Happy Spring, Everybody!

This newsletter is longer than most. We cover the groundbreaking of the new community/senior center at Hairston Park, the survey results for businesses you would like to see at Panola and Young, the Hairston Park Clear the Trail Day, and an update on the proposed development on the closed Hidden Hills golf course. 

Groundbreaking for the new Community and Senior Center in Hairston Park

The dirt will finally start moving April 15, 10 a.m. You can watch the groundbreaking live at


Parking is very limited. If you do go, masks and social distancing are required.  The center is at 4885 Elam Road, Stone Mountain.  It is the first community and senior center in District 4, and it will have an indoor lap pool. Commissioner Steve Bradshaw and the DeKalb County Community Development have been working for three years on the plans, and the public has been included in the process in several public meetings. 

We continue to work with Community Development and the DeKalb County Parks Department to build a hardscape walking path from the center to the center of Hairston Park.  

Survey of Preferred Uses near Panola and Young Road

Thank you for your survey input on what to put on the parcels at 1762 and 1764 Panola Road, across from Berean Christian Church.  The developers withdrew their plan to put a gas station/convenience store there, and we are most grateful. 

We wanted to let them know what we would support, and that’s why we asked you.  We shared the results with the developers, and they were pleased to receive them.

We heard from people in five zip codes, most of them in Stone Mountain. The survey results show that more than half of the respondents are open to commercial development. About an equal number prefer medium-density residential.

It is currently zoned residential (R-100, which means single-family homes on medium- to large-sized lots. We asked people if it were to be rezoned, which of the choices listed are best (and people could pick more than one).

We asked people If it were to win approval to become commercial, what businesses would you like to see on the 1.38 acres?

  1. Commercial
  2. School
  3. Law firm, financial/accounting/bookkeeping, Call Center where locals can be employed.
  4. Chipotle, Starbucks, Gusto!, Panera, Blaze Pizza
  5. Publix
  6. Seafood Market, Meat Market, Coffee whop with sit-in area
  7. Restaurant
  8. Juice bar, medical clinic, mental health clinic, professional buildings, standalone pharmacy
  9. Upscale restaurant
  10. Restaurants, bar
  11. Starbucks
  12. Office blog like insurance, realtor or tax office
  13. Residential
  14. Smoothie King or Planet Smoothie Small home and gift shop Health/Wellness Store
  15. Office Space
  16. None, there are already enough strip malls within in range of this property.
  17. I would love to see something like a JoAnn’s or Michaels. No more dollar stores, a Chick-fil-A on our side of Wesley Chapel.
  18. None
  19. Lidl grocery
  20. Coffee shop, juice bar, cookie/cake bakery, casual dining restaurant
  21. Office building
  22. Starbucks, Chipotle
  23. Restaurant
  24. Coffee shop, accountant office, doctor’s office, bakery (not a Dunkin Donuts)
  25. Nice Lofts for residents.
  26. Doctor’s office, dental office
  27. None, there are already enough strip malls within in range of this property.
  28. cookie or cake shop
  29. We should build big Lofts on upscale end.

We asked specifically about businesses that are on the approved use list in the Hidden Hills overlay zoning district. These parcels fall just outside of the boundaries, but we think the list is appropriate.

Again, thank you for taking the survey. Your opinion will help shape development.

The Clear the Trail workday in Hairston Park March 27 was a huge success.

Twenty-five friends showed up, and we cleared the trail around the small lake. Jason Woods led the work crew. Jonathan Stegall picked up and shared the work tools we rented from Tool Bank, and he took them back. Patrick Medley and John Deas provided tremendous motivational support. Antioch A.M.E. Church Senior Pastor Vandy C. Simmons cleared a lot of brush and brought many members with him, including Janice Hardy who helped take care of sign-in and directing volunteers. Abraham Smith brought his chain saw so that we could move chunks of huge trees that had fallen on the paths. We also appreciate District 7 Commissioner Lorraine Cochran Johnson and staff liaison J.P. Phillips for lending a hand. Here are pictures of the grand morning when people who care worked together to open the paths in the park.

Plans to develop townhomes and apartments in the center of the closed Hidden Hills golf course and convert all of the fairways to permanent greenspace are still in the works.

The proposal has undergone a revision to include a community center and more amenities for the community.  We will keep you posted on the development.  When the plans are closer to being finalized, we will have a public meeting and show them to you.  You can also join our next meeting because I always show the current plans during the call.

Our next GHHCDC meeting is May 15, 10 a.m. We’ll send out the link closer to the date.

Thank you for being involved!

Jan Costello