Stop the onslaught of auto-related businesses

We have been asking DeKalb County to achieve the vision of the Greater Hidden Hills Overlay District.  That vision is to make our business environment more diverse, attractive and prosperous.  Tycore Auto Services should NOT be granted a Special Land Use Permit to do major auto repair at 5361 Covington Highway. Within one mile of this address, there are 19 auto-related businesses. Within three miles, there are 183. Voice your opinion here, and we’ll send the results to our commissioners.  They say they haven’t heard from the community, so let them know your opinion!

We need diversity of businesses because we cannot get the services and products we need in our own community.  In the retail trade, food & drink areas alone, we lost $20 million in spending within 1 mile of this address, $86 million within three miles.  These are dollars spent outside of our community because the need is not met here.  (all data from ESRI, Nov. 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three auto-repair businesses next door:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, to make your voice even louder, write or call:

District 5 Commissioner Mereda Davis-Johnson

MDJohnson@dekalbcountyga.gov

404 371-2159

District 7 Commissioner Gregory Adams

404 371-2899
GregoryAdams@dekalbcountyga.gov

 

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Streetscape Improvements! Plus–Zoning Battle

The latest streetscape improvement is at the entrance to Los Arcos.

We planted the 9-foot-by-20-foot entrance and landscaped a 30-foot section along Redan Road.  The old sign will be moved off the property once the restaurant gets its new digital signs fixed.

Impressive Lawns Owner Willie Baker with GHHCDC President Jan Costello

Thanks to Los Arcos for a contribution that went towards the plants. The rest of the expense was covered by all of you who contributed to our fundraising efforts. We also appreciate Impressive Lawns for the landscaping advice and the great planting effort (contact owner Willie Baker, williecbaker63@bellsouth.net, 678-618-4076).

Hurray!  Waffle House is open.

The company made tremendous improvements to the bus stop and streetscape in front of the restaurant. They also cut out islands in the parking lot and planted grass and trees.  It looks great!

 

More auto repair shops, anyone?

The Greater Hidden Hills Overlay District has a special zoning code that affects businesses within the borders.  The code has helped us keep out gas stations, liquor stores, tattoo parlors, and other businesses that do not add to the commercial health of our community.

Tycore Auto Services is asking for an exception to the types of businesses allowed in the Greater Hidden Hills Overlay District. The business needs a Special Land Use Permit to do major auto repair at 5361 Covington Highway, next door to Walgreens and across the street from Pep Boys and two other auto-related businesses. The property has approximately 110 feet of frontage along Covington Highway and contains 0.6 acre.

Auto repair shops are allowed all over DeKalb County, and we have plenty in our area. However, we’re trying to create a more diverse business environment at S. Hairston and Covington Highway, and other commercial areas in the overlay district.  This community has an excessive number of auto-related businesses. From the spot where this business would be, the table below shows the number of auto-related businesses.

Auto-Related Businesses
within radius of
5361 Covington Highway
1 mile 3 miles 5 miles
Automotive Services (repair) 13 87 219
Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers 13 59 140
Gas Stations 3 37 92
Total 29 183 451
Percent of all business in the area 16.5% 9.1% 7.8%

Source: ESRI, Nov. 2018

 

The DeKalb County District 5 Community Council split on its recommendation, 4 – 3 with one abstention.  The Planning Commission voted 5 to 1 in favor of the applicant, even though three members said they felt remorse doing so.

 

The Board of Commissioners is the last stop. The public hearing is on Nov. 13, 6:30 p.m., Manual Maloof Building, 1300 Commerce Drive. Please join us.

Update on Developments that Affect Greater Hidden Hills

You are invited to the next Greater Hidden Hills Community Development meeting Oct. 20, 10 a.m., at the Mainstreet Community Center, 5001 Mainstreet Park, Stone Mountain. We will discuss the next streetscape improvement plan and business development in the area.

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MARTA is very much in the news with its approval of a $2.7 billion transportation plan for the city of Atlanta. In addition, Georgia House District 87 Representative-elect Viola Davis is working hard to get improvements in DeKalb County. We met with her in July, and since then, she has had meetings and frequent contacts with MARTA executives.  She helped us get MARTA to honor a commitment to add benches to the stop by the new Waffle House on Redan Road.

09-01-2018-benches (3-c)That was one item on a long list of needed improvements.  MARTA has not begun to tackle the other issues.  Davis points out that according to MARTA’s own studies, 395 bus stops in DeKalb qualify for but have not received bus shelters or benches. This paltry level of service is absolutely unacceptable. Please read her most recent report, at

MARTA Priority List for Shelters and Benches Memoandum – Update and Extending the Mission 10-09-2018 final 2

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Rocklyn Homes heard our concerns and modified its design for the townhome community near LA Fitness on Covington/Panola. The new design has a .38 acre pocket park, a 30-foot landscaped buffer, and lots of trees.  We appreciate the Stonecrest City Council deferring the vote so that more attention would be paid to the greenspace and buffer. The Council approved the final plans Oct. 15. The plans can be viewed at

Rocklyn_RenderingPanolaCovington_10-01-18

PanolaCovington_10-01-18

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Tycore Auto Services is asking for an exception to the types of businesses allowed in the Greater Hidden Hills Overlay District. The business needs a Special Land Use Permit to do major auto repair at 5361 Covington Highway, next door to Walgreens and across the street from Pep Boys and two other auto-related businesses. The property has approximately 110 feet of frontage along Covington Highway and contains 0.6 acre.

