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!

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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

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.

Joy and Accomplishment on Earth Day

More than 90 people showed up for Earth Day at Hairston Park April 21.  We worked happily under brilliant blue skies.  Volunteers cleared a six-foot-wide path from the parking lot to the north edge of the park near Elam Road and back around to the playground.  Others aired out the shrubbery next to the sidewalk, volunteers picked up litter, and children painted cement barricades.

Thanks to John Ahern at Park Pride for guiding us through the project. Many staff and volunteers came from Park Pride, and we appreciate you all. Thanks to Gwendolyn Stegall and the Friends captains: Larry Cole, Jarvis Walker, Jonathan Stegall, and Keith Williams.  And thanks to Antioch AME Church, Wells Fargo, Home Depot, and Invesco for sending volunteers.

District 4 Commissioner Steve Bradshaw and District 7 Commissioner Gregory Adams opened the day’s event with gratitude and inspirational pep talks.

The community made a tremendous difference in Hairston Park. Look at the before and after pictures:

Visit and see for yourself.  We’ll have other fun projects at the park, so please join us.  Write to FriendsofHairstonPark@gmail.com to be on the mailing list.

Give 60 Minutes and Build Community Pride

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Phyllis Frierson and volunteers enjoying the last spruce-up day.

Join the effort to make a positive difference in our community. Saturday, March 24, 9:45 a.m., we will brighten a key stretch of S. Hairston near Redan (across from Kroger). The median will get spruced up with a dozen new plants and fresh mulch.

You may park between Wendy’s and Doo’s Seafood or in the shopping center parking lots.

The work is fun and satisfying.  Keep DeKalb Beautiful staff will have the holes dug for the plants. We put them in the ground and spread the mulch. Bring your gloves, a shovel and a metal rake.

A dozen volunteers can knock this out in an hour. Please come! The result will please you every time you drive down S. Hairston. It will remind people that our community cares about its appearance.

If you have questions, write to GHHCDC@gmail.com

Trees!

We planted 26 trees as part of the ongoing streetscape improvement in Greater Hidden Hills! This tremendous effort is a joint project with Keep DeKalb Beautiful and the DeKalb County Tree Bank. The planting occurred Jan. 19 and 22, 2018.

The 14 Nellie Stevens Holly make a grand parade leading up to the entrance of Hairston Park. These trees will grow 15-20 feet high. What a statement they make as we invest county and grant money into the dramatic refresh of Hairston Park.

 

In the roundabout in the park, we planted a Georgia Gem Green Ash, a beautiful shade tree that grows 50 feet tall. We planted another Georgia Gem in the public easement in front of Champions Christian Academy at 1131 S. Hairston (a block north of Redan).

Then, we planted 10 crepe myrtle in the public easement on Redan Road, to beautify the Hairston Square shopping center.  There will be more work in this area, focusing on the bus stop. Waffle House plans to help when it erects its new restaurant there.

The trees were donated by QuikTrip as part of its obligation to the DeKalb County Tree Bank. They were professionally planted by Landscape Design Company.

Stay tuned. More natural beauty to come! We’re planting PRIDE in our community.

See a short video at: https://vimeo.com/252247693

 

Just Say No!

It’s time to restate your opposition to unwanted businesses in the community.  We are facing the prospect of three more liquor stores and one gas station. In all cases, the applicants have asked for a special land use permit to operate. Our overlay code put that restriction in place. This email shows you several ways that you can keep them from getting the permit.

1)   Show your opposition by showing up at meetings.

Oct. 16, 7 p.m. – Meet with owner of proposed liquor store at Publix Shopping Center. 2079 S. Hairston Road, Suite E

Oct. 17, 6:30 p.m. – Ask the Community Council to deny a request for a gas station and liquor outlet at the old tire shop at 4736 Redan Road, Stone Mountain. The meeting is at Sue Kellogg Library, 952 Leon Street, Stone Mountain. (Does this look familiar? It is! We fought the same battle last year and won!)

Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m. – Ask the Board of Commissioners to deny the request for a liquor store at 1026 Holcombe Road, Decatur.  The meeting is at the Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur.

Nov. 2, 6:30 p.m. – Ask the Planning Commission to deny request for a gas station and liquor outlet at the old tire shop at 4736 Redan Road, Stone Mountain.  The meeting is at the Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur.

 

2)   Sign the online petition the states your opposition. It will be shared with DeKalb County.

Click here for the petition.

3)  Write our county commissioners.
Email to:  GregoryAdams@dekalbcountyga.gov, srbradshaw@dekalbcountyga.gov, mdjohnson@dekalbcountyga.gov, kgannon@dekalbcountyga.gov, larryjohnson@dekalbcountyga.gov, jrader@dekalbcountyga.gov, nancy@nancyjester.com
Dear DeKalb Commissioners,
Please support our community in its efforts to attract businesses that we need and to keep out undesirable operations. In particular, we ask you to deny the special land use request for these three applicants:
1026 Holcombe Road, Decatur, GA – Request to operate a retail liquor store.
4736 Redan Road, Stone Mountain, GA – Request to build a gas station and request to build a convenience store/alcohol outlet.
2079 S. Hairston Road, Suite E., Decatur, GA – Request to operate a retail liquor store.

4)   Share this message with your email list.

 

If you want to write individual letters, here is the complete email list.

Gregory Adams GregoryAdams@dekalbcountyga.gov
Steve Bradshaw srbradshaw@dekalbcountyga.gov
Mereda Davis-Johnson mdjohnson@dekalbcountyga.gov
Kathie Gannon kgannon@dekalbcountyga.gov
Larry Johnson larryjohnson@dekalbcountyga.gov
Jeff Radar jrader@dekalbcountyga.gov
Nancy Jester nancy@nancyjester.com