Friday, January 29, 2010

City Council planning retreat moved to Dunwoody Embassy Suites, this Sunday.

The Mayor and City Council of Dunwoody will be holding their annual City Council strategic planning session within the City of Dunwoody. Due to the current weather advisories issued by the National Weather Service, the site visit to Franklin, Tennessee is temporarily postponed until spring.
The focus of the session will remain the same. Mayor, Council, and key city staff will still meet to discuss and formulate plans for 2010. The session will aid creating a strong organizational direction, determination of top priorities, and better enable all parties involved to navigate challenges foreseen and unforeseen in the coming year.

The meeting is now scheduled to be held at the Embassy Suites Perimeter, located at 1030 Crown Point Parkway, beginning at 8:00 a.m. The strategic planning meeting is open to the public and Dunwoody citizens are encouraged to attend.  The meeting will be recorded and results will be published on the City of Dunwoody website.

City Council Planning Retreat
January 31, 2010 from 8:00 AM until ??

Embassy Suites Perimeter - Agenda
1030 Crown Pointe Parkway
Dunwoody, GA 30338

A) Arrive
B) Overview, Introductions
C) Roles, Responsibilities, and Expectations
D) Review of 2009 Retreat Results
E) Listing and prioritizing of items identified by Mayor and Council
F) Discussion of priority issues and goal setting
G) Continue discussion of priority issues and goal setting
H) Other pressing matters needing discussion
I) Summarize agreements, wrap up and evaluation
J) Adjourn

Potential items that may be discussed:
1. Five year financial forecast
2. 2010 budget discussion
3. City Hall Project fund
4. Business License discussion
5. Police Services discussion
6. DeKalb Fire
7. 911 Update
8. Council Meeting/Work Session discussion
9. Agenda packet review process
10. Contract services discussion
11. Domestic partner benefits
12. Road infrastructure planning
13. GPC discussion
14. Sustainability
15. Emergency sirens
16. Noise Ordinance
17. Community Service for litter control
18. Public Information Officer discussion
19. Council expense accounts
20. Residential parking discussion
21. Comprehensive Land Use Plan discussion

Fire Rescue Officers Terminated and Dunwoody Police Department makes a statement.


Dunwoody Police Release: Death Investigation

On January 24, 2010, officers with the Dunwoody Police Department were dispatched to assist the Dekalb County Fire Department with traffic control for a structure fire at 1687 Houghton Court North. The Dekalb Fire Department was dispatched at 1:05:36 am. The Dunwoody Police Department was dispatched at 1:11:54 am. Two Dunwoody Police Officers arrived on the scene and found several Dekalb County Fire Department vehicles preparing to leave. The Dunwoody Police officers were advised by a firefighter from Ladder 18 that they could not locate any fire and were going back in service. The Dunwoody Police officers went back in service at that time. The Dekalb Fire Department was dispatched shortly after 6:18 am and located the fire at 1687 Houghton Court North. The Dunwoody Police Department responded as well for traffic control. The Dunwoody Police Department is currently conducting a criminal investigation into the death and is working closely with the Dekalb Fire Department and the District Attorney’s Office on the investigation. Dunwoody investigators will present their findings to the District Attorney’s Office once the investigation has been concluded.

Mayor Ken Wright's 2010 State of the City Address for Dunwoody, GA

Thursday, January 28, 2010

DeKalb Firefighters Admit Error In Fatal Dunwoody Blaze, Family Wants Apology

Read the Fire Report and watch the videos below by clicking on them.


DeKalb Schools Face $56M Shortfall

Bill Would Ban Administrator Raises If Teachers Are Furloughed

A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Part 6 of Article 6 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to employment under the "Quality Basic Education Act"; so as to prohibit the use of state funds to provide a salary increase for the local school superintendent or administrators during a school year in which a local board of education furloughs teachers, paraprofessionals, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, custodians, support staff, or other nonadministrative positions; to require the local board to provide notice and a hearing if local or private funds are intended to be used for such salary increases; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Community Gardening Workshop - Sat Jan 30th

Click for full size

Community Gardening Workshop
Hosted by CEO Burrell Ellis and Commissioner Kathie Gannon
Please join the 2nd in a series of workshops on creating a sustainable DeKalb.  Interested in starting a garden in your community? Looking for access to fresh, local fruits and vegetables? Join us to find out more about the new Community Gardens initiative in DeKalb County. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to talk to representatives from local farms and gardens, and sign up for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and DeKalb County Community Gardens.

Saturday, Jan 30th
9:00 am - Noon

Georgia Perimeter College-Decatur
3251 Panthersville Rd.
Decatur, GA 30034
On the corner of Panthersville and Clifton Springs Rd.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dunwoody fire response under review

Four DeKalb fire officers placed on leave; Dunwoody fire response under review

Four DeKalb County Fire Rescue department officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation of fatal Dunwoody fire early Sunday morning. County public safety director William Miller put acting officer in charge William Greene, Capt. Tony L. Motes, Capt. Sell Caldwell, and Batt. Chief Lesley Clark on leave with pay as the department conducts an internal investigation, according to a statement released late Monday night.

