Monday, November 5, 2018

Halloween. Is. Over.

...and the young people of my house need to get with the program so I don't lose my mind before Christmas.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Human's Guide to Halloween - 2018

With Halloween upon us, please keep in mind, a lot of little people will be visiting your home.
Be accepting. The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy may have poor fine motor skills. 
 The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy may have motor planning issues. 
The child who does not say "trick-or-treat" or "thank you" may be non-verbal. 
 The child who looks disappointed when they see your bowl may have an allergy. 
 The child who isn't wearing a costume at all might have a sensory issue (Sensory Processing Disorder) or autism.  
The "too big" or "too old" child may be developmentally delayed.

Be nice. Be patient. It's EVERYONE'S Halloween.

(PS - Shrek and Fiona hand candy to anyone on the edge of the swamp.  Especially if you look like a parent that works  hard, is tired, but by God, you will make sure your child has a fun Halloween!)

Friday, October 26, 2018

Holy Redeemer Open House November 4

My oldest is in her next-to-last year after starting in Kindergarten.
The girls have benefited greatly from this program and I hope that their brother will too in middle school.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

#TBT Surviving Halloween - A Day in the Life

Updated for 2018, but some things never change.

Most years, Halloween falls on a weekday. Also known as a school night. There's no doubt everyone is going trick-or-treating but there's always a question as to whether to celebrate Halloween on the actual date.

Since 2004 our family has celebrated Halloween in the way that only Briers North can - with a few thousand of our closest friends. We've taken a break here and there but the routine is mostly consistent.

It's work. And there are expenses. And planning. Lots of planning. But we've figured out how to enjoy ourselves and the day with some foresight.

Note: I'm going through a lot of "work" and thinking steps. It seems like a lot. It IS a lot. But there is such a joy to preparing your home, it's hard to put into words. You have to see it and feel it for yourself.

This narrative does not include weekend Halloweens, parties, or those years when I did the actual planning.

October 15 - the organizers have been working since August to work out large-scale logistics like police and volunteers. The parking passes and wrist bands created for each family arrived on the front porch today.

October 16 - call the usual babysitter and ensure she's available. Of course she is, she loves the event as much as we do! Hit Wally World for candy. All 1500 pieces of it. Have your explanation ready for the incredulous checkout girl who invariably has a comment.

October 19 - dig out the containers of Halloween costumes, sort the Shrek character pieces and make sure everything is in good repair. Every year I promise myself a new "Fiona" wig. Every year I wait too late. Wash, rinse, repeat.

October 21. - The Outhouse. The centerpiece of Shrek's swamp is hand-built of 2x4's and reclaimed scrap. Pat takes down the custom cut and numbered pieces from their racks in the garage and gets them assembled. The "Beware Ogre" signs copied from the "Shrek" cartoon are pulled out of the shed and set up. The front yard barrier that says "come closer but not into the yard" is made of stakes and raw hemp rope.

The next week - nothing happens. Focus is on work, school, and work. Pat schedules 10/30 and 31 off. (I get 2 hours to celebrate my birthday before it's back into the fray.) The kids are "too cool" to join the family business anymore. They used to be Donkey, Puss in Boots, and a baby dronkey back in the day. Now they're making arrangements to trick-or-treat with their own friends. (Except the second grader.) The third grader announces her friends are rocking a vampire theme.  The middle schooler has settled into an "Alice Angel" groove.  I'm not wild about it but that could be worse.

Tourists are making the rounds of the street. Cars are making the slow crawl down the street, snapping pictures. In 2004, the first year we saw a weekend Halloween, it took 30 minutes to drive 100 meters from the subdivision entrance to our house on October 30.

Shrek is showing on one channel or another so Pat can practice the voice, complete with obnoxious Scottish accent. It's either that or the DVD a dozen times.

October 26 is supposed to see rain. Hold off on putting up the lights.

October 29 - purple and green lights on the makeshift fence. Find a sawhorse or something similar to block the driveway. Even with barricades people will help themselves to your yard until they are politely but firmly escorted off. That's ogre-style polite.

October 30 - final build. Do an early trim on the crepe myrtle and drape the stumps in fabric tarp to simulate Shrek's house. Track down some old fence slats to simulate the door. Add Halloween lights to make it look like Shrek is celebrating Halloween. 

