Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Suburban Plaza redevelopment can resume

via Selig Enterprises:
"Selig Enterprises, Inc. is pleased to announce that after an almost two year legal delay over the redevelopment of Suburban Plaza, all litigation between Good Growth Dekalb (GGD) and Dekalb County has been resolved and the redevelopment can resume.  During lengthy discussions with GGD, Selig was able to address most of GGD’s concerns in a manner that will only improve our planned redevelopment of Suburban Plaza, including agreeing to the installation of additional sidewalks along Medlock Road, as well other improvements such as landscaping and fence repair next to the neighborhood of homes located directly to the rear of the shopping center.  
Selig has always worked diligently with neighborhood representatives during its construction projects and this case has been no different.  Selig would like to recognize and thank the representatives from the Medlock Area Neighborhood Assoc., Clairmont Heights, Medlock Place, Springdale Heights and Decatur Heights, Sycamore Ridge, Sycamore Station, Glendale Estates, and the Christian Towers for providing valuable input over the past three years and helping Selig to transform the area with quality development.  Many details of the project have been the result of years of collaboration with these neighborhoods and have resulted in numerous features of the redevelopment, such as:  sidewalks, bike paths, and /or multi-use paths around all street frontages, interior pedestrian connectivity, several pocket parks, increased landscaping, the addition of almost an acre and a half of green space, architectural design elements, and traffic calming measures on surrounding streets. 
Selig also appreciates GGD’s efforts to improve its community.  The additional items Selig agreed to do will further enhance the surrounding area.  Selig hopes to continue to work collaboratively with representatives from all surrounding neighborhoods and Dekalb County to continue to enhance the redevelopment of Suburban Plaza. 
In addition to the Walmart, Selig is excited about the continued interest in the project by potential tenants – including LA Fitness (which will include a daycare facility), HomeGoods, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, and others to be announced at a later date.  
The proposed redevelopment will significantly transform the appearance of the center and has already shown to be a catalyst for other development projects in the area.  Selig expects to begin construction immediately and looks forward to completion of the project that will serve the community." has posted Good Growth DeKalb's press release on this matter.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Know your candidates: forum and fair [Apr 27]

The Civic Association Network (CAN) Candidates Fair + Forums is this Sunday (April 27), 1:30-5:30pm, at the Thalia N. Carlos Hellenic Community Center, 2500 Clairmont Rd, Atlanta 30329.

THE FAIR:  Wander among candidates grouped by office-sought.  Pick up their literature; get a sense of the candidates.  Find out who's expected at

THE FORUMS:  Two panel discussions are planned for the other end of the ballroom:
1:45pm.   COUNTY GOVERNANCE, featuring current and former commissioners, moderated by Commissioner Kathie Gannon.
3:00pm.   THE FUTURE OF CITYHOOD IN DEKALB, featuring local speakers, some who think cityhood is essential, others who are not so sure.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

DeKalb Transportation Plan: multimodal emphasis & local impact

DeKalb County has recently completed a transportation plan that will prioritize developments until the plan is again reviewed in five years. Starting in late 2012, the County hosted a variety of meetings and online surveys (as advertised here and here), and the result is their 2014 Transportation Plan Draft Recommendations Report. The report emphasizes that in order to remain competitive with other regions of the country and leverage existing strengths, DeKalb must invest in transportation upgrades. It is also noteworthy that "because of the strong interest expressed by policy makers, stakeholders and the public concerning safe and efficient travel for alternative modes, including for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit users, a Complete Streets Policy has been developed as a standalone formal policy document..." The plan draws input from representatives from a variety of government agencies, cities, community investment districts and the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Overall, the project aims to improve mobility for all people (using all transport modes); enhance quality of life (via improved multimodal safety and preservation of community attractiveness and character); improve economic viability (by enhancing transport for all stakeholders); and focus on implementation (maintain existing resources, identify new projects and funds to develop them).

