Standing Up for Merry Hills

August 19, 2008

For my constituents who live south of I-85 in the Toco Hills/North Druid Hills area, I am writing to notify you of a crucial rezoning meeting this Wednesday, August 20.

A developer is proposing to build a mammoth apartment complex along North Druid Hills Road between Merry Lane and the Alzheimer’s care facility. This proposal is the most egregious encroachment into a residential neighborhood I have seen during my time in public service. It reaches into the interior of the Merry Hills subdivision and includes two single-family lots on the cul-de-sac at the end of North Holly Lane.

If this developer (Ashkouti Development) is permitted to build in Merry Hills, it would set a terrible precedent for future high-density projects affecting the residential neighborhoods in the Toco Hills/North Druid Hills community.

Other neighborhoods have prevailed when developers overreach, but winning these battles requires citizens to attend the rezoning meetings. The first such meeting is Wednesday. Here are details about the meeting taken directly from an e-mail from the Merry Hills Homeowners Association:

This is a request for residents to come and speak about the Ashkouti proposal on North Druid Hills (NDH) at the upcoming Community Council meeting. The meeting represents the first stage of approvals the developers are requesting, which is a land use change from “Suburban” to “Town Center” land use designation which will then subsequently enable them to request the desired upzoning if approved this round.

The meeting is Wednesday August 20th, 6:30pm at the Mason Mill Recreation Center.

The Community Council has a very lengthy agenda this month that includes, among others, a parallel request for the much larger N. Williamsburg project proposed at Clairmont and NDH, a request for the redevelopment of the Executive Park, and a similar change at Emory for their new health sciences plan. You may need to wait up to an hour before the item is called, but your attendance and voices are critically important to inform decision-makers how you feel about this proposal.

The Community Council will listen and then make a recommendation to the Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners on this land use change application. You are invited to attend those meetings as well in September and we will remind you of those as they come up. I’m sure many people will want to speak, but typically the community has 10 minutes to speak. If you are certain you will attend and want to speak please contact [email protected]

We appreciate everyone coming out!

August 5 Runoff Election

August 4, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, is Georgia’s primary runoff election. Your polling place will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

This election includes only those party primaries for offices where no candidate received at least 50% of the vote in the July 15 primary election. Since there are no Republican primary races in DeKalb County where a candidate failed to receive 50% of the vote, only the Democrats will have a runoff. Here is the sample ballot (click for link) for the Democratic runoff election.

There are certain rules governing whether you can vote in this particular election, depending upon whether you selected a Republican or Democratic ballot in the July 15 primary election, or did not vote in that election. One of our District 80 neighbors, Jeff Turnage, sent the following helpful summary to his neighborhood e-mail distribution list:

I voted absentee in July. Can I vote in the run-off in person? YES!

I did early voting in July. Can I vote in person on Tuesday? YES!

I consider myself a Republican, but did not vote in July. Can I vote next Tuesday, even though only Democrats are running? YES!!

If I, as a Republican, vote in the Democratic run-off next week, will I still be able to vote a Republican ticket in November’s General (i.e., Presidential) Election? ABSOLUTELY YES!

I voted a Republican ticket in the July Primary. Can I vote in next week’s run-off? NO … I’M SORRY, BUT YOU CANNOT.

I voted a Democratic ticket in the July Primary. Can I vote in next week’s run-off? YES … OF COURSE YOU CAN.

Now for a final bit of my own pre-election editorializing:

The race for DeKalb County CEO will be decided in this runoff election. I highly recommend Burrell Ellis (click for information on Ellis) for this very important office which controls the day-to-day administration of our county. As reported on the popular political blog Peach Pundit, the campaign tactics (click separately on “campaign” and “tactics”) of Ellis’ opponent indicate that his opponent will continue the polarization that has been an unfortunate hallmark of Vernon Jones’ reign as CEO.


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