Minutes – Board Meeting – January 14, 2013

Virginia Highland Civic Association Board of Directors Monthly Meeting
7:00 PM; Monday, January 14, 2013; Ponce de Leon Library


Mr. White called the meeting to order at 7 PM.

The following Board members were present: Jack White, Lola Carlisle, Jenifer Keenan, Arturo Cruz-Tucker, John Becker, Nicole Foerschler Horn, Genny Ferrero, and Lauren Wilkes Fralick; Peggy Berg is teaching class and arrived subsequently, as did Pamela Papner. David Wolfson was absent with notice.


Mr. White made and Nicole Foerschler Horn seconded a motion to adopt the agenda attached hereto as Annex A. The motion was approved unanimously.


Lieutenant Klutzer reported on the crime levels in the neighborhood. He noted that property crimes are the main issue; he touched again on the ‘Clean Car’ campaign. Most vehicle break-ins involve the theft of computers and such, and he explained that a perpetrator will often break into a car that contains a gym bag hoping that it contains valuables. Upon questioning from the audience, he further advised that alarms, dogs, and high exterior visibility discourage home break-ins.


Atlanta City Council District 6 member Alex Wan reported that he will remain on the Zoning Committee this year, and will also serve on the Finance/Budget committee and Utilities. Tomorrow the City will be voting on the recently revised ‘green infrastructure’ stormwater management ordinance; Mr. Wan complimented the neighborhood as being cited by the Department of Watershed Management for its persistent championing of methods that improve on-site stormwater collection and reduce impervious surfaces.

Mr. Wan also touched on the proposed attempts in the Cheshire Bridge corridor to phase out existing non-coming grandfathered uses. He explained that zoning was changed in 2005, and he believed that eight years has been sufficient time to recover investments. Negotiations about this matter will be ongoing for some time.

At the request of Ms. Horn, Mr. Wan also spoke about the proposed football stadium. The Atlanta Falcons ownership wants a stadium with a retractable dome, partly to assist in the pursuit of future Super Bowl events. A new stadium will require paying off the existing bonds, the approval of the Georgia legislature of the hotel/motel rental tax for construction, and an estimated $200-300M in infrastructure repairs by the City. Mr. Wan opposes the proposal, since the stadium was renovated only a few years ago; he would prefer that the legislature use hotel/motel taxes for other purposes.

An audience member asked about overhead power lines. Mr. Wan noted that it is generally very expensive to bury the lines and that Georgia Power has not been broadly supportive of such efforts.

An audience member questioned whether any attempts had been made to address loitering at Ponce City Market. Mr. Wan explained that the City recently passed a panhandling ordinance, which attempted to more clearly define what constitutes “panhandling” in the City. We are only 60 days into the new bill, and he expects that the APD is “ramping up its ability to deal with it.”


Piedmont Heights Master Plan. Mr. Bill Seay of Piedmont Heights presented that neighborhood’s Master Plan as part of its outreach to the other communities in NPU-F. He detailed the history of the Piedmont Heights area and how it has evolved to its present state. Experiencing greater traffic with limited ingress and egress points to the community, the Piedmont Heights community viewed the building of the Beltline and its associated changes as an opportunity to address major transportation problems in that community. Their proposed master plan contemplates a number of solutions to improve access and ameliorate traffic on Piedmont and Monroe, including their adoption of the Beltline recommendation to reduce the section of Monroe Drive from Montgomery Ferry to Piedmont from 4 lanes to 3, with separated bike lands and a middle turn lane. Mr. Seay specifically pointed out several potential roundabouts (including one at the intersection of Piedmont and Monroe) that might improve traffic movement. All surrounding neighborhoods have contributed to the revised master plan. After questioning from the audience, Mr. White noted that this plan would not address the segment of Monroe south of Piedmont Heights, and that this Board may want to consider a study that anticipates and addresses the already existing high volumes of traffic in that span, which includes Morningside and Virginia-Highland. He further noted that Mr. Wan supports our efforts to examine what possibilities for traffic studies may occur in the anticipated bond issue.

After thanking Mr. Seay for his presentation, Ms. Ferrero made a motion to express VHCA support of the Piedmont Heights Master Plan at the upcoming NPU meeting, in order that that neighborhood may use it as a basis for future studies and negotiations for improvements. Ms. Berg seconded it, and the motion passed unanimously.

Publix Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon. Danielle Puckerin (dpuckerin@usroadsports.com) spoke on behalf of US Road Sports regarding the upcoming Annual Publix Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon on St. Patrick’s Day. Some road closures will be expected, and such closures will be noted at www.usroadsports.com. Ms. Berg asked Ms. Puckerin to make all road markings for the marathon in washable paint; some prior road races have failed to do. An audience member also suggested that in future years, the marathon could consider using the Beltline to avoid creating a ring around various neighborhoods that substantially impedes traffic flow. Another audience member also suggested that efforts be made to address traffic for safety reasons. Mr. White asked if the clean-up efforts will match those of previous years; Ms. Puckerin assured the group that they will.


  • Planning – Ms. Carlisle spoke on behalf of the Planning committee with respect to the following item:
  • V-12-217; 842 Highland Terrace NE. –Architect Magdalena Bach spoke on behalf of the owner and co-applicant John Vertefeuille, who seek a variance from the zoning regulations to reduce the west side yard setback from 7’ to 3’8”. The renovation will involve lifting the roof three feet and will not change the existing footprint of the home. Ms. Carlisle reported that the Planning Committee observed no tree issues or stormwater concerns at its site visit; lot coverage will remain at 15.2%. The Planning Committee requested that the owner plant some additional trees and shrubs at the low area at the rear, above a previously-piped stream; the applicant agreed to do so. The Planning Committee unanimously recommended approval of the application. Ms. Papner explained that the home next door to this site had recently been sold and asked whether this information had been sent to the new owner. The property records have not been updated, but Ms. Papner volunteered to do so and Ms. Bach said she’s be glad to speak to them. Ms. Carlisle moved to approve the variance request and Ms. Horn seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
  • New Member of Planning Committee. Karen Feigh, who lives on St. Charles and teaches at George Tech, has volunteered to become a member of the Planning Committee, particularly to assist in its recordkeeping and outreach. Ms. Carlisle made and Ms. Ferrero seconded a motion that Ms. Feigh be appointed to that committee, and it passed unanimously.
  • Fundraising

Tour of Homes. Arturo Cruz-Tucker reported the financial outcomes of the 2012 Tour of Homes, as follows: Total Ticket Sales: $27,614; Total Sponsor Funds Collected to Date: $13,600, with $1000 still pending; Total Profits: $34,903. It was an outstanding performance by the Tour of Homes Committee, with a record net that exceeded last year’s previous record.

Summerfest. Ms. Papner provided an update on progress for the Summerfest 2013. To that end, she stated that almost all new contracts are in place, and that her committee has already made much progress (nearing $100,000) with respect to sponsorships. In particular, there has been a strong interest expressed with regard to beverage sponsorships for the event. Further, Ms. Papner noted that she has confirmed a media sponsorship with CBS Atlanta, and will be meeting with Creative Loafing to discuss other promotional materials.

  • Parks
  • John Howell Park. VHCA has received a $50,000 grant from Park Pride to apply to park improvements. We are in the process of receiving bids from contractors to determine where the work will be done. We are also beginning fundraising efforts to match the funds. Any interested party can go to the VaHi.org website to purchase bricks for John Howell.
  • VHCL / New Highland Park. We have received a contract proposal for monthly maintenance at New Highland Park from Evergreen. The maintenance proposal is for $40 per month, and includes cutting, edging, blowing, removing debris. Additionally, benches are now installed at New Highland Park, and only a few incremental planning items remain (all of which will be completed before the grand opening on March 16). Festivities will take place at noon.
  • Budget Committee – The 2013 budget will strongly resemble the budget for 2012 and that information will be available online or at the next meeting.
  • Safety Committee – Ms. Berg noted that she has been working to recruit street captains to fill the few gaps that exist, and has identified severral good cnadiates. She further noted that she recently had a meeting with FBAC, which has had a change in management, and she hopes to be working with them as time goes on. She also mentioned putting together a packet for new homeowners in the neighborhood. The cost will be approximately $500 per year, and will also address renters. The package will include coupons to businesses in the neighborhood (including some Morningside businesses as well). With regard to the sidewalk project, Ms. Berg reported that the City received a bid to complete the sidewalks at an amount equal to $13 per foot, which is much higher than was anticipated. Ms. Berg has asked the City to obtain a new quote that reflects a more realistic number. Additionally, Ms. Berg noted that the City now has an official sidewalk committee, of which she is a member.


David Rein has resigned as an alternate board member. Several people have expressed interest in replacing him.




The meeting was adjourned at 8:25 PM.


Minutes – August 13, 2012


Virginia-Highland Civic Association Board Meeting

August 13, 2012; Ponce de Leon Library


Mr. White called the meeting to order at 7 PM.

The following board members were present: Lola Carlisle, Frazier Dworet, Genny Ferrero, Nicole Foerschler Horn, Lauren Wilkes Fralick, Jack White, John Wolfinger, and David Wolfson. Pamela Papner arrived subsequently. Peggy Berg, Rob Glancy, and Brian Gross were absent with notice.

* * *


Ms. Carlisle moved to adopt the agenda. The motion was seconded by Ms. Ferrero and passed unanimously (with a slight amendment as to the order, for the purpose of accommodating visitors). The attached agenda (“Addendum 1”), as revised, was approved without objection.

* * *


Officer Moore from Zone 6 spoke on behalf of APD. He noted that there have been 146 arrests for the week, 684 arrests for the month, and over 4,000 arrests for the year. He further cautioned that people should be aware of leaving valuables in their car, and providing cell phones to youth (who subsequently steal them). An audience member also expressed concern about the parking of taxi cabs at the corner of Greenwood and N. Highland; Mr. Wolfinger promised a follow-up with APD on the issue.

* * *

None were present.

