Board Acts to Sunset NCA

Last night, at the Northlake Community Alliance bi-monthly Board of Trustees meeting, we voted on an issue that was discussed at previous meetings – that of where do we as an organization go from here.  What role remains for us to play in the changing fabric of Northlake.  The bottom line is that there is little left for us to do in the areas in which we have been involved over the past 15 years.  The NCA Board voted to fold it’s tent on June 30, 2015.  Many of us will continue to contribute and support the Northlake area in different ways.  Our board will meet at least two more times, in March and May, in order to wind things up.  The board welcomes all to attend.

We, collectively as Trustees and Advisers, have had a significant impact on Northlake working together to obtain grant funding and public donations for plans and projects, to execute community events like shredding and recycle days, sponsoring many public forums and meetings on topics of interest, to assist Trees Atlanta plant and maintain hundreds of trees and other landscaping on Lavista Rd, Northlake Parkway and in the four quadrants of the Lavista/I-285 interchange.  We collaborated with citizens and businesses to develop a plan for the area and we worked hard to implement that plan to the tune of about $5 million of streetscape work.  (This includes the Phase 2 streetscape project which the county has indicated that the project is about ready to get underway sometime this year).

NCA also collaborated with the County to create a Compatible Use Overlay Ordinance that is guiding development in our community. We continue to review development plans for the area, and I hope we will continue doing that perhaps under the auspices of another community or business organization.  We collaborated with the Tucker Community Improvement District (CID) to expand it into Northlake in what is now known as the Tucker Northlake CID. Even Simon Northlake Mall has joined the CID. Through this organization, additional landscaping has been installed in the I-285/Lavista Rd quadrants and a major update to the Northlake and Tucker Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) Plans has been initiated.  This is huge and much needed.

NCA has, for years, urged creation of a Northlake Business Association to better serve the businesses in this area.  Three of our current or former Trustees have done this and they now have about 100 members and are doing great things for the business community.

We are all acutely aware of the “Citihood” efforts which will continue to play out during this, and I believe, successive State Legislative sessions. If one or more cities is ultimately created, that will also change the area relative to authority for planning, zoning, enforcement and development review.
NCA has passed the torch of most of the planning and implementation work to the CID and have essentially worked our way out of a role in this arena.  The CID and Business Association have political clout and a much greater ability to raise money to continue this work to make this a more livable, walkable and vibrant community that we all want it to be. The NCA Board of Trustees agrees that all of this is progress for Northlake and Tucker.

It has been my honor and pleasure to serve this community on the NCA Board of Trustees, and to work closely with all of you over the years.  Thanks to all of the current and past members of the Board of Trustees and Advisers for your service and hard work.  Thanks especially for the wonderful support of our State Legislators, DeKalb County Commissioners, and county staff.  We could not have accomplished all that we have without that support. Lastly, thanks to all of you for your inspiration and many contributions toward making this the great area that it is.


Posted in Miscellaneous by Tom Ulbricht. No Comments

NCA Evaluating Future Directions

NCA is re-forming a “Futures Committee”, consisting of five current Trustees, which will meet before the November, 2014 board meeting.  The purpose of the committee is to evaluate future direction and opportunities for serving the Northlake community.  NCA must consider its future work relative to the recent establishment of the Tucker-Northlake CID, the new Northlake Business Association and the possibility of the creation of one or more new cities.  This committee will also consider how it will be able to fund future activities and overhead since there is no current funding stream.  If you have suggestions on either of these two critical elements, please contact Tim Thilman ( or Tom Ulbricht (