Still deciding on campaign signs.   I still remember 2015 when some jackass jeered at us from his pickup truck over a city council-level campaign sign.  Make a note to self to compose a blog post about how people in elected office are not responsible for your bad decisions, un-neighborly behaviour, or your lack of character.  Anyone with more than half a skull running for office should show up to shake hands. You'll never get this kind of crowd in one place on any other day. 

Install and test the flood lights that indicate when the show goes on. Take a break for a nice lunch. I'm asking for either McKendrick's or Flemings'.

Check supplies of fog machine liquid, spare light bulbs and do the shopping. Get parking passes on the cars in case the unthinkable happens and you're trapped outside of the street.


7 AM - kids get taken to school with their permitted Halloween garb. They who are "too cool" to join the family show are not "too cool" to brag on the big event itself.

8 AM - check with teachers about homework load. Send the YouTube video from 2010 to show them you're not kidding about the night's activity. Call the tennis coach to cancel. Send the YouTube video again so he knows your daughter isn't goldbricking.

9 AM - Pick up the paperwork and random flotsam and jetsam that accumulates around the house. Even if you're not throwing a party, it's going to be bedlam and something essential WILL get lost. Plus there's always someone who shows up to say hello and the swamp is outside, not in the front door. Track down the fake Dunwoody "Stop Work Order" that Terry Nall requested from Tom LaPenna a few years ago just for laughs. Nail it to the outhouse and see who thinks it's real. (Answer: at least 10 people will think it's a real stop work order.) Test the fog machine in the outhouse. It's a key part of the act.

3 PM - pick up kids from respective schools. Both parents are available so each takes a school. (One in Dunwoody, one in Johns Creek). High tail it back home. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200.

3:30 - second grader is home first. Talk him through chores and homework before the distractions intensify.

4:00 - girls are home. Stand over their homework so the absolute essential "due the next day" stuff gets done

4:30 - get dinner started. Usually steak and french fries because they're easy to cook outside on the grill and eat on the deck while hair and makeup take priority inside. 

5:00 - babysitter arrives. She knows to have her butt here well in advance of 5:30 or she's parking at Crossroads like everyone else. Dinner for all wherever you can find a seat.

5:15 - dump the candy in the biggest container we can find and keep it by the front door. Make the sign to put on the outhouse that Shrek hands out candy at 7 PM.

5:30 - the main road is closed (They advertise 5:45 but trust me, those barricades go out at 5:30.) Get kids into costumes. It's usually too hot for "Shrek" to hike around with the kids so the ogres are in street clothes. Find the candy collection buckets we forgot in the storage closet. As of now there are at least 1,000 people in the street just milling around. The homeowners collectively agree to start distributing candy at 6 PM. There has to be a limit or we'll be out there all day.

6:00 - TRICK OR TREAT! No more excuses, the candy starts flying! Kids and respective friends are matched up. Middle schoolers are read the riot act about not leaving the neighborhood. Third/fourth graders form their clique with a parent. Wristbands on all kids and babysitter: check. The second grader insists on riding on Daddy's shoulders. Great for the view, but he'll figure out there's a problem with actual trick or treating in 3...2...1.....

House to house to house to house. It's easy to clean up fast with the candy and treats.

6:40-ish - The second grader tires quickly from the crowds and excitement so it's easy to herd him back into the house with plenty of time for our own "show". Hand off to babysitter for bath and bed. Get the "Shrek" and "Fiona" outfits on and breathe. Line up the basket and wooden bucket for giving out candy. Get the giant candy stash into the outhouse.

7 PM - SHOWTIME The outhouse opens and out comes Shrek with a bucketful of candy. Shrek needs Fiona to be his eyes because it's hard to see through the mask. Dozens of bags and pillowcases come out at once. Just put a piece of candy in the bag. Say "Happy Halloween". Repeat. Quickly. Dozens of trick or treaters become hundreds in a few minutes. Every 15 minutes or so the bucket runs out. "Shrek" heads to the outhouse and sets off the fog machine. Ominous looking smoke wafts from the top of the outhouse door. "Fiona" gets sympathetic looks from the women in the crowd. A couple of minutes later the ogre opens the outhouse door with a full bucket of candy. A crowd 15-deep in the street has waited up to ten minutes for this scene.

Put a piece of candy in the bag, smile, wave to the little kids, offer candy to a tired parent who just got off work. Smile and pose for a picture from the tourists. Occasionally I hear Pat say something in Spanish, but with a Scottish accent for effect and a knot of children bounce around in glee.

