OCT. 28 - NOV. 10, 2016 • VOL. 10 — NO. 22
Perimeter Business ► Filmmaking frenzy hits northern arc PAGE 4 ► Buyers line up for farms, sport estates PAGE 6
Buckhead master plan aims to please millennials BY JOHN RUCH firstname.lastname@example.org
A-maze-ing fall fun PHIL MOSIER
Jack Story, a third-grader at Sarah Smith Elementary School, wins the large-scale 3D Sphere Puzzle Maze Labyrinth Ball Game at the school’s Oct. 22 Fall Festival. Kids enjoyed carnival games, an obstacle course and a Dancing Dome. More photos, page 13.►
STANDOUT STUDENT Andi Rozelle
Holy Spirit Preparatory School, senior
Our system is so decentralized in the United States... it is the most improbable country in the world to attempt rigging an election. Rigging talk is irresponsible and ignorant in those terms. Richard Barron
Fulton County Elections Director
See COMMENTARY page 10
Buckhead’s new master plan will aim to please well-off millennials with better public spaces, transportation and housing, organizers said at an Oct. 17 kickoff meeting at the Atlanta International School. Branded as “BUCKHEAD REdeFINED,” the planning process for Buckhead’s commercial core drew about 90 people to hear market statistics and weigh in with improvement ideas. The process also folds in previous independent plans to improve the Lenox Road streetscape and for a possible park capping Ga. 400 between Lenox and Peachtree Roads. “We want to point out a little bit of the obvious — Buckhead is a district in transition,” said Eric Bosman of Kimley-Horn, the company contracted by several civic and business groups to conduct the master plan. Part of that transition is from a car-oriented shopping area to a home for apartSee BUCKHEAD on page 15
OUT & ABOUT Historic mansion MJCCA Book Festival makes a quiet Nov. 5-20 Page 17 return to 1930s
BY JOHN RUCH email@example.com
The twin rooster statues were half-buried in dirt behind the historic Thornton House at 205 West Paces Ferry Road when Dr. Robin Fowler discovered them. He rescued the statues, only later learning they may have once stood atop a decorative entrance gate designed, like the mansion itself, by Philip Trammell Shutze, a celebrated Atlanta architect best known for the Atlanta History Center’s See HISTORIC on page 14
2 | Community
Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News … an agreement,” American Golf said in a statement to Reporter Newspapers broadcast partner CBS46. City spokesperson Jewanna Gaither said that American Golf “did not compete” in the recent competitive bidding for the contract. “Starting November 1, American Golf Corporation will no longer serve as the management company for the City’s golf courses,” Gaither said in an email. “Nonetheless, all operations will continue, and we are committed to ensuring our golf courses serve as vital community assets for future generations.” Asked about a new operator, Gaither said, “We are working on the transition.” The change in operators follows a controversial plan approved this summer to remake Bobby Jones, located on Woodward Way in Atlanta Memorial Park, into a reversible nine-hole course with new buildings, including a Georgia Golf Hall of Fame. The plan involved a land swap that gave the golf course property to the state. North Fulton Golf Course is the popular course on West Wieuca Road within Chastain Park. The operations contract that American Golf is leaving also includes Atlanta’s Brown’s Mill, Alfred “Tup” Holmes and Candler Park courses.
Golfers play at Bobby Jones Golf Course in 2015.
Bobby Jones, North Fulton golf course operator exits contract BY JOHN RUCH
Wieuca Road Baptist Church votes to stay in Buckhead BY JOHN RUCH firstname.lastname@example.org
The company that has operated Buckhead’s Bobby Jones and North Fulton golf courses for 30 years is ending its contract Oct. 31. The city says the golf courses will remain open after that, but indicated that a new vendor is not yet in place. American Golf Corporation and the city could not reach an agreement following a competitive bidding process for the right to operate and manage several city-owned golf courses, including the Buckhead courses. “Unfortunately, despite the efforts of everyone involved, we were not able to reach
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Wieuca Road Baptist Church members voted Oct. 16 to remain in Buckhead rather than sell the church’s 4.6-acre property, according to a statement on the church website. “For over a year the membership of Wieuca Road Baptist Church was involved in a discernment process concerning the future direction of the church,” the statement said. “On Sunday, October 16th, the church voted to affirm our commitment to staying in Buckhead in our current location.” “Wieuca Road Baptist Church is proud of the 62 years we have ministered in Buckhead and is excited about continuing to share the love of Christ with our neighbors,” the statement continued. Church administrator Skip Charlton did not respond to an email. The church had considered possi-
ble sale and redevelopment of its property at 3262 Peachtree Road. The review of that possible change of use temporarily delayed the Buckhead Community Improvement District’s plan to turn the Wieuca Road/Phipps Boulevard intersection, at one corner of the church property, into a roundabout. The website statement said the church membership also “affirmed the importance” of its related programs: the Wieuca Day School, Wieuca Afterschool, Camp Wieuca and the Wieuca Fine Arts Academy. According to the website, the church next will implement initiatives “Mission and Vision Report,” which include outreach to neighbors and the community. “Engaging the young adults and families who are beginning to make up the demographics of the neighborhoods that surround the church,” reads one of the initiatives mentioned on the website.
