Making a Difference in Greater Hidden Hills!

2018 Accomplishments

Our redevelopment and beautification efforts are making an impact in the Greater Hidden Hills community. We had a productive 2018, and we thank all of those who were part of the effort.

We advocate for the area within and adjacent to the Greater Hidden Hills Overlay District, which covers a four-square-mile area (incorporating these four corners: Covington/S.Hairston, Redan/S.Hairston, Redan/Panola, and Covington/Panola).

Advocating for Better Business Development

Waffle House Opening – Redan Road and South Hairston. GHHCDC celebrated the opening of this new business in October.

New Waffle House on Redan

The company changed its plans to conform to the GHH Overlay District, and the result is a dozen trees in parking lot islands and the street frontage.In addition, the company improved the bus shelter in front of its restaurant, expanded the cement pads and updated the landscaping. GHHCDC provided two new benches, and MARTA pitched in the garbage cans.

New, expanded bus shelter on Redan Road

Rocklyn Homes Development – Covington Highway and Panola Road – heard our concerns and modified its design for the townhome community near LA Fitness. The development will have a one-third acre pocket park, a 30-foot landscaped buffer, and lots of trees.  The area used to be in the GHH overlay district, but the city of Stonecrest annexed it. Nevertheless, we insisted that Stonecrest meet the higher standards that we have in our overlay, and they agreed. We had two meetings with the developers, one with the planning department, and attended four public hearings.

Interestingly, Rocklyn is proposing another townhome community on Covington, and this plan already has walking trails, a dog park, and a pocket park!

Tycore Auto Repair – Covington Highway and South Hairston. We attended four public meetings and one meeting with commissioners to ask that this business not be allowed to open at 5361 Covington Highway, across the street from Pep Boys, a tire shop, and next door to an auto repair shop. Within three miles of this address, there are 183 auto-related businesses.  The effort continues into 2019 as the Board of Commissioners deferred its vote.

Beautification Builds Better Business

We’re beautifying the streetscape in our commercial zones. When the environment looks more attractive, more people want to do business in the area. This helps us attract better businesses and keep consumer spending close to home.   This year we:

  • Refreshed the median on South Hairston, just south of Redan. GHHCDC hired a landscaping company to regularly maintain the median.
  • Planted rosebushes and perennials in the entrance island of Los Arcos and along with beautification of the sidewalk strip.
  • Planted 26 trees as part of our ongoing streetscape improvement, in a joint project with Keep DeKalb Beautiful and the DeKalb County Tree Bank. These include 14 Nellie Stevens Holly leading up to the entrance of Hairston Park; 10 crepe myrtle in the public easement on Redan Road, to beautify the Hairston Square shopping center; and 2 Georgia Gem Green Ash trees on South Hairston and in Hairston Park.

New plantings at Los Arcos on Redan
New crepe myrtle on Redan
South Hairston median refresh, with volunteers (from left) Lois Dunlap, Jan Costello, and Nadine Rivers-Johnson.

Planted trees on South Hairston leading to Hairston Park
Herbert Love and Gwendolyn Stegall on the cold January planting day.

Parks Add Value

Parks are an economic development tool. That’s why we are active Friends of Hairston Park. We finished installing fitness stations in Hairston Park, an effort achieved through the UPS Foundation grant that we received. We also helped make Earth Day in Hairston Park a huge success as we reclaimed trails in the beautiful wooded area on the north end of the park.

Clearing paths and adding fitness equipment at Hairston Park

Remembrance of a Fine Musician and Friend of GHHCDC.

Theresa Hightower, Aug. 2018

Theresa Hightower, the accomplished jazz musician, singer and actress, graced us with what was to be her last public performance at the 2nd annual Music on Main, a significant fundraiser for the organization. She passed away in October. Ms. Hightower was a true humanitarian, and she left a legacy of outstanding performances and community service.

Help GHHCDC Continue Our Work in 2019

Your donation can help us continue our mission to stimulate economic development and create a greener, healthier environment.  Join our efforts for 2019, when we:

  • continue our streetscape beautification along South Hairston and Redan
  • advocate for amending our overlay code so that certain auto businesses and liquor stores are prohibited (No more hearings!)
  • watch that all new development meets our overlay requirements
  • lobby for tougher penalties on code enforcement violations by businesses
  • pursue more grants to enhance Hairston Park
  • stage the 3rd annual Music on Main, our annual fundraiser!

