Talk of the Town - Pine Lake February 28 2001

Tranquility, quirkiness lures residents to little utopia

The tiny Pine Lake neighborhood is located in a rapidly growing area of DeKalb County, just off of Memorial Drive and Rockbridge Road, but it feels miles away from the development. Resident Wendy Wolff says the first phrase that comes into her head when describing Pine Lake is "Girl Scout camp." She says the neighborhood has a "woodsy, campy feeling," that immediately convinced her she was home. For many of Pine Lake's 800 residents, living in the neighborhood is like having a house in the country. Lisa Hudson says Pine Lake is a "decompression zone" where it is easy to relax and be herself.
Along with its tranquility, Pine Lake has a quirky side. For starters, the neighborhood of about 350 homes is an incorporated town with a mayor, city council and its own police force. Residents pay city taxes and are provided with city services. One of the services to which residents are not accustomed is home delivery of the mail. "We are too small for mail delivery," explains Hudson, "so we all have to go to the post office to collect our mail." For some residents, a daily trek to the post office would be an inconvenience, but for Hudson, it's all part of Pine Lake's charm. "It's what I love about the neighborhood — it's quirky," she says.
The houses in Pine Lake are unusual, too. Most of them originally were fishing shacks and weekend retreats for busy Atlantans. Over the years, the weekend houses became permanent residences and additions of rooms and bathrooms were made as needed. As a result of all of the renovations, Hudson jokes that "houses in Pine Lake have no right angles ... they've been added on and added on."
The eccentric nature of the neighborhood has attracted many colorful characters. "The city of Atlanta is losing all of its eccentric people, because they have all moved to Pine Lake," says resident K.C. Wildmoon who is a musician and a writer. Fellow musicians, writers and artists all have discovered the area. Hudson says the little utopia called Pine Lake offers an environment that allows creativity and self-expression.

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