Hello neighbors! I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer. Your BWCA has been busy working on our promise to keep our neighborhood strong and improve our quality of life. Traditions are an important part of keeping a neighborhood strong as they build a sense of identity and create shared memories. This year we brought back placing American flags at mailboxes to celebrate Independence Day; a tradition actually started many years ago by a neighbor, Barbara Dillon, as part of her real estate business. As the board was discussing ideas to foster neighborhood traditions, this was something that many of us remembered with fond memories. This year we also left a postcard with the flag to share a message on the importance of a strong, united community. We received much positive feedback on this effort and look forward to continuing with this tradition next year.
We also hosted a neighborhood happy hour at Napoleon’s in June to help neighbors meet neighbors. Although we only had about 20 people attend, everyone had a good time. We hope to organize another happy hour in the future and then evaluate whether this activity is sustainable. Make sure to check out pictures of these activities on our Facebook page. They really capture the spirit of our residents! As you read through the newsletter, you will find updates on many other activities that BWCA sponsors each year.
Three issues consistently raised as concerns in our neighborhood are code violations at Williamsburg Plaza, infill development, and pedestrian safety. In the newsletter you will find information on each of these issues. I encourage all residents to become involved with BWCA committees to help address concerns. Together we can make a difference. We are also very pleased to announce the completion of Phase 1 of the Pendergrast Park development; a real treasure in the heart of our neighborhood.
Have a new neighbor? BWCA is personally welcoming new residents to the neighborhood with a basket filled with information about the neighborhood and discounts or small gifts donated from area businesses. Please feel free to emailus with the address of a new neighbor so we can be sure to welcome them home. We sometimes miss home sales that were not listed on the real estate market.
This fall, we will begin our membership drive and kick off the new membership year with the Annual Fall Fling. I hope to see many of you there. We will also begin soliciting interest to serve on the BWCA Board. We will have people rotating off the Board in 2017 and need volunteers to replace them. Please send us an email if you are interested or want to learn more.
Thanks To All Who Came Out To Make National Night Out A Neighborhood Success
BWCA is a proud supporter of National Night Out, an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live. It was a perfect night for the park! Many neighbors stopped by for camaraderie and ice-cold lemonade. Throughout the event, we also had several officers and detectives from the Dekalb Police Department, Sheriff's Department, and NET team (neighborhood enforcement team) stop by to talk with residents. They also brought small gifts for children.
There were many conversations about the concerns citizens have related to speeding on Crestline and Fisher Trail and other pedestrian safety issues, nighttime parking lot and jaywalking activity around Williamsburg Plaza, gun shots, and the recent break-ins in surrounding neighborhoods. The officers took many notes with good-faith promise to see what could be done and gave advice on the best departments to contact for various issues. For example, officers said they would be monitoring and enforcing speed limits and already have marked and unmarked patrols in the area to address crime concerns.
BWCA will be contacting the county to address debris and foliage in the right of ways that block road signs and encroach roads in effort to improve pedestrian and vehicle safety. Officers and residents also engaged in great discussions of the challenges our men and women in blue face on the job in addressing our concerns. Click here for pictures from the event.
How to Handle Door-to-Door Solicitors
We've heard from several BWCA members asking about door-to-door solicitors and whether Briarcliff Woods has a no-solicitaion policy. Here's what we found: It turns out thatall of DeKalb County already has an ordinance in place that regulates door-to-door sales and other solicitations in residential areas. It can be found in Article VII of Chapter 15 of the County Ordinances. A link to those provisions is provided at the end of this post.
In short, except for tax-exempt organizations that have prior approval from the police department and vendors who have been invited to the home (i.e., you called them or emailed them and requested a sales call), salesmen are prohibited from going door-to-door without an identification card issued by the police department. That identification card must be visible on the person and include the following:
• A permit number
• The words “door to door sales,”
• The person’s picture, name, and company name
• Date issued and expiration date
• Signature of the police chief
• DeKalb County seal
If the vendor does not have this documentation on them, the police have requested that you call 911 to report persons going door-to-door without proper identification.In addition, while the Sheriff’s Office reports that prohibited hours for door-to-door salesman are 7 pm to 9 am, the link to the County Code indicates it is 9 pm to 9 am.
In terms of posting signs, the Consumer Protection unit of the Georgia Department of Law (i.e., the Attorney General's office) reports that, while you can post them to discourage sellers, it is not against the law for someone to approach your hope even when such a sign is displayed.