A call reporting a fire in the 1600 block of Houghton Court was disconnected as the dispatcher was getting information from the caller.  The dispatcher tried several times to reconnect, and firefighters were sent to the area. When they arrived, however, they found no signs of a fire.  About five hours later, a call reporting a fire in the same area. Firefighters arrived to find a house fully engulfed in flames.  The home burned to the ground, and emergency officials found the body of an elderly woman in the remains of the house, county officials said.

The internal investigation of the emergency response is part of the county's standard practices, officials said.

CEO Burrell Ellis to speak on Tuesday regarding the DeKalb Budget and proposed 11% tax hike.

DeKalb CEO, Burrell Ellis

On Tuesday January 26th, DeKalb CEO, Burrell Ellis and members of the BOC budget committee will be meeting at 7 p.m. at Montgomery Elementary School, 3995 Ashford Dunwoody Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30319 to discuss the 2010 proposed budget and 11% property tax increase.

Attempting to sell a tax increase is a difficult proposition but Mr. Ellis has to be given some credit for personally hosting 12 neighborhood budget gatherings to have face-to-face conversations with citizens to receive input on the proposed 2010 DeKalb County operating budget. The PowerPoint presentation and Budget executive summary to the Board of Commissioners is available on line and I was glad to see that the meeting questions and answers are also posted on-line for all to see

Kudos to the County for the transparency improvements that are also being made behind the scenes such as the streaming video of the 2010 State of the County address and also the recorded video of Regular Board of Commissioner Meetings (Jan 12, 2010).   As a guy who dabbles in this type of technology I will be watching with interest on how your system works for you.

2010 DeKalb County Budget Presentation

DeKalb County 2010 Ceo Budget Letter

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Heneghan family is again raising funds for childhood cancer with St. Baldrick's. Please join us or make a donation if you are able.

You heard it right - John, Riley and now Gavin Heneghan will be shaving their heads in solidarity with children who have cancer and typically lose their hair during treatment, while raising critical funds for childhood cancer research!  Since we enjoyed ourselves so much last year at this worthwhile event and were even offered a ride on the St. Baldrick's float in the St. Patrick's Day Parade, sponsored by Fado Irish Pub; we figured that we would try to top last year's fund raising effort.  Since raising money as a group would be easier than going it alone, we created a team named the Dunwoody Baldies to encourage others from the community to join us as a "Shavee" on March 12th.

In the US, more children die of childhood cancer than any other disease. Please make a donation on our behalf to support childhood cancer research so that all children diagnosed with cancer will have a better chance for a cure.  Thanks, the Dunwoody Baldies.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Georgia Perimeter College to present expansion plans to the Dunwoody City Council on Monday

Monday, January 25th
Dunwoody City Hall
Dunwoody, GA 30346
7:00 p.m. - Watch Live

This Monday, Dr. Anthony Tricoli, President of Georgia Perimeter College will make a presentation to the Dunwoody Community regarding the proposed expansion plans of the GPC Dunwoody Campus and from the agenda it appears that he will be listening to statements from the public.

Myself and the other members of the Council have already met with Dr. Tricoli to discuss options to improve the traffic situation and it appears that due to the financial constraints of the State that the expansion plans will not be going forward in this budget year but the college hopes that the construction request will be approved in the near future.   When it came to options available to improve current traffic flow, every topic imaginable was discussed including the feasibility of a dedicated GPC shuttle bus to the Dunwoody or Sandy Springs Marta Station to serve the students on that line where there is no current bus service, improved bicycle access (I only saw two bike racks on the entire campus that I toured today), limited parking passes encouraging car pools, shuttle buses from remote lots and many, many other ideas.

The meeting on Monday starts at 7 pm with a swearing in of a new Dunwoody Police Officer and then as with all city council meetings there are 30 minutes of public comment available at the beginning of every meeting for up to 10 individuals to speak on any subject, for three minutes. The meeting has the consent agenda whereby we approve items that need no further discussion (because we already hashed out the issues at the work session) followed by the GPC presentation, probably being made around 7:40 or earlier depending on how long the initial public comment session goes. In case you are unable to attend the City Council meeting but are still interested in knowing what is going on, the live streaming video will be available here. I expect members of the community wishing to speak to be granted three minutes each after Dr. Tricoli's presentation but I don't know how long that will be allowed to go on, so please sign one the public comment cards available at the back of the room when you arrive and hand it in to one of the front tables.

Mayor Wright and the entire Dunwoody City Council are dedicated to doing everything within our power to find solutions to mitigate the current college traffic congestion and we look forward to hearing what Dr. Tricoli has to say about the future of Georgia Perimeter College and in particular the future of the Dunwoody Campus.  We also look forward to hearing first hand from many of you on the issues related to traffic around the college and how it affects your life.

