Housing, State Update, Kroger, New Community Center, and More Updates

DR Horton Townhomes Approved

The DR Horton townhome project was approved by the DeKalb Board of Commissioners Feb. 25. This project, near the corner of Covington and Young Road, will add 324 townhomes to the area over the next 3 – 5 years. People are concerned about the housing growth along Covington Highway, but more homes means more people – and that is what attracts restaurants and other business.

 

State of Georgia Update from Rep. Davis

State Representative Viola Davis (District 87) provided an update on state government at the GHHCDC meeting Feb. 22.  The Republicans are continuing to work to cut essential services while trying to cut taxes for the wealthy and raise their own pay.  There’s much effort to pass some form of gambling. Rep. Davis has a full update in her online newsletter Talk Issues Under the Gold Dome.  Click:  https://violadavis.com/f/talk-issues-under-the-gold-dome

 

Kroger on Wesley Chapel “Underperforming”

The manager of the Kroger on Wesley Chapel near I-20 met with concerned residents of Kings Ridge recently.  She said that the store is not doing as well as the one on Redan or other neighboring stores, and that sales were lower this February compared to last February.  The community is naturally concerned about Kroger. None of us wants a repeat of what happened with Publix at Covington and Hairston.

The community has created a short survey to gather input on what to do next.  Please take the survey.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SJG7L7V

We will keep you posted on any upcoming meetings.

 

New Senior Community Center

DeKalb County showed the latest renderings of the new senior community center on Elam Road on Feb. 24.  The $7.8 million, 24,000-square-foot center is a welcome development, and dozens of people came to see the plans. The center will have a 30-by-75-foot swimming pool, a multipurpose room with a stage (it will serve as the dining hall for seniors’ meals), exercise rooms, classrooms,131 parking spaces, and many amenities.  The pool will be available for public use, county officials said.

It will be built on 8 acres of Hairston Park, and the director of Community Development, Allen Mitchell, again made the promise that there would be at least one path connect the center to the center of the park.

District 4 Commissioner Steve Bradshaw noted that there is not a senior center in the district, and he has been working hard to make this happen. Groundbreaking is scheduled for May 2020. It will take at least 18 months to build.

 

 Slaughterhouse Continues to Violate County Law

Unfortunately, the slaughtering continues at 1676 Rice Road, Lithonia (near Redan Elementary School). Bradford Home & Grounds is now suing DeKalb County and trying to get the criminal case delayed.  The County has cited him for operating a business without a license, a business NOT allowed in a residential zone.  He is in violation of the citation and of the cease-and-desist order issued March 1, 2019.   He does have a license from the State of Georgia, which for some reason does not respect County laws.

On March 16, the Superior Court judge will decide whether to set a trial date as the County Solicitor has asked.  Rudolph Bradford has slaughtered 2,943 cows, pigs, goats, and sheep from Jan. 31, 2016 to Jan. 31, 2020.

 

New Subdivision on Stephenson Road

A development of 160 single-family homes is proposed for 45 acres on Stephenson Road (1467 & 1503 Stephenson Road, Lithonia, just east of S. Deshon).

At the pre-submittal meeting Feb. 25, the developer said that the price point would begin at $225,000. There would be about 3.57 units per acre, and they would be built over a 2 – 4-year period. The homes would be 1800-square-feet minimum, have 3 – 4 bedrooms and 2-car garages. There will be a mix of single and 2-story (mostly 2-story).

Parkland Communities is the land developer.  To build at that density, they need to get the land rezoned from R-100 to RSM. The property adjacent to the proposed development is RSM. Once they get approval and prepare the site, they would sell it to another company for the build-out.

The meeting had several dozen people from the community, and most were concerned about density, traffic, and impact on services such as schools, sewage treatment, and roads.

The developer expects to file the official application this week, and eventually, it will be online.

We will be hearing a lot more about it.  If the plan is filed soon, it should come before District 5 Community Council on April 6.

 

 

Best 5K Event Around!

Time to sign up for the annual Hidden Hills 5K Walk/Run/Bike.  This great event is a wonderful celebration of community, there are great prizes, AND you get an official time.  Click below to register:

https://www.wearehiddenhills.com/annual5k.html

 

The Next Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Meeting will be March 25, 2020, 10 am.  We meet at Mainstreet Community Center, 5001 Mainstreet Park Drive, Stone Mountain. You are welcome to attend.

Thank you for your attention. We encourage you to stay informed. Make this the year to get involved. 