Click herefor County ordinance for peddlers, door-to-door sales and similar occupations.
Much-needed Improvements are taking shape at Williamsburg Village Shopping Center at the intersection of Clairmont and Briarcliff Roads.
Thanks in great part to the efforts of members of your BWCA Board Zoning Committee and their diligent work with DeKalb County officials to address potential code violations being possibly perpetrated by the owners, leasing agents, and several establishments there, the following progress can be reported:
Roofing materials are visible on the roof of the U.S.P.S. with work expected to begin shortly and new exterior paint has been applied
Repairs are being made to rotting second-story wooden dormers located on the back side of Desta Ethiopian Restaurant
Unsightly clutter, trash and debris is no longer visible around dumpsters and outside Aroma Lounge and other establishments
DeKalb County Code Compliance Supervisor, Chris Zellars, is preparing a full report on potential code violations at Williamsburg Village Shopping Center
Please see the attached reports prepared by members of the BWCA Board that have helped to spur this much-needed, long-overdue activity. These reports were submitted personally by Gunter Sharp, BWCA Board Zoning Committee Chairperson, to DeKalb County Zone 2 Commission, Jeff Rader, on April 27th at the DeKalb County: Businesses With Complaints Town Hall Meeting hosted by Commissioners Larry Johnson and Nancy Jester at the Clark Harrison Building in Downtown Decatur.
This meeting, attended by four of your BWCA board members, other association members and a group of around 60 other concerned local DeKalb County residents, was held to give voice to citizens and provide DeKalb County officials the opportunity to address local concerns. The issue of potential code violations at Williamsburg Village Shopping Center and the resulting negative effects on the community and our quality of life were made quite clear by your BWCA representatives.
The BWCA Board will continue to push for adherence to all codes at this and other locations in our neighborhood to make sure Briarcliff Woods retains its integrity and remains a great place to call home. The full report by Supervisor Zellar will be provided to all BWCA members as soon as it becomes available. Look for this and other updates on our continuing efforts to bring Williamsburg Village Shopping Center up to code.
In the meantime, we strongly recommend that all members that have comments, concerns or questions regarding Williamsburg Village Shopping Center contact your DeKalb County officials directly:
The more voices they hear, the more likely they are to do something. Hold them accountable. Speak up. Be heard. Take action. Working together, we can make a difference. Be sure to reference the linked documents in your communications.
Progress Continues at CalAtlantic Townhome Development on Briarcliff Road – Completion Slated for Late 2017
The above illustration from 2014 showing a preliminary proposed street-facing elevation of the new townhouse development was provided by the developer, CalAtlantic (formerly Ryland Homes). As updated illustrations and plans are made available by CalAtlantic, your BWCA board will share them with our members to keep you up to date with the latest developments.
Currently, site preparation continues as earth-moving equipment grade the land and prepare for installation of stormwater and sewer drains. Construction of the considerable underground detention pond on the south side of the development is underway. You can see in the images below the concrete retaining wall and the drain pipe that will channel water runoff into the "underground stormwater maintenance facility" (detention pond). There is a second underground detention pond planned near the center of the development under the pocket park (see links to plans below).
As additional background on the BWCA board involvement in the revised planning of the development, please consider the following. Beginning May, 2014, Ryland Homes held three open-invitation meetings with community members, and several separate meetings with members of the BWCA board in connection with Ryland Homes' request to rezone the property.
As a result of the efforts of your BWCA board, the developer revised its initial plans to be responsive the comments, questions and concerns of the neighborhood. As such, they agreed to concede on many issues, including the following upgrades into their plans:
Reduce the number of new townhouse from an originally planned 50 to 43. Supporting the Ryland development if they would meet this condition was particularly important because there was an impending county-wide zoning code change which would have allowed the next developer to build 50 townhouse without needing any County Board of Commissioner approvals.