Dunwoody City Council Meeting - Monday January 25th @ 7 pm

Monday, January 25th
Dunwoody City Hall
41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346
7:00 p.m. - Watch Live

 Georgia Perimeter College presentation and public comment.

Airport And Homeowners Agree For A Change! - Airport Business Magazine

Posted By Ralph Hood for AirportBusiness

An interesting story develops regarding the airspace over the Peachtree DeKalb Airport (PDK) in the Atlanta area and the people who live in the area. The story includes the usual worries about low-flying airplanes, noise, pollution, and safety for the people who live near the airport (an upscale neighborhood in this case).

For once, however, the homeowners and the airport seem to agree.

The FAA proposes to lower the bottom altitude of Class B airspace in the area to straighten the approach and departure of aircraft operating in/out of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport (ATL). That would lower the bottom of Class B to 5,000 feet over PDK, which is one of the busiest general aviation airports in the Southeast. Many aircraft operating at PDK are jets that operate efficiently only at high altitudes and need to get up there fast. True, they should be cleared quickly to a higher altitude, but the fear is that the clearance will come slower than currently. Departing aircraft could be held down longer and landing aircraft pushed down earlier. And, any way you look at it, the plan will compress more aircraft (many of them VFR) into less airspace and that does have a bearing on safety. Efficiency and safety concern Pat Epps, Epps Aviation, PDK, as does anything that makes life more difficult for his customers. Pat would like to see the proposed altitude changes stopped.

Those with homes in the area would like it stopped too, but for different reasons. They worry about increased pollution, noise, and, of course, safety.

The push for keeping the status quo is gaining, it seems. John Heneghan, a member of the Dunwoody, GA, City Council, publishes reports in his popular Blog. WSBTV has covered the issue in some detail. Perhaps most importantly, AOPA—the most active and effective defender of general aviation airports—is actively involved.

This should be interesting!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Run for Cover? I plan to fight for both the Students and the fine Teachers of DeKalb County.

The Spruill Gallery has an exhibition called Run For Cover. It’s a look at album covers that has defined and influenced our experience of music, and shaped our lives over the past few decades. Hope Cohn is director for the Spruill Gallery and spoke of the exhibit on WABE's City Cafe. As a 14 year resident of Dunwoody, I will shamefully admit that I have never set foot into the Spruill Gallery on Ashford Dunwoody but I think that is about to change.

I was going to post the simple piece above but the name of the exhibit in relationship to the DeKalb County School System news coming out, just touched me on so many levels.

Like all governmental budgets that depend on property taxes the DeKalb County School System is facing financial crisis, yet we have school board members already saying publicly that they are in favor of tax increases along with cuts in teacher pay vs deep cuts in administrative overhead.
DeKalb County pre-kindergarten classes, magnet schools and art courses will be slashed and teachers will likely see another pay cut to offset a $56 million deficit in the school system. The only other option is to raise property taxes, DeKalb Superintendent Crawford Lewis said Wednesday. Either way, students, teachers and administrators will feel the pinch next year.
The AJC also quotes board member, Eugene Walker who suggested the board raise property taxes 2 mills, which would raise the taxes of a $200,000 homeowner’s tax bill by about $135 more a year.
I read a comment on the DeKalb County School Watch Blog where a resident matter of factly stated that his decision had been made, that he is now going to move out of DeKalb vs. put up with the degradation of the school system, paying higher taxes that he can not afford, for it to be wasted on administrative bloat.

I don't know about you but as a father of three children in the DeKalb County School System, I truely respect my children's teachers, they work hard and are dedicated to the education of my children, sometimes it seems in spite of the obstacles placed upon them by the current administration. Unlike that person who is ready to move out of DeKalb, we the residents of DeKalb County need to stay and fight for quality education for our children and support the teachers who educate them.

I refuse to do differently and if you feel the same I would ask you stay engaged in the process, stay educated on what is happening in DeKalb and be ready to fill the auditorium of Peachtree Charter Middle School on Monday March 1st for the DeKalb County School Board work session where budget alternatives will most likely be discussed.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Video of the January 19th, Dunwoody City Council Work Session

Tuesday's Dunwoody City Council work session lasted about three and half hours with us discussing a whole slew of topics. One of the downsides of the free video service I use is that there is a three hour maximum recording limit and I had hoped to save part one and start a part two but it wouldn't allow me to do that without cutting off the 5 people who were watching the broadcast live. Here is the broadcast of the majority of the evening and there is no part 2.

What is your vision for Winters Chapel Rd? Tell us Thursday Night 7 pm at Congregation Beth Shalom.

