Saturday, August 31, 2013

Dunwoody items of interest - crime, politicians, actors, race relations, paving, alarms, zoning and other news.

Dunwoody man accused of throwing another off 5th-floor apartment balcony

Eight qualify for 3 Dunwoody seats, vote early, vote often!

The election season has officially begun!  We look forward to hearing from all 8 qualified candidates for city council. And remember you only get to vote for the candidate who live in and represents your district

District 1 - Denny Shortal (incumbent), Henly Shelton, David Davis
District 2 - Heyward Wescott, Jim Riticher, William AJ Mercier
District 3 - Doug Thompson (incumbent), Sam Eads

40th Season of Stage Door Players - starts in a couple of weeks - get a season subscription to support the arts.

Census Map by Race for Dunwoody and Sandy Springs



Dunwoody Police have arrested Roman Melnik, 23, for an alleged sexual assault and battery on Barclay Drive, near N. Peachtree Road, on Aug. 25. Melnik has been charged with Kidnapping, Sexual Battery and Simple Battery, according to police. 

Dunwoody Street Paving Activity Hits Record Levels

 The City of Dunwoody proactively spent its summer paving neighborhood streets and building sidewalks at a record pace.  From June to mid-August, city crews paved and resurfaced more than 19 lane miles of neighborhood streets and city roads and constructed 4,000 feet of city sidewalks, completing all of the paving prior to the start of the school year in DeKalb County.

Have you registered your alarm?
Council sets Tue Sept 17th aside to discuss zoning.

City Council to review proposed zoning ordinance on September 17th at 6 pm.

Labor Day, Sunday Cycle, & Dunwoody Walk's to School Day

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Kingswood KidStuff and More Consignment Sale of September 19 - 21 is now looking for Sellers.

Kingswood United Methodist Church Fall KidStuff Consignment Sale
September 19 - 21

The Kingswood UMC KidStuff Consignment Sale features children's fall and winter clothing, toys, books, baby equipment, and much more from over 200 sellers! All proceeds support Kingswood UMC's missions.

Open to Public
Thursday, Sept 19th 5 pm – 9 pm (No children under 10, please)
Friday, Sept 20th 9 am – 2 pm
Saturday, Sept 21st 8 am – 1 pm (many items 1/2 price)

PreSale for Volunteers only
Thursday, Sept 19th 3 pm – 5 pm

Kingswood United Methodist Church
Community Life Center
5015 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338
(Use North Peachtree entrance)

Great bargains on everything for kids! Fall and winter clothing, toys, books, games, baby equipment, and MORE!

There is still time to register as a seller! Choose one of these three easy ways:

Follow the link in the Seller Information section of our website, or Leave a message at 770-986-0421, ext. 2

Sellers earn 2/3 of the selling price on items that sell.
Items selling at $50 or higher earn 10% more!
Seller registration fee is only $5, and is deducted from your proceeds – nothing to pay up front.
Sellers who volunteer earn an extra 10%!!
Seller registration deadline is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 13, 2013.

*Volunteering for the sale is fun, and it earns you some perks! It’s also easy to sign up:*

Follow this link to our SignUp Genius site,
Or send an mail to 

Volunteers can shop our presale on *Thursday, September 19, 3 pm – 5 pm* for the best selection!
Sellers who volunteer earn an *extra 10%* on their sales!
Free childcare is provided for volunteers on Thursday, 4 pm – 8 pm, and on Saturday, 1 pm – 5 pm!

Don’t have anything to sell, come & shop the many wonderful bargains in store!
All proceeds support the missions efforts of Kingswood UMC 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Police warn of attacker near Dunwoody Brook Run Park.

Dunwoody police are investigating after a woman reported being sexually assaulted Sunday afternoon.  The woman was attacked from behind while she was walking on Barclay Drive near North Peachtree Road around 5:30 p.m., police said.

The suspect, described as a white male in his late 20s to early 30s, is 5-foot-5 to 5-8 and weighs 170 to 180 pounds. Police said he may have cuts on his face that were inflicted during the assault.
Anyone with information on the case should contact Detective Robert Bentivegna at 678-382-6911 or Tips can be submitted anonymously at or via text message to C-R-I-M-E-S (274-637) with the keyword DPDTIPS at the start of the message.

Peachtree CV Classic 5K Run and 1 Mile Run/Walk registration available & deadline for sponsorships approching.

Join us for the

Saturday, October 5, 2013 (rain or shine)
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for our new track will be at 7:50 AM
5K begins at 8:00 am and 1 mile Run/Walk begins at 8:30 am
We will have dri-fit shirts this year!!!

Location: Both courses will start and end on the PCMS track. Parking at the school will be limited. Chesnut Elementary is next door for additional parking.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Friday, September 27th
Adults and kids 5 and up---------------------------------------$25.00
Kids 4 and under----------------------------------------------- $20.00
Ghost Runner...can’t be there but you want a shirt!-------- $25.00
RACE DAY REGISTRATION (shirt may not be available)-----$30.00

Number pick-up: Thursday, Oct. 3rd from 4-6pm and Friday, Oct. 4th from 10-2pm in the PCMS gym. You may also pick up your number on race day beginning at 7:00am.

The CV Classic, a 5K road race and 1 mile fun run for Peachtree Charter Middle School, is now accepting sponsors from local businesses. Sponsorships range from $100 to $3000 (proceeds go toward new and improved amenities for the outdoor recreation area at Dunwoody's middle school). The new track at Peachtree is being installed now and funds are still needed for other amenities at the track area behind the school.

