VHCA Annual General Meeting and Election of Board Members: Thursday, Sept. 19th, Inman Cafeteria, 6:30 PM

VHLogo_color_horiz_letterheadThe Virginia-Highland Civic Association’s annual meeting and election of board of directors will be held Thursday September 19th in the Inman Middle School cafeteria, starting at 6:30 PM.

The VHCA board consists of ten members and one alternate who are elected to one-year terms by residents at the annual meeting. There’s also an ‘Atkins Park designee’ board member who is chosen by the Atkins Park Homeowners Association prior to the annual meeting.

The alternate member has historically functioned as a full board member, but formally votes only if another member is not present. The VaHi resident getting the fewest votes of the top eleven residents receiving votes in the election serves as the alternate member.

DSC06465Our neighborhood thrives because of a high level of volunteer involvement by residents in a variety of areas. The framework for much of this volunteerism is provided through VHCA’s committees: Budget, Fundraising (Summerfest, Tour of Homes), Planning, Preservation and History, Parks, Safety, Education and Communications.  Please visit  http://vahi.org/inside-vhca/committees-and-chairs/ for a complete list of the association’s committees, their areas of responsibility and their current chairs/members.

A list of those serving on the 2012-13 VHCA board and their contact information is at http://vahi.org/inside-vhca/board-members/. Any of these board members would be glad to talk with you about the responsibilities and time commitments associated with board service and will be glad to answer any questions you may have.

Many citizens reach the board after serving on a committee, but this is not a specific requirement for running.  If you’d like to run for a seat on the board, please send an email to communications@vahi.org with your name, contact info, a short bio, and a few comments on how and why you’d like to get involved.  A list of all residents running for the board with brief bios will be published on vahi.org and included in The Voice e-newsletter prior to the September 19 annual meeting.

We encourage all VaHi residents to attend the annual meeting and make your voice heard.  (Please be sure to bring your ID or recent utility bill in your name as proof of residency). The more residents we have at the meeting, the more the VHCA’s 2013-14 leadership will reflect the collective thoughts and goals of our community.

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at our annual meeting in September.

2013-14 VHCA Board of Directors Bios

VHLogo_color_horiz_letterheadFollowing are bios for members of the 2013-14 VHCA Board of Directors.

IMG_6945 - Version 2John Becker 

I’ve lived on Rosedale Rd. in VaHi for 12 years and have been an active volunteer in the neighborhood since 2005. My initial volunteer roles were at Summerfest and I also served as editor of the hard-copy Voice newsletter from 2006 until 2010. In 2012 and again this year I served as volunteer coordinator for Summerfest, successfully recruiting and managing over 300 volunteers to support the neighborhood’s largest annual fund-raising event.

I was elected to the VHCA board last year and during this term I served as chair of the communications committee. In this role I’m responsible for the vahi.org website, serve as editor and business manager for The Voice e-newsletter, and generally promote the VaHi brand and raise awareness of association and neighborhood issues through various print and digital media (i.e., I am admin for three different VaHi FB pages). I also served this past year on the Summerfest and parks committees.

I hope to continue helping out with the neighborhood’s communication needs in 2013-14. We have a very active, involved neighborhood and it’s important that we tell our story right and in all the right places.  I’d also like to continue to help provide leadership for Summerfest through involvement in that committee and to do what I can to preserve and improve VaHi’s three tremendous parks by continuing to serve on that committee.

board_peggyPeggy Berg

I moved to Virginia Highland in 1984 and have a home, rental property and had a business in the neighborhood. My husband and I raised our two sons here and I served on PTAs for Morningside Elementary, Inman Middle and Grady High Schools. We have always been active in our neighborhood.

Our family is in the hotel business (we own the Hampton Inn Northlake Mall) and I have also been a partner in a consulting firm and an international CPA firm. I have a strong business background. I have chaired several industry and professional organizations. I recently completed a Masters degree from Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy.

I believe that our individual involvement is what makes our neighborhood such a good place to live so I served on the VHCA Board in 2012 and 2013. I work on sidewalks and streets. This year, the City has responded to requests from us with regard to pedestrian signs, street signs, traffic lights and other maintenance items on the streets. We have also been working on a program to improve sidewalks in Virginia Highland and expect to have 29 sidewalk segments replaced by year-end with collaborative funding from VHCA, the City and property owners.

LinkedIn BrandenbergerDavid Brandenberger

I have been a homeowner on Rosedale Road for nearly fourteen years where I now live with my wife of ten years, Dana and our 6-year old son, Eric. Since playing sports and earning a bachelor’s degree at UC Berkeley, I have been employed in various sales and sales leadership roles in the technology and now ‘cloud’ computing space, presently managing Southeast enterprise sales for a leading marketing automation company based out of Northern California.

Since living in the neighborhood, I have been fairly active with more ‘street-centric’ community activities, including helping to organize block parties, street yard sales, and at various times working with the City, DeKalb County and other adjoining non-residential neighbors to the East of Rosedale Road to try to remedy various rainwater and sewer-related runoff issues of concern to several homeowners on the street. I have a keen interest in preserving our unique intown neighborhood and the quality of life for all residents it provides.

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with family, gardening, cooking, coaching my son’s soccer team and enjoying our awesome neighborhood and surrounding communities. I am eager to expand my leadership and ‘community’ involvement beyond the work I have done on our street and expand this to the broader Virginia-Highland community. While I have interests in potentially working with the Parks, Planning, Communications and/or Safety committees, I feel my skills and enthusiasm would be a good fit anywhere and I am eager to be of service wherever needed most upon being elected to the Board.

IMG_1577Suzanne Buck

Though I’m a Georgia native, I’ve lived in most regions of the country as an adult. I moved back to the Atlanta area in 2005 and moved into the VaHi community in 2008. I love our neighborhood and feel proud to call it my home. It is lovely to live in an in-town, walkable, thriving community and I am happy to be part of a neighborhood that values education, the arts, health and commerce.

I have two elementary aged children; my son Cooper is 9 and is a 4th grader at Springdale Park Elementary and my daughter Della is 7 and is in 2nd grade at SPARK. Cooper and Della both love being out and about around the neighborhood, visiting friends and local parks, and eating out at one of our many fine neighborhood restaurants. Most importantly, they love being able to walk or ride something that has wheels to all these places we go week to week!

