Doraville and ‘townhouse style’ condo project caught up in scandal!


The picture is a 2004 water color presentation of a townhouse project presented to neighborhood groups. The development was described as a group of high quality $335,000 fee simple brick townhouses facing Chestnut road. The background shows water and the stream that forms the border of the property. Old growth forest and new specimen trees.
The Townhouses were to be built close to Chestnut to keep them out of the water, flood plain, and for environmental reasons. The slope was another major factor claimed.

The Plans didn’t match the water color, what was built didn’t match what was approved, and the land didn’t match the drawing.

The developers had a local neighborhood group and the mayor of the city convinced that the 8 to 10 town houses built close to the road would be a positive for the neighborhood. The rest of the neighborhood was not convinced, for good reasons, as we shall see. The Townhouse project presented and what was built- well- This is the story of Doraville Georgia. The greed and ignorance of its politicians, the desperation of the neighborhoods to do better, and the sad results – a town that has everything going for it – of being duped.

The story will take you through a brief history of the 7 acre lot, the area and neighborhoods. Pictures, maps, zoning changes and minutes of meetings to document this project. The topic is sensitive and controversial in the city. Recent events may end up in court- both civil and perhaps criminal. Whatever the outcome, the old adage is true.
often the cover up is worse than the lie.
The 1991- 2004 zoning map from the rezoning period 2005 shows the chestnut place condo area was zoned R-1 prior to the 7 acres being rezoned to R-SFA with conditions in 2005.
The 2006 offical Doraville zoning map copy shows the chestnut place project to be be rezoned to R-SFA single family detatched). The 2005 rezoning indicated the project presented by: the builder, Lee Walton of The planning firm of Roberts co.( did review for City of Doraville), Dekalb county, and the City of Doraville the R-SFA rezoning was for fee simple townhouses facing chestnut like the water color.
Zoning Adopt Official Street_index_Map_05-12-10_exist_nogridlines
This 2010 copy of the official Doraville Zoning map Shows the property zoned R-4c. Residential- condominiums with conditions. The site was rezoned in 2009 to match what was built. Condos, not fee simple townhouses, were built. A set of conditions were added to correct a mess created by a bankrupt development that seemed to follow none of the original plans.

Copy of the rezoning conditions r-4c conditional, minutes, list of conditions, r-4 zoning:
Agenda 5-24-2010 MCC

Minutes 05-24-10

RZ – Chestnut Place Condos


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Logan goes to the rainbow bridge

IMG_0048read to rover friends
Read to rover friends

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

Author unknown…

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That thing got a Hemi? New Doraville City manager totals his new city car!!

The new Doraville

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Doraville is a city of ethics?? Doraville suspends all ethics complaints!!

The Doraville City Council in 2007 passed an Ethics Code for its Mayor and council. A Large plaque was placed in a prominent place in the city hall’s wood paneled foyer. City stationary to business cards all proclaimed the city was now ethical. Madonna ‘Just like a virgin’ or A quick dip in the river Jordan and all is forgiven. The crooks were born again. The speed trap eyesore at 285 and Buford highway was born again. No more hookups, cheating, lying, money payoffs, zoning deals, jails in the city park, campaign tit for tat, etc.

Ethical Doraville is an bit of a oxymoron. Photo-ops and pretension. It was not going to be too long before this Mayor and council fell off the wagon. The burden of behaving in an ethical manner got to be too much for this ex mall guard Mayor and her council cronies to bear. Reporting monies and following the law was just too troublesome. Besides, a rumor of ethics violations being filed against the Mayor and her BFF on council was the last straw. Things had to change. This was an emergency and something had to be done to keep their phoney baloney jobs.

The panic started when I asked for copies of ethics complaint forms from the clerk’s office. Four inquires netted no forms. After the fifth inquiry, a member of Doraville’s law firm: Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe (major campaign contributor to the mayor and her cronies) was put on the phone. I was informed by the attorney that there were no ethics complaint forms and I would have to follow the law and make up my own. No form??? I looked through old files and found not one but 10 Official ethics complaint forms. At the next meeting, the council voted to call a moratorium on filing any new ethics complaints while they changed the law.