Join other local businesses in this effort. Sponsors get their name/logo on the event T-shirt (worn often after the race by adults and youth of Dunwoody). Additional perks for sponsorship.

Family Sponsorship = $100. You receive two race entries, two event shirts (very popular new Dry-Fit shirt Spirit Wear that can be worn to school) and your family name is printed on the back of the shirt! Click HERE for a Family Sponsor form. Deadline for having name on shirt is September 3rd.

Individual Registration - Only $20 per person (Fee increases to $25 Sept. 1st). Run/Walk the event and you'll receive the new Dry-Fit event shirt that students can wear to school as Spirit Wear. Obtain your entry form at the link above or at the main site:

Business Sponsor - $100 to $3,000. You receive race entries, free event shirts, your name on the official event shirt, and you can place marketing material in the race bag. Send an email to to secure your spot now. Deadline for Business Sponsors is September 3rd.

Kingsley Charter Elementary School Welcomes New Principal, Mr. Brent McBride

Principal McBride, Kaptain Kingsley, and Assistant Principal Seabrook

Kingsley Charter Elementary School welcomes a new principal this year, Mr. Brent McBride.

Before joining Kingsley, Mr. McBride served six years at Heards Ferry Elementary school in Fulton County; first as assistant principal and then as principal. Before Heards Ferry, Mr. McBride was an Instructional Technology Specialist in Forsyth County and a classroom teacher in Bibb County.

One of McBride’s first goals for Kingsley Charter School is to increase Kingsley’s CCRPI score. The CCRPI, which stands for “Career and College Ready Performance Index”, is a comprehensive measure of a school’s success.

Mr. McBride plans to continue Kingsley’s focus on increasing rigor and challenge in the classroom, to better prepare students for life-long success. His goal is to create a student-friendly learning environment where active student engagement is seen throughout the school. By offering unique learning opportunities, Kingsley is creating a well-rounded elementary experience for all children.

To kick-off the school year, Mr. McBride is holding his first “Principal’s Coffee” for the community. The “Principal’s Coffee” will be held at Kingsley Charter School on September 11th, between 9:00 to 10:00 am. There will be an alternate session on September 24th, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm, for community members who cannot attend the September 11th meeting.

In a recent welcome letter to the Kingsley Community, Mr. McBride said, “As I transition to my new role as principal of Kingsley, I see great potential. . . As a community, we absolutely have the potential to do great things at Kingsley.”

Please join us in welcoming Mr. Brent McBride to the Kingsley Charter School community.

About Kingsley Charter School
Kingsley Charter School, located in northeast Dunwoody, serves approximately 600 elementary students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade and is a feeder school for Peachtree Charter Middle School. As a conversion charter school, Kingsley benefits from strong parent involvement and flexibility in its curriculum. Kingsley is part of the DeKalb County School District.

For more information see

Monday, August 26, 2013

Dunwoody Council rejects "Suicide Center Lane" on Mt. Vernon

My video system malfunctioned so if you are interested, here is the city's link where it should be posted in a day or two.

Everything up for a vote basically passed as presented but the City was given "guidance" that the extended center turn lane on Mt. Vernon is not acceptable.  Turn lanes are OK where needed, with accompanying sidewalks and bike lanes also being approved for design work, - center lane is not acceptable and we don't even want to see drawings of it.

Guthrie's has closed in Dunwoody (Georgetown) with Starbucks being a possible replacement?

It breaks my heart to see Guthrie's go, not because of the great chicken but because of the dedication this establishment has shown the Dunwoody community.   It was partially owned and operated by a friend of mine who has lived in the community her whole life and she gladly gave back by sponsoring many sports teams and schools with Peachtree Middle being her favorite.

Inside sources say that Starbucks has the first right of refusal on the space.  While they already have an inline location within the center, the freestanding location would provide them the opportunity to offer drive-thru service.  Earlier this year, Starbucks announced that 60 percent of the 1,500 new stateside locations planned to open through the next five years will have drive-thru windows.  This "new" location would obviously be in line with that goal and allow for the coffee house to capitalize on a previously untapped opportunity in the center.

Check out  Tomorrow's News Today - Atlanta who broke the story for more details and insightful comments.

Atlanta area Catholic teens are flocking to Dunwoody's All Saints new Studio One for XLT Atlanta

XLT Atlanta is a once a month gathering for the catholic teens of the diocese of Atlanta. Every XLT has powerful and inspiring talks and prayerful Eucharistic adoration accompanied by incredible music.

What is Studio ONE?
Studio ONE a brand new film studio built at All Saints Catholic Church to serve the youth of Atlanta and broadcast to the worldwide web. Having XLT Atlanta at Studio ONE allows us to film the night and put it on the web for everyone to witness.

September 14, 2013, 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM Admission: Regular $15

Studio ONE is kicking of Season 2
Join over a thousand people with
Matt Maher, Audrey Assad and Greg&Lizzy in Concert.

  • Open to all ages, so bring your families!
  • Located at Studio-ONE, on the All Saints Catholic Church campus
  • Doors open at 6pm with Life Teen Store, Mission District, and Chick-Fil-A 
  • The night will begin at 6:30pm with our opening act Greg&Lizzy and then Matt Maher and Audrey Assad until 9:00pm

Who's your Singers?