Thursday night will be the Community Meeting to discuss the vision of Winters Chapel Rd taking place at 7 pm at Congregation Beth Shalom, 5303 Winters Chapel Road. The focus area flanks the East side of the City as the County line (also the City border) meanders back and forth across Winters Chapel and it is the home of an important gateway to the city at Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.

Since future redevelopment of the area will need the cooperation of Gwinnett County, I have asked staff to invite their planning officials as well as police and code enforcement officials to attend and listen.  An invitation is also being offered to the DeKalb Water Works in case there are questions that they could best answer for their immediate neighbors.  Please attend this important community meeting to have an open discussion of the area and your future vision for the community.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dunwoody Mayor, Ken Wright Set to Deliver 2010 Inaugural State of the City Address

Mayor Ken Wright

The City of Dunwoody will host the first State of the City Address on Thursday, January 28, 2010 at the 1420 Room off Dunwoody Village Parkway. This year’s inaugural address will focus on challenges overcome during the City’s first year and the many accomplishments of 2009. Mayor Wright will also discuss new goals and opportunities for 2010 and the projects expected to take shape in the coming year. Following the State of the City event, the speech in its entirety, will be available on the City of Dunwoody website at

The festivities will kick off with a reception, open to the public beginning at 5:00 p.m. The State of the City Address will begin at 6:00 p.m. followed by a program commemorating the City of Dunwoody’s one-year anniversary. On display at the State of the City Address will be a museum style exhibit created by the Dunwoody Preservation Trust highlighting the past year and a half of Dunwoody history. The City will also be displaying a time capsule, built to hold and protect cherished pieces of city history for 100 years. Residents are encouraged to submit suggestions for items to be stored in the capsule for future generations to discover in 2110. The capsule will be housed at the current Dunwoody City Hall until a more permanent location can be determined.

Participating sponsors for this event include Calvin, Giordano & Associates, Clark Patterson Lee, JAT Consulting Services, Riley Lewis & McClendon, Lowe Engineers, Bryant Wharton, BWT Risk Advisors, Road Worx, L-3 Mobile-Vision, Inc., SunTrust, Terramark, and Boyken International. Entry to the State of the City event is free and early arrival is encouraged. Seating and parking will be limited.

For more information, please contact Edie Damann, Marketing and PR Manager, at 678-382-6700 or visit the City of Dunwoody website at

Monday, January 18, 2010

Yellow River Game Ranch - All Tickets $1.00 Today only

When I have little nieces and nephews in town, it is usually the Yellow River Game Ranch that gets visited before many of the other tourist traps in town.  It has "wild animals" walking around and the kids get to feed them up close as my son Gavin proves down below with him feeding a little piglet.

The Yellow River Game Ranch is offering a one day dollar special for today, Monday Jan 18th where as the normal price is $7 and up.

Yellow River Game Ranch
is located at 4525 Highway 78, Lilburn. 770-972-6643  

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Huge Agenda for Special Tuesday Night Dunwoody City Council Meeting

Tuesday, January 19th
Dunwoody City Hall
41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346
7:00 p.m. - Watch Live

The Dunwoody City Council  does not meet on Federal Holiday's and have therefore moved Monday's meeting to Tuesday.

Special Called Voting Meeting Agenda

Work Session Agenda - Immediately Following Voting Meeting

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Backyard Chicken proposal fails Dunwoody Community Council by a 3 to 2 vote.

In a long meeting with much public discussion both pro and con, the Dunwoody Community Council voted to recommend the denial of the matter of backyard chickens.  The item will now go before the Dunwoody Planning Commission and then the City Council for the final decision.

Rick Callihan over at the Dunwoody Talk blog gives a detailed account of the meeting, check it out.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dunwoody can't handle Georgia Perimeter College's growth.

Georgia Perimeter College, Dunwoody Campus is located in the sleepy bedroom community of Dunwoody's single family residential district of Tilly Mill and Womack. The poor planning of the placement of this location has become evident by the steady increase of vehicular traffic whereby our road infrastructure is overwhelmed and grid locked leading all the way back to the interstate and beyond.

The college has just completed the demolition of the DeKalb School property that they obtained in the swap for Dunwoody Elementary and they are now attempting to convince the State Government and the Board of Regents to go forward with the new construction of two academic buildings and two separate parking structures, in two phases.  If approved by the State, GPC would like to start the first phase of construction of the $28.6 Million dollar, four story academic building along Womack and the adjoining 600 car parking deck in early 2011, followed by an other similar building and another 600 car deck soon after as the photo above shows.

When the City Council learned of these plans we started taking immediate action by talking to GPC and learning everything we could of their plans.  Knowing that GPC is a separate governmental agency and not subject to the control of Dunwoody zoning ordinances; it therefore would be difficult for us to stop their plans through our normal control measures.  That being said, numerous conversations were held with GPC in order to determine how to correct the real issue, which is not the expansion but instead the students cars on our crowded two lane streets, that based on our citizens wishes, will forever be two lane roads.

