October 29, 9 am – 1 pm — We’re Planting the Way to Better Business!

 

Thank you to our generous supporters! We have raised $2,500 dollars by check, cash, and GoFundMe as of Oct. 21. We’re planting 10 trees and 71 bushes on the S. Hairston median just south of Redan on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 9 – 1 pm.

Come dig in the dirt with us!  We will gather near the Wendy’s on S. Hairston.

We also have received a $3000 pledge from State Farm and a $500 pledge from Hackney Real Estate Services. We are so grateful for their support.

You can still contribute to the effort. We have other phases of beautification in the works. Your tax-deductible contribution will make a difference. Thousands of people drive through this intersection every day, taking their business elsewhere. Improving the streetscape will encourage people to take a second look at local businesses and will attract new development.
Send check to:   Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corp.
P.O. Box 1811
Stone Mountain, GA 30083
Or you can contribute through GoFundMe. Follow this link:
https://www.gofundme.com/Plants-Streetscape
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We’re Planting the Way to Better Business!

This fall and early winter, in conjunction with Keep DeKalb Beautiful and DeKalb Planning & Sustainability, the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation is inspiring business redevelopment. With your help, we will be planting trees and shrubbery at the S. Hairston/Redan intersection. Thousands of people drive through this intersection every day, taking their business elsewhere. Improving the streetscape will encourage people to take a second look at local businesses and will attract new development.

GoFundMe-1

Studies show that natural beauty pays off. When commercial areas have more trees and attractive landscaping, they get more customers and up to 12% more spending! *

You can:
Make a lasting impact
Make your drive more enjoyable
Make a contribution, by Sept. 15!

Let’s Get Planting

Your contribution to the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corp., a 501(c)(3), is 100% tax deductible.

Every penny goes towards plants.

Send your check to:
Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corp.
P.O. Box 1811
Stone Mountain, GA 30083

Or, use GoFundMe. Follow this link:
https://www.gofundme.com/Plants-Streetscape

Volunteers — Help Plant the Way!

Send us your email, and we’ll let you know when Planting Day is. Even though the County is providing heavy equipment, we’ll need lots of help. Individuals and groups are welcome.  Write to:  GHHCDC@gmail.com

 

Please click here to download a flyer and contribution form: Fundraiser

Look out! The Tire Store on Redan wants to become a gas station and liquor store. 

This property is at 4736 Redan Road, one lot west of Boston Market. We ask you to join us in opposing this request. We have too many gas stations, auto parts stores, and alcohol retail outlets in the Greater Hidden Hills community. We don’t need any more!

Please click on petition and sign it to show your opposition. Pass the link to everyone who cares about this community.

Tire Store-4736-RedanSince the overlay district zoning forces the owner to get a special land use permit, we can make our voices heard.  The first public hearing is April 19, Sue Kellogg Library, 6:30 p.m.  (952 Leon St, Stone Mountain, GA 30083) We will ask the Community Council to deny the request.

This hearing is followed by two more: Planning Commission, May 4, 6:30 p.m., and Board of Commissioners, May 19, 6:30 p.m.

You may recall we met with Siasim Redan on Nov, 11, 2015, and let him know quite clearly that we did not want another gas station and alcohol outlet in the community. We must speak out again and insist that the county follow our much more positive plans for economic development.

Update on Community Improvements, Upholding the Overlay Code, and Economic Development

Biffle Park Blooms with Generous Support

On Saturday, a group of volunteers planted dozens of perennials in three planters at Biffle Park. We planted drawf gardenias, Coral Bells, Japanese surge, Coral Bell, Carpet bugleweed (ajuga), black-eyed Susan,  variegated vinca, paperwhite narcissus, and crocus.  The plants will bloom in different seasons and provide greenery all year long.  We moved a butterfly bush to a better location.

