Friday, August 21, 2015

Dunwoody Comprehensive Land Use Plan Update might have allowed office towers at North Peachtree without council edits.

August 24, 2015
4:00 PM – Convention & Visitors Bureau of Dunwoody

At the last City Council meeting we needed to "approve" sending the draft comprehensive land use plan to the State for review as we were told we could make minor tweaks before we did a final approval in a few months.  The city had a few Character areas spelled out that everyone is familiar with like Perimeter Center, Dunwoody Village, Georgetown but there was a new character area labeled as "North Peachtree" whereby areas that are currently zoned R-100 for single family homes on North Peachtree Road would be allowed be converted to commercial uses.

If you look at the map of North Peachtree below and are familiar with the area you will note that there about seven single family homes just South of Chesnut Elementary that if the land use plan were approved as final, could be immediately converted into a business operation.   Back in 2007, we had a similar rezoning attempted on North Peachtree Rd under DeKalb County and the neighborhood was adamantly opposed.  Without changes to what was proposed, a developer could have also purchased the huge Dunwoody Crossing Apartment complex (I have a very hard time calling it Dunwoody Village that it is currently named) and built Office Towers with little way for the city to object as our Comp Plan would have allowed it!

At the last City Council meeting myself and Councilwoman Deutsch argued that this Character area should be removed prior to submission as we believed it improper and was never vetted with the community.  With a recommendation to remove this character area, the plan moved to the state for preliminary review.

In this updated version of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, North Peachtree has been changed to Multi-Family Mixed Use with the footprint drastically reduced to just the one apartment complex and it will no longer allow Office and Commercial by right, instead they will need to vet large scale changes to the Council with much public review.

Anyway the words in this document really matter and it will take a close review to verify that what is written is what the community wants.

Please feel free to assist the Council with the latest version of the Comp Plan which is posted here as we are discussing it again on Monday.






DunwoodyTalk said...

Does the community want apartments instead of offices and/or retail in that area?

Joe Seconder said...

When I retire I'd like to have the freedom to cash out the equity in my home, and pay rent instead. We must also consider affordable housing for nearby employees, which includes either purchasing or renting. I read this week that Suwanee is extending their city center. As a part of that, there will be 1 & 2 bedroom apartments for rent starting at $1,500 a month. Employees that work in the retail or hospitality industry are hard pressed to be able to afford that much per month. My home mortgage is less than that. AND, what if those employees are married with children. Many Millennials are carrying large debts, including student loans. So their money is going to paying off debt, instead of saving for a down payment on a home. Today's 20 & 30 year olds will be changing jobs every 3-5 years, and relocation plays a part of that. If you think you may be moving, you aren't going to buy a house. Lastly, the infrastructure costs to the city & county per acre are much greater in a single family R-100 home -vs- multi-family or mixed use. (Or, a self-storage facility -vs- a hotel: See Meadowlane in the PCID next to the fire station. A hotel would have helped reduce traffic, and given the city a much greater ROI). There are legitimate areas designated within Dunwoody that are appropriate for live-work-play. The closer employees can live to their offices, the better it is for reducing traffic congestion. That is also why I oppose State Farm's rezoning request to eliminate housing and replace with commercial.