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.)