Monday, November 18, 2019

City of Dunwoody proposes sale of 5 acres of medical office buildings close to 285. @colliersatl @emoryhealthcare @NorthsideHosp

On July 8, 2019 the Dunwoody City Council declared the front 2 acres containing the updated Emory building as surplus and therefore up for sale and on the November 18th agenda there is an item to declare the back 3 acres of the property, containing older one-story medical buildings as surplus; therefore putting the entire 5 acre block on the market.

With the Emory surgical center being completely updated a few years back and having a lease that expires in 2024, I am guessing they would be interested in obtaining control of the property.  The back 3 acres are prime for redevelopment.

The land was purchased for park and civic uses, therefore, I will be pushing that any proceeds from the sale, if it moves in that direction, would be reinvested into some other civic use to be used by the citizens.

Mayor Denis Shortal's Final Dunwoody Town Hall Meeting - Tuesday November 19th 7pm at City Hall

Tuesday Night   7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Dunwoody City Hall
4800 Ashford Dunwoody Road
Dunwoody, Georgia

Dunwoody Mayor Denis Shortal will hold his final town hall on Tuesday, November 19 at 7 p.m. at Dunwoody City Hall, 4800 Ashford Dunwoody Road. All members of the community are invited.
The meeting will start with a presentation by Mayor Shortal, followed by a transparent and informative dialogue. Questions or comments can be submitted in advance by emailing Notecards will also be available during the meeting for questions.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

City of Dunwoody Public Open House - Zoning update for the Dunwoody Village Master Plan

Johnny needs to go on a diet.

November 16
Community Meeting
Zoning update for the Dunwoody Village Master Plan
Vintage Pizzeria
2-4 p.m. (drop-in anytime)

The City of Dunwoody is updating its Village Master Plan for 2020 and beyond! The update will look at connectivity, public spaces, and the character of future development.  This open house is a drop-in format that you can join at any time. An overview of the effort will be provided along with details on the proposed changes to the Dunwoody Village zoning.

I wonder if news of new possible restaurants will be announced?

Dunwoody City Council Agenda for Monday November 18, 2019

Monday, November 18, 2019
Dunwoody City Hall
4800 Ashford Dunwoody Rd
Dunwoody, GA 30338


Recognition of Citizens' Police Academy #11 Graduates

Administration of Oath of Officer to Officer George Lin

Proclamation - Type One Diabetes Awareness Month

Presentation of 3rd Quarter 2019 Internal Audit Report 

Athletic Field Usage Report (Brent Walker)

FIRST READ: RZ 19-02: Kathy Zickert, attorney for the Owner, on Behalf of GMC Real Estate Acquisitions, LLC, Owner of 11 Ravinia Parkway, Dunwoody, GA 30346 Seeks the Following to Rezone the Property From its Current OCR (Office, Commercial, Residential) District ConditionalZoning Classification to an PC-2 (Perimeter Center) District

FIRST READ: MA 19-02 Laurel David, Attorney for the Owner, on Behalf of JSJ Perimeter, Owner of 84, 130, and 140 Perimeter Center East, Dunwoody, Georgia seeks a Major Modification to Conditions of Zoning 

Presentation of the Comprehensive Plan 5 year update-Kickoff Meeting

FIRST READ: Text Amendments Regarding Telecommunications Regulations (Chapter 27)

Resolution Authorizing an Increase to the City of Dunwoody 401(a) Plan

Resolution Authorizing a Merit Increase for the City Clerk

Resolution Authorizing Fifth Amendment to the City Manager's Employment Contract

Approval of a Tree Planting Contract for the Mount Vernon Road at Vermack Road Intersection Improvement

Approval of a Contract with Trees Atlanta 

Approval of a Contract Amendment with Lowe Engineers 

Approval of a Contract with ConnectSouth 

Approval of Internal Auditor Contract 

Resolution to Update the Community Development Fee Schedule

Presentation of Convention and Visitors Bureau of Dunwoody Financial Statements as of September 30, 2019 and Discover Dunwoody 2020 Budget 

Resolution Amending the 2019 Operating and Capital Budget

Approval of a Contract Amendment with Reeves Young

Adoption of a Memorandum of Understanding Between the City of Dunwoody and Atlanta Regional Commission for the Comprehensive Plan 5 Year Update Services

