By John Schaffner

After a year of negotiations, the Cathedral of Christ the King in Buckhead and the Peachtree Heights East Neighborhood Association have a signed, legally binding agreement that addresses the church’s need for growth and PHENA’s need to preserve the neighborhood.

The agreement, dated July 22, was signed by Father Frank McNamee, pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, and Sue Roberts, president of PHENA.

It supplements and adds detail to the conditions already included in the Special Use Permit issued by the city last year for its current expansion project.

The letter sets forth a summary of the 20-year agreement, which states in part that the cathedral will not expand its campus beyond its current boundaries for purposes other than single-family use.

It also states the playground (called the Courtyard Park), which is currently under construction, will have security lighting and an unimposing fence and the letter outlines hours of use and the number of persons allowed on certain days of the week and period during the year. The cathedral is allowed to obtain exemptions from those rules no more than five times a year and with 30 days written notice to PHENA.

According to the letter, benches, statuary, fountains, Astroturf, paths, retaining walls and decorative walls are permitted in the park. Alcohol (unless during a cathedral or school sponsored event), cooking, permanent picnic tables, playground equipment, loudspeakers and league or intramural play is not permitted in the playground.

No enclosed buildings can be built on the playground until 2020.

It has taken a year to get the signed agreement between PHENA and the Cathedral. At one point, Dist. 7 Atlanta City Council member Howard Shook got involved in an effort to bring it to resolution.