I am a CPA and I work in corporate accounting focusing primarily on the area of revenue recognition. In addition to my day job as an accountant and my full time job as a parent, I am an active athlete (boxing, kickboxing, boot camp, biking, yoga), a lover of great beer and wine, someone who appreciates laughter every day, and I try to give back to the community in whatever way I can. For all of us, some years we are able to do more and some years we aren’t able to do as much. I am a former VHMPA board member and now, after a few very hectic years at work and focusing on my kid’s early elementary years, I am excited to get more involved in community affairs once again.

board_lolaLola Carlisle 

I am currently on the VHCA board. I have volunteered with various organizations in Virginia-Highland since 1997. My husband, Tom Beisel, and I have lived in Virginia-Highland at 1030 N. Virginia Ave. since 1993, and are the second family to live at this address! We have a daughter who is 17 years old and has taken advantage of the amazing quality of life we all enjoy here in Virginia-Highland.

Over the years I’ve volunteered with VHMPA, VHCA History & Preservation efforts, PLAN – reporting to the City of Atlanta from Virginia-Highland as the zoning code was revised, the VHCA Planning Committee and various fundraising efforts of VHCA. Having a passion for preservation, I co-authored Images of America – Virginia–Highland history book with Karri Hobson-Pape. The Virginia-Highland History Center, while looking for a better permanent home, is housed at my offices – Tailfin Marketing. Feel free to stop by and talk history.

I hope to continue working with the planning and preservation committees helping to ensure that development in the area supports the neighborhood’s vision. Through proper planning and oversight, Virginia-Highland can represent the best Atlanta has to offer in a vibrant intown neighborhood.

DSC_0293_2Genny Ferrero 

Genny is a returning Board member of the Virginia-Highland Civic Association, having served as Board secretary in since 2011. She is a member of the Planning and Tour of Homes committees. By way of background, Genny and her husband purchased their home in Virginia-Highland in 2011. She is relatively new to Atlanta, having relocated to Atlanta from Chicago with her family in 2009. In Chicago, Genny was a commercial real estate and finance attorney with the law firm of Baker & McKenzie. She also devoted time to the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago. She is now a stay-at-home mother to her three-year-old son and devotes her time to the community.

PicCivicAssocPaige Hewell

I have lived in the neighborhood on Virginia Circle for over a decade. A native Atlantan, I grew up in Buckhead and had little exposure to Va-Hi. I truly love our community and sometimes can’t believe how lucky I am to be a part of it. Leon, my puppy, is loving the neighborhood as well.

My professional background is marketing. I worked primarily in telecom for 10 years before following an old boss to healthcare. I’ve loved the challenges and education I’ve gained from the switch.

Though a latecomer to neighborhood volunteerism, I have really enjoyed working on the Summerfest organization committee. I became involved in many activities that I had never imagined I would, such as appearing in a TV promo and even fence building. I’ve gotten to know some great people whom I might not have met otherwise. I’ve loved every minute of it.

I look forward to continuing my involvement with Summerfest and serving on the board of the Virginia-Highland Civic Association.

Keenan-jeniferJenifer Keenan 

I am a mom, wife, lawyer, and community activist who has lived in Virginia Highland for 10 years. I take great pride in our neighborhood and have been an active neighborhood advocate on the BeltLine and important neighborhood issues. Many may remember me from the “Flowers Not Towers” grass roots campaign opposing the 40-story towers that a developer wanted to build at Piedmont Park near 10th & Monroe.

I have served as the Secretary of NPU-F for the past several years and in that capacity have formed strong relationships with community leaders. My service as NPU Secretary has also allowed me to develop a deep understanding of the issues facing our neighborhoods and the most effective ways to deal with those challenges. My neighbors, friends, work colleagues and fellow NPU board members would all describe me as a “go-getter” – when I see something that needs to be improved or changed, I work hard to make it happen!

I was elected to the VHCA board last year and served on the Planning and Education Committees.  I was recently selected as the co-chair of the VHCA Master Plan submcommittee. The comprehensive Master Plan will address many of the most important topics facing our community, including zoning and development, historic preservation, traffic, parks and open space, environmental issues. I look forward to serving on the Board for 2013 – 2014 and plan to focus on the Master Plan over the next year.

ViHi headshot clColleen Lysen

I’m a new resident of Atkins Park/Virginia-Highland, my husband and I bought our house in May of 2013. Originally I’m from the Philadelphia area, two years ago when we visited Atlanta for the first time we knew that the Virginia-Highland area would be where we would want to live.  We loved all the great restaurants, historic homes, and walking though the neighborhoods parks.

I work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on a molecular epidemiology team that focuses on water borne parasitic diseases.

In my spare time I enjoy travelling and food related endeavors including cooking, tending to my vegetable garden (fending off the squirrels), and trying new foods and restaurants. I have a 4-year-old Australian Shepherd that loves to go for long walks throughout the neighborhood and exploring the great parks that Atlanta has to offer.

Jack White 

When my (then four-year old) daughter and I moved from Midtown to Virginia-Highland in 1984, we were the two youngest people on the half-block.  If I am not now the oldest, I’m pretty darn close. My particular interests are planning, parks, and public resources, particularly water use and stream issues, a field in which I’ve worked for several decades. Our neighborhood schools that both my kids attended are pretty high on the list too.

I’m grateful for the Virginia-Highland Civic Association’s role in helping shape the history of the community.  If the residents of the late 60’s and early 70’s hadn’t organized and stood together with their allies to the north and south, it’s very likely that most of us wouldn’t be living in – and might not even recognize – this neighborhood today.  The idea of a huge interstate highway cleaving the Old Fourth Ward, clipping the Inman School parking lot, splitting Orme Park, and blasting through our neighborhood and Morningside seems even more preposterous in retrospect than it did then, but I believe it’s accurate to say that the successful struggle to prevent that road’s construction represented the first defeat of its scope for the (then) Georgia Highway Department.  (Thankfully, there would be more, the original huge Presidential Parkway among them.)

