Archive for November, 2009

Decatur Completes Historic Resources Survey

Thanks to DecaturMetro, the Historic Resources Survey commissioned by the City of Decatur is now available on-line.  The survey reviewed all properties within the City and categorizes anything 50 years old or older as “historic”.

DecaturMetro summarizes:

The map above indicates all the districts in the city that – by the strict 50-year rule definition – could be deemed historic at the national or local level in bluish green.  Existing local and national historic districts are in red.  Decatur has so much historic residential, it’s actually easier to summarize the large non-historic areas:  the now urban-renewal showcase that was once “Beacon Hill”, the Decatur Cemetery, East Decatur Station and Decatur Heights. 

The survey can be found here.

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Municipal Runoffs December 1

Ten metro-Atlanta municipalities will return to the polls on December 1.

Mayor of Roswell – Jere Wood (I) v. former city council member David Tolleson

Duluth City Council’s Post 3 – IT project manager Billy Jones v. adult educator Elise Whitworth

Lawrenceville City Council Post 3 –  retired businessman John Merrill v. community outreach manager Katie Hart Smith

Mayor of Clarkston – businessman Howard Tygrett v. current council member Pat Davis-Morris

Doraville City Council District 3 – attorney Karen Pachuta v. Bob Spangler (I)

Mayor of East Point – Joe Macon (I) v. Earnestine Pittman

East Point City Council Ward A – Greg Fann (I) v. Sharonda Hubbard

Forest Park City Council Ward 1 – Sparkle Adams (I) v. Thomas Smith Jr. 

Forest Park City Council Ward 2 – Karen-Brandee Williams v. Donald E. Wright

Mayor of Peachtree City – Don Haddix v. Cyndi Plunkett

Peachtree City Council Post 3 – Kim Learnard v. Robert Walsh

Peachtree City Council Post 1 – Eric Imker v. Beth Pullias

College Park City Council Ward 4 – Charles E. Phillips Sr. (I) v. April Wright-Wyatt

Atlanta Amends Ordinances to Collect Building Permit Fees Upfront

Anyone applying for a building permit with the City of Atlanta will now have to pay a nonrefundable minimum initial permit fee of $75.00 and a Technology Surcharge of $25.00.  The City will also require payment of 50% of the total building permit fee before it will begin plan review.

Previously, the City did not collect building permit fees until the issuance of the permit.  The City amended its  ordinances in an effort to collect money upfront and recover lost revenue on abandoned and inactive permit applications.

You can review the ordinance here courtesy of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association.

Tire-Disposal Fee Fund Raid Delays Clean-up

All Georgians pay a $1.00 tire disposal fee in to the Solid Waste Trust Fund with the purchase of a new tire.  The Fund is intended to cover expenses of tire disposal and recycling and the clean-up of illegally dumped tires.  State legislators raided the Fund again this year. 

In 2004 and 2005, for example, [the Fund] earned nearly $7 million. Legislators took it all away both years, though. The fund raised about $6 million last year; the General Assembly gave EPD $1.4 million.

The legislators’ raid leaves insufficient resources to clean-up the 3.6 million tires buried in a 100-acre illegal landfill in Thomaston in Upson County.

To properly close [] landfill would cost $2.4 million. To dig up, cart off and recycle the 3.6 million tires would cost a minimum $8 million, a price EPD deems “economically unfeasible.”

Hays Arnold, mayor of Thomaston, said locals don’t talk much about the tire landfill and understand Georgia’s financial issues.

“A lot of money during these economic times has just disappeared,” Arnold said. “Maybe when we get financially healthy again we can do something with the dump.”

DeKalb County Commissioners Eye Eliminating CEO

Last year DeKalb County voters approved changes to allow the County Commission to run its own meetings and set its own agenda stripping the CEO of everything except a legislative veto. 

Now a majority of Commissioners say they want to completely eliminate the CEO in favor of a professional county manager.

“We don’t need a CEO,” said Elaine Boyer of north DeKalb, the lone Republican on the commission. “We have seven elected officials who represent the county as a whole, and they could direct a county manager to get things done. It works fine everywhere.”

Lee May, a Democrat from south DeKalb, said he and his colleagues are still frustrated with “how the system is built.” The CEO still controls a lot of crucial information, and it’s not flowing to the commission, May said. “Many of us are just frustrated because we are not getting answers like we should.”

Johns Creek Settles Chicken Lawsuit

Martha Mellon will give away her chickens as part of her settlement the City of Johns Creek.  Mellon sued the City after it cited her for violating the zoning ordinances by raising poultry within 200 feet of a neighboring property line.

Roswell Restricts Smoking In Parks

Roswell City Council passed an ordinance restricting smoking in its public parks to designated areas, but did not delineate the smoking areas.  Instead, the Council charged its Recreation Commission to map out recommended smoking areas for the full Council to approve.