 

Auto repair shops are allowed all over DeKalb County, but we’re trying to create a more diverse business environment at S. Hairston and Covington Highway, and other commercial areas in the overlay district.

 

The DeKalb County District 5 Community Council split on its recommendation, 4 – 3 with one abstention.  The next opportunity to speak is Nov. 1, 6:30 p.m., at the Planning Commission, Maloof Building, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur.  

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Hightower image 4Theresa Hightower, the accomplished jazz musician, singer and actress, passed away Oct. 10 after a battle with colon cancer. She was a humanitarian, who gave much time and energy to philanthropic causes. Her last concert was at our Music on Main in August. Our sincere condolences go out to her son Tony Hightower and mother Martha Hightower. The family has a GoFundMe campaign to help with expenses. https://www.gofundme.com/taking-care-of-theresa

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Waffle House on Redan Road just west of S. Hairston is almost ready to open. The restaurant is hiring and stocking shelves. They hope to open in the next week or two.

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Sign-SHairston-Park-cAnd finally, we have Community Pride signs in three spots where we have planted trees. Look for the signs at the median on S. Hairston near Kroger, on Redan Road, near the  crepe myrtle, and on S. Hairston across from Hairston Park. These signs celebrate the partnership our community has with Keep DeKalb Beautiful.  Community pride at work!

Community Input Makes a Difference

Rocklyn Homes heard our concerns and modified its design for the townhome community near LA Fitness on Covington/Panola. The new design has a .38 acre pocket park, a 30-foot landscaped buffer, and lots of trees.  We appreciate the Stonecrest City Council deferring the vote so that more attention would be paid to the greenspace and buffer. The council will receive the final plans for a vote on Oct. 15.

Click the links to view the plans.

Rocklyn_Rendering

PanolaCovington_10-01-18

Stonecrest asks developer to make improvements

The Stonecrest City Council heard our voices at the meeting Monday night. We asked that more of the Greater Hidden Hills Overlay District zoning code be applied to the property the city plans to annex. This property is at 6024 Covington Highway, to the west of LA Fitness.  The council voted unanimously to defer the matter and asked the attorney to convey to Rocklyn Homes that some improvements were needed.

If the property had stayed under the GHH overlay, it would have been required to set aside 20% for public open space, have 30-foot buffers next to the Scarbrough neighborhood. We also asked for more trees and that the stormwater drainage system be environmentally sensitive and attractive.  For example,  the site could include permeable pavers, rain gardens, and vegetative swales. The stormwater retention pond could be an aesthetic and recreational feature, with a walking path and benches around it.

The next step is up to Rocklyn Homes.  We’ll keep you posted.

Thank you to all the people who came to the meeting. Your presence made a difference. We only had 10 minutes to speak; we appreciate the comments made by Jan Costello, president of the Greater Hidden Hills CDC; Kenneth Saunders III, president of the South DeKalb Improvement Association; and Rod Frierson, president of Hidden Hills Civic Association. Bernard Knight, general counsel of the Stonecrest Business Alliance, provided a factual reminder that the area was part of the GHH overlay district and that the city forgot to include the zoning when it incorporated part of the district.

Also, a word about the property owner, Halpern Enterprises. The firm did meet with us and accept the conditions we asked for that apply to commercial development. We appreciate the firm’s accommodation.

Inspired by Music on Main

What a wonderful evening!

Thank you to our special guests Theresa Hightower and Moses Davis for their spectacular performance Aug. 18.

Thank you to our elected representatives – DeKalb Commissioner Steve Bradshaw, DeKalb Commissioner Gregory Adams, and GA Senator Steve Henson – for celebrating with us.

Thank you to our wonderful supporters and volunteers who know that together we can make a positive and lasting impact on our community.

Team

And thank you to all of our sponsors.

 

sponsors

We will use the funds raised to continue making our commercial areas look better, to advocate for high quality businesses, and to enhance greenspace.

You’re Invited August 18!

Join us for Jazz, Delicious Food & Drinks, and Great Auction Bargains on Aug. 18, 8 – 11 p.m.

Our 2nd annual Music on Main features Theresa Hightower,an acclaimed jazz and blues vocalist, actor, and songwriter. During the event, you can get a deal on the items we’ll auction, such as:

  • Ion All-weather speaker system
  • Dinner for Two at CalaBar & Grill
  • ART Station Holiday tickets
  • All-Attraction Stone Mountain Park – two tickets
  • Hotel Indigo Peachtree – 2-night staycation
  • Unique, hand-painted Australian boomerang
  • Original Jennifer Dreznin mixed media artwork
  • Mystery Valley golf package
  • Sircles necklace and Sircles bracelet set
  • Nick’s Barbershop hair cut package
  • Fender amplifier from Pro Music  
  • Mary Kay gift set plus spa facial for three
  • PJs Package Red and White wine gift baskets
  • Rob Reardon original metal wall art (one features the Georgia Bulldog and the other Ray Charles)

The event raises money for streetscape improvements in the Greater Hidden Hills area. We all want better business. Please support the effort to improve our commercial areas. Remember, it’s tax-deductible.

Where:  Mainstreet Clubhouse, 5001 Mainstreet Park Drive, Stone Mountain

Tickets are $35 each or two for $60.  You receive food, beverages, entertainment, and a fun time with neighbors and elected officials.    Purchase at the door or in advance at:  Music-on-Main