Thursday, November 3, 2022

South Peachtree Creek PATH and Tax Allocation District updates

 Some very brief updates:

PATH UPDATE: connecting North DeKalb Mall to the Medlock Park neighborhood. Seep page 14 on this link for specifics on our neighborhood

TAX ALLOCATION DISTRICT: With the North DeKalb Mall redevelopment are plans to establish a Tax Allocation District (TAD), which would be used to pay for infrastructure and other improvements in the nearby vicinity of the redevelopment. These are essentially tax dollars that would be earmarked for use only in our area. The current TAD area includes North DeKalb Mall, Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve, Little Creek Horse Farm, Laurel Ridge Elementary, Druid Hills Middle, University Heights UMC, Shamrock Forest, Medlock Park, the International Community School, Shamrock Plaza, and several businesses along N Druid Hills Rd and Lawrenceville Hwy. This proposal is pending final approval from the DeKalb County Commissioners at this time. You can review this proposal here:

Friday, September 30, 2022

Fall Festival and Haunted Trail [Oct 22]

 See UPDATE below!


Online tickets are now sold out; there will be a very limited number of tickets available on-site on October 22.

Food will be available for sale. See the Fall Festival and Halloween page for more details.

Monday, July 11, 2022

DeKalb's Comprehensive Land Use Plan needs additional review and input

Commissioner Jeff Rader requested that we distribute his message below, to share his concerns about the DeKalb County Comprehensive Land Use Plan which, in his opinion, requires more review before it is approved. See the relevant files and his concerns below

DeKalb County Comprehensive Land Use Plan 2050

Comprehensive Land Use Plan Resolution

Agenda Items (July 12)

"This document should get a lot of review and comment from the public, particularly our ITP neighborhoods represented by CAN.

The most notable section is the creation of a new extensive “Walkable Neighborhood” Character Area which, if you review the map on p 42, encompasses much of D2, D3 and D4.  To me, it is problematic because it suggests disrupting current stable patterns of development with the introduction of more mixed use and higher density housing without a strong foundation of infrastructure, including street grid, bike/pedestrian , and public amenities necessary to support the evolution they prescribe for the Character Area. 

Note also the zoning table, which eliminates R-100 as a compatible zoning classification and suggests new uses more extensively distributed throughout the new “Walkable Neighborhood” areas.

As you know, our stakeholders intensively negotiate new urban development serving our neighborhoods to insure the density, diversity of use and development design actually perform as advertised.  In my opinion, this site based focus would be diluted under the new Character Area, and we would be faced with a lot of new proposals that better match a builder’s proforma rather than the community’s needs.  I believe that diffusing development through our neighborhoods would also reduce the market imperative to plan and execute truly urban projects replacing obsolete commercial districts as was accomplished at North DeKalb Mall.

In any event, stakeholders need to dissect this draft and weigh in before it goes to DCA.  Once approved by them, there will be resistance to further amendment.

I hope you can get this out and alert our neighbors that they should speak up at the public hearing on July 12 and ask for more review.

I’ve attached the plan, and will follow with the public hearing agenda item and other supporting documentation for circulation to CAN and others.  Let me know if you have questions."


Jeff Rader

Commissioner, District 2

DeKalb County


Monday, June 27, 2022

MANA Pool Party 2022 [Aug 6]

Hello MANA neighbors!

The MANA neighborhood pool party is back on! We hope you can join us on Saturday, August 6, from 6:00 - 8:00 at the Medlock Pool. The event is potluck and MANA will provide proteins and a few sides. Everyone is welcome: MANA members can enter free WITH a potluck dish. Non-members can pay $5 per person without a potluck dish or $3 per person with a potluck dish (kids 12 and under are $2). You can certainly become a MANA member onsite! Please bring your own chairs, plates, utensils and pool gear. Also, if your dish contains any allergens (peanuts, gluten, etc.), please make a note to put next to the item. 

Lastly, we are looking for 4-5 volunteers to help before or during the event. If you are interested in helping out or have any questions, please reach out to Kim Groover at 702-271-3257 or

Hope to see you there!


