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.

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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.

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.

ups_grant_presentation-3-e1499613373682.jpg
(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.

 

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.