Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Dunwoody City Council receives request to provide equity for Girls Fastpitch Softball, requests softball fields and an indoor practice facility.

The City of Dunwoody Parks & Rec Department is requesting input via a survey which will only be open for a couple of more days through September 17 to gain input as to what the community wants at both the proposed Vermack and Austin Park properties.  The survey is located here and I encourage you to participate.

The Vermack property is 9.29 acres and includes an open field and wooded area. The former Austin school site is 10 acres and also provides a mix of open space and woods. Two existing playgrounds on the Austin site have been refurbished and will be open to the public soon.  “There is so much potential with these properties,” Walker added. “We’ll take our lead from residents as we work to find the best and most appropriate uses for both.”

Girls softball families are pointing out inequities and are requesting that this be rectified, I have published their request with their permission.

September 14, 2021

Dear Mayor Deutsch, Members of the Dunwoody City Council, and Parks and Recreation Director Walker:

We write to you as long-time supporters of youth athletics and in particular girls’ fastpitch softball. We are associated with one or more of the following four softball organizations or groups, a description of which is provided in the attached Appendix A: Atlanta Flames Fastpitch, Inc., Murphey Candler Girls Softball Association, Inc. (“MCGSA”), Dunwoody High School Softball Booster Club, and coaches and parents from the Peachtree Jr. Wildcats Girls’ Softball team (a non-sanctioned team of students from Peachtree Middle School). All of these groups serve Dunwoody and the surrounding area.

The Lack of Softball Fields at Public Parks in Dunwoody

We have a problem that can only be addressed by the City of Dunwoody: the lack of field space and indoor practice facilities in our city for girls’ softball. In the entire city of Dunwoody, an affluent community with a population of roughly 50,000, there is not a single softball field in a publicly owned park. In the nearby city of Chamblee (roughly 30,000 residents), there is one softball field in a publicly owned park but it is reserved for men’s and adult-mixed softball leagues.

The only softball fields available for girls at publicly owned parks in North DeKalb County (Brookhaven, Chamblee, and Dunwoody) are the five fields at Brookhaven’s Murphey Candler Park. As the attached Appendix B shows, five is a misleading number. Field 1 is tiny, and only suitable for tee ball (6 and under). Field 2 is slightly larger than 1, and only suitable for coach pitch (8 and under). Field 3 also is small and only suitable for ages 9-10. (Field 3’s outfield fences of 157’ are below the recommended minimum size for 10U.)1 That leaves Fields 4 and 5 for ages 11 and above. Field 4’s outfield fences of 163’(LF) and 178’ (RF) are well below the recommended minimum size (200’) and cannot be enlarged because the outfield abuts the dam for the lake. As a result, only one field (Field 5) meets the recommended minimum field dimensions for ages 11 to 18.

As the sport of girls’ fastpitch has grown in popularity, the girls using Murphey Candler’s fields has increased to over 500 each season and many of these girls are Dunwoody residents (MCGSA and the Flames, Spring 2021). The fields are now booked every weeknight from 5 to 9 and throughout the weekend. MCGSA has curtailed advertisement of its program because it does not have the field capacity to accommodate more teams.

The Lack of Other Practice Options in North DeKalb

In an effort to find additional field space, coaches have explored other options in the community. The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (“MJCCA”) has two softball fields that are used for adult softball but has historically declined to allow outside teams to use its fields. (One exception to this has been MJCCA’s recent accommodation of Peachtree Jr. Wildcats for practices and games.) While the MJCCA’s two softball fields might be available in isolated situations, the fields are not a viable option for reducing the significant field shortage because of heavy usage for adult softball and other activities such as soccer.

Private schools rarely allow outside teams on their fields unless the team has a connection to the school. Public schools, likewise, are reluctant to allow outside teams; the one exception has been Dunwoody High School. Dunwoody High’s field is less than ideal for several reasons. First, it has no lights, which limits its use in the winter and spring and eliminates its use in the fall due to school use during daylight hours. Second, its field dimensions (180’ (LF); 145’ (RF)) are well below the recommended minimum. Right field, the most glaring problem, is 55’ short of the recommended minimum and cannot be enlarged without encroaching on the entrance and parking lot for Vanderlyn School. There also are no permanent, publicly available restrooms anywhere near the field.

Because of the dearth of available fields, the Atlanta Flames have often filled practice schedules with a combination of field space at Dunwoody High, Murphey Candler Park, and the Flames’ Gym at the old Chamblee Middle School. In January 2021, the DeKalb County Public Schools terminated the Flames’ lease of the Gym due to the redevelopment of the site as an elementary school, thus eliminating a crucial practice option.

When the Peachtree Jr. Wildcats started a softball program for the 2021-2022 school year, its team had to schedule practices at two different facilities (Dunwoody High School and the MJCCA) because of the lack of any field in a public park. Dunwoody High’s field is already used in the fall by the school’s varsity and JV teams, leaving little time for the middle school.  The Peachtree Jr. Wildcats explored using the Brook Run Baseball Fields for practices but the fields have raised mounds and, therefore, cannot be used for softball games (softball fields do not have raised mounds).

The Disparity Between Fields for Girls’ Softball vs. Boys’ Baseball

As one looks at the shortage of softball fields for girls in North DeKalb, one cannot help but notice the stark contrast between the facilities available for baseball as compared to girls’ softball. At Murphey Candler, baseball has seven fields (the size of those fields is detailed in Appendix C). On top of that, there are two huge fields (one with 303’ fences, the other with 295’ fences) at Peachtree Middle School (Brook Run Baseball Fields) devoted to baseball.

