January 98

NEWS LETTER SUMMARY - Contents Jan.'98 issue
















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All of our North Buckhead friends and neighbors are urged to attend the NBCA annual meeting Monday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. at Sarah Smith School on Old Ivy Road.

The meeting will afford residents a rare chance to get the latest information on zoning matters that vitally affect our neighborhood and to hear the latest plans for sidewalk construction on Wieuca and Old Ivy Roads. There will be time provided for questions from the floor.

Principal speakers will be City Councilman Lee Morris and two recent1y elected at-large council members, Julia Emmons and Mabel Thomas.

Light refreshments will be served at 7 p.m.

The NBCA's president-elect, Sally Silver, will moderate the meeting and present a slate of officers and board members nominated for 1998 to be voted on by the neighborhood. Nominations from the floor will be accepted.

Your civic association officers and board members also hope to provide time for a frank discussion of the goals and purposes of the association. "We want your input," said President-elect Silver. "We want to know how you would like to see your dues money spent and what you would like to see done to make our neighborhood an even better place to live.

"We also want people to come forward to help us do the work of the association. We are all volunteers. We need people who can spend a few hours a month giving back to the community."

The meeting also will provide a chance for NBCA members to pick up their mailbox membership stickers if they have not already received them in the mail.

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A quick look around our ever-changing area reveals families and businesses alike are eager to stake their claim here. We are fortunate to be living in one of' the most desirable locations in the city with the added advantage of being a great neighborhood!

As many of you are aware, North Buckhead has been involved in many hard-fought battles concerning encroachments into our community and there will surely be more to come. The NBCA has been at the forefront in the protection of our neighborhood regarding these issues.  However, that is not the association's only purpose.   The first priority is to promote and improve quality of life in our area, to create a venue in which each and every resident knows they have a voice and an opportunity to play a part.

Already in process for 1998, the NBCA is working on signage (markers) that will be installed at several entrances to our neighborhood, reflecting the pride and sense of belonging we feel about our homes and community. A neighborhood directory will be given to NBCA members that will not only include names and addresses of residents but will contain information about the civic association and our city and state governments. Also, mailbox stickers will continue to he given to current and new members of the NBCA.

There are endless possibilities to what can be accomplished .... with your support.  I encourage each of you to join in being an active part of North Buckhead’s future. Whether you have an interest in serving on the Board of Directors, a committee or have suggestions and ideas, we welcome your participation. Our neighborhood is what we make it.  I look forward to seeing each of you at our annual meeting February 2nd.  Please do not hesitate to call with any questions, comments or suggestions.  My phone number is 261-7854.

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By Kay Beynart (NBCA Zoning Committee Co-chair)

Last year saw a great deal of intense zoning activity by developers which impacted our North Buckhead area and zoning battles will most certainly confront our neighborhood in 1998.

Continuing issues include lawsuits against the city involving two proposals voted down by the North Buckhead Civic Association, NPU-B and the City Council. Neither project conformed with the city's Comprehensive Development Plan and would have required a land use change.

The Finger Company is suing the city for rejecting a proposal to build over 300 apartments on Conifer Circle. Pope and Land filed suit against the city for turning clown a proposal to build a hotel. offices. restaurants and condos on the north corner of the Buckhead Loop at Phipps Boulevard.

Several applications for variances to allow the expansion and upgrade of coexisting homes were supported by the NBCA and approved by the Board of Zoning Adjustment in the past several months. Included are projects on Statewood, Rickenbacker, North Ivy, Carmain and also an expansion of St. James United Methodist Church. Pending is an application for a cellular tower at the end of Statewood. These towers are proliferating and are of concern to many communities. Most are permitted under federal law and cannot be turned down by the city. However, the city can impose certain restrictions.

On another matter, the City Council approved a resolution spelling out the city's support for re-landscaping the North Stratford detention pond. This was the option strongly supported by your association and NPU-B. It is hoped that this project will proceed at the earliest possible date so that this eyesore can be ameliorated.

The association's Zoning Committee is co-chaired by Kay Beynart and Bob Young. Members include George Ingols. Lea Agnew, Harold Cunliffe, David Dollar, Bob Harmeyer, Leon McElveen, Lamar Miller, John Mullinax, Barbara Pollack, Jon Thomson and Susan Torres.