Dr. Anthony S. Tricoli, President of GPC and Council have been broaching a number of items like limiting the number of parking permits, shuttle buses from remote parking lots like First Baptist Church of Atlanta and other operational improvements like the movement of driveways and egress improvements.

Tonight's meeting on the college and the related traffic was really an impromptu meeting leading up the the January 25th meeting where Dr. Tricoli himself will officially present the expansion plans for the college to the community. The city being in a hard spot as far as forcing concessions from GPC that will have long term improvements for the residents, the best solution may be to encourage the State of Georgia not pass the funding mechanism to build the expansion.

After tonight's meeting expect the Mayor and City Council to be more vocal about what they are doing about GPC instead of just attempting to work behind the scenes with the powers that be. If we the Council believed that our recommendation that the expansion of Georgia Perimeter College be moved to another location in the City or possibly another location in the suburbs (someone said Roswell would be a key place for GPC expansion) would be effective then that would probably be the ultimate goal of Council. Barring GPC doing what we ask, just because we asked, what can we the city do to help alleviate the traffic woes that the students cause to the residents. There were a number of suggestions made at tonight's meeting and trust me that they will all be on the table for us to contemplate.

Come early to the meeting on the 25th as I am guessing it will be tough to find a seat by meeting time.

PS: Allow me take a shot at the first question.  Dr. Tricoli, based on the fact the first paragraph at the top right of the document states that structures are designed to be environmentally friendly with an emphasis on the use of mass transportation, walking, and biking.  If that is the case, why do we need 1,200 spaces for automobiles?
Georgia Perimeter College expansion plans Dunwoody Campus

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

FAA propsed airspace changes will affect PDK and nearby homes.

 Here is the news clip video from WSB discussing the FAA airspace changes proposed at the PDK Airport Advisory meeting.

Today I talked to Lee Remmel of PDK and confirmed that they would be able to attend a City of Dunwoody public meeting before the official March 1st FAA Hearing in Chamblee in order to show the public what these changes could mean to flight paths around PDK and our residents quality of life.  I just need to firm up City Hall to schedule the event and once this happens you will be notified.  Please stand by...

Video Clip

Presentation - Hartsfield Jackson flight path changes affects PDK and other small airports.

Thank you John Bachman of WSBTV for making this the lead story of your 11 pm newscast.  The photo above links to the presentation given regarding the airspace changes at Hartsfield.  The plan will straighten the flight paths of planes landing at Peachtree DeKalb and lower the height of the planes arriving into the airport for a longer time.

My Dunwoody North neighborhood will be directly affected by this change as noise and toxic jet fumes that were both dissipated at the higher altitudes will now be drifting directly into our homes. 

I will be contacting Mr. Lee Remmel of PDK to start a series of public meetings on this subject informing the directly affected cities of Dunwoody, Doraville and Chamblee of the consequences of this change; as well as the process to oppose it.   The next public meeting currently published on this subject is March 1st in Chamblee.  Stay Tuned...

Dunwoody City Council meeting of January 11th - Video

Dunwoody North Metro Swat Team Members introduced.

A quite night at the Dunwoody City Council. Three re-elected council members (Shortal, Bonser & Taylor) were sworn in by Judge Tony DelCampo. We met the four Dunwoody members of the North Metro Swat Team, re-elected Mr. Shortal as Mayor Pro Tem (filling in when the Mayor is away), heard about the great works of the Dunwoody Volunteer Committee, discussed the City's short term financing needs that will be fulfilled by a Tax Anticipation Note granted by SunTrust and the contemplated of a future ordinance allowing Low Speed Vehicles (golf carts) on city streets.

Monday, January 11, 2010

PDK flight paths changing? Get ready for the noise - meeting tonight.

Noise Complaints - Call 770 936-5442

I was informed that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing changes to the airspace over Atlanta that most likely would increase low level aircraft noise over Dunwoody homes. My Dunwoody North neighborhood worked hard to convince Peachtree DeKalb Airport that the optimal flight path from the North was down Peachtree Industrial Boulevard following the CSX / MARTA rail corridor, instead of over the single family residences of Dunwoody, Doraville & Chamblee. I am told that because of this proposed modification this preferred flight path will be affected if we don't get involved quickly.

The Peachtree DeKalb Airport (PDK) advisory board is meeting tonight (Monday, January 11th) and in their December minutes, Mr. Mike Van Wie, Asst. Director at DeKalb Peachtree Airport states the following...
"I will be making a presentation at the January 11, 2010 AAB Meeting concerning the FAA's proposed modification of the Class B airspace around Hartsfield/Jackson.

This modification will decrease the margin of safety around PDK, it will hurt the efficiency of PDK, and it will significantly increase noise around PDK."

This initial informational meeting will be followed by an official FAA fact-finding meeting on March 1st at the Chamblee Civic Center to solicit information from airspace users and others regarding the proposal.  This will not be a short process but the best time to get involved is now because the FAA is taking the pulse of the public around the area before just setting up a “final rule” for consideration.