They refused to appoint a full ethics panel of three people. The panel was down to one lone appointee ( a friend and neighbor of the mall guard mayor ). They added one member only after voting to put a moratorium on complaints. When a third name was offered, the mayor was the deciding vote -NO. No ethics panel to turn in the forms and a moratorium. New ethics laws are being passed to block ethics charges being filed against those voting on the ethics laws, making it all but impossible to file an ethics charge.
For Example:
1. The limitation on filing is a year after the basis for the charge occurs. It takes two years to get the city to turn over an open records request, if ever, to file the complaint. If they can lay low for a year after robbing the bank, they are safe. The Attorney General, when asked whether the statute of limitations on a crime is 6mos or a year, replied there is no statute of limitations on a crime. Doraville thinks so!!!
2. If their lawyer turns down the ethics complaint as being ‘inadequate’ ( remember their law firm donated a hunk of cash to get the bums elected) you can’t file again on another charge for another 6 months, if ever.
3. Complaints can’t be filed if they might run for office or they are running for office or in office.
4. The people hearing the complaint are hired ( hearing officer) or are put on this shell game panel plan by the very people the complaints are being filed against. HMMMMM!!
Sometimes an attempt to cover up a possible scandal ignites a bigger scandal when the cover up fails. If ethics charges are quashed in Doraville’s clumsy attempt to put the lid on the problems, the court of public opinion will hear the cases. Attorney General, newspapers, tv, media, internet. The crimes are not going away..

Perhaps a new plaque for city hall and its stationary : Doravile, City of No Ethics. Corruption and mismanagement in local and national government has reached epidemic proportions. Dekalb County’s CEO , Burril Ellis, ( campaign contributor and friend of the mall guard mayor of Doraville) has been indicted, staff members of the county indicted and jailed- all well documented. Sunshine laws and open government in Doraville are only words used by crooked politicians to give the uninformed residents a sense that their city is being run by honest people. The latest in Doraville scandal is only the tip of the iceberg.

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Chamblee slum area to move to Doraville! Thanks Mayor, council, and the village idiots in the development department!!




DSC_6940_0002The Buford highway flea market in Chamblee is closing for area redevelopment and possibly moving everything to the former Kmart site in Doraville. See enclosed documents.
Flea markets in the metro Atlanta got their start, in the current form, during the eighties. Chamblee, Memorial drive in Dekalb, and Forest Park were experiencing a large influx of immigrants. First Vietnamese (following the war), followed by a area overwhelming mexican and south american hispanic groups, Indian and Pakastani, and Korean-Chinese business influx . Federal and state politicians saddled the cities along buford highway such as Chamblee, Doraville, Norcross, south gwinnett and other small towns like clarkston with this burden. The banks red lined everything south of Peachtree Industrial and the Dekalb School system did likewise. A instant Government created slum area. Created by the Federal and Georgia state governments-then isolated by the same Governments. Like the post Civil war south- the carpetbaggers, scalawags, slumlords and smarmy government profiteer types were there to pray on the poor, the long term residents, and the legal and illegal immigrants alike.