By any measure, there is a large disparity in North DeKalb between the fields available for girls’ softball as compared to boys’ baseball. In number of fields, the difference is four (5 vs. 9). In physical space devoted to softball vs. baseball, the disparity increases (14,640 yd2 vs. 38,450 yd2). When viewed as a percentage of the total land devoted to girls’ softball and baseball (53,090 yd²), 27.6 percent is devoted to girls’ softball while 72.4 percent is devoted to baseball. But the problem does not end there. In addition to softball and baseball programs, Murphey Candler is home to Atlanta Colts football, and the park’s two football fields are located next to the softball fields. In the fall, the Colts have priority over the softball fields, which means the girls must accede control of their fields to football teams that practice in the outfields. MCGSA’s fall softball league is only allowed to use the fields on Wednesdays, Saturdays (fields 2-4 only), and Sundays. In 2021, MCGSA’s fall leagues have 370 participants, which means there is almost no time for Flames teams. When the use of softball fields by football teams is factored in, the disparity between the facilities for girls vs. boys only increases.

How did this happen?

The 135-acre site for Murphey Candler Park was purchased by DeKalb County in 1952, and the ground breaking for the park followed on January 31, 1954. Murphey Candler Baseball, Inc. traces its roots to 1958, when baseball started at the park. Atlanta Colt Youth Association, the football organization, was incorporated in 1965. In 1968, Murphey Candler became the first park in Atlanta to offer girls’ fastpitch softball. Because softball was the last to arrive, the softball fields were shoehorned into the small remaining tract below the lake. Anyone who has been to the park on a Saturday in the spring will see cars parked along the streets, a testament to the lack of planning for increased usage.
Dunwoody Senior Baseball, Inc. was formed in 1972, presumably around the time the two senior baseball fields were built at the site where Austin Elementary is now located. This facility provided fields for senior boys (13 and older). No similar facility for girls was ever constructed. Senior Girls were expected to make do with what was provided in the 1960s - two fields at Murphey Candler.

When the Brook Run Baseball Fields were built in 2017, softball supporters asked the City of Dunwoody to make the fields multiuse by using portable mounds, a practice used throughout the country. The City declined this request and, as a result, the fields have been used exclusively for baseball. Even if a softball team were willing to work around the raised mounds and practice on the fields, there is practically no time available because Dunwoody Senior has priority. Seemingly in jest, the City of Dunwoody’s website provides the following oddball times from February to May when one field is available for “free play”:

Saturdays 8pm-10pm (West Field)
Sundays 8am-10am (West Field)

The below days and times are also available, in addition to the schedule listed above:

3rd Saturday of each month: 4pm-10pm (West Field)
3rd Sunday of each month: 8am-10am (West Field)

How many Softball Fields should Dunwoody have?

DeKalb County’s 2010- 2020 Comprehensive Master Plan for Parks and Recreation (a copy of which is available at dekalbcountyga.gov/parks/) included the following recommendation:

Recommendation 1 - Facility Standards for Ballfields. The recommended standard is one ballfield for every 5,000 people. Utilizing these standards, the County should have 142 ballfields based upon its 2005 demographics, and 161 based on 2015 demographics. The county currently has 109 ballfields and 15 football fields, for a total of 124 fields. This means the County needs to add 37 ballfields by the year 2015. The majority of these fields need to be constructed in the northern part of the county.

Ballfield includes softball, baseball, and football/soccer fields. That would mean ten “ballfields” in Dunwoody. With two soccer fields and two baseball fields, Dunwoody has a deficit of six fields. (The City of Dunwoody’s website mentions two “open fields” at Brook Run but includes the following admonition: “Please no organized games or practices in these areas.”)

The recent Parks and Recreation Master Plan (August 2017) commissioned by the City of Dunwoody also recommended more athletic fields but did not specify the type or number:

Sports Fields Analysis

The City of Dunwoody provides a total of five sports field facilities within its system. The sports field facilities will serve the south central sectors of the city. Two (2) baseball fields are located at Dunwoody Park but will soon be relocated to Brook Run Park while the three (3) multi-purpose fields (unprogrammed) are located at Brook Run (1) and Pernoshal Park (2). If the City wishes to continue serving the northwest sector; future park development at the Austin ES park site should include athletic fields.

(City of Dunwoody’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan, p. 61 (emphasis added.) (The Master Plan overstated the sports fields in Dunwoody because Pernoshal Park only has one open field which, like the open field in Brook Run, is not suitable for organized practices.)

In the survey that preceded the Master Plan, respondents noted that “Youth and Adult Sports” were underserved and listed a “Sports Complex” as number two on the list of additional recreation facilities they would like to see, behind only “Trail Connectivity.” (Appendix B to the Master Plan.)

Our Proposal for More Softball Fields

We believe Dunwoody should have at least two softball fields at public parks with 200’ to 225’ fences, which would be the softball equivalent of the Brook Run Baseball Fields. These fields, of course, would require considerably less space than the Brook Run Baseball Fields. If the City followed the lead of other small cities in Georgia, it would build four softball fields in the shape of a wheel and use the revenue from tournaments to help cover costs. Cities like Carrollton (28,869 pop.) and Dalton (33,921 pop.) have generated considerable revenue for their operating budgets while helping local businesses by hosting softball tournaments.

We need a Facility to Replace the Gym

In 2009, the DeKalb County School System allowed the Atlanta Flames to convert the gym at old Chamblee Middle School (4680 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd.) into an indoor practice facility. From 2009 to 2021, the old Chamblee Middle School gym (“the Gym”) was used throughout the year by baseball and softball teams for indoor practice, by instructors for batting, pitching, and catching lessons, and by the Flames for coaching and instructional clinics. Each winter, roughly 225 girls and boys used the Gym each week for practice or lessons. Volunteers handled all of the organization and management of this facility. (No one on the Flames Board made money from the operation of the Gym.) Even though the Gym was located in the City of Dunwoody, the Atlanta Flames received no support from the City.

The Gym was too small but it served a vital purpose. Like almost every sport today, girls playing fastpitch softball need professional instruction in order to progress. The windmill motion used by pitchers is unique in sports. Pitchers require consistent, professional instruction in order to master the skill. And because the mound is closer in softball than in baseball, batters have less time to recognize and react to a pitch than in baseball. That means hitters must have a compact swing with no wasted motion. And baseball players also require professional instruction.