Update on business developments in our community

DR Horton Townhomes, Covington Highway

DR Horton wants to build 324 townhomes near the corner of Covington Highway and Young Road. The Board of Commissioners will vote on this case Feb. 25, 10 a.m. There will be limited time for public comments. The project will increase the number of rooftops in our area, and that’s a good outcome. Decent restaurants, shops, and service companies look at density to determine where to put businesses. 

 The residential growth is one reason why the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation (GHHCDC) supports the project.  Even more important is that DR Horton has made many improvements based on community input (provided often by GHHCDC and others over the last 8 months).  The improvements include: a community pavilion, a splash pad, upgrade to the facades, the higher price point, improvements to ingress/egress, the rental restriction in the covenants, and, most significantly, the access from the back of the property to the Covington side of the property.  The development has sidewalks throughout the community, and sidewalks along Young Road and Covington. Each home has a cement outdoor patio. The traffic study shows that the streets can handle the load, and the traffic will be much lower than a commercial development would be, which is how the land is zoned now.

Click on this link to see the concept plan.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ggpy-2bSysJA_2AeBSOYx5oFZyYnNUvj

Click on this link to see the application and planning documents.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ROqYieIVNIlsMZHNIadYg0TGgI558X_r

 

 

The Next Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Meeting will be Feb. 22, 2020, 10 am.  We meet at Mainstreet Community Center, 5001 Mainstreet Park Drive, Stone Mountain. You are welcome to attend.

 

Meeting on New Single-Family Detached Home Development Proposed for 1467 & 1503 Stephenson Road

There will be a community meeting about a new single-family subdivision proposed for 1467 & 1503 Stephenson Road. The developer is requesting a rezoning from R-100 to RSM. Typically, RSM allows slightly higher density than is already in place in exchange for such things as greenspace, public improvements, and amenities. The plan will be unveiled and discussed at the meeting.   This is an excellent time to provide feedback on the development so that they can make changes before they enter the review process.

Tuesday, Feb. 25

6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Colonnade Room (in same shopping plaza as the Dept. of Driver Services)

8010 Rockbridge Road, SW

Lithonia, GA 30058

 

Slaughtering Continues, Trial Looms

The trial date for the man slaughtering animals in a residential neighborhood was not scheduled as planned on Feb. 7.  Rudolph Bradford and his attorney filed motions to delay the case until they have completed their lawsuits against DeKalb County.

The Superior Court judge ordered Bradford to court March 16, 1:30 p.m. to continue to hear arguments. The County is asking that the court go ahead with the trial (a criminal proceeding) while the civil cases proceed in their own court.

In the meantime, the slaughter of animals at Bradford Homes & Grounds, 1676 Rice Road, Lithonia, GA 30058, continues, despite the cease-and-desist order and the violation of DeKalb County laws.   Bradford is slaughtering between 800 and 1,000 cows, sheep, goats and pigs a year at a business that was supposed to provide landscape services.  We’ll keep you posted.

 

Proposed apartment complex at Indian Creek and Redan (next to CVS)

The owner of the area that was supposed to be a mixed-use development is asking for a rezoning so that he can put apartments on ½ of the site.  The other half of the site is built out with owner-occupied townhomes.

The developer did not have a well-publicized pre-submittal hearing. No one on the Council was told about it, and nearby neighbors knew nothing. The renderings did not reflect what he planned to build (they didn’t even show the correct number of stories).  There were no amenities for residents. It was a four-story box in a parking lot.  The Community Council recommended full cycle deferral and encouraged the owner to hold a public meeting.

The Planning Commission will hear the case March 3 at 6:30 p.m.  The BOC will hear it March 24, 6:30 p.m.  Both meetings are in the Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce, Decatur.

 

 

Thank you for your attention. We encourage you to stay informed. Make this the year to get involved. 

 

 

 

 

 

Update on Community Developments

The Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation (GHHCDC) represents dozens of neighborhoods in and around our 4-square-mile overlay district.  The following short items tell about upcoming community meetings and news concerning our community.

 

The Next Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Meeting will be Jan. 18, 2020, 10 am.  We meet at Mainstreet Community Center, 5001 Mainstreet Park Drive, Stone Mountain. You are welcome to attend.

 

Hairston Park – Public Invited to Review Improvement Plans

DeKalb County is finally taking steps to use the $142,000 to improve Hairston Park. The commissioners approved the funds in May 2017.  Because it has been so long, the Parks Department wants to meet with the community and discuss the plans.  Please attend.  The department managers need to know that we are HERE and WANT TO SEE IMPROVEMENTS at Hairston Park.

