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.

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:,,,,,,
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
Steve Bradshaw
Mereda Davis-Johnson
Kathie Gannon
Larry Johnson
Jeff Radar
Nancy Jester




Join the Celebration – Thursday 4 p.m.

The first annual Wow! Winning First Impressions contest winner will be announced Thursday, March 17, 4 p.m.!

Join the Greater Hidden Hills community for the celebration. Meet at Crowe’s Crossing, at Redan and S. Hairston, near Kroger (on the right as you face the store).

We’ll have music and cake, and we’ll present the grand prize – a beautiful, tall planter filled with attractive perennials. Two businesses will receive honorable mention awards.

This evcontest container-1ent is designed to encourage all businesses in the Greater Hidden Hills community to improve their storefronts.
Curb appeal matters!   

The Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation, a 501(c)(3), is committed to improving economic development and quality of life.

This contest was made possible by a grant from the Neighborhood Fund. The Neighborhood Fund, an initiative of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, empowers community members to positively impact neighborhoods at the local level. Building upon grassroots ideas and energy, Neighborhood Fund provides grants and support to community groups to build relationships, develop leadership and change communities within the 23-county region.





Let’s Create Parklets at Shopping Centers

Los Angeles has a great idea for turning streets into pedestrian-friendly environments, and I believe we can do the same thing with our strip malls.

The strip malls are uninviting to consumers and businesses because they are tucked far behind large parking lots. We would love to create new development that brings the shops closer to the street, but in the meantime, let’s do something attractive and productive now.

Let’s borrow LA’s parklet idea and apply it to the strip malls.

Imagine how appealing it would be to have a seating area outside the shops! You could sit there and eat and visit with friends! LA has shared its manual, parklet kit, and technical drawings. You are going to be hearing more about this idea. Look below to see some of the neat concepts.

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.


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  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


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   .


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,











Public hearings on gas station and recreation center; Get ready for Battle of the Bands

 Please make a note of the following events:


Wednesday, Aug. 12, 7 p.m. – Review of recreation center proposal

The Tropical Sports Club will present to the community a concept for a neighborhood recreation center. This meeting will be at the proposed site, a single-family house at 1943 South Hairston Road. There is limited parking. Please carpool.


Thursday, Aug. 13, 7 p.m. – Review of gas station proposal at Lou Walker Center

Murphy Oil USA is proposing to build a Murphy’s gas station in front of LA Fitness on Covington Hwy. The community is invited to hear about the plans on Aug. 13, 7 p.m., at the Lou Walker Senior Center. The site plan and rendering are attached. Murphy Gas Rendering     Murphy Gas Site Plan


 Saturday, Aug. 15, 10 a.m. The next GHHCDC meeting, which will be devoted to ensuring the Aug. 22 Battle of the Bands’ success. Join us at the Mainstreet Community Center, 5001 Martin Road, 30088. All are welcome. We’ll be discussing the Aug. 22 Battle of the Bands event, the streetscape improvement plans, and grant applications.


 Saturday, August 22, Battle of the Bands, a community celebration

11:15 – volunteers begin setting up.

Event runs from noon to 3 p.m.


Where: Redan Village: NE corner of S. Hairston & Redan, in front of Jay’s Place

This community event will showcase creative students and local businesses. Join us!

* Celebrate the creativity of local high school bands (Including the Redan Raiders!)

* Compete for top honors in the Little Caesar’s Shaker Board contest

* Vote on the best haircut by the skilled barbers from Nick’s

* Watch local deejays battle it out for best in class

* Enjoy hot dogs and hamburgers

* Win prizes, just by coming out!

* See what local businesses have to offer


Contributing sponsors include Jay’s Place, Zaxby’s, Kroger, and Bruster’s.

We’ll be raffling off great prizes – tickets are free but we encourage tax deductible donations to our community development corporation.

Local businesses and entrepreneurs may reserve tables for $25: contact for information. Or, call 508-591-3526.


All proceeds benefit The Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to helping the community prosper and thrive. This volunteer organization represents the area on zoning matters and advocates for attractive business development that meets our residents’ needs.

A flyer is attached. Please share. Flyer-Battle of Bands


Saturday, Sept. 26, 10 a.m. The next GHHCDC meeting. All are welcome. Join us at the Mainstreet Community Center, 5001 Martin Road, 30088.

Public Safety and Economic Development

What is on the minds of residents and business owners alike? Safety and code enforcement. The Greater Hidden Hills CDC is committed to economic development, but progress is dependent upon effective law enforcement. When we met with the owner of Redan Village shopping center and the owner of Jay’s Place, these concerns were uppermost on their minds.

That is why we are telling you about these two meetings:

Public Safety Meeting at Mainstreet Community Center May 19, 6:30 pm

Address: 5001 Mainstreet Park Dr, Stone Mountain, GA 30088

The May 19 public safety meeting will include key DeKalb county officials who will address questions on public safety, criminal activity, and code enforcement.


GHHCDC monthly meeting May 23, 10 a.m. at Mainstreet Community Center

Address: 5001 Mainstreet Park Dr, Stone Mountain, GA 30088

We will continue planning our next event – the Battle of the Bands, August 22 (noon to 2 pm) at Redan Village. We welcome your ideas.


Update from last meeting

At the GHHCDC April 25 meeting, we heard about the expansion plans for Antioch Manor Estates Senior Community at S. Hairston and Woodway/Bishop Ming. Housing Authority of DeKalb County Vice President of Real Estate Sharon D. Guest presented plans for the third phase of the senior community at S. Hairston and Bishop Ming Roads. If DeKalb wins a Georgia Department of Community Affairs grant (to be decided in the fall), the third phase will be built. The $17 million development would have 124 units.

Currently, there are 125 units in phase one and about 260 in phase two.

There is a huge need for affordable senior housing; Antioch already has 300 people on the waiting list.

Other details: The project cannot provide assisted living because of the nature of the tax credits. It would meet EarthCraft standards for environmental standards.

Business seminar
Entrepreneurs in the Greater Hidden Hills area appreciated the tips and resources provided by John Ernst, business consultant with the UGA Small Business Development Center. The event was put on by the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation April 21. Special thanks to White Oak Hills Baptist church for hosting the event.