The Ogre Fiona has to come out when the crowds press too close. We keep the visitors in the street for our own safety, and theirs. My worst fear is someone breaking an ankle from standing on the curb or worse - getting impaled on a temporary fence post. So Fiona has to yell at everyone to get off the curb NOW!!!!!   Other times we have to stop and get the crowd to back up so "Shrek" - kneeling at the fence in a heavy mask and gauntlets and who has a hard time seeing what's in front of him, doesn't get crushed under a pressing mob.

"Hi Shrek! Where's donkey?" "Hi Fiona!" "Where's Dragon?" I swear, we need to have an inflatable or animatronic pink dragon some day.

8:15-ish - the candy is about to run out and we announce that what we have in our bucket and basket is it for the night. That's 1500 pieces of candy - one to a customer - distributed in 75 minutes. Other homes have already run out of candy and have turned off their porch lights, or the floodlights on their decorations. The front entrance will close to all non-residents at 8:30 so the timing works out just right.

Last pieces of candy are given away and we have to turn away the rest of the crowd. "Happy Halloween! Come see us next year!"

8:30, at the latest - Pull the plug on the floodlights decorating the set. Retreat to the house. Peel off the sweaty costumes in the laundry room. Replace with t-shirts and pajama bottoms. Check in with the babysitter re: second grader. If all goes well, he was asleep 10 minutes ago. Third-grader was back home by 8 pm and insists "I'm not tired" as her eyes roll back in her head. Grab an adult beverage and watch the remainder of the show from the front porch. Keep an eye out for the middle schooler who needs to be in the house by 9, or else.

8:45 - everyone's out of candy. The volunteers and police are sweeping the streets, urging everyone to the front entrance and out of Briers North. Radios are used to alert to lost children/parents. A makeshift lost and found appears at the corner of Tilly Mill.

9:00 pm - Lights Out. No, really, there's no more candy and the show has come to an end. Closing time. You don't have to go home but you can't stay here. Middle schooler scoots in the door with seconds to spare. The rest of the gossip with her friends has to wait til tomorrow.

9:15: Ghost town. The streets are literally barren. While the babysitter oversees the older kids bedtime (they both need it whether they admit it or not) the grown folks slip outside to turn on the decorative lights on the set. The street is open again and pedestrians enjoy the sets one last time.

9:30 - everyone under 18 is passed out. Driveway barricades are removed and the babysitter goes home, entertained and paid. Adult beverage #2 makes an appearance. Adults pick through the candy and lay claim to whatever a child is allergic to. Wind down time in front of the TV. Be ready to answer the door in case a friend comes by and asks "So, how did it go???"

There are social plans this weekend so we have to figure out when the sets will be broken down and hung in the garage.

Adrenaline overcomes fatigue - next year can't come fast enough.

See you on the 31st!


Monday, September 24, 2018

Is it Dunwoody's Time for a Small Business Indie Award?

Dunwoody is home to hundreds of entrepreneurs and small businesses that help build our city every day.  The professional advocacy group Independent We Stand supports the small independent business owner across the USA and created The Indie to celebrate their impact on local communities.

In 2011, we created the Independent Small Business of the Year Award or "Indie" to help recognize a locally-owned small business that has gone above and beyond to deliver great customer service and community support.
If you know of such a company, or own or work for such a company, please take the time to nominate that business and help us promote the importance of supporting locally owned small businesses. The winner will receive a host of great prizes provided by Independent We Stand, its sponsors and partners.
Who fits the bill in Dunwoody and deserves to be honored for the efforts?  Nominate them here.

Friday, July 27, 2018

I can't take my eyes up off it, movin' so phenomenally

Dunwoody PD has taken up the gauntlet that is the Lip Sync Challenge.
Their final raw footage shooting was last night at Food Truck Thursdays, after lining up locations all over the city.

Here's what you can expect:

Part 1

Part 2

Now as much as I love me some Dunwoody cops (especially when they're waving from their speed traps on Peeler Road and not pulling me over for a ticket....) the truth is that the Pickens County, GA Sherriffs Department broke the internet with their lip sync video.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Fly a Flag for Zachary

From the AHA Connection, plus numerous news reports

This one hit me as the mom of a boy that attends special-needs daycamp and relies on the staff and directors to help him communicate and experience camp just like everyone else's kid.