If you live anywhere near the extended flight path of PDK, I urge you to attend tonight's meeting taking place at 7:00 p.m. at DeKalb Peachtree Airport in Room 227 (2nd Floor) of the Airport Administration Building (agenda). Listen to the presentation and make a public comment as allowed at the end of the meeting.

PS: I am unable to attend tonight because I need to attend to the Dunwoody City Council meeting but if someone goes to PDK, please do me a favor. In November, Mr. Van Wie gave the advisory board an update on the Airport Master Plan. Could someone ask him to update this website, as it is a little outdated and I think the citizens should be aware what is going on at PDK.

Backyard Chickens to be discussed by Dunwoody Community Council on Thursday.

Backyard chicken raising is officially going through the Dunwoody rule making process of Community Council, Planning Commission and finally the City Council.  After much debate the city has drafted a cover memo as well as a version of the ordinance and on Thursday night the Community Council has the first review of the proposal.

I have received much feedback on this issue both pro and con with passionate people on both sides.  I have a neighbor who raised chickens here in Dunwoody, have been a vocal supporter of backyard chickens on the council and now that there is official proposed language on the matter I will be silent and listen to the debate until which time the matter comes in front of me.

That being said, I want to share two final comments.  The first is a block of text from an e-mail I received which encourages those who are voting on the matter to know what they are talking about by visiting a Dunwoody backyard chicken coop and looking at the requirements being put into place. 
I think the community council members, as well as the planning and zoning commissioners, and the members of city council and the mayor owe it to themselves to visit one of the backyards that has chickens, and meets the guidelines that will be presented by staff, so that an informed decision can be made when it comes time to vote. I'd like to see this thing get decided based on some objective basis, not based on some subjective "feelings, or speculation on what it might lead to.

Right now, I have to believe these meetings will be packed with proponents from both sides of the issue. Right now I also believe the arguments from both sides will generate more heat than light.
And second comment is for those who keep chickens and would like to invite the members of the Community Council, Planning Commission and City Council to visit your coop but not sure how to do so.  I was looking on the city webpage for group e-mail addresses for each of the committees but couldn't find a way to contact either the Community Council or the Planning Commission, therefore just send me the invitation and I will find a way to forward it.   Finally since those members of the Community Council and Planning Commission can't be reached by e-mail; I thought I would show them what a Dunwoody chicken coop looks like.  Here is a video Pattie Baker made available on her new, Sustainable Pattie website which was filmed in a Dunwoody backyard. 
(Update - committee e-mails are available here.)

A week full of Dunwoody meetings.

I am going to try and make all of these meetings this week but please don't expect me to be highly functioning for the 7:30 am Sustainable meeting.

Monday - 7 pm City Hall
City Council
Tuesday - 6 pm City Hall
Planning Commission
  • Size of text on the signs outlined in the Notice of Public Hearing
  • Membership of the Design Review Advisory Committee.
Tuesday - 7 pm   JCC
Comprehensive Land Use Discussion
Jett Ferry Area and the Tilly Mill Area
Jewish Community Center
5342 Tilly Mill Road
Main Building, Brill Activity Rooms #180 & 182
From the main entrance, make a left,down the hall on the left.
Thursday - 7:30 am  City Hall
Sustainability Commission
Thursday - 7 pm   City Hall
Community Council
  • Raising Backyard Chickens in Single Family Residence Districts.
  • Mission Statement, By-laws and/or Official Procedures, and Code of Ethics standard

Netflix queue stats for Dunwoody and the Atlanta region

The New York Times has a nifty interactive map which allows you examine Netflix rental patterns, neighborhood by neighborhood, in a dozen cities across the nation. Interesting way of looking at Atlanta area demographics based on movie choices.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Georgetown & Dunwoody Village Master Planning bid packets are on the street.

Here is the Dunwoody Village bid packet

Here is the Georgetown / Shallowford bid packet

Below is the description of the Georgetown plan.

The Master Plan will provide ambitious development strategies drawing upon the area’s tremendous potential. Strengthening the City’s economic vitality and identity, the Georgetown/North Shallowford Master Plan will provide transit-oriented design options; transportation infrastructure investments; vertical mixed-use development; encouragement of the lifelong communities concept; market feasibility analysis; build cohesiveness between current and planned assets; attracts new businesses-retailers, and restaurants; and grows the tax base.
Key components and objectives to be achieved by the Master Plan include but are not limited to:

