Approved Church Streetscape Plan Will Widen Sidewalks, Eliminate Parking Spaces

This evening, Decatur Presbyterian Pastor Todd Speed presented the church’s proposed streetscape improvement plans at the corner of Sycamore and Church Street.

Among the proposed changes were eliminating four public parking spaces on Sycamore in front of the church to widen the narthex terrace and to add a pedestrian crosswalk.  The sidewalk along Sycamore will also be widened to “coincide with the new street alignment in front of the Recreation Center” according to a letter from the church’s pastor to City Manager Peggy Merriss. The church also asked the city to jointly repave and improve the Church Street sidewalk by “allowing the city to pave two additional feet on our property”.

Asst. City Manager Hugh Saxon was generally supportive of the church’s plan from a “good neighbor” standpoint, but wasn’t supportive of the city paying into the repaving of Church Street sidewalks or the mid-block Sycamore crosswalk being requested by the church.  Mr Saxon also was concerned about the close proximity to the signalized crosswalk at Sycamore and Church intersection.

The church also was originally planning to take down the Black Walnut tree at that intersection, but according to Pastor Speed’s initial remarks, after conversations with the City Arborist, the church has decided to wait and see if the tree will “leaf out” this year before making any final determinations about it.

After discussion, the Decatur City Commission decided to approve the entire plan – with the exception of the Sycamore mid-block crosswalk – and committed up to $5,000 to pay for the redevelopment of the city’s portion of the Church Street sidewalk.

Photo courtesy of Google Maps

What’s the Difference Between Decatur and DeKalb Noise Ordinances?

According to a letter to the Decatur City Commission by City Manager Peggy Merriss in this week’s meeting materials (page 62 of the PDF), the commission has asked city staff to evaluate the differences between Decatur and DeKalb’s noise ordinances in a response to a resident concern.

The evaluation found that for the most part, Decatur and DeKalb’s noise ordinances to be quite similar, with restricted times for various noisy activities usually varying by an hour and decibel levels varying by at most 10 dB(A) in either direction.  (See page 64 of the meeting materials for the full comparison chart)

However, the one “main difference” between the two ordinances is that Decatur does not provide specific hours when “landscaping” noise is allowed.  In DeKalb, the ordinance only allows for landscaping power tools to be used from 7a-9p on weekdays and 9a-9p on the weekend.

The City Manager’s letter suggests that if the city wants to amend the ordinance that they issue an announcement to the public and gather feedback from residents through the website, written comments and Open City Hall.

Cat Found Near McKoy Park

Angie writes in…

We live near McKoy Park, and this cat showed up a few days ago. She’s being taken care of, but we’d like to find her owner.

Black/brown long-haired with tan feet.

Morning Metro: Animal Rescue Group Van Stolen, NaanStop Opening on Broad St., and the State of the City