The annual meeting and election of officers will be held on Thursday, September 19, 2013. Tentative location is the Inman Middle School cafeteria. Details to follow.
Virginia-Highland Civic Association Monthly Meeting
7:00 PM, Monday March 11 2013; Ponce de Leon Ave. Library
Call to Order
Adoption of Agenda and Approval of Minutes
Reports from Police and Fire Representatives
City of Atlanta Officials
Other Elected Officials and Guests
Planning Committee: Lola Carlisle
> Addition of new member Jess Windham
VHCA Goals and Budget for 2013
> Summerfest update – Pamela Papner
Parks: Lauren Wilkes-Fralick
> John Howell Park report
> New Highland Park grand opening event – Pamela Papner
> Sidewalks Update – Peggy Berg
Calendar Items: Lola Carlisle
Virginia-Highland Civic Association Monthly Meeting
7:00 PM; Monday, February 11, 2013; Ponce de Leon Library
- 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:
- 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
By: Jack White, VHCA Board President
In December, the Inman Task Force formed by school board representative Cecily Harsch-Kinnane issued a report on the two issues it was asked to consider: (1) whether a 6th or 8th grade academy would be a better short-term solution for the Grady Cluster’s overcrowding, and (2) potential sites for such an academy. The Task Force preferred a 6th grade academy and named three possible sites, two of them in Virginia-Highland (one next to the existing Inman building, and the other being the block south of Cresthill Avenue and west of Monroe now occupied by about eight private homes that would be torn down.)
The VHCA Planning Committee asked Aaron Fortner – the principal at Market & Main and our municipal consultant for several years – to analyze a number of important factors outside the purview of the Task Force, particularly the traffic, policy, and planning implications and impacts of construction at the two VaHi locations. His firm compared such outcomes at those two sites to a third location also recommended (less enthusiastically) by the Task Force: the Howard School located in the Old Fourth Ward.
The Market & Main analysis is available here.
Well aware that APS will consider many factors in reaching this decision and facing an announced end-of-January deadline, we very much wanted this information and these concerns to be in front of APS Superintendent Erroll Davis before he acted. Accordingly, members of the VHCA Planning Committee met with Superintendent Davis and other APS officials last week to present the findings contained in the Market & Main report.
Our discussion with Superintendent Davis was cordial, detailed, and thorough; he specifically asked about the history of the neighborhood, the Civic Association, and its historic support of public education. Davis spoke carefully, as he always does, making several key points: (1) His anticipated January deadline for a decision will not be met; (2) He is looking for a site that could accommodate a middle school in the future, though he did not say that one would be built; (3) None of the locations recommended by the Task Force is ideal, and APS is reviewing many options, including the original three sites.
The Market & Main report makes no recommendation as to what location should be picked, but we are aware that the conclusions in it may not be welcomed by anyone who believes that expansion at the Inman or Monroe sites is the only acceptable outcome to the attendance challenges facing the Grady cluster. The report focuses on the overall impacts of building in VaHi – increased traffic, non-conforming land use, congestion – and the implications that flow from them, specifically those that might contribute over the long run to permanently altering the residential character of the neighborhood.
Such challenges exist in many contexts independent of possible new school construction. The popularity of the Beltline has heightened traffic/pedestrian conflicts on an already-stressed Monroe (where both the Piedmont Heights Master Plan and the Beltline Plan suggest changes), and pedestrian safety on Briarcliff is a very real concern for those walking to SPARK. A separate public meeting next week at Inman Middle School will hear about pending traffic changes intended to relieve congestion on Ponce. The neighborhood has existing un-built commercial and residential capacity, the eventual utilization of which is very likely to exacerbate today’s traffic challenges.
The permanent impacts of unplanned construction in our neighborhood outside the Comprehensive Development Plan require especially thorough consideration. Our primary goal – as it is frequently is in such matters – was to examine the traffic and policy issues in a professional context with an independent planner, and that is what Market and Main provided.
As always, please let us know your thoughts about the report. Aaron Fortner will be at our next VHCA meeting (February 11th, 7 PM, Ponce library) to amplify on his work.
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
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
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
- Sidewalks Update – Peggy Berg
- Lola Carlisle
By: Jack White, VHCA Board President
Bill Seay from the Piedmont Heights Civic Association (PHCA) will make a brief presentation on that group’s proposed new master plan at this month’s regular VHCA board meeting. The meeting is scheduled for Monday January 14 at 7 PM at the public library on Ponce de Leon Avenue.
Piedmont Heights, Virginia-Highland, Morningside/Lenox Park, and Lindridge/Martin Manor are the neighborhoods that comprise NPU-F. The PHCA defines Piedmont Heights’ boundaries as being roughly I-85 on the north, the (future) BeltLine on the southwest, and Piedmont Road on the south and east. The association is seeking NPU approval for their master plan, and part of that process involves giving adjacent neighborhoods the chance to hear about the plan first-hand.
The plan merits our attention, partly because the VHCA Planning Committee has been examining the planning implications of traffic issues on our major streets for some time, and specifically because the PHCA’s plan supports the BeltLine-adopted future recommendation of reducing Monroe Drive from 4 to 3 lanes north of Piedmont. The PHCA has had to contend with Monroe as a choke point for decades. Their thinking is shifting away from expanding that street’s capacity and toward trying to making it more pedestrian and cycling-compatible, characteristics it emphatically does not possess at this point anywhere along its length.