Matt Maher: Video
Great Music hinges on compelling writing, honest delivery, a refined, unique musical identity. Great leadership hinges on openness, compassion, devotion. Singer-songwriter and worship leader Matt Maher has built his career - his - life on striving to embody those ideals. More...

Audrey Assad: Video

Audrey over the years has become one of the more successful contemporary Christian artists of the past few years. Assad's music has incredible range - Honesty and worship, praise and suffering.  Her first album won the iTunes Christian Breakthrough Album of the Year in 2010. More...

Greg&Lizzy:  Facebook

Shorty after becoming a husband and wife duo in 2012, musicians Greg and Lizzy Boudreaux very naturally became the musical duo “Greg&Lizzy.”  Though new to performing as a duo, these two artists have been sharing their hearts as worship leaders across the US and internationally for years.  With a collection of brand new original songs inspired by their own honest experiences of relationship, love, and marriage, Greg&Lizzy offers a look into some of the greatest joys and deepest trials of loving another faithfully.  Their much-anticipated first album “To the Dust” is due to release early Fall 2013. 
Facebook: Greg&Lizzy  |  Twitter: @gregandlizzy

Dunwoody City Councilman Denny Shortal announces reelection bid in Dunwoody Update to community.

Good evening my fellow citizens. The following are some update items of interest ...

1. Alarm Registration ... If you have a monitored home or business alarm your alarm needs to be registered by 1 OCT 2013. Unmonitored alarms do not have to be registered. Registration is free for residential alarms and $25 for business alarms. You can register on-line at ... If you don't have access to the internet or have problems or questions call the toll free number 866-899-2365 or email Yes, there is a fine for not registering your alarm and/or having two or more false alarms. The whole reason for the ordinance is to cut down on the massive number of false alarms that occur. The estimates I have seen is that answering false alarms utilizes the time of 1.5 to 2 police officers. This is time that can be better utilized patrolling our streets and protecting our citizens. 

2. Our Police Department ... Our police have done some outstanding work spending many long quality hours on some high profile cases. The arrest and conviction of Hemy Neuman and Andrea Sneiderman on various charges in the murder death of Rusty Sneiderman. Neuman received a life sentence and Andrea Sneiderman was sentenced to five years in prison. The four individuals that were involved in the bank robbery in 2012 at the PNC Bank on Mt Vernon Rd have been convicted and three have been sentenced to prison terms of 7 to 27 years. The fourth individual will be sentenced this week.   Lastly, our police have arrested several individuals in the shooting that took place last Sunday in the Terraces Apartments. A job well done to all of our Officers that keep us safe. 

3. DeKalb County (DC) Interim CEO Public Meeting. The Interim DC CEO, Lee May will have a public meeting in Dunwoody on 5 SEP 2013 at the Dunwoody United Methodist Church from 7 - 8:30 PM. I urge all of you that can make the meeting to do so. I have been in a couple of meetings with Lee and my initial impression is that he is very open and straight forward in his comments. His initiative to eliminate the DC CEO position that he now holds should be very refreshing and encouraging to all the citizens of DC. There is a long way to go on that issue. 

4. Dunwoody Public Open House Meeting .... This meeting is to discuss the proposed sidewalk projects on Peachford Rd, Hensley Dr and Mt Vernon Way. The meeting is at our city hall on 12 SEP from 6 PM - 9 PM. I urge all of you that live in these areas or have an interest in these projects to "get out ahead of the curve" by attending this meeting and voicing your opinion. It is best to voice your opinion at this meeting and not wait until after the project have been approved. 

5. Citizens Police Academy ... The extremely popular Citizens Police Academy is forming its next class that is planned to start on 3 SEP 2013. Everyone I have spoken to that has attended previous classes has been extremely positive in their evaluation of the class. Basically you learn what it is like to be a police officer in Dunwoody. You even get some "boots on the ground training." There are a few slots remaining. To register go to  ....

6. Zoning Rewrite ... The next special City Council meeting to continue to move towards approval of Chapters 16 and 27 of our "zoning" code of ordinance is scheduled for 6 PM at the City Hall on 17 SEP. The quickest way to review the rewrite is to go to the "home page" of the city website ... ... and on the far right side of the page you will see the word "Projects" and under that the first item Zoning Code Rewrite Project ... click on that ... this information needs to be updates and I will try to get that updated tomorrow. 

6. 2013 Property Tax ... By now you all should have received your 2013 property tax statement. If you didn't receive your tax statement you can look it up on line at DC Tax Commissioners website .... Your first installment payment is due NLT 30 SEP and the second payment is due NLT 15 NOV. One issue this year is that some folks have been billed $400 vs the norm of $265 for sanitary fees. The explanation from DC is that the extra charge was levied on those citizens who have a home business. This item is still being worked by our DC BOC representatives.  Stay tuned. 

7. Crosswalks ... Crosswalk violations are of special interest to our police ... especially since our children are now back in school. The following are three crosswalk rules as a review:
            1. GA law requires you to stop for a pedestrian in the crosswalk even if they are not in you lane/s
            2. When making a turn you must stop until the pedestrian has finished crossing the side of the road onto which you are turning. Never turn into a crosswalk when pedestrians are still using it. 
            3. Always stop prior to the crosswalk and not in it. 

