Check Out and Provide Feedback on Concepts To “Transform West Howard Avenue”

Decatur residents have just a few more days – June 30th! – to provide online feedback on the city’s concepts to “Reimagine West Howard Avenue”.  Click here to do so on Open City Hall.  331 of your neighbors have already done so! (as of the time of publication)

Here’s the city’s summary from Open City Hall for your reference…

Studies have been conducted to examine solutions that will transform Howard Avenue into a more lively street, using public art, landscaping, street furniture, lighting, and programming.

CSD Asks Residents “What Should Be Done to Meet CSD’s Expanding Enrollment Demands?”

There’s a new series of questions on Decatur’s Open City Hall from City Schools of Decatur gauging resident reactions to solutions to deal with Decatur’s rising enrollment levels.  Here’s the intro…

In order to gauge the opinion of residents of the City of Decatur, City Schools of Decatur (CSD) is using the city’s online tool, Open City Hall, and asking that you complete this short survey.

Currently CSD is experiencing unprecedented enrollment growth. The School Board and Superintendent have been studying enrollment projections for a number of years. Ten years ago, CSD’s enrollment was approximately 2,200. Today at 4,336 students, enrollment has surpassed the highest previous historic level. By 2020, using low growth estimates, enrollment is slated to be over 6,500. Additional information is available for review on the CSD website at www.csdecatur.net.

And here are the questions being posed…

  • Are you aware that, according to Georgia Department of Education guidelines, CSD schools are currently at capacity?
  • Would you support $60 million in bond financing that meets 89% of the projected low growth enrollment needs and increases property taxes on a $500,000 home by approximately $545 per year.
  • Would you support $75 million in bond financing that meets 93% of the projected low growth enrollment needs and increases property taxes on a $500,000 home by approximately $680 per year?
  • Would you support $82 million in bond financing that meets 100% of the projected low growth enrollment needs and increases taxes on a $500,000 home by approximately $744 a year?
  • Would you support any of the following alternatives to building new facilities (check all that apply):
  • Do you have children enrolled in City Schools of Decatur (CSD)?
  • How many years have you lived in the City of Decatur?
  • Do you have any other comments about school funding?

Go provide your feedback!

City Requests Resident Feedback on Updated Tree Ordinance on Open City Hall

The city is asking for feedback on the updated tree ordinance on Open City Hall.  You have between now and May 2nd to submit your opinion.  Here’s the intro from the Open City Hall forum…

The City of Decatur has released an updated draft of the Tree Conservation Ordinance, and we are coming back to you for feedback. Based on concerns voiced by the community, the City Commission requested that the ordinance proposed on January 21, 2014 be revised and brought back for consideration at a later date. A summary of the process was posted to the Decatur Minute blog in February. You can also see the Open City Hall topic here.

UPDATED Ordinance Materials:

Feedback on the new ordinance will be accepted through May 2. Comments will be summarized and presented to the City Commission at a work session on Monday, May 5th. The Commission will then decide if they would like to make further amendments to the proposed ordinance.

Better Hurry Up! …If You Still Want to Give Online Zoning Feedback

Still have lots to say about Decatur’s potential zoning changes and can’t make any upcoming commission meetings?  I hope you took today and/or tomorrow off from work!

Until 2pm tomorrow you can provide feedback on seven different changes the Zoning Ordinance Update Task Force is looking for feedback about on the Open City Hall website.

Here’s a list of the seven proposed changes.  Click through to read through more detail and to provide your opinion.

  • Home Businesses – Should the City modify the current home based business definition and standards as proposed?
  • Downtown Parking – Which distance do you think would work best to allow businesses in downtown Decatur to secure parking for its customers and employees?
  • Design Standards– Do you believe these standards provide a reasonable transition between downtown commercial properties and single family homes? If not, how would you add to or revise them?
  • Accessory Structures – Which option do you think will work best for Decatur – Option A or Option B?
  • Urban Gardens – Should the City adopt the following definitions of gardens? Should the City allow the below gardens in the following zoning districts?
  • Light Manufacturing – Should the City adopt the proposed changes?
  • Pedestrian Area Expansion – Should the City extend the current special pedestrian area as shown on the map?

Got an Opinion About Decatur’s Level of Traffic Enforcement?

Apparently the City is posting the three extra questions on the currently in-the-field Citizen Survey on the Open City Hall website.  Here’s the second one…

Do you think that the current level of traffic enforcement by the Decatur Police Department is too little, too much or about right?

38 people have replied so far.

Don’t mind me.  I’m just going to back slowly out of this virtual room.  (Clop, clop, clop…scamper, scamper, scamper)

Decatur City Commission to Vote on Sunday Alcohol Sales This Coming Monday

Linda Harris writes on The Decatur Minute that the City Commission will “consider whether to adopt a resolution calling for a referendum on November 8, 2011 on whether to allow package sales by retailers of malt beverages, wine and distilled spirits on Sunday.”

If approved by the November referendum, retail beverage outlets like Kroger, Sherlock and Ale Yeah! will be able to sell their spirituous wares on Sundays.

Also note that the city has posted the question of Sunday sales on the city’s Open City Hall feedback forum.  Submit your opinion there until 3pm on Monday and it’s considered an “official” comment to the commission.  With 39 responses thus far, the opinion – not surprisingly seems a near unanimous “Yes!” thus far.

City of Decatur Eliminated 5 Vacant Positions in Past Year

You can now register your official approval/disapproval of Decatur’s 2010-2011 budget over on Open City Hall.

Among the bullet points in the Open City Hall overview is the “elimination of 5 vacant full-time positions”.  But you have to dig into the City Manager’s 20 page, single-spaced budget message for detail.

During the past year, two full‐time positions were eliminated in the Active Living Division. One position in senior services has been replaced with part‐time staff and at the tennis center, a full‐time assistant program supervisor position was eliminated and duties are also being covered as necessary with part‐time staff. These two changes have allowed us to meet essential service needs with greater flexibility at a reduced cost.

In the Children and Youth Services Division, two full‐time positions have been eliminated. Our long‐term plan is to concentrate on upgrading the existing Site Director positions through training and skill development to continue to improve an already superior program.

In the Police Department one of two administrative assistants is retiring as of July 1st. Existing duties will be covered by the other administrative assistant and by sharing some responsibilities with existing part‐time employees. One full‐time position will be eliminated.