Build with brick and stone on three sides with a 4-foot minimum brick knee wall in the rear of the homes
Install a 6-foot wide sidewalk from the Briarclair shopping center all the way to the Fisher Trail intersection and include a 10-foot wide tree-lined landscaped strip along its property between the street and the sidewalk
Widening Briarcliff Road to install left-turn lanes in both directions to facilitate cars turning into Forrest Green Road and their development
Additional visitor parking spaces within their development
A landscape plan with 12 different varieties of screening trees at the rear and sides of the property that has been reviewed by a Fulton County arborist who is on our civic association board
Enhanced open space of at least 20% (1.32 acres) that is consistent with the soon-to-be-enacted Zoning Code update
While the BWCA board understands that some in the neighborhood opposed this development, even with these conditions (and there are some on our board who agree with that sentiment), after careful deliberation, our board decided by majority vote, with the best interests of our neighborhood in mind, that we would prefer to support the negotiated conditions of the Ryland Homes development rather than oppose them, which could result in Ryland Homes refusing the conditions or having another developer who may not be as responsive to our concerns pursue a project.
Please see the attached links for the most recent shared documents provided by CalAtlantic regarding the development and their plans:
One final comment regarding the traffic flow on Briarcliff Road - DeKalb DOT has concluded that the congestion in the mornings on Briarcliff going toward Claremont is largely caused by the intersection at Claremont and I-85 and that the development would have little additional impact on traffic. For details on the DeKalb DOT traffic study, click the link below:
If you have any additional specific questions, comments or concerns, we encourage you to please contact CalAtlantic directly. The contact information for the project manager is listed below:
Vice President of Land
1000 Mansell Exchange West, Suite 200
Alpharetta, GA 30022
office phone: 678.227.3130
mobile phone: 404.434.5044
Save The Date: It's Time Again For Our Annual BWCA Fall Fling – We Hope To See You There!
Sunday, September 25th from 5-7 p.m.
(If rain, event will be moved into clubhouse.)
Please make plans to bring the whole family and join us as we kick-off another exciting new membership year at the Annual BWCA Fall Fling. Join your neighbors for an evening full of games, live music, food and fun. The BWCA Board will be grilling up hot dogs and hamburgers for the main course and 'potluck' side dishes/desserts will be up to the culinary passions and gracious generosity of our members in attendance.
To ensure a variety of sides, we recommend bringing the following items to share based on the first letter of your last name:
Last Names A-F: Salads/Fruit
Last Names G-O: Veggies/Sides
Last Names P-Z: Desserts
Tea and lemonade will be provided. BYOB.
We can always use some extra hands to help with set up, clean up or manning stations during the event. If you are willing to help for a short shift or have questions, please email Kim Pollard.
2017 Membership Drive Begins in September
September kicks off the membership drive. We hope you will consider renewing your membership for 2017. The BWCA membership year runs from October 1 to September 30 of the following year. Dues are $25 per household. We will send out emails in September with details on how you can renew your membership online, by mail or at the Fall Fling. Due to popular demand, we are bringing back the neighborhood directory! All BWCA members will be emailed a neighborhood directory in December! There will be an option to opt out of publishing phone/email information on the membership form.
On The Horizon: New Briarcliff Woods Entrance Signs
We love the old Briarcliff Woods signs. They have stood by us and with us – true blue (well, blue-green, gold and white, anyway) – for many, many years. But time has taken its toll and they are starting to look a little long in the tooth and out of date. It may be time to upgrade the look of these signs, replace them with something fresh, new, and even more inviting - yet still in keeping with the personality and integrity of our neighborhood.
Your BWCA Gardening, Beautification and Greenspace Committee has begun feasibility, design and budget planning for new entrance markers to be placed at the major intersections of the neighborhood. The goal is to create an RFP this year, get neighborhood feedback to select a winning design, and implement steps to fund and install the new signs in 2017. Be on the lookout for updates on this exciting project that can enhance and beautify our neighborhood for years to come!
Pendergrast Park Updates
Phase 1 of Pendergrast Park is Now Complete!
Thanks to all the neighbor volunteers that have helped bring Pendergrast to life. A stacked-stone stairway near the park entrance welcomes visitors to explore the first section of a new gravel trail system with mulch edging. As they meander through the gently rolling wooded landscape, visitors will find other park amenities to enjoy, such as picnic tables, a bench swing, bike racks, a lending library, and a trash receptacles.
The next phase will include the children’s play area. Planning for this phase will begin in earnest, led by Randy Roosa and the Friends of Pendergrast Park team. Look for exciting news on this next phase soon! Of course, fundraising will be a big part of phase 2 as play equipment can be expensive. Your donations are needed to help make this happen.
Please Help Fund Pendergrast Park
We need your help to continue to make this park a reality! Community funding continues to be a large part of the overall funding mix. A sincere thanks to those that have already donated!