    1. 1.2.1 Fulfill all requirements from the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) program in order to allow the city to compete for regional LCI implementation funds in subsequent years.
    2. 1.2.2 Creation of a twenty-year blueprint to provide action-oriented strategies to provide the necessary connections that will move the Georgetown/North Shallowford revitalization forward in an innovative and cohesive way.
    3. 1.2.3 Continue the participatory process realized during the development of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Efforts should focus on creating stakeholder- and community-defined vision for the Georgetown/North Shallowford area. Stakeholder involvement should include, but not be limited to, design charrettes, community meetings, and public hearings.
    4. 1.2.4 Consideration of new zoning districts and ordinance language that would promote transit-oriented, mixed-use, and lifelong community scenarios.
    5. 1.2.5 Establishing transitional zoning abutting existing residential districts to protect these established communities from future development impacts.
    6. 1.2. Develop bicycle and pedestrian trail alignments that interconnect existing/planned commercial centers, extend towards Perimeter Center area, and provide a travel mode alternative from single occupancy vehicles.
    7. 1.2.7 Establish a system of greenspace areas that may include pocket parks, linear parks, village green, and/or community center locations.
    8. 1.2.8 Consider multigenerational housing options for all age groups of Dunwoody citizens within the Georgetown/North Shallowford area proximity.
    9. 1.2.9 Develop traffic calming techniques that may include on-road transportation facilities, roadway cross-sectional improvements, and landscaping enhancements.
    10. 1.2.10 Explore bus or rubber tire trolley cars for integration into the Georgetown/North Shallowford area that would serve existing transit systems and regional office/retail uses.
    11. 1.2.11 Incorporate ITS improvements within the Georgetown/North Shallowford area.
    12. 1.2.12 Address existing/future market conditions in an effort to develop land use proposals with the Georgetown/North Shallowford that complement the Perimeter Center uses and do not compete for a similar market share.
    13. 1.2.13 Create a redevelopment plan that can serve as a stand-alone "road map" to the Georgetown/North Shallowford area revitalization. The redevelopment plan will provide prioritized, action-oriented strategies that establish the roles and responsibilities of all participants in plan implementation.
    14. 1.2.14 The Master Revitalization Plan will develop a funding strategy that recommends the type and structure of existing and future financing tools as well as development incentives.
    15. 1.2.15 Conduct a market analysis (to include competitive activity centers within a reasonable radius of the area) to assist in identifying the most appropriate size and mix of land uses and potential commercial businesses within the future Georgetown/North Shallowford area. This analysis should include, but not be limited to characterization of trends and conditions in the Dunwoody area, identification of potential target market audiences, evaluation of different land uses, demand analysis to estimate potential for each identified land use and potential commercial businesses, with detailed recommendations.

Dunwoody Branding is about to tie in Sister organizations.

City in conjunction with its partners issue an RFP on branding.


Under the contract, awarded through this RFP, the City seeks to develop a unifying brand for Dunwoody. The City of Dunwoody is engaging in a unique and creative collaboration with several non-profit organizations in Dunwoody, which represent property owners, businesses and area tourism. The City and its partners seek to cross-functionally market Dunwoody to drive business, relocation, tourism, and general perception, with consistent branding, while recognizing the individuality of each organization.

The partners, with the exception of the Perimeter Community Improvement District (PCIDs), were established within the last 12-18 months and lack an existing brand identity. This creates a unique opportunity to “start fresh” in establishing brand identities for each of the partners. However, all parties are in agreement that a unified brand strategy on top of individual brands catered to the partner’s unique missions is critical to our long term success.
The collaboration includes:

• City of Dunwoody (
• Convention and Visitors Bureau of Dunwoody (CVBD) (
• Perimeter Community Improvement Districts (
• Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce (

The scope of services will include a two phase approach. Phase 1 will be the development of the unified brand and associated deliverables (all partners will participate in this process). Phase 2 will be the development of brand identity and deliverables for the City, the CVBD and the Chamber of Commerce. This work will be done as part of this RFP, but the individual partners will direct the work. In summary, all of the partners will be participating in the creation of the unified brand strategy and development of a unified marketing identification and associated deliverables. However, this RFP also includes the creation of unique marketing deliverables (logo, tag line, letterhead, signage, web site design, etc…) for the City of Dunwoody, the CVBD and the Chamber of Commerce.

Drive Slow, be aware that the shaded ares are icy.

Please drive extra carefully in this weather, both for yourself and the children who might be playing in the area.

The Public Works Department was out before 6:00 am today, identified a number of problem spots, and spread salt and sand to reduce the risk of accidents. The sun is what is needed in these cold temperatures to melt the ice and there are still a number of shaded street areas that you need to be careful of; therefore drive slower than usual since ice may be just around the next curve.

Mon Jan 11 - Dunwoody City Council Meeting

Monday, January 11th
Dunwoody City Hall
41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346
7:00 p.m. - Watch Live


Thursday, January 7, 2010

70 % of your property taxes go to the DeKalb County Board of Education. Are you paying attention or just paying the bill?

The DeKalb County Board of Education collects 70% of your property tax bill (see sample) and has a goal to ensure fiscal responsibility in order to maintain safe and healthy learning environments that support academic programs, resources and services.  Do you think the Board is succeeding at ensuring fiscal responsibility?

