Avondale Estates residents present photo of mask quilt to City Commission
*Note: The Fourth of July parade in Avondale Estates has been cancelled. However, fireworks will still be launched at Lake Avondale on Sunday, July 4, at sundown.
Avondale Estates, GA — In the summer of 2020, residents of Avondale Estates made a commemorative quilt from leftover fabric used to make masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The quilt was donated to Emory Decatur Hospital and the creators presented a framed photo of the quilt to the Avondale Estates City Commission on June 9 during its first-in person meeting in more than a year. Avondale Estates city commissioners began meeting virtually last year due to the pandemic.
In July 2020, Jane Howe, Melitta Brandt and Christi Granger presented the quilt to the City Commission. The residents organized a group of volunteers who made masks and surgical gowns for Emory Decatur Hospital.
Over 65 Avondale residents helped cut and sew the masks and donated fabric. Avondale residents made made 2,500 masks and over 150 surgical gowns. The group donated an additional 500 masks to nursing homes in the Avondale and Decatur areas, Decaturish previously reported.
Howe began making masks for frontline workers when there was a shortage of masks for healthcare workers in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Brandt, who is a volunteer at Emory Decatur Hospital, made the gowns and also coordinated the sewing effort in Avondale.
The quilt features a variety of rectangles that are the same fabric and about the same size as the masks the volunteers made. Granger designed the quilt and the group commissioned a quilter to do the quilting.
“A quilt is an artistic representation of a specific moment in time. It reflects our heritage and tells a story and our quilt does all of those,” Howe said. “It certainly reflects the moment of COVID-19, the long moment of COVID-19, the history of our ancestors who made quilts and taught us to make quilts, and the story of how one small community can make a difference.”
In total, Avondale residents made about 3,000 masks. The quilt is on display in the lobby of the hospital and will later be hung in a comfort room where overworked healthcare workers can find rest and respite, Howe said.
Another Avondale resident, Michael Wynne, who is a filmmaker, saw a request from Howe on Nextdoor asking for help with a slideshow to document the quilt. He helped document the process and made a short documentary about the quilt called “Finding a Pearl in a Pandemic.” It will be presented in film festivals and is available on demand, Howe said.
During the work session, the City Commission discussed the zoning code adoption schedule. The public hearing and first reading of the zoning code will be held on June 23 and the second reading would be held on July 14.
City staff will incorporate all the changes that were made at the previous City Commission meeting into the document and the document will be posted on the city’s website next week.
Some of those changes included discussion of public art and Commissioner Lisa Shortell appreciated that the addition to the code that the city manager will maintain a list of public art installations that are approved within the zoning code.
Commissioner Dee Merriam raised some concerns about the zoning code. Concerns have been raised during the process from the commissioners about planned unit developments.
“I still have some concerns about allowing PUDs in our R-12 and R-24 districts,” Merriam said. “I feel like they’re very well established and that the bar for putting together two acres is pretty low for a PUD and I would hate to see PUDs starting to happen within our current residential, established neighborhoods.”
The PUD provides the city with a safety net for those types of developments that staff can’t envision right now, City Manager Patrick Bryant said at the Feb. 24 City Commission meeting. He assured the board in February these would be a rare occurrence as concerned have been raised regarding PUDs.
PUD applications and projects would be subject to the approval of the City Commission.
Overall, the board was pleased with the zoning code rewrite and look forward to adopting the code in the coming weeks.
“Not only does it meet the goals and objectives of the downtown master plan but it’s economically feasible so that people who choose to develop in our downtown can and do so in a manner that is not as costly or time consuming as it may have been in the past while we get exactly what it was that we’ve asked for,” Fisher said.
— In other business, the groundbreaking for the town green project will be held on June 30 at 4:30 p.m.
The town green project includes the construction of a four-acre park and an interim solution that replaces the commercial development. The park will be located along Highway 278/ North Avondale Road between Oak and Lake Streets.
The original scope of the project included the mixed-use commercial development, but Bryant said at the Feb. 10 City Commission meeting that the commercial element is not feasible at this time. In its place, the developers will create an open-air green space that can be used as for things like food trucks or event platforms.
— Planning for the Fourth of July parade is moving forward. A group of volunteers is planning the event and will be sending out a Signup Genius link this week so that anyone who would like to participate in the parade can sign up, Mayor Jonathan Elmore said.
The group is encouraging everyone to participate and participants can decorate their car, truck, golf car or riding lawn mower, Elmore said.
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