There are some privately-owned indoor batting cages in the Atlanta area, typically in warehouse districts; however, Atlanta’s rush-hour traffic makes it difficult for many Dunwoody residents to get to them, especially on week nights. The Gym provided a convenient and needed service to Dunwoody residents at a reasonable cost. Over the last ten years, thousands of girls, boys, and coaches have benefited from the gym through practice or professional instruction and clinics. Many of the players who practiced in the Gym have gone on to play college baseball or softball.

Our Proposal for an Indoor Facility

The Flames Board tried to move the operation at the Gym to the Austin Gym but were told the cost of operating and maintaining that facility would not be practical. The Flames Board also looked for comparable space in Dunwoody and the surrounding area but real estate prices made such a move cost-prohibitive. We believe the only way to create a facility like the Gym within the City of Dunwoody is with the help of the City. We propose that the City build an indoor facility in Dunwoody and allow a nonprofit such as the Atlanta Flames to operate it. The facility could be used by both girls and boys. With moveable nets, the building could also be used during the day for exercise classes. While we are not set on a particular site, it needs to be in a convenient location and preferably near a major roadway.


Team sports like softball not only promote physical fitness but also teach life lessons like team work, performance under pressure, and dealing with adversity. We believe sports like softball are important to our youth and serve a crucial role in public recreation. We ask you, as leaders in our community, to help us provide this vital service to our community by building softball fields and an indoor practice facility in Dunwoody.       Respectfully Yours,

Scott Farrow, Atlanta Flames Board Member, former President; MCGSA, former Board Member
Laura Horlock, Former Player, Coach and Board Member, MCGSA
Mike Puckett, Atlanta Flames Board Member; DHS Softball Booster Club, former President
Peter Kottke, President, Atlanta Flames; Secretary and Board Member, MCGSA
Kim Hiler, President, DHS Softball Booster Club
Matt Rosenkoff, Coach, Peachtree Jr. Wildcats; Vice President, MCGSA
Charles Frederick, Atlanta Flames, Treasurer and Board Member
David Axelson, Atlanta Flames, Former President and Board Member; MCGSA, Former President
Mark Light, Former coach at North Springs HS; Atlanta Flames Board Member; MCGSA
Sonja Greeley, Atlanta Flames, Board Member

Full document with charts, photos and appendix is located here.  Survey to the City is located here.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Dunwoody City Council Agenda for Monday September 13, 2021. Dunwoody Village, Zoning text minor edits, City Mgr Report, 2022 calender, art easement, budget amendment, cloud


September 13, 2021



Please click this URL to join via Zoom.  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81892227870

 Agenda - City Site

PUBLIC COMMENT - in person only now that COVID-19 special operation rules are not in place.  Come make your public comment at City Hall.

City Manager's Report - good read that I highly recommend reading.

HEARINGS & FIRST READ: Review and Consideration of Text Amendments to Chapter 8, Building and Building Regulations, Chapter 16, Land Development Regulations & Chapter 27, Zoning Ordinance,  Chapter 26, Streets, Sidewalks, and Public Spaces

#1 - Section 8-27, Design Professional Requirements:Single Family Home Requirement
#2 - Section 8-27, Time Limitations:clarify the language for expired permits and specify
a path to reinstate expired permits
#3 - Section 16-29, Time Limitations: request to add time limitations to development permits
#4 - Section 26-8, Obstruction of the Right-of-Way: sign blockage & overgrown hedges spilling out onto the sidewalks
#5 - Section 27-30, Expired and Obsolete Zoning Districts: a
dding language as to what these districts allowed for those grandfathered.
#6 - Section 27-58, Rear Setback on Corner Lots: adds restrictions where there are none now.
#7 - Section 27-72, O-I Allowed Uses: allows small stores on ground floor of office buildings.
#8 - Section 27-111, Use Determinations: moved to personal notice vs public notice
#9 - Section 27-147, Residential Infill: I need to review formal proposal to understand.
# 10 - Section 27-174, Relative’s Residences: can Mom have a Kitchen in basement or converted shed?
# 11 - Section 27-439 & 27-442, Posted Notice for Special Administrative Permits: Decisions to web.
# 12 - Section 27-104 & Section 27-574.5, Perimeter Center Open Space: redundant / obsolete 
# 13 - Section 27-402 & Section 27-425, Concurrent Variances & Concurrent Special Exceptions: this grants City Council of variances when part of a rezoning.
# 14 - Appeals: this clarifies that the Zoning Board of Appeals has authority over Appeals.

Approval of 2022 City Council, Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Schedules

Public Art Easement - 5064 Nandina Lane (Flowers by Maureen Engle to beautify Moondog Parking Lot wall.)

SECOND READ: RZ21-01: Rezoning of 5500 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd & 1244 Dunwoody Village Parkway from the Current C-1 Conditional (Local Commercial) District and Dunwoody Village Overlay District to the DV-4 (Village Center) District 

SECOND READ: Review and Consideration of Text Amendments to Amend the Dunwoody Village Regulating Map and to Delete the Regulations for the Dunwoody Village Overlay District

SECOND READ: Review and Consideration of a New Sign Ordinance to Replace Chapter 20 - Signs 

Resolution for Budget Amendment Fiscal Year 2021 - Other Funds

Discussion for OnBase & City Works Migration to Cloud

Can you assist? Dunwoody charity is hosting a Gift Card Drive for Arrive Apartment Complex Impacted Residents. @ajc @DunwoodyCrier @Reporter_News

Tuesday Night - Gift Card drive for St. Malachi's to distribute to the affected families.

