Friday, December 7, 2018

Huge Dunwoody City Council Agenda for Monday, includes Village Overlay Changes, Condo proposal, Arts Master Plan, New Trail, Brook Run Construction Plan

Monday, December 10, 2018
Dunwoody City Hall
4800 Ashford Dunwoody Rd
Dunwoody, GA 30338


Administration of Oath of Office to Officers Anthony Alexander and Matthew Carley

Recognition of Dunwoody Police Department Officer and Employee of the 3rd Quarter

Dunwoody Presentation on Motorized Scooters
    Bird Invasion: Atlanta’s electric scooters are fun, dangerous, exciting, annoying, and unstoppable
    Decatur considers response to ‘Bird’ swarm
    As regulation looms, Atlanta’s shareable scooters are becoming more accessible

Presentation of 3rd Quarter Internal Audit Report

Program Manager Update- Brook Run Park/ Shallowford Annex

Approval of a Contract for Design of Ashford Dunwoody Commuter Trail Phase II
     PCID Trail Master Plan

Resolution Authorizing a 9-1-1 Charge on Postpaid Wireline, Wireless, and Voice Over Internet Protocol (“V.O.I.P.”) Telephone Service

Amendment to Contract 15-13, Parks and Right of Way Maintenance

Resolution Appointing Members to Serve on the Dunwoody Development Authority

Resolution Appointing Members to Serve on the Dunwoody Sustainability Committee

Resolution Appointing a Member to Serve on the Dunwoody Volunteer Coordinating Committee

Resolution for Approval of 2019 Legislative Priorities

Amendment to Reeves and Young Contract for Brook Run Park Construction Management Services

CVBD 2019 Budget and Business Plan.

Adoption of Create Dunwoody Arts and Culture Master Plan

SECOND READ: RZ18-02: SLUP 18-02 David C. Kirk of Troutman Sanders LLP, Attorney for the Owner, on Behalf of Grubb Properties, Owner of a Portion of 41, 47, 53 Perimeter Center East, Dunwoody, GA 30346, Seeks to Rezone the Property Currently Zoned O-I (Office-Institution) District to a PC-2 (Perimeter Center) District.  Seeks a Special Land Use Permit to: A) Section 27-104(f)(2) to Permit a Development of Regional Impact; and B) Section 27-105b to Modify the Build-to-Zone of a General Building.

SECOND READ: Review and Consideration of Text Amendments Regarding the Dunwoody Village Overlay (Chapter 27)

Award RFP for Dunwoody Village Overlay Master Plan and Zoning

Monday, December 3, 2018

Holiday spinning class benefiting Dunwoody's Christmas for Kids on Sunday Dec 9th with prizes from Woodhouse Day Spa @dunwoodypolice

I am a huge fan of the Dunwoody Police Department’s Christmas for Kids Program and as a Member of the City Council, I have attended the private celebration where the areas under-privileged children and their families are treated to a festive celebration.  Santa and his magical elves arrive at the Christmas for Kids party complete with gifts and activities for the kids as well as snacks for the whole family.  The amount of pure Joy that is brought to these families is just unmeasurable and I hope your family will find a way to support the cause!

Besides giving gifts, you may be interested in joining me at a special fund raising ride for Christmas for Kids being hosted by Cyclebar Dunwoody.  On Sunday December 9th at 4:30, Cyclestar & Dunwoody Resident Paige Castor will be leading the heart pumping 45 minute ride, with special prizes & refreshments afterward from Woodhouse Day Spa.  If you have never tried spinning, at Cyclebar I highly recommend it as I'm a regular there and will be on bike 40 for this ride.

Join me. by registering for the ride by making a minimum $20 donation (every dollar goes to the DPD-CFK program), entering your shoe size (they provide the bike shoes) then arrive early enough to get your water bottle, find and adjust your bike so that Paige can rock your holiday world for the next 45 minutes.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

DeKalb offers free curbside bulk pick up this week for some in Dunwoody - see schedule below.

The regular sanitation day in my neighborhood is Tuesday therefore all of the big stuff will need to be on the curb this Thursday evening.   If you are looking to clean out and get rid of some big stuff you might want to review this information.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

City of Dunwoody, my personal look back at ten years since incorportation by Councilman John Heneghan.