* * *


Rebecca Serna of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition spoke with regard to the Streets Alive event this past May and reported that the group has applied to repeat it on October 7, with a route revision that forms a loop down Virginia Avenue to the Atlanta BeltLine, which will be open by that point. Some residents who live southwest of the Virginia/Highland intersection voiced concerns about being closed in; Ms. Serna said the route would be permeable and allow crossings and that residents who wanted to use their cars would have the option of being walked by police officers to their homes, as was the case in May. Mr. Wolfinger asked if any business owners had expressed opposition; Ms. Serna noted that only one antique shop owner in Inman Park had and that others had supported it. She introduced Matt Garbett, a resident of the Old Fourth Ward, who will be the event coordinator and offered to provide additional information at our AGM.
* * *


V-12-119, 988 Lanier Boulevard. Ms. Ferrero explained that owner Jack Zampell contemplates adding a second story within the footprint of the exiting home and replacing a one-car garage with a two-car garage with increased setbacks, though still needing a variance. Mark Arnold appeared for the applicant, who was ill. Several nearby neighbors expressed concern regarding the process, reporting that they had not received adequate or timely notice and documentation on the variance requests. Mr. Arnold had no knowledge of these aspects, which were the purview of the applicant himself. Mr. White moved to defer for one month to allow neighbors to receive and review information relating to the variances and invited everyone to attend the planning meeting on September 5th. Ms. Ferrero seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Amendments to Bylaws. Ms. Ferrero explained the history behind the amendments to the bylaws and noted that they and comments from her and Mr. White had been posted on the web for a month. No questions have been received from the membership; she invited comments and questions from the audience. There were none, and she moved to approve the amendments for presentation and adoption at the AGM. Mr. Dworet seconded, and the motion passed unanimously. Ms. Papner and Mr. Wolfinger did not vote.

Education Committee

Ms. Foerschler Horn provided an update regarding various education issues. Among other things, she noted that VHCA’s previously-approved funding had been sent to the Inman Technology Foundation for the provision of computers. (In this context, she recognized the condition of several Old Fourth Ward groups, an action coordinated by Mr. Garbett, whose actions she recognized.)

Additionally, she noted that the committee will be working with parents to address a new crosswalk zone for Springdale Park students at the corner of Briarcliff Road and Briarcliff Place. The recently expanded walk zone has increased usage of this crossing on very busy Briarcliff Road; at the Ed Committee’s request, APS was now providing a crossing guard and the committee was suing for a new crosswalk. Finally, Ms. Foerschler Horn explained that the Inman Task Force continues to meet to address middle school capacity for our cluster. The superintendent’s goal is to identify a solution by the end of this calendar year; in these meetings, his staff has indicated that the superintendent will not recommend a second middle school with discrete elementary feeders.

Budget Committee

Mr. Dworet noted that the budget report is posted on the VHCA website. Mr. Dworet stated that last month he received two ‘lost’ invoices originally dated June 2010 from Trees Atlanta in the amount of $1,073 for a replacement tree and grasses installed in the streetscapes in that time period. Trees Atlanta reported that they had submitted the bills in a timely way after the work but had not been paid despite renewing the request several times with the Parks chairman of that period. Mr. Dworet’s requests to that person for additional background yielded no new information. Mr. Dworet concluded that the work had been done and that Trees Atlanta deserved to be paid for it. He therefore moved to amend the budget to allocate the $1,073 from the current unallocated funds to the Parks Committee budget to pay the invoice. Ms. Carlisle seconded the motion; it passed unanimously.

Finally, Mr. Dworet moved to amend the budget to allocate $4200 from unallocated funds for real estate taxes and waste services for NHP to the Budget Committee. Ms. Foerschler Horn seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.

Safety Committee

Mr. Wolfinger spoke regarding the Briarcliff Summit building. He is pleased that new ownership will likely address many deferred maintenance items. Evergreen Associates, a management company, has concluded the purchase of the building and is scheduling staggered renovations to allow occupants to remain in residence during construction. It will remain a Section 8 property, but he hopes that the new work will improve the quality of the neighborhood.

Fundraising Committee

Ms. Papner announced that 2012 Summerfest revenue will likely exceed $180,000, which would be a new high. She further noted that the New Highland Park construction will commence next week (with completion scheduled for within a few months). In connection with the funding of New Highland Park, an audience member questioned whether Ms. Papner has received the donations (promised at the February meeting by Rob Glancy), who had managed the Intown Ten road race held on March 4th of this year. Ms. Papner noted that she has not. Mr. White explained that the VHCA did not hold the run and could not provide a financial summary, and that at the July meeting the individual who held the run has promised to provide a report in August.

Nominating Committee and AGM

Ms. Carlisle stated that the annual meeting will be held September 13 at Inman Cafeteria from 6:30 – 9:00. The Nominating committee is working hard on candidates for next year’s board; four members have announced they are leaving: Mr. Dworet, Mr. Gross, Mr. Glancy, and Mr. Wolfinger have announced they will not be candidates. She again invited everyone to suggest any individual that he/she believes will make a good contribution to the VHCA.

Communications Committee
Ms. Carlisle spoke at the specific request of Mr. Gross, who was absent. Due to the success of the electronic Voice, Mr. Gross has requested that we permanently end the regular publication of the printed version. Mr. White reported that Mr. Gross estimated savings of approximately $7,000 per written issue. Ms. Carlisle therefore moved that the Board discontinue the written edition of the Voice and continue the use of publishing an electronic version of the Voice. Several audience members were opposed to doing so, fearing new residents and those without computers would not see it and that the move had not been sufficiently publicized. Several Board members responded that the Board has over several months made repeated invitations to the residents of the neighborhood to request written copies of the Voice, and that no such requests have been received to date. Ms. Papner and audience member (and former Voice editor) John Becker pointed out that a printed Voice was hugely burdensome and time-consuming to volunteers, contained information that was often outdated after the time needed for printing and distribution, and that the responsibilities fell on a few small number of increasingly unwilling volunteer board members The motion passed 6-1; in favor were Ms. Carlisle, Mr. Dworet, Ms. Ferrero, Ms. Foerschler Horn, Mr. White, and Mr. Wolfson; Mr. Wolfinger opposed without comment.


A. John Howell Park. Ms. Wilkes Fralick discussed the conceptual plan for the recent improvements to the park. The plan has been posted on the website, and the Parks Committee wrote a very detailed article about the plan and process in the Voice and solicited comments and input from citizens on four scheduled tours (two with the Landscape Architect) on varying hours and days of the week. The plan has been widely supported. She moved to adopt the conceptual plan as presented in the Voice and online (minus the contemplated new sandbox, which the Parks Department asked be removed out of concern for the longevity of the adjacent rubberized safety surface). Mr. White seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

Ms. Wilkes-Fralick explained that an additional $1,330 was required to finalize the plans to obtain bids from contractors for the actual costs of the improvements. Such plans will be required to apply for grant funds. Ms. Fralick moved that the funds be allocated for the final plans. The motion was seconded by Mr. Dworet and passed unanimously.

Ms. Wilkes Fralick also notified the Board that the cost of the re-grassing effort in September at JHP was going to be less than previously thought.

New Business


Calendar Items



The meeting was adjourned at 8:53 PM.


Minutes – July 9, 2012


Virginia-Highland Civic Association Board Meeting

July 9, 2012; Ponce de Leon Library


Mr. White called the meeting to order at 7 PM.

The following board members were present: Frazier Dworet, Genny Ferrero, Nicole Foerschler Horn, Jack White, John Wolfinger, Rob Glancy, Lola Carlisle, David Wolfson, and Lauren Wilkes Fralick. Peggy Berg arrived subsequently. Pamela Papner and Brian Goss were absent with notice.

Mr. White moved to adopt the agenda, amended to include planning application LRB-328. Ms. Carlise seconded the motion. The attached agenda (“Addendum 1”), as revised, was approved without objection.

* * *


RJ Morris introduced himself and explained that he will be running against Arthur Ferdinand for Fulton County tax commissioner on July 31.

Jenn Graham of Streets Alive also spoke. She noted that approximately 13,000 people attended the event, which was a success. A future Streets Alive event is currently planned for the fall, although the dates have not yet bet set.

Madigan McGillicuddy, the new youth services librarian at the Ponce de Leon branch, introduced herself and discussed upcoming initiatives at the library.

* * *


Ms. Pat Gardner invited questions about the upcoming vote on the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (“T-SPLOST, and encouraged everyone to vote on July 31. She also thanked everyone for the continued opportunity to represent District 57.

Representative Ralph Long from District 58 spoke as well. He also invited questions regarding the T-SPLOST as well. He stated that he will have a town hall on July 12, at 7:00 pm., at Atlanta Metropolitan College, Conference Room 1A.

Mr. White noted that there will be a forum on Tuesday, July 24 at Inman Middle School for the candidates in the 57th and 58th district.



Ms. Carlisle moved to appoint Angelika Taylor chair of the Tour of Homes committee, together with all of the members. Mr. White seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Ms. Taylor spoke about the status of the Tour of Homes. The event is currently scheduled for December 11-12, 2012. She noted that there are currently several homeowners that have volunteered their homes for the tour. There is already a restaurant that has volunteered, and she noted that work now needs to focus on obtaining sponsorships. She also invited the audience to make any suggestions regarding proposed performers for the event.


LRB-328. 758 Ponce de Leon. Change of agent on the liquor license for Rudy’s Inc., d/b/a The Local. Attorney Lisa Morehower presented on behalf of the application. She explained that their accountant has advised them to make some changes to their organizational setup for tax purposes. Mr. Hatcher is currently the named agent, but his partner, Charles E. Kerns, will be responsible for the continuing operation of the business. In-house training program, no liquor violation, and has not had a liquor license violation in 28 years. In response to questions, Mr. Kerns noted that they have never had a citation for any type of violation. Ms. Carlisle moved to approve change of agent, and Mr. White seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Ms. Ferrero and Mr. White also spoke regarding proposed changes to the bylaws, and invited comments. If the bylaws are to be amended, the revisions will be voted on at the September meeting.


Frazier Dworet provided an updated budget report. He noted that the numbers reflected with regard to Summerfest are not final.


Nicole Forschler Horn spoke regarding the recent Grady cross-cluster meeting. She noted that more than 60 people attended, and that Kimberly Douglas acted as facilitator. The minutes from the meeting are now posted on the VHCA website. Ms. Forschler Horn also moved to approve the committee members nominated by the nominating committee. Ms. Berg seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Additionally, Ms. Forschler Horn explained that additional funds are required to assist Inman Middle School with the temporary trailers currently being used on site. To equip the trailers with the necessary computer equipment, the school requires $17,000. The PTA will provide $5,000, and has approached VHCA for assistance. Ms. Forschler Horn expressed that she has reached out to the other neighborhood associations within the cluster to ensure that all neighborhoods contribute. Ms. Forschler Horn moved that the VHCA allocate up to $1,500 from the budget allocated to discretionary board grants, to help purchase such computer equipment for the trailers. Rob Glancy seconded the motion. Frazier Dworet, Genny Ferrero, Nicole Foerschler Horn, Jack White, Rob Glancy, Lola Carlisle, and David Wolfson all voted in favor; Mr. Wolfinger opposed. The motion passed.


