Benteen Park

The Benteen Park Neighborhood Association posts minutes from each meeting (the second Monday of each month). Join us at the rear of the Atlanta Lighthouse Church on Boulevard.

Monday, November 20, 2006

November 2006 Minutes

The meeting was called to order at 7:15 PM.

The customary meeting agenda was bypassed due to special guests and open discussion.

The floor was passed to Carla Smith, Atlanta City Council District 1, for introductions.
Those introduced are as follows:
Cesar Mitchell, Councilman at large.
Ashton Durant, Supervisor, Bureau of Code Compliance
Stan Tucker, Code Compliance Officer of the NPU-W area

Statement: There is frustration due to the lack of follow up from Code Enforcement. Due to this lack of follow up, many problem properties that have been previously cited are still in violation. Also, how can the community support Code Enforcement?

Ashton Durant's Response: The problem of lax code enforcement is being addressed by adding more code enforcement officers, streamlining the flow of complaints, and updating equipment. Also, a staff person has been added who is dedicated to research only – her task being to track down absent homeowners.
Ashton Durant stated follow up visits are very important.
Stan Tucker stated Open or Vacant properties have priority.
Ashton Durant stated there has been some discussion of starting a data base for non-homesteaded properties.

Statement: Would dated pictures from a constituent emailed to our code enforcement officer expedite follow up or a citation?

Aston Durant's Response: The Code Enforcement Officer must see the property personally. (However, he seemed open to ideas.)

THE FLOOR WAS PASSED TO MAJOR PROPES

Concerns about delayed police response time were stated.
Major Propes stated there is a shortage of officers. She stated officers are assigned very large areas to cover and must prioritize calls. If an officer is one hour late, it may mean he did not get the call transferred to him from 911 until one hour later. Or, if the call is deemed low priority, it will be put at the bottom of the call distribution list.
Major Propes stated the budget has money to hire 100 officers every year. This budget is floating to maintain a certain number of officers. For example, eighty (80) officers were hired this year and seventy-eight (78) officers were lost this year.
At the end of last year the approximate budget surplus was 03.2 million. Carla Smith said the Mayor wanted to use the surplus as a salary raise for police. This decision was made after a study showed Atlanta police are paid approximately twelve (12) percent below the national average. Policepersons are being given raises in increments each year until their salary meets the national average. This is being done in effort to entice policepersons to stay with APD. The job is harder and the pay is lower than other areas. Atlanta is losing trained officers to other areas due to this and other reasons.

Major Propes stressed that that one officer has been assigned to a huge area which includes Benteen Park. Cesar Mitchell said he would look into splitting up the area and/or adding more policepersons.

Major Propes new email address is: Epropes@AtlantaGA.GOV

TRAFFIC CALMING DEVICES

On October 13, 2006, the Benteen Park Neighborhood request for speed humps satisfied technical requirements for installation. Streets approved for installation are: Benteen Avenue, Benteen Way, Federal Terrace, and Funston Street. Prior to installation, 75% of homeowners' signatures for each street must be acquired showing they are in agreement to speed hump installation.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 PM.

Monday, November 13, 2006

October 2006 Minutes

Welcome our new guest, Dennis Millan.

POLICE REPRESENTATION: OFFICER MITCHELL AND RUBY NAILER
Officer Mitchell addresses the noise violation statement in the letter to Carla Smith. He stated that if there is a crime, there must be a victim, and to give the violator a ticket, he must talk to person who makes complaints. This means that the neighbor must be willing to go to court with the violator. JP, Joe and Jeff all mention that they have requested to see police on previous problems, but that no police come to speak to people.
Officer Mitchell’s comment on handling the noise violations: “...on the first complaint, I will cite them, on the second one I will lock them up [if neighbor is willing to prosecute].” He also said that he will talk to beat officers about how to consistently handle complaints and contradictions.

There were complaints to Officer Mitchell about long police response time. He mentioned that some calls are pending, and an officer may hear about the call in 10 minutes, and can respond right away, but some calls may stay in a queue for 50 minutes or longer before the officers even hear about the call. Low priority calls go at the bottom of the queue.