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Wieuca Road Baptist Church will extend its 62-year legacy in Buckhead. Church members had considered selling and redeveloping the property, but they voted to remain.
OCTOBER 28 - NOV. 10, 2016
Community | 3
Transportation taxes, school takeover question on Nov. 8 ballot BY COLLIN KELLEY When voters go to the polls on Nov. 8 (or during early voting leading up to Election Day), residents will have more than Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Gary Johnson to mull over. Along with a host of local and state elections, voters will also be considering the creation of the controversial Opportunity School District, which requires an amendment to the constitution, and Atlantans will decide if more transportation options are worth paying the highest sales tax in the state. For the Reporter Newspapers Voters Guide to key local races and ballot questions, see reporternewspapers.net. To check your polling place and to see a customized sample ballot, see the state’s “My Voter” page at mvp.sos.ga.gov.
Sales Tax Referenda
Officials from the City of Atlanta and MARTA were on hand at the October meeting of the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods to discuss the two sales tax referendums that will appear on the ballot. The transportation special local option sales tax (TSPLOST) referendum is asking for an 0.4 percent increase for street, sidewalk and trail projects. If approved by voters, it would raise anywhere from $250 to $300 million over the next five years. A second referendum would ask for a half-penny sales tax for MARTA expansion projects. If voters approve both referendums, it would push the city’s sales tax from 8 to 8.9 percent – the highest in the metro area. Tom Weyandt, former director of comprehensive planning at the Atlanta Regional Commission who is advising the city on the TSPLOST, said that the 0.4 percent increase would fund major projects, including purchasing the rest of the right-of-way for the Atlanta BeltLine, help refurbish streets, repair and built new sidewalks, create additional multi-use trails, and provide money to expand the bike share program. For MARTA, the extra sales tax is expected to raise $2.5 billion that would go toward light rail along the BeltLine, a new line connecting Lidbergh station to the Emory university campus, and extending the west line to I-285. MARTA has launched a new website at moremarta.com to educate voters on what passage of the sales tax referendum and the various projects involved.
Opportunity School District
Voters will also decide whether to create the Opportunity School District (OSD), which requires a constitutional amendment that would allow the state to takeover chronically failing public schools. The OSD would create a new school district that would have its own superintendent appointed by the governor. Schools that have consistently fallen below 60 on the state accountability system for three consecutive years could be brought into the OSD. The accountability system measures every school on student achievement, growth and progress, and whether the school is closing the gap between the lowest performing students and the state average. Schools are then given a score of 0 to 100. There are currently 127 schools that meet the criteria for OSD, with 22 of those being in the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) district. No more than 20 schools in any given year can be taken over by the state and the OSD is capped at having 100 schools. Under Georgia’s OSD, the state would have four options for underperforming schools: a full takeover; shared operation with a school’s local district; conversion to charter school; and, as a last resort, closing the school. Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education member Nancy Meister said the district had been working hard alongside Superintendent Meria Carstarphen to turnaround the system’s failing schools. “We are trying to be proactive so we don’t became part of OSD should it happen,” Meister said. “We have targeted our lowest performing schools, partnered with outside resources, and took $23 million out of this year’s budget to turn these schools around so we are not on the list.”
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10 | Commentary
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Q+A / Can this election be ‘rigged’? In the current presidential election season, candidates and pundits have debated claims of “rigging” an election. Reporter Newspapers asked Fulton County Elections Director Richard Barron to explain how officials prevent fraud and tampering. Barron has been Fulton County’s elections director since 2013. He previously served in a similar position in Williamson County, Texas. Q: Is it really possible to “rig” an election? Are Fulton’s elections secure from tampering? Our voting system in Georgia in secure from tampering because it is a stand-alone, isolated system. Nothing is connected to a computer network or to the internet. The touchscreen voting units are only tethered by electrical cords. Our system is so decentralized in the United States, with each state having its own rules and in many instances each county operating independently, it is the most improbable country in the world to attempt rigging an election. Rigging talk is irresponsible and ignorant in those terms. We conduct logic and accuracy testing on each machine before it goes into the field. Vote totals are cleared, as is required by the units, before they go into the field. They are sealed before we deliver them to polling locations. Poll workers verify that the public counts are at zero when they break the seals on Election Day. They also verify the seal numbers when they break the seals. They must balance at the end of the Election Day as well, to ensure that signature totals match vote totals.