Posted in Miscellaneous by Tom Ulbricht. No Comments

Tucker-Northlake CID Name Now Official

At the August 7, 2014  meeting of the Tucker Community Improvement District (CID) Board they voted unanimously to rename the organization to the “Tucker-Northlake CID”.  To date, they have added 67 businesses in the Northlake business area to those Tucker businesses that were part of the original CID.  Together, the Tucker and Northlake business areas form a large CID boundary stretching from the Walmart in Tucker to I-285/Lawrenceville Highway interchange and from Northlake Mall area to Mountain Industrial Boulevard/Hugh Howell intersection.  It also has a reach as far north as the Pittsburgh Center where Chamblee-Tucker Road does a “dog leg”.  If/when all of the businesses in the entire area agree to become self-imposed tax paying members of the CID, it will truly be a juggernaut and would be a serious contender for the dollars available through federal, state, regional and county sources of grants.  These annual taxes collected (3 mills, or $3 for every $1,000 of assessed valuation which is 40 percent of the county business appraisal only for commercial, industrial and offices uses) will be used to improve the area.  Ann Rosenthal, President of the CID said that “…the funds are used within the CID area for transportation and infrastructure improvements, public safety, economic development and quality of life improvements.”   The CID Board installed two new representatives from the Northlake business area, including Peggy Berg of the Hampton Inn and Frank Goulding of Newell Recycling.  For more information, please go to the link on this website to the Tucker-Northlake CID website.


Posted in Miscellaneous by Tom Ulbricht. 2 Comments

DeKalb BOC Approves CID Expansion Into Northlake

On May 13, 2014, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners took action on a request by the Tucker Community Improvement District (CID) to expand into Northlake.  The new name, to be acted upon soon, will be the Tucker-Northlake Community Improvement District.  The NCA Board of Trustees voted unanimously in late 2013 to partner with Tucker CID to effect the expansion to include those businesses agreeing to participate in the Northlake area.  To date, approximately 70 businesses have signed up and that is expected to greatly increase in numbers over the next year.  This action will help the Tucker and Northlake business areas to make major public improvements and continue beautification through the attraction of grants matched by the funds collected by County for the CID.  This is a very positive step that will help this area of the county thrive and maintain itself as a healthy live, work and play community.

Posted in Miscellaneous by Tom Ulbricht. 6 Comments

NCA Annual Meeting 2014 Wrap-Up

The Northlake Community Alliance, Inc. Board of Trustees held it Annual Meeting on Thursday, May 8, 2014.  Approximately 80 area citizens and business owners received an update on area activities by NCA Chairman, Tom Ulbricht who talked about the imminent contracting process for the Phase 2 Streetscape Project to add lighting, sidewalk improvements, street furniture and landscaping on the streets from Lavista Rd at Briarcliff Rd. following Briarcliff Rd, Henderson Mill Rd., Northlake Parkway and Parklake Dr. back to Lavista.  It will also include Ranchwood Rd.  Mr. Ulbricht mentioned the newly formed Northlake Business Association and the close to 100 businesses that have already joined.

Mr. Ulbricht introduced Ann Rosenthal, President of the newly formed Tucker-Northlake Community improvement District, and she discussed their progress in signing up businesses in Northlake.  The keynote speaker was Doug Stoner, Managing Director of the Development Authority of DeKalb County.  Mr. Stoner gave a very informative and interesting presentation on many areas of economic development and innovative financing used to help business expansion in the county.  Mr. Stoner took many questions from the audience and the presentation and answers were well received.  At the end of the meeting, several County Commissioners and State Legislators were given an opportunity to briefly address the discussion topic and other subjects.  Thanks were given to Briarlake Baptist Church pastor Tommy Farrell and its administrator Tim Underwood for use of their auditorium.  It was a great evening and we urge all to join us in 2015 for the Annual Meeting or its bi-monthly board meetings.







Posted in Miscellaneous by Tom Ulbricht. 1 Comment

Tucker/Northlake CID Meeting Dates

Information dissemination about expansion of the Tucker Community Improvement District into Northlake is underway. Three meetings have been scheduled on consecutive days in January to give business owners and managers an opportunity to attend. There will be a brief presentation at each meeting to explain the benefits and cost for joining the CID. This is a very important tool for enhancing the economic viability and stability of the Northlake business district.  Please see the dates under Calendar in this website and please RSVP to:
Ann Rosenthal at <>
or call 404-245-3584 to RSVP.