Ms. Berg spoke regarding the sidewalks. She is continuing to work on finalizing the sidewalk cluster. At the Board’s request, she recently re-approached the city regarding whether various trees causing damage were within the realm of the city’s responsibility. Ms. Berg noted that the city officials were very gracious, and the City has reduced our costs for sidewalk replacement as a result. She is optimistic that they can begin working in three weeks. Ms. Berg also apprised the Board that her recent request to the City regarding streets issues in the neighborhood was met graciously, and that many of the items have already been installed and/or addressed by the City.

Mr. Wolfinger noted that he went to Fire Station 19 to discuss respirator and air tank equipment for firefighters. There are no problems with ours (unlike DeKalb County). He also noted that he recently received a grant for $3,500 for supplies to address graffiti in the neighborhood. Because he feels that we have so much, he has agreed to share our resources with other neighboring communities.

Mr. Wolfinger further noted that he met with the safety committee recently (Eleanor Barrineau, Kay Stevenson, Juliette White, Brian Gross, and David Wolfson) regarding a new project. They are working on a “welcome to the neighborhood” for new residents. He also would like to work on some additional street lighting, but feels that it will probably be deferred until next year, as there is little time left in the year.


Mr. White provided an update regarding John Howell Park. He noted the Parks Committee recently wrote an article in the Voice to provide a complete report of what they are contemplating. Mr. White further discussed the next phase of the park rehabilitation: seeding the grassy areas of the park with fescue. He explained that it will cost $3,500, and it will require temporary park closure, aeration, fertilization, liming, and removal of weeds. Mr. White noted further that the $3,500 includes watering of the lawn and will require cooperation from the community to avoid interfering with the lawn.

Mr. Dworet raised the issue of whether or not we should allocate more significant fencing to prevent people from walking over the newly-seeded areas. Mr. White expressed that the issue really is one of aesthetics and funding.

In that same vein, an audience member questioned Mr. Glancy as to whether any of the funds from the Intown Ten (10K) road race would be made available to assist with these improvements to the park. After some discussion, Mr. Glancy eventually said he would make the report and donation in August, and then he departed.

Mr. White moved that the VHCA allocate $4,000 from the parks budget (with $500 to be allocated to the fence) to address these items. Mr. Wolfinger seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

On behalf of Ms. Papner, Mr. Dworet noted that CoA Parks has given them a certificate of appropriateness on New Highland Park, and that construction is moving forward.

Mr. White discussed recent damage that occurred at Orme Park when a city truck damaged some pervious concrete pavers, damaged a tot swing, and destroyed a water meter cover. Repairs are being scheduled.


An audience member noted that the Clairmont Lounge will be closing in connection with redevelopment efforts.

Mr. White asked the board to appoint Genny, John, Nicole and Lola to be members of the nominating committee. Peggy seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.


The Board went into recess for an executive session.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 PM.


Minutes – June 11, 2012


Virginia-Highland Civic Association Board Meeting

Monday, June 11, 2012; Ponce de Leon Library


Mr. White called the meeting to order at 7 PM. The following Board members were present: Peggy Berg, Lola Carlisle, Frazier Dworet, Genny Ferrero, Lauren Wilkes Fralick, Brain Gross, Nicole Foerschler Horn, Pamela Papner, and Jack White. Rob Glancy and John Wolfinger arrived subsequently. David Wolfson was absent with notice.

* * *


Ms. Foerschler Horn moved and Ms. Berg seconded a motion to adopt the agenda. The attached agenda (“Addendum 1”) was approved without objection.

Ms. Foerschler Horn moved and Mr. Dworet seconded a motion to adopt minutes for the May Board meeting. The minutes from the May 2012 Board meeting were likewise approved without objection.

* * *


Two sergeants were present and reported that over the past couple of weeks, there has been an increase in armed robberies in the area generally surrounding Little Five Points. The officers noted that these robberies are partly attributed to the fact that schools were recently let out for the summer break. Nevertheless, the officers advised citizens to remove valuables from parked cars, and advised that more unmarked police cars will be patrolling the neighborhood to increase police visibility. Major Meadows also spoke and invited residents to discuss any issues with him.

Ms. Carlisle further questioned the officers with regard to whether any issues associated with the recent Soapbox Derby event. No issues were reported.

* * *
Bill Munro, AFPL

Bill Munro, director of the Ponce de Leon library, thanked the Board for the support provided by VHCA to the library. Mr. Munro further reported that $2,000 donated by the VHCA to the library this year was used to great benefit. Among other things, he explained that the Ponce de Leon branch was able to convert its VHS movie collection to DVDs, and as a result now has the largest DVD collection in the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System. He further noted that the donated VHCA funds are also being used to assist the library with the fulfillment of its children and young-adult summer reading programs.

Mr. White thanked Mr. Munro for his continued support of the VHCA and noted that Mr. Munro goes above and beyond to ensure that the library is available to the VHCA for Board and committee meetings.

* * *


None were present.

* * *


Tom McWilliams from Sylvan Hills attended on behalf of State Representative Ralph Long, a candidate for House District 57. He reminded everyone of the upcoming July 31 election, which will, among other things, call for a vote on the T-SPLOST transportation initiative

Mr. Earl Cooper introduced himself to the Board and to the audience. He is the current PTA president at Grady High School and is running as a Republican from House District 58.

* * *


Budget Committee

Mr. Dworet reported that Melissa Kriest is the new bookkeeper for the Association, and that she has been instrumental in the further organization and streamlining of VHCA financial activities. After questioning from audience members, Mr. Dworet confirmed that all check-signing authority remains within the control of the Board.

Planning Committee

A. LRB-318; 1006 N. Highland Avenue (Taco Mac). The application relates to the change in ownership and resulting change of the designated liquor agent. Michael Sard from Sard & Leff spoke on behalf of the applicant. The new agent will be Susan Oddo. She explained that the application emanated solely from the change in ownership; with a new legal entity as owner, a new alcohol license is required. Ms. Carlisle noted that there have been no issues with Taco Mac in the past, that the Planning Committee unanimously approved the application at its previous meeting. Ms. Carlisle moved to approve the application, Mr. Glancy seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.

B. V-12-070; 907 Highland View; Application for reduction of various setbacks. Mr. Mark Arnold appeared on behalf of the applicant, and explained that in connection with a second story addition within the existing footprint, the application involves the following setback reductions:

reduction of rear yard setback from 15’ (required) to 10’;
reduction in north side yard setback from 7’ (required) to 3’2”;
reduction of south side yard setback from 7’ (required) to 2’10”; and
reduction of front yard setback from 35‘ (required) to 19’.

Mr. Arnold further explained that he previously examined all original two-story homes in the neighborhood to determine why they are aesthetically appealing, and he attempted to implement many of these characteristics in the plans for the current home. Mr. Arnold stated that the owner is doing all this it can to preserve trees, but that two dogwoods will be removed in the front. He confirmed that the submitted plans otherwise comply with all other requirements and that they are actually reducing existing lot coverage to 48%, because they are removing an existing swimming pool. Ms. Carlisle noted that some of the neighbors (911 Highland View, to the east) had expressed concern about the height of the house. Mr. Arnold’s client met with this neighbor and offered to revise the plans to address their concerns. The neighbors have now approved the plans, and the plans received unanimous recommendation for approval from Planning. Ms. Carlisle therefore moved to approve the application, conditioned on the revised site plan dated 5/31/12. Ms. Ferrero seconded the motion. The motion was approved 9-1, with all in favor except Mr. Glancy, who opposed it without comment.

C. SAP 12-0060; Special Administrative Permit to Operate Food Trucks at 841 N. Highland. The application was presented by Victoria Meadows. She noted that all trash and restrooms will be provided by Mr. Landau. Ms. Carlisle moved and Ms. Foerschler Horn seconded a motion to approve SAP120060. The motion passed unanimously.

Parks Committee

A. John Howell Park. Mr. White reported that the committee is moving forward with the work and repairs discussed last month; all work is on schedule. The committee has met with the Parks Department and Park Pride. The park’s original landscape architect, Peter Frawley, has led discussions about potential modifications around the volleyball court and on connecting the two levels of the park. Ms. Wilkes has met extensively with representatives from Volleyball Atlanta, who are partners in this process. The committee will prepare an article for the Voice and will schedule public walk-throughs to solicit public comments.

B. VHCL & New Highland Park. Pamela Papner provided an update, citing July 1 as the target construction start date. She further noted that $150,000 has been raised thus far for New Highland. On the topic of fundraising, Ms. Papner asked Mr. Glancy when the proceeds promised to the VHCL from the road race he directed on March 4th “benefitting John Howell Park” would arrive. Mr. Glancy stated that he was unable to provide the financial data at this time; “one or two checks remain to be written.” Ms. Papner indicated that the topic could be on the next agenda.

Fundraising Committee

Pamela Papner spoke regarding Summerfest. Relying upon information received to date, she believes this is going to be the best year ever with regard to financial receipts. Although she does not have the final numbers in with regard to beverage revenue or operations costs, and her estimate for earnings is in excess of $150,000.

Education Committee

Ms. Foerschler Horn spoke regarding the progress of the new education committee, which among other things, have declared the following goals: (a) to inform the neighborhood on issues that impact local neighborhood schools; (b) to collaborate with schools to solve problems and support positive change; and (c) to work with other neighborhoods within the Grady cluster. Ms. Foerschler Horn moved to approve the stated committee goals, which was seconded by Mr. White. The motion passed unanimously.

Safety Committee

A. Sidewalks. Ms. Berg provided an update with respect to the proposed sidewalk improvements and the contribution required by the VHCA in this regard.
Ms. Papner expressed concerns regarding the expending of Board funds for, among other things, commercial owners of residential properties. Mr. Glancy suggested that we have a cap on the amount funded for each property, which Ms. Berg said was part of her concept . Several members expressed concerns as to whether the Board should spend funds on sidewalks when city law makes homeowners legally responsible for the tasks.

After extensive discussion, Mr. White moved to approve a maximum total allocation of $15,000, with the following limits and conditions: $500 per segment; total of $800 per property; but in no event ever greater than 50% of the property owners’ cost. Messrs. Gross and Glancy seconded the motion.

After further discussion, the motion was amended to state that Ms. Berg will make a good faith effort to offer participation in the bundle without financial incentive.

The motion was approved 7-2; Mr. Wolfinger, Ms. Berg, Mr. Dworet, Mr. Glancy, Ms. Foerschler Horn, and Ms. Carlisle voted in favor and Ms. Papner and Ms. Ferrero voted against. Both argue that it was unwise to spend association funds on what the law deems a private landowner’s responsibility, particularly when a structure is a commercial investment for a non-resident. Mr. White, who was moderating the discussion, did not vote on his own motion and provided no reason.