It took endless energy and an almost illogical faith in the potential of citizen movements to stop that road.   The lasting gifts of that period include are a tradition of openness and a belief in the power of organization that are as important  today as they were then.  The challenges of our decade are not as obvious nor as dramatic, but the need for a strong and democratic community organization that capably advocates for the neighborhood remains very clear.

I’ve enjoyed serving on the board these last two years.  The experience has made me even more appreciative of the Association’s wide range of activities and the volume of effort that our volunteers expend.   The challenges and occasional frustrations have been more than counterbalanced by the chance to work with large numbers of energetic, humorous, and hardworking optimists who like to get things done.  I’d be pleased to serve another year.

Lauren Wilkes FralickLauren Wilkes Fralick 

Lauren and her husband Frank moved to the neighborhood in 2011. They live on Highland View with their dog Abner. Lauren works in Government Relations for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. On the weekends, you may find her working on one of the many “do it yourself” projects they have going on at their home.

Lauren has been a board member for two years and has been a driving force on the Parks Committee. Lauren looks forward to another year serving the neighborhood.

Jess at 4th and SwiftJess Windham

I recently moved to Virginia-Highland with my boyfriend after living in three other parts of Atlanta. This area is certainly the best. A transplant from Charleston, SC, I studied Historic Preservation and Community Planning at the College of Charleston and soon after earned an MBA at The Citadel. Now I’m working as a commercial account manager on an energy efficiency program across the state. I’ve always enjoyed volunteering, either with Lifecycle Building Center, ULI’s Sustainability Committee, or organizing Earth Day for my Green Team at work.

Since day one of moving to Virginia-Highland, I have been active with the neighborhood through the VHCA Planning and Historic Preservation Committees. I joined the committees earlier this year and have reviewed variances, gathered feedback from neighbors on issues, presented on behalf of VHCA at the NPU, and provided input at Board meetings.

In my free time, I like to walk to our great VaHi restaurants or over to Inman Park, Poncey-Highland, or Little Five. I keep my eyes peeled for free art Fridays around town and enjoy crafting, reading Atlanta news, and planning adventures. I have a diplomatic approach, a desire to contribute, and would appreciate the opportunity to serve the neighborhood.

I’d like to be involved on the board so that I can support the neighborhood with broad initiatives, from master planning to fundraising for our parks. Having served on the Planning and Preservation committees, I understand the time, patience, and dedication needed to create positive changes that keep the neighborhood vibrant. Change is inevitable and the desirability of VaHi is only going to grow. I’d like to be on the board to ensure the character and quality of life in Virginia-Highland continues to get better each year.

Agenda Set for VHCA Meeting – February 11, 2013

Virginia-Highland Civic Association Monthly Meeting

7:00 PM;  Monday, February 11, 2013; Ponce de Leon Library

Agenda

  • Call to Order
  • Adoption of Agenda & Approval of Minutes
  • Reports from Public Safety representatives
  • City of Atlanta officials
  • Other elected officials & guests
  • Randy Guensler, Ga. Tech School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Committee Reports:
    • Fundraising
      • Summerfest update – Pam Papner
      • Planning  – Lola Carlisle
        • V-13-002, 1026 Bellevue Drive NE.  Homeowner and applicant Celia O’Keefe seek a special exception to relocate a bedroom inside the existing footprint of a legal non-conforming duplex with a grandfathered apartment in an accessory structure in the rear.  The room currently being used for a bedroom for their small child was not designed for that purpose. A site visit revealed no other issues.  At the Planning Committee meeting on 2-5-13, the applicant had proof of notification of the relevant neighbors.  There were no objections or other relevant comments, and the committee unanimously recommended approval conditioned on site plans stamped and dated 1-8-13.
        • LRB _____ . Applicant and owner Emile Blau seeks a license to sell spirituous liquors at the American Roadhouse, 842 N. Highland Avenue NE.  The applicant’s application was mysteriously undated despite its trip through the City, an unusual (but not unheard of) result. The applicant attended the Planning Committee meeting on 2-5-13 and avers as follows: He has 23 years of experience in the restaurant management at Bones and related businesses; his proposed manager has similar experience. Neither has been personally cited or represented a business cited for underage service of alcohol. He will do in-house training for staff on alcohol service, recognition of boisterous behavior, and identification of conditions that dictate the refusal of service.  The Planning Committee recommended that the application go forward without opposition.
        • Aaron Fortner, Market & Main
          • Analysis of Middle School expansion impacts on traffic, land use, and neighborhood balance
  • Adjournment

Agenda Set for January 14, 2013 VHCA Board Meeting

The VHCA has posted the following agenda for tonight’s regular monthly board meeting. This agenda is tentative and subject to change.

Virginia Highland Civic Association Monthly Meeting

7:00 PM;  Monday, January 14, 2013; Ponce de Leon Library

Tentative Agenda

Call to Order     

Adoption of Agenda & Approval of Minutes

Reports from Police & Fire Representatives

City of Atlanta Officials

Other Elected Officials & Guests

  • Bill Seay, Piedmont Heights Master Plan

VHCA Committee Reports and Proposed Goals and Budgets for 2013 

Fundraising

Tour of Homes -  Financial Summary: Arturo Cruz-Tucker

Summerfest Update – Pamela Papner

Planning  - Lola Carlisle

  • V – 12- 217   Ponce de Leon Terrace NE.  Applicant Magdalena Bach (on behalf of owner John Vertefeuille) seeks a variance from zoning regulations to reduce the west side yard setback from 7’ (required) to 3’8”.  A Planning Committee site visit on 1-7-13 revealed no concerns regarding the setback allowance or tree or runoff issues of concern. The Committee unanimously recommended approval at its meeting on 1-9-13, conditioned on site plans stamped and dated 12-19-12 and proof of notification of the standard eight adjacent owners. The committee recommended native plantings to absorb water from the area at the rear of the property above an intermittent stream; the stream enters an underground in a pipe immediately upstream (to the east), but the area is predictably wet. The applicant agreed to research and provide appropriate options to the owner.

