Friday, February 1, 2013

Dunwoody City Planning - Tennis Courts, Tornado Shelters and the Code Red Emergency Service

I came across a Tweet on Twitter which highlighted an interview that Mayor Davis gave describing a possible development situation for a large empty corporate building located immediately behind the old Best Buy (new Nordstrom Rack) store on Hammond.   If you read the article you will see that the idea being floated by the Mayor was an increase in the hotel tax to pay for a sports complex which could then be used draw visitors to our city. 

The location is immediately adjacent to 285, next to the Marriott Hotel and close to the Dunwoody Marta Station.  This location is also near several parcels (Fudruckers & Chequers) that at one time had plans drawn up for a condo / residential office project but instead of a Transit Orientated Development; I would prefer Hotel/Office and possible high rise condo development on that land.

My personal preference for the 15 acre GoldKist property (if the 1970's corporate office complex is no longer viable) would be a small Convention Center / Hotel complex at the location, or nearby, to tie into Marta and future hotels as I believe convention floor space is lacking in the Top End.  I understand the traffic issue but also believe the new flyover bridge of Perimeter Center Pky could be utilized in the design and possibly someday feed 285 with the redesign of the 285/400 corridor. 

I am proud that Mayor Davis is willing to float ideas to improve the city and I truly encourage my fellow elected officials and all citizens to do the same.  Not every idea can a winner and I don't have enough information to judge this one, but why not throw it out there for public review?  Leaders have vision and are willing to do that as well as listen to ideas that differ from their own.

More important than long range city planning, I believe public safety is government's number one responsibility and I can tell you we take that charge seriously.  The idea of tornado sirens has been broached in the past but Council has passed on the idea due to cost, implementation and the now prevalence of double pane insulated glass which would muffle the sirens. Instead Dunwoody hopes that everyone is registered with DeKalb County Code Red  for their emergency notification service as well as heeds all other public weather notifications given by the media.   Other than sirens and encouraging personal readiness, the city staff has been exploring what to do as far as emergency shelters, in case they were ever needed.  Ms. Pattie Baker has been pushing this idea and we are exploring options with the schools and the college, but with the city government not owning any newly constructed public city buildings like a police station or city hall, our options are limited.  Other options like agreements with hotels might be possible but are still being explored.

Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Please post them.   Are you ready for the next big storm?

1 comment:

Bob Lundsten said...

The reality is that plans for the City to get involved in the building of any convention center or tennis facility on that land will be greatly hampered ( that is an understatement )buy the enormous price tag not only for the land but for the contruction of any facility.
If you think Norb, Little Jimmie and the redshirts are upset about Parkway costs, watching them blow a gasket over this idea would indeed be entertaining.