In reference to the police presence, Officer Mitchell stated that “deterrent driving” is only deterring when the cars are actually are there. Sometimes police presents makes fights worse because fighters know they will not get killed by another fighter as long as police are there, so it causes the crowd to get larger. Kevin asked officers Mitchell if they have any unmarked cars; Officer Mitchell said they do.

Important arrests: Michael Dollar was arrested on Moreland with 41 counts of burglary against him.

About neighborhood prostitution: Jeff said he will write a letter to the home owner of the house on Federal Terrace about the prostitution in the home.

General questions to officers:
Julie Watson: Can you meet officer somewhere other than your home?
Officer Mitchell: Not good tact for officer to bring criminal to the victim or witness’ house. When you want to prosecute, it is smarter to bring several people to court. This will protect people from being singled out when/if the criminal hits the streets again, plus there strength in numbers. When several people complain about something it is heard and more than likely, more will be done to prevent the problem from recurring.
JP Michalik: Is the break-in trend still going?
Officer Mitchell: Nothing out of the normal.
Officer Nailer: At 1940 fisher road there was a car-jacking. There was also an abducted child. Right now, Honda Civics and Accords are hot targets for break-in, so if you drive this model of car, please be aware. Do not leave valuables in your car. Most home burglaries are during the day. The 900 block Custer had 3 break-ins by sliding glass doors in 8 days.
Jeff Erwin: What is the reason that there is so much crime? Is it that there are not enough police? Not enough jail space?
Officer Nailer: The problem is from a combination of things. Most of it is actually negligence on the home owner’s behalf; just “crimes of opportunity.” Fulton lets people out of prison with ease. Even repeat offenders, with 38 crimes under their belt. Part of the problem is no jail space. Fulton released 500 criminals to free up space in jails.
Officer Mitchell: Dekalb County is much harder on criminals, and people who know that they will be staying in prison for a couple of years are less likely to repeat a crime than those who are only in for a couple of days like they are in Fulton County.
Zuaquis Ross: Who to we address this issue with?
Officer Mitchell: Your local politicians.
Officer Nailer: Another good thing to do is to talk to people at SAND to have a larger voice when approaching the politicians.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: DEFERRED UNTIL NEXT MONTH (NONE PRESENT)
TREASURER: Adam mentions that it will be a long process to turn BPNA into a 501c4. We will also need a lawyer. Zuaquis mentions that there is a lawyer living in the neighborhood in East Village Park, and that her brother-in-law is also a lawyer.
Official Report: $520 in box. There will be a money order issued to the church in the amount of $50 for letting us use their space for meetings, and for the yard sale. It will go to support their programs for feeding the hungry.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:
Committees for those interested in joining: zoning/code enforcement, safety police, neighborhood improvement / special projects, transportation / beltline committee, community relations (chosewood / boulevard attendee/ federal prison). Adam suggests to have people sign up on the sign-in sheet (sign-in sheet not in possession of substitute secretary, cannot report results of committee sign-up).

COMMUNITY RELATIONS
JP went to meeting at Chosewood Park in September. At the meeting he observed that the crime reports seemed way more serious than those reported in Benteen. Developers for the Boulevard enhancement project (between the proposed Beltline tracks and Englewood) were there. Developer proposed a 45,000 sq. ft. market + 30k mixed use space with large mixed use public park area. At Chosewood’s October meeting, there is discussion about the happenings for the old GM plant. It was also reported that the Chevron on the corner of McDonough and Boulevard has a new lease.

NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENT: Proposition to postpone the Yard Sale scheduled for November until next spring. Voted and passed.

OLD BUSINESS: Jeff wrote email to Ms. Fordham in Public Works office about the installation of traffic calming devices. In that email he stated that it has been one year since the original request for assistance and questioned the reason it was taking so long.

NPU-W: Issues were addressed at NPU-W meeting in reference to the bulb-outs in Grant Park along Boulevard. It was suggested that effected hoods should be part of development process. Lauren Whittaker will question the study on the bulb-outs. Once there is record of opposition, there is more potential for assistance for the opposing neighborhoods. Multiple emails were sent to various people (unstated) regarding the opposition. Adam will send reminder email of NPU-W meeting, and the email address of the person to contact about opposition to bulb-outs. There was mention of the letter that Benteen Park’s committee (minus JP) wrote about the traffic calming devices in Grant Park. It was sent to
lwhitaker@atlantaga.gov

CHANGE MEETING DAY: Benteen would like to make a better outreach to Chosewood. Would like to change meeting date to make it more conducive to bring concerns to SAND.