How is the Superintendent's "Premier DeKalb", blueprint for making DeKalb the premier K-12 school system of choice through his seven strategic pieces which are leadership, data analysis to ensure quality decision making, customer service, accountability, access and equity for all students, training for all employees, and unity. With leadership being the capstone of this blueprint, Dr. Lewis has galvanized all employees with the rally cry of "Premier DeKalb ... One Direction, All Schools, Every Student!"  How's Dr. Lewis doing in making DeKalb the premier school system that it could be?

Check out the video from a recent news story and the links below (be sure to read the public comments) to each item if available to assist you in making up your own mind on the above questions.

Friends & Family?

Does anyone need a car, freshly serviced and painted?

Hey BOE... I  want mine Now! Preview of Video above.

New computer system in place to make things easier?

Who needs ethics?  Not us.

Construction Hanky Panky with your tax dollarsAJC story and background on the issue.

Newly equipped wellness center for staff?  It might cut down some of the Mr. Potato Head bloat?

Are you paying attention now?

Dunwoody's Web Designer Jay Kapp of Kapp Koncepts was featured on Atlanta Business Radio

When area businesses need to create a web presence, the best person locally available is Dunwoody resident Jay Kapp of Kapp Koncepts. I can truly say this because Jay's web design and development firm has launched over 350 websites and managed hundreds of marketing campaigns.  On top of that he volunteers his services to host the Dunwoody Homeowners Association pages and when the new City of Dunwoody needed an initial web and e-mail solution it was Jay Kapp of Kapp Koncepts who was there to serve the City.

On February 9, 2009; Mayor Wright presented Mr. Jay Kapp with a Proclamation commending him for his actions in designing the City of Dunwoody website at no cost to the City of Dunwoody residents.

Today Jay was featured on Atlanta Business Radio hosted by Amy Otto & Lee Kantor to discuss the benefits of a great website, social media and website search optimization.  Listen to Jay and if you need web design assistance give Kapp Koncepts a call.  It is whom I trust.

Kapp Koncepts, Inc.

2358 Perimeter Park Drive , Suite 301
Atlanta, GA 30341
Phone: (678) 336-5277

St. Luke’s is calling for all Dunwoody runners on January 30th for the Tartan Trot.

St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church Mission Miles Presents ~ The Tartan Trot!

To honor our Scottish heritage, build community spirit and raise money for outreach, St. Luke’s will host the Fourth Annual Mission Miles race on January 30th, at 8AM. In addition to introducing our very first 10K Peachtree qualifying race through Dunwoody Village, we will have a 5K, a Fun Run, a Tot Trot, bagpipes and a whole lot of fun! Proceeds from the race have funded mission work in Honduras, Mexico, Brazil, the Cumberland mountains of Tennessee and the greater Atlanta area.

Please visit our website for race registration forms, sponsor forms and course descriptions. Forms are also available for pick up at the church, 1978 Mount Vernon Rd at the corner of Mount Vernon Road and Manhasset Drive in Dunwoody, Georgia.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Huge Georgetown Meeting & future Dunwoody Transportation Planning

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

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Misc links to items of interest - in no particular order.

The video above was found on the thought provoking site that I know I will be exploring more.  I am very interested in listening to several of the Power of Cities presentations as I enjoyed this (semi off color) presentation on suburban architecture which is very relevant to our Comprehensive Land Use Plan discussions.

Final approved 2010 Dunwoody Budget is now on line.

Dunwoody Nature Camp registration starts soon.  Are you a Member?

Stadiums Draining City Coffers   Doraville GM Plant comes to mind?

Mommy & Me tickets at the Aquarium - purchase by Feb 28 use by Dec 31.

Fudruckers $20.00 family meal deal - I called the Dunwoody location and confirmed this special.

DeKalb County School System gives Superintendent $15,000 raise with management issues all around.

Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce has a new much improved website. (really like the add to Outlook on calender.)

Early registration ($50.00 discount) for Murphy Candler Baseball ends January 10th.

Chamblee Soccer & T-ball registration starts soon (Ages 4 & up) 

10 Unusual College Scholarships for 2010 - my sister was an Evans Scholar at U of I.  Other good info.

Dunwoody Winter Newsletter - City News Update.

Dunwoody January e-News (Public Works Update & January Events)

Mark your calenders - State of the City Address - Jan 28 at 5 pm @ 1420 Room

Dunwoody Zoning Board of Appeals, Thursday discusses another deck in a stream buffer.

Taste of Dunwoody 2010 announced for Feb 5th at the W Perimeter

How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan - a reminder to myself

Young Professionals of Dunwoody meet Thursday @ Ravinia Club

Marist electronics recycling day - January 16th

Go out and buy the milk & bread - school may be closed Thurs & Fri