisa Manka, treasurer; Janet Caldwell, secretary; however, Lisa Manka declined to continue in the position (by phone). Chase Randall was nominated and voted in to fill the vacant position. [Discussion regarding lack of attendance and reporting from the committee. However, review of the bylaws determined that there is not a specific reporting requirement. The oversight committee meets quarterly and administers funds from the amphitheater and makes decisions about funding projects in NPUs X, Y & Z. Fund for Southern Communities, a 501(C)3 foundation, is the fiscal sponsor and conduit for the monies.]

    Lakewood Oversight Committee (4 positions of which 2 are vacant). Ruben Burney is the chair and Be Edwards serves from our community also. Kenneth Johnson and Steve Williams were nominated and voted in as committee members. The oversight committee is the liaison between the amphitheater and the community to address any problems. The committee is also supposed to attend events at the amphitheater and monitor for issues (e.g., noise, traffic, trash, etc.).

    VI.  Presentations

    Dr. Johnny Brown, Chiropractor, and Dr. Fleming from Sparlan Chiropractic Clinic introduced themselves and announced that a minor emergency medical clinic is not operating in the clinic. A medical doctor is now on staff in addition to the chiropractors who treat back ailments. Sparlin is located at the corner of Sylvan and Dill Ave. Sparlin will provide complimentary medical consultation as an introduction to its new service for the month of January 2012.

    VII.  Public Services

    Lt. Dodd, APD Zone 3 Night Watch Commander [mdodd@atlantaga.gov] has been in our zone a couple of months since his transfer from Zone 1. He highlighted crimes at businesses and encouraged residents to call 911 when questionable or suspicious activity is seen.

    • Resident concerns regarding activity at 2454Spring Garden Dr. on Friday nights. Cars back into the property driveway so no tag numbers have been retrieved. Residents have seen BMWs, Land Rovers, and different cars frequenting the premises.
    • New store owners on Dill Ave (formerly Chico’s) were robbed at gunpoint by young men in ski masks. Crime under investigation by APD’s commercial robbery unit. Folks were outside the business barbequing while the robbery occurred. Sylvan and Dill has consistently drawn loitering and illegal activity. Lt. Dodd said he’d pass the information on to the plain clothes unit for further investigation. Hartford and Dill also a problematic intersection. Store owners installed a security camera outside the business but the camera was damaged. Residents noted that folks are hanging around in the store also—same people who were hanging out there when Chico’s owned the store.
    • Burglaries in community have been rampant. Residents have moved out. Rep. Long shared observations and suggested a concerted plan-of-action between APD and Councilmember Sheperd to address the problem. Captain B.K. Martin, Assistant Zone 3 Commander [ph. 404-624-0674; cell 404-26-3082; e-mail BKMartin@atlantaga.gov], and Councilmember Sheperd responded to concerns noting efforts to address deficiencies in APD and broader public safety initiatives. Major Martin expressed his willingness to address problems but emphasized that he must be notified immediately when situations arise. Capitol View neighborhood is meeting with APD on Wednesday at 5 pm.
    • Officer Dupart from APD’s COPS unit (ph. 404-546-5650) was also present.

    Lt. Jackson, MARTA police south precinct, noted an increase of snatch thefts on trains. Juveniles grabbing electronics from passengers. See Something, Say Somethingcampaign is an effort to involve riders to report illegal or suspicious activity. Calling #MPD from a cell phone will reach MARTA police.

    • A resident shared that homeless persons have been using the bus shelter at Springdale and Sylvan.
    • A fire at the Murphy Avenue side of Oakland city station had that entrance closed for a few days but it is now open.

    Lewis Grisoglio from MARTA external affairs, (ph. 404-848-5337) was also present and announced that MARTA will have public hearing concerning 5 routes on January 24 & 26. He left flyers with details of the hearings.

    No representative from the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department

    Watershed Management: Clifford Ice, Storm water compliance—approach, progress and challenges facing Perkerson Creek. Reports of discoloration in the creek, most recently a milky white color with some solids flowing in creek. Investigating the industrial users to see if there is any dumping in storm drains and manholes (like dumping of restaurant waste). Also, do dye tests to determine if there are any structural problems with the sanitary sewers such as cracks. Recent tests haven’t shown any such problems. Also using cameras in the sewers to locate problems—cross connections between storm water and sanitary sewers. Need 48 hours after a rain to do test. Storm water management must be contacted as soon as creek discoloration is noted. Call 404-557-3792 (cell) or 404-546-1356 (desk) to contact Mr. Ice which is faster than going through customer service.

    The public information officer from IMS Joint Venture working on the Rockdale pipeline/ sewer line installation project provided brochures with diagrams of work they are doing in the area.