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Seventh District Councilman Lee Morris, recently elected without opposition to a second four-year term, says he hopes to improve the city's "nuts and bolts" policies, including the ones dealing with sidewalk construction, traffic, noise, and zoning.

His goals, he said in a statement written for this newsletter, include traffic "calming" on neighborhood streets, stronger noise ordinances, new sidewalk programs, logical land use and zoning policies, neighborhood residential parking permit programs, and neighborhood identification signage.

This "nuts and bolts" category "is the one in which I have made the most direct and tangible progress in the first term."

Morris listed specific goals for his second term: "to continue to develop the relationships with my Council colleagues so that the Council will hear neighborhoods' input and direction on land use and zoning issues that impact those neighborhoods, to continue my efforts at freeing Atlantans from dependence on the automobile, and to build on my initiatives to find funding sources for new sidewalks other than assessment of abutting property owners (which has historically been the only source of funding).

"In this connection," Morris said, "we will look forward to the actual construction in 1998 of sidewalks along Wieuca and Old Ivy, projects for which we have found such funding."

Morris said he wants to see the city run more like a business. "We have raised issues of workforce, size, incentives and disincentives for the performance of the workforce and, for the first time, a look at the entire compensation package, including benefits, as the benefits for city employee are much more expensive than private employee benefits and are becoming an alarming percentage of the total cost of government."

Morris, who is chairman of the Finance Committee and a member of the Utilities Committee, said he expects to be heavily involved in proposals to privatize water and sewer and perhaps other functions of city government, which he favors. He also will work, he said, to move the city into a regional discussion of air quality and water and wastewater issues.

While running the city on a more business-like basis and being responsive to quality of life issues "would go a long way toward restoring trust in government, Morris said "the level of dignity and decorum with which elected officials conduct their own roles is crucial." In that regard, he added, "I will continue my efforts toward campaign finance reform and ethics and disclosure reform."

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A deal with the city by which Buckhead Loop developers would pay part of the cost of a sewer line upgrade in exchange for fast-track issuance of building permits may be challenged in court.

Richard Farnsworth, chairman of Neighborhood Planning Unit B and former president of the North Buckhead Civic Association, says such a suit is under consideration. The suit would seek to enjoin construction of hotels, office buildings and other commercial projects on the Loop on grounds that the sewer line agreement violates a city zoning ordinance.

Developers have agreed to pay $1.2 million of the 83 million projected cost to replace the North Stratford sewer line, running roughly from Phipps Plaza to Nancy Creek.

"In return, the developers would receive building permits, even though a zoning ordinance forbids the city from issuing such permits," Farnsworth said.

According to Farnsworth, a 1997 zoning ordinance "which takes precedence over any other city ordinance concerning the same property," forbids issuing building permits for the Loop projects until city officials certify that the sewer capacity necessary to accommodate the developments is in place.

He said the commissioners of public planning and public works know that the sewer capacity is not in place. The city also has not addressed "or even admitted" that the entire remainder of the sewer line, from Nancy Creek all the way to the Clayton (treatment) Plant, is at full capacity now.

"Sources have stated that the city will have to replace that entire line as well to accommodate the Buckhead Loop development," Farnsworth said, stating that North Buckhead residents have had sewage overflows into their yards out of the North Stratford line.

"Most estimates are that it will take at least 18 months to replace the North Stratford line." Developers don't want to wait that long to receive building permits for fear of losing tenants and investors, Farnsworth said, adding that once permits are issued it is virtually impossible to stop the development even if the sewer line is incomplete.

"Another interesting twist," Farnsworth said, "is that the sewer line agreement includes a second 39-story residential tower where only one has been approved in the zoning ordinance. That issue may also be litigated."

He suggested that concerned residents contact City Council members (404-330-6030) with questions or to voice their opinions.

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Zone 2 police report that at least 18 house break-ins, property taken, property damaged or vehicle thefts in our North Buckhead area during the two months of November and December 1997.

There were 12 residential property crimes during that period and six vehicle thefts, according to police documents.

Bart Duncan is the NBCA's security coordinator with the Atlanta Police Department's Citizen's Advisory Committee.