Given the new pedestrian/bike usage and increased crowds at the new BeltLine connection with Monroe in VaHi, this challenge is increasingly front and center for us as well. BeltLine usage is likely to increase dramatically this spring. As Monroe is currently the only formal entrance point the BeltLine trail from our neighborhood, pedestrian safety is a real concern.
Click here for more details on Piedmont Height’s proposed master plan.
Interested in investing some time giving back to this wonderful in-town community that means so much to all of us? If so, we’d like to hear from you.
The Virginia-Highland Civic Association (VHCA) has much work to do and volunteers are needed! If you’re not familiar with the VHCA please visit our website at vahi.org to learn more about our neighborhood, the association and the many ways you can get involved.
Following are two current immediate needs but volunteers of all interests are always welcome. For more information or to volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The Historic & Preservation Committee is currently searching through old civic association documents, organizing them and digitizing as much as we can. We’d love an organized, tech savvy volunteer to take on this task. If you’d like to learn more about the committee and its goals look us up at http://vahi.org/planning/preservation/ or email us at email@example.com.
• Also, the Planning Committee is busy year round and the work this committee does is very important. The committee reviews zoning variance applications and monitors a range of development activities in our area and surrounding neighborhoods. As a start, we need an organized and somewhat tech savvy volunteer to help set up and attend meetings and create and post reports. Serving in this position will be a good way to begin to learn all about the Planning Committee, city zoning approval processes and more. To learn more go to http://vahi.org/planning/ or mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I can say from personal experience that working with the association and its board and committee members of the VHCA is a rewarding experience. As a group, those who volunteer are fun to be with and inspiring, and the organization’s goals and achievements are worthy.
Thanks and we look forward to hearing from eager volunteers.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:50 PM.
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
City of Atlanta officials
Other Elected officials & guests
VHCA Committee reports
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.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 PM.
In the August 2012 VHCA Board meeting, the Board voted to immediately discontinue publication of the VOICE as a printed magazine, although special editions may be published in the future as warranted. This decision came after audience discussion as well as a notice on the cover of May's printed edition of the VOICE. VHCA will realize cost savings of over $10,000 a year, money that will now be available to benefit the community in other ways. Since moving to our new e-newsletter format in December 2011, we have received much positive feedback about them, which provide residents more timely information. Remember to tell your neighbors to sign up for the e-newsletters on this site and to look for the red box. If you have neighbors without email access that would like to receive printouts of the e-newsletters, please let us know at email@example.com.
Thanks to Nan Hunter for providing us with most back issues of the VOICE from 1990 through 1995. We've scanned them and uploaded them to this website. You can find them by going to News/Events and selecting VOICE (Print Edition) Archive, or by following this direct link. We have provided a summary listing of most articles in each VOICE. You can also use the topic index on the right side of the page to find editions with articles on topics of interest to you. Nan Hunter worked on the newsletter and for the VHCA for many years, and you can find her recycling and environmental columns in these issues.
Here are links to:
(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.
We suggest starting with the Commentary and proceeding from there.
Your comments and suggestions are requested and welcomed:: firstname.lastname@example.org
published November 2011
Download PDF here (1.5 MB)
- Tour of Homes
- Challenges for new VHCA Board
- Board bios, Shop locally
- RRISA benefit
Download PDF here (7.5 MB)
- Recent accomplishments of VHCA
- Maintaining curb appeal
- Funding received to benefit Orme and New Highland parks
- Rosedale Dr./N. Virginia intersection improvements made
- New businesses (Catalyst, Genki)
- History Part XI
Download PDF (1.5 MB)
- Summerfest success
- President’s Corner: VHCA achievements of past 12 months
- Historic designation interest survey results to be presented
- Atlanta’s oldest fire station seeks funds for renovation
- Green Dream – New Highland Park fundraising
- Osteria 832
- Gas main replacement project nears completion
- History part VIII
- Public safety update: city codes and code violators
- Java Jive
- 2010 Tour of Homes with Design Forum
Download PDF (2.8 MB)
- Summerfest success
- Safety: our neighborhood connection VHList with 331 members
- President’s corner: past year’s achievements
- Streetscape Phase II (Triangle area) update
- Neighborhood arboretum coming to VaHi
- History part IV
- School news: MES, Inman
- New Highland Park fundraising update
- Join the New Highland Park Conservancy
- Neighborhood feels impact of Callanwolde construction
- New afterschool program (Garrison)
- City Storage
- Col. Mustard reviews D.B.A. Barbeque
Download PDF here (167 KB)
- VHCA bylaw amendments
- Census highlights (incl. humor)
- Summerfest, Farmers’ Market
- Sweet Feet (shoe shop)
- Piedmont Park baseball
- Highland Hoer (gardening)
- 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)
- 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
- Planning news: Cafe Planetarian permit issues (1043 Greenwood, as of 2012 Panita Thai Kitchen)
- Public safety news
- Meet your 1997-8 Board
- President’s Corner: Streetscape
- Parks update: tree plantings
- Summerfest 1997
- Parks committee flower and tree news
- Other committee reports and President’s corner
- President’s message
- Committee descriptions
Clipping from the Great Speckled Bird 1/21/1974
- Congressional candidates to speak
- Tour of Homes planned
- Membership drive
- Neighborhood organizes against freeway
- City plans widening of Monroe and Highland Avenues