Saturday, August 22, 2015

1744 Scott Blvd: developer proposes restaurant/bar

The following notice for a special land use permit was distributed to some MANA residents. 
The proposed development raises many concerns. 

We encourage all to attend the August 31 community meeting, scheduled by the developer, to take place at 7pm at 1744 Scott Blvd. 

Proposed development at 1744 Scott Blvd.
Note proximity to residential areas (Medlock neighborhood and Tuxworth Springs community).

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Suburban Plaza Walmart schematics

LEFT: a schematic recently shared by Walmart.                    RIGHT:  current state of construction (2nd week August 2015).
Walmart in progress -- as seen from Medlock Road.
Walmart recently shared the images below with the Cross-Neighborhoods Committee, all relating to the new store (#3118) at Suburban Plaza. Click on any image to enlarge it.

A quick recap:
  • The store is projected to open in November 2015. 
  • Walmart reserves the right to open 24 hours/day but the current plan is to open 6am - midnight. 
  • 150,000 sq ft super center that will offer merchandise and groceries.
  • The store will not have an optical center or a tire/lube center
  • The store will not carry guns but will carry ammunition
  • the store will include a small garden center with some outdoor and seasonal merchandise
  • the store will employ 300 people. Hiring for this store is now in progress (scroll to end of this post)*
  • trucks servicing Walmart will enter from  North Decatur Rd. at the new traffic signal, proceed to the back of the building and on to the loading docks there. The trucks can back directly into the loading docks. Trucks will exit onto Medlock Road, and proceed to Scott Blvd. We should expect 3-5 trucks per day
  • improving the intersection and the light timing (for Medlock Rd.) are part of every discussion
For our previous posts on the ongoing revitalization of Suburban Plaza and MANA's involvement in the planning process, please click here.
Uncropped schematic of the Suburban Plaza Walmart as seen from  Medlock Rd (at the Scott Blvd and North Decatur Rd. intersection). Also, an aspirational view of what the intersection would look like without all those overhead power lines and traffic lights...
Description of finishes for each view (front and rear of the store, left and right sides). The front elevation faces North Decatur Road. The right elevation faces Medlock Road. Entrances to the underground parking can be seen on the left and right views (east and west of the building, respectively). 
Overall Suburban Plaza site plan, includes Walmart and other retail. Ten-foot wide multi-use path
along North Decatur Road is highlighted (bottom left).
Detail of exterior finishes, lower-level (underground) parking garage and traffic patterns around the Walmart store.
* Hiring contact information provided by Walmart is as follows:
phone: 404-471-1457, 404-471-1458; fax is 404-471-1460.
The hiring site is 2179 Lawrenceville Hwy, Decatur GA, 30033
Also see this DeKalb Workforce hiring event scheduled for August 12, 13 and 14, 2015.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Scott Circle greenspace planning: proposal draft

via Casey Bodreau, MANA Greenspace Chair 

Dear Medlock Park residents & users! The final draft of the proposal for the Scott lots is posted below. Please send any additional comments to by 6 Sep 2015. We appreciate your feedback on ideas for improving our neighborhood.
Final draft of plan for FEMA buy-out lots on Scott Circle. As noted below, this is a visualization that incorporates
suggestions from the community so far.  There remain many opportunities for community involvement and volunteering to shape this space.

The next steps are:

1) Meet with the neighborhood’s County Commissioner to go over the master planning process and the proposed final design

2) Meet with DeKalb County Parks to go over the master planning process and the final design

3) Revise Final master plan based on feedback from neighborhood, DHYS, County Commissioner, Parks Department

4) Place acceptance (adoption) of the master plan on the County Commission agenda

5) Adoption of the master plan

6) Implementation - includes fundraising and community involvement

The implementation phase of the master plan will allow the neighborhood to work directly with specifying exact materials, plants, and amenities. The current master plan casts a vision for the Scott Circle parcels and leaves some flexibility for a “Park Improvement Committee” to develop the vision for implementation.

There would be additional meetings for the implementation phase and the committee work with the Parks Department and the neighborhood at that time to further detail the plant material and amenities (seating, sidewalk, etc.).

 For previous posts on the Scott Circle FEMA floodplain buyouts, click here.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Traffic alert: film crews at 611 Medlock

Lanes may close temporarily. Production equipment is visible around the church grounds.
"Miracles from Heaven"--slated for release in March 2016--is filming some scenes at the North Decatur Presbyterian Church. The movie is based on a novel by the same name.

We just want everyone to be aware of variable traffic patterns in and around the intersection, in particular as the International Community School starts its fall semester on Monday August 10.

A view of the iconic church as seen from Medlock Road, built in 1958-1965. For a history of the church and
congregation, click here.

Architectural rendering of North Decatur Presbyterian, via

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Proposed redevelopment of Chevron gas station (corner of N Decatur and Scott Blvd)

By Theresa Same

This proposed redevelopment involves the
Chevron Station at the corner of
Scott Blvd. and North Decatur Rd.
The Cross-Neighborhoods Committee* was recently notified by the agent for Swift Stop, Inc. (Mark Light of Lighthouse Realty Advisors) of their desire to redevelop the property at 1486 Scott Boulevard. This is the property familiar to us as the Chevron Station at the 6-way intersection of Medlock Rd., North Decatur Rd. and Scott Blvd. The owner hopes to replace the gas station with a 6000 square foot retail building.

Proposal as presented by Lighthouse Realty Advisors. Click to enlarge.

This redevelopment requires variances for side and rear setbacks. This application is scheduled to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) on August 12, 2015. The owner/developer is hoping to gain the support of the community and Cross Neighborhoods Committee (CNC) in advance of the ZBA Hearing next week. To this end, the CNC is in the process of negotiating conditions to see if we can come to a site plan that we can support.

We are concerned with things such as sidewalks, improved landscaping, minimizing curb cuts, minimal signage, maintaining a buffer with the adjoining condominiums and adding a comfortable bus stop.

I know many of us would miss the convenience of a gas station in this location. And yet, this type of redevelopment would greatly reduce the number of cars entering and exiting this property, located at what we all know to be an over-burdened intersection.

 We want to hear from you. Please send your comments, concerns and questions to the CNC at

UPDATE: Conditions were agreed upon in late August. See them here.

* The Cross Neighborhood Committee is represented in the negotiation by Nancy Ciliax, Clairmont Height Civic Association, Theresa Same, Medlock Area Neighborhood Association; Mary Shellman, Good Growth Dekalb; Deanne Thomas, Decatur Heights Neighborhood Association; and Brian Westlake, Emory Heights Condominium Association.