Click below to download the Underwood Hills Neighborhood Association’s letter to the Board of Zoning Adjustment regarding the appeal of the QuikTrip Special Administrative Permit.
UHNA Meeting 9.8.14
All officers in attendance
NPU D Chair Jim Martin
Councilwoman Felicia Moore
Eva Ashkoute Report:
City will put in a lift station, alleviating need to traverse the rail line.
THen asked Ashkoute to engineer it, they would reimburse. Ashkoute engineered, then City renegged on reimbursing.
Grant: Woodland Hills Traffic Calming- Skullduggery from the City about a false traffic study. Even if it was studied, we missed the minimum speed by 0.78 mph, 34.22 mph vs 35mph
To qualify 15% of traffic must meet or exceed 10mph over the speed limit. The posted speed limit is 25mph.
311 One number to call for everything.
Whittier Mill Village Oct 18 Festival
ConnectTheComet.org Pull the Silver Comet to the Beltway.
Presented a list of design shortcomings that should disqualify the approval of this project by the BZA. If the BZA approves this, our remaining recourse would be the courts.
Nov 6 Noon BZA meeting
*Andy Hall / Peter Drey could help.. send to Jim Martin.
Request for letter writing campaign.
Need email for the director/exec secretary of BZA
Best Hope: Quality of Life relates to property value. Requirement of ordinance to protect the public, therefore protecting Quality of Life.
WIll Greatly Harm the Public, not Protect the Public
4 driveways versus the 2 allowed in code are a public safety issue
Jerry Spangler spoke to encourage our activism against the QT
Felicia Moore- Proposed Public Infrastructure Bond Program
Where are we with NC Zoning- NC Zoning can not get a meeting with Charletta Jacks
Study is needed. Moore committed discretionary funding, so we have funding. She is not a fan of NC Zoning, wants to do something else, …unspecified what else.
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.
Please send your letter to the BZA chairs and BZA secretary, as well as the Office of Planning:Danita M. Brown, BZA Chair- firstname.lastname@example.org Martha Hall Porter, BZA Vice-Chair- email@example.com Brandy Crawford, Secretary to the Board- firstname.lastname@example.org Charletta Wilson Jacks, Director City of Atlanta Office of Planning- email@example.com
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:
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
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- firstname.lastname@example.org Martha Hall Porter BZA, Vice-Chair- email@example.com Brandy Crawford, Secretary to the Board- firstname.lastname@example.org Charletta Wilson Jacks, Director- email@example.com Felicia Moore- firstname.lastname@example.org Andre Dickens- email@example.com
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.
Meeting Minutes for March Underwood Hills Neighborhood Meeting 3/11/14
Held at Red Brick Brewing Company
Meeting called to order at 7:05
Kristin Olson opened the meeting with an update on open UHNA positions and then asked for officer reports
Ryan – Treasurer: Provided dues update year to date
Bart – Communications: Mentioned recently distributed flyer and importance of Nextdoor
Chris – Social: Spring Social is May 3rd, time is TBD but likely mid to late afternoon. We need donations for raffle (gift cards from local businesses?) and soliciting food options/ideas. Will work on a one pager flyer to be able to show local businesses to help with asking for donations
Kristin provided an update on advertising. We have successfully added a few new advertisers who are paying month to month, but are looking for some new advertisers willing to commit to an annual contract. It would be more sponsoring the neighborhood than literal advertising.
Eva provided an update on zoning and specifically the Collier rezoning. Eva and Kristin discussed the quality of life zoning and the impacts. Hopefully this helps some with traffic, there is a height limit on buildings up against Collier and Howell Mill, have to have sidewalks put in etc. but the height limit will be higher further away from main streets.
Beau gave a brief re-introduction to a traffic proposal he proposed 6-7 years ago for the Howell Mill Corridor which can be found online on Nextdoor as well as his google drive. Wants people to look at his proposal and follow up with him with questions.
Eva gave an update on the Ashkouti development, the apartment complex that is being built on Defoor which is currently a wooded area. They now have permission to bore under the railroad for sewage. They need to get a land disturbance permits, which can take up to 90 days. Next they will need a building permit, and he told Eva they hope to break ground this summer.
Eva mentioned a sign behind the new complex being built on Collier (The Reserve) mentioned new townhomes coming starting at $600K. She brought this up to mention a larger point of importance of community sticking together and staying involved when it comes to zoning issues.
