Surrounding Neighbors File Appeal Against 315 West Ponce Project

According to Patch, residents of 335 West Ponce de Leon Ave and in the surrounding neighborhood have filed separate but identical appeals against the 315 West Ponce de Leon Ave mixed use development project approval process, which was officially announced by Carter yesterday and was approved by the DDA in December.  The appeal also questions the changes made to the zoning ordinance by the City Commission in December 2012.

The Notice of Appeal posted on Patch details the following concerns:

  1. The Zoning Administrator failed to follow the procedures established in the acceptable ordinance for providing public notice.

  2. The Zoning Administrator failed to consistently apply the relevant requirements and standards for the Downtown Multiple Dwelling developments and developments in the Special Pedestrian Area to the development proposal.

  3. The Zoning Administrator has not addressed applicable ordinances, which require variance approval by the Zoning Board of Appeal

  4. Revised ordinances relating to Downtown Multiple Dwellings and C-2 zoned districts passed by the City Commission, December 3, 2012, conflict with wording and intent with multiple ordinances currently in effect.

  5. Noncompliance with zoning code procedures for due process re: the change to Ordinance O-08-Z-11

You can read the detailed arguments behind these concerns over in the full notice of appeal.  But here also is the conclusion:

There are numerous errors on the part of the Zoning Administrator in making decisions, determinations and recommendations to the DDA that the project as proposed for 315 W. Ponce de Leon Avenue is “Zoning compliant.”  The DDA Resolution, being based on incorrect information should be set aside.  A legal determination needs to be made as to the applicability of the revised code, ostensibly adopted on December 3, 2012, and the status of the existing DMD use with conditions for this property.  The project could conceivably proceed under Ordinance #O-08-Z-11.

Patch also posted part of a letter that DeKalb County Commissioner (and 335 resident) Kathie Gannon wrote to 335 residents this week, which said in part…

Continue reading “Surrounding Neighbors File Appeal Against 315 West Ponce Project”

315 West Ponce Developer and Residents Continue Discussion on Pending Development

Ralph has a great write up over on Patch about the continuing discussion between Carter, the developer of the 315 West Ponce project, and surrounding concerned residents.

Since the last meeting a couple of weeks back, the developer has made a few concessions according to the article, including 235 apartments instead of 242 and 527 parking spaces, instead of 548.  Additionally…

Carter also tiered the nine units facing Montgomery Street, so that only three stories directly face the street, and removed balcony lights.

The developer agreed to paint the parking garage to match the colors of the apartments. But Gannon said that’s not enough and that facades and trellises need to be installed on the deck’s upper levels.

Like the last time this site was considered for development, surrounding residents remain concerned about traffic flow and shared parking.

If the plan is approved at the March 22nd meeting of the Downtown Development Authority, Carter can start applying for building permits.

Decatur Prepares For President Obama’s VIsit

11Alive does a nice job highlighting the preparation taking place around Decatur for the President’s Thursday visit. (h/t:  Downtown Decatur)

Also, Patch has a new article this morning on the excitement building around Decatur surrounding the President’s short visit to the city.

Decatur City Commission Approves Annexation Recommendation

Last night the Decatur City Commission voted in favor of annexing the two commercial heavy parcels at the northern edge of the city limits.  However, it’s clear that City Commissioners have their doubts the annexation will ever make it through the assembly.  Commissioner Jim Baskett went as far as to call the move “an exercise in futility” at one point.  Well known business owners in the annexation areas from Eagle Eye Books and Decatur Package Store spoke out against the attempt.

Next up, the city will ask the DeKalb delegation to pass a bill in the upcoming January General Assembly to authorizing the move.  As reported earlier, the city attorney does not believe that a referendum of property owners in that area would be necessary, since both parcels are +50% commercial.

The final vote was 4-1 on the Suburban Plaza annexation, with Commissioner Boykin voted “no”, and 4-0 on the Emory Commons vote with Boykin recusing himself since he owns a business in that zone.

Check out Patch for a solid, detailed report from last night.

Sagamore Hills, North Briarcliff, AND Druid Hills All Considering Cityhood?

I like a good game of “Telephone” as much as the next guy.  So let’s play, shalt we?

According to Patch, the AJC reported in their Sunday fish-wrap (but not yet on their website) that residents of Sagamore Hills and North Briarcliff communities in northern DeKalb County are now also considering cityhood, after Brookhaven became the latest new city in DeKalb after a July vote.  Non-Brookhavians may recall that particular vote as the “Hell No T-SPLOST!” vote.

According to Patch’s Jonathan Cribbs article, a community leader in the area made mention of potential Sagamore Hills city limits as “a combination of areas south of I-85, bookended by Northlake Mall on the east and the proposed commercial development near North Druid Hills Road on the west…”.  Cribbs also makes mention of an AJC map included with the article, which tags Druid Hills as another area interested in becoming an independent city.

Seems like the city trend in northern DeKalb might be beginning to snowball.

(NOTE: Cribbs’ article also states the AJC piece features some mention of Decatur’s recent annexation musings.  If/when I get that full article in front of me – or more likely when one of you all fills me in – we can discuss that too.)

Decatur Book Festival to Auction Off Little Free Libraries

From the Decatur Book Fest press release…

Bring a piece of the AJC Decatur Book Festival to your neighborhood. On the Square during this year’s Festi- val, we will host a silent auction of twelve unique Little Free Libraries decorated by Atlanta artists. Think about teaming up with your neighbors to bring a one-of-a-kind Little Free Library back to your neighborhood. It’s a fun way to spread the love of reading and build a sense of community.

Just fill the little library with books and invite your community to borrow a book and leave one of their favorite titles, and then watch it spread. You can find more information on Little Free Libraries, at

h/t: Patch

Photo courtesy of

Family Dollar Scheduled to Open in Oakhurst By “Mid-Summer”

Patch’s Ralph Ellis is reporting this morning that a spokesman for Family Dollar says that the store will open in the old Big H plaza “mid-summer”.  The spokesman said that Decatur was picked as a location “because it looked like a good market”, according to Patch.