Saturday, July 11, 2015

Dunwoody Home Business Update: Data through May 2015

Once again, the folks at the City of Dunwoody Code Enforcement department came through with the usual open records request of residential complaints.

Since December 2014, the number of substantiated complaints regarding home business owners in Dunwoody is:


None of the documented home business owners in Dunwoody had any complaints lodged against them, regardless of their activities. 

There were four complaints filed against other homeowners with claims of "commercial activity" in various forms but could not be substantiated by code enforcement.  Those cases were closed with a "no violation" note.

Again, the data straight from the City of Dunwoody itself confirms that home businesses and their owners are not an inherent nuisance that requires extra oversight or public hearings for customer contact. 

Home business nuisances are the rare exception, rather than the rule, and can be addressed individually rather than restricting the majority.  Just like animal owners.

No one has ever advocated for allowing "nuisance" activity.  On the contrary, it is important to nip true neighborhood problems in the bud as they happen.  What most people forget is that in the US system of jurisprudence, the burden of proof is on the one doing the complaining.  When you report to the City, this isn't the same as your local homeowners' association meeting or over-the-fence gossip session.  Filing a complaint requires PROOF.  In this day and age of cameras on every smartphone, it isn't hard to capture photos and videos confirming your complaint.

This article in an issue of the Dunwoody Reporter last month features an interview with Dunwoody's code enforcement chief, Tom LaPenna, who offers some valuable insights into his job and ideas to make your code complaint stick.
Dunwoody code compliance officer’s job focuses on safety, aesthetics and signs

The article mentions last month's DHA meeting where LaPenna was a guest speaker.  The meeting was also summarized on John Heneghan's blog where he ran down a list of common code complaints.

Here's the article - note the conspicuous lack of mention of home businesses. 

That last one is important because John was one of the city councillors who struck down a change to our municipal codes that would have allowed home business owners to have limited customer contact with an administrative permit instead of the full SLUP required now.  He also requested data from other cities regarding their rates of home business ownership and how they were regulated.  Except for Doraville, all other cities in the survey had higher rates of home business ownership and less regulation with no increase in code enforcement problems.

Dunwoody City Council elections are in November and our Mayor and at-large council members are up for re-election.  Of those running (to date) Denny Shortal, Lynn Deutsch, and John Heneghan have all stated consistent opposition to home business owners and their customers and have stated their support for procedures that force these homeowners to prove they are innocent of any nuisance activity after being presumed guilty, should they publicly request a permit for limited customer contact. 

Dunwoody's own code enforcement data show that home business owners are not a nuisance.  That includes those with clandestine customer contact.  Should a home business owner vote for a candidate that wants to restrict an activity even if they are not causing a problem in their neighborhood?

This question will be explored again before November.  Stay tuned....

Friday, July 10, 2015

Car Crashes into Dunwoody Home - July 10

According to all of the local news sources (AJC and the 4 TV stations) a car crashed into a home at about 4 AM on Brook Ridge Drive.  The driver died but the exact cause isn't released yet.

If you are commuting in or through Dunwoody via Dunwoody Club, Mt Vernon, etc, it's going to be messy for a while.

From CBS 46
CBS 46 story

From WSB
WSB-TV Story

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Dunwoody Food Truck Thursdays - July 9

Sleep Number Beds   

Musical Guest

Adult Beverages
Moondog Growlers 

Dinner Vendors
On Tapa The World     
Blaxican Food Truck   
(DWG top pick.  Try the quesadillas.  You'll never look at collard greens the same way again!)
Genki Noodles and Sushi    
Mac the Cheese       
MIX'd UP    
(DWG top pick.  The ONLY vendor my kids prefer!  Tastes for the grownups too.)
Pressed for Time  
The Pup Truck        

Dessert Vendors
King of Pops     

Monday, July 6, 2015

New Fines for Passing Stopped Garbage Trucks?

We already know about emergency vehicles and school buses, but now the new Georgia law is adding garbage trucks to the list of vehicles you need to be careful about passing on the road, or risk a big fine.

From now on, if you want to pass a garbage truck, you have to move a full lane over.

If it's impossible to do that, then you have to drop down to ten miles under the speed limit while passing.

The complete story from CBS 46

CBS46 News

The text of the new law

I hope to see some commentary from Dunwoody PD on how they will enforce this new law on Dunwoody's streets, especially at the stereotypical rush hour.

48 in 48 | Mass Website Creation Event for Atlanta's Non-Profits

Calling all Atlanta nonprofits: #48in48 is building 48 FREE websites for 48 nonprofits in 48 hours this Fall! Sign up today to be a part of it!

Are you an Atlanta nonprofit in need of a great website to get the word out about your cause? Sign up for #48in48 to get a free website and $25k worth of value in just 48 hours!

SDOC Publishing signed up as both a designer and developer to be part of this event to jump start a local non-profit organization. I'm waiting to see which NPO I'll be matched up with to support.

SDOC has supported NPOs in the area for years and now we're going to join forces with other like-minded developers to give back to our metro community.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy July 4th, Dunwoody!

The news lately has been more distraction than information about current events.

This is why we're all here and why we have the right (and obligation) to speak up when something is wrong. 

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Dunwoody Food Truck Thursday - July 2

Cross whatever you have two of for fair weather tonight and through the weekend.
Between Food Truck Thursday and all of the July 4 celebrations in the area (Norcross Fireworks, Dunwoody Parade, Chamblee Fireworks, Sandy Springs fireworks) you may not have to cook dinner for days!

Brook Run Park

5PM til Dark


Musical Guest

Brad Jackson 

Adult Beverages

Moondog Growlers 

Dinner Trucks

Muenster Truck
(gourmet grilled cheese, first time at DFTT) 

Tasting Maine
(DWG Top Pick  Expensive but worth every cent) 

Dessert Vendors

King of Pops 
(DWG Top Pick.  Unique flavors and still kid-friendly)

Simply Done Donuts & More
(first time at DFTT)