Chamblee international village disaster

Buford highway, sr13, ran through the heart of a thriving commercial area in Chamblee and Doraville during the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and mid eighties. Located between Chamblee Tucker Road and Chamblee Dunwoody Rood on Buford highway near the pdk airport, the Irs and CDC – a small shopping center. The anchor store for this center was a discount chain store called Zayre. Grouped on the same property was a Trust company Bank, a large KFC restaurant, and number of smaller businesses in well kept buildings. Nearby streets were populated by equally well kept sixties garden style apartments. Then came the immigrant explosion and with the wave came the predators with local scalawags and sleezy politicians only too happy line their pockets.
The Zayre store closed and was reopened by a US politician by the name of Pat Swindell. The new business was called the Buford highway flea market. The store was divided into hundreds of small stalls selling every thing from lingerie ( modeled by young enterprising ladies and their agents) knives, guns, hair cuts, and everything in between.The store became the epicenter for immigrant traffic- legal and illegal. Crime in the area sky rocketed and Chamblee Mayor, Chamblee police sat by and did nothing. The KFC next store went out of business. The Colonel’s restaurant became a bus station for bus traffic from Texas, Mexico, and south America. The Trust Company bank closed, Jumper Chevrolet closed ( later bought and moved to Peachtree industrial as Jim Ellis Chevrolet), the Toyota dealership did the same. Scores of businesses large and small followed as the crime escalated, day labor populated the street corners, trash littered the streets, drugs, gangs all were sucked in the eye of the storm. The center of the storm was the Buford highway flea market.
Chamblee wants to clear out the whole area. Clear out the decades old problem they created. Where is the problem going to move?
2 miles North on Buford Hway, SR13, to the empty Kmart in Doraville.( Sears/Kmart wanted to demo the building but the mayor and her staff wanted the building tax money) Like Chamblee in the eighties, the Mayor and her council are inviting any business- no matter how problematic- as long as they think they are going to get something out of it. The Doraville government Scalawag’s turn to line their pockets at the expense of the citizens and businesses of Doraville. More latter…… see the following documents.

mercado plaza layout

Mercado plaza rental offer

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The town that can’t shoot straight starts a DDA – Well sort of!! Part 1.

Doraville, the quaint little burg known for its blue lights, k-9s, cops, and bad decisions is at it again. They started a Downtown Development Authority. Nothing new here, a lot of little and big towns and cities have done so to help a town center on the ropes. Doraville certainly qualifies as on the ropes if not DOA. All of the rigor mortus, it seems, was self inflicted by the bad decisions of the ex mall guard Mayor and her council buddies. So whats so unusual about Doraville’s DDA? Funny that you would ask- we are talking about the city made famous on Tv and radio stations as the police state of Doraville, telephone poles in the middle of sidewalk projects to nowhere, 1 million dollar one acre parks full of water, and $750,000 construction drawings that should have cost $2,000 to name a few. No worries here- what could go wrong?
The following is the State of Georgia statue concerning DDAs ( downtown devlopment authority) OCGA 36-42-1 to 16. Pretty simple, even an idiot could follow the setup directions. I am sure its author didn’t take in account the city of Doraville when the law was penned. They needed a 2nd grade primer with pictures and lot of color to go with law. Sort of like see Dick and Jane set up a DDA, or DDA for Dummies. All those words without a fuzzy little bear pointing out the important parts can be confusing to the ex mall guard mayor and some of her high school educated council members. Even the city’s law firm of Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe didn’t think, after giving all those thousands of dollars in campaign donations to the mayor and the vice mayor, that they would have to work so hard.
We will look at the startup resolution and appointment of the seven members of the DDA. Even this bunch can count to 7 without taking off their shoes. (I think, not sure). What does the law say and what did the brain trust do, you might ask. Great, shall we start.
1. all of the seven directors must be appointed by the council. AH! that is just too much to ask these nitwits to carry out. The new City manager ( more later on this genius hired by the nitwits ) and the Ex mall guard Mayor’s chain smoking assistant delivered 7 political ‘buddies’ for a quick up or down vote ( non of the seven were present at the meeting). Question, what happened to the 6 council members each presenting their own choices for approval in a open meeting instead of the back room deal? What happened to the concept of open government? Sorry, Police state of Doraville, almost forgot . The council, save for one lone vote ( a bright educated young woman that doesn’t appear to be from these parts), seemed to have missed the letter and spirit of the law. Doraville don’t truck with them smarty pants open government types. They like to keep in the family.
2. OHoh! this is getting complicated. All seven directors appointed by the council must live in the county ( Dekalb) or the city except one. Oh no. Just one? Yes just one. Doraville appointed two- one that lives in Duluth and the other lives in high dollar Buckhead- Atlanta. Gee Wiz is two more than one mr Bear. Sure is Timmy. The council and the ex mall guard mayor can’t count. Got to do it over Timmy! problem number two. More problems? yes, there is more.
3.My head is starting to hurt. Four,or their representative, of the seven directors must have a financial interest ( business or ownership ) in the dda area. REALLY???? The council didn’t see that part. Mr fuzzy bear you didn’t tell the council and the attorneys. Bad little bear. The Brain trust only appointed two of the seven that met that requirement and both of those live outside the area. Oh no Mr bear.
4. I am exhausted!! One director of the seven may be a council person appointed to keep an eye on things. They didn’t appoint anyone from the council, of course, just one more political buddy from the neighborhood. Go figure. Only one person is to be paid and that of course will be some bumbling political hack from Doraville city government. Where screwing up will get you a promotion and excellence is a fineable offense.
The following is the law if you care to verify the story. The court minutes from the city council meeting will be available next month.
Note: all of this sleaze must be approved by the Governor and his DCA department. Hmmmm. Next stop for doravilleonlinenews.
THE OCGA 35-42-1-4 LAW
There is created in and for each municipal corporation in this state a public body corporate and politic to be known as the downtown development authority of such municipal corporation, which shall consist of a board of seven directors. The governing body of the municipal corporation shall appoint two members of the first board of directors for a term of two years each, two for a term of four years each, and three for a term of six years each. The governing body of the municipal corporation may appoint one of its elected members as a member of the downtown development authority. After expiration of the initial terms, except for the director who is also a member of the governing body of the municipal corporation, the terms of all directors shall be six years; provided, however, that the terms shall be four years for those directors appointed or reappointed on or after July 1, 1994. The term of a director who is also a member of the governing body of a municipal corporation shall end when such director is no longer a member of the governing body of the municipal corporation. If at the end of any term of office of any director a successor to such director has not been elected, the director whose term of office has expired shall continue to hold office until a successor is elected. A majority of the board of directors shall constitute a quorum.
? 36-42-7. Qualifications and reimbursement of directors; election of officers; training

