Archive for the ‘News & Announcements’ Category

A hearty hello from your friendly new Underwood Hills Neighborhood Association’s membership coordinator (try saying that five times really fast). My name is Ivy Holliman Way. My family and I have had the privilege to call Claremont Street home for two and a half years.

I write today to ask you to renew your membership with the UHNA. Many of you have already received an email from me, asking you to renew. Thanks to you who have already responded!

What does the UHNA do, you ask? The UHNA is a Georgia non-profit corporation and is our official, public face to the community, developers, and to the city as a whole. We communicate with our Atlanta City Councilwoman Felicia Moore and participate in our local Neighborhood Planning Unit. We negotiate with developers coming into the area on achieving plans that are considerate and mindful of our neighborhood’s needs. We have many committees and volunteers (and welcome more!) that devote their time to making Underwood Hills a better place.

Many of you might also be active members and contributors on the Nextdoor website. This is the online social media website that works a little like Facebook for neighborhoods. It’s a great way to let folks know about a missing pet, or if you have items for sale, or need a service recommendation. That said, Nextdoor does not serve in an official capacity and cannot represent us in city discussions as UHNA can. It is a powerful statement to go before various city committees and be able to say, “The UHNA is a neighborhood organization, several hundred members STRONG, who live and work in this city.”

The UHNA has recently changed its membership dues to expire at the end of each calendar year, thus all members need to renew each year, starting in January. This makes for much easier bookkeeping than trying to remember whether one signed up in May or September.

If you are reading this, then you already receive our eNewsletter. Good for you! Got a new neighbor? Please forward this eNewsletter to them. And while you’re at it, take those new neighbors an apple pie. Unless you’re a terrible baker, in which case, maybe a new houseplant would be a better idea. Or maybe you’ve got some not-so-new neighbors, but one of your New Year’s resolutions was to be more friendly. Introduce yourself! (no need for pie). Tell them about the UHNA! Maybe you can “hang out” with your new neighbor friends at the next UHNA General Meeting.

How do you know if your membership is current or not? Simple. If you have not renewed since January 1st, 2015, you’re due to renew! Please go to www.underwoodhills.org/join to join or renew. From our website, you can join in a few easy ways: via PayPal, or by printing and mailing a paper membership form (and check, if you wish) to our UHNA mailbox (PO Box 19914, Atlanta, GA 30325). Please make sure to update your contact information so I can keep current membership files. Membership dues, currently $15 for individuals and $30 per family, rank as one of the best deals in town. That’s cheaper than a night out at the movie theatre. You must be a member to vote at UHNA general meetings. The dues, while not a requirement to join or renew, do help to cover organization expenses and allow us to host a fantastic Neighborhood Spring Social, perform neighborhood and park cleanups, host other social events, and be an active force within our community.

We are a neighborhood of approximately 700 homes, condos, townhouses, apartments, and businesses. (By the way, the 700 number is a total guesstimate on my part from eyeballing Google maps. I was not nominated for this position for my math savvy). As of January 24th, we have 44 current individual and family UHNA members. That means there are about 206 comrades in our neighborhood with lapsed memberships, and lots of friends and neighbors who I’ve yet to reach.

I look forward to hearing from you and to serving you in the year to come.

Sincerely, Ivy Holliman Way

This video series from the Atlanta BeltLine provides an up close and personal view of the BeltLine, how it is utilized in many people’s everyday lives, and how it positively affects the many citizens of Atlanta.

Underwood Hills and Berkeley Park will go before the Board of Zoning Adjustment on November 6 at noon to appeal the SAP variances QuikTrip has received to build another gas station at the corner of Howell Mill Rd. and Defoor Ave. This development violates numerous BeltLine Overlay zoning regulations, and the variances do not provide “equal or greater protection to the public” as required by city ordinance.

We need your help! Write to the BZA, and let them know that the QuikTrip SAP should be reversed. The BZA will make their decision only on whether the variances were properly granted, so please focus your letter to say the following:

The approved SAP BL-13-001 for QuikTrip allows for administrative variances that will greatly harm the public instead of protecting the public. The elevations do not meet the required 65% minimum length of fenestration required by the Beltline Overlay. The windows on the QuikTrip elevation use opaque images that do not meeting the Beltline Overlay requirement for windows to have a 50% transmittances. There is no primary entry from Howell Mill as required by the Beltline Overlay The plan does not meeting the Beltline Overlay requirement that does not allow storage within the first 20’ of the building frontage allow the primary street- Howell Mill. There is more than one curb cut from each street, which is not allowed by the Beltline Overlay. The width of the curb cuts is over 24’, which is not allow unless permitted by the commissioner of public works. The dumpster is visible from a public right of way, which is not allow by the Beltline Overlay. The approved SAP does not comply with the City of Atlanta Sign Ordinance.

You may use the Word document linked below as a template.

Sample Letter in Support of Appeal V-14-192

Please send your letter to the BZA chairs and BZA secretary, as well as the Office of Planning:

Danita M. Brown, BZA Chair- dmbrown98@aol.com Martha Hall Porter, BZA Vice-Chair- martha@marthaporterhall.org Brandy Crawford, Secretary to the Board- bcrawford@atlantaga.gov Charletta Wilson Jacks, Director City of Atlanta Office of Planning- cjacks@atlantaga.gov

Be sure to attend the BZA hearing at noon on November 6. Wear green to show your support for Underwood Hills. The hearing will be held in Council Chambers Room. The address is:

55 Trinity Ave Second Floor Atlanta, GA 30303

And finally, if you haven’t signed the petition to appeal the SAP, it isn’t too late. We need as much public support as possible to let the city know that this development is wrong for our neighborhood and wrong for our city.