Dunwoody friends, as many of you might have heard via social media, on the news or perhaps you heard or felt the explosion, the Arrive Apartment Complex had a explosion today. Multiple units have been destroyed and neighboring buildings may have also been damaged.
At this point it looks like the residents impacted will be safely housed tonight, but the loss of their personal items is great. In order to address the immediate financial need to help support those affected in purchasing items to get through the short term recovery, we are holding a gift card drive.
Tuesday during our normal Malachi's Storehouse donation drop off, we will also be collecting gift cards to distribute to the affected families. We will be working with the apartment complex manager to distribute the gift cards to these families. Please see the information below for more details and thank you in advance for your caring and generosity. Dunwoody never ceases to amaze me in its support of each other - our hearts are full.
When: Tuesday, September 14 from 4-6pm
Where: Malachi's Storehouse at St. Patrick's Church (Across from the main entrance to Brook Run Park on North Peachtree)
What: Gift Cards in any amount: Target, Walmart, Visa, Krogers
A second collection site is SOHO Office next to the Kroger on Dunwoody Club and they will be collecting Monday through Friday between 9AM-6PM.  The hope is to get the residents assistance ASAP, please try to donate by Tuesday night if you are able.
Sincerely yours,
Your Tuesday Malachi Volunteers
* We will not be collecting items for the residents. Due to the ranges of ages and needs, we understand that the most impactful help these residents can receive is in the form of gift cards.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Dunwoody City Council Agenda for Monday August 23rd - Welcome Ardy Bastien, First Read on Village Rezoning, Shallowford Path, Signs, Cares Funding Non-Profits

August 23, 2021

Please click this URL to join via Zoom.   https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86802183504

Agenda - City Site Agenda 

PUBLIC COMMENT - in person only now that COVID-19 special operation rules are not in place.  Come make your public comment at City Hall.

Appointment of Villard "Ardy" Bastien to City Council Post 1 to Fill the Unexpired Term of Pam Tallmadge

Administration of Oath of Office to Villard "Ardy" Bastien by the Honorable Judge Stacey Hydrick

FIRST READ: RZ21-01: Rezoning of 5500 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd & 1244 Dunwoody Village Parkway from the Current C-1 Conditional (Local Commercial) District and Dunwoody Village Overlay District to the DV-4 (Village Center) District.

FIRST READ: Review and Consideration of Text Amendments to Amend the Dunwoody Village Regulating Map and to Delete the Regulations for the Dunwoody Village Overlay District

Approval of a Resolution of Support for the North Shallowford Road Path Project Application for the Atlanta Regional Commission's Livable Centers Initiative Project Solicitation

Authorization for Additional CARES 2 Grant Funding to Not for Profit Agencies (Up to $100,000)

Discussion - Overview Sign Lighting Types

Discussion - Text Amendment to Chapter 24, Offenses and Miscellaneous Provisions - Relating to Illicit Sex Acts for Hire

Friday, August 20, 2021

Dunwoody get ready for heavy traffic on East / West Connector Streets for the next year as commuters avoid 285 construction & lane reductions down to three lanes.

285 will be cut down to three lanes in each direction for the next year and Dunwoody surface traffic will be impacted!


Traffic at one of the most congested interchanges in metro Atlanta is about to get dramatically worse as construction peaks at I-285 and Ga. 400.

The weekend after Labor Day, the Georgia Department of Transportation will shrink the Perimeter from five lanes to three lanes in each direction from Roswell Road to Ashford Dunwoody Road, creating a colossal headache for hundreds of thousands of motorists. And it won’t be a short-term hassle.

“This is going to be a long-term, monumental (traffic) shift to get things finished,” GDOT spokesperson Natalie Dale said. “Do you really need to go through this interchange?”

The next phase of construction involves replacing I-285 bridges over Glenridge Drive, Ga. 400 and Peachtree Dunwoody Road. The weekend after Labor Day, GDOT will reduce I-285 from five lanes to three in each direction through the area.

Reducing the number of lanes by 40% will have a dramatic effect on traffic, and GDOT hopes people will avoid the area if they can.

GDOT now says the I-285 lanes will be reduced through June 2022.

PS: what the article doesn't tell you is that after this phase is completed the bridge over Chamblee Dunwoody will also be replaced which may also reduce 285 lane widths therefore the date of June for a return to normal traffic flow for us may not be accurate. 

Six Candidates register to serve on the Dunwoody City Council - Catherine Lautenbacher, Terry Nall in District 1, Rob Price and Jim Riticher in District 2 and finally Tom Lambert and Brian Sims in 3.

The next General Election for the City Dunwoody will be held on November 2, 2021 for the purpose of electing three (3) members of City Council: Council Post 1, District 1; Council Post 2, District 2, Council Post 3, District 3.   These are the three locally elected representatives up for election in this cycle with the Mayor and the three At Large Representatives (Harris, Heneghan & Seconder) up for City wide vote in 2023.

All Dunwoody Residents vote in this election, but you only vote for one of the two candidates running in the district in which you live.

The three voting districts split the city into thirds running north south with District 1 being the far West Side of Dunwoody (Redfield, Mill Glen, The Branches, Dunwoody Station or in an apartment near the mall) the you only get to vote for Catherine Lautenbacher or Terry Nall.  

District 2 is located in the middle third of Dunwoody (Dunwoody Club Forest, The Woodlands, Oxford Chase, Meadowlake, Springfield, Village Mill, North Springs, Georgetown, Chateau Woods, Dunwoody Green, Heritage at Dunwoody or one of the apartments in the center) then your only voting choice is that of Rob Price or Jim Riticher.

District 3 is located on the far East Side of Dunwoody (Dunwoody North, Kingsley, Brooke Farm, Waterford, Fountainbleau Forest, Four Oaks, Lockridge Forest, The Madisons, Briers North or one of the many apartments on the West Side) then your only voting choice is between Tom Lambert and Brian Sims.

Qualified candidates for Nov. 2, 2021 General Election:

Council Post 1, District 1:
Catherine Lautenbacher
Terry Nall

Council Post 2, District 2:
Rob Price
Jim Riticher

Council Post 3, District 3:
Tom Lambert
Brian Sims

The Mayor and Dunwoody City Council have contracted (and paid) the DeKalb Board of Elections to offer early voting at the Dunwoody Library from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays from Oct. 12 to Oct. 22, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 16 and Oct. 23.  This is a long standing policy of Council as the City of Dunwoody wants to offer this service for all elections big or small.