8. Food Truck Thursday Night Concerts. These very popular concerts have been extended until 24 OCT. These events take place in Brook Run Park from 6 - 9 PM every Thursday. If you haven't been to one of these you are missing out on a lot of good times. There is great food, good music and you will see a lot of friends and neighbors there. Thanks to the DHA for being the main sponsor. The City is a co-sponsor. 

9. Sirens ... Much to my disappointment the City Council has not moved forward with installing Weather Alert Sirens throughout the city to assist protecting all of us from injury due to severe weather. A lot on communities around us, Sandy Springs, Roswell, Alpharetta, Decatur, Cobb County, etc., have these sirens. It is my opinion that the VAST majority of our citizens favor the installation of the sirens. I would like to hear your opinion. 

10. Election ... After much thought and talking with my Family I have decided to seek re-election as your City Council Representative from District One, Post-1. I have appreciated your support over the past five years and seek your continued support moving forward. Much more on that later.

11. That is all from here tonight. I trust all of you enjoyed yourself this beautiful weekend. Please pass this update on to your friends, neighbors, members of your HOA and anyone you think maybe interested. If you would like to be added to my update email list just let me know and I will make that happen. I appreciate your thoughts and comments so keep them coming. 

Let Us Continue To Build Our City Together

Denny Shortal
Dunwoody City Council, District One, Post-1
Mayor Pro Tem
PH (O) 678-382-6700 (C) 678-246-9006 

Rep. Tom Taylor of Dunwoody discusses proposed changes to Public School Education and the importance to the State of Georgia

Nancy Jester’s Coffee Talk Highlights


Of most interest to Dunwoody would be the words of Rep. Tom Taylor on HB 486, which would allow the creation of new school districts:
HR 486
I dropped HR 486, state constitutional amendment, last session. It was pretty well received. You have a lot of career entrenched educrats. The last thing they care about is students. I was disappointed that they Governor removed the DeKalb Schools board. Out of 23 members of the DeKalb Delegation, only 6 of us stood with them and supported them. Which means the other folks were satisfied with the status quo, which was failing. That’s unacceptable.

I’m swinging for the fences with HR 486. In 1983, the constitution was amended to not allow any more school systems. I don’t think the contemplated school systems this size. 1 in 10 students in Georgia is in a Gwinnett County school, 168,000 kids. Dunwoody is doing well, but the system is failing. It affects property values and companies are reluctant to locate here.

There are some counties with school systems with less than 500 students K – 12. What HR 486 does is allow cities that have been incorporated recently to form either stand alone city school or a combo cluster city school that can cross county lines. There is a lot of support from the power players in metro Atlanta. It’s a high bar. A constitutional amendment requires 120 votes in the house and 2/3 majority in the senate.  The Republican Party has a super majority in the senate and we are only one seat shy in the house but that does not translate to an ultimate passage as this will need to be a bipartisan effort to be successful.

My theory is, if you can’t join ‘em, beat ‘em. In many counties, the largest employer in town is the school system and they loath to shake things up. Have 200 people from Dunwoody in the hearings is a lot different than 1 or 2 people from Dunwoody and a bunch of lobbyists. Moms standing up demanding for change is a powerful thing.

Dunwoody City Council candidates need to register this week.

Local election year - only elected by residents in the district in which you live.
2013 Election Information
The City of Dunwoody will conduct a general election on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 for the purpose of electing three (3) members of City Council. The City Council posts to be voted on are Post 1, Post 2, and Post 3. The qualifying fee for the office of City Council is $360.00 (three hundred sixty dollars), which is 3% of the total gross salary of the preceding year (Georgia Election Code 21-2-131). The qualifying dates will be Monday, August 26, 2013 through Friday, August 30, 2013. The hours of qualifying will be from 8:30am to 4:30pm and shall be conducted in the Office of the City Clerk (Georgia Election Code 21-2-132).  
 The last day for voter registration in the 2013 Municipal General Election and, if necessary, Runoff Election, is Monday, October 7, 2013.  Registration forms are available at Dunwoody City Hall, 41 Perimeter Center East, Suite 250, Dunwoody, Georgia 30346, through the Chief Registrar of DeKalb County, Georgia or through the Georgia Secretary of State website:
The polls will open for the November 5, 2013 Municipal General Election at 7:00 a.m. and will close at 7:00 p.m. at your designated voter precinct.  If no candidate receives a majority vote, then a runoff election will be held on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at the same precinct locations. 
2013 Candidate Information
The qualifying period opens on Monday, August 26, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. and closes on Friday, August 30, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. The hours of qualifying each day are 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Any person desiring to run for office shall qualify in the Office of the City Clerk (Georgia Election Code 21-2-132).
The qualifying fee for a Council post is $360.00 (three hundred sixty dollars), which is 3% of the total gross salary of the preceding year (Georgia Election Code 21-2-131).
The qualifications to run for office include: candidate must be a resident of the City of Dunwoody for a continuous period of at least 12 months immediately prior to the date of the election; candidate must continue to reside in the City of Dunwoody during their period of service; candidate must continue to be registered and qualified to vote in the municipal elections for the City of Dunwoody.  
In addition, no person will be eligible to serve as a Council Member representing a council district unless that person has been a resident of the district they seek to represent for a continuous period of at least six months immediately prior to the date of the election and continues to reside in their district during their period of service.
For questions or for more information please contact Sharon Lowery, City Clerk, at 678-382-6711 or

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Is Dunwoody ready for and want a center turn lane down all Mt. Vernon from Chamblee Dunwoody to Jett Ferry?