You can invest in this community. Come to our monthly meetings. And send your contributions to:

Greater Hidden Hills CDC
P.O Box 1811
Stone Mountain, GA 30083

Or make a payment online at  https://greaterhiddenhillscdc.org/you-can-make-a-difference/

We are a 501(c)3, and your contributions are tax-deductible.

Stonecrest asks developer to make improvements

The Stonecrest City Council heard our voices at the meeting Monday night. We asked that more of the Greater Hidden Hills Overlay District zoning code be applied to the property the city plans to annex. This property is at 6024 Covington Highway, to the west of LA Fitness.  The council voted unanimously to defer the matter and asked the attorney to convey to Rocklyn Homes that some improvements were needed.

If the property had stayed under the GHH overlay, it would have been required to set aside 20% for public open space, have 30-foot buffers next to the Scarbrough neighborhood. We also asked for more trees and that the stormwater drainage system be environmentally sensitive and attractive.  For example,  the site could include permeable pavers, rain gardens, and vegetative swales. The stormwater retention pond could be an aesthetic and recreational feature, with a walking path and benches around it.

The next step is up to Rocklyn Homes.  We’ll keep you posted.

Thank you to all the people who came to the meeting. Your presence made a difference. We only had 10 minutes to speak; we appreciate the comments made by Jan Costello, president of the Greater Hidden Hills CDC; Kenneth Saunders III, president of the South DeKalb Improvement Association; and Rod Frierson, president of Hidden Hills Civic Association. Bernard Knight, general counsel of the Stonecrest Business Alliance, provided a factual reminder that the area was part of the GHH overlay district and that the city forgot to include the zoning when it incorporated part of the district.

Also, a word about the property owner, Halpern Enterprises. The firm did meet with us and accept the conditions we asked for that apply to commercial development. We appreciate the firm’s accommodation.

You’re Invited August 18!

Join us for Jazz, Delicious Food & Drinks, and Great Auction Bargains on Aug. 18, 8 – 11 p.m.

Our 2nd annual Music on Main features Theresa Hightower,an acclaimed jazz and blues vocalist, actor, and songwriter. During the event, you can get a deal on the items we’ll auction, such as:

  • Ion All-weather speaker system
  • Dinner for Two at CalaBar & Grill
  • ART Station Holiday tickets
  • All-Attraction Stone Mountain Park – two tickets
  • Hotel Indigo Peachtree – 2-night staycation
  • Unique, hand-painted Australian boomerang
  • Original Jennifer Dreznin mixed media artwork
  • Mystery Valley golf package
  • Sircles necklace and Sircles bracelet set
  • Nick’s Barbershop hair cut package
  • Fender amplifier from Pro Music  
  • Mary Kay gift set plus spa facial for three
  • PJs Package Red and White wine gift baskets
  • Rob Reardon original metal wall art (one features the Georgia Bulldog and the other Ray Charles)

The event raises money for streetscape improvements in the Greater Hidden Hills area. We all want better business. Please support the effort to improve our commercial areas. Remember, it’s tax-deductible.

Where:  Mainstreet Clubhouse, 5001 Mainstreet Park Drive, Stone Mountain

Tickets are $35 each or two for $60.  You receive food, beverages, entertainment, and a fun time with neighbors and elected officials.    Purchase at the door or in advance at:  Music-on-Main

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

3-fp-Mulch-2-11_ (4)-c
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

Music on Main Fabulous Event Featuring the “Lady Soul of Jazz”

The Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation invites you to
Music on Main. This fabulous evening features cocktails, hors d’oeuvres,
a silent auction, and jazz.

Chandra CurrelleySee and hear one of the nation’s most
captivating performers, the “Lady Soul Of Jazz,” Singer-Actress Chandra Currelley.

Saturday, August 19, 2017
8 pm – 11 pm

 

Where:
Mainstreet Community Clubhouse
5001 Mainstreet Park Dr.
Stone Mountain 30088

The proceeds will benefit Greater Hidden Hills’ streetscape beautification efforts.

Tickets:   $25
Cocktail attire
Purchase your ticket  with a major credit card by clicking on our
EventBrite page. 

Click here to pay with PayPal and to see other payment options.

Download and share the invitation.  Music-on-Main_Digital_Invitation

The Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation is a 501(c)(3).

 

Choose a Playground!

Kids and the young-at-heart: Which playground do you like best
for Hairston Park? The winning design will be announced at the
Groundbreaking Ceremony at Hairston Park
July 7, 10 a.m.