Katie will approach print companies about sign pricing.

Jeff Proposes that the meeting be moved to first Tuesday of the month. Approved: 12/0
Adam will contact the church about moving the meeting. If church agrees, the first meeting of 2007 (Jan 2) will be the first meeting held on the new week night.

On Nov. 30. Benteen is hosting District one community leaders meeting. Reps from all leaders in this district will be present, and it will be held in the church. We will schedule a planning meeting prior to the community leaders meeting to ensure that all important issues are covered.

Katie will pass out flyers promoting the pre-meeting time / date, the announcement of the holiday party (which will be taking place in lieu of the December meeting) and the meeting day change. Suggestion was made to have the flyer translated into Spanish.

Neighborhood cleanup reminder.


Holiday Potluck Sign-up Sheet:
Todd & Jeff (something)
Joe & Victoria (something)
Adam (pasta)
Katie & JP (dessert & appetizer of some kind)
Donald & Julie (dessert & chicken wing dip)
Dennis Millan (something)
Kevin Gaston (main dish or dessert)
Zuaquis Ross (something)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

September 2006 Minutes

SEPTEMBER 11, 2006

The meeting was called to order at 7:20 PM.
In absence of our President and Vice President, Adam Brackman (Treasurer) conducted the meeting.
Note: Joe Glessner, President, is ill. J.P. Machalik, V. President, attended a Chosewood Park meeting as a representative from Benteen Park..

The floor was passed to Ruby Naylor, APD.

Ruby Naylor spoke with a resident of East Village Park who was recently burglarized and made her aware of the BPNA. Ms. Naylor networks in communities with information about neighborhood associations and other beneficial contacts.

Ruby Naylor stated Edna Stiggers, Fulton County Health Department, was to attend our meeting. Hopefully, Ms. Stiggers will come to a future meeting to discuss rodent and mosquito problems in our neighborhood.

ANNOUNCMENT: An information forum will be held September 19th (Tuesday) 7:00 PM at Latter Day Ministries Church, 1041 Moreland Drive, for NPU-W area residents. The catalyst for this meeting is the rise of criminal activity and code issues in McDonough-Guice.

Streets most affected by crime increase are: Wellswood Drive below Custer Avenue, Fisher Road, and the home presenting the most crime problems is 1940 Fisher Road (car theft, etc.), Ruby Naylor said.

Major Propes and Carla Smith will attend this meeting. Benteen Park residents are encouraged to attend, as well.


NEW BUSINESS
Turtles (orange cones) are blocking the right lane, Northbound on Boulevard. This was discussed at the last SAND meeting. Stated, Grant Park is arguing the right to the Northbound lane for residential parking. Homes on that side of Boulevard have no off street parking. Some concern was expressed about Chosewood Park, Benteen Park, and Boulevard Heights being adversely affected by this lane closure. Traffic being bottlenecked may cause backup into these neighborhoods as a result.

It was said that Carla Smith volunteered to meet with affected neighborhoods to report on the possible lane closure.

Our beat policeman, Office Mitchell came to the meeting but could not stay due to a heavy call volume.

**There was discussion about having another Garage Sale this fall. The exact date will be discussed and proposed during our October meeting.

**Christmas Holiday Party: Motion to have a holiday party during our December meeting. Motion passed.

** Motion was made to donate $50.00 to the Church of Atlanta Lighthouse meals program in gratitude for allowing us use of the fellowship hall for our meetings. Motion passed.


OLD BUSINESS
New Condo Complex site at the corner of Boulevard and Benteen Way: Shane Little will be contacted for a general update and a request to clean the property of debris.

Changing our meeting time to the 1st Monday of each month was discussed. One of the advantages is attending other neighborhood meetings that currently meet on the 2nd Monday of each month. Research will be done on this and reported at our next meeting, i.e. Meeting days of other neighborhood associations.

Motion was made to approve August 2006 the minutes. Motion to approve passed.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 PM.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

August 2006 Minutes

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM

A welcome to new attending neighbors and introductions.
The approval of the July 2006 minutes was deferred to next month.