The Dunwoody City Council has reviewed plans for Mt. Vernon and Vermack looking for the best solution to improve that intersection and in doing so had an option to extend the center turn lane to the West to Vernon Oaks.  As this improvement was part of the long term transportation plan, recommended by staff and as there were little objections from the neighbors or community, the Council approved the measure to design that possible layout. 

Affected members of the community are now raising questions, the main one being "Is the Dunwoody Community aware that by Council adding the additional couple hundred feet of paving, it is possibly setting the long term policy of installing of a center lane down all Mt. Vernon from Chamblee Dunwoody to Jett Ferry".   Is this what Dunwoody really wants and needs?

With issues now being raised and numerous meetings taking place between Council, Staff and the affected Community Members, it is my belief that this project may need a reaffirmation or wider vetting to the Community that the Center turn lane down all of Mt. Vernon is truly the preferred look and feel of our main thoroughfare vs just left land turn lanes installed where specifically needed?

The plans currently being drawn up can also be revised to cut back the added turn lane yet could still include the sidewalks and bike lane spacing as construction plans have not yet been contemplated.

The residents directly affected by this first Mt. Vernon road widening understand the need for improvement to the intersection and could accept the proposed plan if they knew that this is what the community really wanted, but if for some reason their section of road is widened (front yards and buffers reduced) but later no one else's is, than they would have paid the price that no one else would be willing to pay.

On behalf of these several residents, a wider community discussion should be had reaffirming the long term direction of where we intend to go.

Please discuss among yourselves, with your neighbors and with the Mayor & members of the City Council as I want to make sure that that this item is fully vetted well in advance of any next vote.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dunwoody Butterfly Festival at the Dunwoody Nature Center this Saturday 10 to 4

We are pleased to announce the return of everyone's favorite day in Dunwoody Park as the Butterfly festival makes its return this year on Saturday, August 17th.

Because of the popularity of last year’s festival, this year’s event will feature TWICE as many butterflies with TWO enormous tents - each filled with hundreds of live butterflies. Mark your calendars for a day of great activities including a live butterfly release, a Birds of Prey show, live animal encounters, games, educational booths, crafts, music, food and drinks. Early member preview begins at 9:00 with general admission at 10:00. Click on the side links for a complete schedule of events, festival map, and more information from throughout the day.

This is a rain or shine event.
Admissions the day of the festival are $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages 4-12 and free for children 3 and under. Pre-purchasing tickets is the only way to guarantee entrée to the butterfly tents at a time that is convenient for you. AND, you'll save money in the process - pre-purchase tickets are only $8 for adults and $4 for kids. Get your reserved entry time with pre-purchased tickets HERE.

Dunwoody Nature Center
5343 Roberts Drive
Dunwoody, GA 30338
(770) 394-3322

Directions & Parking, Entertainment Schedule, 2013 Festival Map, Sponsors.

Request for ALL Community volunteers on Saturday - Foodstock at Dunwoody Methodist


August 17 we are kicking off the Fall with FOODSTOCK 2013 by putting together at least 300,000 meals for Stop Hunger Now.

Can you imagine what a boost this will be for the fight against hunger?
The goal is to involve the entire community to experience the joy and the fun of working together for a great cause. We also need support during the event so if you dont feel like you can stand at a table and make food packs we will have other support jobs for you to do.

Last year my family and I participated and it was a great experience for even the smallest helper, so please consider donating just two hours.


Dunwoody United Methodist Church
1548 Mt. Vernon Road
Dunwoody, GA. 30338

Free bike racks available for any Dunwoody public location.

photomitchAs many of you have noticed, Dunwoody is slowly becoming more bicycle- friendly. Mitch Garber (a.k.a. Bike Guy) has been working to put bicycle racks in appropriate locations throughout the city for several years. You may have noticed racks sponsored by the Dunwoody Preservation Trust ( and installed by the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition ( that have appeared in Georgetown Shopping Center and Dunwoody Village (the picture is of the one at the recently renovated Kroger in Georgetown Shopping Center).  Mitch is hoping to continue installations of the racks in various locations, but needs your help – if you are or know of someone who has a location that would be good for such a rack (they take up minimal space, and are stainless steel, thus virtually maintenance-free), he would like you to contact him at The installations and racks have been at no cost to the installation location, but will require a signature from the property owner or manager.

Mitch Garber

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Dunwoody Economic Development Update 2013 and Major Zoning Entitlements

Good update on Economic Development but what was eye opening was the number of future housing units approved on the books by DeKalb prior to Incorporation.  Most large scale projects were zoned with both office, hotel, condo and rental, and then never built.  The allowances to build these structures are still in place and the city will attempt to do what is right for the community to see that the correct mix is built in the future but push come to shove - they have the allowances that we can not mandatory change the zoning entitlements because we want too.

To see of the zoning allowances, click here which is the Dunwoody GIS system and then accept.  Click Active Layer and drop down to Major Zoning Entitlements then click Tools and drop down to Identity.  Now click on the locations in the city where you think major developement coould happen, mostly around the mall..

Future High Street project located directly across the street from the Dunwoody Marta stop is allowed a bunch or retail, 400 hotel rooms, 1,500 condos and 1,500 rental units.

Future Novare project located kiddy corner across the street from the Dunwoody Marta stop is allowed a another 900 condos.

Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan and the 2012 Annual Report

Dunwoody crimes up 11 percent - Dunwoody Reporter July 29, 13

Monday, August 12, 2013

City of Dunwoody - Mission, Vision and Values

Mission Statement

The mission of the City of Dunwoody is to provide the highest quality of life for those who live, work or play in our community and to foster an environment where business can prosper. We will serve all stakeholders in a transparent manner with resourceful, efficient, progressive and professional leadership.


Dunwoody is a city located in metro Atlanta, in northern DeKalb County, Georgia. Dunwoody officially incorporated as a city on December 1, 2008. The City of Dunwoody will provide quality service to its citizens and support the largest economic engine in the Southeast by planning in a careful and thoughtful manner. The City of Dunwoody will be inventive, transparent and embrace responsible progress, tempered by the city’s rich history and strong desire to maintain a close and vibrant community atmosphere that values family life and the entrepreneurial spirit. The City of Dunwoody will continue to support and nurture a community dedicated to the preservation of family, education, religious institutions, and the environment.


The goals of the City of Dunwoody and its governing body are to make Dunwoody a better community, built on mutual respect and trust, and to promote and maintain the highest standards of personal and professional conduct among all involved in City government – elected officials; City staff; volunteers; and members of the City’s boards, commissions and committees.

The proper operation of democratic government requires that decision-makers be independent, impartial, and accountable to the people they serve. The City of Dunwoody representatives intend to act pursuant to the ethics as delineated in the Charter in order to promote and maintain the highest standards of personal and professional conduct in the City's government. All elected and appointed officials, City employees, volunteers, and others who participate in the City's government will subscribe to those ethics, understand how it applies to their specific responsibilities, and practice its values in their work. Because we seek public confidence in the City's services and public trust of its decision-makers, our decisions and our work must meet the most demanding ethical standards and demonstrate the highest levels of achievement in following this code.

As the governing body of the City of Dunwoody, we represent as follows:

(1) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be ethical.
(a) We are trustworthy, acting with the utmost integrity and moral courage.
(b) We are truthful, do what we say we will do, and are dependable.
(c) We will make impartial decisions, free of bribes, unlawful gifts, narrow political interests, and financial and other personal interests that impair the independence of our judgment and actions.
(d) We will be fair, distributing benefits and burdens according to consistent and equitable criteria.
(e) We will extend equal opportunities and due process to all parties in matters under consideration. If we engage in unilateral meetings and discussions, we do so without making voting decisions.
(f ) We will show respect for persons, confidences, and information designated as "confidential."
(g) We will use our title(s) only when conducting official City business, for information purposes, or as an indication of background and expertise, carefully considering whether we are exceeding or appearing to exceed our authority.

(2) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be professional.
(a) We will apply our collective knowledge and expertise to our assigned activities and to the interpersonal relationships that are part of our job in a consistent, confident, competent, and productive manner.
(b) We will approach our job and work-related relationships with a positive attitude.
(c) We will keep our professional knowledge and skills current and growing.

(3) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be service-oriented.
(a) We will provide friendly, receptive, and courteous service to everyone.
(b) We will be attuned to, and care about, the needs and issues of citizens, public officials, and city workers.
(c) In our interactions with constituents, we will be interested, engaged, and responsive.

(4) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be fiscally responsible and transparent.
(a) We will make decisions a er prudent consideration of their financial impact, taking into account the long-term financial needs of the City, especially its financial stability which are transparent to the City residents and businesses.
(b) We will demonstrate concern for the proper use of City assets (e.g., personnel, time, property, equipment, funds) and follow established procedures.
(c) We will make good financial decisions that seek to preserve programs and services for City residents.

(5) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be organized.
(a) We will act in an efficient manner, making decisions and recommendations based upon research and facts, taking into consideration short and long term goals.
(b) We will follow through in a responsible way, keeping others informed, and responding in a timely fashion.
(c) We will be respectful of established City processes and guidelines.

(6) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be communicative.
(a) We will convey the City's care for and commitment to its citizens.
(b) We will communicate in various ways that we are approachable, open-minded and willing to participate in dialogue.
(c) We will engage in effective communication, by listening carefully, asking questions, and determining an appropriate response which adds value to conversations.

(7) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be collaborative.
(a) We will act in a cooperative manner with groups and other individuals, working together in a spirit of tolerance and understanding.
(b) We will work towards consensus building and gain value from diverse opinions.
(c) We will accomplish the goals and responsibilities of our individual positions, while respecting our roles as members of a team.
(d) We will consider the broader regional and Statewide implications of the City's decisions and issues.

(8) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be progressive.
(a) We will exhibit a proactive, innovative approach to setting goals and conducting the City's business.
(b) We will display a style that maintains consistent standards, but is also sensitive to the need for compromise, "thinking outside the box," and improving existing paradigms when necessary.
(c) We will promote intelligent and thoughtful innovation in order to forward the City's policy agenda and City services.

Dunwoody High's Young_PK releases first album and announces that he is the Best White Rapper in History

Dunwoody High has produced some great talent through the years, including Ryan Seacrest, The Black Lips, Caitlin Gutierrez and now introducing Calvin Kennedy a Dunwoody High rapper who goes by the name Young PK.

I have followed Calvin for a number of years (through twitter and YouTube) and know that he has been performing in the Atlanta Music scene for some time and just last month he rocked the Masquerade.

Watch out Eminem as Young PK just released his first album and it is now available on itunes.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Dunwoody please drive carefully - DeKalb Students return and GPC Registration begins.