Lowe’s Home Improvement on Fairington Road donated $125 to the effort, a contribution made possible because of a grant request by the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corp., (GHHCDC), a 501(c)(3). We were able to buy the plants half-price, as a sale was going on when we shopped. Thank you Lowe’s Manager Michael Pitchford and Assistant Manager John Perkins for giving our community the plants.

IMG_4469

And thanks to several people who helped with this effort:

  • Wayne Scaturro for helping repair tIMG_4464he pot that wouldn’t drain
  • Sherrie Walker and Karen Smiley-Speas for helping select the plants, transport them, and plant them.
  • Lois Dunlap and Fred Plummer for helping with the planting
  • Leroy Sampson for letting us use water from his spigot

 

Biffle Park is a wonderful amenity in our community. I’ve spent many hours walking my dog there, visiting with neighbors, and enjoying the happy sounds of kids on the playground. It was a pleasure to give back to this beautiful spot.

 

 

Gas Station/Alcohol Retail Proposal – Public Hearing – Nov. 11, 7 p.m, Karma Bistro, 1179 S. Hairston

One of the primary purposes of the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation is to make sure our overlay code is enforced. You can help.  On Nov. 11, 7 p.m, the community is invited to hear from a
businessman who wants to build a gas station with an alcohol retail component at 4736 Redan Road, one lot west of the Boston Market. This meeting will take place at Karma Bistro, 1179 S. Hairston (the shopping center behind Los Arcos). New gas stations are prohibited in the commercial tiers of the Greater Hidden Hills District because we have enough of them. If you are able, please join us at this hearing. The GHHCDC will be speaking out against the development.

 

Code Enforcement Aske to Stop Illegal Street Corner Vendors

The gas stations at Covington and S. Hairston and Redan and S. Hairston have become micro flea markets, and such activity is prohibited in the commercial tiers of the overlay. We have joined other neighbors in asking DeKalb County Code Enforcement to crack down on this illegal activity. Interim CEO Lee May answered an email and stated that he would pursue swift action.  If you see vendors conducting business on the corners, please take a picture and send it to GHHCDC@gmail.com.  Let us know where the picture was taken, the date, and time.

 

Dress for Success – a Better Business Model

Another key purpose of the GHHCDC is to encourage better business development. We are working on an initiative to reward business owners that beautify the exterior of their establishments. The initiative will include information on how to dress a business for success and a contest.  If you would like to help with this effort, contact GHHCDC@gmial.com

 

Investigation of Discriminatory Home Appraisals and Lending Practices

The Hidden Hills community and surrounding neighborhoods are still suffering from the discriminatory and unethical practices of mortgage lenders and appraisers, activity that sent the market into a tailspin in 2008. The SDIA is working with a Washington Post reporter to cover the impact of the low property values as determined by appraisers.  Wayne Early, the Chair of the SDIA Housing Committee, would like to hear from those who “have been unable to sell or refinance their homes dues to being “under-water.” This also includes people who may have been denied a mortgage modification, were forced into a short-sale or lost their home due to foreclosure because of low property values.”

If you think you have been affected by discriminatory practices, please contact Wayne Early, 404 643-5082, or wayne@early-economics.com   .

 

Next Meeting

Our next meeting is Nov. 21, 10:30 a.m., at Mainstreet Community Center, 5001 Mainstreet Park, Stone Mountain. Please join us.

 

Submitted by Jan Costello, GHHCDC@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-profit Status, Upcoming Events, Panola Slopes’ Response

Now a 501(c)(3)

The Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation is officially a 501(c)(3), giving us tax-exempt status. This is wonderful news! Thanks to Board member Joyce Russell who completed and filed the paperwork, and to Jerome Chavis, Chief Operating Officer, NTRC, who gave us excellent advice to get us started.

This designation is a significant accomplishment. It allows contributors to deduct their donations. It allows the GHHCDC to apply for a variety of grants.

 

Community and Business Events are Scheduled

As part of our effort to promote economic development in the Greater Hidden Hills area, we will have two events this spring.