CBS46 News

Link to video if you can't see embedded video of newscast above

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Growing Brands: Be a Buick, Not an Oldsmobile

Every company, large and small, that has enjoyed some extended success has the same problem:  staying relevant over time as generations discover new tastes and ideas.  No one can afford to become "yesterday's news", "outdated",  or otherwise irrelevant.

But regenerating your brand image is no guarantee.  The desire to reach out to new, usually younger, customers doesn't mean they're going to bite.

Exhibit A:  Oldsmobile
One of the original American auto brands, Oldsmobile was founded in 1897.  Olds enjoyed success decade after decade into the mid 1980s.  Appealing to new generations wasn't a major issue until they ran into new competition from Acura, Lexus, etc.  By this time they had earned the stereotype as an "old people's" car.  Someone took drastic action:  a new campaign centered around a new generation of car buyers.  Tagline:  "This is NOT your father's Oldsmobile!"

Spoiler alert:  the campaign bombed.

The younger buyers Olds was aiming at replied with "Yeah, right, buddy!  Not in my universe!" and sales went nowhere.  To make matters worse, the tried-and-true "old people" that were buying the brand responded with, "Oh, our business isn't important to you anymore?  We'll just take our substantial dollars elsewhere...."  Buick and Lincoln were loving this.

The campaign tanked, even with featured celebrities and Oldsmobile never recovered.  They plodded along for the next 15 years until it folded in 2004.

Speaking of Buick, they're "Exhibit B".
In the beginning of the 21st century, Buick found itself in the same quandry as Olds.  They were stereotyped as the "old people's" car and surviving into the future meant cultivating a younger buyer base.
Buick learned from Oldsmobile's demise and took a different route:  they had a little fun at their own expense.  For your consideration:  "That's not a Buick!"

This one took off.  Two years later the ad industry was buzzing about the success of "That's not a Buick!" campaign.  (Example from AdWeek)

What was different between the two campaigns?

First, the Oldsmobile ad focused on "change" and the subjective anticipation and excitement that goes along with change.  The reason it failed was that it didn't show the younger buyers what the brand was changing *to* and the older buyers were just freaked out.  No sale.

Second, the Buick ad campaign coincided with the introduction of the new Enclave and four other models.  AND - rather than focus on a voice-over narrative of how new it was, they just showed some funny reactions. "I don't see a Buick..."  One of the commercials showed a girl looking for her friend getting into the wrong car.

So Buick used some humor in their approach, but they avoided the idea of "change".  The "older" models, associated with "older" buyers (Skylark, etc) were not mentioned.  No need, because they weren't "changing".  Although some of them (like the Riviera and Park Avenue) were quietly discontinued.  They added something new and invited buyers of all ages to rethink a brand they think they know.

The moral of the story is:  if refreshing your brand means bridging a gap between generations you have to cater to both; or at the very least, avoid the message that one of them is disposable or no longer significant.  Telegraphing that "old people" and their ideas are no longer important is a death sentence. Try avoiding the "change" moniker.  Not all change is good and can be greeted with suspicion.  What are you *adding* that is new?  How does the "new" coexist with the "old"?

Oldsmobile made all the mistakes and they don't exist anymore.  Buick avoided terms and scenarios that threatened their traditional base and the brand is thriving.

Be like Buick.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

How an Average Dunwoody Citizen Uses EMS

Earlier this spring, my husband was walking my first-grade son to school.
They fell on some broken pavement in the street.
Senior wrenched his ankle.  Junior broke his arm.

Only a couple of blocks from school, a Good Samaritan stopped in the street and took them both to Chesnut ES.

Senior ignored his ankle.  Junior's arm was splinted by the school nurse.

Junior's teacher packed both of them in her car and drove them home.  Senior got Junior into his car and drove them both to the CHOA Scottish Rite ER.

This entire sequence, from initial accident to entering the doors of the emergency center, took just shy of an hour.  That includes the Legendary Rush Hour Traffic on I-285.

In dire need, my husband was willing to get in a stranger's car for the offering.  To this day, we have no idea who this stranger was.  We still look forward to thanking them properly.

At NO time, did any of the people involved think of calling 911 for an ambulance.

Because everyone just knew and accepted that they would take forever, or just not show up.  Meanwhile, a 7-year-old is in agony and in need of a radiologist to define the type of break, a nurse to provide pain control, and a surgeon to pin the bones together.

Yes, we are getting screwed out of our tax money that is paying the contract for these services.  Yes, we have to obey traffic laws while getting to emergency care.  Yes, more often than not, these are lay people providing care until arriving at the hospital and they have to "wing it" more than trained professionals.

