I had heard about this plan in a number of conversations but I
I'm not buying the argument about how humane it is to honor all current leases. It's not generous or moral to simply uphold a legally binding contract. How would any of you feel living in your home while someone else is sitting on the edge of their seat waiting for you to budge so they can swoop in?
Let's take a birds' eye view of City Hall's approach to development. First thing after City Government was set up was the establishment of a "Sustainability" commission. Talk of obscure certifications and awards. Green this, green that, green the other thing. Except for the sneakers - those are golden. All supposedly for the health and well-being of Dunwoody citizens. Public land was set aside for gardens with contributions to feed those in need. City Hall touts these efforts to show how enlightened and generous and "forward thinking" Dunwoody is. It's a paradise of cooperation and charity where everyone is of one oh-so-enlightened mind. In addition, elected officials discuss at length their religious affiliations and activity in charitable endeavors. Pictures and links and everything. Now the same government wants to displace hundreds of residents who live away from the central paradise. Eliminate those not-green-enough homes. It's easy to be charitable to people who are different than you are if they're not too close. It's easy to be a saint in paradise. Displacing people as a recreational development measure is not just wrong it is - dare I say it - unsustainable.
These are my thoughts on economic development, significantly clarified from my earlier vision:
1) The east side of Dunwoody has the most potential for economic development as it is the oldest and has gotten the least amount of attention from both DeKalb/Gwinnett counties and the City of Dunwoody.
2) It is never acceptable to drive an entire neighborhood away, eliminate homes, or otherwise confiscate residential property for the sake of recreation. It doesn't matter if we're talking about single family homes, duplexes, townhomes, or apartments. It's one thing to slow down growth of
3) The City has other ways of improving the area. Including incentives to both commercial and residential property owners to upgrade their properties. There is no reason why Winters Chapel cannot be as desireable as Dunwoody Village in terms of business use or residential location. Taking the land off the tax roles and eliminating the residential population is like robbing Peter to pay Paul.
5) Quality of life in any part of the city, not just Winters Chapel/PIB is going to require a greater investment in code enforcement. One guy supervising enforcement in a city with a daytime population of more than 100K is not enough. City Council has discussed funding police, rewriting a zoning code, and a skating rink, but not optimal enforcement of their ordinances. I'd like to know why.
I'd like to see apartment residents organize their own advocacy group or civic association as the homeowners do. This latest proposal looks like that organization is long overdue. Anyone who lives inside the city has the same rights to defend themselves and their home. No one should be more equal than others. This is not "Animal Farm" - yet.
I challenge City Hall, including our Council Members to make their way down to the apartments they want to eliminate and meet some people who live there. Learn their names, look them in the eye, and tell them to their faces that a sports complex is more beneficial to the city than their presence. I don't think any of you have the guts. Prove me wrong!
UPDATE: CBS Atlanta just posted the story on their website. The comments should be interesting.