Parks –  Lauren Wilkes-Fralick

  • John Howell Park report
  • VHCL – Pamela Papner
  • New Highland Park opening

Budget Committee – Arturo Cruz-Tucker

Safety Committee

  • Sidewalks Update – Peggy Berg

New Business

Calendar Items

  • Lola Carlisle

Adjournment

Minutes: October 8, 2012 VHCA Board Meeting

Monday, October 8, 2012; the Church of Our Saviour 

CALL TO ORDER

Mr. White called the meeting to order at 7 PM.   The following board members were present:   John Becker, Lola Carlisle,  Arturo Cruz-Tucker, Genny Ferrero, Pamela Papner, David Rein, and Jack White.  Lauren Wilkes Fralick, Nicole Foerschler Horn,  Jennifer Keenan, and David Wolfson and were absent with notice.  Peggy Berg had provided notice of a conflict and arrived subsequently.

WELCOME FROM  FATHER JOHN BOLTON

Father John Bolton extended a warm welcome to the Association, guests, and community members.

ADOPTION OF AGENDA

Mr. White moved to approve the agenda, the motion was seconded by Ms. Carlisle, and the motion passed unanimously.

REPORTS FROM POLICE & FIRE REPRESENTATIVES

The evening shift commander for Zone 6, Neil Klotzer, spoke.   He noted that while he he did not have any statistical data available, the neighborhood’s crime statistics are available online.  He further welcomed any questions from the audience.

It was reported by an audience member that there were three robberies last month in the neighborhood, and that there is an unofficial discussion is ongoing as to whether the people who recently committed similar robberies in Midtown were the same.   Mr. Klotzer advised that he would look into the matter and invited further inquiries by providing his contact information ( NKlotzer@atlantaga.gov; 404-617-8157.    Following additional questioning, Mr. Klotzer further indicated that there were no reported incidents from the recent Streets Alive event.

Other elected officials & guests

None

VHCA Committee reports

Organizational Board Meeting.   Ms. Carlisle reported that the Board had its Organizational Board Meeting on September 23 and that Board officers were elected at that time as follows:   Jack White, President; Lola Carlisle, Vice President; Arturo Cruz-Tucker, Treasurer; Genny Ferrero, Secretary.   Ms. Carlise further commented on the appointment of committee chairs, all of which will be available on the VHCA website.

Planning

V-12-070;  1041 Greencove Ave. NE.   Applicant Mark Arnold spoke on behalf of owners Karrie Furman and Jeffrey Glover, who have requested a reduction in side yard setback from 7’ (required) to 3.5’.   Ms. Carlisle reported that during a site visit, no tree issue or runoff issues were observed and that the Planning Committee unanimously recommended approval.  Mr. White moved that the Board recommend approval to the NPU, conditioned upon the site plan dated 9/19/12 and proof of mailing to adjacent neighbors; the motion passed unanimously.

Parks

Mr. White spoke on behalf of Lauren Wilkes Fralick.  He reported that the application for a grant in support of the Association’s recently-approved John Howell Park Conceptual Plan had been submitted to Park Pride and that a decision was expected in the next month.  He further acknowledged and thanked all of the volunteers who made the October 7th Triangle Planting a success.   Ms. Papner spoke regarding New Highland Park, noting that construction of the park was proceeding  apace and should be substantially complete by the next meeting.   An audience member questioned whether Mr. Glancy has provided the funds raised from his race to the VHCA yet for the construction of New Highland Park.   He has not, Ms. Papner reported on behalf of VHCL.

Fundraising

Tour of Homes.   Angelika Taylor provided an update to the Board, stating that the TOH committee already has $10,000 in sponsorships. There will be six homes and one B&B on the Tour this year, and several magazines have also agreed to publish articles on the event.

Summerfest / New Highland Park.   Ms. Papner informed the Board that this was the best year ever – netting approximately $195,000 in Summerfest proceeds.

Safety/ Sidewalks  Ms. Berg spoke regarding ongoing and proposed sidewalk projects.   She noted that many crosswalks in the neighborhood have been recently improved at her request, and that she is investigating the possibility of adding ADA curbs on various sites.   She also presented a check to the Board for the amount received from the recycling and sale of pavers removed from old sidewalks during replacement.  She explained that the St. Charles bundle will be installed in the next couple of months and, moving forward, she moved for Board permission to investigate three possible bundles in the future and make necessary repairs that fall within the allotted budget.   Mr. White seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Communications.   Mr. Becker spoke regarding the communications committee, and noted that all communications projects are proceeding smoothly.

There was no new business.

Calendar Items

Lola Carlisle commented that the next board meeting will also be held at the Church of our Saviour on November 12.

John Wolfinger reported that there is a graffiti clean-up scheduled for Saturday, October 20, at 9:00 am, to address the remaining graffiti at the back of the Highland Theater.

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 7:50 PM.

Minutes: September 10, 2012 VHCA Board Meeting

7:00 PM;  Monday, September 10, 2012; Ponce de Leon Library

Call to Order

Mr. White called the meeting to order at 7:01. The following board members were present:  Peggy Berg, Lola Carlisle, Frazier Dworet, Genny Ferrero, Brian Gross, Nicole Foerschler Horn, Pamela Papner, Jack White, John Wolfinger, and David Wolfson.  Lauren Wilkes Fralick was absent with notice. Mr. Glancy did not attend.

Adoption of Agenda &  Approval of Minutes

Ms. Foerschler Horn made and Mr. White seconded a motion to adopt the attached agenda, which was approved without objection.

Reports from Police & Fire representatives

None.

City of Atlanta officials

None.

Other Elected officials & guests

None.

VHCA Committee reports

Planning

V-12-134 – 870 Adair Ave.   Applicant Charles Toti (architect Jeffrey Griffin) seeks variances to: (1) reduce the front yard setback from 35’ (required ) to 20’, and (2) reduce the half-depth front yard (along Barnett St.) from 17.5’ (required) to 7’ to allow a second story addition. Architect Jeffrey Griffin spoke on behalf of the applicant.   He noted that the application did not increase the existing lot coverage and only went upward.   He reported that letters of notification have been sent to all neighbors; no concerns have been expressed. Ms. Carlisle noted that the Planning Committee performed a site visit on August 17th and that no tree or runoff issues were observed.  The Planning Committee  unanimously recommends VHCA approval based on site plans dated and stamped August 8, 2012 and proof of mailing to notification of specified adjacent property owners.  Ms. Carlisle moved to approve per the Committee’s recommendations; Ms. Foerschler Horn seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.