The report explains how projects are being prioritized. Below are a few maps zoomed to our area.
Recommended bicycle network. As noted in the report, "the bicycle network is not itself a project list, but rather, a vision
for an expanded and cohesive county wide bicycle network. Some portions of this network already exist; others... may prove unfeasible... The envisioned network will need to be revised with future transportation updates. ... Although there is no set timeframe.... many segments shown in the network are also included in projects on the recommended list of priority projects developed as part of this Transportation Plan.

Several of the future PATH trails in the map above fall under Tier 2 and Tier 3 recommendations (i.e., lower priority). Page 36 outlines Tier 1 (priority) projects by mode. In our neighborhood, project 1591 refers to an extension to the South Fork of Peachtree Creek's PATH.

Expansion of the South Fork of Peachtree Creek PATH.
The fact sheet for project 1591 can be found on page 112 of the 
Fact Sheet Report This project will connect the existing trail end at Mason Mill Park to North Druid Hills Rd.
from page 35 of DeKalb's 2014 Transportation Plan.
Page 35 describes the Clifton Corridor's light rail plannoting a 10+ year window (assuming funding were available). 

The Appendix to this report is available here and includes information on the complete streets concept, additional maps and specifications for proposed improvements, and a comprehensive project list.

For additional details and documents, visit the DeKalb transportation plan website.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Fuqua's Scott Blvd. Baptist Church project approved

From the Cross-Neighborhoods Committee, via Theresa Same (MANA Zoning Chair)

Site plan. Full-size image appears in the zoning agreement document.
On April 8 and 9, 2014, the Board of Commissioners (BOC) and the DeKalb County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) reviewed Fuqua Development’s Scott Boulevard Baptist Church (SBBC) proposal. The plan was presented to the community last February and is outlined here. The BOC and ZBA approved Fuqua Development’s application to rezone and the variances required to redevelop the SBBC site and nearby residential properties on Barton Way. This vote clears the way for Phase 1, to include apartments and townhomes and a “coffee shop.” There was no opposition to the application and the BOC voted to accept the request with conditions negotiated by the Cross-Neighborhoods Committee*. Relevant Cross-Neighborhood Committee documents are available in pdf format: letters of support to the BOC and ZBA, conditions, and schematics.

In addition to the conditions, the Cross-Neighborhoods Committee also negotiated a separate, legally binding zoning agreement that among other things secured $60,000 in off-site improvements. This fund will go towards finishing pedestrian improvements at the Medlock / North Decatur Rd. / Scott Blvd. intersection as well as a future sidewalk on Scott Boulevad  between Willow Lane and Medlock Road. The legally binding agreement was signed by MANA with the support of the entire Cross-Neighborhoods Committee. 

Fuqua Development anticipates submitting permits in June and hopes to start site work in August or September. Site work will take about four months and entails demolition, grading, building the underground water detention, etc. We should expect construction  to begin in early 2015 and continue for up to 18 months. In the meantime, the Cross-Neighborhoods Committee will begin meeting with Fuqua Development to provide community input for Phase 2 of this project [see our previous post for Phase 2 details].

It will be very sad to lose the Scott Boulevard Baptist Church that served as a landmark and spiritual center in our community for so long. The SBBC congregation will continue to worship as Pastor Greg Smith discusses in this article. With the Medline LCI study in progress, we believe that this area will see great change in the coming years. We feel this development sets a precedent for our area and reflects the collective vision of our community for livability, amenities, walkability and economic sustainability.


* The Cross-Neighborhoods Committee includes the following neighborhood representatives:
Nancy Ciliax, Clairmont Heights Community Association Representative; Deanne Thomas, Decatur Heights Neighborhood Transition Team Representative; Theresa Same, Medlock Area Neighborhood Association, Inc. Representative; David Duncan, Medlock Place Neighborhood Association, Inc. Representative; Mary Shellman, Good Growth DeKalb, Inc. Representative; Debra Robinson, Blackmon Drive Resident; Garrett Asay, Ridgeland Park Resident; Todd Link, Springdale Heights Neighborhood Resident. Fuqua is represented  by Jeff Fuqua (Principal, Fuqua Development), Heather Correa (Partner, Fuqua Development) and Dennis Webb (Attorney, Smith, Gambrell and Russell).