(a) Directors shall be:

(1) Taxpayers residing in the municipal corporation for which the authority is created;

(2) Owners or operators of businesses located within the downtown development area and who shall be taxpayers residing in the county in which is located the municipal corporation for which the authority is created; or

(3) Persons having a combination of the qualifications specified in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection;

provided, however, that one of such directors may be a member of the governing body of the municipal corporation.
There is created in and for each municipal corporation in this state a public body corporate and politic to be known as the downtown development authority of such municipal corporation, which shall consist of a board of seven directors. The governing body of the municipal corporation shall appoint two members of the first board of directors for a term of two years each, two for a term of four years each, and three for a term of six years each. The governing body of the municipal corporation may appoint one of its elected members as a member of the downtown development authority. After expiration of the initial terms, except for the director who is also a member of the governing body of the municipal corporation, the terms of all directors shall be six years; provided, however, that the terms shall be four years for those directors appointed or reappointed on or after July 1, 1994. The term of a director who is also a member of the governing body of a municipal corporation shall end when such director is no longer a member of the governing body of the municipal corporation. If at the end of any term of office of any director a successor to such director has not been elected, the director whose term of office has expired shall continue to hold office until a successor is elected. A majority of the board of directors shall constitute a quorum.
(b) Not less than four of the directors having the qualifications specified in subsection (a) of this Code section shall be persons who, in the judgment of the governing body of the municipal corporation, either have or represent a party who has an economic interest in the redevelopment and revitalization of the downtown development area. Successors to the directors shall be appointed by the governing body of the municipal corporation.

(c) The directors shall elect one of their members as chairman and another as vice chairman and shall also elect a secretary and a treasurer or a secretary-treasurer, either of whom may but need not be a director. The directors shall receive no compensation for their services but shall be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred by them in the performance of their duties. Each authority shall have perpetual existence.

(c.1) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this Code section, one director appointed to the board may reside outside the county; provided, however, that such appointed director owns a business within the downtown development area and is a resident of the State of Georgia. If subsequently to his or her appointment to the board pursuant to this subsection, the director ceases to own a business within the downtown development area or reside in the State of Georgia, such director shall relinquish his or her seat on the board.