OLD BUSINESS
City of Atlanta Police are definitely making a better show of presence in our immediate neighborhood.
Prostitution has increased during the last two months. The most impacted area is on Boulevard between the Citgo Gas Station (corner of Custer and Boulevard) to Ms Weiner's restaurant (corner of McDonough and Boulevard).
Neighbors report a prostitute hang-out with possible drug activity at a house near the corner of Boulevard and Casanova Street. Frequent traffic is seen there.
This year, there is more prostitution and drug activity in Benteen Park. It was suggested that any residents witnessing this type activity should contact Nathaniel Miller, Drug Court Administrator, at 404-699-5297, (fax) 404-699-5293, or email nathaniel.miller@co.fulton.ga.us Nathaniel Miller is a contact for Project Fresh Start. It is very important you have the correct address of the property in question.

Stated: Carla Smith promised to help with traffic calming devices, i.e. Speed humps. We have not heard back from her on this, nor have we received an application for neighborhood speed humps. It was suggested we send a formal letter to Carla Smith, Ms. Fordham and other district members. This letter will be written and presented for approval at our next meeting. Stated, if there is no response to this letter within a reasonable time, we will take the issue to the City Council.
Motion was made for the letter to be composed. Seconded and passed.
The letter will be presented at our next meeting for approval.

THE FLOOR WAS PASSED TO APD REPRESENTATIVE, OFFICER RUBY NAYLOR.
Officer Naylor reports residential burglaries are on the increase. The main targets are garages and sheds. Areas of increased activity are Pontiac Place, Woodland Avenue, McDonough Street, Wellswood Avenue. McDonough Street is experiencing increased pedestrian robberies. People in their cars, who stopped at traffic lights on McDonough, had their cars stolen at gunpoint. Ruby Naylor reports, two suspects were arrested but others escaped.

Housing Code and Zoning: Officer Naylor stated a large employee turnover is the cause for lack of service. She stated the city trains people and they leave after a short time. She said the reason for their leaving is unclear.

It was stated that our next step for Code and Zoning issues should be taking complaints to the City Council. Discussed: the Health Department and Zoning are not following up. When called, representatives at the Health Department state “(we) are backed-up. We will get to it when we can.” It was suggested we contact NPU-W and SAND to group for a council meeting. Those attending should come with one complaint each– rather than several people with the same complaint. People repeating the same issue takes up time and will tax the City Council's time.

Officer Naylor suggested we visit Code Enforcement Court on Wednesdays or Thursdays at 2:00 PM. (she was not certain of the weekday). She stated witnessing the court dynamic would be educational.


NEW BUSINESS
September 19th, 2006 @ 6:30 PM. Pastor Shapell, Latter Day Ministries at 1041 Moreland Drive, is willing to host an informational meeting for discussing neighborhood issues and concerns. This date may be tentative and will be discussed more at our September 2006 neighborhood meeting. For more information, email Officer Ruby Naylor at RNAYLOR@ATLANTAGA.GOV
Suggested: The Benteen Park Neighborhood Association become involved in the Belt-Line Project. It was stated that SAND is already involved with the Belt-Line Project and those desiring involvement can contact SAND for more information.

TREASURER REPORT
Account balance is $520.29.
Proposed expense – signs to advertise neighborhood meetings. The signs need to be bilingual. Pricing for at least three (3) signs will be investigated and reported at our next meeting. For more information or suggestions, email Katie Kaiser at KATIE@KATIEKAISER.COM

COMMITTEE REPORTS
Safety and Zoning: A number of unleashed dogs are roaming the neighborhood. Also, discussion concerning lack of response from the Health Department and the Zoning and Code Ordinance Department and ways to facilitate action as written within these minutes (refer to Office Naylor's discussion).
Neighborhood Improvement and Special Projects
Neighborhood Clean Up will be 9:00 AM this Saturday. Meet at Benteen Elementary School.
Safety and Police Committee
No report.