B. Mid-year Report on Goals. Mr. Wolfinger deferred the report to next meeting with regard to committee goals. However, he noted that there will be a meeting regarding cleanup proposals for the intersection of Virginia and Highland Avenues on Wednesday, June 13, to bridge the gap between VHCA and the business association. The meeting will be at 6:30 at Aurora. VHCA is trying to encourage the business owners to better maintain the area surrounding their businesses.

Communications Committee

Mr. Gross stated that the VHCA has a new website, a new system for emailing residents, and a good support team. He reminded Board members to provide content for the Voice. While our previous decision was to publish one more printed edition of the Voice in paper format (prior to this fall’s Tour), Mr. Gross noted that substantial cost savings would be available to us from switching permanently to electronic editions. Mr. White and Mr. Dworet agreed with that perspective. Mr. White requested that Mr. Gross agree to lead a thorough discussion of this point at next month’s meeting regarding the pros and cons of maintaining a paper version of the Voice.


To comply with technical requirements of the bylaws, Mr. White moved to confirm all current Budget, Parks, Planning, Safety, and Summerfest committee members. The motion passed unanimously. Mr. Gross will bring a list of Communication Committee members next month.


Mr. White noted that the general meeting this year will be on Thursday, September 13, 2012.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:34 PM.


Minutes – May 14, 2012


Virginia-Highland Civic Association Board Meeting

May 14, 2012; Ponce de Leon Library

Mr. White called the meeting to order at 7 PM. Present were Board members Peggy Berg, Lola Carlisle, Frazier Dworet, Genny Ferrero, Rob Glancy, Nicole Foerschler Horn, Pamela Papner, John Wolfinger, and David Wolfson. Brian Gross and Lauren Wilkes Fralick were absent with notice.


Mr. White moved to amend the portion of the agenda relating to the Planning Committee, noting that the correct number of the Variance Application at issue is V-12-059 at 688 Cooledge Avenue NE. The attached agenda (“Addendum 1”), as revised, was approved without objection.

The minutes from the April 2012 Board meeting were approved without objection.


Captain Mike Giugliano of APD, introduced himself as the newly-appointed 2nd in charge at Zone 6. He is associated with the new Old 4th Ward precinct. He noted that Zone 6 has been the lowest reporting crime zone for the past three years.


Council members Alex Wan and at-large member Aaron Watson were present. Mr. Wan discussed the recent 13-year extension granted by the Federal government in connection with its water and sewer decree, which he reports that the City claims will help to ensure that water and sewer rates in the City of Atlanta will not increase any further. Mr. Wan noted that he could not take a position on the political campaigns in favor of or opposing the T-Splost 1% tax increase scheduled for a vote on July 31, but he urged that citizens educate themselves and vote. Finally, he reminded all present to be mindful of Jazz Fest next weekend in Piedmont Park and to avoid 10th Street, if possible.

Mr. Watson invited all residents to contact him with respect to any issues, and encouraged citizens to attend Streets Alive this weekend.

State representatives Ralph Long from the 61stth House district and Simone Bell of the 58th introduced themselves; they are running against each other this summer in the Democratic primary in the newly-redistricted 58th, and they urged everyone to vote on July 31st . Pat Gardner from the 57th appeared as well. She reviewed the redistricting process, observing that VaHi is now split into two districts, with Virginia Avenue as the new northern boundary twixt the 58th on the south and the 57th to the north. She also noted that this is National Women’s Health Week; she encouraged women everywhere to consider steps to improve their overall health and quality of life.


V-12-59, 688 Cooledge Ave. NE. Applicant Melinda Chandler spoke in support of the variance, which proposes a new second story to their home within the current footprint, whose existing front setback is 31.7 feet, less than the 35’ required. The impacted homeowners have been notified, and no reservations were expressed or comments made. Ms. Carlise noted that the Planning Committee had observed no lot coverage, tree, or runoff issues and unanimously recommended approval of the variance; she moved (and Mr. Foerschler Horn seconded) approval the variance request conditioned on a site plan dated April 23, 2012. The motion passed unanimously.

Mid-Year Report on Goals. Ms. Carlise provided a mid-year report on the goals of the planning committee. She noted that most application materials are now available on line, and that the planning committee is working to provide a checklist for potential applicants, to make the variance application procedure easier for residents. She reported that the revision of the by-laws is underway. Ms. Carlisle also noted that the planning committee had met its annual goal of presenting a community education session on the NC ordinance, hosted by Aaron Fortner. The notes from this meeting are also posted on line. Finally, Ms. Carlise advised that she is trying to get more people involved on the history and preservation initiatives.


John Howell Park Report. Mr. White reviewed the Parks Committee’s efforts and approaches at John Howell Park. The Committee reviewed the Parks’ original landscape plans with their architect, Peter Frawley (also the architect at New Highland Park), and Ryan Healan (who led the landscaping process at Orme), compiled existing complaints, spoke to many park users on site, conducted walks through the park with interested parties, met with the City’s Parks Department, and reached out to and met with Volleyball Atlanta, which manages the courts near the playgrounds. The Committee identified a series of major challenges (and a number of smaller ones, many interrelated): the neglect of park infrastructure (both horticultural and structural), the need for better definition between the playground and volleyball courts, the need to end the spillage of sand from the volleyball courts to adjacent areas (and to plant those areas and the adjacent corner around and along Arcadia Drive), the need to address the eroding area between the upper and lower levels of the park, either by providing formal access such as steps or by replanting.

At the landscape architects’ recommendation, the committee’s initial list of immediate horticultural needs focused on overgrown and severely-neglected pruning needs, misplaced plantings introduced by nature or humans, invasive non-natives (particularly those that were threatening infrastructure), and plantings in locations incompatible with the landscape plan. The focus was on lightly editing the park landscape and preserving the major features while addressing bare areas, overgrown shrubbery, dead or sick trees, and the neglected weedy and struggling grassy areas. The Committee provided a long list of such items to three vendors with good resumes; each vendor inevitably and usefully saw the challenges through different prisms and submitted bids. The Committee selected Rock Spring Farm, whose owner, Mr. Walter Bland, was introduced by Mr. White. Mr. Bland provided a through slide slow with many before and after shots of conditions in the park. He described his work as a form of ‘site prep’ focusing on the health of the plant stock – pruning overgrown healthy plants, eliminating those needing to go, saving what should stay, and relocating some plants to spots more suitable to them, setting the stage for a longer-range approach guided by Mr. Frawley.

Mr. White then summarized some of the infrastructure issues, including needed brick repairs at the John Howell Memorial, fence repair, and the sanding (already underway for demo purposes) of the long-neglected benches in the Park. The Committee has identified Gary Jones of Jones Woodworking as its intended contractor; Mr. Jones did the much-appreciated repair and restoration of the benches at the Streetscape and has the appropriate insurance coverages already on file with us and the City. Mr. White itemized a funding request toward these park maintenance and seeding issues: A total of S8,740, specifically estimated as follows: $3,250 to pay for landscaping efforts, including further site prep and aerating and fertilizing lawn areas in preparation for new seeding in the fall; $2,190 for Mr. Frawley for his ongoing efforts in guiding the ongoing effort to seek practical; solutions for the challenges listed above; $2,400 for the sanding and staining of eight (8) benches; and $900 for electrical repairs at the Triangle.

Mr. White made (and Ms. Carlisle seconded) a motion allocating those funds. Mr. Dworet said he supported the work and noted it had been discussed at the Budget Committee but would have preferred the information had been communicated to others ahead of the meeting. Mr. Glancy said that he had not been informed of this request or what was going on at the park ahead of time and did not know that any work had been done there. Mr. Wolfinger applauded the work and observed that the long-overdue pruning and related work has actually made the park much safer because you can now see to the back of it from Virginia Avenue. Several members of the audience voiced their appreciation for all that had been done, noting that JHP was the neighborhood’s biggest and most recognizable park and had been neglected for many years; they praised the cleanup, the ongoing pruning, and the much-improved appearance and urged that it be continued and expanded.

The motion passed 8-1, with Ms. Berg, Ms. Carlisle, Ms. Ferrero, Ms. Foerschler Horn, Ms. Papner, Mr. White, Mr. Wolfinger, and Mr. Wolfson voted in favor of the motion; Mr. Glancy voted against it; Mr. Dworet did not vote.

New Highland Park Update.

Pamela Papner provided an update. Approximately $2,000 was raised from the recent Osteria anniversary party. Ongoing fundraising efforts are continuing and the Board hopes to soon break ground on park improvements.


Pamela Papner provided a detailed update regarding planned Summerfest events. It appears that the Summerfest committee is scheduled to meet or exceed their stated goals. They have raised approximately $16,000 (about $5,000 more than they ever have) for sponsorships. Ms. Papner also spoke, in response to questioning from the audience, about post-event cleaning plans.


Mid-year report on goals. Mr. Dworet explained that the Board is in compliance with all the goals mentioned in the recent audit and noted that we have recently hired an accountant to assist in bookkeeping matters.


Ms. Nicole Foerschler Horn briefly reviewed the history of the year’s educational challenges and the status of the recent redistricting efforts. Ms. Foerschler Horn moved that the Board form an education committee, comprised of six voting members, plus one chair that is on the Board. (Nicole). Ms. Foerschler Horn anticipated strong interest in the education committee. She will be posting on Big Tent and the VHCA website, asking that people submit their interest to Mr. White. Mr. White seconded the motion regarding the formation of the education committee, and it passed unanimously. Mr. White formally nominated Ms. Foerschler Horn as chairperson of the education committee; this motion also passed unanimously.

Ms. Foerschler Horn then moved that she be authorized to host two facilitated meetings – one focused on residents from Virginia Highland and one to which all cluster residents would be invited. She anticipated that the cost of two professionally-facilitated two-hour meetings would total $5,000. A discussion ensued regarding the cost of the facilitator and the importance of having the new committee establish goals and objectives. Ms. Horn promised to provide those at the next meeting, and Mr. White then moved to retain $5000 of the previously committed $20,000 in the Education budget to enable preparation for such meetings. Ms. Ferrero seconded the motion, and it motion passed unanimously.

Mr. White then moved to return the remaining $15,000 of that sum back to the Unallocated Funds section of the budget. Ms. Berg seconded the motion; it passed unanimously.



Ms. Berg spoke regarding sidewalks and explained that she is awaiting an analysis of costs from the City. With regard to streets, the committee is ready to address the next series of requests for minor repairs in the neighborhood. A list is posted on the Association’s website. She hopes to have a detailed proposal ready for the next meeting.


