By Louis Mayeux

The holiday spirit keeps giving for Fire Station 21 on Roswell Road in Buckhead.

A $500 donation from the Pine Hills neighborhood increased the amount raised at a Nov. 10 pancake breakfast at the fire station to $3,500.25, Neighborhood Planning Unit B (NPU-B) Human Services committee chairwoman Kendall Craig reported Dec. 4 during a committee meeting before the NPU’s regular meeting.

NPU board member Sally Silver added that legislation sponsored by Seventh District Councilman Howard Shook will allow the station to receive the full amount, rather than it being split with other fire stations.

“We’ll be buying things they need off their wish list – handheld GPS and other stuff,” Silver said.

Silver also raised hope that a citywide firefighter foundation can be established to raise money to purchase needed equipment and provide maintenance. “This will help them get trucks they can count on starting up and GPS so they can find the fires,” she said.”

Legislation passed in 2002 allowed the creation of foundations for the Atlanta police and firefighters, she said. “There already is a police foundation – Chief (Richard) Pennington ran with it.” But the firefighter’s foundation was never formed, she said, expressing hope that new chief, Kelvin J. Cochran, will make the foundation a reality.

During the NPU regular meeting, $300 donations each to the city police and fire departments were approved from the NPU.

At the NPU meeting, a negative part of the holidays received attention when Peachtree Heights East representative Anthony Nievera said, “there’s been a rash of break-ins in our neighborhood.” “’Tis the season,” chairman Jeff Shell responded to Nievera’s report.

Most of the break-ins involved cars, Nievera said, although one home on Acorn Avenue was broken into when no one was at home. No Atlanta police representative was present when Nievera noted the break-ins.

In a separate report on crime statistics for Zone 2, Assistant District Attorney Bobby Wolf noted that “violent crime is very, very low, with larceny the greatest category. The numbers are really stable.” Wolf compared the zone’s arrest reports for the first three quarters of 2006 and 2007 and those for September ’06 and ’07.

During the human resources committee meeting, event coordinator John Saunders reported that the OysterFest will be moving to the East Andrews Cafe at East Andrews Drive and Cains Hill Place from the closed Steamhouse Lounge on Bolling Way.

Based on previous years, Saunders estimated the event Feb. 16-17 would draw 4,000-5,000 people the first day and 3,000-4,000 the second. “Whether we will come out as well as in the past is sketchy at best,” he said. The event features family activities, grilled oysters and live music.

“We’re trying to limit the impact on some of the businesses and the shopping center at 56 E. Andrews”, he said. In response to a question from Shell, he said parking spaces will be reserved for adjacent businesses, particularly Felicity Hair Salon. He also said that “letters have been sent to the townhomes across the street.” Because of typical cold weather, the event will end by 7 or 8 p.m. the first day and 6 p.m. the second, he said. The committee voted to approve the event.

At the regular NPU-B meeting, Jessica Lavandier of the city planning department reported that District 2 City Councilman Kwanza Hall is proposing legislation to regulate valet parking services that use public streets.

“Residents of established neighborhoods in which restaurants would like to offer valet services, but where off-street valet services may be difficult or impossible, have asked for our help in regulating where valet services can and cannot be offered, as well as in establishing some process and guidelines for permitting,” said a written summary by Jay Tribby, chief of staff to Hall.

“In some instances, restaurants and clubs in these neighborhoods have been setting up their own valet services in the public right of way without considering the implications for residents or for others in the right of way.”

The proposal would set an annual permit fee of $60 per linear foot of curbside space designated for valet parking service drop-off and pickup zones. There would be a fee of $350 for signs used by valet services. No permits or sign fees would be required for valet services conducted on private property.

The zoning committee, chaired by Nievera, deferred action on a proposal by Kennedy Capital Group to rezone the Moe’s property at 5 Peachtree Ave. in Garden Hills from RG2 (general residential) to C-3 (commercial residential) for the construction of a hotel.

Kennedy Capital also seeks a special use permit for the hotel.

Nievera said Kennedy requested a delay for the proposal and that the zoning committee would likely consider it in February. The City Council is to consider it in March, he said.