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Old 03-25-2013, 11:03 AM
 
2,615 posts, read 3,166,917 times
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Everyone,

I posted questions in another thread re K-12 schools and was wondering if we could specifically focus on living in the City of Decatur in this thread. I thought that starting a new thread might get a few replies from experts in this particular area.

I like what I see wrt the Decatur City Schools. Can any parents of children in the elementary schools talk about your experience re class sizes? I once read that in some Dekalb county schools, 25-26 kidnergartners were being placed in a single class and I'm wondering if the same is happening with large class sizes in City of Decatur? I know that there are now trailers at many of the elementary schools.

Do the issues of Dekalb county schools and the recent hoopla affect funding, etc. in City of Decatur schools? For example, if Dekalb county were to lose accreditation, would City of Decatur also lose accreditation? How are the two related? Is the city of Decatur schools governed by the same group that governs Dekalb county schools?


I need some help here. I drove over into the area this weekend to check out the neighborhood and I was a little thrown off. The area that I was in was near Renfroe Middle School and Oakview St/Rd. Is that a typical-looking area of the City of Decatur or are there areas that look a little more neat? I know that we are talking intown so we are not going to have the suburb look with all lawns neatly manicured but there were houses with a hodgepodge of large trinkets hanging outside the houses, sofas on some porches and the yards did not look particularly well-manicured. Are there subdivisions in City of Decatur that might be governed by an HOA such that the look would be a bit more streamlined? Thanks for your assistance.

Are there areas that have parks and other amenities that children typically frequent? I saw an area with stores near the area that I described above but it seemed to be more for adults. I know that city of Decatur has a very high concentration of families with young children so I know that there are likely to be parks, walking trails, biking trails, etc. Will you please give me an idea of where I might find these types of children-friendly areas of the city?

Finally, I didn't see many garages and know that with intown living, this is just how it typically goes. Are there areas of the City of Decatur that are likely to be very, very safe such that a young mom with a toddler could feel comfortable getting out of a car at night or when no one else is around during the day? I know that we have to be careful at all times and am just trying to get a sense of the safest possible areas since now I have the security of getting everyone bundled up and getting the doors locked before my garage door opens to the world.

Thank you!
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
23,476 posts, read 17,636,270 times
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Quote:
I need some help here. I drove over into the area this weekend to check out the neighborhood and I was a little thrown off. The area that I was in was near Renfroe Middle School and Oakview St/Rd. Is that a typical-looking area of the City of Decatur or are there areas that look a little more neat? I know that we are talking intown so we are not going to have the suburb look with all lawns neatly manicured but there were houses with a hodgepodge of large trinkets hanging outside the houses, sofas on some porches and the yards did not look particularly well-manicured. Are there subdivisions in City of Decatur that might be governed by an HOA such that the look would be a bit more streamlined? Thanks for your assistance.
That's just how Decatur is, very eclectic, everyone does their own thing, very liberal area.
Quote:
Finally, I didn't see many garages and know that with intown living, this is just how it typically goes. Are there areas of the City of Decatur that are likely to be very, very safe such that a young mom with a toddler could feel comfortable getting out of a car at night or when no one else is around during the day? I know that we have to be careful at all times and am just trying to get a sense of the safest possible areas since now I have the security of getting everyone bundled up and getting the doors locked before my garage door opens to the world.
A lot fo these homes where built before garages were popular and all new construction cannot have front-facing garages, so very little homes have garages. All of Decatur has low crime, because its has its own police force and taxes are higher, so can look on DPD for a crime map.
It almost sounds like you'd be happier living in the suburbs. Garage, HOA, all the homes looking the same, Decatur is quiet the opposite of that.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Here
413 posts, read 758,885 times
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Trying exploring the Great Lakes area if you're looking for "suburb-like". We really like this area.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:04 PM
 
2,138 posts, read 2,135,947 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovelySummer View Post
Everyone,