Q: What are the main types of potential election fraud or tampering, and how does Fulton guard against each of them? I have worked in this field for 17 years in government and in the provide sector. I have yet to see election fraud or tampering. I have been an international elections observer in Macedonia, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan, and I have witnessed voter fraud and poll worker malfeasance. I have neither heard of valid claims in the United States where I have worked nor have I witnessed anything. Our system is transparent, complex and decentralized. I think that being decentralized, being transparent and lacking uniformity is the best way to avoid fraud and tampering. Q: Last year, the county admitted to errors in the 2012 election that left many voters off the rolls and mishandled or improperly rejected some ballots. What has the department done to fix those problems and ensure they don’t repeat? In 2012 we failed to process voter registration applications on time. We failed to do this in 2004 and 2008 as well. This year we are going to finish ahead of schedule, meaning when Kennesaw State uploads our voter file, we will have completed processing all of our applications. That will be a first for Fulton County in a presidential election. We have targeted the groups that generally vote more provisional ballots, students and seniors, by placing early voting outreach sites at 12 locations around Fulton County. In addition, we have increased our early voting offering from six sites in 2012
to 24 permanent sites this year. With the 12 two-day outreach sites, we plan on having at least 60 percent of voters voting before Election Day. We are also Richard Barron going to have Fulton County Elections Director poll workers specifically assigned to walking lines on Election Day with tablets to check voters’ registration status. This will help us to direct voters that are out of precinct to the correct precinct. A head of household mailing went to every house in Fulton County with a registered voter in order to remind voters where to go on Election Day and the options available during early voting. Q: In your time as director, has the county ever caught anyone tampering with the vote? No, no one has ever engaged in vote tampering in my time as director here or in my 17 years in elections in other jurisdictions. Q: If a citizen has a concern about their vote or the way a poll is run, what should they do? A citizen should contact our office in order for us to investigate the matter.
Letter to the Editor In his recent commentary here, (“Opinion: The Mexican community’s contribution to Georgia’s economy,” Sept. 30-Oct. 13) Javier Díaz de León, the consul general of Mexico in Atlanta, had a lot to say about what he calls “immigrants” and “migrants.” And he outlined what he says are hardships they encounter here in the Peach State. We fear readers with little independent knowledge of actual facts on immigration and the sovereign nation of Mexico may take away a very inaccurate view of reality without some knowledgeable balance to the Mexican diplomat’s presentation. According to the federal government, “immigrants” are people who enter the United States lawfully with the intention of permanent residence. The word “immigrant” should be sacred to, and defended by, all Americans. Illegal aliens are not immigrants. It must be noted that real immigrants have zero problems with any of those benefits in Georgia. What he means is that life
can be difficult for illegal aliens in Georgia. Perhaps space prevented Mr. Díaz from informing Georgia readers that in Mexico, there are severe penalties in place for illegal employment and they are unapologetically enforced. Or that illegals in Mexico have absolutely no chance of obtaining a genuine driver’s license or officially issued ID cards, or attending any education facility without proper documents. Neither can Mexican citizens vote unless they present a very secure Mexican voter ID, complete with fingerprints and (gasp) a photo of the voter. Mexico has been encouraging and facilitating illegal immigration for decades. In 1994, the government of Mexico produced a 32-page “How To” guide containing information to aid Mexican citizens in crossing the border illegally into the United States. It is much easier for average Georgians to grasp the motivation and agenda of the Mexican diplomatic corps if we all note that Mexico uses huge amounts of U.S. dol-
lars sent home by its “migrants” to prop up the Mexican economy. In February, the Mexican central bank reported that money sent home by Mexicans overseas hit nearly $24.8 billion in 2015, overtaking oil revenues for the first time as a source of foreign income. Get it? The Mexican consul general to Atlanta assures us that Mexican “migrants” possess “a very high resilience and capability for integration with the members of the communities where they live.” Most of us have doubts about that statement when we see the never-ending marches in the streets of Atlanta by angry and illegally present “victims of borders” screaming that we must end enforcement of American immigration laws and when we see the push for foreign-language voter assistance and ballots in the state of Georgia, U.S.A. Respectfully: No sale, Mr. Díaz. D.A. King President, Dustin Inman Society Marietta BH
OCTOBER 28 - NOV. 10, 2016
Commentary | 11
