Thursday, January 23, 2020

GDOT releases I-285 Top-End Express Lanes Visualization and the proposed plans that I believe need work.

GDOT's first public meeting for the proposed express lanes has now occurred and plans for the highway project as well as property acquisition have now been released by the State.

Last week I walked the right of way along 285 with a Georgetown neighbor reviewing the Dunwoody GIS System determining the current width of the right of way, where it was wide and where it was generally abutting structures.    The video above shows the scope of GDOT's plans but it is not the final project plans as it is missing details (like sound walls) and could also easily change before going final. Besides the actual express lanes, there will also be widening and reconstruction of local access roads (Cotillion and Savoy) as well as bridges and other structures.

The GDOT information meeting scheduled for Dunwoody is taking place on January 28th at St. Lukes Presbyterian Church, from 2 to 4 pm and again that same evening from 4:30 to 7:30 pm.

There are lots of questions being raised by residents, like what is the plan for sound barriers but GDOT is aware of those concerns, therefore they have made this Noise Barrier Fact Sheet.

What is the final plan for the Georgetown Swim Tennis Club? Though the proposed property acquisition list, does not mention it, they are very close to the right of way.

I have deep concerns with the amount of traffic That I am guessing will be funneled through Dunwoody in order for our neighbors to the North to access the express lane entrance near Shallowford.  I would like to see an additional entrance ramp onto the express lanes heading in both directions on Peachtree Industrial Blvd near Winters Chapel.  If these two access points were included, half of Gwinnett County wouldn't be attempting to fight through Dunwoody to get on the lanes, instead, there would be an easy access point on PIB with many of the vehicles coming down Winters Chapel instead of cutting across Peeler to access those structures.  Not having access on PIB to the express lanes, is very short-sighted.

It appears that Cotillion and Savoy will be made one way, the Chamblee Dunwoody bridge will be rebuilt with a dedicated turn around lane taking you from Cotillion to Savoy but it does not appear that either Shallowford nor North Peachtree will have a dedicated turn around lane under 285, therefore expect delays going though these chock points unless dedicated turn lanes are constructed at Shallowford and North Peachtree for the Savoy to Collillion traffic patern.

If you are unable to raise questions or concerns in person on the 28th, GDOT is also accepting comments on the project webpage

You can also provide your comments by Tuesday, February 25, 2020, by using any of the following methods:

•Online at     1. Scroll to “I-285 Top End Express Lanes” in the lists of Upcoming Public Meetings or Recently Held Public Meetings (January 2020);   2.Click “View Info”   3.Click “ Comment” and follow the instructions to leave your comments.

•Online at

•Mail in your comment card to Mr. Eric Duff, Georgia Department of Transportation, 600 WestPeachtree Street NW, 16th Floor, Atlanta, Georgia 30308. Project displays and plans are available online at:

Hardcopies will also be available at the GDOT District 7 Office located at 5025 New Peachtree Road, Chamblee, GA 30341. Following the public comment period, a copy of all comments received will be available by request at the Atlanta address listed above.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Peachtree Corners town hall to discuss Spalding Drive Widening and Holcomb Bridge intersection improvements - Tuesday Night at Winters Chapel United Methodist Church

Meeting Tuesday Jan 21st - 7 pm
Winters Chapel United Methodist Church

Peachtree Corners Councilmember Phil Sadd (Post 1) is hosting a town hall meeting on Tuesday, January 21 at 7:00 p.m. at Winters Chapel United Methodist Church, 5105 Winters Chapel Road.
Issues to be discussed include:
  • Spalding Drive Widening and Holcomb Bridge intersection improvements
  • Crime Prevention Initiatives
  • Town Center Upcoming Projects
  • Curiosity Lab Autonomous Vehicle Test Track
  • Re-development Efforts
“If you’ve ever driven on Spalding Drive between Winters Chapel Road and Holcomb Bridge Road during rush hour, you’ve probably experienced significant delays and extended wait times, said Councilmember Sadd. “At the town hall meeting, we will provide an overview of the Spalding Drive project and explain how it will help improve traffic flow and increase pedestrian safety.

“This project will bring incredible improvements to our city, and we want to provide our citizens an opportunity to understand the plans and ask questions.  In addition, we will provide updates on other key activities taking place throughout our city.” 

The Peachtree Corners mayor and council members, as well as other elected officials with common jurisdiction, will be in attendance to inform citizens of key matters impacting the community.  The town hall meeting will include an open Q&A session, giving citizens an opportunity to voice concerns and ask questions of their local representatives.

The town hall meeting will be held in Peachtree Corners District 1, and is open to all citizens.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Join us at Brook Run Park on Monday at 8:30 a.m. for City of Dunwoody MLK Jr. Day of Service

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

Taking place the third Monday in January, the National Day of Service marks the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service. In line with Dr. King’s vision, the annual event is designed to empower individuals, bridge barriers and solve problems and strengthen communities.

