July 21, 2011
Led by Sarah Wynn
Attended by 17 neighbors (4 officers) and 8 guests
Minutes recorded by Heidi Hill
Sarah Wynn, president of Lake Claire Neighbors, opened the meeting at 7:08 pm.
1) Guest speakers. Sarah invited the Atlanta Fire Rescue team from Station 12, on DeKalb Avenue, to speak to the neighbors. Captain Dobson informed us of events and changes at the station, including their involvement in a smoke alarm replacement program, repairs to the station’s ceiling and waterlines, and their work with the U.S. Fire Administration to educate people about installing sprinkler systems in their homes. The fire department recently hired more than sixty new recruits and is now at full staff.
Captain Dobson said there had been no major incidents in our area in June or July.
A neighbor asked if the department had any trouble accessing homes on the west side of Arizona Avenue; they did not. The officers closed their presentation by encouraging neighbors to visit the station and get to know the team. Residents can also join the Atlanta Citizens Fire Academy to learn more about what the fire department does.
To request a home smoke alarm, call the hotline at (404) 546-2733 or email email@example.com. To contact Station 12, or to get information on any of the department’s programs (such as their carseat installation program), call the main switchboard at (404) 546-7000.
Genny Castillo, the director of Constituent Services for Representative Stacey Abrams’s office, was invited to speak next. She announced that the special session, on reapportionment, would start on August 15. Information can be found at www.staceyabrams.com. Neighbors can email Castillo with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) LCN officer reports. Sarah Wynn, LCN president, gave the treasurer’s report. LCN has $7,602.58 in its checking account and $4,131.36 in savings. We received funds from the Candler Park Market bike raffle earlier this month in the amount of $195; Candler Park also received $195.
Sarah announced that the pool closes on September 5. She spoke also about the National Night Out, on August 2, in which neighbors are invited to “take back the streets” by taking to the streets—hosting block parties and other gatherings with a focus on crime prevention and getting to know the members of your community. Neighborhoods are invited to organize their own events; more information is at the website of OneDeKalb.
Heidi Hill gave an update on the new LCN website and blog, which is now up at www.lakeclaire.org.
Valencia Hudson, from councilmember Natalyn Archibong’s office, arrived to speak to the neighbors. She mentioned that water bills are going up and said that the APD would not be able to attend the night’s meeting because of a hit-and-run on College Avenue.
3) Announcements. Sarah reminded everyone to pay their $20 dues, either at the meeting, by mail, or online.
Next on the agenda was a discussion of the City’s proposal to make the west side of Arizona Avenue a tow-away no-parking zone. Sarah gave background on the events of the past month and said the neighbors’ goal is to allow emergency, sanitation, and postal vehicles to have 24/7 access to the street while maintaining maximum parking options for residents. The City has proposed making streets in other neighborhoods tow-away zones, including Brooks Avenue and Callan Circle in Candler Park.
Sarah invited neighbor Dawn Aura to speak about Arizona Avenue residents’ efforts to prevent this proposal from being implemented. She read a letter neighbors had drafted to Atlanta’s Public Works commissioner, Richard Mendoza, stating that they felt the proposal was unnecessarily drastic and offering alternative solutions. The letter, along with a petition and signatures from surrounding neighbors, would be sent to the commissioner on Monday, July 25.
Sarah noted that our councilmember, Natalyn Archibong, had spoken to the commissioner on the neighborhood’s behalf. The proposal would be discussed at the upcoming NPU-N meeting on July 28, and Valencia Hudson strongly encouraged neighbors to attend. She also agreed that members of the Candler Park Neighborhood Organization should attend. The commissioner would be present as well. The NPU-N meeting is held at Little 5 Points Community Center, 1083 Austin Avenue NE, on the fourth Thursday of the month.
The discussion continued on why enforcing the proposal would be detrimental to Arizona residents and surrounding neighbors and why the proposed alternatives were good solutions. A neighbor moved to vote to endorse the letter as a neighborhood, and the motion was seconded. Eighteen voted yes, two abstained, and none were opposed. LCN’s NPU representative, Kathy Evans, would take the vote and endorsement to the NPU-N meeting the following Thursday.
Sarah asked Valencia Hudson to stay and answer questions about parking regulations in Atlanta. Is it legal to park in the horizontal part of a T-stop (across from where a street dead-ends into another street)? Yes. How far from the curb can you park? No more than six inches, per state law. Is it illegal to park in front of your own driveway? Yes. Hudson added that the Public Works commissioner tells Park Atlanta where to go in the City to issue tickets.
For the final announcement, Sarah asked Heidi to give an update on the 2011 Lake Claire Home & Garden Tour, which will take place on October 1 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The committee is actively seeking sponsors, participants, and volunteers. To learn more, visit www.lakeclairehometour.com.
4) Other issues. Sarah asked if anyone had other issues they wished to discuss. Katie Brady, a neighbor on Marlbrook, informed neighbors that the Frazer Center had recently cut down a number of trees to install a gravel parking lot without a permit in the area directly behind her home. The center is in unincorporated DeKalb, not City of Atlanta, and is zoned residential, which allows it to cut down five trees a year without permission. Other immediately impacted neighbors have gotten a stop-work order for the lot and two others that are being built on the property.
A representative from the Frazer Center was unable to attend the meeting. Sarah said she had emailed the director, but he was unable to talk about the situation because a lawyer had been engaged.
Katie asked for help from neighbors and the neighborhood organization in handling the situation. She had spoken to the center and gotten its side of the story—that the area has always been a parking lot and now is more functional—but is upset about the trees being cut down (as they provided shade and a buffer for noise), the increased number of parked cars in the area, and the lack of a setback. She wants the law to be followed. Other neighbors complained about the noise from events at the center and the Dumpster pickups at 5:45 a.m.
Sarah suggested that she and other concerned neighbors contact our county representatives, Kathie Gannon and Jeff Rader. Katie said she would draft an email on the situation and send it to neighbors, to Heidi to be posted on the blog, and to the Lake Claire Community Land Trust list.
The meeting ended at 8:38 pm.