The Board discussed the Local Luna restaurant at Amsterdam Walk and the noise generated by the restaurant on various occasions. Mr. White affirmed that proposed By-Law revisions would be posted on the Association’s website well in advance of discussion and voting and that their arability posted in an e-blast.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:23 PM.

Following adjournment, the Board attempted to hold a scheduled executive session to discuss two legal matters; all but one Association member left the room promptly. David Eckoff refused to leave, in spite of several specific requests that he do so. Mr. White dismissed the group and announced alternate arrangements would be made for the board to discuss the legal issues.


Minutes – March 12, 2012

Minutes also available as a PDF file


Virginia‐Highland Civic Association Board Meeting

March 12, 2012

Ponce de Leon Library

Mr. White called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM. The following board members were present: Peggy Berg, Lola Carlisle, Frazier Dworet, Genny Ferrero, Nicole Foerschler‐Horn, Lauren Wilkes Fralick, Rob Glancy, Brian Gross, Jack White, and David Wolfson. John Wolfinger and Pamela Papner were absent with notice.


The attached agenda (“Addendum 1”) was approved without objection. Minutes for the Board meeting of January 9, 2012 were circulated. Ms. Carlisle made and Mr. White seconded a motion to approve the minutes. The motion passed unanimously.



Captain Hobbs of the APD was present. He advised that Major Meadows is the newly appointed zone 6 commander, and that he is the newly appointed assistant zone commander. Captain Hobbs noted that we led the city in crime reduction last week. The biggest issue remains car break‐ins; Captain Hobbs encouraged people to remove items from their car.


Representative Pat Gardner was present. She discussed various issues pending before the state legislature, including the upcoming metro Atlanta vote on a 1 percent cent sales tax to be applied to transportation issues, the MARTA corridor proposed for Emory corridor, and the additional debates surrounding the approval of charter schools at the state level. She noted that anyone can sign up to receive her weekly updates at patgardner.org.


Streets Alive

Rebecca Cerna presented the “Streets Alive” proposal. The event is scheduled for Sunday, May 20, between 2‐6 pm. There will be free classes for participants, such as yoga, martial arts, a kid’s zone, etc. A plan for clean‐up is in place, with 75‐100 volunteers. Only local businesses will sell food and beverages. The proposed route extends through Inman Park and Poncey‐ Highland and contemplates the closure of North Highland Avenue from approximately Elizabeth Street to Virginia Avenue. Ponce de Leon, Freedom Parkway, and probably North Avenue will remain open and controlled by their usual signals. The organizers provided leaflets to VHCA that Ms. Berg and Mr. White distributed to residents along North Highland; Streets Alive is responsible for informing the impacted businesses, but has not yet done so.

After general discussion in which various members expressed support for the concept, Mr. White moved that we defer this item for one month until the notification of commercial businesses is completed. Ms. Carlisle seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

Red Bull Soap Box Race

The proposal was presented by Michael King, from StriKing Marketing. The event is scheduled for June 9, 2012. Mr. King stated that the estimated attendance for this event is in excess of 49,000, and that infrastructure would be in place would be for 100,000. 10th 2 Street will be closed from Charles Allen to Monroe from approximately 9 AM on June 8 to 8 PM on Sunday, June 10th. When questioned by Ms. Berg as to whether clean‐up efforts will extend beyond the event, Mr. King agreed to cover a three‐block radius within Virginia‐Highland north along Monroe Drive and over to Virginia Avenue. Mr. King agreed to a request by Ms. Berg and Mr. White that the same impacted residents be notified by leaflet of the upcoming street closures; VHCA will provide a list of the exact streets.



Variance Application V‐12‐018: 1117 Virginia Avenue. Chris Hamilton, owner of Dovetail Craftsmen, presented on behalf of the property owners. The variance requests a reduction in the required side‐yard setback from 7 feet to 3 feet, 4 inches for a 2‐story room and covered deck addition in the rear of and existing single‐family home. The home is under the required 50% permeable surface calculation. The homeowners are in the process of obtaining all necessary approvals from neighboring property owners and are willing to consider some rainwater retention on property. They are currently missing signatures from the house next door and one of the corner neighbors in the back.

Ms. Carlisle reported that the Planning Committee unanimously recommended approval.

Ms. Carlisle moved to approve the variance application upon the following conditions: that the Board receives a stamped site plan (as updated 2/16/2012) prior to the March 19 NPU meeting; and that the applicant provides proof that notice has been properly supplied to all adjacent owners. Mr. White seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


Mr. Gross reported that the new website went live on February 24. Thus far, he has received limited but favorable feedback. To date, there have been 1442 visitors to the website, a number equal to almost 20% of the neighborhood. Interest in Summerfest appears to be 80% of the traffic.

Mr. Gross further noted that he is looking for a Board member to donate an article for the next Voice publication, and that there is currently an initiative underway to expand email recipients for the Voice. He further expressed interest in posting an immediate summary of the actions taken at each board meeting.

Ms. Carlisle gave details of the presentation made by Aaron Fortner at the last Planning Committee meeting on the Neighborhood‐Commercial codes applying to Virginia‐Highland; his presentation will be available on the website


Nicole Forschler‐Horn discussed the latest recommendations made by Superintendent Davis regarding the APS redistricting measures and noted that the VHCA Board will be hosting a meeting on March 13 at the Virginia Highland Church to discuss school issues. She further noted that Superintendent Davis will hold a meeting on March 21 to receive feedback from the current SRT‐3 regarding the plan.


Mr. White reported on behalf of Ms. Papner that construction permits are not moving as quickly as hoped, but that she hopes to commence construction soon.


Ms. Berg reported that there are various street improvement issues that the city is currently working through. The City previously expressed a commitment to deliver the corrections in 30 days, but we are now 33 days into the process. She noted that despite the delay, the City is working diligently to resolve the issues.

Ms. Berg further noted that street captains have been in touch with local neighbors to reach out to owners who may have issues with sidewalks.

The March 12th closures of the parking lanes on both sides of North Highland immediately north of Vriginia Avenue due to a movie being filmed at George’s were reported


Ms. Wilkes‐Fralick discussed the plans surrounding the beautification of the Triangle, for which she has received positive feedback. She moved to formally adopt Nonie Daniel’s plan, so that the committee can move forward with new plantings on March 18. Ms. Carlisle seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Ms. Wilkes‐Fralick also discussed John Howell Park. Mr. White discussed obvious long‐term challenges at the park, including erosion and runoff from the Barnett end, the eroded gully between the upper and lower levels of the park, the spillage and migration of sand onto Arcadia Street, and the lack of communication with the volleyball community. The Parks Committee has contacted and begun a dialogue with the volleyball community, has done a series of walk‐throughs with citizens, potential contractors, and landscape architects (including the park’s original designer), and has begun building a formal group of citizens to support the park, emulating the model successfully utilized at Orme Park over the last decade. Feedback from citizens has included the absence of pedestrian access provided in the original plan, which was a conscious decision at the time. If formal access is to be provided in the future, it will require thoughtful re‐design and may be expensive.

Mr. White moved to allocate $3750 for maintenance and improvement of the park, including pruning, mulching, removal of bamboo, and various gardening items. The Committee will do some tasks with volunteers, but the volume of work is beyond the scope of volunteers. Mr. Dworet seconded the motion. The motion passed with all in favor, except for one abstention (Mr. Glancy).


Ms. Carlisle reported that the Board is currently seeking volunteers for the next Tour of Homes. Anyone wishing to volunteer may email: Tour@VaHi.org.

Ms. Foerschler‐Horn reminded board members that an executive session devoted to the school redistricting would follow the regular meeting and asked them to remain for it.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:41 PM.


Minutes – February 13, 2012

Minutes also available as a PDF file

Virginia Highland Civic Association Board Meeting
February 13, 2012
Ponce de Leon Library


Mr. White called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

The following board members were present:

Peggy Berg, Lola Carlisle, Frazier Dworet, Genny Ferrero, Nicole Forschler‐Horn, Brian Gross, Pamela Papner, Jack White, John Wolfinger, & David Wolfson and Alternate Lauren Wilkes Fralick were present. Rob Glancy was late with notice and arrived subsequently.


The following items were approved without objection: the agenda attached hereto (“Addendum 1”); the minutes from the Board meeting of January 9, 2012; and the Board email action designating Genny Ferrero as the new Board secretary.



Sergeant Bruce of the APD reported that Officer Joshua White is being appointed to an evening watch in the neighborhood. She further stated that the only significant crime reported in the past month includes car break‐ins and similar property crimes.


District 6 Councilmember Alex Wan discussed several items. First, he reminded everyone that the renewal of the penny sales tax related to water/sewer improvements is on the ballot in the upcoming March 6, 2012 primary election. He noted that this is intended to be the last renewal, and that the sales tax will remain at its current rate of 8% if approved. In response to a question from Ms. Papner, Mr. Wan stated that he did not know the status of the bonds, but would follow up. Mr. Wan further discussed the status of sidewalks in the neighborhood. Because Ms. Berg is working to improve the state of sidewalks on the Safety Committee, Mr. Wan clarified that sidewalk repair is the responsibility of homeowners, unless a tree within the right of way has damaged a sidewalk in question. The City can pursue independent remedies in egregious situations, Mr. Wan explained, but the City must handle these issues on a case‐by‐case basis, which is not cost effective.

At Mr. Wolfinger’s request, Mr. Wan noted that there is currently a task force to re‐visit the alcohol code (City of Atlanta Alcohol Technical Advisory Group, “ATAG”), and to determine if any measures can be instituted to help neighborhoods and communities pursue and revoke/deny licenses when there are infractions. Dianne Olansky, former NPU‐F Chair (and its current License & Permits Chair), represents District 6. A public hearing will be held on February 3 from 6‐8 pm in council chambers; another will follow at Inman in March.



The only item on the agenda relates to the change‐of‐agent designation on the alcohol license currently held by the CVS at 865 N. Highland Avenue. Tyler Mann from Troutman Sanders LLP appeared on behalf of CVS. He explained that the change in agent is purely due to the fact that a new store manager (who has been an employee with CVS since 2000) has been hired, and that there are no prior violations by CVS relating to the license in question. Ms. Papner inquired as to what percentage of total sales at the CVS store relates to liquor. Mr. Mann stated that it is definitely 5% or less, although he did not know the specific numbers. Mr. Mann further stated that there is a training program at CVS to ensure that all managers comply with any liquor license requirements. Ms. Carlisle moved that we approve change of agent. Mr. Wolfinger seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


Mr. Gross noted that the new website for the VHCA is in place on a private server and should be up and running in about a week. There will be various updates later this month to several of the pages, and Mr. Gross offered to make any update requests in the interim. Mr. Gross further advised that there is currently a database of 2500 people for electronic newsletter, and that pricing for electronic advertising is available. He welcomed any suggestions on how to reach more people.


