By Amy Stout
I attended the November monthly meeting of NPU-N as the CPNO representative on Thursday, November 29th.
At this meeting, we received an update from a member of the City of Atlanta’s Alcohol Technical Advisory Group II. This committee is reviewing all existing regulations regarding alcohol sales in the City (and the enforcement thereof). You can learn more about their work and view videos from previous meetings online at http://citycouncil.atlantaga.gov/ATAG.htm. Neighbors are strongly encouraged to become involved in the public input process if you have any concerns in this regard. The ATAG II Board meets on the second Wednesday of every month from 6 to 8 pm in Committee Room 2 and on the third Thursday of every month from 6 to 8 pm in the City Council Chambers, both of which are located on the second floor of City Hall at 55 Trinity Avenue SW.
We learned that repairs to a deteriorating section of sidewalk adjacent to Candler Park (on the north side of McLendon Avenue, near the park entrance) should be initiated within the next month. Repairs to broken lights are also underway within Freedom Park. The City is also installing protective bases onto lampposts within Freedom Park in hopes of preventing theft of the copper wiring within.
There was a brief discussion about the large sculpture that was recently installed in Freedom Park at the corner of Oakdale Road and North Avenue. I asked the representative from the City of Atlanta’s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs to please relay to his superiors that there had been some discontent expressed by Candler Park residents that the neighborhood was not adequately informed or consulted about this installation. We reviewed the minutes from the September 27, 2012 NPU-N meeting at which a Parks Department official came to inform us about the installation planned for early October. It was noted by the Poncey Highland board representative that their neighborhood did indeed have advance notice about this project, as their representative to the Freedom Park Conservancy had informed them. I noted that I thought CPNO had recently had a period without a representative to the Freedom Park Conservancy, so that may explain some of the lack of communication. In any event, I suggested that it might be helpful in the future for the NPU-N board to not vote to approve such proposals until the constituent neighborhood group affected had sufficient opportunity to consider such measures at the local level.
We were informed about the Mayor’s “Love Your Block” mini-grant program for 2013. Community groups can request up to $1,000 for assistance with local improvement projects. The deadline for the first round of applications is January 8, and a second round of funding is planned for April. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, the IAMATLANTA.ORG initiative that is behind the “Love Your Block” mini-grant program is also in search of volunteers to help tutor City of Atlanta first-, second-, and third-graders in reading. Again, contact email@example.com to offer your assistance.
The NPU-N board voted to support a variance application for 1521 McLendon Avenue, consistent with prior approval by CPNO. The NPU-N board also voted to support the application for an outdoor festival permit for the Paideia Field Day to be held in Candler Park on Friday, March 29, 2013 from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm.
We learned that consideration of the zoning overlay legislation for the Frazer Center that is moving through the Dekalb County system was recently deferred. The County wanted additional time to evaluate the proposal before voting.
My suggestion that we use the 2013 funding from the City to NPU-N ($3,700) to work with the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition to install bike racks within the community was well-received. We will seek to find locations on private properties to avoid the added hassle and cost of permitting that would be required for installing racks on the public right of way. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if your organization or business is interested in receiving a bike rack, or if you have good suggestions for sites to place new bike racks within the NPU.
The board briefly discussed the news that the SweetWater 420 Festival is planning to expand the footprint of the festival for 2013. I expressed my hope that the NPU-N board would support the Candler Park Neighborhood Organization’s response to this request when the application comes before the NPU.