Let’s Create Parklets at Shopping Centers

Los Angeles has a great idea for turning streets into pedestrian-friendly environments, and I believe we can do the same thing with our strip malls.

The strip malls are uninviting to consumers and businesses because they are tucked far behind large parking lots. We would love to create new development that brings the shops closer to the street, but in the meantime, let’s do something attractive and productive now.

Let’s borrow LA’s parklet idea and apply it to the strip malls.

Imagine how appealing it would be to have a seating area outside the shops! You could sit there and eat and visit with friends! LA has shared its manual, parklet kit, and technical drawings. You are going to be hearing more about this idea. Look below to see some of the neat concepts.

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Update on Community Improvements, Upholding the Overlay Code, and Economic Development

Biffle Park Blooms with Generous Support

On Saturday, a group of volunteers planted dozens of perennials in three planters at Biffle Park. We planted drawf gardenias, Coral Bells, Japanese surge, Coral Bell, Carpet bugleweed (ajuga), black-eyed Susan,  variegated vinca, paperwhite narcissus, and crocus.  The plants will bloom in different seasons and provide greenery all year long.  We moved a butterfly bush to a better location.

Lowe’s Home Improvement on Fairington Road donated $125 to the effort, a contribution made possible because of a grant request by the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corp., (GHHCDC), a 501(c)(3). We were able to buy the plants half-price, as a sale was going on when we shopped. Thank you Lowe’s Manager Michael Pitchford and Assistant Manager John Perkins for giving our community the plants.

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And thanks to several people who helped with this effort:

  • Wayne Scaturro for helping repair tIMG_4464he pot that wouldn’t drain
  • Sherrie Walker and Karen Smiley-Speas for helping select the plants, transport them, and plant them.
  • Lois Dunlap and Fred Plummer for helping with the planting
  • Leroy Sampson for letting us use water from his spigot

 

Biffle Park is a wonderful amenity in our community. I’ve spent many hours walking my dog there, visiting with neighbors, and enjoying the happy sounds of kids on the playground. It was a pleasure to give back to this beautiful spot.

 

 

Gas Station/Alcohol Retail Proposal – Public Hearing – Nov. 11, 7 p.m, Karma Bistro, 1179 S. Hairston

One of the primary purposes of the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation is to make sure our overlay code is enforced. You can help.  On Nov. 11, 7 p.m, the community is invited to hear from a
businessman who wants to build a gas station with an alcohol retail component at 4736 Redan Road, one lot west of the Boston Market. This meeting will take place at Karma Bistro, 1179 S. Hairston (the shopping center behind Los Arcos). New gas stations are prohibited in the commercial tiers of the Greater Hidden Hills District because we have enough of them. If you are able, please join us at this hearing. The GHHCDC will be speaking out against the development.

 

Code Enforcement Aske to Stop Illegal Street Corner Vendors

The gas stations at Covington and S. Hairston and Redan and S. Hairston have become micro flea markets, and such activity is prohibited in the commercial tiers of the overlay. We have joined other neighbors in asking DeKalb County Code Enforcement to crack down on this illegal activity. Interim CEO Lee May answered an email and stated that he would pursue swift action.  If you see vendors conducting business on the corners, please take a picture and send it to GHHCDC@gmail.com.  Let us know where the picture was taken, the date, and time.

 

Dress for Success – a Better Business Model

Another key purpose of the GHHCDC is to encourage better business development. We are working on an initiative to reward business owners that beautify the exterior of their establishments. The initiative will include information on how to dress a business for success and a contest.  If you would like to help with this effort, contact GHHCDC@gmial.com

 

Investigation of Discriminatory Home Appraisals and Lending Practices

The Hidden Hills community and surrounding neighborhoods are still suffering from the discriminatory and unethical practices of mortgage lenders and appraisers, activity that sent the market into a tailspin in 2008. The SDIA is working with a Washington Post reporter to cover the impact of the low property values as determined by appraisers.  Wayne Early, the Chair of the SDIA Housing Committee, would like to hear from those who “have been unable to sell or refinance their homes dues to being “under-water.” This also includes people who may have been denied a mortgage modification, were forced into a short-sale or lost their home due to foreclosure because of low property values.”

If you think you have been affected by discriminatory practices, please contact Wayne Early, 404 643-5082, or wayne@early-economics.com   .

 

Next Meeting

Our next meeting is Nov. 21, 10:30 a.m., at Mainstreet Community Center, 5001 Mainstreet Park, Stone Mountain. Please join us.

 

Submitted by Jan Costello, GHHCDC@gmail.com