Ms. Papner advised that all new committee members for Summerfest 2012 will commence bi‐monthly meetings on February 22, 2012. Summerfest is currently scheduled for June 2 and 3, and the community dinner is scheduled for June 1. Ms. Papner is targeting March 1 for the official press release.


The proposed budget is now completed, and Mr. Dworet will post updated balance sheets on web as soon as tomorrow. (See additional discussion regarding budget, below.)


Ms. Forschler‐Horn provided an update on the current redistricting process underway by Atlanta Public Schools (“APS”). After much communication and numerous petitions submitted on behalf of the various affected neighborhoods, APS has recently released two new redistricting maps. In March, the APS Interim Superintendent Erroll Davis will submit his own redistricting map, which may or may not be based upon the two most recent maps currently before him. His goal is that a final recommendation will be made to the Board of Education in April, which will vote on the new zones at that time. APS has stated that it will not address the allocation of SPLOST money until all new zones are set. Ms. Foerschler‐Horn noted that this presentation discussion was intended purely for informational purposes and that it does not reflect the position or statement(s) of the Board at this time.


Ms. Berg first addressed streets. After providing a list of issues requiring attention to a representative at the City’s Department of Public Works, Ms. Berg has been working diligently with the City to ensure that the most pressing items are addressed. The issues presented by Ms. Berg to the City include, among other things, missing street signs, faded dividing lines on streets, a solar powered sign to notify drivers of their speed, and efforts to make the turning lane safer at the corner of Park and Elkmont.

With regard to sidewalks, Ms. Berg noted that there are a large number of sidewalks in the neighborhood that are in need of repair. She explained that sidewalk issues are divided from a repair perspective into two groups: homeowner responsibility and City responsibility. Complicating this is the City’s limited budget, minimal staffing, and inability to be proactive. Ms. Berg noted that, because the process is somewhat difficult to navigate, she would like the Board to assist Virginia‐Highland residents by providing necessary information through two initiatives: (1) a Major Streets Initiative, whereby the Board identifies those areas on high‐traffic pedestrian streets that are in the greatest disrepair and be very proactive by providing homeowners with information to help them get their sidewalks repaired; and (2) a “bundling of sidewalk sites”, whereby the Board facilitates an effort to handle various sidewalk areas in bulk, which may result in lower costs and provide homeowners with further incentives to ensure that sidewalks are in proper repair. Mr. Wan has agreed to speak to the Department of Public Works to assist in facilitating the bundling initiative. One of the audience members questioned whether Ms. Berg had investigated the availability of grant money; Mr. White and Ms. Berg asked the gentleman to email them with any information relating to the availability of such grant money.


After meeting with Streets Alive representatives to gather information regarding the event, Ms. Berg has proposed that the festival be held May 20, 2012. The event is contemplated to take place on North Highland from Ponce de Leon Avenue, and would extend northward to Drewry, or even as far as Aurora coffee shop. The event will be held from 2‐6 PM. Atlanta has held this previously in the downtown area. Rebecca Cerna made a presentation in support of the Streets Alive event, and the Board is awaiting event leaflets with further details.

An audience member suggested that the Board speak to people who live on neighboring streets who may have traffic issues. Although the Board is not the organizer of this event, Mr. White stated that it would ask the organizers to inform all neighbors of the relevant facts.


Ms. Fralick discussed some planned projects, including the addition of new plant material to the Triangle utilizing a plan being developed by Nonie Daniel and repairing benches along the Streetscape. At least one community work day will be scheduled. Mr. White stated that the Parks Committee is developing a comprehensive plan for John Howell Park; a number of issues have been identified, and further meetings are scheduled with citizens and landscape professionals. Budget proposals will follow as plans are refined and reviewed with those groups and the City of Atlanta Parks Department.

With respect to Orme Park, Mr. White noted that its support group will be holding service days both this spring and fall; only small amounts of funding are anticipated there for this year. VHCA’s park funding will focus on John Howell. Mr. White stated that the Parks Committee is examining some of the issues in the strip of park property located along the median in Lanier Boulevard.


Mr. White presented the budget and moved its adoption; Mr. Dworet seconded the motion. Mr. White stated that the working budget conservatively assumes a net income from Summerfest of $137,000,and a net income for the Tour of Homes that is much lower than last year’s record‐setting event. It includes a $20,000 allocation to support neighborhood education (including any research or legal activities that might be needed), $75,000 loan service for New Highland Park, $14,000 for discretionary board grants, funds overdue and much‐requested repairs to park benches and the procurement of the association’s liability and board insurance policies.

Ms. Fralick moved to implement a minor revision to the budget as it relates to Parks. She explained that the budget currently provides $965 for the beautification of the Triangle at Virginia and Highland, but she has determined that it will require an additional $135 for plantings. Mr. Wolfinger seconded the motion. It was approved unanimously and the budget was so amended. Mr. White then recognized Mr. Wolfinger for an amendment. Mr. Wolfinger moved that the budget be amended to include a board grant of $3600 to support the general operating costs of Fight Back Against Crime (“FBAC”) Virginia‐Highland. David Wolfson seconded the motion. A discussion ensued regarding the proposed amendment. Mr. Gross noted that the $3600 to be allocated to FBAC would fund the addition of two patrol shifts in the upcoming year – one on the north side and one on the south side. He explained that the majority of the money received by FBAC is used to pay officers for their patrol time. He further explained that the officers hired by FBAC are APD officers, who carry with them the insurance the City provides. Although the officers only respond to specific calls from paying members, he believes that they also provide service to the entire neighborhood because they generally patrol the streets and look for suspicious activity. Various concerns were expressed by citizens and Board members, including: (a) why the cars utilized by FBAC are unmarked, when all neighboring communities use marked cars that may be more effective in controlling crime; (b) the absence of a consensus that funding additional patrols will actually protect the entire neighborhood; (c) whether funding patrols – instead of donating funds to purchase specific items for FBAC – would expose the Board to liability and frivolous lawsuits; and (d) the appropriates of using general funds of the association to support activities that are not uniformly available to all association members.

Several community members spoke in support of and in opposition to the proposed amendment. After considerable discussion, the question was called and the motion was defeated, 5‐6; Ms. Berg, Mr. Glancy, Mr. Gross, Mr. Wolfinger, and Mr. Wolfson voted in favor; Ms. Carlisle, Mr. Dworet, Ms. Ferrero, Ms. Forschler‐Horn, Ms. Papner, and Mr. White voted against.

A second motion was made by Mr. White and seconded by Ms. Carlisle to accept the proposed budget as prepared. The motion was approved 7‐3; Ms. Carlisle, , Mr. Dworet, Ms. Ferrero, Ms. Forschler‐Horn, Ms. Papner, Mr. White, and Mr. Wolfson voted in favor; Mr. Glancy and Mr. Wolfinger voted against. Mr. Gross abstained.


A. Mr. Glancy is holding the Intown 10K road race; more information is available online at www.intown10.com. The cost is $40 per person. He is currently looking for volunteers March 4. He estimates it will net $10,000 to $15,000, which will be donated to VHCL for use at John Howell Park.
B. Mr. Dworet commented that there are old Summerfest banners that need to be discarded and questioned whether they can they be recycled. Ms. Papner noted that Dave FM pays for the signs, so they should be recycled, and that the logos are different from year to year, so they cannot be reused.
C. Ms. Carlisle noted that there will be a presentation on the Neighborhood Commercial zoning code at the next planning meeting on March 7, 2012. The meeting is open to all residents; board members are particularly encouraged to attend.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:37 PM.


Minutes – January 9, 2012

Virginia‐Highland Civic Association Board Meeting
January 9, 2012
Ponce de Leon Library

Mr. White called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM. Present were board members Peggy Berg, Lola Carlisle, Frazier Dworet, Genny Ferrero, Lauren Wilkes Fralick, Brian Gross, Pamela Papner, Jack White, and David Wolfson. Absent with notice was Lauren Wilkes Fralick, who is working, and Nicole Foerschler‐Horn, who is attending the Atlanta Board of Education meeting and will be here as soon as possible.. Rob Glancy texted just prior to the meeting to announce he was running late.


The attached agenda (labeled “Addendum 1”) was approved without objection.


The following items were approved

  • Minutes of the VHCA BoD meeting of November 14, 2011 and December 12, 2011
  • Actions of the board relative to school redistricting process taken by email on December 20, 2011 and December 30, 2011.


There was no old business.


Officer Bruce of the APD reported that crime was down from the similar period last year in all categories except auto theft, which was up slightly.


There were no city or elected officials present.


Ann Guy reported a very successful Tour with record revenues, bolstered by record sponsorship revenues and brilliant weather that also produced record eventday sales. She noted that most members are retiring after many years of service, but are willing to help train and guide what will be a substantially new committee in 2012 that – she observed ‐ “will have its hands full”. In recognition of this group’s many years of service, Ms. Carlisle presented thank‐you gifts from the association to Ms. Guy and her co‐members Eleanor Barrineau, Cindy Kaufman, Charlie Lefort, and Mandy Robertson.


Intown Road Race This item was deferred until later in the meeting so that Rob Glancy would have additional time to arrive. ING Marathon & Half‐Marathon Danielle Puckerin of US Road Sports reported on the return of the ING Marathon, scheduled for Sunday, 3‐18‐12. A number of streets will have lane closures; Park Drive and N. Highland will be closed entirely from approximately 7 to 9:30 AM. Ms. Puckerin said she would address concerns about long‐lasting paint being used to mark streets along the route. Reminders will be sent to residents approx. 3 weeks before; more information is available at georgiamarathon.com


There were no variance applications. Ms. Carlisle reported that the Planning Committee is arranging a presentation on the NC code by Aaron Fortner, who helped write both the original law when he worked with the CoA Planning Department and was part of the development of Viriginia‐Highland’s specific regulations in 2007 and 2008. Though this meeting is focused on the needs of the Planning Committee, the VHCA Board and public are invited. It is tentatively scheduled for January 20th, but it may be rescheduled. If it is, the new date will be advertised.

Mr. Gross reported that his committee is developing a content plan for the new electronic Voice and weekly updates and a plan and rate schedule for advertising in both. The new website may be a week later than anticipated in getting going, but mid‐February remains the target date.

Summerfest & New Highland Park
Ms. Papner reported that the construction plans for New Highland Park have been submitted to the city and that ‐ assuming approval ‐ construction is anticipated for February or March, assuming approval. Summerfest organization is beginning: Ms. Papner and Ms. Guy will return as co‐chairs, and new members are being recruited.