In other election / city council news, Mayor Deutsch has nominated to Council for decision on Monday for Mr. Villard "Ardy" Bastien to fulfill the unexpired term on Pam Tallmadge in District 1.  Ardy lives in District 1, has been a long time member of the Dunwoody Zoning Board of Appeals, is active with the Dunwoody Rotary and will do a great job until the new Councilmember takes office in January.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Dunwoody Lemonade Days carnival & community festival starts Wednesday 4 pm and runs through Sunday at Brook Run Park

 Lemonade Day's Festival starts Wednesday

Dunwoody's Annual Spring Festival, Lemonade Day's presented by the Dunwoody Preservation Trust remembering the tornado of 1998 that flattened sections of our community, snapped trees like twigs and took a mans life has been moved to the late summer this year and I am hoping the weather cooperates as this event is needed in so many ways!  We are once again making Lemonade from Lemons and am hopeful for a sweet event.  A personal thank you to Hope Follmer and all the volunteers & sponsors who assist in making this a fabulous event.

Based on past experience, I can tell you that Wednesday & Thursday are the best days to purchase a wristband for unlimited rides as the crowds are light and the lines extremely short. If your children don't have after school commitments on these days you may want to visit plus Wednesday looks to be the best day weather wise.  A large number Middle School Students will make a bee line to Brook Run after school on Wednesday, Thursday & Friday as there is a secure book bag check in area at the festival to ensure those Chromebooks do not get lost.  Middle Schooler's running in packs at Lemonade Day's without direct parental oversight is a right of passage for many as the park is safe because the crowd is all local until about 7 pm on Friday when the carnival area is taken over by teenagers & college kids with cars.  Friday night usually gets busy and then on Saturday and Sunday the park is over run with visitors from near & far.  Parents, please note that there is now a dedicated drop off / pick up point on Barclay between the two Baseball Fields as this location has easy access into the park, a small well lit parking lot and a restroom in the field house right there.

Besides the carnival rides, the food choices for festival goers will include everything from hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken and BBQ to foods with an Asian, Italian, Indian and/or Hispanic flair. For those just wanting a snack, there will be popcorn, funnel cakes and pretzels and for a cool treat yogurt, Italian ice and ice cream. Cold craft and domestic beer and delicious wine are also available.

Another highlight of the festival is the Children's Petting Zoo & Pony Rides; the various vendors at the County Store selling arts & crafts and then there is the Dunwoody Idol music competition happening on Friday & Saturday.   

If you see me at the event, please pull me aside to introduce yourself as I would love to chat to hear what is on your mind.   Thanks    John Heneghan


Welcome to the 21st annual Lemonade Days Festival – a premier Dunwoody signature event. As our largest annual fundraiser, it makes all of our other activities possible, with all proceeds used within our community for historic preservation, community celebrations and education.

Featuring more than 30 full-scale carnival rides (daily wristbands for unlimited rides are available – $20/day Wednesday & Thursday Family Nights; $25/day Friday-Sunday), more than 20 fabulous food and beverage vendors, two days of center stage performances and the popular Dunwoody Idol contest. Lemonade Days has become a highlight of the city’s calendar and its most popular family event of the year.

New this year, we will be hosting Life South’s Blood Mobile on Sunday, August 22nd. They will be taking blood donations between 12noon-6pm.


Wednesday 4pm – 10pm
Thursday 4pm – 10pm
Friday 4pm – 10pm
Saturday 10am -10pm
Sunday 12pm – 6pm

For daily specifics and map, click here.

Lemonade Days is held at Brook Run Park, 4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338.

Admission to Lemonade Days is FREE!

Individual ride tickets are $1.25 each

Buy UNLIMITED daily ride passes (wristbands) for just:

$20 on Wednesday & Thursday – FAMILY NIGHTS

$25 per day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Wristbands valid for day of purchase only

For weather updates, volunteer opportunities and insights into this year’s festival, please follow us on Twitter @Lemonadedays, Instagram or Facebook.


Sunday, August 1, 2021

Special Called Dunwoody City Council Meeting, Monday 10:30 am to sell two medical buildings on Shallowford for $7.75 Million


AUGUST 02, 2021 – 10:30 A.M.

View meeting on Zoom:   https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87463414483

Agenda - Agenda on city Site

Public Comment is now in person only.

Purchase and Sale Agreement for Agreement for 4553 and 4555 North
Shallowford Road


In other news, Monday is the first day back to school for DeKalb County; please have lots of patience as this will be a new routine for many.

Tuesday Night the Dunwoody Police Department will be at Brook Run Park from 6 pm to 9 pm for the National Night Out event supporting our police department. Bring the kids and climb the SWAT vehicle.

Lemonade Days starts Aug 18th.

Dunwoody Nature Center Butterfly Experience starts Aug 19th.


Saturday, July 24, 2021

Dunwoody City Council Agenda for July 26, 2021 - Paths, Parks Planning, Austin Park Turf, Mural, Skilled Tradesman, New Police Officers, Teen Police Academy, Audit Member


July 26, 2021

Return to normal operations - Video Stream should be back on the Agenda Site and also Facebook?    

Agenda - City Site Agenda


Recognition of Teen Academy Graduates 

Administration of Oath of Office to Officers Stacey Hightower and Joel Polanco 

PUBLIC COMMENT - in person only now that COVID-19 special operation rules are not in place.  Come make your public comment at City Hall.

Resolution Appointing Member to Serve on Audit Committee - David Kopel

Contract Award with Practical Design Partners for Design of a 12ft wide shared use path along the western side of Tilly Mill Road from Womack Road to Mt. Vernon Road.

Contract Award for Park Master Plan Design of 5435 Roberts Drive and 4809/4819 Vermack Road

Contract Award for Stand-By Skilled Trade Contractors

Approval of Art Easement - 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road

Listing Agreement for the Sale of City owned Properties on 4553 and 4555 North Shallowford Road - Colliers International  -  Sale Offer 

Contract Award for Installation of Irrigation and Sod at 5435 Roberts Drive - Old Austin Property

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Are you interested in running for Dunwoody City Council? Qualifying period opens August 16th - please reach out if I can assist with questions.