Slow Down

DeKalb Elementary Students will be arriving at schools by 7:30 a.m., Peachtree Charter will have peek time about 8:30 and Dunwoody High will be about 7:45.  The first week is always hectic, traffic is heavy and it takes some time for the routine of the school year to settle in.

Georgia Perimeter College has registration starting this Wednesday (August 14th) at 9 a.m. with the first day of the Fall semester scheduled for Monday August 19th.

Please extra kind behind the wheel these next two weeks.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Dunwoody City Council Meeting Agenda for Monday August 12th

Monday, August 12th
Dunwoody City Hall
41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346
6:00 p.m. - Work Session
7:00 p.m. - Voting Meeting

Agenda 6 PM

Update on the CAD-to-CAD Interface Project.

Agenda 7 PM

Minutes from Aug 5th - Zoning Special Called

Economic Development Program Implementation and Future Development Overview.

Presentation of the YTD Financial Report for June 30, 2013.

Discussion of Emergency Notification Systems.

FIRST READ: Ordinance to Amend Chapter 25, Section 25-32: Possession, Use, or Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages.

Discussion of City of Dunwoody City Code Chapters 27, Zoning, and 16, Land Development, and all Previous Amendments Thereto.

FIRST READ: Annual Amendments to the International Property Maintenance Code.

Discussion of the Contract Amendment for Georgetown Park Construction.

Discussion of Design Contract for Chamblee Dunwoody Road at Spalding Drive

Discussion of the Contract Amendment for Mount Vernon Road at Vermack Road.

Discussion of Appointment of Members to Serve on Dunwoody Board of Ethics.

Discussion of Appointment of Members to Serve on Dunwoody Alcohol License Review Board.

Discussion of Appointment of Member to Serve on Convention & Visitors Bureau of Dunwoody.

Discussion of Appointment of Members to Serve on Dunwoody Construction Board of Appeals.

THE LEKOTEK RUN 4 KIDS - Saturday, August 17th at Dunwoody campus of Georgia Perimeter College.

Info & Registration Here

For the past 30 years, Lekotek of Georgia has quietly gone about the business of helping children with disabilities and their families. Lekotek facilitates the inclusion of children with disabilities into their families and communities by loaning adapted toys, educational materials, computers and even iPads. These tools equalize the playing field making it possible for children with special needs to play and learn with siblings and peers. Computers and iPads are outfitted with appropriate software and applications to meet every child’s individual needs – whether the child has a visual or hearing impairment, autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, genetic disorder or any special need.

The Lekotek Run 4 Kids is gearing up for its 21st year. Its goal is to raise money for the nonprofit so additional children can benefit. The event will take place Saturday, August 17th. Both the start and finish are at the Dunwoody campus of Georgia Perimeter College. The event courses provide options for every fitness level – a four-mile road race and walk and one-mile fun run. The four mile begins at 8AM and the one mile at 9:00 AM. In addition to pre-race registration, runners can also sign up the morning of the event, beginning at 7 AM.

The race is well organized, runner friendly, with refreshments and family activities following the run. You don’t have to an athlete to participate, just someone who wants to make a difference!

Dunwoody Trail at Brook Run was a big hit with the kids - young and old alike.

Big Winner - Back to School Theme

Most Colorful

 Wide Open Spaces

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Special Called Zoning Rewrite Meeting of the Dunwoody City Council - Videos and Recap.

The Dunwoody City Council met for 3 and a half hours for the first read of the zoning rewrite and we only got partially through the task.  We covered primarily the Staff Memo which highlights the recommendations presented by both the Community Council & Planning Commission.

I was too busy flipping through various documents and questioning the various proposals as they were presented so I do not have detailed notes but here are a few of the highlights.

The Tree Ordinance is only applicable for development (construction) when needing a permit therefore the proposed tree ordinance does not affect the individual homeowner who just wants to remove a tree.  On the flip side it still allows an individual to clear his entire lot but it protects us from development who wants to clear the land without taking the trees into consideration.

I believe it was the will of council (no actual votes were taken) to limit Concurrent Variances but to use them as presented under the large scale "Planned Development" projects which would be mixed use and include a housing aspect.  There was an interesting item as to what size of acreage is needed for a "Planned  Development".   If it was 10 acres there might be more of them as they would be easier to do but if the minimum requirement was 25 acres as originally presented then City Council would be deferring more items back to the ZBA (as most intend to do by limiting as the Concurrent Variances in the first place) because the threshold was set high.  Discussion was has that the larger acreage requirement for the "Planned Development" might spur a higher quality development (Large Mall vs Strip Mall) but less of them.  No definitive final answer was determined on that issue but I stated publicly that I wanted a larger area requirement over less as I believed this "Planned Development" zoning class should be very special and not the norm.

The requirements for outside storage of boats and RV's will stay the same whereby you will need to be 20 feet away from your neighbors property line. I was looking for a middle of the road solution to include screening (8 foot fence) but there was little support for the topic.

We had a Stream Buffer item that semi approved an allowance to rebuild the same construction (replacing the deck) up to the 50 ft stream buffer line without going back to ZBA but there is also a chance that this will be reverted back to the 75 ft mark allowing the ZBA more review, as we are still receiving public comment asking us to do so.

Pet limitations (both in numbers and types) was a hot topic and city staff will be going back to the drawing board on that proposed ordinance with the direction to not ban any specific dog breeds.  Icky snakes might be allowed too?  Council asked staff to better define the problem caused by pets and then address the issue head on if needed at all.