Mr. White reported that Rob Glancy had submitted his resignation as Chair of the Parks Committee and that Ms. Wilkes had agreed to serve as co-chair with Mr. White. The appointment of Ms. Wilkes and Mr. White was moved and seconded and passed unanimously.


Pending the anticipated arrival of Ms. Foerschler‐Horn from the Atlanta Board of Education meeting, the meeting proceeded to a discussion and review of 2012’s Strategic Goals and budget, attached as Addendum B. (This discussion was bisected by Ms. Foerschler‐Horn’s arrival and report {below}, but it is summarized in one section here.) Committee chairs highlighted the main goals, and there was general discussion on the process and the desirability of letting the public review them. Ms. Papner and Ms. Guy suggested minor modifications to the estimated revenue totals for the 2012 Tour and Summerfest, respectively. Mr. Dworet pointed out that there was a substantial sum of unallocated revenue in the proposed budget that could be used for a variety of new and evolving needs as the year progressed. Mr. White observed that the process being used this year asked committee chairs to do some substantial development and costing of large projects before asking for budget support and noted that the board would be summarizing and reviewing each committee’s expenditures periodically through the year. After this discussion, Ms. Papner moved and Mr. Dworet seconded a motion to post the goals and budget as presented and operate under them pending further discussion and adoption of both, scheduled for the February meeting.


Mr. Foerschler-Horn reported selected developments from the Atlanta BoE meeting that she had just left. Over 50 public speakers signed up, including a sizable contingent from Springdale Elementary. The schools board’s demographers are still driving the process at this stage and are accepting feedback as they prepare their next set of proposals, which will feature either 2 or 3 sets of options; it is due by late January. She reviewed the overall dates and schedule – it has not changed – and urged that parents and citizens remain closely involved. We remain united around the points expressed in our our resolutions in December, particularly focused on our opposition to split-primary models, here and throughout the city.

After further discussion and a variety of questions from the audience, she concluded her presentation. Discussion then switched to the $20,000 line item in the proposed budget to support “Educational and Legal Research.” Mr. White noted that the money was intended to allow the board to take action in either category that would support helpful strategies that might achieve the best outcomes for students, depending on the developments and circumstances that presented as the process continued. The board supported without reservation all efforts of parents to work within the existing processes and will make its resources available in whatever way they may be best used on this topic ‐ including legal action ‐ that would be helpful. As mentioned, the meeting concluded with the remarks on strategic goals and budget summarized above and adjourned at 8:14.


Minutes – October 1, 2003

Virginia-Highland Civic Association

Monthly General Meeting, Ponce de Leon Library

Wednesday, October 1, 2003, 7:30 PM


Meeting was called to order by President Kevin Cronin at 7:30 p.m.

Guests were introduced: Cyrus Bhedward, Cathy Woolard’s office

New Business/Old Business:

  1. Energy – Report by Cyrus Bhedward
    • Bhedward spoke on how we can conserve energy in our homes and offices
      • Woolard has been involved in a sustainability project, focusing on air, land and energy use
      • There was a lot to information to decipher
      • No one at the City has been dealing with energy use
      • First question raised was how much does the City spend?
        • $21 million on electricity in City buildings alone
        • $3.1 million on waste and water
        • The goal is to reduce these figures by 10%
    • Support is coming from federal, state and non-profit agencies, at no cost to taxpayers. In 2003, the goal is to save $500,000 in energy costs. The group looked at errors in billings by utility companies
      • Started with City Hall and City Hall East to review usage patterns
      • Solutions were simple: Employees did what they could – turning off lights, PCs, etc. at night
      • This single efforts produced a huge dent in bills
      • City is ready to establish similar cost-reducing methods at other buildings and create sustainable energy efficient and environmentally friendly buildings
    • What can citizens do?
      • Watch your THERMOSTATS!
      • Set them back – Ideally to 68° in winter; 78° in summer
      • When replacing appliances – look for “Energy Efficient” labels
    • Bedward also commented briefly on the city’s move to name the new terminal at airport, improvements in fire stations and park facilities
  2. Councilperson Anne Fauver
    • Fauver was in attendance and offered her assistance if any neighbors wanted to talk to her.
  3. Inspector Kinser
    • Introduced Officers Green and Rivers
    • Things going well in the sixth district
    • Have been several commercial burglaries on the morning watch; Major Banda is working on this issue
    • Question – have the burglarers been Caught? Not yet. Our officer in charge of burglaries passed away and other officers are following up.
    • Question – Linked to residential burglaries? Not known
    • When will the new beats be assigned? Beginning of 2004
  4. Tinka Green – Business Association: Reported 14 break-ins, one attempted break-in and one major shoplifting
    • Two officers working with the Business Association
    • Almost caught robber in American Roadhouse early Friday, Sept. 26. Police arrived in seven minutes; the robber didn’t get anything
    • Inspector Kinser: Shortened days are coming, as is the Christmas season. Be cautious and watch people in stores, take extra precautions
    • Officer Rivers: Many homeless people sit outside Publix and people making deposits to bank inside
    • Don’t carry an extreme amount of cash or handle your deposits more carefully
    • People have been seen knocking on doors, trying to figure out when people aren’t home. DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL THE POLICE WHEN YOU SEE THIS ACTIVITY!
    • Kinser said if you see people with bags as if they are stealing items or walking up on porches – call 911!
    • Anne Fauver asked what message we should give 911?
    • Kinser – “I see an attempted robbery and I have person in view.”
    • Call and stay on the line! Officers will go straight to address dispatched! Look what they are wearing, what direction the person goes, what type of car they might get into, etc.
    • The homeless are walking around the neighborhood, looking for work. Don’t hire someone off the streets.
    • People have been seen stealing bicycles off of front porches. Thieves are looking for easy pickings and large items for which they can get cash easily
    • Call about any homeless? No, only if they keep going to doors to see if residents are at home/walking around the back of a residence/looking in herby curbies. Don’t call if they are just walking down the street
    • If homeless are looking closely at a residence, the police call if casing a joint/looking for a future robbery scene. Call if it seems they are attemping to do something
    • Officer Kinser reiterated that 911 is emergency — and information. Use the number if you have some information to report
    • Question from neighborhood – what is happening with panhandlers?
      • Stewart from Atlanta Union Mission has been knocking on neighbors’ door asking for cash
    • Lot of requests to remove homeless from John Howell Park
      • Police are working on it and they have talked to Major Banda
    • Kinser introduced Phillip Pettus – chair of public safety; working on coordinated watch programs and email program
    • Cronin stated that we will buy something for the force with Summerfest funds
  5. Karen Handel
    • Cronin introduced her – Candidate for Chair, Fulton County Commission
      • Not an endorsement from the neighborhood
      • Handel encouraged residents to vote on Nov. 4
      • She offered to answer questions after the meeting
  6. Cynthia Gentry/Cunard Memorial Playground
    • City Parks Dept has really helped
    • Current playground will remain; will be pressure washed and dirt added around benches, etc.
    • New ground cover for playground area; won’t harm trees
    • Pieces made by KOMPAN; different pieces will be spread throughout the playground according to plan (photos were shown to the group)
    • Fire engine is the center piece – Max Cunard loved fire engines
    • Interactive for many ages and many or a few kids
    • Biggest piece – 9′ tall tower-like structure with components for younger, physically challenged and older kids
    • Playground doesn’t block out the sun – it is more open and see-through
    • Budget – Adding the recycled tires as the groundcover moves the budget from $60K to $130K
    • Recycled tires are permanent, won’t spread like mulch, is squishy and permeable
    • Volunteers raising moncy – raised $65,000 to date with matching $17K from VHCA
    • Oct. 21 – 27 restaurants from 5 p.m to close will donate 15% of all sales
    • Oct . 26 – Van Michael’s hair salon will offer $25 haircuts with 100% of money going to the playground
    • Nov. 15 – Build day (7 a.m. to dark) Equipment company will be on hand to direct the installation
    • Nov. 16 – Clean up
    • Nov. 22 – Rain date
    • On build day, volunteers will help with playground or other John Howell activities
    • Equipment has been ordered
    • City is doing all land prep work; all granite walls; all design, etc.
    • City will start work soon -last week of Oct.
  7. Summerfest
    • Applications available on line
    • Deadline is 1/30
    • Good artists want early notice
    • Grow artists down the street
    • Press releases across the Southeast promoting the event
  8. Anne Fauver
    • Self assigned task — to get bills collected that are owed to City
      • Water, sanitary fees
      • Complicated task
      • Will take some time
      • Anne will “keep going – like a bill in a china shop. “
      • Trying to get answers – City only has half the number of water meter readers
      • Next week – Anne hopes the number will be 100%
    • Noted the new parking meters in VaHi; Anne promised by next week the amount of time allowed on them will be longer than 30 minutes
    • Yard waste – hoping pick-up gets better , reorganizing department and beginning to see improvement
      • Adair, Ponce Terrace especially noted need for more frequent pick-ups
      • Some people are putting out stupid stuff – fences, bldg materials, etc.
      • One group of workers is focused on yard waste, one group focused on trash
    • Sidewalks
      • Long process; thanks for patience
      • Sandra Jennings promised cost estimates for sidewalks in VAHI by Oct. 15
      • City will evaluate what can be done
      • City cotractors are not scheduled to work until year end, but Anne is trying to get them to fit VAHI in schedule
      • Will be done in 1/04 if not now….
      • Cronin reiterated that the money from VHCA will come only when we get promise from city
      • Panhandling ordinance being redone
  9. New parks ordinance
    • Sleeping in Piedmont Park, but current ordinance doesn’t do all it should to keep people from sleeping there
    • Question from neighbors: What about sleeping in John Howell Park?
  10. Traffic
    • Third lane on N Highland is unnecessary
    • Anne suggests removing it and add more parking spots
  11. Question – airport name change?
    • No, Anne feels we should keep Hartsfield and name the new international terminal “Maynard Jackson”
    • However, Anne doesn’t think that approach will pass
    • Hartsfield’s name is in three-four place; Perhaps name the new street to the International Terminal as Jackson street; main entrance “Hartsfield-Jackson”
    • Other considerations – Cost of renaming? Possible statue of Hartsfield and Jackson at City Hall?
    • How will any of the initiatives be funded? Out of public art construction budget?
  12. Graffiti?
    • No answer
  13. Sizeable homeless population? Any master plan?
    • Mayor’s task force picked up
    • Old jail – transitional home for men
    • For drug programs, rehab programs, etc.
    • Encourage counties to provide shelters, etc.
    • Encourage churches to adopt families
    • Reunification project – get me connected with my family and get me off the street
  14. Crosswalk markers
    • VHCA would be willing to fund the city for more of them!
    • Need to set policy as to where they will go…..Schools, churches, fire station?
    • But if we put markers on very crosswalk, they will be meaningless. Don’t put on every corner!
    • Strategic positioning, but City determines where they go
    • How can VHCA get our sites marked?
    • Send recommendations to Anne and let city install them
    • Markers at Inman Middle School coming
    • The association asked if it would help to provide feedback/encouragement to get them installed?
    • Anne thinks the City has enough feedback
  15. Sidewalks
    • VHCA offers compensation, but John Craft and his wife walked North Highland to note which ones VHCA will take care of
    • If there is a bad sidewalk in front of a home, the City can cite the homeowner if it is reported.
    • Why can’t the City cite them? City doesn’t have the manpower….
    • Deputy program who can cite bldg code violations, including sidewalks
    • Example of Bay City – Homeowner’s responsibility! City cited you and if you did not repair the sidewalk, the city fixed it and billed the resident for sidewalk
    • Fauver – We don’t have city personnel to enforce that type of regulation.
    • VHCA — We can identify the problem but we can’t do anything about it.
    • Fauver — No personnel to supervise this type of project
    • VHCA — Why doesn’t the City hire contractors and just repair the sidewalks?
    • Fauver – City won’t touch it and there is no vehicle for enforcement
  16. New meeting date and time
    • First Mondays, beginning on Monday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Ponce Library