On earrings and phone rings When my daughter was nearing the end of her high school career and had a Senior Day Off, we did a mother-daughter thing. We got our ears pierced. She had held out for 18 years, and I had held out for, um, longer than that. We went to Claire’s and perched on high-top chairs facing each other, hugged teddy bears and waited for the big staple gun to power through our lobes. It’s how memories are made. I never really wanted to get my ears pierced. I didn’t see a need to have any more holes in my body. And I probably wouldn’t have done it otherwise, but piercing in tandem with your daughter is one of those rare opportunities that you don’t pass up — like when your son asks you to go shopping with him, or your husband wants to schedule a sitting for a family photo. Aside from the unwanted extra orifices, my biggest aversion to the whole piercing process was the fact that I knew that once I did it, there would be earrings. I would start buying earrings, and people would give me earrings for birthdays and Christmas and Mother’s Day, and I would begin to like that. I would learn to linger at the jewelry counter over a selection of dangling objects that never interested me beRobin Conte is a writer fore. It would just be another way to spend 30 bucks a pop. and mother of four who It would be unavoidable. lives in Dunwoody. She That’s essentially the same reason that I didn’t want an can be contacted at iPhone. I knew that once I entered the world of smartThrobinjm@earthlink.net. ings, I would be opening a floodgate to a constant river of distractions and apps for distractions. And there would be no turning back. I had a phone I was happy with, much to the chagrin of anyone who tried to communicate with me on it. It was like a 1992 Subaru. It was reliable, yet old and outdated and not much coveted. It had a warped keypad that I used occasionally to text “k” and “here,” and nothing more. But I could drop it roughly 42 times a day (and I did), then literally pick up the pieces, slam them back into place, and redial. It was a 10-year-old Nokia, and it didn’t do much of anything but make calls. It didn’t give me directions, get my emails, take pictures or answer any burning questions I had about Bastille Day. It didn’t even “flip” or “slide.” It just sat there, easily, in my back pocket with its indestructible self, giving me a serendipitous jolt whenever someone buzzed me with a phone call. But as it creaked on in its years and lost parts through my constant dropping of it, it also slowly lost its ability to function, even as a phone. And I eventually had to admit that no one could hear on it very well, not even me. So a few years ago, when my husband presented me with a snazzy new iPhone4S (because I wasn’t worthy of a 5) complete with the promise of a new service provider, I laid my trusty Nokia to rest in my bedside table and entered the world of Distracted Adults. Sure enough, now I’m playing with Pandora when I should be working. I’m checking emails while I’m supposedly exercising. And I’ve joined my peers in relentless texting. We’re all like a bunch of delinquents who are passing notes in class. Texts come in while I’m brushing my teeth or paying bills or making dinner, and like a passel of whining children who are yanking at my legs, they beg for attention. I’ll glance at my screen and find a pressing question or an irresistible Bitmoji staring back at me, so I stop what I’m doing to text back — taking the time to correct the self-correct and choose just the right emoji — and a flurry of exchanges ensues that completely spins me off task. For all of our “live in the moment” advocacy, the smartphone is the ultimate antithesis. I’ve devised a system though, a type of positive reinforcement designed to limit myself from the tantalizing distractions that this device provides: If I can go through an entire day without messing with my phone while working or cooking or eating or exercising ... I’ll buy myself a new pair of earrings.
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12 | Community
On the Cutting Edge of “Nice Moves, Nana!”
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Atlanta gets perfect score on LGBT equality rating BY JOHN RUCH firstname.lastname@example.org
For the fourth year in a row, the city of Atlanta has earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s annual rating of how well cities protect and support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents. The “Municipal Equality Index” report highlights the economic benefits of strong LGBT rights laws and policies. “Diversity is not just an ethical imperative. It is an economic driver,” writes business professor and journalist Richard Florida in the report’s introduction. “Studies affirm time and time again that diversity and inclusion spur economic growth.”
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The Municipal Equality Index rates a city’s LGBT laws and policies in five categories: non-discrimination laws, municipal employment policies, municipal services, law enforcement and general relationship with the LGBT community. Atlanta earned the highest possible rating of 100, and also earned four “bonus” points for having openly LGBT city leaders and for enforcement mechanisms in its city services protections. “My administration has worked to make sure our policies and practices speak to our values,” Mayor Kasim Reed said in a press release. “Our performance shows that our work is making a difference to Atlanta’s LGBT community, and setting the standard for cities in the Southeast.” A total of 10 Georgia cities or areas were ranked, with none of the others rating higher than 44. Decatur rated 21; Roswell 11; and Sandy Springs 22. The Atlanta press release notes that earlier this year, the Reed administration appointed the first transgender person to the Atlanta Citizen Review Board. Reed also supported President Obama’s executive action to ensure transgender women and men have access to their preferred restroom. The city maintains transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage for city employees, the press release says. Reed also amended the Atlanta city code to include gender identity in all non-discrimination provisions, and in 2013, appointed Atlanta Law Department Chief Counsel Robin Shahar as mayoral advisor on LGBT issues.