Councilman John Heneghan

Today marks the Tenth anniversary of the creation of the City of Dunwoody and I have had the distinct privilege of serving on the City Council since the very beginning. Please allow me to give some personal perspective for those who are not aware of our history.

Many years ago I was President of the Dunwoody North Civic Association, looking for ways to improve the quality of life for 1,200 residents within the subdivision boundaries in which I live therefore I had an extensive history of dealing with DeKalb County (our local government) on various zoning, transportation, infrastructure issues as well as police coverage, therefore based on what I had seen with the County I thought we could do better. I was a supporter of breaking away from the county for municipal services, pro Cityhood and along with many other people, we successfully worked toward that goal to become our own city.

Incorporation was a multi-year political struggle down at the Capital with partisan gamesmanship being played on both sides, but in the end the residents wanting the right of self determination won out allowing the referendum to take place. That summer many people worked to support the vote. Then on July 15, 2008 the residents of Dunwoody went to the polls, putting their faith in the pro-cityhood leaders passing the referendum by 82%. On December 1st 2008, "Atlanta's Classic City" of Dunwoody was incorporated, we passed lean budgets yet started a world class police force from scratch just four months later by offering fair wages, good benefits and offering every police officer a take home vehicle on day one.

There are lots of great memories from those early days as I remember running for office and standing in front of Bruster's Ice Cream on hot summer nights talking to whomever would listen about cityhood while standing in the long lines. After being elected to a citywide, at-large position, most of the City Council was sworn in on September 24, 2008 but the District 2 local race eventually won by Adrian Bonser was to be determined by a runoff at a later date. Several days later, on September 28th the first meeting of the Dunwoody City Council was held at Dunwoody Methodist Church and here is that agenda. I remember the work being put in to determine the service delivery plan, the late nights work sessions making decisions which still stand today; those of us who were on Council will never forget those early days. Here are a few videos detailing those startup memories, here is Mayor Wright and some of the other members of Council telling stories of incorporation and start up that are not widely known.

If you watched some of those videos I linked in the previous paragraph you may have noticed that I personally wasn't front and center in any of them but know I was the guy documenting, compiling data and influencing decisions at every level. One insight I can share on incorporation was that the political partisanship at the Capital with the tit for tat, back and fourth, you vote for mine and I will vote for yours on important subjects that seemed to be decided solely on personal relationships literally turned my stomach. Though I enjoy observing and studying politics, seeing the highly political sausage being made up close and personal in hearing rooms, as well as watching the petty arguments on the floor of the chambers spreading Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt made me never to want to become a politician.

Luckily the City of Dunwoody is a non-partisan city council election whereby we the elected officials can concentrate solely on doing what is best for the city, providing improved services, upgraded quality of life and focus on spending our collective tax money on paving, parks and police. Ten years on the Dunwoody City Council and I can honestly tell you that from my perspective; political politics nor tit for tat, you scratch my back & I'll scratch yours has ever happened between council members, we are elected officials and not politicians - for that I am grateful.

In my ten years of service, I have had the pleasure of meeting thousands of people and had more conversations on topics of substance shaping this community than I could even fathom measuring.  Proud of the personal service I have provided individuals.  I’m extremely proud that I have preserved 10 years of city documents on my private servers that I make readily available to whoever is interested, proud that I started live streaming meetings before it was in vogue and proud that I have maintained this blog from the beginning. Since the initiation of cityhood, I have written over 3,700 blog posts providing the community (and various new outlets) with the same information that I receive as a City Council member so that you can help guide us on policy and important decisions. For the last ten years, I haven't wavered from my Philosophy on Public Service which is when I have the ability to make a difference, I have a responsibility to do so and second, transparency in Government breeds self-corrective behavior.

At times my little blog has allowed you the opportunity to peer deep into my soul, to see my personality, to meet my bride Kristin, my boys Riley, Gavin & Declan, my family, over time if you were paying attention you have seen what makes me click by learning what is important to me. As an introvert, this electronic forum has allowed me to do all of this from behind a keyboard, yet it has also made me extremely accessible when someone needs help on a city matter. Helping people and affecting positive changes within these 12 square miles are the two most rewarding aspects of serving on the City Council.