With response times stretching north of 30 minutes, it has become common knowledge that jack-leg self-transport is better than emergency services.

The stupidity that includes responses about the "shape" of  Dunwoody and the structure of the contracts don't deserve the time of day from the tax payers.  We're too busy taking care of each other when we need aid.

Further commentary from Councilman Nall when asked about sharing services with Fulton and/or Sandy Springs:

Had my family been closer to the Fulton line, they might have considered this advice.

And Dunwoody's detractors wonder why we incorporated as a city and continue to demand city-operated services.  This is why.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Has a new restaurant been selected for Mt Vernon / Chamblee Dunwoody intersection?

This public notice appeared in the Crier on May 22. It was posted by Crim & Associates regarding the corner of Mt. Vernon and Chamblee-Dunwoody that has been a gas station, a car wash, and was supposed to be a "Rize" pizza restaurant before their financial troubles.

Crim is submitting a SLUP with requests for variances on June 5 for further development of this parcel.

Crim is also the developer investing in the "chef driven" restaurant and retail space at Dunwoody Green. Meet at the patio at Marlow's Tavern

If you're interested in seeing the evolution of the Dunwoody Village overlay district, as well as more boutique or "chef-driven" establishments, you'll want to attend this required public meeting on June 4.
Crim's flyer describing the development on their corporate website

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Over the finish line

There was "caution" tape over the middle school locker hallway this week.  The admins wanted to put crime scene tape but NooOOOOOoooooo......

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Opportunity Knocking - Alexa as a city info resource

From CBS 46 News on May 15:

CBS46 News

(Link to video.  Or, if you can't see it, remove the "s" from the "https://" in the URL bar and refresh the page.  The video player will appear.)
Anything from current traffic, to zoning information, to the next city council meeting date to job postings.
Nick O'Day, the Chief Data Officer, says not to worry, they are not recording private conversations.
"It's about being able to ask a question and get a real answer right away versus having to call somebody and the city and get passed to a planer or an engineer," says O'Day. " We cannot access their name, their location, their voices, we can't access any of that kind of stuff."

This was brilliant and I had no idea it was possible!

Because it simply responds to questions, Alexa can be used by anyone of any generation.  Even people with some disabilities that make using a phone or computer difficult.  

Alexa can cut down on the number of phone calls to city hall.  Or frustration at the website for users unfamiliar with it.

How about running audio from city council and other meetings?  Or even from the community conversations on development, like the one about Robers Drive this week?

Congrats, Johns Creek!  Dunwoody - will you consider deploying this type of technology to your citizens too?

Friday, May 4, 2018

It's Official - Summer May Now Begin

After a one-week rain delay Food Truck Thursdays kicked off with a live band, courtesy of City of Dunwoody government.  We're looking forward to another season, every Thursday through October, weather permitting.  

A little bird told me that the rained-out Kosher food night has been rescheduled to May 17.

Weather updates will be posted to the Dunwoody Food Truck Thursdays Facebook page and copied to the DHA page.  Anyone can see these updates even without a Facebook account.  If the weather looks like it's changing, updates about cancellations will be here.

But wait - there's more!

Tomorrow sees the debut of the all-new Dunwoody Farmers Market.  The committee has been hard at work lining up vendors, establishing some managers to oversee operations, and set up a fun communal atmosphere on Saturday mornings.  DHA and yours truly will be on site with some goodies so come say hello while you shop for dinner.

And to round out the weekend.....

DHA Board meets on Sunday at 7:30 at the North DeKalb Cultural Center.  Everyone is invited to be part of the conversation.  There will be candidates for office introducing their campaigns and local legislative updates that will impact Dunwoody's direction.  Join us on site or watch the live stream on Facebook.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Brew Pub Episode IV: A New Hope

Recently seen on the Atlanta Beer Redditt feed

I wanted to let you know Crim has just begun designing a new restaurant driven development which will be located in Dunwoody.
It’s a new development with an “old world” feel!
Our site overlooks Georgetown Park, a 1 acre City park that is available for our use-music, tastings, you name it! Also, the City will allow us to obtain an open container permit for the development!
Great spot for a brewery/brew pub!
*2,400 apartments within a 5 minute walk *126,100 people within a 15 minute drive *Avg. HH Income $123,495 within a 15 minute drive *Average age in Dunwoody- 37
Please let me know if you would have interest in discussing further.
Proposed delivery of spaces in 4th quarter of 2019.
Thank you for your consideration!
Archie C. Wanamaker Crim & Associates 678-516-6958
Don't just sit there, call the man!!!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Making WHAT Place???