Do the issues of Dekalb county schools and the recent hoopla affect funding, etc. in City of Decatur schools? For example, if Dekalb county were to lose accreditation, would City of Decatur also lose accreditation? How are the two related? Is the city of Decatur schools governed by the same group that governs Dekalb county schools?
CSD (City Schools of Decatur) is totally independent from Dekalb County. It has it's own school board, administration, policies, calendars, facilities, etc . . . none of which overlap with Dekalb.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LovelySummer View Post
Everyone,

I drove over into the area this weekend to check out the neighborhood and I was a little thrown off. The area that I was in was near Renfroe Middle School and Oakview St/Rd. Is that a typical-looking area of the City of Decatur or are there areas that look a little more neat? I know that we are talking intown so we are not going to have the suburb look with all lawns neatly manicured but there were houses with a hodgepodge of large trinkets hanging outside the houses, sofas on some porches and the yards did not look particularly well-manicured. Are there subdivisions in City of Decatur that might be governed by an HOA such that the look would be a bit more streamlined? Thanks for your assistance.
There are a couple very small subdivisions (single cul de sacs typically), but I don't think they have their own HOA's, and are not gated.

The area you are describing above is likely Oakhurst, a neighborhood within CoD. There are other neighborhoods which may have fewer "oddball" homes, but that typically Oakhurst has the lowest price of entry in the city. It's got some of the oldest houses that haven't been substantially updated or knocked down and rebuilt altogether. The way property values in Decatur are, if it's some run down house, it probably has an older owner who has lived there decades. If it had been for sale in the last 20 years, it would have been bulldozed and replaced. Other Decatur neighborhoods . . . Great Lakes, Winnona Park, etc . . . are more established, but come with higher price tags.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LovelySummer View Post
Everyone,

Are there areas that have parks and other amenities that children typically frequent? I saw an area with stores near the area that I described above but it seemed to be more for adults. I know that city of Decatur has a very high concentration of families with young children so I know that there are likely to be parks, walking trails, biking trails, etc. Will you please give me an idea of where I might find these types of children-friendly areas of the city?
Sounds like downtown Oakhurst (corner of East Lake and Oakview). Some great restraunts and shops, but its not really a park. McCoy park is nearby and has a pool, ball fields, etc. There are many others within the city: City of Decatur : City Parks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LovelySummer View Post

Finally, I didn't see many garages and know that with intown living, this is just how it typically goes. Are there areas of the City of Decatur that are likely to be very, very safe such that a young mom with a toddler could feel comfortable getting out of a car at night or when no one else is around during the day? I know that we have to be careful at all times and am just trying to get a sense of the safest possible areas since now I have the security of getting everyone bundled up and getting the doors locked before my garage door opens to the world.
Garages are rare, due to the lot sizes (typically a half acre or smaller). A lot of these houses were laid out before cars were commonplace, so the didn't build accounting for things like driveways beside the house. It's increasingly common to see a detached 2-car garage behind homes in the $500k+ range, but you eat up a lot of yard space with that configuration. ATTACHED garages are exceedingly rare, and you will usually only see them on corner lots, or as drive-unders on large homes built on steeply sloping lots.

I would characterize most residential areas of Decatur as being "very safe", meaning I wouldn't think twice about having my wife go running or take a walk with a stroller alone.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
141 posts, read 247,467 times
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The Sycamore Ridge subdivision in City of Decatur does have an HOA, is very cookie cutter, and might be what you have in mind for a more suburban look. The houses were built in the late 90s I believe and seem to be of good quality. I have a friend in that neighborhood and she loves it. It's kind of between Sycamore Dr and Winn Way. I know most (if not all) of the homes in that subdivision do have garages. I always see kids out and about there too.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:43 PM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,127 posts, read 35,140,530 times
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Mmm. Maybe the city of Decatur Just isnt for you. Understandable. Its like the bread aisle at Publix. Lots of variety, but some people Just like the Alpharetta, uh I mean the white...
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:43 PM
 