    Office of Public Works (includes Solid Waste Services)—Santana Wright, ph.404-330-6333. Noted readiness for winter storms with new sand spreaders and snow plows and contractors on call. Residents reported the following neighborhood issues:

    • Victory Dr—yard waste not getting picked up on a weekly basis
    • 1704 Brewer Blvd—storm drain clogs with debris
    • raffic light on Brewer approaching Sylvan—the red lights are out
    • Furniture stacked at curb at Victory and Sylvan Rd—need to call Public Works.
    • Streetsweepers missed Cahoon entirely and resident told that next sweep won’t be until the spring 2012.
    • Does Public Works pick up televisions? Answer not known. Seen abandoned and broken televisions throughout the neighborhood. Keep Atlanta Beautiful may have an initiative to collect them. Councilmember Sheperd will investigate. Ms. Wright will bring a list of items allowed for pickup.
    • Avon between Sylvan and Murphy always needs trash pickup and there may be illegal dumping on vacant lot there.

    Code compliance—report of activity 12/1-1/6/2012. Over 200 complaints made for the Sylvan and Murphy area. Residents reported the following concerns:

    • 1004 Katherwood Drive has a car without a valid tag parked in the driveway for over 20 days.
    • 2500 Perkerson Rd and nearby vacant properties have been cited at least 3 times. 2500, 2400, 2512, and 2582 Perkerson Rd being tracked by Councilmember Sheperd’s office for resolution.
    • 351 & 345 Mt. Zion Rd at corner of 5th St has a dilapidated fence obstructing vehicular traffic view.
    • 1694 Brewer Blvd (the Lustron house) is missing rear roof and a shed behind house had a mattress. Neighbor has requested that it be demolished.

    VIII.  Elected Official’s Report

    State Rep. Ralph Long (cell ph. 770-616-2130) shared that today was the first day in session at the capitol. He serves on the transportation, Natural resources and higher education committees. Rep. Long plans to introduce HB206, State Employees Whistleblower Protection bill and HB678 that would require mattress retailers to sterilize used mattress parts before being resold. He will also reintroduce HB260, the pentachlorophenal bill addressing air pollution from facilities like the telephone pole manufacturer in East Point. Rep. Long will alert the community when these bills come up for committee hearings to garner support via residents’ attendance at the hearing. Rep. Long also expressed his concerns for public safety related to Zone 3 beat change sand crime spikes for this area.

    Councilmember Joyce Sheperd announced that she will host a town hall meeting on February 4th to discuss public safety, flood plain maps, and other district 12 issues. The location is to be determined but it will likely be at Atlanta Metropolitan College. The meeting will also be an opportunity to better introduce Major Cavender to the community. Other news from Councilmember Sheperd includes:

    • She also plans to have a meeting related to the local impact of the film industry.
    • Ms. Sheperd has met with Kmart representatives to discuss the impact of the store closure.
    • APS concerns including planned closure of 20 schools including several in our communities (most on southside) due to low enrollment. This plans seems illogical considering the recent passage of 1cent sales tax referendum to build more schools (to be built in north Atlanta). We must demand better. She suggested that the NPU ask our school board representative, Yolanda Johnson, to attend meeting or have a special meeting since the NPU meeting conflicts with the school board meeting.
    • Redistricting will enlarge district 12.
    • Observed illegal dumping at 1800 Metropolitan Pkwy where a makeshift auto repair shop was operating without appropriate safeguards or utilities.
    • Concerned about planning department trying to move exclusively to email communication for meeting notices and agendas.

    Claire Farley, community prosecutor, cell 678-595-4952, has a community concerns survey to communicate needs, concerns and goals to the DA, Paul Howard.

    IX.  Committees

    Public safety committee meets in 2 weeks at 6:30 pm at Rice Memorial Church.

    X.  Zoning Review Board

    Motion passed: Deny V-11-175, zoning variance for  an oversize parking pad in front of a residence (5-for; 0-against; 3-abstentions).

    XI.  License Review Board

    Joseph & Esther, Inc/Esther Food Mart at 902 Dill Ave., SW requests change of ownership for beer and wine sales license. Concerns about loitering within store. Have close circuit television system. Cannot afford security guard. Request that the owners come to the Capitol View N.A. meeting on January 19th and that they attend the public safety committee meeting also. Motion made and passed to that effect. (Vote: 14-for; 0-opposed; 2 abstentions)

    XII.  New business

    Neighborhood grant–Chase Randall reported that the NPU has received a grant of $3,500 to be used to promote public safety and develop a neighborhood business directory. The NPU’s public safety committee will be working on a revised spending plan to show how the money will be spent by the grant deadlines. Specifically, the plan must identify vendors who will receive payments for services or supplies. The revised proposal is due by this Friday. For the proposed public safety event outlined in the grant proposal, Chase and the public safety committee is considering possible locations such as MetroLanes, Cream or Solution. The committee must track successful outcomes related to the grant activities. Chase will email information on the revised proposal to the NPU officers so the revisions can be submitted by the deadline.

    XIII.  Adjournment

    Mr. Burney adjourned the meeting at 9:30 pm.

    Minutes submitted by:  Kenneth A. Johnson.

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