V-12-135 – 880 Virginia Circle. Ms. Carlisle reported that applicant Matt Perrine has requested deferral for one month, and this item was not heard.

V-12-138 – 1100 Rosewood Dr. Applicant Jason Douget seeks a variance to (1) reduce the required front yard setback from 35’ to 25’ feet (existing) and to (2) reduce the required side yard setback on the south from 7’ to 2.6’ (existing) to allow a 2nd-story addition.

Builder Tony Tripoli spoke on behalf of the applicant and stated that the existing roof line will remain virtually unchanged; proof of mailings to all neighbors have been supplied.  Mr. Tripoli noted that three of the neighbors have supplied written approval of the plans, and that a fourth neighbor has indicated verbal approval.

Ms. Carlisle noted that at the Planning Committee site visit of August 30, 2012, no apparent runoff or tree issues were noted. The Planning Committee therefore unanimously recommends approval conditioned on site plans stamped and dated August 21, 2012 and proof of appropriate notification of specified adjacent property owners. Mr. White moved to approve the Planning committee recommendations; Ms. Carlisle seconded, and it was unanimously approved.

V-12-140 – 700 Park Drive. Applicant Barry Wright seeks a variance to reduce the required half-depth front yard setback from 17.5’ to 8.3’ (existing) to allow for a 2nd-story addition and to construct a new driveway 23’ wide (20’ allowed.)  Mr. Wright presented the variance request.   He has three of eight signatures from the neighbors, and he is attempting to reach the remaining neighbors individually, but all proofs of mailing have been sent out.

A discussion ensued regarding the width of the driveway entancec and the slope of the lot upon which it sits. After a site visit on August 28, 2012, the Planning Committee asked for new stamped elevations attached to the site plan showing that the slope of the hill and height of the wall adjacent to the proposed new driveway  will conform to the existing grade in the half-depth front yard, to ensure proper visibility of and from cars backing from the driveway. Two public trees – one which was deemed hazardous by the Parks arborist – will be removed.  One public tree will be removed; the applicant will pay recompense as calculated. Ms. Carlisle requested that Mr. Wright provide an update on trees. Due to the removal of several trees on the site, the applicant is seeking to add four trees along their property at Elkmont, and four more at John Howell Park.

Ms. Carlisle reported that the Planning Committee unanimously recommended approval conditioned as amended and proof of appropriate notification of specified adjacent property owners. She therefore moved to approve the application based upon the site plans dated August 22, 2012, and the amended driveway sketches dated September 9, 2012 (which address the sight lines). Mr. White seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.

Nominating Committee and Annual General Meeting – Lola Carlisle

Ms. Carlisle spoke on behalf of the nominating committee and listed the individuals who have agreed to run as Board candidates on the upcoming Annual General Meeting – John Becker, Peggy Berg, Lola Carlisle, Arturo Cruz-Tucker, Genny Ferrero, Lauren Wilkes Fralick,  Nicole Foerschler Horn , Jenifer Keenan, Pamela Papner, David Rein,  Jack White, and David Wolfson – all of whom it recommended for election.

Mr. White thanked the Committee for its work and moved to approve the committee’s recommendations; Ms. Ferrero seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Mr. White further mentioned that a few members will be leaving the board and that we will take a moment to thank them for their service at the general meeting on September 13.

Other Committee Reports 

Mr. Wolfinger spoke regarding $171 that was previously supplied to the Association by the street captain on St. Charles for the removal of graffiti.  The intent was to use the money for the reimbursement of those community members who expended funds in removal efforts. However, because their reimbursement has been done in another fashion, the donor would like the funds returned. Mr. White asked Mr. Dworet if the Association can simply refund the money, and he affirmed that it can.

Ms. Foerschler Horn provided an update regarding school issues, noting that additional neighborhood children are using APS buses based on the extended routes. The City has a set up a meeting with GDOT to discuss better signage along Briarcliff road for children crossing on their way to school.

Mr. White discussed the Parks Committee’s preparation of an application to Park Pride for funding support for the renovations at John Howell Park outlined and specified in the Association’s recently-adopted conceptual plan. If successful, such an application will require support from the Association in a combination of in-kind and cash match on a dollar-for-dollar basis, predominantly cash.  He asked that the board approve and support such an application; Ms. Carlisle seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

New Business

None.

Calendar Items

None.

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 PM.

News (and movies) from VHCA Annual Meeting and 40th Anniversary Celebration

The Board of Directors for the 2012 (October) through 2013 (September) period has been elected.

Minutes of the meeting are forthcoming; however you can watch videos of the meeting, including the many special events such as:

  • SPARK choir performing (watch video)
  • Joe Drolet‘s educational address about the formation of the VHCA to fight construction of an interstate highway through our neighborhood (watch video)
  • Addresses by Pat Gardner, Ceasar Mitchell and Alex Wan (watch video)
  • Remembrance of Warren Bruno and and address by his wife Sandra (watch video)
  • Recognition of former and exiting Board members (watch video)
  • Discussion and voting on amendments to the VHCA by-laws (watch video)
  • Grants to community organizations (watch video)

See a slideshow of the achievements of VHCA and its volunteers below. You can also download it as a PDF file.

Finally, here is the new history video which premiered at the meeting, based upon the book Images of America: Virginia-Highland by Karri Hobson-Pape and Lola Carlisle. It was first shown at the 40th anniversary celebration (2012 annual meeting) of the VHCA. You can watch it full-screen by clicking the square icon in the bottom right of the video.

VHCA Annual Meeting and Elections and VHCA 40th Anniversary Celebration

The Virginia-Highland Civic Association will hold its Annual Meeting and Election at the Inman Middle School Cafeteria on September 13 from 6:30 – 9:00PM.

The Virginia-Highland Civic Association will hold its Annual Meeting and Election at the Inman Middle School Cafeteria on September 13 from 6:30 – 9:00PM. This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the formation of the VHCA, and we have some special events planned. 