Friday, May 27, 2022

Medlock Park pool opening delay

Posted at the request of DeKalb Co. Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs; information sent to MANA via email on May 27, 2022 at 9:17pm

During the inspection today with the Board of Health, the Pulsar motherboard which feeds information electronically to the chlorine pump at Medlock Pool short circuited. Standguard, the pool contractor, is working continuously to install a replacement board. In order for RPCA to open Medlock Pool, the Board of Health will need to return to Medlock Pool for a final inspection prior to opening. Once the BOH has been notified that the panel is replaced, they will be available for re-inspection. 

Until final inspection occurs at Medlock Park, nearby Kittredge Pool located at 1520 Kittredge Park Road, NE, will be open at noon tomorrow as scheduled.

We will continuously work with our contractor to see the repair completed as soon as possible.

I would appreciate if your office could help get the word out and hopefully this is a short term issue.

Please let us know if you have any questions, thank you! 

Chuck Ellis
DeKalb County Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs

North DeKalb Mall redevelopment approved

The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners approved the redevelopment of North DeKalb Mall on May 26, 2022, with conditions (pdf).

At this time, we would like to share the documents below, with an additional write-up to be added in the near future. UPDATE:  A summary by Theresa Same is now available on page 12 of the Summer 2022 MANA newsletter.

Happy Memorial Day weekend, Medlockians!


Exhibit A: Master Development Plan -- a graphic depiction of the development's footprint and location of structures, roads, sidewalks, etc.

Exhibit B: Master Sign Program -- describes the type of signage that site tenants must observe

Exhibit C: Architectural Standards -- representative architectural style and material examples for office, retail and residential structures

Exhibit D: Open Space -- close-up detail of open spaces

Exhibit E: Concept Subdivision Plan -- depicts anticipate ultimate layout of site lots

Exhibit F: Sustainability Program -- outlines how redevelopment improves on existing conditions, retailer/tenant sustainability expectations, and stormwater management

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

North DeKalb Mall update

Side-by-side comparison of Edens proposal per Staff Report vs aerial view courtesy of GoogleMaps.Click to enlarge.
In the interest of keeping the public informed of this ongoing process, we are directing you to the current, 172-page DeKalb Planning Department Staff Report that outlines the North DeKalb Mall proposal:

This plan will be discussed by the Planning Commission on May 5, 2022 and by the Board of Commissioners on May 26, 2022. Both meetings will be broadcast via Zoom.Links to these meetings and their respective agendas are posted at

Aerial view of proposed development foot print per above Staff Report.

Zoning per Staff Report.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

South Peachtree Creek Trail Connectivity Study [May 11]


Public Meeting

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

6:00 - 7:30 PM

Highwoods Auditorium

2635 Century Pkwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30345

Zoom link for option virtual attendance:

More information on the project and a public input survey can be found on the PATH Foundation website:

Thursday, April 21, 2022

North DeKalb Mall: GRTA Notice of Decision

"The purpose of this notice is to inform Jim McKenney (the Applicant) and Dekalb County (the Local Government), the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) Land Development Committee, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), and the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) of GRTA’s decision regarding Development of Regional Impact (DRI) 3582 DRI North Dekalb Mall Redevelopment (the DRI Plan of Development). GRTA has completed a non-expedited Review for the DRI Plan of Development pursuant to Section 4.2.3 of the GRTA DRI Review Procedures and has determined that the DRI Plan of Development meets the GRTA review criteria set forth in Section 4.3.

The DRI Plan of Development as proposed is approved subject to conditions, as provided in Attachment A and subject to the limitations placed on allowable modifications to the DRI Plan of Development, as described in Attachment B. Subject to the conditions set forth in Attachment A and Attachment B, GRTA will approve the expenditure of state and/or federal funds for providing the Land Transportation Services and Access improvements listed in Section 2 of Attachment C. The need for said approval shall terminate and be of no further force and effect after ten (10) years from the date of this Notice of Decision, unless substantial construction of the proposed DRI has been commenced during this ten (year) period."

