Virginia-Highland Civic Association Board Meeting
April 9, 2012; Ponce de Leon Library
Mr. White called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM. The following board members were present: Lola Carlisle, Frazier Dworet, Genny Ferrero, Lauren Wilkes Fralick, Rob Glancy, Nicole Foerschler Horn, Pamela Papner, Jack White, John Wolfinger, & David Wolfson. Peggy Berg was late with notice and arrived subsequently. Brian Gross was absent with notice.
A. ADOPTION OF AGENDA
The attached agenda (“Addendum 1”) was approved without objection.
B. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. White made and Ms. Carlise seconded a motion to adopt the minutes from the February and March meetings. The motion passed unanimously.
C. POLICE AND FIRE
Captain Hobbs of the APD reported that crime was up over the past month. He noted that it was primarily vehicle break-ins. APD is optimistic that criminals apprehended in Buckhead recently may have been involved in the crimes in Virginia Highland. He reminded us of the “Clean Car Campaign,” which calls upon people not to keep expensive items in plain view in their vehicles. Captain Hobbs also reminded everyone to note the serial number of bikes, etc., so that any crimes can be promptly and effectively reported.
D. CITY AND ELECTED OFFICIALS
Councilmember Wan was stuck in traffic and could not be present. At his request, Mr. White read an email. Dept of Watershed Management has waived all late charges for the month of March, because the Department was late in getting bills out. There were no city or elected officials present.
E. STREETS ALIVE PROPOSAL
A representative from Streets Alive made a presentation on the scheduled event. As planned, on May 20, 2012 the event will cause the closure of N. Highland between 2 and 6 pm. There will be no outdoor vending, and CVS appears to be the only business who opposes the street closure. Even coordinators are expecting approximately 10,000 people to attend. Security will be handled by APD.
Ms. Berg moved that the Board endorse the Streets Alive event. Ms. Foerschler Horn seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
F. VHCA COMMITTEE REPORTS
V-12-036 – 695 Cooledge Avenue. (A variance relating to the reduction of side yard setback from 7 feet to 3’4”.) Applicant Holly Cranford, presented the variance, which addresses the construction of a side porch. There is no run-off issue. All neighboring property owners have been notified and all have expressed support of the variance request. The lot coverage is less than 40%. The Planning Committee unanimously recommended approval. Ms. Carlisle moved that the board approve the application, and Ms. Ferrero seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.
Mr. Dworet provided an update on the budget, announced the completion of an uneventful audit pursuant to GEFA financing requirements for the New Highland Park purchase, and noted VHCA had in place all the auditor’s suggested changes.
Ms. Papner provided an update regarding New Highland Park, noting that, despite minor setbacks with the City, construction is targeted for early June. The anniversary party at the Osteria restaurant at 832 N. Highland will be held May 8, 5-10 pm, and the proceeds are to equally benefit the park and the firehouse.
Ms. Papner provided an update regarding Summerfest preparations. Summerfest will be held on June 2-3. Although the downturn in the economy is affecting the number of artist entries and those willing to purchase sponsorships, Ms. Papner is hopeful that much ground can be gained through selling additional sponsorships. Additional information regarding the event will be available on the VHCA website.
TOUR OF HOMES
Ms. Carlisle introduced Angelika Taylor, chair of the 2012 Tour of Homes committee. Ms. Taylor provided an update regarding the current status of next year’s Tour of Homes. She also noted that we have a need for someone to work on media/PR for next year’s event. The next meeting is scheduled for April 19, 7 pm, at Tailfin.
SAFETY & SIDEWALKS
Ms. Berg asked that we recognize the City of Atlanta Department of Public Works. The City has fixed all but one item on our request list. The next list is coming together, so Ms. Berg invited people to let her know of any issues.
Ms. Berg also noted that many of the neighborhood crosswalks need to be re-painted. She is trying to work with AGL to determine if they will paint crosswalks in connection with prior projects.
With regard to the sidewalks, Ms. Berg explained that progress has been made on assembling the first sidewalk repair “bundle” is in process. The City has agreed to pay for its share of the sidewalk repairs, and the property owners will pay their respective shares. Ms. Berg explained that she will likely request that the Civic Association contribute some funds as well, to encourage property owners to complete the repairs. She is hopeful that the first bundle will be scheduled for construction in the fall.
Ms. Foerschler Horn spoke regarding the current status of APS redistricting. A new redistricting plan is scheduled to be released at 9:30 pm tonight, and a vote on the final plan will be held tomorrow, April 10, 2012.
Mr. Wolfinger reported that there was a recent fire in the grove behind 530 Orme Circle. It may have involved homeless citizens living there.
No new business was noted.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM.