Monday, August 27, 2012

Welcome, Dunwoody Reporter readers. :-)

I noticed some new "faces" visiting the DWG after Melissa's article went up.  Welcome, thanks for visiting and I hope you find something interesting.

Bloggers stir things up, get people talking

In our conversation I learned from Melissa that Dunwoody is unique in the number of bloggers based inside city limits?  Who knew?  I never thought anything of it but I agree w/ Bob L that it's a good sign of civic involvement.

As I've said before, not everyone likes to post as publicly as this - that's OK.   There are other ways to state your opinions and suggestions on whatever the issue du jour is.  Email, phone, chatting over a beer next to the pool or the tennis court.  Make your own contribution to Dunwoody in your own way.

For example...  in current events....

Discussion over the "Village Master Plan" and Dunwoody Village Parkway is going to come to a head tonight at City Hall.  Bike lanes, sidewalks, trees, how many lanes, median, no median, and probably more issues will be aired tonight.  I have too many questions about this plan (or plans) to have an opinion yet.

Has anyone heard any official comment from Regency, the company that owns Dunwoody Village?  How about the Simpson Organization, that owns Dunwoody Plaza?  (Plaza = that shopping center across from "the Village" that is home to the 1420 Room, Dunwoody Pediatrics, and others.)  The only comment I heard in passing was that Regency barely stopped short of telling Dunwoody to take their Master Plan and shove it.  Like it or not, corporations are legally allowed to own and control their properties.  Unless we woke up in communist China this morning, they have rights too.  I would love to hear from one of their representatives at the meeting tonight during public comment, or otherwise see their POV represented in the discussion.

How about the tenants?  Ditto the questions above.  I've heard claims that part of the DVP redesign is to stimulate business.  Do the business owners with rent invested agree?  Are the opinions consistent between the branches of national chains vs. large local enterprises vs mom-and-pop outfits?  I'd like to hear those voices represented tonight too.

On a related tangent, the plans for area redevelopment (as well as the zoning code rewrite) make reference to "shared parking" and "right-sized" parking areas.  Meaning that someone, somewhere thinks there's "too many parking spaces" and all of the tenants should "share" them.  That isn't going to happen in Dunwoody Plaza.  Each entity (especially El Azteca, Enterprise, 1420 Room, and Dunwoody Pediatrics) has their own customer parking spaces marked with a sign or paint on the blacktop.  Some of them have a tow company on speed dial for violators.  I don't see "shared parking" happening in this sector any time soon.  Expect some resistance to that concept.  Plus, negotiations on purchasing land for a right-of-way will be tense.  

The original cost floated around for a DVP redesign was $500,000.  Now that number is 5 times that at $2.5 million.  Why?  If there's a good reason for the larger number somebody, please, say what it is.  (By "good reason" I do NOT mean "Well, the feds are offering a grant.")  Watching a cost inflate that much is enough to make any citizen worried no matter how good the intentions are or how brilliant the idea.

How much time will the redevelopment take?  It doesn't just matter for drivers, it's critical for the business owners.  All around Atlanta when there have been major street repairs, realignments, or construction, the local small businesses watched their customer base shrink to near-zero because of the inconvenience.  It's worse with weather delays or other extensions.  Some family-owned and other small businesses had to close altogether. You don't stimulate business in an area by making it impossible to function for an undefined period of time.   How will the businesses along DVP be protected during a project that will certainly affect their bottom lines?  

I'll have a better idea of what to think about this project when the above questions get answered.

In the mean time, here are a few other opinions.

Bicycle Lanes in Dunwoody (trust me, it's related)

1 comment:

SDOC Publishing Internet Solutions said...

One more question I thought of on the way to afternoon carpool.

Dunwoody Plaza is 100% occupied.

Dunwoody Village is over 90% occupied.

(Numbers aren't available for Dunwoody Village Court although there are signs stating that there are vacancies.)

If this much of the retail and O/I sites on Dunwoody Village Parkway are already rented, what about DVP is so desperate for development that the government has to redesign the entire street to make it happen?