The following message was sent out to the Lake Claire Community Land Trust listserve by Genise Spenle.
On Tues, Jan. 22nd, at the DeKalb County Commission meeting, the general zoning overlay and the 4 Special Land Use Permits (SLUPs) proposed by the Frazer Center (FC) were all unanimously approved. It was a long and grueling meeting as much for the commissioners as for the audience because procedural delays put the final voting at the very end of the session. However, a last-minute letter from City of Atlanta Councilmember Natalyn Archibong helped seal one of the important issues about traffic.
DeKalb County Commissioners, Jeff Rader and Kathy Gannon, skillfully managed very contentious negotiations with the immediate neighbors and reached a workable consensus that the other commissioners could support. Ultimately, this new zoning structure allows the Frazer Center to operate in a completely legal framework in compliance with current regulations. Equally important is that it also provides specific guidelines for all of its activities such as the fund-raising events at the Cator Woolford Gardens and the traffic coming in and out of the center that have resulted in numerous complaints from its closest neighbors.
Both our commissioners made very strong statements at the end of the meeting to highlight how carefully they had considered all of the difficult issues involved in order to find the most reasonable solution. They emphasized the immediate neighbors had legitimate concerns about noise and traffic but that the FC had made good-faith efforts to address them during the last two years.
However, as the commissioners also noted, not everyone will be completely satisfied. The FC will have to restrict fundraising activities and close the rear gates at specified times. The immediate neighbors will still have some outdoor events to contend with and more traffic than desired. But the fact is there is now a structure in place that allows for compliance with clear guidelines.
As for the benefit for the neighborhood, the most important outcome is, of course, that the Frazer Center does not have to consider relocating and can now focus on its primary function of serving the Lake Claire community assisting children and adults with disabilities and protecting the environment of the area.