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.

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

UPS Donated $15,000 to Hairston Park!Groundbreaking Celebration!

The Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation received a $15,000 grant from The UPS Foundation, which drives global corporate citizenship and philanthropic programs for UPS.

The grant will be used towards upgrades and beautification at Hairston Park, 971 S. Hairston, Stone Mountain.  This 33-acre park is receiving a new pavilion and new playgrounds, thanks to $141,000 from District 4 park bond money. The DeKalb County Parks and Recreation Department is adding $80,000 to the improvement project.

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(on right) UPS Administrative Assistant Samantha Williams delivered the $15,000 donation from The UPS Foundation. (from left) Friends of Hairston Park leader Gwendolyn Stegall gratefully received the check with GHHCDC board members Jan Costello and Nadine Rivers-Johnson.

See groundbreaking video at:  https://youtu.be/2jzzvl5qpcM

The groundbreaking celebration occurred July 7, with DeKalb County Commissioners Steve Bradshaw and Gregory Adams lifting shovels. They were joined by Parks Director Marvin Billups.. Work 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. Community volunteer days will be scheduled for helping with improvements.

Contact FriendsofHairstonPark@gmail.com for more information.

 

The UPS Foundation was established in 1951 and is based in Atlanta. In 2016, UPS and its employees, active and retired, invested more than $116.6 million in charitable giving around the world.

 

Recap of Successful Battle of the Bands

Redan Village rocked Aug. 22. Redan High School Band showed tremendous community spirit as they marched and performed for the crowd.

Nadine-2 Photos Battle-Bands (8) Nadine's Photos Battle-Bands (4)DeKalb County District 5 Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson and Super District 7 Commissioner Stan Watson kicked off the event with warm greetings and commitment of support for economic development in the greater Hidden Hills area.

“This was a wonderful celebration of the neighborhood’s creative students and local businesses,” said Jan Costello, president of the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation. “We are building alliances between the community and businesses, and advocating for the types of businesses our community wants.”

To see a video of the day’s events, click https://youtu.be/vFuY5WJvILw  .

Four young men received free haircuts from Nick’s Barbershop, and the crowd voted that Justin “Peewee” Ford gave the best haircut (to Kentrell Walker).  Owner Vance Harper opened this barbershop 27 years ago, making his one of the longest running businesses in the area.

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Nadine-2 Photos Battle-Bands (9)Little Caesar’s staged a Shaker Board competition and gave five pizzas each to the two prizewinners. And, the managers provided samples to the crowd.

Zaxby’s gave away six bags, stuffed with school supplies and coupons. Kroger provided water, balloons, and gift certificates. Brusters provided a gift certificate.

Jay Betts provided let the organization stage the event in front of Jay’s Place. Manager Rod Jackson cooked hamburgers and hotdogs and deejays Hype, Red, and “C” ke3Nadine-Battle (8)pt the music pumping.

Nadine-2 Photos Battle-Bands (14)Keep DeKalb Beautiful Director Gordon Burkette brought information about the Roll Forward to One and recycling campaigns.

The crowd met the owners of half-dozen local businesses:
MedPost Urgent Care, Taryn Lawrence State Farm, V-Shuttle Taxi Services, B-Street Sixty-One, and Corliss Sheffield United Credit Education Services answered questions and provided information.

The Redan High School Booster Club and Friends of the Hairston-Crossing Library also participated.

Nadine Rivers-Johnson did a terrific job orchestrating one contest after another. Numerous people helped staged the event, including Marion Long, Lois Dunlap, Pauline Dailey, Neia James, Charlene Taylor, and Fred Plummer.

To see a video of the day’s events, click https://youtu.be/vFuY5WJvILw  .