By John Schaffner

Jeff Shell has been on the board of Neighborhood Planning Unit B for eight years, and it is the first time he has seen it happen.

Sally Silver has been on the NPU-B board for 11 years and never seen it happen.

What the two have never before seen is a meeting of the NPU-B Zoning and Land Use Committee canceled because nothing was on the agenda to discuss.

No pressing zoning or land use issues to discuss in Buckhead?

That is correct: The Jan. 26 meeting of the Zoning and Land Use Committee was canceled. Except for one lonely reporter, the meeting room in the Hyland Center at the Cathedral of Christ the King was empty of people and devoid of issues for discussion.

Shell said he believes it is a sign of the economic times that we may see repeated in the months to come.

The agenda for the full NPU-B meeting Feb. 3 gave the appearance of at most a half-hour meeting, but it lasted almost two hours.

It was the items that weren’t on the agenda that stretched the meeting on — the reports from the city’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, the Department of Watershed Management, and an arborist with the Bureau of Buildings, as well as additional reports from Atlanta Gas Light about digging up pipes in the neighborhoods and from Fulton County Health and Wellness about all the services provided to the public by that department, which probably no one in the room had ever called.

Oh, and there was the second report in two months from the BeltLine folks to garner support for their master plan. At this meeting, they did not get unanimous support for their proposals. The vote was 18 for and three against with 2 abstentions.

The report that elicited the most feedback was from Watershed Management. For the second month in a row, more than one board member criticized the city department for its billing practices and quickness to send out past-due notices and threats to disconnect customers’ water.

Zone 2 police night watch supervisor Lt. Mark Cotter may have shown up late for the start of the meeting, but he provided the bit of information most in the room wanted to hear: the name of the person replacing Maj. James Sellers as commander of Zone 2 after Sellers’ retirement Feb. 4.

Cotter announced that the new Zone 2 commander will be Maj. Robert Browning, a 20-plus-year Atlanta police veteran who previously was assigned to Zone 2 and has worked with the SWAT team and elite narcotics teams.

The only real piece of business conducted was the approval of a new liquor license for the St. Regis Hotel and changes of ownership and liquor license agents for Mosaic Capital Grille and AquaKnox restaurants.