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OCTOBER 28 - NOV. 10, 2016
Community | 13
A-maze-ing fun at Sarah Smith Elementary’s Fall Festival
B PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER
A. Jack Story, a third-grader at Sarah Smith Elementary School, wins the large-scale 3D Sphere Puzzle Maze Labyrinth Ball. B. The crowd enjoys the scene at Sarah Smith’s Oct. 22 Fall Festival. C. and D. DJ Al Danso (left) gets kids moving in the “Dancing Dome.” Sarah Smith fifth-graders Spencer Hines (white T-shirt), Jackson Cropper (blue hat), Luke Wallace (green shorts) and Stell Chartrand (ponytail) rock the lawn. E. Emmy Barnes, 2, plays on the BRIO train set. F. Seventh-grader Alex Lilly plays laser tag in the school gymnasium.
14 | Community
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Historic mansion makes a quiet return to 1930s glory
PHOTOS BY JOHN RUCH
Dr. Robin Fowler holds one of the twin rooster statues he will use to recreate the decorative entrance gate, shown above in its original sketch, that once adorned the historic Thornton House. At right is the home at 205 West Paces Ferry Road. Continued from page 1 Swan House. Now Fowler and his wife Taylea aim to rebuild that entrance gate, just as they are preserving and rehabilitating the 1936 mansion—which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places—and its wealth of historical and decorative details. Fowler, a pain management physician, said he didn’t know about some local history organizations or preservation tax credits. Instead, his preservation work is driven by that instinct that led him to save the statues.
“I’m not a history buff. I have to think a minute to tell what year World War I and World War II were in,” Fowler said during a recent walk through the house and its grounds. “It just feels wrong to destroy something that has flavor and stories and significant history just to put something new in its place
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[and] just because it’s the easy way out.” That attitude has not always prevailed in Buckhead, where older homes are often demolished for new, larger replacements. Preservationists were outraged early this year when another Shutze-designed house, located on Tuxedo Road, was torn down for such a project. Meanwhile, the Fowlers have quietly carried out rehab work on the Thornton House since buying it in April 2015. Such preservation groups as the Buckhead Heritage Society were unaware of the work and say they can’t comment on its particulars. But Sheffield Hale, president and CEO of the Atlanta History Center, welcomed the news of the house’s rehabilitation. He said he has his own “personal history” there, as family friends in 1988 threw him and his wife Elizabeth an engagement party at the house. “It’s a wonderful house. … I
think it’s wonderful that original details are being emphasized,” Hale said. Robin Fowler pointed out a bevy of such details during the tour of the house. There’s the cobblestone starburst in the driveway, part of a star theme that carries through the house’s windows and other features: a dark wooden front door carved into a graceful curve; a series of decorative medallions on the foyer walls that, Taylea Fowler guesses, depicts the stages of family life; a rear portico with columns and a sweeping double staircase that Hale likens to “the Swan House in reverse,” as a mansion with a rear façade more dramatic than its front. The house had sat empty and bankowned for five years, Robin said, before he and Taylea bought it, moving in from Buckhead’s Ritz-Carlton Residences. He had no idea of the house’s historic status until seeing it in the coffee table book “Classic Atlanta” that a real estate agent displayed in the foyer during sales tours. Even then, the preservation work came more as a reaction to contractors’ suggestions. Early on, an architect recommended energy-efficient windows to replace the 1930s originals, with their single-pane glass and rope-and-lead-weight pulley systems. “‘I don’t want any of that. I want it like it is,’” Fowler recalled responding. “I want to keep the house in the flavor of the way it was intended to be.” Seeing the craftsmanship of the windows led him to start appreciating the house’s history and quality. “The more I started getting into the bones of the house, the more my interest climbed,” he said. While Fowler had no preservation background, he likes construction. He once worked in contracting and his dad was a plumber. Growing up in rural Alabama, he developed an appreciation for old farmhouses. He said he carried out one prior restoration project of a different sort: the 1965 Ford pickup truck his dad used to drive to plumbing calls. Fowler also happens to have the money for such extensive rehabilitation. He had budgeted $1 million to redo the house. So far, he said, “My $1 million has turned into $5 or $6 million.” That includes updating a 2009 wing, added by the previous owner, with such amenities as a sauna. Not everything could be saved as-is, including a collapsing roof on an east wing. But the work includes historically sensitive interior redecorating, such as a dining room done in 1930s style wallpaper. An owner of the Calhoun House, another surviving Shutze mansion in Buckhead, is advising the interior decoration. Fowler said the rehabilitation has brought many pleasant surprises, like finding copper hidden under paint on the roof cladding and a decorative pineapple sculpture. “It seems like a crime” the metal was painted over, he said, calling it a “treasure waiting to be uncovered.” Another surprise was going to the History Center with his young daughter to research the house, mostly for fun, and discovering its original house and landscape blueprints on file. The documents
OCTOBER 28 - NOV. 10, 2016
Community | 15
included a hand-drawn design for the entry gate, topped with what appear to be those mysterious rooster statues.
