Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas Tree Time: Support our High School (North Druid Hills)

From Kaye...
Support our local high school, Druid Hills, with the purchase of your holiday tree this year! Beautiful fresh trees are on sale now, 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, at Suburban Plaza at the corner of N. Decatur Road and Scott Boulevard. Pay by check to DHHS PTA and a portion of the purchase will be directed to the PTA Enrichment Fund to support excellence in academics and arts at DHHS. Only purchases paid by check will benefit Druid Hills High School.

Lost Dogs now FOUND: Chelsea and Grizzle

Great news! Chelsea and Grizzle are back home with their family. Yay!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Supporting Melton's at the courthouse and beyond

Several MANA board members were among those who turned up at court today to support Melton's App and Tap's case.
Mr. Aaron Melton and his wife Staci (center).
Photo courtesy of Judy.
UPDATE 3: Per the AJC, Melton's has decided to reopen. As soon as we have additional information, will share!

UPDATE 2: AJC reports.

UPDATE: Pet Supermarket has permission to reopen. The judge admonished them to do a better job at securing food they throw away, and to patch up one remaining hole.

MANA will follow up with the Meltons as to how we may support their business. In the meantime, neighbors and anyone who shops at Medlock Plaza: please keep an eye out to ensure that Pet Supermarket is properly maintaining the surrounding area and dumpsters in a manner that is both lawful and considerate of nearby business and homeowners.

DecaturMetro shares Selig parking variance request

DecaturMetro has a summary as well as a link to the parking variance request submitted last November 2 by Selig Enterprises, relating to their Suburban Plaza redevelopment plan.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Supporting Melton's App & Tap

You are not here :(
Photo courtesy of Melton's website

As has been reported in local news [AJC, WSBTV, Creative Loafing] and the blogosphere [12, 3Melton's app and tap, our neighborhood pub, has been forced to close its doors due to circumstances beyond its control. Melton's is a Medlock staple: it is a long-time friend and good neighbor, is one of the few restaurants we can walk to, and its staff is known for its friendliness and expertise. At Melton's, we meet friends, family, neighbors and co-workers; we may stop for a quick bite but know we are welcome to linger.

Medlock neighbors and customers from all over stand behind Melton's and hope for a speedy and fair resolution.

Although a "Keep Meltons Open" Facebook group has been created by the faithful, please also contact the property owner, Larry Wilensky, to

  • encourage him to do the right thing
  • expedite Melton's reopening, and 
  • ensure that Melton's is restored in all ways

Please direct your correspondence and comments to:

Larry E Wilensky Property Listings
Owner: Larry E. Wilensky
1801 Peachtree St NE
Suite 340
Atlanta, GA 30309-1895

Phone: 404-351-8803

Other neighborhoods exploring Suburban Plaza redevelopment ramifications

Neighbors around Suburban Plaza have met to discuss their concerns about the Suburban Plaza redevelopment. A summary appears in the Decatur Heights Neighbors website.

MANA is working with neighborhood groups to jointly communicate our various concerns and suggestions to Selig Enterprises and our DeKalb County Commissioners

Saturday, November 12, 2011

REUNITED! Izzy's back home

Izzy is home!!
UPDATE: Izzy is back home with his mom. A neighbor found him and took him to animal control.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Below-Freezing Temperature Warning for Thursday Night / Friday Morning

Time to bring tender plants indoors!

The real chill comes Friday morning. Intown areas will be just above freezing, but the suburbs will drop into the 20s, said Chandley.
Basil growers, this is it: last call to harvest, dry or freeze the leaves, or make pesto, or pot your plant and bring it indoors to a sunny, well-insulated window before it turns to mush.

Alternative Gift Market @ North Decatur Presbyterian Church [Dec. 3]

Saturday, December 3
10 am – 3 pm
North Decatur Presbyterian Church
611 Medlock Road
@ the intersection of Scott Blvd., N. Decatur Rd. and Medlock Rd.

Click image to enlarge.
Click here to download the flyer.
Featured items are environmentally friendly and from fair-trade sources. Keep for yourself or give as a gift.

Monday, November 7, 2011

National Emergency Alert System Test [Nov. 9]

A nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System will occur on Wednesday, November 9 at
2:00 PM EST via TV and radio stations.
This will be a test, this will only be a test! The test will interrupt radio and television transmission only.

See FEMA's website for details.

E-SPLOST vote [Nov. 8]

On his website, Commissioner Rader reminds us about the polling location change:
MEDLOCK ELEM moved to North Decatur Presbyterian Church (8/11/11)
Relocation of voters from Medlock Elementary School to North Decatur Presbyterian Center for 2011 only due to closing of Medlock Elementary.
You can confirm your polling place via, or by calling 404-298-4020.

The images below are courtesy of the My Voter Page (Georgia Secretary of State's Office).

Voting location: North Decatur Presbyterian Church, 611 Medlock Rd, Decatur, GA 30033

Sample Ballot.
We are only voting on one measure: the continuation of  a special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Where are we on the Suburban Plaza redevelopment plan?

Many people are ambivalent about elements of the current Suburban Plaza redevelopment plan. Having been invited to participate in the discussion, MANA volunteers are trying to gather information to negotiate in our neighborhood’s best interest.


- Rumors about a Walmart coming to Suburban Plaza started circulating last summer and resurfaced recently.  For examples, see posts to Atlanta-area and Decatur blogs on June 13 (here and here), June 24, June 25, July 11, and October 14 (here and  here). The MANA website reflected most of these reports.

- A survey team was spotted at Suburban Plaza on June 27.  MANA placed calls to Selig Enterprises (owners of Suburban Plaza) but as you may recall, our volunteers' attention was elsewhere fighting the cell tower proposed for Medlock Elementary.

