Friday, July 15, 2016

Community input on SJ Collins / Whole Foods 365 development [July 21]

The following e-mail is being sent on behalf of Julie Sellers:

Community Members, Thank you for attending the Community meeting regarding the North Decatur Square project which includes the 365 Whole Foods. In an effort to maximize the public use of the open space area at the project, the developer, SJ Collins retained the Sizemore Group to host and facilitate public engagement regarding the design of these spaces. We are hosting a design focused conversation and welcome your attendance on Thursday, July 21st 7:00-8:30 at North Decatur United Methodist Church. We hope you will be able to join us for this conversation and encourage others to attend. If at any time during our application process you have questions about the project or would like additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

"The Comet Pub and Lanes" opening at Suburban Plaza [July 15]

Eater reports that The Comet Pub and Lanes opens today. See the details at [includes the menu]

The Comet is a much-anticipated bowling alley featuring not-your-average bowling alley food and beer. Created by the owners of Twain's Brewpub and Billiards in downtown Decatur, The Comet fills in the void left when Suburban Lanes left when Suburban Plaza entered its renovation a couple years ago.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Clifton Road delays [July 18-22]

via Emory University...

This month, Emory is constructing and installing the frame for a new two-story pedestrian bridge over Clifton Road.  The new bridge will connect Emory University Hospital with the hospital bed tower currently under construction across the street, and it will eventually replace the existing bridge.   

Related to the bridge construction, expect significant delays next week (Monday, July 18 - Friday, July 22) with single lane traffic in either direction on Clifton Road between Eagle Row/Haygood Drive and North Decatur Road.  

  • If possible avoid Clifton Road and use alternate routes. 
  • Pedestrian access and emergency access will remain open. 
  • Bus service will continue; bus stop and route changes are at
Note that this work is weather dependent and subject to change; if there are changes, Emory will provide updates.   Thank you for your patience as these improvements are made on Clifton Road, and visit for updates.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tax Appeals and Land Use Workshop Meeting

via Commissioner Rader...

Tax Appeal 2016 Information & Land Use Workshop Meeting

Recently, DeKalb County sent out 2016 Tax Assessment Notices.  If you do not agree with the valuation of your property, you have an opportunity to appeal your assessment. The DeKalb County website has a link that provides instructions for the entire appeal process.

Click here for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What form do I need to use?             
No specific form required but DeKalb County provides a form on its website that you candownload here.
Along with the form, you should include any supporting documents that help support your position.

2. Can I appeal online?
Yes, you can appeal online. First, view your property tax information here:
Fill in your property information, and then click on "I want to appeal."
You can also call the county at 404-371-0841.

3. When is the appeal due?
The date the appeal is due is on your notice, and it is likely July 18th.  You must submit your appeal on time. If you choose to mail your letter of appeal, it must be postmarked by the appeal deadline to ensure acceptance as a timely appeal. Late appeals will not be processed, and DeKalb County does not accept appeals by email or fax.

Keep a copy of your appeal and any supporting documents that you submit and any correspondence with the county.  You will need these documents for your hearing.

4. Which form of appeal should I use?
As shown on the appeal webpage,  you have three venues:  the Board of Equalization (BoE), a hearing officer, or an arbitration panel. The appeal to the BoE is free, while some cost is involved in the other two options.

5. What documents can I use in my appeal?
There are two primary bases for filing an appeal—fair market value and uniformity.

Fair market value is based on the 2015 calendar year as reflected on January 1, 2016, so you need to find information documenting comparable homes that were sold during that time. You can look online at websites such as  or and look for sales in 2015.  (In addition, you may want to include recent sales in 2016 if they are lower than the assessed value of your home. This information can help to show market conditions, because prices likely were not higher in 2015.)

Uniformity is based on the assessed value per square foot for similar homes. To make this determination, divide the 100% assessment value by the total square footage (this information should be on your form and you can also find it by looking up your home on the county’s website—see above for the link).

6. What happens after I file my appeal to the BoE?
The tax assessor’s office will review your appeal and will contact you to let you know if they have decided to grant a reduction in value. They may send you a letter or call you. If they call you and make an offer to reduce the value and you accept, they will confirm this in writing.

If the tax assessor does not grant a reduction, you have the right to go before the BoE.