Serving the community in this capacity doesn’t always make City Council members popular as we are required to make tough policy choices, make budget decisions that have long term implications on personal safety & public welfare. I have had to interpret the zoning codes we put into place in ways that do not always make everyone happy. I have been forced to tell neighbors and friends that the traffic laws in place (like the no Left hand turn into my neighborhood that was in place before cityhood) are there for them to comply with. I was an advocate for the Brook Run Trail and the Dog Park when members of our community were dead set against such projects saying that we were ruining the beauty of our park. I was pro-backyard Chickens when the issue was first brought up in 2010 and people had strong opinions on both sides of the coop. As much as I wanted to save the Theater in Brook Run, the renovation and long term operating costs without a viable tenant were something I couldn't support. In short, at times we the elected officials are the local throat to choke when things don’t go as planned, city services are lacking (as are restaurants with roof top bars) or when people believe there should be a different outcome. When people are unhappy we hear about it in our email, as comments in various social media accounts and people are not bashful about calling our home phones as we are all readily available to anyone who wants to reach out.

Looking back at historical blog posts I have written, the priorities I set for my governance have worked for me personally and they helped us get started.   I believe the City of Dunwoody which started during a deep recession has been very successful in being good stewards of your tax money. We started slow and only worked with the cash on hand and have made numerous solid investments into the community, be it a new City Hall, land swaps with the County, improved sports fields, new parks, intersections or miles of paving. The Dunwoody Crier in this week’s edition highlighted the changes since incorporation and when comparing that data to an interview now Mayor Shortal gave after we passed our first budget; I would agree that we have kept our financial promises. We haven’t raised the tax rate and yet the services for paving, parks and police have all been raised dramatically since before incorporation.  The future of Dunwoody looks bright with numerous projects ready to move forward and I believe we are planted on firm ground moving forward.

Looking back at photos and videos of that era, it seems like much of this stuff happened just yesterday, yet I now see that all three of my little boys are all taller than their mother. Ten Years moves pretty fast - Happy Birthday Dunwoody; it has been an honor and a privilege.

To the citizens of Dunwoody, I thank you for allowing me to continue to serve this fine community.


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

City of Dunwoody releases RFQ to update Dunwoody Village Master Plan

On November 5th, the Dunwoody City Council heard the first read of proposed Text Amendments Regarding the Dunwoody Village Overlay and upon hearing comments from Council it appears that the City has moved forward with a tweaked plan for the master plan update releasing this RFQ on Nov 11th.  The next scheduled City Council meeting is Monday December 10th.

"Over the course of its 50 year history, Dunwoody Village has existed as an auto-oriented commercial center. It’s placement around the major intersection of Mount Vernon Road and Chamblee Dunwoody Road have helped define the area as a civic center and “heart” of Dunwoody. In regards to character, the buildings in the Village take on a “colonial” style of architecture that are characterized by fairly steep roof pitches, brick siding, and divided light windows. While some residents and stakeholders have fallen in love with this character, many others have also recognized that changes are necessary to keep pace with time, updated architecture, business needs, and quality of life. At the same time, the regulations within the Dunwoody Village Overlay have created many challenges for applicants, as the review processes are sometimes lengthy, compliance measures are convoluted, and the design requirements are astoundingly restrictive.

Redeveloping the Dunwoody Village is viewed by most residents as one of the highest priorities for the City. This priority has become almost thematic as the City of Dunwoody continues the process of creating our Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Of the five (5) Character Areas noted in the municipal limits, the Dunwoody Village represents the historic crossroads of the city and is the area generating the most community-based interest. The Dunwoody Village evolved in the 1970’s as a neighborhood commercial center serving the surrounding residential communities with an assortment of niche restaurants, shops, offices, and services. As the Perimeter Mall area transformed into a regional activity center, a competing interest between these two divergent commercial nodes developed.

Where access to I-285 transformed the Perimeter Center into one of the most vital regional activity centers in the State of Georgia, the “ripple effect” of growth has not extended into the Dunwoody Village, despite its physically adjacent boundary. A Master Revitalization Plan to preserve the historical characteristics of this town center, further create community identity, and increase the desirability of redevelopment for the area will revitalize not only the Dunwoody Village but also the City of Dunwoody, as a whole.