Two crimes involving property taken and the jimmying of a side window occurred on Ivy Road. The other incidents occurred on the following streets:

Wieuca Trace, home entered through window; Stovall Boulevard, entry made, items taken; Rickenbacker Drive, window broken, items taken; Whittington Drive, door kicked in, property taken; Glengary Drive, entry gained, items removed; Wieuca Rond, damage to property; Buckhead Loop, door damaged; Mountain Drive, window broken out; Carlton Drive, house entered; West Wieuca Road, side door broken.

Vehicle thefts occurred on the Buckhead Loop (2) Lakemoore Drive, Stratford Place, Phipps Boulevard, and Haverhill Road.

EDITOR's NOTE: The above list of incidents in our neighborhood may not include all that actually occurred. Clerical errors and delayed reports could result in some crimes not being included in the two-month totals.

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One day when Jim Chambers was on the deck of his Longleaf Drive home he saw a redheaded woodpecker chasing a June bug or some other sort of insect. Just to see what would happen, he tossed an unshelled peanut into the air. He was surprised and delighted when a woodpecker swooped out of nowhere and grabbed the peanut in mid-air.

That was the beginning of many fun-filled hours for Chambers and his wife Christy. In the days that followed they bought a slingshot, the better to launch their peanuts. And the birds came from the woods

behind their home to capture their dinner on the wing. From the one original woodpecker, as many as eight to 10 birds would gather to catch peanuts on the fly.

"Our basic team was the redheaded woodpecker," said Chambers. But other birds, including bluejays and redbellied woodpeckers, would join in the fun. Not many peanuts would fall to the ground. "They would catch them most of the time," Chambers said.

The birds would fly off with the unshelled peanuts and do their shelling later. Chambers would find peanut hulls blocks away from his home. When some apartments were built nearby, the Chambers began to see fewer birds. "We lost most of our team," he said.

The Chambers still try to lure the birds out with peanuts in the air "but we don't see the quantities of birds that we used to see."

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An estimated 28 volunteers turned out to help with the NBCA's December Christmas tree sale. About 205 trees were sold, 40 more than the 165 sold in 1996.

The sale added over $4,000 to the NBCA treasury, money that will be spent on neighborhood projects such as the quarterly newsletter, information fliers, spring and fall neighborhood get-togethers and expenses incurred in zoning battles.

"Thanks to all the volunteers who helped make this year's Christmas tree sale one of the best ever," said Tom McCarter, who oversaw the operation at Sarah Smith School. The volunteers, who received $5 credit for two hours of helping with the sales, included:

Austin Foster, Jon Thomson, Ed Younge, Bill Dickson, George Ingols, Bob Cumbie, David York, Chuck Parsons, Bill Olsen, Jill Sabulis, Kate Mollenkamp, Raymond Rarick, Bill McCorkle, Richard Farnsworth, Harold Cunliffe, Doug Cumming;

Gene Gabianelli, Tom Thomas, Thad Ellis, Ciarin Brennan, Pam Marquis, Lynn Wood, Dan Wilson, King Buttermore, John Mullinax, John Noell, Paul Underwood and Mark Simpson.

"If we forgot anyone, we apologize," said McCarter.

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By Debbie Edwards

Since the completion of the Georgia 400 extension, we have experienced an increased volume in through traffic on North Ivy Road. Like many neighborhood streets, ours has a long, straight stretch with a grade that "encourages" speeding. Many vehicles turn off of Wieuca Road without ever slowing down. Young families are moving in, and children are playing in front yards.

Just over a year ago, I began talking with neighbors about my concern for our safety. This led to working with the city government to find a way to stop the speeding and improve the "quality of life" on North Ivy. The process began when 90% of our residents petitioned the city to study the street. The city conducted a comprehensive study which revealed that in a 24 hour test period, 392 vehicles were traveling at average speeds of over 10 miles an hour above the posted speed limit of 25 mph.

Last month, the city tentatively approved the installation of speed humps on the segment of North Ivy between Wieuca Road and Mountain Way. The approval is subject to our submitting a final petition for the installation of the speed humps with at least 75% of the residents favoring installation. This process is nearly complete.