Saturday, March 21, we invite the community to a Touch-a-Truck event. This is an opportunity to bring the family to see emergency vehicles, such as a fire truck, police car, and ambulance. Zaxby’s on S. Hairston has graciously agreed to let us use the parking lot.

We plan to have entertainment, share information about the GHHCDC, and give local businesses a chance to promote themselves.

Tuesday, April 21, 6:30 p.m., we will have a 90-minute business seminar on Taking Advantage of Technology, with a key component on Building and Maintaining the Customer Base. More details to come!

These activities will be much more successful if we have a few more volunteers to help. Please join us for our next monthly meeting, Feb. 21, 10 a.m., at Mainstreet Community Center, 5001 Mainstreet Park Drive, 30088

 

APD Solutions Responds to Panola Slopes Media Coverage

The entertainment complex proposed for Covington Highway near Young Road received negative media attention this week. APD Solutions owns the property and has met frequently with the community. The GHHCDC supports this development. It received approval from the DeKalb Board of Commissioners Dec. 16, after months of delays.

APD Solutions CEO Vaughn Irons sent a letter addressing the concerns. A portion is quoted below:

I see a means of changing the economic outlook of South/Central DeKalb with what we have envisioned for Panola Slope. The project is planned to be a resort for visitors and entertainment district for locals. We are bringing the finest amenities, unique experiences and safety to that corridor.

 This new project will bring a total of $28 million of new investment to the area. We are providing 3 new upscale restaurants, a one-of-a-kind Barcade, 4 retail boutiques, lodging of 72 sleeping rooms, swimming pool, outdoor performance pavilion and finally a top notch full service 10,000 SF conference center.

But attempts to lift up our community are never without controversy. Some media outlets are trying to suggest that because one of my investors owns casinos out of state, that this is a “backdoor” attempt to bring casino gambling to Georgia.

 These allegations are ludicrous. Casino gambling is illegal in Georgia. Our Barcade at Panola Resort will include amusement games for adult patrons that are legal and allowable under Georgia law. Any suggestion to the contrary is an intentional misrepresentation of the facts.

Click on this link to read Mr. Vaughn’s full letter: Irons Letter to DeKalb

 

Jan Costello
President, Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation

 

Response to Media Coverage on Panola Slopes

The entertainment complex planned at Panola Slopes is suddenly getting a lot of attention. The zoning was approved by the Board of Commissions, with conditions, on Dec. 16.  Now, various objections are surfacing.

CEO Vaughn Irons wrote a letter addressing the concerns. A portion is quoted elow:

I see a means of changing the economic outlook of South/Central DeKalb with what we have envisioned for Panola Slope. The project is planned to be a resort for visitors and entertainment district for locals. We are bringing the finest amenities, unique experiences and safety to that corridor.

This new project will bring a total of $28 million of new investment to the area. We are providing 3 new upscale restaurants, a one-of-a-kind Barcade, 4 retail boutiques, lodging of 72 sleeping rooms, swimming pool, outdoor performance pavilion and finally a top notch full service 10,000 SF conference center.

But attempts to lift up our community are never without controversy. Some media outlets are trying to suggest that because one of my investors owns casinos out of state, that this is a “backdoor” attempt to bring casino gambling to Georgia.

These allegations are ludicrous. Casino gambling is illegal in Georgia. Our Barcade at Panola Resort will include amusement games for adult patrons that are legal and allowable under Georgia law. Any suggestion to the contrary is an intentional misrepresentation of the facts.

To see the full letter, please click on the link below; when the new page opens, click on the link once more.

Irons Letter to DeKalb

Panola Slopes Project Vote Deferred until Nov. 4

At this week’s meeting, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners deferred a vote on the Panola Slope zoning requests until Nov. 4, 10 a.m. This is the proposal for the redevelopment of the vacant townhomes near Young Road, Hidden Creek, and Covington Highway. APD Solutions proposes to redevelop the property into a luxury resort and entertainment complex, with restaurants and electronic games.

