November 2019 Minutes

Cliftondale Community Club, Inc.
November 11, 2019
The Cliftondale Community Club, Inc. met November 11, 2019 at the Cliftondale Community Center. Vice President Marcus Carter presided. About 20 members and guests were present. Distinguished guests included featured speaker Councilwoman Naeema Gilyard and recently elected District 6 County Commissioner Joe Carn.
Commissioner Carn said that he was sworn in on November 4. His District office is located in the South Fulton Service Center (“the Annex”) on Stonewall Tell Road and his phone number is 404-472-4599. He expressed his concern that every resident in his district is counted in the upcoming 2020 Census, because the population count affects all levels of government plus businesses, school districts, utilities, and infrastructure. He emphasized that individual Census returns are strictly confidential and not open for other purposes. The first major local issue he faced as Commissioner was a proposed County allocation for water and sewer projects that did not include the City of South Fulton; he was able to have the measure put on hold until it is revised.
Councilwoman Gilyard began with City matters. The sanitation ordinance has been revised: 1) to provide assistance to handicapped householders who need assistance in getting garbage bins to the curb for pick-up; and 2) to create zones for hauler coverage and to lower required liability coverage, benefitting smaller haulers. The City’s 2019 financials show a deficit of $7 million which must be reduced. 2020 will bring the challenges of adding $1.5 million to reserves and the expense of litigation with the County over ownership of the Wolf Creek Amphitheater complex. She wrote the ordinance that governs the City’s finance oversight committee.
The November 12 Council meeting agenda includes a revision for overlay districts, revising regulation of service stations, and regulating “party houses.” She has not received enough information about these measures to speak in detail about them. Harold Reid, head of the City’s Zoning Commission, said he was told that the current overlays do not apply to every builder, and the amendment is to clarify that every builder must conform; his Commission responded that the amendment must be published before the Commission’s meeting.
Councilwoman Gilyard shared that her son, who is an independent contractor, had a stroke in October. He does not have insurance, so she has had to be a quick study on health care. One conclusion is that the City’s 100,000 residents largely work, shop, and get health care elsewhere.
Turning to District 4, the Councilwoman is continuing her focus on development. She is working with Georgia State University students on urban architecture and in partnership with Emory University’s Hercules Center for the environment. The City received a National League of Cities “city of opportunity” grant for assisting its comprehensive planning effort. On November 14 she will sponsor the third forum in a series about Economic Development and the Environment.
In District 4 residential development, a developer is planning to build million dollar homes on Cedar Grove Road and is buying 34 acres on Butner Road near Camden Manor.
On December 12 she will sponsor a Christmas and Kwanza celebration. In January she will host a farewell party for Councilwoman Rosie Jackson of District 5, who was defeated in the recent election.
The Councilwoman introduced three special guests, two officers from the City’s new K-9 unit and an officer from the traffic unit.
Sargent Dylan Healey of the K-9 unit explained that he tried for several years to form such a unit, with no success until Chief Keith Meadows was appointed. Chief Meadows is very supportive and hopes to add one additional officer and dog unit a year until the City has five teams. The first two dogs, Rollo and Frankie, are German Shepherds trained for detecting narcotics and tracking. Tracking usually involves searching for lost children and demented individuals. The cost of forming the unit was about $200,000 for the dogs, equipment, and vehicles, and they have already discovered contraband worth twice that.
The officers explained that the dogs live in their homes and described acclimatizing the dogs to a family environment, their daily routine, and their training.
Lieutenant Shumacher of the City’s traffic unit described new initiatives in school zone traffic enforcement and radar speed detection.
The City will be implementing speed enforcement cameras in all City school zones over the next few months. Speeding will be a civil offense, punishable by fines between $300 and $500. If a violator does not pay after the third notification, the State will be notified and the driver’s license tag will not be renewed. The Lieutenant has been conducting studies of City school zones. She cited as an example that 85% of the cars in Stonewall Tell Elementary School’s zone are in excess of the posted speed limit for one hour before and one hour after school hours.
The City was recently certified for radar speed detectors, which can be used on any street. Prior to their installation, the more common warning lights that tell drivers how fast they are going relative to posted speed limits will be installed to make drivers more alert to their driving. Lieutenant Schumacher asked the audience for nominations of Cliftondale roads where such warning lights are needed now.
Mr. Carter thanked the guests and opened a brief business meeting.
Zoning Committee Interim Chair Bruce Moody announced a November 14 meeting regarding a rezoning request for about 40 acres located at the southeast corner of the intersection of West Stubbs Road and Cascade Palmetto Highway. The developer is Kerley Family Homes. The request is to rezone existing AG-1 (Agricultural) to CUP (Community Unit Plan). Lot sizes and house designs will be similar to existing homes in the area. Issues with the proposed plan are too small front and side setbacks and that one lot apparently has a house planned over a sewer line. (“Setbacks” are the distances from the lot lines to the front and side walls of the house.)
Secretary Gayle Lesser, speaking as Treasurer liaison, provided the Treasurer’s Report.
Membership Committee Chair Tommie Stegall explained the reworking of the intersection of Welcome All Road and Camp Creek Parkway and urged exercising caution in that area.
Mr. Carter announced that the Club will hold a regular meeting with refreshments and a Toys for Tots collection at the December meeting, rather than the Gala party we hosted in recent years. Greystone Power will provide a speaker on holiday safety.
The meeting was adjourned.
Gayle Lesser, Secretary

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