The full report is available here (pdf). 

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

South Peachtree Creek Trail Expansion Study [March 10]

Click image to view full-size pdf.

In-Person Open House Workshop
Thursday, March 10, 2022 from 6:00 to 7:30pm
AMC North DeKalb 16, 2042 Lawrenceville Hwy, Decatur, GA 30033

Join Commissioners Jeff Rader and Ted Terry, the DeKalb County Transportation Department, and the PATH Foundation on a trail study to extend the South Peachtree Creek Trail.  

The northern study area will focus on connectivity with the greenway trail and street calming between North Druid Hills Road and the existing/planned North Fork Peachtree Creek Greenway.  

The southern study area is from Medlock Park to the N. DeKalb Mall redevelopment area, with spur connection to Laurel Ridge Elementary School and the Little Creek Horse Farm

The workshop will collect input for potential trail destinations, preferred types of trail, and desired trail connections for both study areas. Workshop stations will be organized to promote social distancing and masks are strongly encouraged. 

The workshop is being facilitated by KaizenCollaborative

The maps below show a clearer views of the existing South Peachtree Creek PATH and existing/planned Peachtree Greenway.

South Peachtree Creek Trail in red. via

Peachtree Creek Greenway (existing and proposed) interactive map, with the Medlock Park area and
North DeKalb Mall visible at the bottom center of the map.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

North DeKalb Mall Update from Neighborhood Council


and the North DeKalb Mall Redevelopment, February 2022

written by Theresa Same & Mary Shellman

Who we are:
The DeKalb Cross-Neighborhoods Council (DCNC) is a coalition of community volunteers representing neighborhood interests with developers concerning commercial and residential development in and around our central DeKalb neighborhoods.  The DCNC alliance aims to ensure that the outcome of local economic development will bring measurable improvements that benefit nearby residents and reflect good policy practices. 


DCNC participants come from a variety of local neighborhood and community organizations and are appointed as representatives to DCNC by the boards of those groups. Representation on the DCNC is fluid, based primarily on proximity to the development, organizational structure, and outreach capability.  The current DCNC team working with EDENS on the North DeKalb Mall proposal includes:

·      Clairmont Heights Civic Association (Jim Smith, Michael Dowling);

·      Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve (Chris Beck);

·      Good Growth DeKalb (Mary Shellman);

·      Greater Valley Brook Civic Association (Elizabeth Roberts, Kenna Simmons, Josh Shuster);

·      Laurel Ridge Shamrock Civic Association (Marylee Putnam, Susan McWethy);

·      Medlock Area Neighborhood Association (Theresa Same), which includes Tuxworth Springs Condo Association (Jean Logan, Adam Manchester); and

·      North Druid Valley Home Association (Gail Richman, Dawn Lanier)

MANA’s Zoning Chair Theresa Same serves as the DCNC Chair, working to identify project specific impacted communities; sharing her zoning expertise; and bringing her negotiation experience to community-developer communications.  Jim Smith has served as the Zoning Chair for Clairmont Heights since 1995 and currently serves on the Community Council. Elizabeth Roberts is an attorney experienced in zoning and real estate issues.  Theresa Same and Jim Smith have worked together representing their neighborhoods in zoning issues since 2008.  Coming from varied backgrounds, the other DCNC members each bring unique skills and a willingness to work hard for their communities. In an ongoing fashion, DCNC members report back and provide community updates through their member organizations.    

What we seek: Most important of all, the DCNC strives to give the community a voice in the development process. In DeKalb County, developers wield formidable sway and financial resources.  Coupled with the limited opportunities for advocacy, communities are often left feeling powerless to impact meaningful change.  DCNC brings neighborhoods together, creating a more powerful and influential voice. 

While each development is unique, DCNC generally promotes the inclusion of desired amenities such as quality restaurants and locally owned businesses, employment centers, and service and retail establishments which satisfy the needs of the community; and the use of quality construction materials and desirable architectural styles which are compatible with the existing neighborhoods. We support the inclusion of a percentage of affordable, workforce and senior housing in residential developments.