The next General Election for the City of Dunwoody is for the Local Representatives, the three City Council members who live in districts 1, 2 or 3 and then are only elected by the residents in the district in which they live. In November of 2023, the Mayor and three at Large Representatives of districts 1, 2, & 3 will be up for election. Pam Tallmadge the local representative of district 1 dropped off Council when she moved earlier this month and the Mayor will name an acting replacement at some time in the future; so that seat is now open.  Jim Riticher in district 2 and Tom Lambert in district 3 have both said that they intend to run for re-election.  The only real requirement of running for city council is a six month residency requirement for living within the district you intend to serve, pay the filing fee of $360.00 & complete the various forms.

As the longest sitting member of the Dunwoody City Council & Mayor Pro Tem, I am happy to discuss with anyone interested in serving on Council, about the position, the responsibilities, duties and benefits of serving your community on the City Council.   I am truly honored that I can continue my service to the community as it is a privilege I take very seriously.  I strive to represent and work hard on your behalf , doing so humbly yet diligently with passion while ensuring that the City of Dunwoody operates transparently and fairly for all involved.  If you are ready to do the same, please join me on Council.  If you want to talk, just send me an email at John.Heneghan@DunwoodyGA.gov and include a phone number so I can call you back.

The Dunwoody City Council is compensated with a salary of $12 thousand dollars per year, a small expense account and optional health insurance benefits.  There are financial reporting requirements for council whereby you need to report all assets, individual stocks and other fiduciary responsibilities. If you plan on accepting financial donations to fund your campaign there are lots of reporting rules associated with that as well.  Our City Clerk, Ms. Sharon Lowery (one of the best in the State) is happy to discuss with anyone interested in running for council the legalities of doing so. 

As I have been blogging for as long as I have been elected, I have written numerous articles on past elections, including results and past tally's here.  I have highlighted Dunwoody Candidate profiles and various other election paraphernalia here.

Here is a link to a detailed map showing the boundaries for the the three districts within Dunwoody and below is the text outlining the qualification of Council Elections as pulled from the city website.

Please reach out if I can assist you in deciding to run for Council.   Thanks  John

The next General Election for the City Dunwoody will be held on November 2, 2021 for the purpose of electing three (3) members of City Council: Council Post 1, District 1; Council Post 2, District 2, Council Post 3, District 3.

Qualifying will be held in August 2021. It will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, August 16 and end at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 18. During that time, candidates must file a Notice of Candidacy with Dunwoody City Clerk Sharon Lowery. There is a qualifying fee of $360.

Important links:

Declaration of Intent to Accept Campaign Contributions

Notice of Candidacy (filed with the City Clerk during qualifying)

Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report (City Clerk can explain during qualifying)

Personal Financial Disclosure - all candidates are required to file this within 15 days of the date they qualify. It is for the previous calendar year. 

Affidavit of Exemption Not to Exceed $2,500 in Contributions - Candidates who files this affadavit will not be required to file a Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report unless/until they exceed $2,500 in contributions.

For more information, email City Clerk Sharon Lowery: sharon.lowery@dunwoodyga.gov.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Dunwoody Village rezoning proposal comes back to Planning Commission on Tuesday the 13th and it appears to be topic of discussion at Sunday Night's DHA Meeting.

On Tuesday July 13th at 6 pm, the Dunwoody Planning Commission will be hearing a rezoning case for the segment of the Dunwoody Village that was not rezoned last year.  Council pulled these properties from a larger rezoning after the City and the individual council members were each sued in our individual capacity by the owner.  The City and the owners have been negotiating for the rezoning to continue and it appears that that those two parties have come to an agreement as outlined in this matter but are the terms of proposed future development in the best interest of all involved? 

The Planning Commission will hold hearings on Tuesday, the Dunwoody Homeowners Association will be discussing this on Sunday Night live at the City Annex Building 4470 N Shallowford at 7:30 pm and it is usually also available at the same time streaming on Facebook but as I know this matter will come in front of City Council once again, therefore I (and the rest of Council) will be in listening mode until after the matter is officially brought to Council and formal public City Council hearings are held.  

The same restrictions of making judgements or statements about the rezoning are also in place for Planning Commission Members to not discuss the matter until which time their body holds hearings.

Tuesday Planning Commission Agenda
Tuesday Planning Commission Packet

Just the rezoning documents from the Packet - most of which is listed below.

On November 30, 2020, the City Council adopted the new zoning code for the Dunwoody Village. As part of the code overhaul, the City comprehensively rezoned properties in the Dunwoody Village area to four new Dunwoody Village zoning districts. The two subject parcels were initially part of that process; however, the City Council removed both after objections by the property owners. This rezoning case will complete the Dunwoody Village comprehensive zoning project and implement the zoning component of the Dunwoody Village Master Plan. 

The parcel at 5500 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd. is currently zoned C-1 and is developed with the Shops of Dunwoody shopping center, including businesses such as Nai Thai Cuisine, Dunwoody Tavern, and Taqueria Los Hermanos. The parcel at 1244 is zoned C-1 and is developed with a small two-story commercial building and the Sunshine Carwash facility. Both lots front towards the Dunwoody Village district and are separated by an approximately 150- to 200-foot buffer towards a single-family residential neighborhood to the west.

The main issue of contention was the 130-foot undisturbed buffer plus 20-foot required transition yard along the western property line and adjacent to the Dunwoody West subdivision. The property owners contested that the buffer would amount to a taking. At the time of development in the 1970s, the developer negotiated a 150-foot buffer with the neighbors to the West. This private agreement expired since. The staff also conducted an extensive search for zoning conditions. The files transferred by DeKalb County at the time of the City’s incorporation appear incomplete, and additional open records requests to the County did not provide additional documents. Based on an initial review, the staff cannot find evidence of any zoning conditions requiring a 150-foot buffer.

Since then, the staff has continued negotiations with the property owners of the two subject parcels to complete the Dunwoody Village district-wide zoning project. The proposed agreement rezones the subject properties to the DV-4 (Village Center) district. Along the western property line of the two parcels, a 35-foot buffer adjacent to the property line is followed by a 115-foot required open space.