2,138 posts, read 2,135,947 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starfish27 View Post
The Sycamore Ridge subdivision in City of Decatur does have an HOA, is very cookie cutter, and might be what you have in mind for a more suburban look. The houses were built in the late 90s I believe and seem to be of good quality. I have a friend in that neighborhood and she loves it. It's kind of between Sycamore Dr and Winn Way. I know most (if not all) of the homes in that subdivision do have garages. I always see kids out and about there too.
Yeah that is pretty much the only area I could think of, but didnt know what it was called. There is also Kirk Crossing and Candler Oaks in the Winnona Park area . . . but those are like maybe 10-15 homes each, essentially a single street.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:52 PM
 
2,615 posts, read 3,166,917 times
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Actually, I prefer wheat bread and if I wanted to live in Alpharetta, it would be a lot less expensive.
I'm a city person but I do like order for half a million. For example, there are many places intown that are very nice and orderly. Druid Hills is an example, Buckhead is another example and, wonder of wonders, it sounds like there are more streamlined areas of Decatur also that also have garages (just FYI in case you didn't know, LovinDecatur). Read the responses.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovinDecatur View Post
Mmm. Maybe the city of Decatur Just isnt for you. Understandable. Its like the bread aisle at Publix. Lots of variety, but some people Just like the Alpharetta, uh I mean the white...
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:00 PM
 
2,615 posts, read 3,166,917 times
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Thank you very much, Starfish. That subdivision sounds great. I'll look into it. I also found some of the foursquares in the area to be very nice-looking (but would have to give on garage, but sounds like the area is safe and no snow in the winter like in Chicago so not as much of an issue).
Quote:
Originally Posted by starfish27 View Post
The Sycamore Ridge subdivision in City of Decatur does have an HOA, is very cookie cutter, and might be what you have in mind for a more suburban look. The houses were built in the late 90s I believe and seem to be of good quality. I have a friend in that neighborhood and she loves it. It's kind of between Sycamore Dr and Winn Way. I know most (if not all) of the homes in that subdivision do have garages. I always see kids out and about there too.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:13 PM
 
2,615 posts, read 3,166,917 times
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Thanks very much, Red92. This is great news about the schools and I am going to check out the area near McCoy park. It would be great to have a nice park within walking distance. I will also check out Great Lakes and Winnona Park. I've heard lots of good things about Winnona Park ES too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by red92s View Post
CSD (City Schools of Decatur) is totally independent from Dekalb County. It has it's own school board, administration, policies, calendars, facilities, etc . . . none of which overlap with Dekalb.




There are a couple very small subdivisions (single cul de sacs typically), but I don't think they have their own HOA's, and are not gated.

The area you are describing above is likely Oakhurst, a neighborhood within CoD. There are other neighborhoods which may have fewer "oddball" homes, but that typically Oakhurst has the lowest price of entry in the city. It's got some of the oldest houses that haven't been substantially updated or knocked down and rebuilt altogether. The way property values in Decatur are, if it's some run down house, it probably has an older owner who has lived there decades. If it had been for sale in the last 20 years, it would have been bulldozed and replaced. Other Decatur neighborhoods . . . Great Lakes, Winnona Park, etc . . . are more established, but come with higher price tags.




Sounds like downtown Oakhurst (corner of East Lake and Oakview). Some great restraunts and shops, but its not really a park. McCoy park is nearby and has a pool, ball fields, etc. There are many others within the city: City of Decatur : City Parks.




Garages are rare, due to the lot sizes (typically a half acre or smaller). A lot of these houses were laid out before cars were commonplace, so the didn't build accounting for things like driveways beside the house. It's increasingly common to see a detached 2-car garage behind homes in the $500k+ range, but you eat up a lot of yard space with that configuration. ATTACHED garages are exceedingly rare, and you will usually only see them on corner lots, or as drive-unders on large homes built on steeply sloping lots.

I would characterize most residential areas of Decatur as being "very safe", meaning I wouldn't think twice about having my wife go running or take a walk with a stroller alone.
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