ELECTION OF NEW OFFICERS
Nominees selected:
President: Joe Glessner, nominated, seconded by Rick Matthews, and passed
Vice President: J.P. Machalik, nominated, seconded by Rick Matthews, and passed
Treasurer: Rick Matthews, nominated, seconded by Chris Micallef, and passed
Adam Brackman, nominated, seconded by Katie Kaiser, and passed
Secretary: Diane O'Rea, nominated, seconded by Joe Glessner, and passed
Chris Micallef, nominated, seconded by Zachery Ross, and passed
NOMINATIONS CLOSED AND BALLOTS COUNTED

2006-2007 Elected officers are:
President: Joe Glessner
Vice President: J.P. Micallef
Treasurer: Adam Brackman
Secretary: Diane O'Rea

Motion was made that committees and members be part of the minutes. Seconded and Passed.
Safety and Police Committee
Rick Matthews, Adam Brackman, Chris Micallef, Eula Tirey

Zoning and Code Enforcement Committee
Joe Glessner, Diane O'Rea, Adam Brackman

Neighborhood Improvement and Special Projects Committee
Bill Nugent, Joe Williams, Katie Kaiser, JP Machalik, Chris Micallef, Zuaquis Ross

The NPU-W meeting is the last Wednesday of each month at the East Atlanta Library.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM.

July 2006 Minutes

Those present: Chris Micallef, John Wallace, Delores Wallace, Kevin Gaston, Adam Brackman, Todd Anderson, Jeff Erwin, Joe Glessner, Steve Carr, Katie Kaiser

Meeting was called, members welcomed, meeting rules stated, and a vote was made to defer the minutes to the following month (no minutes for June present). Approved unopposed.

CITY REPRESENTATIVES PRESENT (POLICE, ZONING, ETC.):
None present. Jeff Erwin stated he would write a letter to the officer with a "We missed you at the meeting" message. There was talk about the raised presence of police in the area, and praise for what a great job Sgt. Holder has been doing.

TREASURER AND FUND RAISING:
Treasurer was not present, no report was made. Brief discussion about the success of the neighborhood yard sale that took place on June 17. Jeff Erwin suggested that we make a $50 donation to the church from the profits made at the yard sale for use of their facilities, as well as a thank you note. No definite plan was made. There was discussion of a 2nd yard sale in the fall, no solid date was made.

SAFETY COMMITTEE:
Joe stated: If a community member has a complaint about noise, you must tell 911 that you would like to see the officer or the officer will not be able to cite the violator. There must be a witness in order to have a citation delivered to the violator, therefore the officer cannot cite on the victim's behalf.

NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENT:
There was suggestion for a community directory to be made with a phone tree provided to the elders of the community, should they ever need a 911 call placed from others in the area instead of calling the police themselves. Suggestions were also made to raise neighbor communication and connect with those who may need to be contacted should there ever be an emergency such as a fire or a break-in. Joe Glessner mentioned the stray dogs that are running loose in the streets, and offered the number to animal control (404.794.0358).

ZONING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT:
If one needs to call and complain about a car on blocks in a person's yard, the person to contact is Greg Gretzweiler (spelling not checked, no number provided) at Watershed Management about erosion concerns.

OLD BUSINESS:
The new development at Benteen and Blvd. was passed at NPU-W in June.

Jeff Erwin mailed a note about traffic calming devices to Carla Smith and there is no reply from her yet. Discussion about the promises made by our city representatives, but there is no delivery of the promises and no support shared. Cheryl (Carla Smith's assistant) was approached with the problem of lack of assistance, and she said to please complain to Sarah Finley (spelling not checked, number provided 404-330-6037) at city hall - Sarah is the assistant to the committee. Cheryl also mentioned that there is a lack of interest in the housing code zoning all over the city, and that it would be helpful if residents attend the city council meetings. It was stated that it may be helpful to call repeatedly about problems in order to bombard the council until the problems with zoning are solved.

NEW BUSINESS:
There was a reminder that the officers for the next term will be nominated and elected at the August meeting.

Jeff, Todd and Katie said they would be in charge of posting flyers about the upcoming election in order to raise awareness, and to let those know that if they would like to run or vote, they would need to be present or let someone know that they would like to run.

Southside Beltline Alliance meeting was announced by Steve Carr

Lovett Stovall (came in at the end of the meeting from Chosewood Park) mentioned that he would like for there to be a presence from the Benteen Park Neighborhood at the discussion on the Chosewood beltline development. He can be contacted at 404-454-8367 or 404-627-1579. He also expressed concern that there in an extremely high volume (1/3 of school year student body) of students in the summer school program in the shared schools of our area.

