Do you take MARTA or walk, bike, stand or drive under the MARTA Overpass at the corner of W. Trinity Place and Atlanta Avenue on a regular basis?  Do you live or work in an adjacent neighborhood or building?  Do you love public art?  If so, plan to join us and give your input at the upcoming MARTA Mural Project Community Engagement session on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 from 6 – 8 p.m. at Ebster Recreation Center, 105 Electric Avenue.

The artists, Joey Fillastre and Felici Asteinza of MILAGROS Collective will be there.  Come meet them and hear about their work and philosophy.  Our community engagement consultant Joy Bailey Bryant with Lord Cultural Resources, Inc. and the artists have come up with some fun, creative ways to engage our collective imagination(s) as we reflect and envision what will ultimately become our community mural based on the Making History in our Region theme.



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Thank you to everyone who has participated in the Comprehensive Planning process so far! Georgia communities are required by law to perform Comprehensive Planning every ten years to ensure a minimum level of planning standards and procedures. Decatur already exceeds state requirements through our more extensive Strategic Plan. The last Strategic Plan was completed in 2010 and will be updated in 2020. The Comprehensive Planning process explores issues of economic development, population trends, transportation, parks, housing, historic places, and land use.

 We want to hear from you! Please complete the online survey to let us know your thoughts. It will take about 20 minutes to complete.

 Visit DecaturNext for more information on the Comprehensive Plan.





The City of Decatur Fire Department will conduct their annual city wide fire hydrant service and maintenance from May 9-June 30, 2016.  Signs will be posted throughout the city as a reminder.  For more information, contact Shift Captain, 404-373-5092.

The Decatur Police Department would like to introduce our three newest CAPS (Citizen’s Assisting Public Safety) Volunteers.   CAPS volunteers assist the police department with many different types of events such as festivals, parades, races, bicycle registrations and staffing the welcome desk at the police department.

Welcome Aboard Randall Hampton, Nikki Economou & Corey Bivens

CAPS Volunteers Randall Hampton, Nikki Economou & Corey Bivens.

To volunteer for the CAPS program, you must first complete the Citizen’s Police Academy which takes place each fall.  Please contact Lt. Jennifer Ross if you are interested in learning more about the CAPS volunteer program or the Citizen’s Police Academy.

For three days in early May, city staff, assisted by planner/architect Bruce Tolar, will work together with surrounding neighbors to develop designs for the city’s cottage court demonstration project at 230 Commerce Drive. On Thursday, May 5, from 7-8pm, interested Decatur residents are invited to attend an open house at 104 Sycamore Place to see what they’ve come up with.


Working to balance city housing goals, market viability, and the input of adjacent property owners, the collaborative process will include daily opportunities for neighborhood review and comment, which will then inform continued design work the next day. By Thursday the 5th, a workable plan — one viable for market developers — is expected for review by the community.


Though cottage courts have been allowed since passage of the Unified Development Ordinance in early 2015, local builders have been reluctant to veer from the dependable single family homes they’re accustomed to. So in response to extensive resident requests for action on housing affordability — via 2010’s Strategic Plan, the Lifelong Community Advisory Board, and the recently completed Better Together initiative — Decatur is pursuing this as an opportunity to explore a more affordable, neighborhood-friendly alternative to large-format single-family infill.


In doing so, the city hopes to demonstrate unmet demand for cottage homes sized roughly 700 to 1,200 square feet, and to identify and address any regulatory barriers that might be preventing the development of similar projects by others.


Per-unit pricing will be dependent on the emerging design, though something around $250,000 is sought. Compliance with the Old Decatur local historic district will be required. The target property was purchased by the city in December, 2015.


This is a weekly blog post that lists all of the events and sales going on around town. It will be updated daily. If you would like to add an event, email Catherine.lee@decaturga.com.

Sunday, May 1
Iberian Pig Terrapin Tap Takeover, 2-10 p.m.

Wednesday, May 4
Blue Sky Concert, noon-1 p.m.
Decatur Farmers Market, 4-7 p.m.

Thursday, May 5
• Decatur Arts Festival Poster Unveiling

Saturday, May 7
Decatur Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
• Concerts on the Square, 7-9:30 p.m.
• Trunk show with J. Wild and With My Intention at Light My Spirit.


The first outdoor movie, Homeless the Movie, scheduled to show tomorrow night at Ebster’s Herring-Trinity Terrace has been relocated.

Due to possible inclement weather, Agnes Scott organizers have changed the location of the movie to Frannie Graves Auditorium in the Campbell Building on Agnes Scott campus.

Tickets are still available for $5.00 at www. Freshtix.com, but there will be an option to pay cash at the door.

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Interested in submitting information for the Decatur Focus?  The deadline for the June issue is quickly approaching.  Submit your stories and/or pictures (high quality, colorful photos are encouraged) by May 1, 2016 to Decatur Focus, P.O. Box 220, Decatur, GA 30031, 404-371-8386; or email decaturfocus@decaturga.com.

The Decatur Focus publishes announcements and information about the City of Decatur including city services, downtown development, school news, business news, and news about individual residents and neighborhood associations. The purpose of the newsletter is to promote the city and encourage the exchange of information among residents, business owners, and the school system. 

*Letters to the editor, editorials, or other opinion pieces are not published.  All press releases, announcements, and other information received for publication are subject to editing.


Decatur Federal Savings & Loans was established in 1926 and opened its offices in the 250 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue building (pictured above) in 1962 . The parking garage still exists today, but it is hidden by the Renaissance condominium. Today, the Renaissance building’s storefronts line the street to make for a much more pleasant pedestrian experience.

To see what the 250 E. Ponce building looked like when it was first built in the 1960s, check out Next Stop’s post on the bank here.

The Decatur Police Department will be participating in the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 10am-2pm.  Officers will be in front of the police department, 420 West Trinity Place, so you can easily drive up and drop off.

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Drug Take Back programs give community members the opportunity to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. (The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps, only pills or patches.)

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to theft, diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines, flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, both pose potential safety and health hazards.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 30th Take-Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion Website.