Planning and Zoning

  • V-03-260770 Ponce Terrace
    • Variance for porch 2′, 3″
    • Motion to approve
    • P&Z committee recommended approval conditioned on plans submitted
      Straw – 9 for; 0 against, 2 abstentions
    • Boards – Unanimous in approval
  • V-02-2701100 Virginia
    • Renovation and addition
    • Add second story to front
      Have two out or four letters from neighbors
    • P&Z committee recommended approval with all neighbors’ letters and site plan
    • Straw – 14/0/0
    • Board – unanimous in approval
  • V-03-278631 Park Drive
    • Second story addition
    • Coverage less than 50%
    • P&Z committee recommended approval based on site plan
      Straw – 13/0/0
    • Board-unanimous in approval
  • V-03-2871066 Maryland
    • Second story addition
    • Already over lot coverage, will work to reduce (120ft more)
      Gotten letters of approval from adjacent and other neighbors
    • Plan to renovate and resell
    • P&Z committee recommended approval based on site plan
    • Straw – 12/0/0
    • Board – unanimous in approval
  • Lot at Park Drive & ElmwoodOwner wishes to subdivide property at back of lot
    • Build second house as part of family compound; 1 house now, eventually two single-family houses
    • On its own lot so that in the future it could be sold as two lots
    • 13,900 main lot
    • Typically, take into consideration neighbor’s feelings
      Owner has planted trees, supported the antique rock wall
    • No variance on any new structure allowed for 1 year after subdivision
    • Driveway issues?
    • Will build in a year, look at those issues then
    • How many more houses/?
    • P&Z committee recommended approval of subdivision with neighbors’ OK
    • Straw – 11/0/0
    • Board – unanimous in approval


  • Hold until next mtg

Public Safety:

  • 4-yr. Lab shot by policeman by Village Market
  • Lab ran out of store
  • Didn’t use pepper spray, foot, etc, just shot the dog. No one saw the actual event
  • Didn’t use due diligence
  • Sgt. Pool investigating
  • Internal investigation
  • Fauver will look into it

Treasurer’s Report:

  • Great shape
  • Summerfest netted $150,000
  • Only outstanding is donation to Piedmont Park Conservancy — 2 for 1 match from donations VHCA residents make to Conservancy
  • Look to Park Drive entrance for improvements
  • Chip – bring plan to VHCA for funding projects
  • Tree plantings? Yes
  • $5,377 for sidewalk improvement
  • We’ll help ! Plus, it’s a city ordinance!
  • Total cost for 60-70 ft. $800-1,200 ($2.50 per sq ft)

Membership & Community Outreach:

  • Chip Gallagher announced that welcome packets were available for any new residents in the area.


  • Plantings, trees
  • Let Rob Clancy know if you have an area that needs more trees
  • Bottom of Cresthill – this Sat. 10/4 – Hands On Atlanta work day — 8:30 a.m or sign up at www.handsatlanta.org
  • Trees Atlanta annual tree sale is 10-/18 at Piedmont Park – come early at 8 a.m. to get the best choices
  • 11/1 – Clean up and planting at North Highland and Virginia island; we need to keep it fresh, it’s our showcase island
  • Parks committee is putting together a budget for JH Park
  • 830 Ponce – certification of occupancy is close, but developers must plant 50 trees in the neighborhood
  • 25 trees near Freedom Park by complex (2″ Chalk Maple)
  • 25 by Orme Park (larger beech trees, white oak, etc.)
  • Possibly give some to Park Drive for Piedmont Park entrance?
  • Anne: Shady Grove Park next to be renovated (Moreland & Oakdale on Ponce)
    • Playscape wasn’t safe
    • Olmstead Group wants no play equip there
    • Meeting to be held

Summerfest Committee:

  • 6/5 & 6/6
  • Artist apps already on the Web

Minutes – November 4, 2002


Virginia-Highland Civic Association
Monthly Board Meeting, YWCA
Monday, November 4, 2002, 7:00 PM



A quorum being present, Steven Kushner called the meeting to order.

New business / old business:

  • Anna Copello, Poncey Highland Neighborhood Association President, requested a letter of support in opposition to the zoning change requested by The Covenant House, a national social services organization serving young adults, to allow Covenant House to operate a 40 bed facility in Poncey Highland.
    • Ms. Copello had three main concerns:
      • balance with existing social service organizations
      • security / safety related to off-property loitering by associates of those being served
      • immediate neighbors of the property are against the zoning change
    • The Board discussed Ms. Copello’s request.


  • Steven Kushner noted that Highland Bagel is closing and that another restaurant is expected to open in that space.
  • Steven Kushner noted that Meridian Storage informed the Association that the Associations’ storage services barter agreement has been canceled. The cost of this service will be $180 per month beginning in November 2002.
  • Steven Kushner expressed concern that the sidewalk initiative should be accelerated. Chip Gallagher is writing an article for The Voice to describe the process by which residents receive reimbursement for fixing their sidewalks.
  • Jean Jordan noted that Rob Glancey has ordered the new association meeting announcement signs.


A speeding and jay-walking task force on the N. Highland corridor is underway. The Board discussed traffic issues on the N. Highland corridor.


  • The sidewalk initiative has fixed one sidewalk. The sidewalk fix reimbursement cost was $444.
  • The Voice is projected to exceed the net cost limit of $9,000 required by the association budget. Chip Gallagher made a motion to eliminate the $9,000 limit on the Voice. The board approved the motion.
  • Wiley Sommerville suggested greater board member oversight of The Voice. Bob Coomes volunteered to assist with the fiscal management of The Voice.
  • Logo items are not selling very fast. (The association purchased $5,000 worth of mugs and license plates and has sold $500.) Kris Reinhard offered to take samples to the next business association meeting to see if any of the shops would sell VA HI logo merchandise (especially in consideration of the approaching holidays).


No variance issues were introduced.


The Board approved a link to the VA HI Parent’s Association email list.


The Board noted the success of the recent volunteer planting efforts at Triangle Park.


Steven Kushner mentioned progress with Z93, volunteers, dining logistics and the footrace. Wiley Sommerville updated the Board on the city-wide festivals member organization. SummerFest may face significant increases in city licensing expenses and new/uncertain regulatory requirements beginning this year.

The meeting adjourned at 8:39pm.

In attendance:

  • Bob Coomes
  • John Craft
  • Kevin Cronin
  • Chip Gallagher
  • Linda Guthrie
  • Jean Jordan
  • Steven Kushner
  • Robert Ramsay
  • Kris Reinhard
  • Wiley Sommerville

Minutes October 2, 2002

Virginia-Highland Civic Association
Monthly General Meeting, Ponce de Leon Library

Wednesday, October 2, 2002, 7:30 PM



Steve Kushner opened the meeting with general announcements and introduction of the new board. Goals and Objectives for 2003 are being developed. $10,000 has been set aside for improving sidewalks.

Update from Anne Fauver’s office: (by Janet Kishbaugh)

Highland corridor meeting tomorrow with GA DOT, get project manager, update next month. New schedule for picking up yard debris. Virginia Ave will not be paved until BellSouth and AGL do additional work.

Public Safety

Steve Luben met for 2.5 hours on plan of action, traffic speed study will be conducted.

  • Several cars stolen, one on Clemont
  • Daytime home breakins-9: 30a.m.-2:30 p.m. Acting as if workmen, break in steal CD players, computers
  • Break in at 2:30 a.m. on 907 N. Highland
  • New box of checks stolen from several residents mail boxes
  • November, 10, Sunday, Citizens invited to attend thank your reception at 4pm 964 Edgewood Ave Trolley Barn
  • House on PDL and Bonaventure is abandoned and not boarded up removed several homeless people.

Report any unusual people who are “prowling” around to police 911.


November publishing for the VH Voice newsletter, Articles by 10-31.


No variances. Reminder BZA hearing October 4, 2002 at 1pm for 2 appeals

Treasury report

Wiley Summerville gave financial update on VAHI., 60k in bank, 24k in CD

Membership and Community outreach

Working on new Welcome package for next year. We would like coupons from merchants in VAHI community or info describing goods and services


Rob Glancy: 10 am Fall cleaning, at three islands on the Saturday 10-5 Please note planting day is 10-19

Stephanie: New arborist Connie Gray 404-330-6150 ext 5632

  • Work party on John Howell Park put in new mulch ( Need to have next work day go out on email reminder)
  • 10-5 SHAPE clean up on Ponce De Leon 9am
  • 10-26 9 am. Tree Planting Day: Planting trees Arlington Place and Rosedale, Steve Luben has tree options

Reviewed list of 9 business that are not in compliance with tree ordinance, Steve Kushner to write a letter to new city arborist

Summer Fest

Steve Kushner announced that Rob Frazer, a professional events planner, has been hired to run Summer Fest 2003. Works with Music midtown and other large events. His expertise will allow for us to be better equipped to negotiate fees and expenses. Will be able to streamline process and maximize profits. Will have volunteer Co-Chairs, Artist Market, Race, and Volunteers. Summer Fest applications for artist market are due out in later October.

New Business

  • City ordinance dictates trees per number of parking spaces, Letter being drafted to new arborist.
  • Suggestion to send info about the lots to bring them into compliance and publicize
  • Food vendor stopped payment on check for $2,000, Motion made to file small claims court for recovery of $2,000 plus costs and attorneys fees, approved by board.