(d) Except for a director who is also a member of the governing body of a municipal corporation, each director shall attend and complete at least eight hours of training on downtown development and redevelopment programs within the first 12 months of a director’s appointment to the downtown development authority. Directors in office on January 1, 1992, shall be exempt from this requirement unless reappointed for an additional term.

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Sidewalk to nowhere redux

Notes: I made while watching a train wreck.
Doraville, sweet Doraville. Just when you think it can’t get any dumber, more bizarre, more brain dead, more corrupt –well more Doraville. If you are a resident or should I say prisoner of this fair community you have to attend Doraville council meetings – just self preservation. They might have condemned your house while you were on vacation, voted to put a poop factory in next to you or decided to drain the lake, clear cut the Forrest to hook up a buddy or build little plastic covered recycled huts/houses ( come to think of it – they have done all of it). Where do I start, I don’t want to be unkind, after all it is not polite or politically correct, for that matter, to make fun of the mentally challenged, fat people ( gravity challenged), or attorneys ( ethically confused).

The meeting started with the usual- pledge allegiance to the flag ( The ex mall guard Mayor was a pta member- she likes the flag and cookie part ) , approve the minutes, and the usual government filler. Next up, public comments. Ah, the grand old tradition of standing on your soap box and having your say in the town square. Norman Rockwell, a three cornered hat, and all that’s holy under the constitution of the good old USA. But not so fast there Bonky, Doraville has rules. You can’t go willy nilly speaking your mind or complaining about whats wrong or illegal by the council or the employee brain trust. Doraville don’t truck with that kind of attitude. We rednecks have some rules writ down here. We don’t cotton to complaints about our employees a drinkin’, a smokin’ (that’s herbage or store bought), a gettin’ naked in the cop cars with others wives, or clerks table dancin’ at charity functions. We have rules. We ain’t havin’ it!
note: the room was about 85 degrees because they had the heat turned on- the local know it all, the IT guy, city manager thought it was some kind of electrical device situation. After the meeting the local electrician walked in and flipped it over to AC. You know these devises are complex.
The rules for your three minutes at the podium are the following: You may only speak about items on the agenda. You can only guess about the content as you are not allowed any maps, details , descriptions, or pictures- in other words you have to be clairvoyant and allow for a certain amount of windage. You are not allowed a comment during the real discussion later. You can’t ask questions unless of course you voted for the mayor or her four council buddies – then you can babble on for 15 -20 minutes.
More to come on sidewalk Redux

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Pull a Part national headquarters in now in Doraville- Officially- Finally- We think!!

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Doraville Mayor cuts the Ribbon for Chamblee Business ??