The city will bear the expense of the speed hump installation. There will be between 3 and 5 speed humps, and representatives from the city will come out in the spring to make decisions with the residents about the number and locations for the humps. Hopefully, installation will closely follow.

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North Buckhead is well represented on NPU-B for 1998.   Richard Farnsworth of Whittington Drive will continue as chairman, serving the second of a two-year term.

George Ingols of Beverly Lane was elected as an at-large representative and begins his fourth year on NPU-B. He remains on the Zoning Committee. Sally Silver of Statewood Road, president-elect of the North Buckhead Civic Association, was elected as a business representative and serves on the Development and Transportation Committee. The NPU-B elections were held in November.

NPU-B has changed its meeting place and time, effective immediately. Meetings will be held the first Tuesday of every month at the Garden Hills Elementary School at 7 p.m. The Development and Transportation Committee meets the next to last Tuesday and the Zoning Committee the last Tuesday of every month. Public comment is limited to the committee meetings only.

The North Buckhead Civic Association's Zoning Committee usually meets once a month to hear applications for zoning changes in or near the borders of North Buckhead. The committee makes recommendations to the NPU committees and to the city on issues affecting North Buckhead.

The NPUs (Neighborhood Planning Units) constitute Atlanta's formal neighborhood planning process. They are advisory bodies and may recommend an action, policy or plan to the city on any matter affecting the livability of the neighborhood. There arc 24 NPUs. North Buckhead is one of 12 neighborhoods which has representation on the NPU-B board. To get on the list for the NPU agenda, call the Bureau of Planning at 404-330-6145.

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Seen in early December, a small red fox crossing North Ivy Road in the wooded area at Little Nancy Creek. This fox reportedly had a white tip on its tail and a black ring around the tail. Also seen in the same area, bluebirds, which seem to be not as plentiful in our neighborhood as they once were.

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Beginning with our next newsletter, to be published in early May, we hope to launch a names-in-the-news column if there is sufficient interest among our readers. Information for the column will be collected and edited by Natalie Spalding. The news items we will be looking for include new babies, new neighbors, job promotions, retirements, graduations, new grandchildren, marriages, etc. If you have items of neighborhood interest, please call Natalie at 404-231-0646.

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(Compiled by Natalie Spalding)

Since our last newsletter in November, more new families and singles have moved into our North Buckhead neighborhood. Your civic association extends a warm welcome to all.

Our new neighbors are:

Doug and Marjorie Reider (children Rachel and Josh), 561 Loridans Drive
John and Christine Roth, 4254 Glengary Court
Richard and Lan Brown, 4438 Glengary Drive
Dr. Cassandra Wanzu, 4232 Wieuca Overlook
Augustus Martin, 4181 North Stratford Road
Robert Lewis, 207 Old Ivy Road
Nickey Bohl, 338 Lakemoore Drive
Barbara Sassen, 278 Midvale Drive
Rick and Allie Delhafen, 3895 Wieuca Terrace
Susan Been, 4166 Peachtree Dunwoody Road
Greg Fellows, 3580 Ivy Road
Doug and Nancy Wiley, 4066 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd

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"Roads are particularly painful for people whose neighborhoods are affected. That's why we have the state DOT to look at the overall good." – Congressman John Linder, as quoted in the January 10 Atlanta Constitution.

(Compiled by Cathy LaMon)

4217 Wieuca Overlook

$475,000 3775 North Stratford $269,000
3892 Wieuca Road 395,000 438 Valley Green Drive 264,125
4399 Tree Haven Drive 315,000 543 Loridans Drive 229,000
850 Loridans Circle 245,000 4180 Glengary Drive 214,900

239 Old Ivy Road

190,500 4361 Tree Haven Drive 210,000
861 Carlton Ridge 730,000 36 Arden Way 195,000
701 Mountain Drive 192,000

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... the businesses that advertise in our newsletter. Their ads help to defray the expenses of this publication and the other activities of your association. Contact Deb-C McGuire at (404) 233-0542.

Advertising Credits For This Issue:

Your Life Line

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Advertising Credits For This Issue:

Your Life Line

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  1. An effective and economical way to reach close to 2,000 homes.
  2. Contact Deb-C McGuire at (404) 233-0542.

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