We advocate for developments that adhere to smart growth principles by defining traffic patterns and impact on existing neighborhoods and implementing traffic mitigation strategies.  We push for enhanced pedestrian and bicycle pathways throughout and surrounding the developments. The most difficult piece to negotiate has been our goal to limit environmental impact by striving to retain, replace and enhance greenspace within development.

Thus far on the North DeKalb Mall Redevelopment: For some of us on DCNC, this is the fourth go around with redevelopment of the mall.  EDENS reached out to the DCNC in May 2021 shortly after purchasing North DeKalb Mall. We had an introductory meeting which gave us an opportunity to familiarize ourselves with EDENS and their development portfolio while sharing some of the desires and priorities of our communities.   

A development of this size (77 acres) in north-central DeKalb is a unique and important opportunity. Recognizing the stakes, Commissioners Rader and Terry dedicated County time and resources to more fully understand the possibilities of the site and to “workshop” with the developer. In support of this process, the Commissioners asked DCNC to outline the concerns, priorities and requests we had previously received from our communities. We provided a 4-page document informed by the community feedback wereceived during the most recent development proposal for this property bySterling Enterprises in 2018 [link to pdf].

In late January 2022, EDENS invited DCNC to meet for a second time to present a preliminary site plan in preparation for their community meeting on February 22, 2022. (This was the plan recently reported in Decaturish and the AJC.)  We had many questions and concerns – many of the same ones we see neighbors asking on various social media platforms. (Note: The plan EDENS will present at their community meeting on February 22, 2022 may vary from these preliminary materials.)

While we still have some important concerns, we have been encouraged by the fact that EDENS has shown its willingness to listen and adjust, and we look forward to further dialogue as the plans evolve. Following their formal presentation to the community, we will listen to your concerns and actively collect community feedback before coming back to the table with EDENS and our Commissioners.

What happens next:   After their pre-submittal community meeting on February 22nd, EDENS will file its rezoning application and begin the public review process. The plans will be reviewed by the DeKalb District 2 Community Council, the DeKalb Planning Commission, and the staff of the DeKalb County Planning & Sustainability Department. Each of these bodies will make a recommendation.  Ultimately the Board of Commissioners will vote on whether to grant the rezoning. Developments of this size often take many months to work through this process. We will keep you informed of the meeting dates once we have them.

Projects of this size require a Development of Regional Impact study (DRI). The DRI process looks at impacts created by the development beyond its immediate boundaries. This study produces an advisory report for informational use by the host local government as it moves through its local process. EDENS has already begun this process and study results should be available in the spring.

The County has also contracted the PATH Foundation to do a preliminary study of alternative transportation options available in the area that surrounds North DeKalb Mall. PATH will hold a series of public meetings, tentatively beginning in March. We will let you know the dates. This is the first building block needed for the community to understand what options we have in our area.

Every development is different and as such the DCNC will assess how we can best assist the community with the redevelopment at North DeKalb Mall as it unfolds. In the past we have addressed a range of community issues by negotiating contracts to ensure that a developer’s promises regarding community benefits are legally enforceable.

As always we are restricted by the dictates of the county zoning code. The amount of leverage we are able to exert during negotiations is directly proportional to the property’s current zoning designation and the type and number of zoning changes and special permits requested by the developer.  We are fortunate to have County Commissioners who have encouraged us and often complement our conditions with their own.  Their planning expertise and support has been essential to our efforts.


Community involvement: DCNC members are here to support the voices of our communities. Each DCNC member organization represents many residents of DeKalb and our strength during negotiations comes from those numbers. Your participation and input are crucial.  We are here to solicit, organize and share neighborhood feedback with EDENS and the Commissioners.  We will work to keep you informed of upcoming meetings and developments. We encourage you to stay informed and if you do not understand something, ask us.  At any time during the process you can send us your input by reaching out to your neighborhood association or by emailing the DCNC directly at, and we strongly encourage you to do so.