Speed Calming Device Fees (Mayor Shortal)

Adoption of Vulnerable Road User Ordinance (Chief Grogan)

Adoption of Decorative Display Policy (Bill Riley)

Joint Defense and Common Interest Agreement (Bill Riley)

FIRST READ: Text Amendment to Chapters 24 and 25 re Clean Indoor Air 

Resolution Declaring Property Located at 4553 North Shallowford Road as Surplus Property and Authorizing the City Manager to Dispose of the Property

Discussion of Public Art (Michael Starling)

Monday, November 11, 2019

City of Dunwoody Election breakdown by Precinct for November 5, 2019 #gapol

Above are the Dunwoody Mayoral election stats broken down by precinct, which shows that Lynn Deutsch won 12 of the 13 precincts with the only the Dunwoody Library precinct being won by Terry Nall which mostly covers the Branches Neighborhood.    Turnout numbers were low citywide in this election at about 25%, with a large discrepancy between some of the single-family precincts voting as high as 39% with the multi-family precincts voting as low as 10%.   Imagine what the turn out numbers would have been without early voting being so easy?

Comparing turnout numbers from this election to last year's gubernatorial election is quite striking as 20,000 people voted last year, and only 7,000 voted in the Mayoral election.

Looking below at past citywide elections where there are no other state-wide elections, I guess the 25 percent turnout was to be expected but the jump of 7,000 additional registered voters between 2015 and 2019 is interesting as I do not believe the City has added that many residences except for a few townhome developments and the new single-family homes off Vermack as well as Shallowford.  I guess voter registration in anticipation of the 2018 election garnered quite a bump?

Update from Ms. Bev Wingate, the 2008 City Charter turnout was 43% with 24,239 registered voters and 81% voted yes for incorporation. (Thanks Bev!)

Saturday, November 9, 2019

City of Dunwoody to hold Veterans Day Ceremony on Monday Nov. 11 at 10 am at Brook Run Park Veterans Memorial

Veterans Day Ceremony
Monday November 11 at 10 am
Brook Run Park Veterans Memorial
4770 N. Peachtree Road

The City of Dunwoody will hold its annual Veterans Day Ceremony at 10 a.m. on November 11 at the Brook Run Park Veterans Memorial (4770 N. Peachtree Road). The public ceremony is co-hosted by the Dunwoody Veteran Events Planning Committee and Dunwoody Parks and Recreation.
“Veterans Day is an important Dunwoody tradition,” said Bev Wingate, coordinator of the committee. “It is a time to commemorate and honor the many brave men and women who have sacrificed to defend our country and protect our freedoms. It is a time to express gratitude to them and their families for a debt that can never be repaid.”

Dunwoody Mayor Denis Shortal, Brigadier General USMC (RET), will be the keynote speaker. Dunwoody Police Major Michael Carlson, Georgia National Guard Captain, will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

The Dunwoody Veteran Events Planning Committee includes veterans, active military, and community volunteers. The committee works in conjunction with the VFW, Dunwoody Woman’s Club and Dunwoody Parks and Recreation to present veteran events.

Local students will play an important role in this year’s Veterans Day Ceremony. The Dunwoody High School Air Force JROTC, led by Kenneth Bennett, Lt. Col. USAF (RET), will present the colors. The Dunwoody High School Chorus will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Mayor Pro Tem Lynn Deutsch will give the welcome and lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Rev. Dr. David Lower, senior pastor at Saint Luke’s Presbyterian Church, will give the invocation. The ceremony is a rain-or-shine event.

Chesnut Parent Advisory Council, Dunwoody North Civic Association and the Dunwoody North Driving Club all speak with one voice rejecting the redistricting proposal presented by @DeKalbSchools

Dear Dr. Green, Mr. Drake, Mr. Williams, Dr. Johnson and Board Members:

Thank you for inviting community feedback on the Austin Elementary Redistricting process. We write today to clarify Chesnut Elementary PAC’s position, based on stakeholder feedback, and thank you for considering our community’s needs. Unfortunately, we cannot approve any of the three redistricting options provided on Oct. 23rd, because none of them benefit our school. They all propose an overall reduction in our student enrollment and they all divide the DNCA neighborhood along the Tilly Mill corridor.