Friday, April 18, 2014

Keep MANA beautiful day [Apr 26]

from MANA volunteer coordinator Emily Mann:

Hi Neighbors! MANA has signed up for this year's "Keep Dekalb Beautiful Neighborhood Cleanup Day" which takes place Saturday, April 26 from 9AM to 1 PM. We'd love to have more folks participate this year! My fam did curb & sign cleaning here on Willivee Place last year and it was pretty amazing what a big difference a few hours made.

If we all share ideas for areas in the neighborhood that need some extra TLC we can round up small groups to tackle some of the bigger stuff together. So please post ideas here and we'll help coordinate.

The County provides free t-shirts and all the necessary cleanup materials; MANA provides refreshments & coffee at ICS before everyone heads out to their respective projects.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Missing cat, gray tabby [Apr 16]

Houston is a large, 17-pound indoor cat who snuck out on April 16. He is a striped gray tabby (no white on paws), male. He lives a few streets from Woodridge. Please contact medlockassoc@gmail if you see him.

5K & 1mi trail races @ Laurel Ridge Elementary [Apr 26]

image via
5k and 1-mile Trail Races (and an 1/8-mile Track "Fun Run")
This is one of the only true OFF-ROAD races inside The Perimeter. Come out and support Laurel Ridge Elementary!

Register via

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter lilies and cats don't mix

via wikipedia
As Easter approaches, Easter lilies are making an appearance at local stores. If you have cats, be aware that many parts of this plant can be extremely toxic to your feline and ingestion can lead to kidney failure. reports that
"Even eating just a couple of leaves or licking a few pollen grains off their fur can cause cats to suffer acute kidney failure, she said. All parts of these plants, which are members of the Lilium and Hemerocallis genera, are considered poisonous. ... The first symptom of lily toxicity in cats is vomiting... Over the next 12 to 24 hours, the cat may start to urinate frequently, but then urinating might stop altogether, which is a sign of kidney failure. If not brought to a veterinarian, the cat will die within four to seven days. Other signs to watch for include drooling, loss of appetite and decreased activity." ... Read the rest @

 Other Easter-time risk for pets include "Easter grass" and chocolate.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Medline LCI: April 10 update

Jen Price @ Sycamore Consulting has forwarded the slide presentation from the core group meeting that took place last April 10 (see below). This presentation condenses some of the feedback so far, in particular information gathered at the charrette.

As noted in slides 6 and 7 below, we are close to concluding the Medline LCI study. Sizemore Consulting will create a Master Plan for the area that will summarize feedback from public and core groups, the charrette, and online survey participants.  This master plan will also be informed by DeKalb County's zoning code (currently being revised--see latest draft here). The master plan will be revealed on March 15 in an interactive meeting open to the community at large. The master plan will also be a public document that we will link to once it becomes available.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Terminus in progress...

Terminus, an immersive play, will unfold at the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve at 7pm Wednesday-Saturday evenings from 
April 16-19, 23-26 and 30, and
 May 1-3, 7-10, and 14-17.

See the trailer below, and get your tickets at

Saturday, April 12, 2014

City of Briarclif recap meeting [Apr 22]

The City of Briarcliff Initiative will convene a recap meeting next April 22 at the Briarcliff United Methodist Church (4105 Briarcliff Rd NE). See here for additional information on this meeting.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Injured dog found in downtown Decatur [Apr 11]

via Facebook...

"While driving home this afternoon, I found a dog in the road at the corner of Church & Commerce who had just been hit. The car who hit her stopped to help, but wasn't able to take her in for care. I brought her to Village Vets (downtown Decatur) and she's there now with pain medication and assessment of treatment options for a severely broken leg. She was apparently with another dog, who was also hit at the same time but never found.

