Progress Report – Minutes Nov. 23 Meeting


Board of Directors  — Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation (GHHCDC) .  Meeting held at Mainstreet Community Center, Nov. 23, 2013, 10 a.m. -12:05 p.m.

Attended: Jan Costello, Larry Coles, Joyce Russell, Charlene Taylor, Calvin Sims,  Phyllis Frierson, and Rod Frierson

Absent: Nadine Rivers-Johnson

We began at 10:10 with introductions. We reviewed our board responsibilities.

President – Jan Costello

Marketing and Communication (chaired by Nadine Rivers-Johnson)

Finance and Budget (chaired by Secretary-Treasurer Phyllis Frierson)

Ad Hoc Streetscape Committee (chaired by Charlene Taylor)

Fundraising (chaired by Calvin Sims)

Membership Development (To be determined)


New Board Member: Joyce Russell has agreed to serve on the Board. She represents the Muirfield neighborhood. We will have an official election process next year.

Photos – Board members will send headshots to Jan so that they can be posted on the website.


Update:  Adcox Road Proposed Gas Station/Convenience Store Development

Our understanding is that the owner intends to seek a Special Land Use Permit to build a gas station and a convenience store at 1332 S. Hairston (Hairston/Adcox Road intersection). This is an inappropriate us for that area, and many representatives of the area made that point at the first meeting with the developer Nov.5. The owner is out of town through late December. The architect has provided no new information. Jan will call the owner and ask for a meeting between the GHHCDC Board and the owner/architect to discuss ways to develop a thriving business plan that meets the conditions of the overlay zoning. Wendall Ervin plans to update the Community Council about our objections. We will continue to watch the matter closely and keep the community informed.


Treasurer’s Report – We have $108.22. The report is attached and on


Banking Account – We discussed where to set up a checking account. Calvin Sims suggests that we open the account with Wells Fargo because there is a branch in Tier Two of the overlay zone and the bank has a strong community reinvestment commitment. The discussion concerned the costs of the account. The Wells Fargo Gold Business Services Package does not have service charges, but it seems to require that $150 be deposited in a savings account each month. Calvin suggested that we set up automatic transfers between the checking and savings account. Some people expressed concern about the time and hassle of monitoring the activity. Calvin said that another option would be to leave $500 in the checking account at all times.


Larry Coles and several others suggested we open an account with whichever institution gives us the best rate. We can always change accounts later when we have more money.


Calvin will check further on the options at Wells Fargo and at other banks. If others know of a good rate for a non-profit checking account, please let the Board know.


To open a banking account, Calvin mentioned we would need a Corporate Resolution. Charlene will forward a sample of such a resolution to Jan. We already have the Articles of Incorporation, Employer Identification Number, and state incorporation.


Grants – Joyce said she would research grants available the Foundation Center ( and other institutions and select the top possibilities for the GHH CDC to pursue in 2014.


Membership – Board members thought it would be a good idea to visit the business meetings held by the Tucker Main Street Alliance. Jan learned from co-found Honey Van de Kreke that businesses pay $125/year for membership. The Alliance attracts businesses to meetings by offering food and guest speakers who address business development issues. The Alliance has had tremendous success over the last 10 years. Jan said she would get in touch and let the Board know about upcoming meetings.


Promotion – The logo and website masthead are under development. The layout of the flyer will follow the creation and acceptance of the logo.


Calvin shared his ideas for including the names of all the neighborhoods in and adjacent to the overlay zone. Phyllis and Jan shared an idea. The Board does like the idea of using all of the neighborhood names. Phyllis and Jan will work on incorporating that element into the design. He suggested changing the “kicker” under the organization’s name as follows: “a nonprofit collaborative initiative to market and develop our community.” The Board agreed.


We discussed reaching out to businesses. Wendall Ervin reported that he now has a list of businesses and contacts in more than 50 percent of the area. We plan to invite the businesses to be part of this economic development organization. We discussed having a kickoff meeting with refreshments and speakers if the first quarter 2014. There is a new meeting facility on Redan, and Jan will approach the owner about hosting the meeting.



New Business – The South DeKalb Improvement Association asked that we network with the Wesley Chapel area on economic development issues. We received and made new contacts. We are already sharing experience and collaborating with each other through David George, and we will continue to do so.


Our next board meeting will be Jan. 11, 2014, 10 a.m. at Mainstreet Community Center.