“A small project turned out to be a much bigger project,” he said.
Buckhead master plan aims to please millennials Continued from page 1
ment-dwelling, high-income millennials — a demographic Buckhead leaders want to attract and retain. In marketing-speak, that demographic is called “Uptown Individuals,” explained market analyst Geoff Koski of Bleakly Advisory Group. “Basically, these are the golden millennials. … These are the millennials you want,” Koski said, presenting a slide that illustrated the “Uptown Individuals” with a photo of a young white woman. Budgeted at about $200,000, including Atlanta Regional Commission grant funding, the six-month master plan effort applies generally to Buckhead Village, Buckhead Forest, Lenox and Peachtree Park. The rough boundaries are Old Ivy Road to the north, Peachtree-Dunwoody/ Roxboro roads to the west, Garden Hills to the south, and the Atlanta History Center area to the east. The plan is coordinated by Livable Buckhead, the Buckhead Community Improvement District, the Buckhead Business Association, the Buckhead Coalition and the Rotary Club of Buckhead. There’s also a steering committee with more than 40 community members and a technical advisory committee with representatives from the city, MARTA and the state Department of Transportation. The planning teams for the Lenox Road and the park over 400 efforts are also involved and will get direct public input data. “So we’ve got quite the brain trust,” said Livable Buckhead Executive Director Denise Starling. Koski provided statistics about the master plan’s target area: • Of about 6,800 households, 52 percent are renter-occupied, 32 percent owner-occupied and 16 percent vacant. • Rents are skyrocketing to around $1.90 per square foot and vacancies are BH
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shrinking. Koski said “the demand is there” for Buckhead’s apartment-building boom to continue and increase capacity by 40 percent in about five years. However, the plan also needs to address housing affordable to all “income bands,” he said. • The number of jobs is growing much faster than the number of residents, Koski said. The master plan area has about 68,600 jobs, or roughly 10 for every
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A resident adds a note to the “connectivity” display at the “BUCKHEAD REdeFINED” master plan meeting Oct. 17 at Atlanta International School.
household. He said that 98 percent of the area’s employees live outside its boundaries — a big reason for commuter traffic congestion. The solution: “Add additional residents” to balance it out, he said. With all of that in mind, meeting attendees gathered at four displays to give input via stickers, notes and conversation with planners. Planners will solicit more input through surveys on a master plan website, which also will contain draft ideas in advance of the next meeting, scheduled for Jan. 19. Planners also will survey people on Buckhead streets. For more information, see buckheadredefined.com.
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22 | Public Safety
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Police Blotter / Buckhead From police reports dated Oct. 2 through Oct. 15 The following information was provided to the Buckhead Reporter by the Zone 2 precinct of the Atlanta Police Department from its records and is presumed to be accurate.
R O B B E RY 2500 block of Piedmont Road. On Oct.
4, a robbery arrest was made. 700 block of Morosgo Drive. On Oct. 7,
victim said she was driving around with two males she knows, but not by name. She said that they got into a verbal disagreement about whether to go home or go out to a bar. One of the males demanded a ride home and she refused. The male then kicked her in the face. The males also stole her iPhone and $320. Males then fled the location. 700 block of Morosgo Drive. On Oct.
