Thursday, February 25, 2016

Notes from MANA Community Meeting (Feb 15)

via Tanya Myers, MANA Secretary

State Representative Rahn Mayo gave a brief recap of the legislative session thus far. Asked about whether there were any cityhood bills he would be voting for, he stated that he’s not been convinced that the cityhood proposals are the solution to the problems that people are looking to have solved. Stonecrest and Greenhaven are the two that might move forward this session, but sentiment of DeKalb delegation for cityhood legislation is lukewarm at best. Answering another question, Rep. Mayo also said the bill to eliminate the CEO position had slim odds of passing.

State Senator Elena Parent mentioned Chamblee annexation proposal, but mentioned that it is large (adds over 100% in area to Chamblee) and doesn’t think it will move forward this year. She also stated that Avondale Estates and Decatur have decided not to move forward with their annexation initiatives this year. As part of the study initiatives, recommendations included a much more comprehensive review process that would include impact on county and school systems and a codification of the rules for how legislation moves forward. Bill to forward study commission recommendations has been introduced and she is hopeful that the bill may move forward. Georgia Municipal Association may be opposed. With respect to Representative Taylor’s bill to reduce the millage rate for DCSD, she is hopeful that it will not move forward.

County Commissioner Kathy Gannon and Jeff Rader spoke about the Doraville TAD and importance to the county. General questions from the audience expressed hesitancy for the school district to take on risk in support of development initiatives. Based on Gannon and Rader’s comments, it seems that there has not been a reasonable mechanism for effective communication and collaboration between the board of commissioners and DeKalb County School District. Gannon spoke about the Blueprint Initiative for reform of DeKalb county government. Budget setting process is ongoing, but she has concerns about some expenditures and is planning to vote against it as it currently stands. Smoke testing of sewer lines will be ongoing throughout the year. Glass recycling was also discussed, and difficulty finding a vendor to accept glass from a multi-stream recycling program (comingled glass breaks and contaminates the more valuable paper recyclables). Audience members mentioned dissatisfaction with the trash/recycling pickup inability to completely service the neighborhood on the target day.

MARTA presented on the Clifton Corridor Transit Initiative, giving a general overview of the project and the different alignments under consideration as well as neighborhood impacts. Detailed handouts are included as an attachment to the minutes. [This presentation is covered in a separate post.]

Casey Boudreau gave a Greenspace Update, including cleanup dates initiated by Druid Hills Youth Sports and the workgroup working on the playground. Regarding questions about the lights at the field – these are on timers and DHYS will provide the neighborhood with a number to call when lights are on too late.

Tanya Myers gave a quick schools update on HB 969 to lower the millage rate supporting DCSD.

Theresa Same gave a zoning update, including when stores are expected to open at Suburban Plaza and on Fuqua Phase I (addressing a deviation from negotiated conditions at the corner of North Decatur Rd. and Scott Blvd.). Phase III of the Fuqua Development is in planning; DeKalb Cross-Neighborhoods Committee has provided extensive feedback and revisions to the initially presented plan are coming. Chevron Station on Scott is officially closed, and a national mattress retailer is expected to go into the space. Medlock Gulf is still interested in developing Maddie’s BBQ space into a hybrid battery repair shop, but rezoning will be required and formal plans aren’t available yet. R60 rezoning at corner of Sunnybrook and Medlock is still under consideration.