Celebration, song, coffee and dessert

Inman Middle School and Springdale Park Elementary (SPARK's) Advanced Choruses will perform. We've invited past board members to attend and be recognized, and we'll give out grants as we do every year. San Francisco Coffee will have coffee and dessert available for purchase.

All residents of Virginia-Highland are encouraged to attend and – if you're not already – become involved in your Neighborhood Association.

Past Board members please note

Please contact us at if you are a past board member planning to attend so that we can be sure to recognize you. Look for a more detailed agenda and reminder next week, and please plan to attend.

Election of the 2012-2013 Board

The nominating committee of the VHCA has presented a list of candidates, all of whom have declared their candidacy.

Members of the association (18 years of age residing within the official boundaries of Virginia-Highland) may vote at the meeting. In order to vote, please bring a copy of a valid ID (GA driver’s license, e.g.) or a utility bill issued within 60 days of the meeting and showing your name and address.

Absentee ballots

Members may also vote by absentee ballot. Your ballot along with a copy of one of the forms of identification mentioned above may be delivered to the offices of Tailfin Marketing (1246 Virginia Ave) by noon on Thursday, September 13th or to the Annual Meeting by its start time at 6:30 PM. Please put your ballot in a sealed envelope with the identification documents separately sealed inside or stapled to the outside. (Please cross out specific account or driver license numbers.) After your residency is verified, the identification documents will be removed and destroyed. Your ballot will remain anonymous.

Proposed bylaw revisions

Revisions to VHCA bylaws are proposed for the membership's consideration (and potential adoption) at the meeting. Here (again) are links to:

  1. the existing bylaws;
  2. the proposed new bylaws, for the membership's consideration (and potential adoption) at our Annual General Meeting on September 13th at Inman Middle School; and
  3. some explanations and commentary on the changes by their primary authors, board members Genny Ferrero and Jack White.

Full Agenda

  • Call to Order and Welcome
  • Intro of Choirs
    • Inman Middle School Chorus – Chorus Director, Stacey Tanner
    • SPARK Advanced Chorus –– Chorus Director, Brianne Turgeon – accompanied by Jenna Mobley on the banjo
  • 40th Anniversary Opening Remarks
  • History of Virginia-Highland Video
  • Intro and Recognition of Past Board Members
    • Remarks by Joseph Drolet
  • Recognition of Guests
  • Community Service Recognition
  • Nomination Committee
  • Bylaws Committee
  • Grant Awards
  • New Business
  • Closing & Adjournment

Thanks to:

  • Jenna Mobley – Photography
  • Twelve – Flowers
  • San Francisco Coffee

VHCA Board Elections

VHCA Board Elections
To be held at the VHCA Annual Meeting – September 13th – Inman Middle School Cafeteria – 6:30 – 9:00PM

The nominating committee of the Virginia-Highland Civic Association presents the following list of candidates, all of whom have declared their candidacy:

Members of the association (18 years of age residing within the official boundaries of Virginia-Highland) may vote at the Annual General Meeting on September 13, 2012 at the Inman Middle School Cafeteria, which begins at 6:30 PM. In order to vote, please bring a copy of a valid ID (GA driver’s license, e.g.) or a utility bill issued within 60 days of the meeting and showing your name and address.

Absentee ballot

Members may also vote by absentee ballot. Your ballot along with a copy of one of the forms of identification mentioned above may be delivered to the offices of Tailfin Marketing (1246 Virginia Ave) by noon on Thursday, September 13th or to the Annual Meeting by its start time at 6:30 PM. Please put your ballot in a sealed envelope with the identification documents separately sealed inside or stapled to the outside. (Please cross out specific account or driver license numbers.) After your residency is verified, the identification documents will be removed and destroyed. Your ballot will remain anonymous.

2012-3 Board Bios

Below are the bios of the candidates elected to the 2012-2013 Board of Directors of the VHCA. The Board was elected by residents on September 13, 2012 at the VHCA Annual Meeting. Following are the bios that they submitted prior to their election.

John Becker

I own a home on Rosedale Road where I’ve lived for 11 years. I’m currently a freelance writer but am looking to return to my old field of pharmacy automation as soon as I find the right sales position.

I have a strong belief in local volunteerism and have been involved in my community in one way or another everywhere I’ve lived. In VaHi I started by volunteering for Summerfest, working a few shifts per festival for several years until being asked to coordinate all volunteers for last year’s festival. We were fortunate to be very successful with volunteer recruitment in 2012, securing our quota of volunteers well ahead of schedule and experiencing very few cancellations and no-shows. Things went very smoothly. I’ve agreed to serve in this capacity again for the 2013 festival.

In 2006 I started serving as editor of the print Voice newsletter and continued in that role until stepping down in 2011. I still write occasional articles for the fantastic new electronic Voice. I’m also an avid digital photographer and have enjoyed serving as the neighborhood’s “unofficial photographer” since starting as Voice editor in 2006.

A few years ago I took an interest in the neighborhood’s parks and became involved with small groups that took on maintenance of areas like the Triangle and John Howell Park. I currently serve informally on the parks committee with Jack White, Lauren Fralick and Laura Voisinet. One of my most gratifying volunteer duties is keeping the doggie waste bag dispensers in John Howell Park full.

I’m a sports fan, racquetball player, and dog lover. If you’re looking for me and I’m not at home, there’s a good chance my dog Dakota and I are on the patio at Taco Mac enjoying something cold to drink.

I’m very excited about the opportunity to continue my service to our neighborhood as a member of the VHCA board. If fortunate enough to be elected, I’d like to continue my focus on Summerfest, communications and parks. I’d appreciate your support.

Peggy Berg

I moved to Virginia Highland in 1984 and have a home, rental property and had a business in the neighborhood. My husband and I raised our two sons here and I served on PTAs for Morningside Elementary, Inman Middle and Grady High Schools. We have always been active in our neighborhood.

Our family is in the hotel business (we own the Hampton Inn Northlake Mall) and I have also been a partner in a consulting firm and an international CPA firm. I have a strong business background. I have chaired several industry and professional organizations. I recently completed a Masters degree from Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy.