The Mayor of Doraville Georgia cut the Ribbon for the grand opening of the new Solar charging station at Jim Ellis Chevrolet located in Chamblee, Georgia. Jim Ellis Chevrolet is leading the way in marketing, customer service, new car sales and now Electric car Sales. Innovation is a hallmark of the Jim Ellis Group and its new solar powered recharging station for electric cars is another example of that creativity. Porsche, Audi,Chevrolet, Buick/GMC, Volkswagen, Mazda, Maserati, Saab, Volvo, Hyundai brands are represented by this Chamblee based family owned business.
Ironically, Mayor Donna Pittman of Doraville, voted to get rid of the Jim Ellis Porsche Dealer ( the only Ellis owned dealership in doraville-the rest of the dealerships are based in Chamblee) . She voted to make the Lexus dealer( she leases a new Lexus since her election to mayor from her major campaign contributor- Hennessy Lexus) the minimum size for a new car dealer in Doraville. She also voted to change the zoning from c-2 highway commercial to m-1 light industrial. The minimum required size of 6 acres and 620 feet of road frontage are the exact dimensions of the Henessy Lexus dealer who gave thousands of dollars of campaign money to Ms Pittman. The 4.2 acre and limited frontage Ellis Porsche dealer is made nonconforming by Ms Pittman’s vote. This wasn’t by accident.
The former Mall guard, Ms Pittman, also voted against annexing the area where the Ellis group is located, she didn’t want all those car dealerships in the city. This opened the door to Chamblee to annex this area, the tax base, and the other half of the Ex GM plant property. She cancelled the annual Doraville car show sponsored by Ellis Chevy and Porsche. She also took away the children’s soap box derby car sponsored by Ellis and the Doraville Police three weeks before the event. (The kids quickly built another car and went to the national championship).
No wonder she was hiding behind the sun glasses. ( for the photo- note: she is the only one wearing sun glasses) Perhaps she can cut the Ribbon for all the businesses she is responsible for in the City of Doraville instead of traveling to another city like Chamblee.
The following, to name a few, need Ribbon cutting photo opps in the city of Doraville:
The illegal poop transfer station she approved of on another campaign donors property- it had to be shut down by the police and the health department when it exploded covering the children’s driving school parking lot, the neighboring creek and the inside of neighboring office building with raw human sewage.. See WSB TV.
The illegal lingerie wholesaler on another political buddy deal- which had to be shut down.
The 7 or eight massage parlors with a happy endings she voted on to open during a zoning moratorium.
A monster wholesale building in the middle of a retail area with all kind of building code problems. Building and business permits illegal.
The Tar Paper shack Mosque ( tar paper addition, 4 or five houses with their yards paved over with asphalt in the middle of a r-1 neighborhood) with raw sewage running on neighbors property ( one septic tank serving 4 buildings serving hundreds of people, Perhaps that could be a special ribbon cutting for looking the other way in exchange for votes in a election.
More to come…
The motel she approved of in a house in the middle of a national historic neighborhood zoned r-1. They just love the transient no tell motel.

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Run Ronnie Run

Driving through the quaint burg of Doraville today taking in the sights and smells of… holy crap what happened here. The town was laid like any other little quiet place to live. Town center, intown schools, walkable shopping ( with actual retail stores) all arranged within a 1 mile radius. What happened? There must be a reason for this rolling architectural disaster. The little town 20 years ago seemed to have a future. The new Nail Mall behemoth wholesale warehouse at Oakmont and Buford highway told me that this dimwit behavior is not a result of past sins but the future plan of the local politicians. What are and were these people thinking. Drugs, Alcoholism- Tower liquor store), perhaps a Love Canal generated mental disorder brought on by a secret tank farm leak, fumes from 285??? The landscape is strewn with errors in judgement.
Arriving home with the pink hulk of the new Nall supply warehouse in my head – I found the answer leaning against my front door. A DVD, a movie left by one of my neighbors. The dvd was picked up at a local treasure store – he knew just who needed this piece of Doraville history. The movie, dated 2009 was about Doraville. The New line Cinema production featured the Doraville Police, Doraville City Hall and the Doraville movers and shakers in the know. The sound track is by the Atlanta Rhythn Section with many of the sounds from tracks laid down in Doraville. Yes, the movie will give you unique insight into the lives of perhaps the Mayor of the City of Doraville. The formative years of Donna Pittman, the mall guard mayor – the dating years-. Why she gets along so well with her assistant ( who does all the work for her as she is semi illiterate it seems)- a chain smoking country bumpkin from elberton, Georgia. Perhaps, her self promoting assitant is the model for the Ronnie character in the movie or maybe its based on a ex husband or two.. The movie’s Ronnie character is chased and arrested by the Doraville police forming the basis for a reality TV series .
The movie title is “Run Ronnie Run”. I have requested additional copies for the Doraville Library. The movie can be kept with the rest of the Doraville treasures- the yearly LCI update ( or how to have HUD design your town for you -using “free money” borrowed from China), The book “How to squander the best location in Georgia”, and a collection of Donna Pittman’s coloring books ( helps to calm her nerves at work) & 1st grade ‘big’ pencils ( the big ones- so she can naw on them while she colors, texts, and practices her cursive alphabet skills ).
Come to think of it, “Ronnie’s” three time wife has three kids in a rental trailer. Donna drives a rental car, lives in a rental house- Hmmmm..
More to come….

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