Elizabeth Skyrnecki gave a beautification update. In honor of Danny Moore the neighborhood will have a clean-up event on 3/22 from 9AM-12PM. Each street will have a dedicated captain to supply clean-up supplies and help coordinate the clean-up efforts. Danny lost his long battle with cancer last year and was a long time and revered resident of the neighborhood and former UHNA President. Please spread the word to your neighbors about this event, and after the event is over please join your neighbors for a block party at the end of Volberg Street. This will hopefully be the first of an annual event to be celebrated right around Danny’s birthday. We are still looking for street captains for Cambria, Mantissa, Seaboard Place, and possibly a co-captain for Ridgeway at this time. Please contact Elizabeth if you would like to help and be a captain for one of these streets.
The Defoor paving project is set to take place on March 24th according to the company contracted to do the job
Elizabeth also relayed that Jenna Schuh has suggested and is researching having a swinging bench at the park in honor of Danny Moore. Hope to have this funded through Paypal donations, or donations can be made to UHNA noting that it is for the bench. The estimated cost is around $1,000 and the location at the park is TBD.
Elections for open positions:
Motion to approve beautification co-chairs Jamie Hargather and John Hocutt were approved
Beau Grant nominated for secretary and approved
Adam mentioned he has started a running group and now has 8 members on Nextdoor. Hopes to start group runs and maybe one day have a neighborhood 5k
Beau spoke on crime. Said to be smart, pay attention, and report anything suspicious
Kristin said no new update on QT
Meeting adjourned at 8:02
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.
Held at the Red Brick Brewing Company.
Meeting called to order at 7:05.
Jim Elgar from the City (Caeser Mitchell’s office) moved to top of agenda to make presentation.
Announced appts. Andre Dickens appt to Transportation, Utilities, and Community Development. Felicia Moore to Chair Transportion.
Referendum for Infrastructure bond discussed.
404-330-6052 is Jim’s phone number for any questions about various committees and their functions.
City Council Assignments are posted online on the City’s website.Reports
Treasurer-all ok, no real report
Traffic-resurfacing from Howell Mill to Collier of Defoor should start in Feb. Speed and traffic count study done along Defoor between Howell Mill and Defoor Center. Study showed that the number of cars counted was below threshold to do traffic calming/speed control . Any concerns send Wyatt an email. Mention of bike lane in front of Reserve being obliterated.
404-330-6333-Public Works number. Report stop signs, street signs, potholes, etc.
And ask for report number.
QT report from Wyatt-summary of what went before. Parking variance denied all along, but BZA approved it. Private suit to appeal was filed, but the city recommendation to the City Attorney was to side with BZA. Waiting for judge to pass down his ruling. Can still be appealed again. Then QT will still have to rework their site plan to conform to the various other requirements-Belt Plan, etc.
Site plan for Ashkouti development presented and discussed. (revised)
Bottom right corner abutting Davis Circle is big change. Eliminated storm water pond-drainage to be under railroad right of way. Consolidated buildings in bottom left from 2 to 1. Planning Committee still has open questions, esp. rezoning. Can it be done Administratively or does it need to come back for new rezoning agreement. Private agreement will need to be reworked. Planning comm. Generally agrees, although not unanimously.
Bart-Communications. Still need advertisers-cards available at the front of the room. Go out and promote us! Try to get some more advertiser
Summary of Positions:
Have 406 members on Next Door. Brief overview of Next Door presented by Wyatt.Budget Discussion.
Based on 100 members paid. With 406 on Next Door, viewed as not a problem.
Some goals-traffic study, e.g.-are outlined but not actually budgeted.
Membership redefined as running on a calendar year rather than one year from when actually remitted.
Wyatt motioned for approval. Neal seconded. 23 in favor. Passed
Vote to fill open positions. Treasurer, Beautification, Social, Membership. Review of responsibilities for each position.Elections
Treasurer-Ryan Sheets-wealth management background passed
Membership-Eric Oosting –tech background-passed
Social-Chris Leciw (?) Just bought a place on Springer St. (2 volunteers to help)-passed
Toddler structure at Park still broken/missing a piece. To be followed up on. Urged to go to City Website-Parks and Rec. and send email.
General discussion of other neighborhood issues.
No other new business.
Meeting Adjourned at 7:53