- Selig contacted MANA less than 4 weeks ago (early October) to notify us that they'd be filing for a parking variance, that they already had a contingent contract with Walmart and had shown their plans to the Commissioners.

- MANA quickly formed a committee to meet with Selig; this was just over 2 weeks ago. Planning for a special community meeting began immediately. Information, as was available at the time, was shared at the Oct. 24 MANA community meeting, during which we announced a special “Suburban Plaza / Walmart” meeting on November 2. This information was not yet available when the MANA newsletter went to press. Announcements about the Nov. 2 meeting were sent through MANA's email list and posted around the neighborhood and surrounding areas. Meeting notes, a schematic provided by Selig, and the Nov. 2 special meeting announcement were posted on the MANA website on Oct. 25 and picked up by several local blogs.

- The special November 2 community meeting was live-blogged by the North Druid Hills PatchCHCA has links to other meeting summaries. MANA posted concept photos from the meeting on November 3. Notes from that meeting are now available (pdf reader software available here).

Understanding Selig Enterprise's Variance Request to DeKalb County

(1) Suburban Plaza is already zoned for a “big box” development. Selig is only asking for County approval on a variance (change) to existing parking requirements.

(2) Selig’s parking variance requests permission to develop fewer parking spots than the County currently allows. Parking spot allocation is proportional to shopping area square footage.

Number of parking spots per 1,000 square feet of floor space
DeKalb County Requirement
Suburban Plaza, 
Suburban Plaza, Proposed

(3) Opposing the variance does not equal eliminating Walmart from the proposal. Selig did not discuss a “Plan B” should the variance request fail. We can, however, speculate that without the variance, Selig could simply choose to abide the 5.5 parking spot/1000 sq. ft. requirement. Meeting the county’s requirement could lead to less green space, more paving, and/or decked above-ground parking.

(4) Because the proposed project is in compliance with Suburban Plaza’s C-2 zoning ("A district for general business and limited manufacturing activities, including retail sales and personal services"), Selig is not required to solicit or incorporate community feedback. MANA appreciates the opportunity to be part of the discussion and has been helping identify other stakeholders.

Next steps

(1) MANA volunteers have been collecting and summarizing feedback. This document includes a transcript of questions and comments left by attendees at the end of the Nov. 2 meeting. We have also received a number of emails (from MANA residents and others).

Concerns about Suburban Plaza redevelopment cluster around:

- traffic impact (congestion around Suburban Plaza; cut-through traffic through MANA and nearby residential areas; pedestrian safety and accessibility at Medlock/Scott/North Decatur Road intersection)
- safety / crime prevention (at current and redeveloped Suburban Plaza)
- aesthetics (desire for cohesiveness of proposed Walmart store fa├žade with Selig remodeling concept)
- merchandising (what would / would not be sold at Walmart; reserving space for smaller/local shops)
- noise & store operation hours (impact on nearby residents)

(2) When the Selig traffic study (mentioned in Oct. 24 meeting summary) is made available, MANA will relay it to the community through this website.

This is an ongoing process. Please send feedback to and your DeKalb County officials. Your continued patience and participation in this process is greatly appreciated.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve Volunteer Day [Nov 12]

November 12 at 1pm
2580 Pine Bluff Dr.
Decatur, GA 30033

A group of volunteers from Emory will help with trail maintenance, English ivy removal, and other tasks.

For additional information on the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve, see

Thursday, November 3, 2011

MANA Halloween Bash was Spooktacular!

from the Halloween Planning Committee...

The annual MANA Halloween bash was a HUGE success!!!  This year we had the largest attendance with close to 150 neighbors participating in crafts, games, and trick-or-treating.  There was a lot to do including a Candy Corn Relay, Pin the nose on the Pumpkin, Fear Factor (a favorite with the boys), and crafts such as pipe-cleaner pumpkins and BOOkmarks.  Children and adults alike were into the Halloween spirit dressing up in some amazing costumes.  Everyone was there, from tractors and Thomas the tank engine, princesses, dolphin and trainer, pig and farmer, and even a scary Jason from Friday the 13th!

MANA also sponsored a neighborhood-wide house decorating contest.  Many neighbors rose to the challenge, and though the decisions were tough, it was finally narrowed down to two.  First place- House on Desmond at the corner of Scott Circle.  This year they really outdid themselves with not just creepy figures, but lots of smoke and sound effects as well.  Definitely spooky and creative.

Second place- On Scott Circle, at the corner of Desmond.  Very creative set-up with a unifying skeleton theme, and little kid friendly. 

Thanks to all the houses that entered the contest.  We look forward to seeing your houses again next year!

We would like to thank all the volunteers that made the Halloween bash successful.   And a very special thank you to those who did so in costume!  Carla, Kathryn, Adrianne, Barbara, Bev, Judy, Stephen, Theresa, Pat, Michelle, Jean, Kerri, Sherri, Tom, and Marla all volunteered their time and effort to bring us such a wonderful event.  And thanks to Barbara for the images below.

Little trick o' treaters
Grown-ups also joined the fun
Fun at the activities table
Little tykes prepare to maraud...

Suburban Plaza / Walmart Meeting

Re: our November 2 meeting, we are typing up our notes about the meeting and will share those in the very near future.

Thank you all for a great meeting!

If you have questions or comments, please email

Below are a few images shared by the Selig and Walmart representatives who attended the meeting. Click to enlarge. Please note that these are concepts and not finalized versions. Your feedback is welcome.

Suburban Plaza concept: view from N. Decatur Rd.
Walmart concept: entrance

Walmart concept: frontage
Walmart concept: grocery section
Suburban Plaza concept: refacing
Suburban Plaza concept: remodeled walkway (this represents the area currently near BigLots), with added skylights.