Smyrna likely to hold off on day care issue
by Marcus E Howard
July 16, 2012 01:22 AM | 2209 views | 17 17 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SMYRNA — A proposed amendment to prohibit day care centers in residential areas of Smyrna is expected to be tabled indefinitely at tonight’s city council meeting.

For the past several years, Cheney Woods residents have opposed the expansion of Oxford Academy Inc., which is located in the neighborhood on Flagler Circle off Church Street. The business is run by former Councilman Jimmy Smith and his wife. But their neighbors’ hope for change in the city’s zoning ordinance looks to be fading.

“I know that it is on the agenda, but it’s my understanding that’s going to be tabled so that the council can discuss it more and look into the verbiage and study it more,” said Councilwoman Susan Wilkinson of the proposed amendment to R-15 zoning.

Residents of Flag Circle remain dumbfounded about the city’s refusal to budge on the ordinance, which they fear will raise traffic congestion and lower property values in the neighborhood of ranch homes. They’ve long suspected Smith and underhanded politics have been involved.

“We just feel that by slipping this day care center language in, it seems sneaky,” said Flagler Circle resident Bonnie Berry.

In 2006, Smyrna City Council members voted 5-0 to amend the city’s R-15 zoning to allow for “day nurseries and kindergartens.” Smith did not vote and has since left the council.

His attorney, Garvis Sams of Marietta, said that Smith and his wife, Cindy, have agreed not to further expand Oxford into the Flagler Circle property in question, not now or in the future. Instead, he said his clients plan to expand their business in their Church Street home next to Oxford.

“My clients’ reaction to the opposition has been to undertake the steps necessary to address and resolve the issues which have been raised and to keep the city informed of their efforts in that regard,” said Sams.

Present enrollment at Oxford totals 141 children, with at least 300 more on the waiting list, according to Sams.

Last Monday, the Smyrna Planning and Zoning Board did propose implementing a minor change to language in the R-15 zoning ordinance, concerning access to day care driveways. The council is scheduled to vote on that tonight.

But the move has done little to satisfy residents.

In spite of what they say has been a lack of response from city officials, the residents say they will continue to fight for the removal of day care centers from residential zoning in Smyrna’s ordinance.

“When you have these municipalities like Smyrna, and you’ve got these historic neighborhoods, commercial does encroach,” said Berry. “I think it takes really smart, savvy city planning to do it well. I think it can be done, but you can’t sit back and expect it to happen.”
Comments
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mk-cult city
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July 17, 2012
I am realizing, that what we are dealing w/ here in Smyrna, is a religious CULT, all connected by the government & the churches.

This is a very strange city w/ very strange people.

No-one seems to be concerned that there are no private businesses locating here,(yet they sign silly petitions in hopes that quality groceries won't notice the rundown conditions, empty storefronts and dishonest government & locate here anyway).

Many of these citizens seem to be in a trance while bowing down and singing praises to their unscrupulous , disengaged CULT -like city officials.

And while in this oblivious, hypnotic state, the citizens are being robbed blind of their tax money , SPLOST funding and any value of their homes & property.

They don't seem to understand the failure of a city whose largest developments in 15 years are a low income senior housing, a mega 24 hour Race Trac gas station, smoke shops & pawn shops/gold stores.

(most of what's been build is government owned & government run!!)

It is no doubt , bizarro, to say the least!!

Smyrna Oldie
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July 17, 2012
But we've got Max.
homeownernextdoor
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July 16, 2012
I am in Susan Wilkinson's ward but not in Cheney Woods. I support the Cheney Woods folks and I hope Susan Wilkinson will do likewise.
Cobb Watcher
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July 16, 2012
In Smyrna "tabling" means that it now will be "under the table".
Time for change
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July 16, 2012
I say lets take them on once and for all...the Mayor and his band of Merry Minions have gone to far this time. Lets take them to court and then replace the lot of them...each and every one. If a lawsuit is necessary then lets raise the dollars...dollar by dollar if necessary, to defeat these politicians. And, then, lets vote as many of them out of office as possible...We must vote against the mayor and our individual council member to bring about a true representative government in Smyrna. Lets do this.
wake up smyrna
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July 16, 2012
Smyrna citizens that were willing to stand in line to get a snack from a food truck,... NEED to be in line to speak at city council meetings every 1st and 3rd Monday (tonite) and DEMAND the city start thinking SMART, protecting our neighborhoods & house values, and start spending our tax money on things that will help Smyrna prosper and attractive to NEW businesses!!