Posted in Miscellaneous by Tom Ulbricht. 2 Comments

CID Progress Report

Tucker and Northlake are moving forward with creation of the Tucker/Northlake Community Improvement District (CID).  The Northlake CID Formation Committee, which is independent from the NCA Board of Trustees,  has attended several training sessions on initiating contacts with business and property owners.  The committee has also been researching the tax records of DeKalb County and other sources to identify owners and users (usually lessees) at specific addresses in the tax records.  There will be several joint meetings in the future with particular sector representatives such as banking and hospitality industries.  A new brochure has been created and will be available for meetings.  Direct contacts with property owners will commence very soon.

The CID Formation Committee, of which this author is a member,  wishes to reiterate that this effort to create the combined Tucker/Northlake CID is not in any way associated with efforts to form the cities of Tucker, Briarcliff or Lakeside (or others).  CID’s can exist within or outside of cities and operate independently.

The NCA Board of Trustees and the CID Formation Committee hope all of you to have a wonderful and safe holiday season.


Posted in Miscellaneous by Tom Ulbricht. 4 Comments

Northlake CID Formation Committee Partners with Tucker CID

The NCA Board took action recently to create a Community Improvement District (CID) Formation Committee and explore partnering with the existing Tucker CID Formation Committee.  Several meetings of these committees were held and both agreed to partner in expanding the Tucker CID into Northlake.  The soon be re-named CID, upon approval of the County, will be known as the Tucker/Northlake CID.  Materials are being developed now which will be used to help educate local businesses which will be asked to join the CID effort.  This effort and CID program is not associated in any way with local efforts to create new cities of Tucker, Lakeside, Briarcliff or others.

The CID program is a tool for raising local tax funding, paid exclusively by businesses, to fund public improvements, provide security, signage, beautification and maintenance of landscaping.  CID’s are eligible for major federal, state, regional and local grants and many have used locally raised CID tax income to leverage a 10 – 1 return on monies used for such improvements.  That is, every dollar of CID funds can be matched for approximately 10 dollars of grant funding.  For example, Perimeter CID has used CID funding to pay for the relatively new bridge over I-285, for the Hammond Drive interchange on Ga 400, and for the new diverging lane interchange at Ashford Dunwoody Rd and I-285.  Most of the money for those improvements came from grants.

Stay tuned for updates on this exciting program to take shape for Northlake.

Posted in Miscellaneous by Tom Ulbricht. 8 Comments

Northlake Overlay Zone Ordinance

The Northlake Overlay Zone Ordinance is available for review. Also included is the “Tiers” map and the Northlake Development Standards associated with the ordinance. This ordinance was approved by the Board of Commissioners on May 20th, 2008. It provides a strong tool for controlling development and keeping out unwanted uses. It also has architectural, development, and signage controls.

Posted in General Announcements by Tom Ulbricht. 1 Comment

Phase 2 of Northlake Streetscape update

Phase 2 of Northlake streetscape work is being designed currently by Pond & Co Engineers (see “Plans and Schedules” to see the concept plan.) A Transportation Enhancement Grant been awarded from US DOT in the amount of $475,000 plus the county match of $95,000, for a total of $570,000. Additionally, the project will receive approximately $600,000 from funds returned to ARC by MARTA (advanced to them during their financial crisis earlier this year). These funds will be used to continue streetscape work on Briarcliff Rd., Henderson Mill Rd., Northlake Parkway, Parklake Dr. and Ranchwood Rd.. Most of this loop borders Northlake Mall and only one side of these roads will be constructed at this time. Construction should begin in the Spring of, 2011.

Posted in General Announcements by Tom Ulbricht. 3 Comments