Under the initial draft regulations, the parcel at 1244 Dunwoody Village Parkway was zoned DV-1 (Village Commercial), while 5500 Chamblee Dunwoody Road was split-zoned along a future north-south street with the part fronting Chamblee Dunwoody Road zoned DV-4 (Village Center) and the part to the rear zoned DV-1 (Village Commercial). Under the current proposal, the entirety would be zoned DV-4. The DV-4 district is intended as the core of the Dunwoody Village area and provides a mix of uses, centralized open spaces, and highly walkable development patterns at the highest intensity level of the four Dunwoody Village districts. When compared with the DV-1 district, the permitted uses are fairly similar, while the DV-4 district allows an additional story and higher impervious cover (see below table for comparison).

The heart of the agreement is to shift future development density from the western part of the properties, adjacent to the neighborhood, towards the center of the Dunwoody Village district. The property owner agrees not to construct any buildings within 150 feet of the neighborhood, while being granted the additional development potential that comes with the DV-4 zoning. While there are no current development plans, the staff believes that this agreement allows for sufficient development rights to achieve the goals of the Dunwoody Village Master Plan, while reducing impacts on the residential neighborhood.The combined 35-foot undisturbed buffer and 115-foot open space exceeds the zoning standards for comparable new construction. Adjacent to a single-family residential subdivision, development in the current C-1-district (Local Commercial) would have to provide a TY2 transition yard that is 10 feet deep. Should the property remain in its current C-1 District, a new retail building could be built within 30 feet of the residential properties and a loading area could be within 10 feet of the residential properties.

Based on the above analysis and findings staff has determined that the requested zoning map amendment meets the requirements of Sec. 27-335 of the Zoning Ordinance; therefore, staff recommends APPROVAL of the rezoning from the current C-1 (Local Commercial) District and Dunwoody Village Overlay District to the DV-4 (Village Center) District.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Tom Bass has been selected to be the next Principal of Dunwoody High School and the Wildcats are JUICED!


Believe the hype, Tom Bass will bring a new vitality to Dunwoody High School as Principal.

It has been announced that Mr. Tom Bass an Assistant Principal at Lambert High School in Forsyth County will be returning to Dunwoody High School to be our next Principal. Tom, a former Assistant Principal at Dunwoody, has 11 years as a school administrator following a career as an English teacher of 18 years prior. He has a B.S. from Georgetown University, a M.S. at Nova Southeastern University and an Ed Specialist degree from Lincoln Memorial University.  Tom has long history and a deep connection to the Dunwoody Community therefore I am overjoyed at the selection to guide the future of Dunwoody High School.  Below is the text of the official announcement.

Dear Dunwoody High School Community -
I am excited to share that a new principal has been named for Dunwoody High. Please help me welcome and congratulate Mr. Tom Bass as the new Principal of Dunwoody High School! .Mr. Bass is coming with several years of assistant principal experience from a neighboring district. He also has many years of experience at Dunwoody High School, previously serving as a teacher, coach, and an assistant principal.
I am very confident that Mr. Bass is the perfect fit for DHS. With his experience, enthusiasm, and in-depth knowledge of the Dunwoody community; and with your support, he will continue the atmosphere of excellence that currently exists at the school. He is the definition of Wildcat Pride! He will begin transitioning next week. The administrative team and I will be communicating with Mr. Bass to ensure a smooth transition. You will be hearing from him soon.
I would also like to extend a special thank you to the Parent Advisory Committee for participating in the selection process!
Feel free to reach out to me with questions. Enjoy the last few weeks of your summer!!
Melanie Pearch
Region I Superintendent
PS from John: if you don't know Tom he is a skilled Administrator and I know he will bring high energy to the position and the school.  Here are a few more links to give you a flavor of Tom's energy. 

P.S.S: Tom, if you're reading this... Don't Hate me Baby!!

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Dunwoody Saturday Night Concert in Brook Run Park at 6 PM - Hedonistas playing music from the 1970s, food trucks and drinks available.


Saturday Night 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m   
Brook Run Park Amphitheater

Want a preview of the music - check this out.

Introduction: Free summer concert series taking place in the new Brook Run Park Amphitheater.

The City of Dunwoody Parks and Recreation Department announces the return of “Groovin’ on the Green,” a free summer concert series taking place in the new Brook Run Park Amphitheater.

The July 10 concert will feature the Hedonistas playing music from the 1970s. The final concert in the series is on September 11.

Those who want to spread out can bring a blanket and picnic dinner and enjoy the concert from the Great Lawn. King of Pops, South of Philly, C-BO's BBQ and Gyro Chef food trucks will be on site, along with Moondog Growlers selling beer and wine.

The Brook Run Park Amphitheater opened quietly last summer. Due to the pandemic, this concert will be the amphitheater’s kickoff event. The venue includes terraced seating, expanded levels of open space, restrooms and an upgraded pavilion. The amphitheater is conveniently located along the Dunwoody Trailway in Brook Run Park and offers easy access for those who want to walk or ride their bicycles to the event.

Dunwoody City Council Agenda for July 12, 2021, City Managers Report, Sign Ordinance, Sidewalk Projects, Stormwater, Alcohol Tastings, Budget Amendments, Stage Door

July 12, 2021

Zoom     https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86305679650

Or join by phone: +1 470-250-9358   Webinar ID: 863 0567 9650

Agenda - City Site Agenda


To take part in public comment, please send an email to publiccomment@dunwoodyga.gov. Include your name, your email address, and phone number. You will be placed on a first-come, first-served list for public comment. The first public comment section has a 30-minute time limit. Each speaker is allowed up to three minutes. If time runs out, pre-registered speakers will be called on during the second public comment section toward the end of the meeting. If you don't pre-register, you can use the "raise hand" feature on zoom during the meeting to be added to the public comment list.

Discussion of Economic Recovery Advisory Committee


Friday, July 2, 2021

Dunwoody Independence Day Festivities - Band Concert on Sunday and Parade on Monday July 5th @ 9 a.m.


Dunwoody Homeowners Association and the Dunwoody Reporter newspaper will host the annual Independence Day Parade on Monday July 5th featuring marching bands, floats, clowns, animal units and local celebrities. In 2019 the parade attracted over 2,500 participants and 35,000 spectators!