I believe that our individual involvement is what makes our neighborhood such a good place to live so I served on the VHCA Board in 2012. I work on sidewalks and streets. This year, the City has responded to requests from us with regard to pedestrian signs, street signs, traffic lights and other maintenance items on the streets. We have also been working on a program to improve sidewalks in Virginia Highland and expect to have 29 sidewalk segments replaced by year-end with collaborative funding from VHCA, the City and property owners.

Lola Carlisle

I am currently on the VHCA board. I have volunteered with various organizations in Virginia-Highland since 1997. My husband, Tom Beisel, and I have lived in Virginia-Highland at 1030 N. Virginia Ave. since 1993, being the second family to live at this address! We have a daughter who is 16 years old.

Over the years I’ve volunteered with VHMPA, VHCA History & Preservation efforts, PLAN – reporting to the City of Atlanta from Virginia-Highland as the zoning code was revised, the VHCA Planning Committee and various fundraising efforts of the VHCA. Karri Hobson-Pape and I co-authored the Images of America – Virginia–Highland history book.

I hope to continue working with the planning and preservation committees helping to ensure that development in the area supports the neighborhood’s vision. Through proper planning and oversight, Virginia-Highland can represent the best Atlanta has to offer in a vibrant intown neighborhood.

Arturo Cruz-Tucker

I was born in Mexico and grew up in El Paso, Texas. I graduated from New Mexico Military Institute, where I received a commission as a 2LT in the US Army Infantry. My wife Dominique and I moved into Virginia-Highland in 2004 to raise our son Triston, who attends Springdale Park Elementary. I have been a small business owner and now work in Sales for Starwood Hotels.

Most recently, I chaired the Virginia-Highland Summerfest Kidfest and have committed to another year in 2013. I also joined the ToH committee under Kris Smith. I sit on the Board for The Carlton Homeowner’s Association and was able to bring FBAC into this community.

Atlanta has been my home for 14 years and I’ve loved every minute of it. My family and I have reaped the benefits of this community’s hard work for many years and feel it is now time to return the favor. We not only want to live in this great neighborhood, we want to be woven into the fabric that holds it together. The people I’ve met and friends we’ve made on the other committees and board only reinforce my desire to be involved and run for the Association. Kidfest was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve been a part of in a long time, and I can’t wait to have many more just like it.

Lauren Wilkes Fralick

Lauren and her husband Frank moved to the neighborhood in 2011. They live on Highland View with their dog Abner. Lauren works in Government Relations for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. On the weekends, you may find her working on one of the many “do it yourself” projects they have going on at their home.

Lauren enjoyed her last year of service on the VaHi board and looks forward to another year serving the neighborhood.

Genny Ferrero

Genny is a returning Board member of the Virginia-Highland Civic Association, having served as Board secretary in 2011-2012. She is a member of the Planning Committee and the Tour of Homes. By way of background, Genny and her husband purchased their home in Virginia Highland in 2011. She is relatively new to Atlanta, having relocated to Atlanta from Chicago with her family in 2009. In Chicago, Genny was a commercial real estate and finance attorney with the law firm of Baker & McKenzie. She also devoted time to the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago. She is now a stay-at-home mother to her three-year-old son and devotes her time to the community.

Nicole Foerschler Horn

Nicole Foerschler Horn is a business owner, a mom, and an active community volunteer. She has served on the VHCA board the last year and the Planning committee for the past year and a half. Over the past 10 months, Nicole led the Association’s response to the Atlanta Public Schools’ redistricting efforts. This summer she organized a cross-cluster meeting to discuss middle school capacity issues and became the first chair of the new VHCA Education Committee. Nicole looks forward to working closely with this committee to more fully engage the civic association in education issues.

In addition to her work with VHCA, Nicole has served on the Springdale Park Elementary PTO board for two terms, this year as co-president. She was an organizing member of Step Up for Public Schools (formerly Step Up or Step Down), which monitors the Atlanta Public School’s board. Nicole is also a graduate of United Way’s VIP board training program.

Nicole is co-owner of JMH Consulting, a firm that works with universities across the country to launch certificate programs for adult students and enhance online marketing efforts for continuing education departments. Nicole is married to Jon Horn and is the mom of two amazing kids: Gavin (age 6) and Hayden Grace (age 4).

Jenifer Keenan

I am a mom, wife, lawyer, and community activist who has lived in Virginia Highland for almost 10 years. I take great pride in our neighborhood and have been an active neighborhood advocate on the BeltLine and important neighborhood issues. Many may remember me from the “Flowers Not Towers” grass roots campaign opposing the 40-story towers that a developer wanted to build at Piedmont Park near 10th & Monroe.

I have served as the Secretary of NPU-F for the past several years and in that capacity have formed strong relationships with community leaders, including VHCA board members. My service as NPU Secretary has also allowed me to develop a deep understanding of the issues facing our neighborhoods and the most effective ways to deal with those challenges. My neighbors, friends, work colleagues and fellow NPU board members would all describe me as a “go-getter” – when I see something that needs to be improved or changed, I work hard to make it happen!

I am currently on the VHCA Education Committee and would like to become a member of the Board. If elected, I would like to focus on education, parks, zoning, and the BeltLine. I appreciate your vote and would be honored to serve on the VHCA Board.

Pamela Papner

Colin and I have lived in Virginia-Highland for over 10 years. In my first year on the Board, I served as VHCA Secretary, PR Chair for Home Tour, and Co-Chair for recruiting Summerfest volunteers.

From 2007 to present, I served as VHCA President (2007-2011), co-chaired the successful Neighborhood Commercial Zoning initiative (2007-2008), have been Summerfest Co-Chair or Director since 2007. (Net revenues exceeded $110K in 2007 and grew to estimated $170K in 2012). I also led the initiative to purchase additional green space for New Highland Park, which closed in late 2008. I focused on fundraising to construct that new green space, and our fundraising activities resulted in ~$150K to build that project, which began construction last month. With a group of neighbors, I also worked to successfully raise ~$240K for the recent Orme Park renovation. In the years prior to 2012, I played an active role collecting and writing content for the Va-Hi Voice quarterly newsletter.