I'm posting flyers all over this area with her picture. Please, look at this picture and share with your neighbors. She had a collar so I suspect (and hope) that she had a home. If you are aware of who her owners are, please have them contact me at 678-205-6667."

Ira B. Melton Park Volunteer Day [Apr 12]

Image via
The Friends of  Ira B Melton Park  will be planting native shrubs on Saturday, April 12, from noon-3pm. The park entrance is located on Desmond Drive, across from Park Lane.

You are encouraged to bring your own work gloves, drinking water, and a shovel if you have one. 

This project is supported by Park PrideCHCA, MANA, and the South Fork Conservancy. Ainsley Waken of Awaken Landscape Designs created  planting layouts for the project.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Red moon, blood moon? Lunar eclipse on April 15 [3am and on]

2004 lunar eclipse by Fred Espenak.
Let's hope for no clouds!

Eastern Daylight Time (April 15, 2014)
Partial umbral eclipse begins: 1:58 a.m. EDT on April 15
Total eclipse begins: 3:07 a.m. EDT
Greatest eclipse: 3:46 a.m. EDT
Total eclipse ends: 4:25 a.m. EDT
Partial eclipse ends: 5:33 a.m. EDT

Why will the moon look red during the eclipse? has answers here [hint: the earth's atmosphere is responsible]. If that's too dry and factual for you, maybe you would enjoy reading about blood moons and portents?

For  more details, see NASA's data sheet on this event.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Hiking around Atlanta: featuring Medlock hikes

In Hiking Atlanta's Hidden Forests, author Jonah McDonald describes 60 hikes within 30 miles of Atlanta.

And it's no surprise our neighborhood's in it. According to the table of contents, the book has entries on the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve and the South Peachtree Creek PATH Trail.

Spring is here: time to lace up the old boots and hit the trail!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Door to door sales: what's legal in DeKalb Co.?

via the MANA Neighborhood Watch Coordinator:
DeKalb Co. has one of the strictest ordinances for door-to-door sales and solicitations. 
Per, "Chapter 15 Licenses, Permits and Miscellaneous Business Regulations" / "Article VII. Peddlers, Door-to-Door Sales and Similar Occupations  
Permits are issued through the DeKalb Police Department and must be visible on the sales person.  
The official permit includes the following: 
• Permit number at the top
• The words "Door to Door Sales"
• Sales person's picture is on the left
• Sales person's name and company name
• Date issued and expiration date
• DeKalb Police Chief Bolton's name and signature
• DeKalb County seal is in background 
DeKalb Police advises residents to immediately call 911 and report any suspicious activity. Provide as much about the individual(s) as you can remember (clothing, hair color, tag numbers, company name, etc.).

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Doc Talks Series: for pre-teen and teen boys and girls [Apr 3, 15, 22, 29]

Click to enlarge.
The following talks are part of DeKalb Medical's Doc Talks series. Click to enlarge flyer and see details.

These complimentary talks address your son or daughter's journey into adolescence. The talks will be held:

* For Girls! Thursday, April 3 from 6 - 8 p.m. in the Theatre at DeKalb Medical, N. Decatur - Dr. Caryn Johnson
* For Girls! Tuesday, April 15 from 6- 8 p.m. in the Community Room at Hillandale - Dr. Caryn Johnson

* For Boys! Tuesday, April 22 from 6-8 p.m. -  in the Theatre at DeKalb Medical, N. Decatur - Dr. Stuart Pancer
* For Boys! Tuesday, April 29 from 6- 8 p.m. in the Community Room at Hillandale - Dr. Kenneth Harper

Space is limited so please register by calling 404-501-WELL.


Mel Meadows
Community Outreach Coordinator
2701 North Decatur Road
Decatur, GA 30033
ph: 404.501.7495
fx: 404.501.7689

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Kids in motion at Medlock area schools

image by John Nowak /
Perpetual motion children and their parents, rejoice: this CNN article features local elementary schools and teachers that see a connection between movement and learning.