Meeting was adjourned at 8pm

This month's meeting minutes submitted by Katie Kaiser in lieu of Diane O'Rea's absence

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

June 2006 Minutes

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM.

The floor was passed to Officer Mitchell. He stated he came to introduce himself and listen to neighborhood concerns. Some problem areas were discussed, e.g. vacant homes, prostitute hangouts, children on the streets at 10-11 PM, suspected drug houses.
Officer Mitchell took notes of addresses and suspected problems. He stated he would drive by the homes discussed and evaluate the locations visually.

OLD BUSINESS
It was reported that SAND passed the condo construction at the corner of Benteen Way and Boulevard, but with restrictions.
It was stated that we, as the Benteen Park Neighborhood, need to hold the builder accountable for all conditions.
This complex will next go to NPU-W Land Use Committee for a vote. NPU-W meets every 4th Wednesday at 7:30 PM at the East Atlanta Library (located on Flat Shoals Road in the East Atlanta Village).

The principal of Benteen Elementary said the Benteen Park Neighborhood Association could have our neighborhood meetings at the school. However, the school is closed during the summer.
A motion was made to continue meeting at the Church of Atlanta Lighthouse and dismiss the proposal to move the meeting location. The motion was seconded and passed.

Reported: The letter about installing traffic calming devices on neighborhood streets was mailed to Carla Smith.

501-C Status
Our treasurer reported the cost of attaining 501-C status would be $250 with possible additional charges. The treasurer also stated he would continue his research. The Secretary of State will be contacted to request application forms. Application for non-profit incorporation status will be revisited during our next meeting when more information is gathered.
It was suggested the new 2006 board of officers make achieving 501-C status a goal.

NEW BUSINESS
Katie Kaiser is researching ways to incorporate East Village Park and connecting streets (Park and Elleby) into Benteen Park. Currently, East Village Park is split in two – half in Benteen Park and half in McDonough-Guice. Correspondence from Wendy Scruggs-Murray to Katie Kaiser states any neighborhoods involved in changes to boundary lines must be in agreement with the changes. Wendy Scruggs-Murray stated the NPU-W might require making a presentation to the neighborhood association before the proposal goes before the entire NPU for support.

Around mid-August, the Bureau of Planning will ask NPUs to vote on all proposed changes. There must be a consensus on all changes before the NPU forwards proposed changes to the Bureau of Planning. Once changes are received and verification of no boundary conflicts is proved, the Bureau will write legislation for City Council for approval and, if approved, will allow changes to the “official” neighborhood map.

NOMINATION OF NEW OFFICERS
Verbal notification will be given announcing the nomination and election of new officers during the August 2006 meeting. The new board of officers will begin their term in September 2006.

GAY PRIDE SAND BOOTH VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
SAND will have a beer booth at Gay Pride on June 23, 24, and 25. SAND needs volunteers for the booth. Some Benteen Park residents have volunteered.

A motion was made to adjourn. The motion was seconded and passed.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:11 PM.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

May 2006 Minutes

BENTEEN PARK NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
MAY 8, 2006 MINUTES

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM.

The president restated voting rights. A resident must attend three (3) meetings within one year to vote.
A general introduction of new attendees was made and introduction of guests.