Next year, if elected, I would like to focus on securing capital grants for New Highland Park. I am also willing to work with the stellar committee we put in place this year (including Co-Chair Ann Guy) to deliver another successful Summerfest. I like fundraising and am proud that our efforts have achieved such tangible results. I enjoy “giving back” to the community and working with so many talented residents who are willing to roll up their sleeves and contribute. It’s what makes our neighborhood special!

David Rein (alternate)

David Rein rented in Virginia Highland from 1997 to 2001, briefly moved to Midtown, and returned to Virginia Highland as a homeowner in 2005. He and his wife Maria have two children that attend (or soon will) Springdale Park Elementary (Spark). David has served as the PTO President, Vice-President, and Fundraising Chair of Spark. David works as a Research Scientist in the Atlanta office of the National Opinion Research Center, a research affiliate of the University of Chicago. David currently serves on the VHCA Education Committee. On the board, he plans to pursue his interests in education and public safety.

Jack White

When my (then four-year old) daughter and I moved from Midtown to Virginia-Highland in 1984, we were the two youngest people on the half-block. If I am not now the oldest, I’m certainly pretty close. My particular interests are planning, parks, and public resources, particularly water use and stream issues, a field in which I’ve worked for several decades. Our neighborhood schools that both my kids attended are pretty high on the list too.

I’m grateful for the association and appreciate its role in shaping the history of the community. If the residents of the late 60’s and early 70’s hadn’t organized and stood together with their allies to the north and south, it’s very likely that most of us wouldn’t be living in – and might not even recognize – this neighborhood today. The idea of a huge interstate highway cleaving the Old Fourth Ward, clipping the Inman School lot, splitting Orme Park, and blasting through Morningside seems even more preposterous in retrospect than it did then, but I believe it’s accurate to say that preventing its construction represented the first defeat of its scope for the Georgia Highway Department. (Thankfully, there would be more, the Presidential Parkway among them.) It took endless energy and an almost illogical faith in the potential of citizen movements to pull it off.

The tradition of openness and belief in the power of organization that were so critical then are still with us and still very important. The challenges of the moment are not as dramatic – thank goodness – but the need for a strong and democratic community organization that capably advocates for the neighborhood remains very clear.

I’ve enjoyed serving on the board this year. Serving as President gave me a lot of insight into the Association’s wide range of activities and the volume of effort that our volunteers expend. It’s been a rewarding experience. The challenges and occasional frustrations have been more than counterbalanced by the chance to work with large numbers of energetic, humorous, and hardworking optimists who like to get things done. I’d be pleased to serve another year.

David Wolfson will serve as the Board member appointed by Atkins Park.

Voice – Fall 2004

Download PDF (3.7 MB)

- Vote for your Board of Directors on September 13
- Water restrictions underway
- Tour of Homes update
- President’s address, by Kevin Cronin (Summerfest success)
- Proposed amendments to VHCA bylaws
- Why we don’t use MARTA, by Chip Gallagher
- Highland Hoer: A gardener’s heart, by John Wolfinger

Voice – Winter 2003

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- Build a playground at John Howell Park
- Meet your new board of directors (bios)
- Dramatic transformation of Piedmont Park continues with the help of VHCA challenge grant
- Public menorah lighting, by Rabbi Eliyahu Schusterman
- President’s address, by Kevin Cronin (Summerfest funds raised; $46K in grants to neighborhood)
- Highland Hoer: Gardening in Virginia-Highland has come a long way since the ’70s, by John Wolfinger

Voice – Fall 2003


Sidewalk memorial to Cunard family

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- Vote for your Board of Directors on September 3
- President’s Address by Steven Kushner (criticism of Atkins Park resident parking)
- Proposed amendment to VHCA bylaws
- Security patrol update, by Officer B. Miller, Jr.
- Virginia-Highland by the numbers, by Chip Gallagher
- Meet congressman John Lewis
- Pictures from Summerfest 2003
- Highland Hoer: Late summer gardening, by John Wolfinger
- First person: Barrel of Fun, by Robert Ramsay
- Picture of sidewalk memorial to Cunard family
- City arborist suggests ways to check on your trees’ health

Voice – Fall 2001

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  • Jules Burt, artist and creator of artwork for Summerfest incl. t-shirts
  • Planning update by Betty Baumann and Winnie Currie: Eats ‘n’ Sweets location, 830 Ponce (case to save the trees was lost)
  • PEDS
  • Summerfest 2001 was success
  • Park and tree news: GA Power line clearance, 817/821 Brookridge trees, Final defeat at 830 Ponce
  • Overview of VHCA committees

Voice – Winter 1994

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- Board members each answer 6 interview questions (J.D. Christy, Debbie Skopczynski, Winnie Currie, Tom Austin, Bruce Taylor, Arnold Gross, Amy Waterman, Steve Jaggers, Mary Jo Peed, Melanie Davenport, Paul Concannon)
- Everything you wanted to know about zoning but were afraid to ask, by Stephen Jagger and Debbie Skopczynski
- President’s Corner, by J.D. Christy
- Annual meeting seats new board, by Beth Marks
- Photos from annual meeting
- Bike Stuff
- Environmental potpourri, by Nan Hunter
- Col. Mustard reviews Camille’s
- Happy (1st) birthday, Virginia-Highland Business Association
- Art supports A.I.D.S., by Shelley Scher
- Local group (CAUTION) makes a difference, by Shelley Scher
- School news
- Tips from the trade: Review of The Common Pond, which sold environmentally friendly products
- John Howell Park project, by Tinka Green
- Greening up for the gold, by Stephanie Coffin, co-chair Parks
- Letters of thanks from recipients of VHCA grants

Voice – Winter 1993

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- the fate of Summerfest will be decided at the December VHCA meeting: Should we enlarge it, make it smaller? Should we move it from John Howell Park?
- Meet your new board (bios of all board members)
- Having a bad hair day? (Review of VaHi hari salons), by Deborah Cox
- Recycle today, by Nan Hunter
- “B.A.T.”, bicycle quiz by Mike Goodman
- John Howell Park Project (update) by Jerry Bright
- School news
- Shop for a good cause, Window to the World, Mennonite church shop opens