The City envisions a pedestrian-friendly Dunwoody Village where families, young people, businesses and visitors can walk from one destination to the next. The Dunwoody Village will be a place for people of all ages. Featuring open spaces, retailers, residences, restaurants, office buildings, and venues for entertainment, the Dunwoody Village will build upon our strengths and challenge us to excel to realize our potential.

In July of 2018 the City hired an architecture and planning firm to develop a survey targeted at garnering public opinion about the Dunwoody Village. The survey had over 1,800 respondents. On August 23rd, City Staff and Historical concepts held a 5 hour design charrette, and approximately 175 people attended. The key take away from the public outreach process was that 85% of residents want to see a variety of architectural character in the Village that goes beyond the pre-1900 Mid-Atlantic American Colonial style that is currently specified in the code. In addition, 75% of respondents also indicated that the level of detail specified in the zoning ordinance was not necessary. Finally, many residents suggested the Village needs more public gathering spaces.

In response to the survey, the City of Dunwoody desires to update the 2011 Dunwoody Village Master Plan and regulations contained in Section 27-97 of the Zoning Ordinance. The Master Plan can be found online at and Chapter 27-97 of the zoning ordinance can be found here: Sec. 27.97._DVO, Dunwoody Village Overlay. The Plan and code updates should include the following elements:

1. A regulating plan that identifies existing and proposed Dunwoody Village street types. Each street type should include a well-connected grid like pattern, lane width dimensions, right of way, utility placement, street trees locations, and street lighting. Additionally, the selected design firm should offer frontage options for each street type that addresses street buffers, sidewalks, parking buffers, and public open space options. The firm selected should consider using design speed of vehicles, pedestrian cross times, block standards as well as curb-to-curb dimensions. On-street parking should be included where appropriate. Off-street parking and pin point locations for parking decks should be closely examined.

2. Well-designed and well-located civic spaces should be built in to the plan and written into the code. These civic spaces should include the acreage, the location, size, activity type and the general character of the civic space.

3. The building form standards shall establish specific physical parameters for building placement, building form, parking location and requirements, allowed encroachments, and allowed frontage type. Building Form should also address minimum/maximum building height, finished ground-floor finished level height and maximum building width/height.

4. The list of approved materials, the massing of buildings, transparency, façade composition, window and door details and roof types are all part of the architectural standards the City of Dunwoody wants to see included. The selected firm should examine the land use section of the underlying base code. Recommendations of the allowed and prohibited land use of the Village should be included.

5. As part of the Dunwoody Village overlay zoning chapter, the selected firm shall work with a sounding board and create a town architect process to review the design of new buildings, additions, and renovations proposed within the Village.

6. The design firm shall present the updates to the Dunwoody Village Master Plan and zoning to Planning Commission and City Council for adoption.

Upon a selection date from the City, the design firm shall complete the aforementioned items within a 9 to 12 month time frame"

Early voting available at Dunwoody Library, 10 Years & child internet safety presentation.

The Dunwoody Library is a DeKalb County early voting location for the runoff election this week running through Friday, November 30 at 7AM-7PM.

Dunwoody 10th Anniversary Celebration: Pernoshal Park, Saturday, December 1st 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

December 1st 2018 marks the 10 year anniversary of Dunwoody becoming a city. Please join us on Saturday, December 1st for Dunwoody’s 10th Anniversary Celebration at Pernoshal Park (4575 N. Shallowford Road, Dunwoody!) The celebration will include fun for the entire family, including a community bike ride, craft stations, giveaways, a photo booth, food trucks, and cider and hot cocoa. A number of esteemed community organizations will be on hand to help celebration to help celebrate this special anniversary. So come out and celebrate a decade with Dunwoody!


Friday December 7th, 3 pm @ Dunwoody Library

Online access for kids comes with risks, such as inappropriate content, cyberbullying and online predators.

Pre-Registration - Click Here

Saturday, November 17, 2018

City of Dunwoody calls Special Meeting to install Temporary Moratorium on Multi-Unit Buildings

Monday, November 19, 2018
Dunwoody City Hall
4800 Ashford Dunwoody Rd
Dunwoody, GA 30338


Resolution Establishing a Temporary Moratorium on the Acceptance of New Applications for Special Use Approval, Permitted Use Approval, or Building Permits for any Multi-Unit Buildings.