Please join me and the hundreds of others who will be planting 200 trees with the assistance of Trees Atlanta and planting 5,000 daffodils with the help of the Daffodil Project.  There will be park beautification, street sign cleaning as well as other projects taking place at Dunwoody Place Personal Care Home, the Dunwoody Nature Center, and the Spruill Center for the Arts. Volunteers can also make a donation of non-perishable food items and/or coats at donations bins that will be located at the Brook Run pavilion on the day of the event.   Full details here, including preregistration that is suggested but not required.

Check-in for all projects will be at Brook Run Park (4770 N. Peachtree Road) beginning at 8:15 a.m. Music, coffee, donuts, and giveaways will be available before work begins at 9 a.m. Volunteers working on projects outside of Brook Run Park will need to provide their own transportation to other venues.   Please bring the entire family if you are able.

Several months back I had the pleasure of standing up and saying a few words about former Mayor Denis Shortal and the main focus of what I said was that Denny was a man who placed Service over Self - service in the military, to veterans, to family, civic organizations, to starting the city and serving as Mayor.   As I read some of Martin Luther King Jr's quotes on service listed below, I think about and am thankful for so many fine people in our community as it is you who make this community so strong.

“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”

 “Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service… You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.”

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”

Now a little bit more on Denny...      On Monday, I know I will be cleaning street signs again with our former Mayor and he will probably not judge the quality of my work, he won't say a word; instead, he will just get back up on the little ladder to ensure that the bottom half is spotless as he then gets frustrated that I may have missed a spot on the top half that he just can't reach.  The quote on painstaking excellence struck a chord with me as I look at the photo below, I just laugh knowing that I could always do better in doing small things in a great way.  Thank you Denny and to everyone who does small jobs with painstaking excellence.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deutsch and the 2020 City Council has been sworn in.

2020 Dunwoody City Council

Happy New Year. As we start 2020, I wanted to share with you how to reach your City Council, how to report infrastructure problems and how to report code enforcement issues.  You can always email me at

You can email all of the council (Including me) at

To report infrastructure problems…/yKmSSnCaBBDzYx2iN…/report/category

To report code enforcement issues:…

The City of Dunwoody has a weekly newsletter that is fantastic. If you don’t already receive it, you can sign up here:

*Individual email address for council District 1 District 1 District 2 District 2 District 3 District 3

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns. Again, best wishes for a happy and healthy 2020.

Coffee & Conversation with Dunwoody Clergy - Monday Jan 13th, 9 am at Crema Espresso Gourmet

Coffee with Clergy

Monday, 01-13-2020
9:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Crema Espresso Gourmet
2458 Mt. Vernon Road
Dunwoody, GA 30338
Start your day with an informal gathering of interfaith leaders to have thought-provoking conversations and gain a better understanding of the rich diversity within religious practices! Join the conversation Mon, Jan 13 for a lively chat between a rabbi, a priest, a pastor, and two reverends. Free to attend, food and drinks available for purchase. Please contact Rabbi Brian Glusman at 678-812-4161 or with any questions.

The following faith leaders will be on-hand for casual dialogue:

Reverend Josh Amerson
Dunwoody United Methodist Church

Rabbi Brian Glusman
Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta

Pastor Jeff Janson
Dunwoody Community Church

Reverend Msgr. Hugh M. Marren
All Saint Catholic Church

Reverend Trent McEntyre
Dunwoody Presbyterian Church

FYI, I am looking forward to attending this event.  As a cradle Catholic, I am well grounded in my faith & heritage but that being said I am always looking to stretch the awareness of my own understanding of God by church shopping for a better Catholic experience, a different perspective to take me out of echo chambers of our everyday routine. I enjoy exploring other faiths and traditions and have bowed my head, knelt and prayed with many; no matter their faith. Religion is a just lens we use to see God and no matter what lens you are using, in the end, they all bring us closer to our higher power, creator or savior. 

I believe many of us are searching for clarity of that higher power in order to put aside the conflicts of our polarized society, to work for love and understanding of our fellow man, by looking beyond ourselves we can see what can be, as it is always so much more than what currently is.

I am going to work hard to juggle my work schedule to attend this conversation, maybe I will see you there?  John

Dunwoody High School Baseball Celebrates Grand Opening Of New Field With Ribbon Cutting, Scrimmage And Fundraiser

Members of the community are invited to attend the scrimmage and Marlow’s Tavern Fundraiser on January 25, 2020.

Dunwoody, GA – January 6, 2020 – Baseball season is right around the corner and we can’t wait to play on our new field!    As some may recall, last season we were unable to play any home games on the Dunwoody High School baseball field due to unsafe playing conditions.  In addition to the visible surface issues, it was discovered that a large drainpipe running across the outfield was severely damaged.

Thanks to our friends at Dunwoody Senior Baseball we rescheduled and played most of our home games at the Brook Run Park baseball fields.

