Type to search

East Lake Neighborhood Community Association supports special use permit for Turning Sun School

Kirkwood and East Lake Trending

East Lake Neighborhood Community Association supports special use permit for Turning Sun School

East Lake mural. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Atlanta, GA — The East Lake Neighborhood Community Association met via Zoom on Monday, Feb. 13, and members voted in support of a special use permit for Turning Sun School. 

Back in November, the ELNCA asked to delay the renewal of a special use permit (SUP) for Turning Sun School at East Lake United Methodist Church (ELUMC).

Since then, Turning Sun has held community input meetings to further discuss issues brought up by East Lake residents and ELUMC neighbors. Jordan Edwards joined this month’s ELNCA meeting to talk about some of the progress Turning Sun has made to address community concerns since the fall.

He highlighted five main concerns: trash, noise, events, fencing, and parking.

“For trash, we are committing to getting a commercial dumpster to use instead. We got some concerns about noise, and although you can’t eliminate noise from a playground, we can take certain steps to minimize it as much as we can, so we’ll have no music, no noisemakers – pots, pans, drums,” Edwards said. “Another area of concern we’ve heard from our neighbors is that when the school does have events, they’d like to know when those are. So, we’ll take steps to make sure that notice is provided. We’ve had an ongoing conversation about the fence on the northern side of the property. The big highlight here is we’re going to install a vinyl-covered chain-link fence on our side of their fence. There are some challenges to this site from a parking standpoint…there’s no on-site parking provided, and there’s nowhere to put it… There has never been a firm parking policy up until this point, but we’re changing that.”

Here’s what Turning Sun is proposing for parking changes:

— Staff parking relocated off-site

— Family parking relocated to Hosea lot, overflow to park parallel on 5th as needed

— No parking on the east side of 5th Avenue, south of Fayetteville Road and the west side of 5th Avenue between East Lake United Methodist Church’s property line and Northern street

— Signage to indicate parking, no parking areas

— Parking policies added to Employee Handbook, Family Handbook

— Supporting speed tables and space striping on 5th Avenue

Several ELNCA members spoke up with follow-up questions, concerns, or to express support for Turning Sun.

Fynn Glover was one of a couple of parents to a preschooler currently enrolled at Turning Sun who joined the meeting to add their thoughts on the school and its impact on the East Lake neighborhood.

“When I think about Turning Sun, I think about it as amongst the very, very best parts of this neighborhood, and I want to qualify why,” Glover said. “The first is, this is an early education environment, and it has a profound impact on the kids. The second reason is childcare for parents. We have a childcare shortage in this country that is profound, and this is a neighborhood with a lot of working parents. So, to remove childcare would make this neighborhood a less desirable place, especially for young families. The third reason is community building. Preschools bring families together. They create a sense of community and create a neighborhood. Turning Sun does that beautifully. The fourth is economic development. Preschools provide job opportunities for teachers, support staff, and help stimulate the local economy and the neighborhood economy.”

After back-and-forth discussion, ELNCA recommended the renewal of the SUP.

In other ELNCA business:

— The ELNCA voted to support a variance request for 2386 Alston Drive, which allows for a carriage house in the backyard of the unit. No trees will be removed in the process.

Camille and Richard Shirah are renovating the property, about three houses down from Second Avenue in East Lake, and joined the meeting to present their project.

The standard in the city of Atlanta is that a carriage house cannot be more than 30 percent of the unit’s square footage. The Shirahs variance request asks to accommodate a carriage house that will be about 39 percent of the unit’s square footage.

In addition to the ELNCA’s approval, they’ve received written approval from each adjacent neighbor on the proposed renovations.

“We are doing this because we need storage…for our lawn mower, bicycles, freezer, pool equipment, gardening equipment,” Richard said. “We just want extra space rather than trying to cram it into a standard two-car garage.”

Their hope is that the house is ready to move into in April.

ELNCA member Lisa Walker added, “As someone who lives in East Lake, thank you for fixing that house up. That house had huge potential, and I can’t wait to see what it looks like. And hopefully, we can get it on the Tour of Homes soon.”

If you appreciate our work on this story, please become a paying supporter. For as little as $6 a month, you can help us keep you in the loop about your community. To become a supporter, click here

Want Decaturish delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here

Decaturish is now on Mastadon. To follow us, visit: https://newsie.social/@Decaturish/.

Decaturish is now on Post. To follow us, visit: https://post.news/decaturish.

Decaturish is now on Flipboard. To follow us, visit: https://flipboard.com/@Decaturish