WHEREAS, the Mayor and City Council of the City of Dunwoody (“City Council”) are charged with the protection of the public health, safety and welfare; and

WHEREAS, in furtherance of carrying out its responsibilities the City, in conjunction with the DeKalb county fire department, has begun a review of its fire life safety ordinances; and

WHEREAS, the City and the fire department have agreed that public safety and welfare would be enhanced by certain revisions to the fire ordinances relating to multi-unit buildings; and

WHEREAS, the City and the fire marshal have begun reviewing the city’s fire ordinances and have identified additional measures related to multi-unit buildings and have continued researching additional potential amendments which would benefit public safety and welfare; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council believe a moratorium will allow the City the opportunity to continue the review of the current fire ordinances and upon completion adopt said changes.


Section 1. The Moratorium imposed herein incorporates the findings and statements set forth in the preceding “whereas” clauses and such clauses are made a part of this moratorium, and the aforesaid recitals are not mere recitals, but are material portions of this Resolution.

Section 2. This resolution becomes effective immediately upon adoption.
Section 3. From 11:30 a.m. on November 19, 2018, until 11:29 a.m. on May 18, 2019, notwithstanding any provisions of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Dunwoody, to the contrary, there shall be a complete moratorium on the City’s acceptance, processing and review of any new applications for special use approval, permitted use approval, or building permits for any multi-unit buildings within the City.

Section 4. During the moratorium neither the City nor any of its departments or staff shall accept, process or review new applications for special use approval, permitted use approval, or building permits for any multi-unit buildings within the City.

Section 5. This moratorium shall expire at 11:29 a.m. on May 18, 2019, and be of no further force and effect, unless shortened or extended by an official action of the Mayor and City Council of the City of Dunwoody
Section 6. The moratorium period adopted herein is deemed to be the appropriate minimum time for the development of such regulations without unduly diminishing the rights of individuals and property owners.

Section 7. This Resolution shall not apply to or otherwise affect completed applications duly filed prior to the effective date of this Resolution.

Section 8. The provisions of this Resolution are severable, and should any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or other portion of this Resolution, or its application to any person, entity or circumstance, be held by a court of competent jurisdiction to the be unconstitutional or invalid, the remainder of the Resolution, or application of the provision to other persons, entities or circumstances, shall not be affected.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Light up Dunwoody this Sunday at the Dunwoody Farmhouse - Mt. Vernon and Chamblee-Dunwoody Road

A Dunwoody Tradition and Holiday Event
Sunday, November 18,  2018; 3:00 to 5:45 pm
between the Cheek-Spruill House at the corner of Mt. Vernon and Chamblee-Dunwoody Road and Dunwoody Animal Hospital

An annual community event to welcome the holiday season, Light up Dunwoody Holiday Village opens at 3:00 pm and concludes with the lighting of the tree and menorah at 5:45 pm. Vendors and sponsors will offer wonderful holiday treasures and refreshments!

Santa will be on the lawn of the Spruill Farm House with his sleigh, and live reindeer will be available for photo opportunities. Bring your own camera!

I was overjoyed when I heard that three local girl scouts who have earned the Girl Scout Gold Award were chosen to pull the switch to light the house. I have the pleasure of meeting several of these your ladies and I couldn't be happier for them and their families.

Kudos to Laura Lawson Duncan, Emily Schmitt, and Erica Holmes as well as any other Gold Award recipients who will be assisting with the honor.

Everyone is invited, and there is no cost to participate in this family-friendly event!

Dunwoody area high school football fans - get ready for St. Pius vs Marist playoff game.

I am a huge high school football fan and this weekend there isn't a better game in the metro area than the game this Friday evening where the higher seeded St. Pius X Golden Lions hosts the Marist War Eagles in the second round of the AAAA football playoffs.

Even though SPX shutout Marist 17 to 0 back in September, I consider these two teams very evenly matched for what should be a great game.   This last Friday in the first round of the playoffs, Marist beat up on Heritage a whopping 61 to 20 which shows their explosive scoring power and Pius stomped Cedartown 38 to 6 highlighting not only their scoring ability and also a defensive prowess that out-gamed Marist in their last meeting. 

The rain will be moving out and tickets are available in advance.  Maybe I will see you there?