I. Welcome & Introductions
Jim King called the meeting to order at about 6:35 PM. A quorum was present.
II. Approval of Minutes
Minutes for the September meeting were approved.
III. Admit New Member Neighborhoods
No neighborhoods asked to be admitted to BCN.
IV. Committee and Liaison Updates
Did not meet. No report.
Jim King said his area has been hit pretty hard by burglaries and other crime.
Transportation, Development and Infrastructure
Michael Golden reported that neighborhood reps met with Regions Bank in an attempt to block a driveway onto W Paces Ferry Road. They are concerned about tree loss and traffic problems. No progress was made. A picket line is planned at the site. Aaron Watson said the driveway was being reconsidered by Commissioner Mendoza. Jim King mentioned activity at Arden and Northside Drive intersection.
-Mr. Andre Dickens
-Hon. Mary Norwood
-Hon. Aaron Watson
-Hon. Lamar Willis
Each of these speakers is a candidate for At Large City Council posts. Each was offered and took the opportunity to make a 10-minute political statement regarding their campaign for election or reelection to the City Council, followed by a Q&A session for each candidate. All performed well and the discussion was polite and professional.
VI. Old / New Business – None
VII. Community Concerns
Policies related to leases of APS property
Clair Murray, Chastain Park, spoke about her concerns with proposed changes to Atlanta Public Schools policy changes. She said that under the proposal, the APS administration would be able to lease school property for up to a year without any input from impacted neighborhoods. The policy which may be revised is called KG. The prior policy required the Board of Education to approve any lease covering a period of more than one week. The revision allows the APS Superintendent or designee to enter a lease of up to one year, which could presumably be renewed indefinitely. Neither the BOE nor neighborhoods would have any role in the approval of such a lease. The revised lease policy covers the operational hours from 6AM to 11PM. She said another policy, called DO, deals with APS properties which are not in use, whereas KG deals with APS properties that are not in use by APS. DO is inconsistent with KG in that it requires the APS Superintendent to consider neighborhood input. She argued that KG should be consistent with DO and also require consideration of neighborhood input. She asked BCN to sign BCN Board Meeting Minutes – October 10, 2013 a letter supporting that revision to KG to align it with DO. She said that the revised KG is subject to approval in the next thirty days. Jim King said he had contacted the City Planning Department and Nancy Meister about this issue. He said Nancy said the BOE is considering the issue of whether they need to be involved in the approval of every lease involving a term of less than a year. Jim added that there was some concern between the City and APS as to whether a special use permit may be needed for certain non-school related activities on APS property. He said Nancy reported that issue was being considered within APS. An APS opinion on that issue is expected “next week”. Jim said he was concerned that policy restrictions might make use of APS property by neighbors during off hours more difficult, which was apparently the case in the past. Kirk Oppenlander commented that he thought a special use permit would be required. Clair felt that it was reasonable to require all leases to be conditioned in seeking neighborhood input via the NPU system, as set out in DO. [This could mean that even a short lease would face up to a one-month delay (or more) in order for the NPU to consider it. This may be cumbersome.] Jim said that the subject policy statements would be circulated to BCN Reps by email and feedback would be accumulated. Debra Wathen commented that BCN needs to be very careful about which APS issues we choose to fight. If we attack everything they do we may lose our credibility with them.
The November BCN meeting is our annual meeting and new officers will be elected. Any BCN rep who wants to stand for office in November should notify Gordon Certain, BCN Secretary.
IX. Next Meeting – November 14, 2013
X. Adjourn – The meeting adjourned at about 8:15 PM.