Proposed Development at Adcox and S. Hairston Out of Compliance

The development proposed at 1332 S. Hairston Road does not comply with the Greater Hidden Hills Overlay Code, signed in law in DeKalb County in Dec. 2011. The proposed development (between Adcox Road and The Reserve at Stone Creek apartment complex) falls in Tier Two. In this tier, the overlay allows “lower-density development in a mixed-use context more compatible with the adjacent single-family neighborhoods. Sec. 27-730.4.5. 

The property was purchased for $427,500 on Oct. 9, 2012, by Kawaljeet & Son, Inc., according to DeKalb County tax records. The purchase was made ten months after the overlay code went into effect. The developer and architect discussed their plans with the community on Nov. 5, at Hairston Library. (Site plan photo attached).

Gas Station Site Plan-Compliance Issues








Among the ways the proposal does not comply are:

  1. Proposed gas station is prohibited in Tier 2 Sec. 27-730.4.10

  2. Proposed convenience store is prohibited in Tier 2 Sec. 27-730.4.10

  3. 3.      Does not provide publicly accessible open space. Twenty percent of the development must be publicly accessible open space, directly accessible from a public sidewalk and building entrances. Sec. 27-730.4.23

  4. 4.      Does not provide multimodal access (required to provide safe and convenient pedestrian access routes to sidewalks along streets and to each building entrance; required to provide connections to driveways, sidewalks, and bike paths; required to provide bike parking facilities) Sec. 27-730.4.31, and Sec. 27-730.4.13 (h) and (i).

  5. 5.      Does not meet sidewalk width requirement. Sidewalks along Hairston must be at least 10-feet wide Sec. 27-730.4.27

The plan is not complete, so we do not know if the requirements on transitional buffer zones are met. There must be 30 feet or more of natural state or landscaped area to provide a visual screen between the building and the adjacent property. Sec. 27-730.4.14

Overlay Created to Enhance Economic Development

More than one dozen neighborhoods worked for several years to create a vision for the economic vitality and quality of life of the Greater Hidden Hills community. These neighborhoods include Chapman’s Mill, Essex Farm, Hidden Hills, Kennon’s Walk, Kingsgate, Kings Ridge, Mainstreet Community, the Meadows, Muirfield, Redan Park, and Scarbrough Square.


DeKalb County established the Greater Hidden Hills overlay zoning district to:

  • Encourage economic development and smart growth
  • Improve connectivity on foot, by bike, and by motorized transit.
  • Attract preferred types of businesses
  • Conserve greenspace
  • Create design standards for new buildings, signage, landscaping, streetscaping, and parking lots


Certain kinds of businesses are specifically prohibited because they do not meet our economic and community goals. However, we actively encourage many enterprises. The overlay zoning code allows streamlined approval for these community-supported businesses:

  • Banks, credit unions and financial institutions
  • Business and professional offices
  • Educational services
  • Production, audio and video studios
  • Fitness and health centers
  • Medical and health services and supplies
  • Mixed-use development
  • Restaurants and late night establishments
  • Retail shops
  • Personal services such as day spas, beauty and barber shops, laundry and dry cleaning, alterations and repair
  • Family entertainment centers, including bowling and games
  • Art gallery, cultural facilities, movie theaters, and art supply stores
  • Hotels
  • Animal hospital or clinic, supplies, grooming


If the owner wants to pursue his development plans, he will have to go through the special land use process. This entails hearings by the Community Council, the Board of Zoning Appeals, and the Board of Commissioners. The Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation will continue to monitor the situation. We have asked to meet with the developer again to try and work out an acceptable solution.

Board Minutes Oct. 19 — Progress continues

Minutes :Board of Directors

Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation (GHHCDC)
held at Mainstreet Community Center, Oct. 19, 2013, 10 a.m. -11:15 a.m.

Attended: Jan Costello, Charlene Taylor, Calvin Sims, and Nadine Rivers-Johnson

Absent: Phyllis Frierson could not attend due to a family medical emergency

We began at 10:10.

Making sure all neighborhoods feel represented. Calvin asked that all neighborhood names be displayed prominently on published material (both electronic and print). We discussed the need to keep the website easy to read and memorable. Jan will create a map that shows all neighborhoods and put a direct link to the map in the toolbar under the masthead. We will consider other options as they become available.

All of the neighborhoods can be listed on printed material, as part of the letterhead design. These projects are under construction and will be reviewed by the board.

The logo is still in production.

We voted to approve the Conflict of Interest statement. It was unanimous.  Jan will prepare a form that each board member will sign, showing intent to abide by the bylaws, Code of Ethics, and Conflict of Interest policy.

