Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How to Write a Creepy Real Estate Offer

1)  Create hand-written "form letters".
2)  Use red ink.
3)  Send copies to home addresses at random from a bulk database export.
4)  Ignore whether the property is listed for sale or not.
5)  Use yellow, lined paper, instead of a company letterhead.
6)  Only use your first name, don't include your last name.
7)  Include a phone number but no other contact information.
8)  Don't explain why you're interested in buying a property that is not on the market.
9)  The return address on your envelope should be a "MailBoxes Etc" location in Buckhead.

Behold that which blessed my US Mailbox this afternoon.
Address redacted.  If you know my family, you know where we live.  ;-)
When I googled the phone number, I found this website:

I'm guessing home flippers.  Anyone else get one of these creepograms?  Or know the company where the phone number led?

By the way, if "Bajja" is reading this, your offer is respectfully declined.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Is Dunwoody getting its own girls' party place?

A while back I posted about my (and my daughter's) experience with Pink Pastry Parlor in Alpharetta and bemoaned the fact that indoor play and party spaces were rare in a city that is so concerned about opportunities for children.

It looks like that may change...!

Behold Sweets 'n Dreams, a new storefront in the Shops of Dunwoody that is going through the process to build out and open.  It is promoted as a party facility/event center/bakery and may be one of the things that our retail centers have been missing for a while.

Check 'em out on Facebook!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Street/Summer Fair Vendors Wanted for Input on Media Article

I received an email this morning from Independent We Stand, an advocacy organization supporting and promoting the value of local independent businesses.

A reporter for a major news publication has approached Independent We Stand looking for entrepreneurs who have been vendors at street fairs and other outdoor summer events. They're seeking examples of lessons learned from these business opportunities – what to do and what not to do to. The entrepreneurs should be in only their second or third year of business and have some wisdom to share based on what they learned as an outdoor vendor last summer or the summer before. Do you fit the bill or know someone else who does? Just reply to this email or email us at!

Dunwoody and its neighbors are chock full of these kinds of enterprises!  If you are a small biz entrepreneur or solopreneur who as ever set up shop at Lemonade Days, the Dunwoody Music Festival, or the Dunwoody Arts Festival, this may be a golden opportunity for you to showcase your wares to a wide media audience!

While we're at it, I'll bet some of the vendors at the Dunwoody Green Market would fit the bill too.  Ditto for the new generation of food trucks that are hitting the streets to carve out their niche.  (I still think the Hail Caesar idea is hysterical!)

Drop a line to Independent We Stand above and give the media another reason to put Dunwoody-grown brands on the map.  (Tell Bill I said "hi" when you email!)

Rezoning Questions Go Gently Down the Stream

Over the weekend I received this message from Joe Seconder via FaceBook and per his request I'm glad to pass it on:

Subject: Invite - Dunwoody Stream Buffer Educational Forum

Hi All,

On behalf of the City of Dunwoody’s Sustainability Commission, you are cordially invited to attend the Dunwoody Stream Buffer Educational Forum at 7 pm on Thursday, June 28th at Dunwoody City Hall.

As we embark on defining stream definitions, this forum can help educate those who may be making the future decisions/

The Forum will cover: Benefits of Stream Buffers, Stream Buffers as Regulatory Tools to Promote Surface Water Quality, Variance Processes, Types of Streams – Which should be protected with buffers?

There will be a panel of experts as well as an opportunity for questions following the panel discussion.

Scheduled Panelists include representatives from:

·         Georgia Environmental Protection Division - Stormwater Unit, Watershed Protection Branch
·         Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission
·         Atlanta Home Builders
·         Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper

City Calendar click posting here
Facebook Event click here

Many thanks,

Joe Seconder
During my morning cup(s) 'o joe (sorry, Joe, couldn't resist.  It's that kind of Monday!)  I ran across this entry on John's blog.

Dunwoody Zoning Code Rewrite Meeting - Fri June 22nd
Date: Friday, June 22, 2012
Time: 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Location: City Hall
41 Perimeter Center East

In partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the City will present recommendations for sustainable practices to be incorporated in the Zoning Code Rewrite.  This meeting is a result of a technical assistance grant the City received earlier this year for the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program, Green Building Toolkit.

A consultant team led by Code Studio and YR&G is currently working with EPA to assess and make recommendations to the Zoning Code that will be based on sustainable sites, water efficiency, and energy conservation.  This opportunity capitalizes on the rewrite process to advance the incentives and regulations related to sustainable practices to further the City’s sustainability mission.  The presentation is the culmination of assessments made through the EPA Green Building Toolkit, consultant review of existing code, and technical staff input.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend to contribute to the process to ensure a sustainable future for the City of Dunwoody.  The meeting will be streamed and a video posted for members of the public who are unable to attend at the scheduled time.

At the first Zoning Rewrite Sounding Board meeting, we figured out what issues needed to be addressed.  First, we learned that our input was going to be extremely limited.  "Priority" issues that had been already discussed in one of the Land Use plans were strictly off the table, even for discussion or questions.   So the sounding board had no choice but to address popular issues where the comprehensive plans are silent. That's a rant for another day.