Let us know your favorite option AND your age. Please click “leave a comment”
at the bottom of this post or email your vote and age to GHHCDC@gmail.com.

You can also view a large diagram and vote at Mainstreet Community Center (5001 Mainstreet Park) through Tuesday.  Or, you can stop by the booth at Mainstreet Park at 6 pm on the Fourth of July.

Playground Options-c

Housing and Parks

Community Meeting on Redan Road Housing

The community is invited to a public meeting about a proposed housing development on Redan Road near Sherrington.  The meeting is at 7 pm, June 14, at 4960 Redan Road, Suite A (The Higher Ground Tabernacle of Praise).

REA Ventures would like to rezone the property from single family (R-100) to residential small lot mix (RSM).  This would allow the firm to build 42 single-family townhomes and 8 single-family detached homes.

The homes will be “Earthcraft-certified,” which meets high environmental standards. The site plan incorporates a club house, a community green, a tot lot, and a community garden, as well as passive open space.

4640 Redan Road Site Plan-c

The firm specializes in affordable workforce housing and senior housing. This project, the company says, would provide rental assistance to working families who have low incomes. The firm will describe the review process and tenant requirements at the meeting.

If you would like to see the whole zoning packet (note that the dates for the hearings have changed), with the Planning Department’s comments, click

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-9TZ20drsg-RmQyQktqcThQdFk

 

Playgrounds and Pavilions – What do you like?

The Friends of Hairston Park invite you – especially KIDS – to a design review, June 24, 11:30 a.m., at Mainstreet Community Center, 5001 Mainstreet Park, Stone Mountain.  The Parks Department will be there to show us ideas for the new playground.  We want to hear from kids to find out what you like.

GIS-Dekalb-Park-Map-enhancedWe’ll also get opinions on the pavilion and other improvements planned for Hairston Park.  We look forward to seeing you.

The  Greater Hidden Hills CDC worked to secure a grant for the park. In May, DeKalb County approved investing $141,000 of park bond money on the park. The Parks Department will pitch in for the pavilion, and we are working to raise money for other improvements.

 

 

Hairston Park Upgrade Approved

The Board of Commissioners unanimously approved Commissioner Steve Bradshaw’s request to spend $141,000 on Hairston Park on May 23! The funds come from District 4 park bond money raised in 2001 and 2005, The Greater Hidden Hills CDC submitted a proposal that the County invest in Hairston Park.  The DeKalb County Parks and Recreation Department will add $80,000 to the improvement project.

Gazebo-2Work will begin this fall. Hairston Park will get its first pavilion, a facility that will house future family reunions, birthday parties, and community events. The park will get a new and improved playground, its first water fountain (accessible to adults, children, and dogs!), and additional picnic tables and benches.

“The Greater Hidden Hills Community is elated by Commissioner Bradshaw’s support of Hairston Park, says Jan Costello, President, Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corp. “This 33-acre park is a jewel, and central to thousands of families in the area.  Parks are a terrific investment — raising the quality of life and an area’s economic profile.”

The park will also receive landscaping improvements.

NoHPark_ (2-edit)w is the time to get involved with Friends of Hairston Park.  Please learn about the plans and provide your opinions at a design reveal June 17, 10 a.m. – noon, at Mainstreet Community Center, 5001 Mainstreet Park.  Write GHHCDC@gmail.com for more information.

 

Hairston Park News and May 20 Elections

Hairston Park Friends Achieve Key Recommendation

Hairston Park, a 33-acre park in the Greater Hidden Hills community, is one step closer to getting an upgrade. The GHHCDC recommended specific improvements to District 4 Commissioner Steve Bradshaw – in particular, a pavilion, new playground facilities, additional seating and picnic tables, a water fountain, and landscaping.

The DeKalb County Parks and Recreation Department supports the plan and so does Commissioner Bradshaw! He told the Friends of Hairston Park, a group reinvigorated by GHHCDC treasure Gwendolyn Stegall, that he will ask the Board of Commissioners to use park funds for the improvements. The vote will occur May 23.  We will keep you posted.

The recommendation is to complete much of the project in Fall 2017.

 

Public Meeting & Elections May 20, 10 am

Please join us for the next Greater Hidden Hills CDC meeting on May 20, 10 a.m. , at Mainstreet Community Center, 5001 Mainstreet Park.

We will elect members to the Board of Directors. We will also discuss:

  • Streetscape improvements on Redan Road
  • The Waffle House development
  • The Music on Main fundraiser
  • Hairston Park
  • Code Enforcement