8, victim said he was in the parking lot when a male suspect approached him. The suspect put a gun to his head and demanded that he not move or he would kill them. The suspects then took all their possessions: cash, cellphones, pink wallet, bag, jewelry and miscellaneous other items. The suspects then fled the scene. 1900 block of Monroe Drive. On Oct. 9,
a male suspect robbed a victim at gunpoint. The suspect took his iPhone and watch and then fled the scene. Surveillance cameras of the incident were captured. 1100 block of Spring Valley Lane. On
Oct. 9, a victim was performing work at a home. He said a male suspect entered the location. The suspect put a gun to the victim’s face and demanded he surrender his money. The suspect took $60 and fled. 300 block of Garden Lane. On Oct. 11, a
victim was exiting her vehicle when she was struck in the back of the head and fell to the ground. She rolled over and a male suspect sat on her. The male began banging her head into the concrete and tried to take her bag. She continued to kick and scream until the neighbors came out of the residence. Crime scene responded to the scene and processed for evidence as well as photographed the victim’s injuries. The suspect threw up as a result of the struggle and the fluid was collected as evidence, then submitted for DNA analysis. 70 W. Paces Ferry Rd. On the morning
of Oct. 22, the victim left work at Chop’s and was getting into his vehicle. Male suspects approached him and asked if he could give them a ride to Lenox Mall. Victim advised that he could not. The suspects then pointed a pistol at the victim and he fled the scene. A witness observed the incident and surveillance cameras were observed in the area. The victim’s car was stolen and was later recovered, abandoned. 1801 Howell Mill Rd. On Oct. 19, a male
suspect entered GameStop wearing a hoodie with a scarf pulled over his face. The suspect then pointed a black semiautomatic handgun at him and demanded that the patrons and employees lie on the floor. The suspect then threw a plastic bag on the counter and told the victim to begin putting the money inside it. The suspect told the victim he had 20 seconds to open the drawer or he would
be shot. Suspect took the money from the cash drawer and then fled. 2100 block of Peachtree Rd. On Oct. 20,
four young male suspects approached the victim as she was attempting to exit her vehicle. They pointed the gun at her and then stole her vehicle. Vehicle was later recovered from the scene of a separate carjacking abandoned. 2400 block of Cheshire Bridge Rd. On Oct. 18, the victim was in the parking deck when a male suspect approached him. He advised the male pointed a gun at him and then stole the vehicle. The vehicle was later recovered, abandoned.
1900 block of Monroe Dr. On Oct. 22,
a victim was at her vehicle on the third floor of the parking deck when three males approached her, presented a gun to her chest, and stole her vehicle. The vehicle was later recovered abandoned. Surveillance footage of the incident may have been captured.
AG G R AVAT E D A S S AU LT 1300 block of Marietta Blvd. On Oct. 2,
victim advised that male suspects were casing his car. He said he ran out of the location with a gun and presented it to the suspects. Surveillance footage shows gunfire coming from the suspect’s vehicle. The victim retreated to safety and the suspects fled the scene. Shell casings were recovered and turned in as evidence. 1700 block of Howell Mill Road. On
Oct. 4, aggravated assault arrest made at Ace Hardware.
700 block of Sidney March Blvd. On
Oct. 5, victim called 911 to tell he was going to be attacked. He was then jumped by 12 males. All suspects escaped. Two witnesses were on scene. Victim received a laceration to his face. Possible surveillance footage on scene. 200 block of Pharr Road. On Oct. 10,
aggravated assault report made. 2400 block of Lowe St. On Oct. 19, vic-
tim reported that her male friend became angry with her over a phone dispute. He returned to her residence after leaving angry and pointed a gun at her stating, “You made me feel disrespected on the phone.” 3100 block of Peachtree Rd. On Oct. 16,
victim had been bar-hopping when he heard several gunshots and continued to bar-hop. Later he observed he had a pain to his left foot. After checking it he observed he had been shot. Another victim saw he had been shot in the arm. Victims did not see where or why there were gunshots. 3100 block of Peachtree Rd. On Oct. 20,
while going to the bathroom, a woman was jumped by three females. The victim said that this was not the first time he had been attacked by them. Victim sustained visible bruising to her face.
R E S I D E N T I A L B U R G L A RY 2300 block of Paul Ave. On Oct. 5, a
home was burglarized when a door was left unlocked. TV and Apple laptop were stolen. 2600 block of Church St. On Oct. 8, a
rock was thrown through a rear window and a 42-inch TV was stolen from the home. 6200 block of Ivy Chase Way. On Oct.
7, victim reported her corporate phone
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Public Safety | 23
had gone missing from her residence. Tracking showed the phone in the area of Sarah Smith Elementary School. The door to the location was frequently left unlocked while the victim walks her dog. 300 block of Valley Green Drive. On
Oct. 7, the door leading from the garage to the house was reported as damaged. Victim did not notice any items missing upon first glance. 4500 block of E. Conway Drive. On
2600 block of Oakdale St. On Oct. 19,
a TV, lawn mower and pressure washer stolen from a home under construction. Site was unlocked. 900 block of Canterbury Rd. On Oct.
change tray of the cash register. Surveillance footage observed in the area of the incident. 1387 Northside Drive. On Oct. 14, front
22, Samsung TV stolen from the apartment while the victim was moving from the location. No forced entry.
door glass shattered at Public Storage to gain entry. Undetermined if anything was taken. Cash register was observed on the ground.