APD OFFICER REPORT
Two officers from the APD were present, Officer Murphy and Officer Gresham. The floor was passed to the officers for their report.
Officer Murphy reported that our main problems at present are home break-ins. These break-ins are done by “crack heads”, not locals. Officer Murphy recommended we be concerned about security. The perpetrators will break a window for entry.
Officer Murphy's suggestions for added security are: Sufficient outside lighting. A dog inside or outside the house. He said no robberies have been reported at homes with dogs. Install a very loud siren on your alarm system, the louder the better. Have window breakers added to your security system.
He also reported home invasions (break ins) on the “south end” which includes Benteen.
Officer Murphy stated he will start giving citations to violaters of the noise ordinance, including homes with loud music and boom cars.
A resident of McDonough Street stated the prostitute population on her street has been significantly reduced and thanked the officers. Everyone applauded in thanks to our officers.
Officer Murphy stated there is no gang activity in our neighborhood. He stated there are “kids” who claim to be gang members, but they are not.
With reference to speeding and running stop signs: Officer Murphy will ask for a road block at Federal Terrace and Benteen Avenue during day watch. A resident of Benteen Way reported cars are still avoiding the stop light at Custer and Boulevard by cutting through on Benteen Way. She reported, the cut throughs are continuing in spite of previous police intervention, i.e. road blocks.
Officer Murphy stated he will begin “Thunder Runs” to put more pressure on the McDonough/Boulevard intersection area.
Officer Murphy said there are excellent City of Atlanta laws on loitering and they can be enforced. He stated, If you see loitering, call the police. Make sure you know the address when you call. If you see people frequenting a vacant house, call the police. If a home is occupied, the police can enter without a warrant if the front door is standing open - this indicates a possible robbery.

APRIL 2006 MINUTES CORRECTION
Status as a neighborhood civic association is corrected to 501C-3.
The Benteen Garage Sale date is June 17th, 2006.
The minutes were approved with corrections. Seconded and passed.

TREASURER REPORT
Only the past treasurer has access to the neighborhood account. Arrangements will be made by our Treasurer to correct this. A full report will be made at that time.

OLD BUSINESS
The Neighborhood Garage Sale will take place on June 17th in the parking lot of the Church of Atlanta Lighthouse. Time: 9 AM to 2 PM. Tables can be reserved prior to the sale by calling Katie Kaiser, 404-375-6523 or emailing her at katie@katiekaiser.com Tables can also be reserved the morning of the sale by visiting the Benteen Park Neighborhood Association table. Neighborhood representatives will be present by 8:30 AM. Participants of the sale will keep 100% of their profit on items sold.
The money for table reservations, food sales, etc.. will be used for neighborhood improvement, i.e. new meeting signage, costs involved in achieving 501C-3 status, helping elderly, financially distressed, and physically disabled neighbors make improvements to their property.
Rain date for the garage sale will be the following weekend.
Chris Ferguson, Benteen Park Elementary representative, has been contacted about moving our meetings to Benteen Park Elementary. A report of Chris Ferguson's response will be made at the next meeting.

TRAFFIC CALMING DEVICES
A letter to Carla Smith asking for her support in getting traffic calming devices was presented.
A motion was made to approve the letter and send it to Carla Smith.
The motion was seconded and approved 17/0/0

NEIGHBORHOOD SUBCOMMITTEES
Each committee will arrange its own meeting time, place, and agenda.
Anyone who wishes to volunteer for placement on a subcommittee should contact our President, Joe Glessner. (Safety and Police, Zoning and Code Enforcement, Special Projects/Neighborhood Improvement)

The floor was passed to G. Harvey and Jim Lavallee concerning the new condo complex for the corner of Benteen Way and Boulevard. G. Harvey stated the construction site now has C-1C zoning. The condition of this zoning reserves the property for a Mortuary or Funeral Home. The builder, Jim Lavallee, is currently trying to remove this condition by changing the zoning to C-1. A continuance for voting approval of the site was deferred until July by NPU-W and SAND.

G. Harvey presented a list of concerns from Benteen Way residents. He addressed each concern and answered questions.

AGREED:
1. The hours of construction will be limited to 7 AM to 7 PM, Monday through Saturday. No construction will be done on Sundays, as was requested by Benteen Way residents. Mr. Harvey stated the city of Atlanta Ordinance allows construction until 9 PM. His company will adhere to a 7 PM stop time, as requested by Benteen Way residents.
2. Construction parking will be on-site as much as possible. Harvey stated the land must be cleared first to allow on-site parking. Benteen Way residents requested on-site parking.
3. Permanent fencing will be erected along the boundary of the Car Wash and along back property lines adjoined with the construction site. Jim LaVallee agrees to erect privacy fencing along adjoining Benteen Way residents' property line, if this type of fencing is preferred.
4. Privacy fencing will be installed at the back lines of adjoining properties, in accordance with Benteen Way residents' request.
5. No signage will be exected at the site in accordance with BenteenWay residents' request.
6. The swimming pool will be securely fenced in accordance with BenteenWay residents' request. The builder said fencing must be present for insurance purposes.
7. The builder will pay for the installation of 2 speed humps on Benteen Way (estimated cost $1,500 each). This will be done if the neighborhood can get city approval.
8. The site will be kept clean. The builder has hired someone to clean several times and garbage reappears within 3 days. This attempt was done in accordance with BenteenWay residents' request. The builder said continuing clean up at this time may not be cost effective because people continue to throw trash onto the site. The builder cannot control this.