The Dunwoody High School staff and the Dunwoody Diamond Club began collaborating with the Dekalb County School System to explore remedies for restoring the DHS field to acceptable playing conditions and get our games back on campus.  This collaboration began in March and many options were considered.  Through exploration and constructive dialogue with DCSD, a plan to mutually invest in repairs was put into action.  This required the Diamond Club to leverage the hard work of our recent fund-raising efforts to invest in field improvements.

What happened next?   Both the Diamond Club and DCSD made substantial investments and a plan was devised to begin the repairs immediately.  Starting in July, the field was fully re-graded with appropriate drainage, resurfaced, and the damaged drainpipe repaired.

We are happy to report that the DHS baseball field has been repaired and is now fully operational.  Games for the 2020 season will commence AT HOME beginning in February.
These accomplishments could not have been completed without a successful collaboration between Dunwoody High School Staff, DeKalb County School System, Dunwoody Senior Baseball, Dunwoody Diamond Club, Marlow’s Tavern and some brainstorming with The Dunwoody Crier, The Aha! Connection, local residents, former legislators and Dunwoody City Council members.

To celebrate our success, the Dunwoody Diamond Club will be hosting a grand reopening of the field on January 25, 2020.  DHS teams will play an inter squad scrimmage to kick off the season immediately followed by a fundraiser to be held at Marlow’s Tavern!  Marlow’s reported the most successful fundraiser so far was the one they held for us last spring.  They are very excited to help again and are donating 15% of all sales back to our program. Proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward a few remaining repairs and ongoing maintenance costs to protect our gorgeous “new” field! 

Please let Marlow’s know that you are present at the fundraiser in support of the DHS Baseball.
We will be raffling off an autographed Nick Chubb / Cleveland Browns Jersey and an autographed Sony Michel / New England Patriots Jersey.  Raffle tickets can be purchased at the field between 2 and 5pm or at Marlow’s Tavern in Dunwoody between 5:30 and 7:30 PM.  The drawing will take place at 8 PM at Marlow’s.
Grand Re-opening of DHS Baseball Field, Saturday, January 25
Ribbon Cutting and Celebration         2PM – 2:30PM
Game                                                  2:30PM – 5:30PM
Baseball Gathering and Fundraiser    5:45PM

For more information regarding Dunwoody Baseball, please contact Bob Cucchi, Dunwoody Diamond Club President: 770.330.2971,
Dunwoody High School address:  5035 Vermack Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338
Marlow’s Tavern address:  1317 Dunwoody Village Parkway, Dunwoody, GA 30338

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Welcome to your new Home, Austin Elementary School - drivers please use extra caution in area.

For many students in Dunwoody, the common greeting on Monday will be welcome back, but for the Austin elementary students entering the newly constructed school for the first time, the greeting will be welcome home.

Neighbors and parents in the area have to consider it a first-day of school, traffic situation with lots of confusion and new routines to be learned.  Prepare for possible traffic delays on Roberts Drive, and keep an eye out for students and families using new sidewalks and crosswalks.  Thanks

Huge High Street development near Dunwoody Marta Station looks to working within original conditions of zoning put in place many years ago.

Back in August, the long-awaited High Street Development dropped off the initial plans for the land disturbance permit for phase 1 at Dunwoody City Hall.  I know that High Street is getting close to breaking ground so last week I met with Dunwoody Community Development department to assure myself that High Street is complying with the original DeKalb conditions of zoning.  If High Street wanted to change what DeKalb County had originally allowed before incorporation, they would need to come before the Dunwoody City Council for discussion and decision.  From what I have seen to date, High Street intends to work within the broad outline of the original allowances. Therefore this project will not be coming in front of the City Council.

The extensive plans are listed below, but it was the initial conditions that DeKalb put upon the project that I was most interested in reviewing with Dunwoody staff.

If you are into downloading huge files and reviewing technical drawings, enjoy.
  2019 0975  2019-08-19 High Street Phase 1 Hydrology Report.pdf
  2019 0975 2019-08-16 High Street - Phase 1 LDP Part-1.pdf
  2019 0975 2019-08-16 High Street - Phase 1 LDP Part-2.pdf
  2019 0975 2019-08-16 High Street - Phase 1 LDP Part-3.pdf
  2019 0975 2019-08-16 High Street - Phase 1 LDP Part-4.pdf

News Article by the Dunwoody Reporter Dyana Bagby from Aug 23, 2019
GID and North American Properties have proposed the $2 billion development on about 42 acres in Perimeter Center. It would total 8 million square feet of mixed-use development, including 400,000 square feet of shopping and chef-driven dining; 635,000 square feet of Class A office space; and a 400-room hotel. A small public park area is included in the central area. The scope of the first phase is to build four blocks of mixed-use development, parking decks, private internal streets, and stormwater pipes and other utilities. The development has been zoned for 3,000 residential units, but the first phase shows just one 8-story apartment tower being built with 600 units. The plans for the first phase also include construction of 200,000 square feet of retail.