 

Please join us for our Fall Park Clean Up at Underwood Hills Park next Saturday, September 27 from 9 am until noon. We do park clean ups twice per year to help keep our park beautiful and safe, and we rely on our neighbors, as well as a service sorority and fraternity for Georgia Tech, to provide the man power. We have a lot to do this clean up! Now that the sheep ​have eaten a path through our nature preserve, it is our job to ensure that our trees stay safe from invasive plants. We will also be sealing the play structures so that children can play safely for years to come. In addition, we will be planting, pruning, moving mulch, painting, and many more fun things. Come for the whole time or come for as much time as you can. This is a great opportunity to get to know your neighbors and get your hands dirty beautifying one of our neighborhood’s greatest assets. We’ll have coffee, juice, water and donuts and/or bagels to provide sustenance. Kids old enough to work safely are not only welcome but encouraged… start showing them the value of giving back! On behalf of Molly and Jenna, our Park Czars and long time park advocates, I look forward to seeing you there.

QuikTrip has received approval to build a gas station at the corner of Howell Mill Rd. and Defoor Ave. Despite BeltLine Overlay requirements intended to encourage neighborhood-friendly development, QuikTrip has received administrative variances to cut corners by limiting pedestrian access, replacing windows with advertisements, and adding more, larger curb cuts for cars than would otherwise be allowed. Underwood Hills and Berkeley Park have filed an appeal with the Board of Zoning Adjustment to prevent this development. The BZA needs to know that this plan is not in the public’s best interest, and that it harms the quality of life in our neighborhood. Get involved by signing the petition:

Will you sign this petition?

The QuikTrip SAP BL-13-001 has multiple Administrative Variances that do not provide greater protection to the public as required by the Beltline Overlay and the City of Atlanta Zoning Ordinance.

The elevations do not meet the required 65% minimum length of fenestration required by the Beltline Overlay. The windows on the QuikTrip elevation use opaque images that do not meeting the Beltline Overlay requirement for windows to have a 50% transmittances. There is no primary entry from Howell Mill as required by the Beltline Overlay The plan does not meeting the Beltline Overlay requirement that does not allow storage within the first 20’ of the building frontage allow the primary street- Howell Mill. There is more than one curb cut from each street, which is not allowed by the Beltline Overlay The width of the curb cuts is over 24’, which is not allow unless permitted by the commissioner of public works. The dumpster is visible from a public right of way, which is not allow by the Beltline Overlay

The site plan approved by the city. Howell Mill road is at the bottom of the image.

The proposed elevation for the development at the corner of Howell Mill Road and Defoor Ave. The “Rear Elevation” faces Howell Mill road, and has no public doors or windows, only opaque display advertisements and an emergency exit.

Also, please consider writing a letter to the following individuals requesting the BZA support the appeal for the approved SAP of QuikTrip case number- V-14-192

Danita M. Brown, Chair- dmbrown98@aol.com Martha Hall Porter BZA, Vice-Chair- martha@marthaporterhall.org Brandy Crawford, Secretary to the Board- bcrawford@atlantaga.gov Charletta Wilson Jacks, Director- cjacks@atlantaga.gov Felicia Moore- fmoore@atlantaga.gov Andre Dickens- adickens@atlantaga.gov

Please plan on attending BZA Meeting on Nov. 6 at 12:00pm in the Council Chambers Room.

Please save the date for Saturday, March 22 from 9AM until noon for our first annual Keep Underwood Hills Beautiful neighborhood wide cleanup honoring our dear friend and neighbor, Danny Moore, whose birthday is March 24. As many of you know, Danny lost his battle with cancer in late 2013. He was an enthusiastic member, supporter, and past President of the UHNA, and we feel that this is an effort of which he would be proud. During this time (or any time that day or weekend), please head out on your street to clean up leaves and debris at the curbs, identify areas that need the City’s attention, clean street signs, and assist neighbors who may need help in their own yards. Each street will have a “street captain” to coordinate efforts, as needed. UHNA will provide bags for leaves and trash.

We’ll have an informal pot luck gathering afterward at noon at the end of Volberg St to celebrate our accomplishments. Bring a dish to share and anything you might want to grill. UHNA will supply water, plates, cups and napkins.

In case of rain, the cleanup will be held Sunday, March 23 from 1PM to 4PM.

The next UHNA General Meeting will be March 10 at 7PM at Red Brick Brewery. We had a great turn out for the last meeting there, and we hope to see even more people there this time. The brewery is providing the space and beer for free. Red Brick Brewery is located at 2323 Defoor Hills Rd.

Agenda Vote for Vacant Positions New Business

From the Office of Councilmember Yolanda Adrean:

Planning will be hosting a Community Meeting and an Open House regarding the proposed re-zoning for Collier Village.  The Community meeting will be held on Monday, January 27th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian, and the Open House will be held on Friday, January 31st from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Howell Mill Shopping Center.  Please see the meeting notice for additional details.

For additional background, here is the link to the Collier Village Blueprint Plan – http://www.atlantaga.gov/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=11792, which has already been adopted and was the impetus for the re-zoning.  Also attached is the actual re-zoning legislation and corresponding map.

To show our gratitude to those who protect us, the Association, along with 5 other neighborhoods, contributed to $85 to help provide Christmas Eve dinners to Zone 2 police officers who were on duty that night.

To kick off the new year, the next UHNA General Meeting will be Monday, January 13th at 7PM at Red Brick Brewery. The company is providing the meeting space and beer for free. It’s a great opportunity to socialize with your neighbors, and to catch up on what’s happening in Underwood Hills. The brewery is located at 2323 Defoor Hills Rd.

Agenda Officer Reports Quik Trip Update Ashkouti Property Update Vote for Vacant Positions (Treasurer, Membership, Social, Beautification) Vote on 2014 Budget New Business