NOT AGREED:
1. Moving the retention pond. The builder stated the land's topography dictates placement of the retention pond, therefore, it cannot be moved from its planned location.
2. Condo Ingress/Egress at Boulevard rather than Benteen Way. The builder stated ingress/egress from Benteen Way will be safer. A curb cut from Boulevard would create more safety issues. A curb cut at Boulevard is beyond the builder's control at this point, G. Harvey stated. He also said using the existing roadway is better and safer.

In response to continued discussion, G. Harvey stated the conditions for C-1 zoning will be listed by the builder and this list will be presented to NPU-W, SAND and the Benteen Park Neighborhood Association.

BENTEEN PARK NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION RECOMMENDING VOTE

EXCEPTIONS: THE FENCING SHALL BE SIX (6) FEET IN HEIGHT.
INGRESS/EGRESS FROM BOULEVARD
THE SWIMMING POOL
C-1 ZONING CONDITIONS

A MOTION WAS MADE TO APPROVE THE CONDO COMPLEX WITH LISTED CONDITIONS.
THE MOTION WAS SECONDED AND APPROVED 17/0/0

A motion to defer discussion on proceeding with 501C-3 status to next month's meeting was seconded and passed.

The meeting adjourned at 9 PM.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

SAND Tour of Homes - May 20th & 21st


Benteen Park is one neighborhood of several surrounding neighborhoods that make up the organization SAND. This year's tour of homes includes Craftsman Bungalows, Ranch homes and Victorian style homes with varying degrees of renovation. See how new construction can fit in with established neighborhoods. And discover creative ways homeowners are renovating 30-, 50- and 70-year old homes to adapt to today’s lifestyle. Some homeowners extend the tour beyond the home to their outdoor living area providing you with inspiration for the spring season.

Experience one of North Ormewood Park’s original 4-square houses built near the turn of the century. The owners updated the house from the ground up, while maintaining key architectural features such as the four fireplaces and exposed brick walls.

Tour 11 homes from the SE Atlanta neighborhoods of Benteen, Boulevard Heights, Glenwood Park, McDonough-Guice, North Ormewood Park, Ormewood Park and Woodland Hills which make up South Atlantans for Neighborhood Development (SAND, Inc.). You’ll find that our eclectic neighborhoods have lots to offer, from historic treasures to the new urbanism development of Glenwood Park.

This major fundraiser for SAND is Saturday, May 20 from 10 am – 6 pm and Sunday, May 21 from 12 pm – 6 pm. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 on the days of the tour. Advance tickets must be exchanged for a Tour brochure or tickets may be purchased at the Tour Ticket booth, located in Brasfield Square in Glenwood Park on the days of the Tour.

Early birds to the ticket booth on each day of the tour will receive a $10 gift card to either Agave or Red Fish - a Creole Bistro. And Urban Dwell is offering 10% off renovations with the proof of tour of homes attendance. While your touring homes, stop for a buy one coffee drink, get one free with presentation of Tour Brochure at E2 Coffee House in Ormewood Square, 749 Moreland Avenue. For further details or to volunteer email secretary@sandatlanta.org.

The 2006 SAND Tour of Homes is sponsored by Agave, Atlanta Intown Real Estate, Blue Frog Cantina, The Flying Biscuit, The Lighting Loft, Melange Hair Studio, Plants LLC, Red Fish - a Creole Bistro, Ross Design, Inc., Slice, Fred Smith, Urban Dwell Development and Wag-A-Lot.

Advance Tickets are available at Perk Coffee Shop at 928B Garrett Street in Glenwood Park, Helmet Hairworx located in Ormewood Square at 749 Moreland Avenue and The Urban Gardener at 347 Boulevard in Grant Park (Please do not call the event phone number for ticket purchases.)