Jan. 21, 6 – 8 p.m.

DeKalb Watershed Management

Conference Room A

4572 Memorial Dr., Decatur, GA 30032

 

Meeting on New Townhome Development Proposed for Panola Road

There will be a community meeting about a new single-family subdivision proposed for 1705 Panola Road. This is an excellent time to provide feedback on the development so that they can make changes before they enter the review process.

Jan. 29, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Berean Christian Church

Kerwin B. Lee Family Life Center

2197 Young Road

Stone Mountain, GA 30088

Click on this link to see the application.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ZFfaDrCHX0kCBR5VMH_3gotCzpkXpSHR

 

 

Self-storage facility on Redan Road, near Panola

The Planning Commission made no decision. The applicant may have another public meeting since the last one ran into difficulties (no one could get into the building).  The Board will still take it up Jan. 28., Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce, Decatur.

 

 

DR Horton Townhomes, Covington Highway

The Planning Commission voted for a full cycle deferral. DR Horton has asked the Board of Commissioners defer it for 30 days only (decision will be made Jan. 28 – more than likely, it will be deferred).

The company has made many improvements based on community input (provided often over the last 7 months). These include a community pavilion, a splash pad, upgrade to the facades, the higher price point, improvements to ingress/egress, the rental restriction in the covenants, and, most significantly, the access from the back of the property to the Covington side of the property.  The development has sidewalks throughout the community, and sidewalks along Young Road and Covington. Each home has a cement outdoor patio. We have asked for a privacy screen on the edges of the patios.

The traffic study shows that the streets can handle the load, and the traffic will be much lower than it would be if commercial development went up, as is allowed now.

Click on this link to see the concept plan.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ggpy-2bSysJA_2AeBSOYx5oFZyYnNUvj

Click on this link to see the application and planning documents.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ROqYieIVNIlsMZHNIadYg0TGgI558X_r

 

 

Slaughtering Continues, Trial Looms

The slaughter of animals at Bradford Homes & Grounds, 1676 Rice Road, Lithonia, GA 30058, continues, despite the cease-and-desist order and the violation of DeKalb County laws.  The trial date will be set on Feb. 7 at which time the trial date will be set.

 

 

Thank you for your attention. We encourage you to stay informed. Make this the year to get involved. 

 

 

 

Happy new year! May this be the year that more people get involved in making our community a better place to live.

We have a vision for 2020.  At our final meeting in December, we all spoke about our hopes and prayers. Here is an abbreviated list:

  • More foot soldiers in the community development effort (Join us!)
  • Permanent legislation to restrict dollar stores
  • A working Tree Bank program
  • Local businesses that support the community and show pride
  • Stronger code enforcement (more officers!)
  • People stop littering (and more people help pick up litter)
  • A pavilion in Hairston Park – finally using the 2017 grant we received
  • Responsive elected officials and public servants
  • Passing of necessary amendments to the overlay code

 

The Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation (GHHCDC) represents dozens of neighborhoods in and around our 4-square-mile overlay district.  Make this the year to get involved.  The following short items tell about upcoming community meetings and news concerning our community.

 

Self-storage facility – 2nd community meeting this Thursday

Jan. 2, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., Crossroads Presbyterian Church, 5587 Redan Road, Stone Mountain, 30058

The developer agreed to Community Council’s request for a follow-up meeting with the community to discuss the self-storage facility being considered for 5636 Redan Road (between small shopping center and tire shop, across from the fire station. Please attend.

You can also speak at the Jan. 7. 6:30 p.m. Planning Commission meeting, and at the Jan. 28, 630 p.m. Board of Commission meeting.  Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce, Decatur.

 

The County Issued a 45-day Moratorium Against New Dollar Stores

County commissioners heard the complaints and took action. Let by Super District 7 Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson, the county enacted a 45-day moratorium on new dollar stores in the unincorporated parts of the county.  The City of Stonecrest has already banned them.

During the moratorium, the County will develop legislation that can curb the proliferation.

“We have to watch out for oversaturation and proliferation,” said Cochran-Johnson.  “I don’t think they should be on every corner.”

These stores may give consumers small bargains, but they retard good economic development and lead to the closure of grocery stores that carry fresh produce and healthy items.  Dollar General and Dollar Tree (which owns Family Dollar) operate 30,000 of these stores, and 10,000 of them were built in the last 10 years.  They plan to open 20,000 more.  The firms target rural areas and low-income urban neighborhoods.  They are part of a dystopian economic outlook that says there will always be a permanent underclass and firms should make a buck off the people.