Generally, a reduction lasts for three years whether granted by the tax assessor or the BoE.

7. If I have a live hearing, how should I prepare for it? 
You have the right to review the tax assessor’s comparable properties and other documents before the hearing. You can either go to the assessor’s office before the hearing or submit written request for this information. You should do this as it will help you prepare your presentation.

At the hearing, you can request for the tax assessor’s representative to present first so you can respond to the points that are raised.

Be organized. Bring five copies of all of your appeal documents with you—three for the BOE members, one for the tax assessor’s representative, and one for yourself.  You should plan ahead of time how you want to present your case, and have the documents to support your position.

8. What about the tax freeze?
The tax freeze covers county government taxes, but not school and city taxes.  County taxes generally account for about 1/3 of your total property tax bill, which means that an increase in property value results in a higher tax bill, even if your County tax remains the same.

Land Use Workshop Public Meeting

For additional information, see
July 14th
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Maloof Center
1300 Commerce Drive
Decatur, GA 30030

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Notes from Friends of Medlock Park meeting [6/13/16]

notes forwarded by Casey Bordeaux, MANA Greenspace Coordinator

Participants:  Chris Foster, Casey Boudreau, Lisa Crowder, Ted Ward, Dave Butler, Jen Raby,  Joanne Bryan, Barbara Orsich, Katie Curtis

1.     Scott lots
a.     Waiting on update from county on status of bids for demolition for vacant white house – Casey will continue to follow up
b.     993 Scott – not part of FEMA buyout, Commissioner Rader’s office contacted Casey last week that County may be able to buy it to add to existing greenspace. 
                                               i.     Should not be limited by FEMA restrictions on other lots
                                             ii.     Casey will continue to follow up
                                            iii.     Ideas include
1.     Leave driveway to increase parking
2.     Picnic tables
c.     Tree planting
                                               i.     Need to follow up with Fuqua re plans and process, including timeline  – Ted to discuss with Theresa Same
                                             ii.     Dave B to follow up with new County arborist to confirm list of trees
                                            iii.      Start thinking of where to place, on vacant lots as well as in Park
2.     Playground
a.     Group met with Revonda, who is supportive of renovations
b.     Need confirmation of agreement by DHYS as official FOMP contact – Chris will follow up with Revonda
c.     Park Pride can help with fundraising
                                               i.     FOMP playground project will have own page on Park Pride website
                                             ii.     Revonda has list of vendors
                                            iii.     Ideas for fund raising events
1.     Lantern parade
2.     Event at playground
3.     Something at MANA pool party
                                            iv.     DHYS also has FOMP link on its Donate Now page
d.     Need to get going on 1 small, immediate project to
                                               i.     Demonstrate commitment to County & DHYS
                                             ii.     Encourage neighbors to donate and/or participate on future projects
e.     Ideas for small, immediate projects
                                               i.     New trash cans
                                             ii.     Covered benches
3.     DHYS
a.     Met with Comm. Rader
                                               i.     Got ok cover for batting cages, will self fund
                                             ii.     There is money from bond referendum which can use to re-pave inner roads (approx. from where drainage culvert to storage shed).  Have already met with maintenance group and hope work will be done in next couple of months
                                            iii.     Raised $15k from capital campaign which was used to fund survey last year and permitting for new work.
                                            iv.     ADA project will wait
b.     Other ideas from group
                                               i.     Can put sidewalks in, either real ones or just painted lines on side of road
                                             ii.     Can put permanent or moveable objects on wide entrance to playground, to discourage driving
4.     Bulletin board
a.     Chris removed ads – need to put something on it to inform that not meant for advertising
b.     Casey will create banner “Medlock Park News” – update:  done!
5.     Fall projects
a.     River cleanup – Oct?
b.     Park cleanup – usually scheduled in Sep
6.     Other

a.     Can get other planting in park, like azaleas or other shrubs along inner road to further separate playground area 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Zoning change request for 1889 Lawrenceville Highway [July 6]

via Google Map

We have been asked to share this announcement and site plan for a rezoning application for 1889 Lawrenceville Highway, at the corner of Orion and Lawrenceville Hwy. The meeting is scheduled for July 6; see below for meeting details.

This notice is for the Pre-Submittal Community Meeting, which developers are required to hold before they submit any plans to DeKalb County.

Click to enlarge.