This week's Atlanta Business Chronicle includes a "Dunwoody Market Report" with several major articles and op-ed pieces

If you subscribe or still have access to your complimentary content, here is the link to the section and its articles:


A few things jumped out at me in the hotel-related articles.

City hotels undergoing major renovations

Dunwoody makes a place for green space

Our Convention and Visitors Bureau is using this article and other outlets to promote Dunwoody hotels and the development of greenspace features for those hotel visitors.

So what's the problem?

Last weekend I attended a major conference at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia.   The leader of the host organization is a friend of mine.  We talked about the hotel and amenities and other moving parts of the conference.

She had NO idea that the hotel was in Dunwoody!

During the conference, Governor Deal visited and welcomed the attendees to the "City of Atlanta".
The governor of the state of Georgia had no idea he was speaking in Dunwoody.

How is that even possible??

Let's look at the hotels section of the CVB website.

According to the Dunwoody CVB, there are no hotels in Dunwoody.
They're all in "Atlanta".

Here's a screenshot:

Three hotels are listed in this image; if you visit the page, the rest of the hotels listed also give their address as "Atlanta".

With all of the chatter about "place making" and "Shape Dunwoody" and other slogans being tossed around in press releases, would it really be so hard to get some agreement and consistency about the name of the "place" being made?

Dunwoody.  D-U-N-W-O-O-D-Y.  

We really need our CVB and other agencies to get on board with reinforcing the city's NAME before delving into the minutiae of academic "place making".

Earlier this month, I received an email sent to the DHA from the Convention & Visitors Bureau office about the promotional efforts their agency was making.

I replied via email and pointed out the inconsistency between their bureau and the city listed in the address of "Dunwoody's" hotels.

They didn't answer.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

--George Santayana
The Life of Reason: Phases in Human Progress
Vol 1: Reason in Common Sense

As we approach Dunwoody's 10th anniversary of incorporation, here is a snapshot of the circumstances that drove the desire to form our own city.   Many of today's active citizens were not residents when these events occurred and many long time residents have forgotten.  There is a lot that cannot be repeated, for the sake of our future as a city.

A veritable invasion of apartment developments has begun along Dunwoody’s southern boundary, one that is reminiscent of Sandy Springs’ long fight against apartment zonings there.
“We could easily end up with more than 4,000 new apartments on top of what we already have,” said Bill Grossman, a zoning specialist with the Dunwoody Homeowners’ Association.
Grossman may be understating the issue, especially since a two-year-old DHA estimate had 2,500 units zoned in various live-work-play projects within the Perimeter Community Improvement District and around the Dunwoody MARTA station. Another 3,500 units have been zoned on the Sandy Springs side of the PCID.

Jaws dropped and audible gasps were heard Sunday night when a Boston-based developer showed the board of the Dunwoody Homeowners’ Association a rendering of a mega-development it proposes for Dunwoody and the Perimeter business district.
Four office buildings are on the property, but much of it is vacant land. Over the 10-12-year build out of what will be called High Street, three of the buildings will be razed.
GID proposes a vast mixed-use project with a pedestrian focus to include:
a housing component of 1500 high-rise condominiums and 1500 apartments, including a 30-story condo tower.

(Editor's note:  this is the "High Street" that just pulled permits to put down utilities.
Read more here.  )

September 18, 2007  In My Opinion:  Dunwoody Needs A Mix of Lifestyles  (editorial by Bob Dallas)

A basic tenet of high density residential growth is ensuring a cross section of age demographics live in the area. It is important to ensure one age demographic does not dominate the growth. The alternative result produces too many negative consequences.
For example, if all the residential units were designed for young singles, you get businesses that cater to them, namely the night clubs, bars and events that naturally go along with this market. Midtown Atlanta or Buckhead are nearby examples. When such uses dominate an area, they become incompatible for families, kids and empty nesters. They also create public safety issues, e.g. impaired driving.
Uses friendly to kids temper uses by singles and encourage uses designed for empty nesters. A mix of residential and commercial uses work together, not to the exclusion or detriment of others. Dunwoody and Perimeter attract all age groups.
The other major impact of residential growth is experienced by local schools. This has been ameliorated in part by the Dunwoody Homeowners’ Association’s insistence the majority of residential units remain owner-occupied; ensuring our new neighbors have a more than a transient interest in our community.