When decent businesses look for a place to invest, they do not choose locations near dollar stores. Think about what kind of community you want to have when you spend your dollars.

 

Code Enforcement: Small Victory against Family Dollar

In December, the Family Dollar at 1800 Panola Road had 4 citations issued and received a court fine at $250, $250, $200, $200 plus 35% court fee added to the total.

The store did repair the exterior ceiling damage and cut overgrown vegetation. However open storage remains to be an issue. Code Enforcement Supervisor Lorena says that the property will continue to be monitored.

Vigilance pays off. After talking to the unresponsive management, Erica Weaver turned in many complaints against this facility, and we appreciate her efforts.

 

Slaughtering Continues, Trial Looms

The slaughter of animals at Bradford Homes & Grounds, 1676 Rice Road, Lithonia, GA 30058, continues. In October and November 2019, Rudolf Bradford slaughtered 153 animals.  This brings the total of animals slaughtered since the DeKalb County cease-and-desist order to 468 cattle, goats and sheep. He has slaughtered 2,642 animals since Jan. 1, 2016.

We continue to monitor the case.  Mr. Bradford has a court appearance Jan. 6, for the routine Motions Calendar.  Then, there will be a Calendar Call on Feb. 7 at which time the trial date will be set. At either of these appearances, he could plead guilty. Senior Assistant Solicitor-General Thomas Kemp is doing an excellent job keeping us informed of the case.

When the trial is set, it will be helpful for the public to attend.

 

The Next Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Meeting will be Jan. 18, 2020, 10 am.  We meet at Mainstreet Community Center, 5001 Mainstreet Park Drive, Stone Mountain. You are welcome to attend.

Twelve73 shut down, upcoming meetings and more

 

DeKalb County shuts down Twelve73 Tapas Grille– the nightclub at 1273 S. Hairston – for 10 days (Oct. 4 – Oct. 14). The cease-and-desist may go longer because the club tried to operate after the order was issued.  Fox5 reported on the closure Oct. 12, and you can see the report at this link:

https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/dekalb-county-police-shut-down-restaurant-without-license

The noise has been terrible for close to two years – so bad that the neighbors’ walls shake, and they can’t sit outside on their porches.  In addition, the club advertises late-night events that feature scantily clad women in provocative poses.  If you have never seen this business’s advertisements, you should Google Twelve73.  Concerned citizens have been meeting for more than two years with various county officials, trying to get the club to follow the law.

 

Next GHHCDC Meeting Oct. 19

The next Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corp. meeting is Oct. 19, 10 a.m., at Mainstreet Community Clubhouse, 5001 Mainstreet Park Drive. You are welcome to join us. Let’s make progress together!

 

The Friends of Hairston Park October meeting is scheduled for October 19th at 12:00p. The meeting will take place on the park’s property just on the other side of the lake.  The address is 886 Hardwood Court.  The best way to get there other than the trail is from Ellis Road, turn on Fountainhead Drive, left on Granite Springs Lane, then right on Hardwood Road. The property is on the left immediately after turning right on Hardwood Court.

Please bring your lawn chair!

 

Oct. 29, 6:30 – 8 p.m. –  Your opinion on a new townhome community is being sought. The proposed townhomes would be built near Covington and Young Road.

The meeting will be at the Kerwin B. Lee Family Life Center, next to Berean Christian Church, at 2197 Young Road, Stone Mountain, 30088.

DR Horton will receive community input on its proposed townhome project near the intersection of Covington and Young Road, behind the Citgo gas station on Covington.   The firm met twice with the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation and made four of the five changes we suggested. The firm is proposing to build 320 – 350 townhomes on about 10 acres at 2650 Young Road and 5758, 5702, and 5810 Covington Hwy.

The improvements made as a result of our meetings are:

  • Higher price point, walking connectivity with greenspace preservation, two ingress/egress points, and rental restrictions to be added to the homeowners’ association covenants.  The development will have higher quality facades – a mix of stone, brick, and plank siding. The homes will have 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and sell for an average of $200,000.  They will have a one-car garage.  The price is at the high end of prices for similar homes in our geographic area.  Stonecrest, which is due east, is not included in that area.
  • There will be an entrance/exit on Young Road and on Covington.  Both streets will probably include a turning lane; that is to be determined with county and state traffic engineers.
  • We asked for a rental restriction, and DR Horton agreed to add one to the covenants, but the specifics have not been determined. We encouraged that no more than 15% of the units be for rent at any one time, and the calculation be made within designated portions of the community (so that all the rentals are not in one area).
  • The current amenity is a pool.  We suggested that the community needs a meeting space more than it needs a pool.  The meeting space could have an adjacent splash pad and/or playground.