500 block of Main St. On Oct. 17, a bur-
1244 Collier Rd. On Oct. 20, the front
glary arrest was made.
door glass of USA Self Storage was smashed with a rock to gain entry. Nothing was taken.
400 block of Armour Dr. On Oct. 18,
2441 Cheshire Bridge Rd. At an un-
known time, 20 vehicles at Gerber Collision Center were damaged and several sets of keys were stolen. Forced entry noted at location.
LARCENY Between Oct. 2 and Oct. 9 there were
71 larcenies from vehicles reported and 32 reported cases of larceny and shoplifting. Between Oct. 10 and Oct. 15 there were
54 larcenies from vehicles reported and 33 reported cases of larceny and shoplifting.
Oct. 11, garage window damaged and 42inch range and a microwave stolen from the location.
four pairs of designer shoes stolen from an apartment.
2200 block of Mount Paran Road. On
unknown time, suspects forced open a kitchen window to a home and stole a television, gas stove, end table, microwave and wine cooler.
lance footage shows six male suspects entering Verizon Wireless through the rear door. The lock was cracked and the metal door was cut from the hinges. An undetermined quantity of cellphones was stolen from the business.
CO M M E R C I A L B U R G L A RY
2451 Peachtree Rd. On Oct. 19, rear
AU TO T H E F T
door of Design Within Reach forced open and four all-in-one desktop computers were stolen.
There were 25 reports of auto theft be-
3003 Piedmont Rd. On Oct. 22, cash
There were 15 reports of auto theft be-
Oct. 12, a suspect kicked the door to garage to gain entry. Infinity diamond necklace, assorted jewelry, 12-person silver serving set, and 10-person large silver serving set stolen from the location, worth more than $50,000. 4700 block of Tall Pines Drive. On
Oct. 12, victim reported damage to garage door leading to the interior of the location. Laptop, wooden drawer and silver stolen from the location. Victim observed suspect with ski masks and a vehicle fleeing the driveway upon arrival. 2100 block of McKinley Road. Gas
range stove stolen from home under construction. No forced entry. 3900 block of Peachtree Park Drive.
On Oct. 15, alarm activated at the location. No forced entry observed at the location. However, MacBook Air was discovered missing from the house. 1400 block of Peachtree Park Drive.
On Oct. 15, MacBook Pro, two chargers, Wacom tablet, cameras, ID, black bag and MacBook Air stolen from an apartment. 100 block of Smith St. On Oct. 22, en-
try made through window. Samsung TV, Dell laptop, Schwinn bike, and Samsung Galaxy cellphone were stolen from the home.
1800 block of Windemere Dr. At an
49 Bennett St. On Oct. 6, at Body Cen-
tral Pilates Studio, victim said money was missing from her apartment. 2451 Peachtree Road. On Oct. 7, the
rear door glass was shattered to gain entry at Design Within Reach. Alarm activated at the location. Four Apple laptops stolen from the office. Tracking available to the computers. 1370 N. Highland Ave. On Oct. 4, door
pried at Cleaners Pro. No items taken. Surveillance cameras on scene. Suspicious abandoned vehicle left near the location for several hours. 3280 Howell Mill Road. Front door to
location opened. Nikon Oral camera stolen from the desk at Charles Arp. 35A W. Paces Ferry Rd. On Oct. 10, sur-
veillance footage showed a vehicle back through the front window of the North Face. Suspects with hoods then began loading the vehicle with multiple bundles of jackets and clothing from the store. A copy of the footage was collected as evidence. 1370 N. Highland Ave. On Oct. 11,
rear entry door forced. Victim forgot to set the alarm. Change stolen from the
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4340 Roswell Rd. On Oct. 21, surveil-
and an iPad were stolen from Studio 305. No forced entry; window left open.
Between Oct. 16 and Oct. 22 there were
58 larcenies from vehicles reported and 34 reported cases of larceny and shoplifting.
tween Oct. 2 and Oct. 9, and 18 between Oct. 10 and Oct. 15. tween Oct. 16 and Oct. 22.
PR ISO NER EX EC UTED FO R 1997 B U CKHEAD P O L I C E M UR DER A man who murdered an Atlanta Police officer in Buckhead in 1997 was executed by lethal injection Oct. 19. Gregory Paul Lawler, 63, was executed shortly before midnight after court appeals failed, as did a clemency plea based on an autism diagnosis, according to state press releases. On Oct. 12, 1997, Lawler shot two police officers outside his apartment on Morosgo Way with a rifle containing armor-piercing rounds. Officer John Sowa was killed and Officer Patricia Cocciolone was severely wounded.
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