Project Phoenix Update- Vote Passes

Project Phoenix Update

Vote Passes at Special Business Meeting
At the Special Business Meeting of the congregation on Sunday, February 25, 2018, the vote to authorize the UUCA Board to sign the Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) for the Still Waters property at 2650 N. Druid Hills Road passed by a ninety-three percent vote: out of 248 votes cast, there were 231 “Yes,” 9 “No,” and 8 “Abstain.”  The vote easily surpassed the required threshold that had been established by the initial vote to suspend the rules to require a positive vote equaling or exceeding seventy-five of the votes cast. Prior to the vote, several presentations were made:

  • Lee Cook, member of the Project Phoenix (PP) Design Team, compared the relative sizes, parking spaces, and sanctuary space of 1911 Cliff Valley Way and the 2650 N. Druid Hills Road property currently and with projected changes.
  •  Jay Hughes, member of the PP Negotiating Team, explained the process and requirements of the Special Land Use Permit (SLUP) that will be needed.
  • Bill Kramer, UUCA Finance Trustee, presented the terms of the deal, information on the proceeds of the sale of 1911 Cliff Valley Way, and estimated costs of purchasce and renovation of the 2650 N. Druid Hills Road property.
  • Carol Ann Arvan, UUCA president-elect, compared the ways in which the Still Waters property helped to address deficiencies of the 1911 Cliff Valley Way property identified in the Facilities Study Team Report that negatively affect achievement of our Mission and Ends. She also explained what at “No” vote and a “Yes” would mean and what the due diligence process would entail.

The motion to authorize the UUCA Board to purchase the 2650 N. Druid Hills property was made by Christian Harden, UUCA Board member, on behalf of the Board. Following discussion (limited to sixty minutes by a prior vote) that illuminated congregants’ reasons for voting “No” or “Yes” and provision of clarifying information in response to procedural questions, the question was called (motion carried), and the vote was taken by submission of paper voting cards.  The Nominating Committee served as tellers, and UUCA President Erin Stanfill, who presided over the meeting, reported the vote.    

Community Meeting
On February 22, 2018, the Community Meeting required by the SLUP process was held in the UUCA Sanctuary, attended by 29 people (approximately 13 of whom were non-UUCA). The meeting was chaired by Michele Battle, UUCA attorney, whose presentation addressed concerns of homeowners in the areas adjacent to the Still Waters property in regard to placement of the UUCA sign, use of High Haven Court for exit from the 2650 N. Druid Hills property, the playgrounds, and street parking. Major issues for the homeowners, as identified by Alan Pinsker, speaking for the North Druid Hills Residents Association, are related to visual effects, noise impact, and traffic. Mr. Pinskershared with those present that the preference of homeowners for use of the 2650 N. Druid Hills Road is to keep the property as a house of worship.

Next Steps
The Project Phoenix team will continue to look for and consider other possible properties, in addition to exploring leasing options, until the Still Waters property closes. The ninety-day due diligence period on the property began on February 26, 2018, with the signing of the Purchase and Sale Agreement. The SLUP process continues with the filing of the SLUP applicationprior to the March 1, 2018, deadline. Other key meetings and dates in the SLUP process are the following:

• District 2 Community Council Meeting, April 10, 2018, 6:30 pm, Toco Hills-Avis G. Williams Library, 1282 McConnell Drive, Decatur 
• DeKalb County Planning Commission Meeting, May 1, 2018, 6:30 pm, Manuel Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur
• DeKalb County Board of Commissioners Hearing, May 22, 2018, 6:30 pm, Manuel Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur.