When: Monday, September 20th, 2010
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: Deer Park Baptist Church Fellowship Hall

The Voice of the United Estates of Deer Park
Official Publication of the Deer Park Neighborhood Council
Vol. 16; No. 65 July 2010

By Julia Long

Here’s a basic principle of business and human psychology: if there is no physical barrier between a business’s activity and its buffer, the buffer will come to be used for business activity.

First the bad news: Monday night, the Planning Commission accepted a changed buffer/fence ordinance for our area. It dramatically changes the fence-and-buffer ordinance that Bobby Jameson worked so hard in past years to get for us. Yes, I'm talking about Bobby's ordinance that has until now made our area the envy of many others in the city, residents of other districts who have told me that noise and vehicle lights from nearby business have destroyed their home property values and made their lives a misery. Bobby told me that he had not heard or seen the new ordinance until the day after the Commission meeting.

The pictures below show what was legal before Bobby’s brilliant fence-and-buffer law. The picture on your left shows a car-wash business with its little buffer unprotected inside its fence. Passengers routinely stand there, shouting to be heard over the noisy equipment while the driver washes the car in the concrete area. The picture on your right shows the next door Deer Park house. It’s too late for this situation; the house had to be abandoned for residential uses as the noise at all hours of the days and nights was unbearable:


Bobby’s law required a wider buffer – 25 feet - to keep the business activities further away from the property line, but anyone could have thought of that. No, the brilliance of his idea was in his determined insistence that a solid privacy fence go, not near the property line, but on the line between the buffer and the business activity. (The term "business activity" of course includes customer activity and parking.) He fought for that and never gave up until it became a reality. Bobby’s plan is also the cheapest way for the business: no fancy plantings on the business side to be constantly maintained, plantings on the residential side later permitted to grow up naturally into a woods-type separation similar to those used so beautifully for hundreds of years in England, and the lowest-possible maintenance on the fence because it becomes hidden from residents behind the vegetation.

The ordinance just passed by the Planning Commission removes all barriers between business activities and the buffer, putting us back almost where we were before. The new ordinance keeps the wider buffer, but moves the fence back, leaving the buffer exposed to intrusion. In anticipation of this new ordinance, another Deer Park business, recently established, refused to move its fence between its activities/customers/parking and the buffer. Sure enough, just as was to be expected, many of the buffer plantings have already been graveled over, and yesterday at least one car was parking within two feet of the residential property next door.

Now the good news: When the City heard that we had not known about the new ordinance affecting our own University Boulevard Overlay, the Planning Department promptly and sensibly offered to ask the Planning Commission to re-hear the case at its next meeting on Monday, August 9. We will have our chance to present our case then.

OUR CASE IS SIMPLE: Because of the tendency for business activity to intrude into unprotected buffers, the Ordinance must require a physical barrier between each business's activities and its 25-foot-wide buffer.

Your DPNC Board will be at that August meeting to present our case. WE INVITE ANY AND ALL OF THE REST OF YOU TO JOIN US. IF YOU LIVE NEXT TO, OR NEAR, BUSINESS PROPERTY, YOU NEED TO BE THERE! If you speak, remember please to support our common cause by stressing our common need: WE MUST HAVE A PHYSICAL BARRIER BETWEEN THE BUSINESS ACTIVITIES AND THE BUFFER. And consider emailing Bobby, or writing him a card (we don’t want to invade his life with large numbers of phone calls) telling him that you have faith that he can and will fight successfully yet again, after all these years, for his brilliant idea: a physical barrier to protect business buffers from being intruded on and/or destroyed.

Garbage Pick-up Schedule

Garbage: Every Wednesday
Leaves/Grass: Every Wednesday
Large Trash: Every Wednesday
(Please note that Thursday will be pick-up day when City Holiday falls on Mon., Tues., Wed.)
Recyclables: every other Thursday - July 22nd, Aug. 5th, Aug. 19th

Board of Directors

President: Julia Long 553-3235
Vice President: Dennis Isgitt 797-2455
Secretary: Beth Evans
Treasurer: Linda Brinson 553-8832

Board Mbr. Apptd: open

Board Mbr. Elected: Susanne Azevedo 572-2321
Board Mbr. Elected: Audrey Carpenter 553-7768
Board Mbr. Apptd: Mary Hutson 553-4451

Key Personnel

City Council District 3: Bobby Jameson 824-1500
County Council Rep: Elliott Summey 200-4244
Neighborhood Crime Watch Representative: John Flinn 863-0659
N. Chas. Dispatcher:   745-1015
Housing Director: Darbis Briggmann 740-2560
Crime Prevention Officer:
Cpl. Brian West
Code Enforcement: Lee Youmans
CAC Representative Membership: Linda Brinson 553-8832
Newsletter Distribution: Jimmy Mitchum
Jim Driver
Bill Lusk
Newsletter: Susanne Azevedo 572-2321
Disaster/ Preparation: James Brown 553-4329
Sick & Sunshine: Susanne Azevedo 572-2321
Voter Registration: Douglas Azevedo 572-2321

Our Neighborhood Website: www.ourdeerpark.net

Mail your $15.00 dues to: Linda Brinson  2510 Gable St., N. Chas SC  29406