A. Splitting the DNCA Violates Redistricting Criteria and Hurts Chesnut
  • Sending DNCA families east of Tilly Mill Road (area D of Option 2) to Kingsley does not comply with the first criterion (Geographic Proximity) of the Board Policy on Alteration of School Attendance Areas — by increasing their distance to school by 33 to 62 percent.
  • At Chesnut, 40% of PAC Council parent seats and PAC Action Team parent volunteers are filled by parents in the DNCA area east of Tilly Mill Road. Withdrawing these families would significantly diminish parent leadership at Chesnut, to the detriment of the efficient running of Chesnut’s robust academic and community initiatives.
 B. Chesnut Willing To Share in Cluster Overcrowding
  • Rather than lose students, we welcome a slight increase in enrollment.
  • We are open to discussing scenarios, such as the addition of Dunwoody Elementary’s Area E on Option 2, that may slightly increase Chesnut’s enrollment, in an effort to equitably distribute the number of portables across the six Dunwoody cluster schools.

    Chesnut’s Reality: Not Severely Overcrowded
  • With a current student enrollment of 473, Chesnut is actually 110% utilized.
  • Chesnut’s stated School Capacity on Oct. 23 was misreported as 358, inflating Chesnut’s utilization rate to 135%, making Chesnut appear to be as overcrowded as Vanderlyn and more overcrowded than DES.
  • Our school building’s actual Instructional Capacity is 428 students, as reported on the corrected Oct. 28th Facility Capacity Report.
  • We challenge the 15% reduction applied to our 428 Instructional Capacity, termed the Scheduling Factor [a “reduction of total [student capacity] to account for the number of periods the room is not used and allow for teacher allotments”].
  • While a Scheduling Factor of 85% may help determine classroom funding, when assessing our building’s Instructional Capacity, it is an unrealistic manipulation of the data, because homerooms are static. No homeroom class can be accommodated by utilizing a combination of classrooms during the 15% of the day each of the other rooms is not in use.
  • Chesnut’s lower field is able to accommodate 4th grade in portables while leaving adequate field, track and playground space for students to play during recess. There is room for an additional trailer to accommodate a slight increase in our enrollment.

C. Adhering to Redistricting Criteria

We therefore urge you, as you consider rezoning options, to maintain or slightly increase Chesnut’s current size, and keep the DNCA area whole, in accordance with the following redistricting criteria.
  • Primary Criteria
    1. Geographic Proximity - We ask all DNCA neighborhoods east of Tilly Mill Road remain in Chesnut district, as they are all closer to Chesnut than Kingsley (per above table). If Perimeter Gardens (Area E in Option 2) were rezoned to Chesnut, they would be .3 miles closer to school than they are to DES.

    2. Instructional Capacity - Any proposal that ultimately reduces the number of students at Chesnut will cause our small school to lose funding for teachers and instructional support staff, undercutting our proven method of delivering an excellent education for all students. We prefer to welcome additional students from overcrowded areas to retain our working education model.
  • Secondary Criteria
    1. Safety and Traffic Patterns - Moving DNCA students east of Tilly Mill Road to Kingsley will add traffic to already congested main thoroughfares Tilly Mill Road and North Peachtree Road. Conversely, there are established Safe Routes to School that allow these students to walk or bike to and from Chesnut safely. If Perimeter Gardens were to be rezoned to Chesnut, they could utilize the existing DCSD bus route that serves Chesnut students at Columns at Lake Ridge.

    5. Intact Neighborhoods - After using the appropriate channels in the correct forum — Sept. 26th’s Round 1 Austin Elementary Redistricting Meeting — our voice was not heard. We ask again that the DNCA be kept intact. DNCA’s area encompasses community members on the west and east side of Tilly Milly Road, including: Dunwoody North, Andover Estates, Laurelwood Farms, Dunwoody Trails, Brafferton Square, Briers North, The Madisons, and Chestnut Landing.
D. Prioritize A Chesnut Rebuild

Lastly, we strongly request DCSD make a rebuild for Chesnut its first priority in addressing Dunwoody’s elementary school overcrowding, and expedite this project’s undertaking. Not only do we have the lowest Facility Condition Assessment (43.17) in the Dunwoody cluster, we have one of the largest properties, which we hope can be utilized to increase our capacity and eliminate the shortage of elementary seats in the cluster. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Chesnut Parent Advisory Council

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The great Dunwoody write in challenge - Kristin Heneghan has been declared the winner over Justin Dike, as well as other stats.

