Meeting minutes: August 2011 LCN meeting

Lake Claire Neighbors Meeting: August Minutes
August 18, 2011

Led by Cynthia Baer
Attended by 15 neighbors (2 officers) and 11 guests
Minutes recorded by Heidi Hill

Cynthia Baer, VP of Fundraising for Lake Claire Neighbors, opened the meeting at 7:14 pm.

1) Guest speakers. Cynthia invited officers of the Atlanta Police Department to give the crime report. Lieutenant Bruce informed neighbors of cars being stolen in the Candler Park area and of roadblocks being set up to investigate the thefts.

Members of the Atlanta Fire Rescue team from Station 12 were invited to speak next. Captain Boeker talked about the upcoming Fire Resources International, a weeklong visit by fire officials to stations in the city; the recently reinstated Special Ops squad; and the U.S. Fire Administration’s campaign focusing on campus fires. He added that the station had received few fire emergency calls in the past month; most calls had been for medical emergencies.

Valencia Hudson, from councilmember Natalyn Archibong’s office, thanked the neighbors for their help in addressing the parking proposal for Arizona Avenue. In response to a neighbor’s question at a previous meeting, she noted that it is illegal to park more than 12 inches from a curb and to park in front of your own or another person’s driveway.

Ms. Hudson asked how the new garbage collection was working out and clarified that the trucks are in each quadrant for a week, to reduce missed pickups.

A neighbor asked about painting a bike lane on McLendon; Hudson said it would be difficult because of the bump-outs, but she would look into it.

Another neighbor noted that speeding and staging were still issues with the MARTA Mobility buses that serve the Frazer Center. Hudson asked her to email her the details, and she would address it.

Trace Haythorn, executive director of the Frazer Center, added that the center had hired engineers to complete a traffic study, which would begin next week. A neighbor asked that the center complete a structural analysis of the bridge on the property and look into widening the street as well, and take that information to its board.

Cynthia then invited Mr. Haythorn to speak to the neighbors about the parking lot under construction on the center’s property that abuts the homes of four Lake Claire residents. He said that the center will no longer be installing the lot and instead will plant grass in the recently cleared area. He added that the Frazer Center would be presenting a new historic preservation plan on Monday, August 22, at a meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission. He apologized for any consternation that the parking lot had caused the neighbors. Two neighbors whose properties back up to the parking lot asked for clarification on the historic preservation plan and if the center would be applying for appropriate land use permits. Mr. Haythorn said he had met with someone from the county and was under the impression that the center did not need special permits because it was not looking to expand.

One of the impacted neighbors asked that the center agree to a 50-foot setback around the perimeter of its property to address neighbors’ concerns about noise and visual disturbances. Haythorn said that during events at the center, police and staff carry decibel monitors to ensure noise does not exceed legal limits. He said that the center continues to address noise issues and is aware of neighbors’ concerns. He then excused himself from the meeting.

Another neighbor asked to speak regarding a petition he had drawn up in support of the Frazer Center. He read the petition, which expressed appreciation for the center’s generosity and presence in the neighborhood, and then asked if he could pass it around for neighbors to sign. He had already acquired 24 signatures.

A neighbor directly impacted by the Frazer Center parking lot said she had no problem with the center’s mission, but did take issue with the installation of the lot. She indicated that another petition, which asks DeKalb County to address concerns over MARTA Mobility buses and the lack of a noise buffer around the center, had 160 signatures. Another neighbor gave more background on the issue, addressed at the July LCN meeting.

A guest, Robert Ballou, chair of division 2 of the Druid Hills Civic Association (DHCA), which includes the Frazer Center, expressed his disappointment with the way the discussion had been moderated and the fact that Mr. Haythorn had been allowed to leave. He said the DHCA was also concerned about noise from the Frazer Center. He informed neighbors of the technicalities of the Certificate of Appropriateness the Frazer Center was seeking and described the workings of the Historic Preservation Commission. He stated that the Frazer Center needed to follow the rules.

A neighbor thanked residents for supporting the second petition and indicated that the article on the Frazer Center’s capital campaign in last month’s Clarion highlighted the fact that the issues of the bridge and the MARTA buses were not included in the campaign. She was disappointed that the issue of the parking lot had not been included on the meeting agenda.

Mr. Ballou asked to speak about his work as head of the crime watch at He invited Lake Claire residents to sign up on the website for crime updates.

Cynthia addressed the concern about Mr. Haythorn leaving the meeting, saying that he had not planned to stay, and that he had been advised not to speak at length on the issue of the parking lot because lawyers were involved.

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, had begun on Monday. A proposed map had been approved and sent to the Senate as HB1EX. Redistricting information is available at Ms. Castillo also informed neighbors that Grady High School has a new PTA president. She invited people to sign up for Stacey Abrams’s mailing list and to email Castillo at

2) LCN officer reports. Heidi Hill, VP of Communications, had no updates. A neighbor said she would send information on the historic planning meeting on August 22 for inclusion on the blog. Another neighbor asked if the agenda was posted to the blog; it was not, but typically will be.

In VP of Finance Cara Stevens’s absence, Heidi gave the treasurer’s report: $8,191.90 in checking, $4,131.36 in savings, and $6,292.06 in the mural checking and savings accounts, for a total of $18,615.32.

Cynthia reminded neighbors to pay their household dues of $20. She then gave the fundraising report: the home & garden tour committee is still looking for sponsors. Proceeds from the tour will benefit neighborhood greenspaces. In-kind donations are appreciated, and individuals are welcome to sponsor the tour or pay for a preferred service provider to sponsor. Sponsorship and donations are not tax-deductible.

Mary Williams, head of the home & garden tour committee, reminded neighbors that the tour will run from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday, October 1. Nominations of homes and gardens can be made online at Sponsors may also sign up online. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 the day of the tour. For more information, email

Cynthia had to leave the meeting, so Heidi took over. Heidi gave the president’s report in Sarah Wynn’s absence: Arizona Avenue would have curbs painted 25 feet from an intersection and would not be a no-parking tow-away zone. She reminded neighbors that the imagery on the Lake Claire banner is copyrighted and cannot be used without permission.

3) Land use/Voting items. Heidi introduced a special exception request for 486 Ridgewood Road to erect a 6-foot fence and gate in the half-depth front yard where otherwise only a 4-foot fence and gate are allowed. Neighbors’ signoffs, stamped plans, and photos were available for review. A vote was taken, and the special exception was unanimously approved.

4) Other issues. Heidi invited Dr. Jessica Doyle, a neighbor and pediatrician, to speak to the neighbors about Correct Med, the urgent and primary care center she is opening with her father on November 1. Dr. Doyle will be the primary care pediatrician on staff; her father, Dr. David Goo, a former Egleston ER doctor, will head up the urgent care; and her mother, Susan, a certified nurse midwife, will offer adolescent gynecology. The center will be located next to the Ace Hardware, at 1418 Scott Boulevard. It will offer X-rays, lab work, and other urgent care needs and provide after-hours urgent care (until 10 pm). The family has lived in Lake Claire/Druid Hills for many years and will be holding meet-and-greets in the neighborhood. Appointments are currently available for primary care, and all major insurance will be accepted.

The meeting ended at 8:38 pm.