Berkeley Lake councilman wants road safety issues addressed

BERKELEY LAKE - Councilman Bernie Cohen on Thursday night called for action regarding what he considers road safety issues in several areas of the city.

Cohen said recent infrastructure projects have altered rights of way along several curves in city roads, particularly Lakeshore Drive.

Cohen suggested guard rails or posts in these areas would make the roads safer for motorists and pedestrians, and city attorney Dick Carothers recommended city officials consult with a transportation expert.

One concern residents have is that the appearance of the city will be negatively impacted by the addition of metal guardrails. One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said residents did not want the guard rails installed along Lakeshore Drive several years ago. She also expressed concern that Rich Edinger, city engineer, has not specifically identified safety issues regarding rights of way along city streets.

Mayor Lois Salter expressed concern about paying for another study to identify problem safety areas, since the city recently paid for a traffic and safety study by StreetSmarts.

"The StreetSmarts study did not pick up any of these safety issues," Salter said.

Salter said she would approach Gwinnett County Traffic Engineering to enlist help identifying and addressing problem road safety areas in the city.

BLEMA procedures to

be unveiled in July

During the July 19 City Council meeting, the Berkeley Lake Emergency Management Agency will review with city officials a recently prepared handbook that outlines procedures to be followed in case of a city emergency. BLEMA was formed in 1998 and is comprised of volunteer residents who assist city residents in an emergency.

Valley View Lane property owner faces costly dilemma

Carol Christa, the owner of adjoining lots on Valley View Lane (numbers 828 and 830), has been instructed by council members to either bring her construction project into compliance with city laws or tear down all or part of her unfinished home.

The problem began with the builder Christa hired to construct her new house in Berkeley Lake. The permit issued for the parcels is in question. There is confusion whether the permit was issued based on the original lot lines or reconfigured lot lines. This issue determines whether the house under construction straddles lot lines or complies with city and Gwinnett County Environmental Health guidelines.

Christa and the builder are involved in litigation, but Councilmember George Sipe said the civil case has nothing to do with the city's concerns regarding the project's compliance with Berkeley Lake ordinances. Sipe said the matter has gone on for too long (well over a year). Christa was given 60 days in April to rectify the situation. As of Thursday night's City Council meeting no progress has been made, Sipe said.

Sipe will act as the Council's representative to review documentation regarding the botched project but said unless new facts are uncovered to change the legality of the unfinished structure, the city will require removal or demolition of the house. Sipe wants a special-called council meeting before the July 19 regularly scheduled meeting to make that determination.