Justin Dike & Kristin Heneghan

Looking at the write-in stats is always interesting for me on an open uncontested race to see whose name might show up, be a neighbor, a celebrity or even a protest message.  The Dunwoody stats do not disappoint as there are write-ins for Mayor, and all three City Council seats.  Looking at the pdf, City Council race for District 1 between Stacey Harris and Robert Miller is coded a race 260, and it follows the Dunwoody Mayor write-in stats.  District 2 stats for the contest between Joe Seconder and Heyward Wescott are listed next as race 270 and finally, the uncontested District 3 race identified as number 280 had the most write-ins.

The challenge posted by What's Up Dunwoody's Justin Dike to my wife Kristin to see who would get more write-in votes for the Ddistrict 3 race wasn't even close;  Kristin won by a landslide.

Looking at other results, Dunwoody was by far the most popular location to vote early with 3,000 people doing so.

I haven't plugged the numbers into a spreadsheet yet but the turnout in Dunwoody shows that most precints where there is a high percentage of single family homes voted at a much higher rate vs where there is a majority of multifamily, for example Austin 40%, Tilly Mill 35%, Mt. Vernon East 37%, Mt. Vernon West 31%, Kingsley 35%, Dunwoody Library 35%, North Peachtree 18%, Dunwoody 17%, Georgetown Square 15%, Chesnut 15%, Peachtree Middle 11%.  To see the polling paces and maps check here.

DeKalb's final results (Unofficial & Incomplete that still need to be certified) are here.

Andrew Ziffer announces candidacy for DeKalb County Board of Education

Below is the message from the candidate I received, as well as invitation to a campaign kick off this Sunday, Nov 10th for 3 pm at the Kingsley Swim and Racquet Club.  If interested in meeting Andrew he would be happy to discuss the future of our schools.

Dear Friends,

Many people are able to find fault with school and government institutions. Some of us try to influence the institutions to improve. Some of us contribute money hoping to make things better. A few of us volunteer to support the unmet needs of our community. And, sometimes, one of us raises our hand and volunteers to run for public office to make a difference.

I have raised my hand to say I can do better. I am excited to announce that I will be running for the District 1 School Board seat for DeKalb County in May, 2020.

For those who know me, I am not a politician. In fact, my wife, Janet, reminds me of this regularly. I am a business owner, a parent and community member.

There is no personal reason for me to run for this position. Janet and I have a good life and enjoy our family time together. Why do I want to rock the boat?

Well, the answer is clear to Janet and me. It’s the same reason we helped create the PHACE Syndrome Community many years ago – TO SERVE THE COMMUNITY.

Few people in District 1 are happy with the way the DeKalb Schools are being run. The incumbent has been elected twice, running with no opposition.

My platform is laser-focused.
  • I will represent our community better with messages of partnership
    • and not war with our school system
  • I will represent our community better by reaching my hand across the table looking for solutions
    • and not faulting the other side of the table for the problems
  • I will represent our community better by listening more
    • and talking less
  • I will represent our community better by taking action
    • and looking forward for solutions rather than looking back to complain
  • AND I will represent our community by calling out misinformation, mismanagement, and fiscal irresponsibility
My focus as a DeKalb County School Board Member will be:
  • Ensuring my actions support students in the classroom, first and foremost
  • Improving the culture and climate of DCSD
  • Changing the conversation in DeKalb County Schools from one of opposition and self-protection to one of partnership and long term planning
  • Addressing deferred maintenance and facilities needs
  • Ensuring that long term enrollment planning is accurate, regular, and matches facility capacity
I am excited about what the future holds and hope I can truly transform conversations in DeKalb County and District 1, and improve student’s lives.
Visit for more information.

Andrew Ziffer
Candidate District 1
DeKalb County Board of Education