Downtown Decatur and Oakhurst Each Getting an Electric Vehicle Charging Station

Decatur is planning on installing two electric charging stations -one in Downtown Decatur on North McDonough (see above) and one on Mead Rd adjacent to Harmony Park – in the next few weeks.

The city will dedicate two parking spots in both locations to electric vehicles.

A note from Asst. City Manager Lyn Menne notes that the electric charging stations will be free to use for the first year, while the city evaluates usage.  Though you’ll still have to pay to park AND there’s still a two hour limit on using the spot.

h/t: Decaturish

Callaway Development Back Before Commission with More Office Space

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New Rendering – Callaway Site

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Old rendering – Callaway Site

The Cousins Calloway development is back before the City Commission tonight (agenda item here), after the city sent the developer back to the drawing board last September for not including enough retail or office space in its plan.

A note from Asst. City Manager Lyn Menne summarized the changes thusly…

  • Reduces the number of residential units overall by 40 units (from 369 to 329).

  • Adds 30,000 sf of upper floor office space to the building in the northeast corner of the site.

  • Removes a round entry lobby on the southwest side of the new office building and a pedestrian bridge originally designed to connect upper floor residential uses.

  • Provides for a total of 721 parking spaces (an increase of 19 parking spaces to accommodate the increased office space).

  • Removes the black box theater space and replaces it with three additional live work units to create three more small office options for a total of eight live work units.

Ms. Menne states that the Decatur Downtown Development Authority Board supports the revised site plan.

Renderings courtesy of Smith Dalia

Decatur Looking At Building New Park with Lake in East Decatur Station

East Decatur Station Map

You may recall the reference to “greenspace” in our recent wrapup of all the happenings planned for East Decatur Station in the coming years.  Well, the AJC has dug up a few more details about that blob of greenish yellow between Talley Street and South Columbia on the map above.

According to the paper, the city is in conversations with AT&T to acquire the site, which according to the City’s Lyn Menne is mostly wetlands and ” build a regional retention center, and….turn the land into a park with a lake, similar to what they have at Atlantic Station.”

That would be quite a transformation from the “employee hub and vehicle storage site” that currently occupies the site.

Here’s a photo of the lake at Atlantic Station for your reference…

Atlantic-Station lake

Photo courtesy of Cooperative Conversation of America

Decatur Waffle House Build Out To Begin in Next Couple of Weeks

Construction on the long-awaited downtown Decatur Waffle House – first announced here back in April 2014 – is about to begin.

DM has confirmed with Asst. City Manager Lyn Menne that construction on the renovation of the formerrp_sammiches-535x399.jpg Sammiches n’ Stuff/Little Shop space at 515 North McDonough will begin in the next two weeks.

We have also confirmed that Waffle House will remove the false front of the building as part of the renovation and will attempt restore the original brick to its former glory if its still in good shape– similar to the rehabilitation done on the exterior of the Jeni’s Ice Cream space a couple of years ago.

Ms. Menne notes “They are not used to rehabbing and are going out on a limb to meet our request and we appreciate that effort.”

Like many other Waffle House locations around the country, the Decatur location will be open 24 hours.

Logo courtesy of Wikipedia

New Decatur Parking Meters To Be Installed Next Week

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Another item on tonight’s Decatur City Commission meeting agenda: a change order of approximately $13,000 to include three more multi-space pay stations along Ponce where previously, single space meters were originally planned.  The change order letter from Asst. City Manager Lyn Menne also states that after months of planning, the new parking meters are scheduled to be installed next week, June 23rd – 26th.

There’s also been talk around here of late about the start of Saturday parking enforcement.

Decatur has long had stated metered times on Saturday, but hasn’t enforced those limits.  Menne tells DM that when that occurs, the city may start out just enforcing the 2 hour limit, but not ticketing.  Menne says the city is still gathering information on how spaces are being used on Saturday and the approach to Saturday enforcement is “still a work in progress but whatever we do will involve a lot of public notice before tickets are issued.  Our goal is not to ticket.  Our goal is keep the best, most convenient on-street spaces turning over so customers have a reasonable expectation of finding a parking space.”

Decatur Set To Create Domestic Partnership Registry

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 12.43.29 PMLast month, Decatur received a low score from the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index, which was based on a variety of different municipal offerings and actions.  A debate ensued about the accuracy of such a rank, and it was noted by the City Manager that some criteria that Decatur didn’t meet were due to it’s small size.  But one thing that was revealed when looking closely at the data was that Decatur didn’t have a Domestic Partnership Registry, while smaller cities, like neighboring Avondale Estates, did.

Now, just a month later, Decatur seems to be remedying this.  Tonight, the Decatur City Commission will vote on creating a Domestic Partnership Registry.  From a letter submitted to the Commission by Asst. Manager Lyn Menne…

Currently the State of Georgia does not recognize domestic partnerships. The creation of a local registry allows us to provide local recognition of domestic partnerships that exist between City of Decatur residents. The attached resolution establishing a local domestic partnership register has been reviewed and approved by the city attorney.

A local domestic partner registry allows our residents to register their partnership with the Decatur City Clerk and receive a certificate confirming that their partnership is recognized by the City of Decatur. A sample of the registry page and the certificate is attached for your review.

I recommend that the Decatur City Commission approve the attached resolution establishing a local domestic partnership registry for City of Decatur residents and authorizing the city clerk to maintain a domestic partnership registry and issue certificates in recognition of this registration.

You can read the full ordinance HERE.

Decatur Set To Make Serious Upgrades to Parking Meters

Another item on the agenda for tonight’s Decatur City Commission meeting – new parking meters!

Here are the details of the planned upgrade in a letter from Asst. City Manager Lyn Menne to the Commission…

[The parking management company has] developed a plan that uses a mix of single space and multi-space meter equipment that will utilize license plate recognition rather than a”pay and display”receipt option. Customer scan pay using credit, debit and smart card options as well as coins and have the option to set up prepaid accounts on-line tied to their cell phone. All of the on-street meter equipment is solar-powered.

In addition to the meter equipment, we will purchase upgraded, hand-held ticketing units, improved collection equipment that will enhance the security and tracking of revenue collections and court and collection software that will allow for the integration of citations directly into the court system and provide for more efficient and effective parking fine collections.

The project is now projected to cost $350,000, less than the original estimated cost of $500,000, according to Ms. Menne.

Decaturish also recently had a report on these coming upgrades.