We knew that City Hall/Council expected the consultants doing the writing and the sounding board/public attendees giving their input to address all of the questions around "streams", starting with their definitions.  The sounding board tabled this to address it in its own meeting because there was NO way it could be tackled alongside other questions.  It was just too big, too involved, and there was too much data to absorb and sort out.

Which brings us to today.  At first glance, I have some questions....

1)  Why are there two meetings?  Two different times and days?  Are there two different panels?  Two different sets of goals for these gatherings?  That's how it looks.  And both are supposedly put on by "the City" and "the Sustainability Commission"?  First thing I thought of when I saw the Facebook event and then John's blog pointing to an event on the City's website was that the left and right hands aren't talking to each other.

2)  As was pointed out in the comments under John's post, why is this on the City's calendar, but not on the website, which according to the City employees involved is supposed to be THE central point for all communications on this project.  Neither of these events are posted or mentioned in any way.

3)  If the City expects its citizens to be involved in these meetings, you need more than a week's notice.  You also need to rethink having a meeting that fills the entire lunch hour for people who work and have families to care for with activities in the summer months.  Video is fine for a recap but I thought the point was to increase involvement?

So is this just a goof?  Or is the talk of citizen input so much lip service?  Or was someone between a rock and a hard place and there was literally no other time/date/place for this presentation?  Clarification is needed, please.

Behold, the reasons why sounding board held off on discussing "streams" with the consultants writing the code.  It's enough that there's a lot of questions that need answers but the data and the people distributing it seem to be all over the place.  Not even on the same page.  Personally, I haven't formed any opinions yet, and no one is forming them for me.  However I do know the following:

--No one has suggested "eliminating stream buffers".  Whoever started that rumor, knock it off.  It isn't true and you're not helping your cause by spreading it.

--I intend to be very careful about adding restrictions to someone's property.  Especially if "streams" aren't on their official property survey or deed and until now, no one has noticed them.  It's easy to wave the "sustainability" flag when you don't have to pay for the effects of new regulations dropped in your lap out of nowhere.  I hope that at least one of these scheduled meetings explains to affected homeowners why their "streams" are so important and require protection if the state, county, and city haven't bothered to document them.

But bottom line - improve the communication, folks.  Your messages will be taken more seriously if you seem like you're on the same page.

Monday, June 11, 2012

More Pubs, More Jobs - O'Brian's Tavern

Has anyone else noticed that since our new Mayor was elected there's been a sudden proliferation of beer-serving establishments?  Hmmmmm....  Coincidence?  You make the call.  (Kidding, guys, kidding!)

There's another Tavern operated by the Dunwoody Restaurant Group opening in the Mt Vernon Shopping Center (same center as the Dunwoody Bakery, CVS, Camelot Jewelers, the old Ace Hardware, etc etc etc).  O'Brian's is opening soon and they're hiring cooks.

Check out their ad on CraigsList:

There are similar ads for a general manager but that one's been open for a while and I have no idea if it's been filled.

So there's O'Brian's, then there's Marlow's going in the Village, the Tavern, Firkin & Gryphon and a slew of others.  Anyone have Liefmans Kriek on tap?

More Filming at Dunwoody High?

The tents, the trailers, and the cryptic directional signs are back up at Dunwoody High School.  There are also trailers hauling around 50s-era classic cars that would make the Ivy Riders drool.

Lots of scuttlebutt on IMDB and other entertainment outlets about both feature and TV movies being filmed somewhere in Georgia but there's nothing solid on this location.  Anyone have anything?  Post a comment!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Who will fill the old Arby's restaurant in Williamsburg?

At the DHA meeting last night, we learned that both Chik-fil-A and Starbucks are considering moving in to what used to be Arby's in Williamsburg.  (Bill - sorry I couldn't make it.  Work deadlines.  See ya next meeting, 'K?) You couldn't ask for a better scenario:  it's already built out for a restaurant, it has a drivethru, there are no zoning conflicts or variances needed.  So it's no surprise that there's more than one interested party.

Take the officially unofficial poll:
Which establishment would you prefer to replace the old Arby's in Williamsburg?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Diverging Diamond Interchange Video

Courtesy of the Dunwoody CVB.  Real-time view of navigating the much-touted DDI.  Even in the rain, it looks like drivers don't have much to fear.  Keep your eyes on the road, your cell phone in your pocket, and your bumpers between the lines and you're fine.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Greater Perimeter Business Expo on June 1

The Dunwoody Chamber has joined with the Sandy Springs Chamber for this year's Expo.  All of the exhibitor spaces are filled and the ballroom at Westin Atlanta Perimeter North is supposed to be packed.

Come out and see what your neighbors are doing.  Yes, the neighbors.  These are the people whose work keeps homeowners taxes down by paying the lion's share of Dunwoody's revenue.  Business people and homeowners are often one and the same in our little town.

If you are a small business owner and decided not to exhibit, there is an important place for you too:  The Expo is going to be the biggest networking event in town today.  Bring your cards, your promo items and be ready to shake some hands.  There's always time to make some new contacts.

The Expo is free and open to the public from 10 AM to 4 PM.  More info is at  Even the parking is free.  ;-)

Take some pictures too - I expect that I'll be adding to the photo slideshow on that front page early next week!

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