Charlene emphasized the need to get a brochure done. She and Nadine volunteered to help prioritize the content for the brochure. We decided on a trifold, color brochure. Jan is working on the layout.

Banking. Calvin said he would talk to the local banks and find the best deal for our account. He will also ask about the banks’ community investment initiatives and find out how the GHHCDC may qualify.

We briefly discussed budgets. The Streetscape Committee continues to work on a budget.

We briefly discussed getting the 501c(3) status. Nadine advised us that we would need help from an accountant at some point.

We took a photo of the four board members attending. Jan’s plan was to post a picture of the full board, so we will try again or include a separate picture of Phyllis Frierson.

(from left: Calvin Sims, Nadine Rivers-Johnson, Jan Costello, Charlene Taylor)


Our next board meeting will be in mid-November at Mainstreet Community Center. The date will be announced.

Progress Report – Sept. 28 Meeting

 Minutes:  Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation (GHHCDC)
held at Mainstreet Community Center, Sept. 28, 2013, 11 a.m. -12:30 p.m.

Ten  people attended: Jan Costello, Harry Sullivan, Sandra Sullivan, Larry Coles, Joyce Russell, Marian Long, Lois Dunlap, Char Taylor, Phyllis Frierson, and Evora Ritchie.

The following neighborhoods were represented: Chapman’s Mill, Hidden Hills, the Highlands, Muirfield, Redan Park, and Scarbrough.

Incorporation Status

1.  Jan Costello reported that the State of Georgia approved our charter to be a registered nonprofit corporation. We are listed on the Secretary of State’s website. The corporation must be advertised in the journal of record, The Champion. The ads will run the weeks of Oct. 10 and 17. Then we will receive a certified affidavit saying the requirement has been met.

2.  We have an address:  P.O. Box 1811, Stone Mountain, GA 30086.

3.  Jan will pursue getting an Employer Identification Number so that we can open a bank account.

4.  After that, we will work on getting the federal 501(c)(3) designation.


A participant asked what the purpose of the organization is. It is important to keep our purpose fresh in our minds – we are about the economic development of the Greater Hidden Hills area. The overlay code specifies that types of businesses that may open in our commercial areas, and it sets an aesthetic standard for new development.   The code is on our Google Groups page and at this website:

In short, our purpose is specified in the bylaws:

These bylaws of the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation have been established at a meeting of the Board of Directors (hereinafter the Board). This corporation operates as a not-for-profit business for the purpose of marketing and developing the Greater Hidden Hills community (including the options to purchase, sell, and lease property for economic development and job creation). This community covers the area described in the Greater Hidden Hills Overlay zone, established by the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners in December 2011. The bylaws have been adopted by a vote of consensus by the Board and shall govern by its terms the general operation of the corporation, until the Board authorizes any changes pursuant to the guidelines as stated herein.

Streetscape Committee

The Streetscape Committee toured the main corridors of the overlay district and made a list of probable code violations. Members met with the new director of Code Enforcement, Marcus Kellum. Committee chair Charlene Taylor says the meeting was enlightening and productive. Please see the attached file for a complete report.StreetScape Report

Business Contact Committee

Phyllis prepared prototypes of a logo. We applauded her efforts and let her know which design we preferred.  She will finish her drawings. Jan offered to put it into Adobe InDesign for final production.

We are still working on the fliers to leave with businesses and interested individuals.

Website Update

We have a domain name and a website. The website is still under development.

Treasurer’s Report

1.  Phyllis gave the treasurer’s report. We spent $241.71 from Aug. 17 – Sept 28. We have $98.22 in the account. Please see the attached file for a complete report. Treasurer’s Report Sept 28

2.  We discussed contributions and dues. The group agreed that we need to establish short-term financial goals so that we will know how much money to ask for.  That matter will be taken up by the Board of Directors at the next meeting. Meanwhile, Marian Long offered to poll at least two community organizations to find out what their dues structure is.

Other Business

We deferred the planning of a celebration of incorporation.

Jan Costello noted that we have accomplished a significant amount since our first meeting on June 22. All of the involved members have many commitments, including work; yet, we have approved bylaws and a code of ethics, elected a Board of Directors, filed the necessary papers for incorporation, and became registered as a nonprofit corporation in the State of Georgia.

The next general meeting will be set by the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors will meet Oct. 19, 10 a.m. This meeting is open to all interested people.

Prepared by Jan Costello, 10/1/2013