As things stand now, only very few cronies profit from the SPLOST dollars spent on unnecessary & wasteful projects.
Betrayed
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July 16, 2012
Unless Susan Wilkinson is willing to stand up to Mayor Bacon and support her residents, US, she needs go....She didn't create this problem but if she stands with the Mayor she has become part of the problem. We don't need her excuses or "explanations". We're not stupid, we're her constituency. Unless this is resolved I say we start putting signs up that say "Wilkinson Must GO" If she is afraid to challenge the status quo or has simply been co-opted...then she needs to be replaced.
Betrayed?
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July 16, 2012
Why do think she was elected in the first place. Because she wouldn't be a threat to the status quo. She's doing her job. She will never stand up to him. He'll do to her what he did to Lnenicka.
Smyrna Resident
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July 16, 2012
I hope this shines a light on Smyrna and exposes its corruption. "Tabling" in Smyrna-speak is "ignore it and it will go away." To the Berrys - bird dog this city government. Make yourselves the mayor's worst nightmare.
dirty politics
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July 16, 2012
Jimmy Smith has been promised his day care business! He better get what he wants,.. or he might just spill the beans!
Bacon & Beans
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July 16, 2012
SPILL THE BEANS!
rjsnh
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July 16, 2012
Tabling this issue means that the Mayor and Council simply want it to go away....they plan to make no changes that might "hurt" their friends, despite the damage that could be done to neighborhoods because of the intrusion of daycare centers. By tabling the issue, they are buying time...not to "study" the issue, but to bury it until those the opposition gives up....Boss Hog and his go along council...business as usual...
Dysfunction Junction
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July 16, 2012
The Berrys will have to sue the city to get any change or cooperation. The city doesn't want to do anything to rile Smith because he could turn around and sue them. Let the lawsuits begin!
Professor A.
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July 16, 2012
Just a note - lawsuits are expensive and you need many players who support the funding. Unfortunately, many who complain are not also willing to write a check.

Smith has few grounds on which to sue, without exposing himself and the City to corruption charges. His goal/tactics has been to delay / raise extraneous issues / depend on his friends at the City / run out the clock.

Very few folks outside of Cheney Woods understand that this is a city-wide issue--not just one neighborhood. A new day care in R15 could open almost anywhere with NO public notice NO hearing No vote.
Smyrna Resident
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July 16, 2012
Prof. A. We get it. Smyrnans know it could affect them anywhere it's R15. But we need him backed so far against a stone wall that he exposes himself and the city to corruption charges. It's long overdue.
mk-knock knock
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July 16, 2012
..to Smyrna city council,.. no one there.

Knock -knock, to Smyrna citizens,.. also no one there.

Smyrna is nothing but a hodge podge of disconnected neighborhoods w/ close proximity to the interstates.

Livable cities are Norcross, Duluth, Suwanee, Decatur, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody-

...been to Smyrna lately?

South Cobb/Windy Hill -not ONE dime been spent since the '50's.

Concord Road- 10 million disappeared w/ NO IMPROVEMNTS!!

No resturants, no entertainment, no beauty, no tree canopy,no bike lanes, no single stream recycling, no public art, no architecture, no music venues, no art galleries, no natural parks w/ nature/wildlife protected areas, no buildings over 2 stories, no urban areas, no lofts, no place to be,(unless you're related to the good ole boy politically connected family tree),.. that's for sure.
Some Not Happy
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July 17, 2012
mk is some very bitter old lady/man that needs to move to Norcross, Duluth, Suwanee, Decatur, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody. Lord, I would hate to hate life as much as mk does. I never, ever read a good thing he/she has to say. Ever. mk needs to say tomorrow, "Thank you, Lord, for letting me wake up in the United States of America. I could very well have woken up amid the starvation in Ethophia or the fighting in Syria. Thank you, Lord, for letting me be in Smyrna, Georgia, USA, despite all the shortcomings I see in it. Lord, thank you for blessing me so much."
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