The parade route is approximately 2.7 miles and steps off from the intersection of Mount Vernon Road and Jett Ferry Road at 9:00 a.m., proceeds west on Mt. Vernon to Dunwoody Village, turns right onto Dunwoody Village Parkway, circles around the Parkway, and left into Dunwoody Village in between First Watch and Citizens Bank . Volunteers will guide parade participants to parade parking (Post Office Side). The Festival Area will be on the Walgreens side of Dunwoody Village. It takes approximately 1 hour to walk the entire parade route.

Parade spectators are encouraged to setup chairs along Mt. Vernon and circle around the Dunwoody Village Parkway into Dunwoody Village. Spectators will be blocked from viewing on the east side of Jett Ferry on Mt. Vernon due to the staging and setup for parade participants. Viewing will start on the west side of Jett Ferry on Mt. Vernon.  (I always smile as see numerous parade viewing spaces reserved the night before be it with tents, blankets or chairs as it reminds me of the practice of Dibs after a Chicago snowfall.)

Mt. Vernon Road, between Jett Ferry Road and Dunwoody Village, will be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. [times are approximate; contact the Dunwoody Police Department for specific questions about road closures and traffic information].

The Parade Grand Marshal for 2021 are the Front Line Workers, those critical workers who served citizens during the pandemic, including the Dunwoody Police Department, DeKalb Fire, healthcare workers, grocery & pharmacy store employees and restaurant workers. Anyone on the Frontlines during the health crisis is welcome to participate.

The parade will have many of the same participants as it has for many years, but this year we are honored to have the 116th National Army Guard Marching Band and the Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps providing musical entertainment. The Georgia Garrison of the 501st Legion will be in attendance and maybe Darth Vader will be seen surrounded by all the other Stormtroopers.  The Weinermobile will be in attendance again this year as will a bunch of elected officials.   I also know of a new parade entry that I am really excited about as I believe they plan to put the razzel dazzel back into marching the parade route. I heard there will be over 120 entries in the parade so I am really excited to participate and view all the entries.

After the Parade, please join the Dunwoody community in front of the US Post Office in Dunwoody Village for family fun and great food. Troop 266 will be selling delicious BBQ (chicken or pork), slaw, watermelon, homemade brownie, and tea or lemonade.  Dunwoody Rotary will be selling Hotdogs, drinks, chips and homemade cookies.  Moondog Growlers will be offering craft beers and canned wine to wet your whistle. Porters Brew & Que will be hosting a post parade brunch.

FYI - my blog email service Feedburner quite operating therefore I have quickly migrated over to MailChimp and converted the mailing list over to that service.  Sorry if this is inconvenient for anyone but I hope to continue to share all city agendas and public documents in every form possible including email.  The platform is new to me and it will need tweaking if it works at all.  Thanks  John

Saturday, June 26, 2021

City of Dunwoody set to approve the same tax rate Monday Night that has been in place for 12 years.

Monday the Dunwoody City Council has two special called meetings (8 am & 6 pm) with just one item on the agenda and that is to review and approve at the 6 pm meeting the proposed tax rate of 2.74 mills which is the same tax rate that has been in place since incorporation in 2009.  Details below as well as meeting agendas.

June 28, 2021

Agendas & Documentation for June 28th Meetings. 

Sample property tax bill showing breakout of City Taxes.

The City of Dunwoody will consider setting the millage rate for real estate at a maximum of 2.74 mills following the recent revaluation of real property tax assessments, preserving the same millage rate since incorporation in 2008.

The city received notice of its year-over-year increase in the real and personal tax digest for 2021 as a result of the revaluation of real property tax assessments performed by the DeKalb County Tax Commissioner’s office. Each year, the board of tax assessors is required to review the assessed value for property tax purposes of taxable property in the county. When the trend of prices on properties that have recently sold in the county indicate there has been an increase in the fair market value of any specific property, the board of tax assessors is required by law to re‐determine the value of such property and adjust the assessment. This is called a reassessment. When a reassessment results in a decrease in property values, Georgia law requires the City to advertise the property tax rate, even if the millage rate remains the same.

Dunwoody homeowners who filed and qualified for a homestead exemption will pay no more in city taxes than the amount paid in 2009 based on the residential property assessment freeze exemption effective since the city’s inception. This exemption is in addition to the one (1) mill exemption also in place granting homeowners in Dunwoody an effective millage rate of just 1.74 mills. Homeowners in Dunwoody average a 49% exemption in assessed values.

At the anticipated millage rate of 2.74 mills since incorporation, one of the lowest millage rates of any similarly-sized city within the immediate Atlanta metro area, Dunwoody property owners may see an increase or a decrease in their real estate taxes in 2021, depending on whether individual property gained or lost value this year. The City of Dunwoody does not have direct control or influence over the valuations of the tax assessor’s office.

In accordance with state law requirements, the City of Dunwoody will hold three public hearings to receive comment from taxpayers on this subject. The public is invited to attend information meetings at Dunwoody City Hall, located at 4800 Ashford Dunwoody Road in Dunwoody on:

  • June 14, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.
  • June 28, 2021 at 8:00 a.m.

 The City Council will have a third and final public hearing followed by a vote on a tax rate for FY 2021 at a Special Called Council Meeting on June 28, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.

 All meetings will also be available virtually, and a link to each meeting will be posted on the city’s website the day of the meeting.

Dunwoody Crier - Tax rate holds as property values rise in Dunwoody. Still, some homeowners will pay more. 

The average $450,000 homeowner in Dunwoody will pay less than $300 in city taxes to have police, parks and paving,” Dunwoody Assistant City Manager Jay Vinicki said.

AJC - Pandemic housing boom helps hold down property taxes in DeKalb

Dunwoody has kept its millage rate at 2.7% since the city was founded, and Assistant City Manager Jay Vinicki said the city’s low reliance on property taxes means no changes have been necessary up to this point.

“We just kept ours the same because it keeps up with our operational increases and our inflationary increases,” he said, adding that nearly every homeowner in the city has a freeze applied on their city taxes due to the city’s homestead exemption policy.