If it were up to board members and those in attendance at the monthly meeting Sunday of the Dunwoody Homeownwers’ Association board, the incorporation of Dunwoody couldn’t come soon enough.
The meeting’s attendance was swelled by a contingent from the Georgetown neighborhood spurred by re-zoning signs near them.
Coro Realty, owner of the Georgetown shopping center and some property around it, has approached the neighborhoods and the DHA with a plan to raze a two-level medical building off Old Spring House Lane and replace it with more than 200 apartments.
They would be in addition to the more than 600 apartments being finished at the former Dunwoody Park site on Dunwoody Park Drive.
Coro Realty has told the DHA it will bring a larger site plan for its properties to its next meeting with the DHA. Jackson and a DHA vice president, Bob Lundsten, agreed that developers were encountering a tough market for owner-occupied housing and were trying to get apartment zonings into the DeKalb County pipeline before Dunwoody can become a city. It votes July 15 on incorporation.
Read the entire article here.

June 3, 2008 In My Opinion: Who Should Control Area Development?  (Editorial by Dunwoody Yes!)

One major problem is the continuing proliferation of apartments in Dunwoody. The overbuilding of apartments in Dunwoody that has been allowed by DeKalb County endangers our property values and threatens to increase our property taxes due to the higher consumption of public services required by high-density, rental developments. The county code even allowed land zoned as office to be developed with multi-story apartment projects - without any zoning approvals at all. Developers were just issued building permits. The work of the Dunwoody Homeowners’ Association fixed that. 
A community out of balance between owner-occupied and rental apartments is a community in deep trouble, financially and otherwise. The lack of vigilance or interest by DeKalb County has caused an excessive number of apartments in Dunwoody in relation to single family/owner-occupied dwellings, which in turn causes serious overcrowding in our highly ranked schools. If not corrected moving forward, this problem will drive up school property taxes, drive down property values, and threaten the quality of the education our children receive.

(Editor's note:  at the time of these articles, no one imagined there would be a call for more rental housing from within the homeowner community!!!

According to the 2010 US Census, there were 21,671 housing units in Dunwoody.  In the years of 2012 - 2016, the owner-occupied rate was 52.9% rental rate 47.1%)

There may be another vote taken on Election Day - this one on a resolution to litigate Dunwoody’s incorporation. On September 23, the Board of Commissioners deferred the resolution for the third time, postponing a decision to its November 4 meeting after a lively public hearing in which DeKalb CEO Vernon Jones blamed Crier publisher Dick Williams for promoting division in the county and called the city government “bleached” with no diversity.
Jones said creation of Dunwoody was done in an unconstitutional manner and he hoped the commissioners would go forward with litigation.

(Editor's Note:  Vernon Jones is now a State House Representative and has the power to begin the process of revoking Dunwoody's city charter.)

Thursday, January 18, 2018

I CARE, Inc helps seniors. Now they need a new home

The All Saints Knights of Columbus distributed this request today.  A local charity needs help finding sufficient office space to continue their work.  We've got lots of real estate agents and business owners in Dunwoody.  Can anyone out there make a connection for I  CARE, Inc?

I CARE, Inc. a 501 (c3) Non-Profit Corporation, is looking for a new "home."

I CARE’s needs are minimal- approximately 15’ x 15’, would be sufficient to:
House two desks, file cabinet, two computers, and two printers.
Internet access (we could install our own Internet). We have our own phones to conduct business.
Additionally, we would occasionally conduct volunteer driver interviews, host meetings with funding partners, board meetings, collect mail, etc.
Volunteer/Program Coordinator, Shannon Streiter, and Director, Tom Simon, work at the office and at home, so there is flexibility.

If you know of any space that might be available to fit our needs (ideally in the Decatur area, but we are very flexible) we would greatly appreciate any insight, ideas, and thoughts. Being a small Non-Profit, FREE space would be ideal.

For more information, please contact:
Tom Simon, Director, I CARE, at 404-377-2273 or 770-378-8999
Shannon Streiter, Volunteer/Program Coordinator at 404-377-2273 /404-376-6415

I CARE, Inc. has been in business since 1998 in Decatur, providing FREE transportation to DeKalb County seniors, in order for them to get to their medical appointments and remain healthy, continue to be productive members of their community, and allow them to continue to “Live in Place” which is what all Seniors want.