The Mayor set the time limit at the start of the meeting and we ran out of time before we got to discuss home occupations and our other misc items, therefore they will be discussed (at least partially) at next Monday's  regularly scheduled meeting.   I am stressing to council and staff that we need to take our time with this review and allow the various items to be fully vetted.  Another Special Called meeting is probably in the works?

A friend and neighbor who served on the Dunwoody Zoning Sounding Board told me that I made misleading statements in my blog post from yesterday where I touched upon some of the possible hot button issues in the zoning rewrite.   In that post, I attempted to lay out the concerns as I saw them and as it was reported by others. In an attempt to equal out the conversation, I offer you the no spin, hype free version of the rewrite from a member of the Zoning Sounding Board who has spent many hours working on these documents.
Zoning Rewrite Hype-Free Zone: What does it really say?

The newly-revised zoning ordinances are easy to read. Yet, so many have no idea what is in them. Or worse - they do know and continue to distribute misinformation about both the words and intent.
Read more at the link above and please weigh on the items we discussed or will discuss as Council is listening.   Thanks.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Is Dunwoody ready for legal home-based businesses? Preliminary City committees say Yes, Homeowners say No; City Council discusses it tonight and votes in several weeks.

 What is best for the Dunwoody community?

Is Dunwoody ready for legal home based businesses allowing customer contact?  Piano teachers & tutors add intrinsic value to the residential community but others may not, therefore should we allow the process to move forward as presented or should we create special exemptions for a small class of special businesses?

Should the City Council be allowed to have the ultimate power on all new large scale construction or would it be better to have more community involvement? 

Trees, how much regulation should there be for protection against of clear cutting or removal of large specimen trees or should the city code keep hands off your property rights in this area? 

If your neighbor can't see your boat parked on your property because of a fence, does it matter how close it is to your property line?

What is the harm if someone has more than four fish or houses a pet snake, should code enforcement really be involved in such petty things that will never be enforced? Are "pit bulls" bad or are the trainers of the animal the real issue?  Again, can the proposed zoning code be modified on the fly to "protect" the community from "undesirable" pets while not being overbearing?

Three separate City committee's have reviewed these documents and made suggestions for the next step in the process which takes place tonight at the Special Called City Council meeting at 6pm.  

Last night I attended the Dunwoody Homeowners Association meeting and it looks by the news article below that they also have some reservations on the zoning proposals being presented.  Do you?

I have listened to previous hearings, attended meeting and read many emails but please feel free to voice your opinions on the proposed zoning code if you feel strongly one way or another on the proposed changes.

Comments are open and my email address is and the entire Dunwoody City Council can be reached at



DHA board votes to oppose two provisions of Dunwoody’s zoning rewrite

The board of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association is opposing two controversial provisions in a proposed rewrite of the city’s zoning and building codes.

Board members on Aug. 4 voted to oppose a proposal to allow the Dunwoody City Council to hear required zoning variances for a project as part of a rezoning package. The variances now are considered by the city Zoning Board of Appeals after the zoning is approved.

The DHA board also sided against a proposal to allow operators of home-based businesses to bring customers to their homes without a Special Land Use Permit.

Dunwoody city officials are considering an extensive revision of the city’s zoning and building codes. Dunwoody’s present codes were copied from DeKalb County when the city was creaed, city staff members say, and the rewrite is intended to make the codes reflect the needs and opinion of Dunwoody residents.
Proposed revisions to the code have been debated by several city commissions and a citizens’ “sounding board.” Dunwoody City Council is scheduled to debate the revisions Aug. 5, in a meeting set to begin at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall, 41 Perimeter Center East.  (See more in link above - Dunwoody Reporter)

Zoning Code Rewrite: More Absolute Power for the Council and Businesses in Your Backyard.

The rights and protections of single family homes and our residential neighborhoods out weighs the right for a person to run a business with customer contact in those neighborhoods. The argument about property rights is misplaced as ZONING itself limits ones use of their private property. If you bought or live in a single family home, you have the RIGHT that the neighborhood will stay that way.

The second issue involves a process called variances. Under the current code a landowner get a property rezoned by going through the public process, Community Council, Planning Commission and finally the City Council. Zoning changes what uses that you can develop on your property.

Variance on the other hand, alters the development guidelines for the projects that are being designed and ultimately built on these sights. Currently the City Council rezones and the Board of Appeals grant any variance. Having to Boards, both with some level of judicial powers allows a project to be considered and reviewed by to separate commissions each following different criteria in their respective review.

Without boring everyone, the new code will allow the city council to take over the power of the Board of Appeals.  (See more in link above - Dunwoody Farmer Bob).

Section 27-10.40 Household Pets
No more than 3 household pets may be kept on any lot in a residential zoning district, except that on lots exceeding 2 acres in area, one additional household pet may be kept for each additional acre of lot area in excess of 2 acres, up to a maximum of 10 household pets. Litters of animals of not more than 6 months of age are not counted for the purpose of calculating the total number of household pets on a lot in a residential zoning district.

Household pet means a domestic companion animal that is customarily kept for personal use and enjoyment including domestic dogs, domestic cats, canaries, parrots, parakeets, domestic tropical birds, hamsters and guinea pigs. Household pet does not include livestock, poultry, pot belly pigs, pit bulls, or snakes.