 

Nov. 5, 9 a.m.Family Dollar at 1800 Panola Road goes to court to face charges of code enforcement violations.  The business has received many complaints for trash on its property, overflowing trash cans, crowded conditions in the store, and more. The case is #102128. The case will be heard at DeKalb Magistrate Court, 3630 Camp Circle Decatur, GA 30030.

 

Slaughterhouse Owner will be Arraigned Nov. 5
The slaughterhouse case has been moved to state court. This is the case against Rudolph Bradford, the person running an illegal slaughterhouse in a residential neighborhood (1676 Rice Road). He has slaughtered more than 2,357 animals since January 2016, including at least 200 cows, sheep and goats since he was put under a cease-and-desist order. DeKalb County is citing him for operating a business without a license, a business NOT allowed in a residential zone.

The arraignment will be Nov. 5, 9 a.m., before Judge Wayne Purdom, DeKalb County State Court, Courtroom 3-B, 556 N. McDonough Street, 3rd Floor, Decatur, Georgia  The November 5th date is a State Court Arraignment date, so Mr. Bradford will be provided a motions or trial date by the State Court on that day if he doesn’t plead guilty.

The Solicitor’s Office made the request, and it was granted last month. Solicitor Thomas Kemp promises to continue to keep us informed.

If you can attend the arraignment, it would be helpful to have community representation.  Please write GHHCDC@gmail.com if you plan to go.   More than likely, Bradford will plead guilty, which means there will be a trial, and then we’ll really need to show up in force.

 

The Palmetto Event Center at 4407 Covington Highway is requesting permission to run a late-night establishment. This business is on Covington between South Indian Creek and The Waffle House near Redwing Circle.  The Special Land Use Permit – if approved – would allow the facility to serve alcohol until 2:30 a.m. on Thursdays-Saturdays, and 2:00 a.m. on Sundays – Wednesdays.  Currently, they must stop serving alcohol at 12:30 a.m.

The District 5 Community Council recommended that the proposal go through a full cycle deferral because the community had not been informed about the proposal.

The Planning Commission hears the case Nov. 7, 6:30 p.m., at the Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive. The public is welcome to attend and to comment.  The Board of Commissioners hears the case Nov. 21, 6:30 p.m., same place.

Fireworks! Fun! Contests!

It’s Community Day at Mainstreet and you are invited!  Join the fun and watch the fireworks Saturday, September 14, 2019 at the Mainstreet Pavilion/Playspace – in the 4800 block of Mainstreet Park Drive, off of S. Hairston Road in Stone Mountain.  You will enjoy music, contests, free adult raffles, important community information, and FIREWORKS AT DUSK to say goodbye to summer! The event is open to all of Mainstreet’s neighboring communities. See You There!

Next GHHCDC Meeting Sept. 21

The next Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corp. meeting is Sept. 21, 10 a.m., at Mainstreet Community Clubhouse, 5001 Mainstreet Park Drive. You are welcome to join us. Let’s make progress together!

Slaughterhouse Owner will be Arraigned Nov. 5

The slaughterhouse case has been moved to state court. This is the case against Rudolph Bradford, the person running an illegal slaughterhouse in a residential neighborhood (1676 Rice Road). He has slaughtered more than 2,357 animals since January 2016, including at least 200  cows, sheep and goats since he was put under a cease-and-desist order. DeKalb County is citing him for operating a business without a license, a business NOT allowed in a residential zone. 

The arraignment will be Nov. 5, 9 a.m.,  before Judge Wayne Purdom, DeKalb County State Court, Courtroom 3-B, 556 N. McDonough Street, 3rd Floor, Decatur, Georgia . The November 5th date is a State Court Arraignment date, so Mr. Bradford will be provided a motions or trial date by the State Court on that day if he doesn’t plead guilty. 

The Solicitor’s Office made the request, and it was granted last month. Solicitor Thomas Kemp promises to continue to keep us informed. 

If you can attend the arraignment, it would be helpful to have community representation.  Please write GHHCDC@gmail.com if you plan to go.   More than likely, Bradford will plead guilty, which means there will be a trial, and then we’ll really need to show up in force.