There are two ways to donate: (1) By Check
Donating by check is preferred, as credit card donations do have a fee. Please make your check payable to "Park Pride" with "Pendergrast Park" written in the check memo. Please mail your check to:
Treasurer, Friends of Pendergrast Park
2076 Continental Drive, NE
Atlanta, GA 30345
(2) By Credit Card
To donate by credit card online, go to thePark Pride website (parkpride.org). Click on the link to donate to a specific park. Select Pendergrast Park, provide the required payment information and you will have an opportunity to print a receipt for your tax deduction.
NEW PRINCIPAL AT LAKESIDE HIGH SCHOOL By
The DeKalb County Board of Education has recently announced the hiring of Mr. Damian Bounds as the new principal of Lakeside High School. Mr. Bounds has most recently served as an assistant principal at Centennial High School in Fulton County. He officially starts on July 25 but has been working in transition with the current principal, Mr. Robert Williams, who has been serving as interim principal since the beginning of 2016.
I serve on the School Council at Lakeside and have been integrally involved in the search and selection process for a strong leader for Lakeside. Soon after the principal left the School Council began having serious discussions with DeKalb County School leadership about what Lakeside needs in a leader and what the search process should look like. We requested that the County employ a national search firm to find and vet candidates. The School District agreed and the search firm based in Chicago kept us informed on their process. A survey of the entire Lakeside community was conducted with the School Council being allowed to submit questions for the survey. In addition, focus groups of parents, teachers, students and community were held to give the search firm representatives feedback. Search firm representatives then presented overall findings and impressions that they had formulated from the survey and the focus groups to the School Council and indicated that that would be what they used to find the right candidate. In addition, summary feedback would also be provided to potential candidates so that they would know what our school and community was looking for.
The search firm and the District narrowed the candidates down to two. At that point the District again involved the parents and teachers. Parent, teacher, and student representatives of the School Council and PTSA served as a focus group to interview the two candidates. We were allowed to submit questions and to ask them directly of the candidates. At the conclusion of our interviews district staff asked us as a group for our assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates. Our written evaluations were given to Superintendent Green as well as our feedback of the strengths and weaknesses. Superintendent Green made the final decision with all input from District staff and the Lakeside community.
We as a School Council feel very comfortable with the selection of Mr. Bounds. We felt like the process that the District used was designed to find the best candidate who would be the best fit for our school. We felt like the District really considered the input of the parents, students, and teachers and used that feedback to find the right candidate. We felt like the process was very open and fair and are eagerly looking forward to working with Mr. Bounds. We believe that he will bring some much needed leadership and stability to Lakeside.
Another Successful BWCA Neighborhood Garage Sale
“We got rid of so much stuff. Thanks again for organizing this!”
– 2016 BWCA garage sale participant.
The 2016 Annual BWCA Neighborhood Garage sale was a smashing success with 14 participating homes and summer temperatures in the 70s. The sale also included two lemonade stands serving ice cold lemonade for $0.50 a cup. Thank you to everyone who sold, bought, or stopped by to say hello that day!
Please make sure to pencil in the 2017 BWCA garage sale for June of next year!
All BWCA members are invited to participate, so please be sure to renew your membership before October 1 if you'd like to be a part of next year's event.
Based on feedback from a few of this year's sellers, The BWCA will be researching an additional benefit to provide garage sale participants. We'll be working to identify non-profit organizations that are willing to schedule pick-ups of leftover sale items as donations.
Please keep us posted if you have any additional feedback or ideas to improve the success of this sale. We love to hear from you. Thank you.
How We Can All Help Keep Our Community Safe
Reduce mosquito breeding and prevent mosquito bites
Georgia is home to the types of mosquitos that can carry the West Nile, Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya viruses. They are aggressive biters throughout the day. In addition to wearing protective clothing (long-sleeved shirts and long pants), here are some things you can do to reduce mosquito breeding and prevent mosquito bites:
Drainage - Mosquitos lay eggs in water (even small amounts of water). Inspect areas around your home to get rid of any standing water.
Clean out eaves & gutters
Change bird bath water weekly
Check tarps on boats & equipment for standing water
Turn over empty pot, drain standing water in plant trays & hanging baskets weekly
Remove vegetation & obstructions in drainage ditches and trim back thick brush to increase airflow
Use Insect Repellent - Look for the following active ingredients:
OIL of LEMON EUCALYPTUS (not recommended for children under 3)
PARA-MENTHANE-DIOL (not recommended for children under 3)