The Board of Commissioners wants to know more about the gaming operations. In addition, Commission Sharon Barnes-Sutton requested a meeting with the developers.

 The DeKalb Planning DepartmenPanola Resort-aerialt staff recommended approval under   specific conditions. These include a limit on the number of games, a limit on the square footage of entertainment space, a new access road into the facility, and a 50-foot buffer between the development and the residences. It also set a condition of no alcohol service after 2:00 a.m, a minimum number of security officers, and compliance with the county’s noise ordinance. The full list is included below.

 

 

 

The Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation supports APD Solution’s redevelopment project, and all the recommended conditions, for the following reasons:

  • the commitment to an aesthetically pleasing and safe environment that APD Solutions has demonstrated as owners of the property for five years;
  • the concept of a moderate- to high-end resort and entertainment complex;
  • the prospect of 150 new jobs;
  • the addition of two full-scale restaurants;
  • the addition of four retail shops;
  • the addition of an outdoor venue;
  • the attention to security;
  • the attention to building synergy with other entertainment venues in the area, such as Stone Mountain Park and local golf courses; and
  • the willingness to be “good neighbors,” paying careful consideration to the needs of the adjacent residential communities.

 

 

Full List of DeKalb County Planning Staff’s Recommended Conditions

The DeKalb Planning Department staff recommended approval of rezoning the property from Office-Commercial-Retail to Commercial (C-1) with the following conditions:

  1. To the revised conceptual site plan entitled proposed Panola Slopes Resort dated 8/29/14 and stamped received by the Department of Planning and Sustainability on September 2, 2014. The maximum building square footage of all uses shall be limited to 83,679 square feet. Said site plan is conceptual and must meet or exceed the development standards of the C-1 (Local Commercial) District and the Greater Hidden Hills Overlay District and approved conditions.
  2. Indoor amusement to serve adult patrons shall include 425 games consisting of simulators, virtual realities and coin operated machines. All prizes to be redeemable on-site. No cash redemption.
  3. No more than 3 restaurants on the subject site.
  4. Location of access, number of curb cuts and transportation improvements on Covington Highway shall be subject to approval of the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and the Transportation Division of the Public Works Department.
  5. Provide one (1) curb cut on Hidden Creek Drive. Location is subject to approval of the Transportation Division of the Public Works Department.
  6. Provide inter-parcel access from the adjacent C-1 (Commercial) zoned property as shown on the submitted site plan.
  7. Refuse areas shall be screened from the public street and not be visible from adjoining properties. Enclosures shall be constructed of building materials matching the primary buildings.
  8. Provide 50-foot wide undisturbed transitional buffer adjacent to residential zoned properties subject to the requirements of the Tree Preservation Ordinance.
  9. Maintain the open green space area designated as park space on the submitted site plan.
  10. Provide sidewalks along property frontages (Covington Highway and Hidden Creek Drive).
  11. The approval of this rezoning application by the Board of Commissioners has no bearing on the requirements for other regulatory approvals under the authority of the Zoning Board of Appeals, or other entity whose decision should be based on the merits of the application under review by such entity.

 

 

The DeKalb Planning Department staff recommended approval of the Special Land Use Permit for a late-night establishment with the following conditions:

1) The late night establishment shall be limited to the ground floor within Buildings A, B and C as depicted on the revised conceptual site plan entitled proposed Panola Slopes Resort dated 8/29/14 and stamped received by the Department of Planning and Sustainability on September 2, 2014. Said site plan is conceptual and must meet or exceed the development standards of the C-1 (Local Commercial) District and the Greater Hidden Hills Overlay District and approved conditions.

 

2) Late Night Establishments shall stop serving alcohol by 2:00 a.m.

 

3) A minimum of one outdoor security officer and a minimum of two indoor security officers shall patrol at regular intervals.

 

4) Compliance with the DeKalb County Noise Ordinance.

 

5) No dance floor allowed as part of the subject late night establishments.

 

6) The SLUP is non-transferable. Any new owner operator