Over 250 people filled the Atrium at Georgetown Park to have a discussion of what they wanted the area to be like in 20 years and I am sorry to say that I believe most people were disappointed with the staging and format of the meeting. The speaker system was an afterthought with no microphone for questions, the large number of residents meant that there weren't enough handouts and the order of the discussion seemed to drift off track, following no rhyme or reason. One resident walked up to me about 20 minutes into the meeting, personally expressed his dissatisfaction and left; therefore to that specific gentleman and anyone else who was disappointed let me personally apologize on behalf of the City as I agree that we can and will do better next time.
The members of the council in the audience are advised to be there to solely listen and not lead the discussions in one way or another; and I know I had a hard time not speaking up from time to time. All of that being said, I believe I took away the overall sentiment of those in attendance which was no more apartments, owner occupied and cluster homes were favored, limited or zero growth unless done so under the conditions beneficial to the community, i.e. Special Land Use Permits which mandated contiguous green space able to be used by the community. Buffer areas and step downs between different densities, pocket parks and a transportation system that fostered walking and biking. All of that being said, myself, members of Council, members of the CLUP Steering Committee and our planning staff listened to what was said and in the end I hope the final plan will be something that the community can support. Our next land use discussion will be on Tuesday January 12 at 7 pm at the Jewish Community Center.
In semi-related news, I talked to our Public Works Director, Mr. Michael Smith today and provided him the future safety improvements recommended by citizens, a request for a Welcome to Dunwoody sign on Tilly Mill, discussed the huge pot hole repair on North Peachtree Road and other pothole work needed near Chestnut. We discussed the Transportation Master Plan which should be bid out on the RFP process in late February and the community discussions that will be active by April or May. We discussed the fact that the laser truck road grading results will be in soon and that the city will need to set policy on which infrastructure improvements to do first. (Worst first but does a bad highly traveled Chamblee Dunwoody rank higher then a worse culdesac which has limited traffic? I think so.) Where should the first mile of sidewalk be laid and how do we decide on where this happens? This evening another resident pulled me aside during the meeting and asked how he could get a sidewalk on his dangerous residential thoroughfare that was missing this much needed improvement and I informed him of the citywide sidewalk needs assessment data and correlated map (zoom in, look for purple) that my committee created prior to the city starting and that he and his neighbors should be active in the transportation planning process.
I can attest that the City of Dunwoody is attempting to provide economical efficient services and that even when public meetings don't seem to go as smooth as one would hope, that our staff and elected officials were there listening and taking notes. That we monitor many different streams of communication, be it on line service requests, public discussion boards or other modes of communication and that we act accordingly. Finally I would like to remind everyone that this City Council has set an open public comment period at the very beginning (as well as at the end) of every council meeting for you the residents to personally voice your wishes and concerns to the Council Members that you elected to serve you and your family. The next meeting is Monday December 11th at 7 pm at City Hall and we welcome all who are interested to voice what ever they were unable to get across tonight.
Below is the PowerPoint presentation given on Tuesday evening.
Dunwoody Georgetown Community Meeting Jan 2010