Friday, April 3, 2020

Georgia Shelter in Place Supersedes Dunwoody Version

Update: Governor Kemp Authorizes all Law Enforcement to Uphold Exec Order, per GA 38-3-4. Not sure why municipal departments weren’t included on first two versions, but the clarification is welcomed.

Governor Kemp issued a pair of Executive Orders the past couple of days.  See HERE.  These  statewide Orders supersede similar local ordinances, including Dunwoody's.  The Dunwoody PD, at this time, is not authorized to enforce the provisions of the order.  The following entities are authorized: Dept of Public Safety, GA State Patrol, MCCD, Capitol Police, Dept of Public Health, Adjutant General (Nat'l Guard), and Offices of the Sheriff.  Under consideration by Governor Kemp to enforce the Executive Order: Cindy from NextDoor app, moderators of the Dunwoody Restaurant FB page, Dan Drake, and presidents of elementary school councils.  

Dunwoody PD is active in the neighborhoods and in the business districts, despite the absence of 100,000 daily workers in the PCID.  

Own a business in GA?  Here's a good read.  Georgia

The US Constitution and the 4th Amendment still apply, but local sign ordinances have been abandoned.  Feel free to place multiple signs in the Right-Of-Way on residential and commercial lots.  

Suggested items to buy (in addition to food/drink/sanitizing stuff)

Expand-A-Lung Breathing Fitness Exerciser

Pulse Oximeter (available many places, including Walgreens)

The China-Virus Pandemic is a blow to most people financially, but a great learning tool as well.  Have a kid in college or high school?  Have them look around and see which industries/businesses are truly essential.  Lots of students should be rethinking their major/minor/course selections.  A lot of wealth and businesses will not survive this pandemic, but new wealth and new businesses will be created. 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Dunwoody: Less Crime or Less Enforcement?

The number of Crime/Arrests/Cases filed by the Dunwoody Police Department has decreased drastically in the past week.  For the seven day period of March 15 - March 21, the daily average of cases filed daily by Dunwoody Police is 15.  The same period in March of 2019 saw an average of 56 cases per day.

With a 70% decrease in reported police cases, will we see a temporary reduction in staffing?  I doubt it. Government always grows.
March 2020 Cases Publicly Filed on Portal
What we are seeing in Dunwoody is not unique.  Police departments across the country are issuing fewer citations and arresting fewer people.  Much of this is related to jail capacity courts being closed or operating on reduced schedules.  ICE has postponed most arrests and focused on those posing  a risk to the public and those subject to mandatory arrest.  LAPD and the LA Sheriff Dept has seen a huge decline in arrests since the Chinese virus pandemic has worsened.  What's the reason for this in Dunwoody? It's not police ignoring crime and not responding to calls.

With many fewer workers showing up to jobs in the PCID (Perimeter) area.  This means fewer traffic accidents and fewer cars to violate traffic laws.  There is also fewer people at Perimeter Mall, resulting in a huge reduction of crime in the city's highest crime area.  Phipps and Lenox are closed, and if Perimeter Mall closes entirely (most stores are closed but some remain open and the food court is not open for dining) things will really be quiet for local police officers, we hope It's well documented that high density areas and large retail settings bring more crime (and tax dollars).  The PCID is a big trade off for Dunwoody homeowners.  It brings in the bulk of the money in the city bank account, keeping residential taxes low, but brings with it crime and traffic, and the need for more police officers.  Is this huge downturn of crime proof that bringing high density and lots of retail to the Dunwoody Village is a bad idea for the families living 100 yards away from the Village?

There are still criminals and predators out there - they just aren't making a big scene in Dunwoody currently.  The fear among many is that these bad folks start looking for opportunities in our residential areas.  Our cub reporters have seen a much larger presence in the neighborhoods as of late.  Perhaps police have shifted more resources to the city's quiet neighborhoods during this time.  No matter the reason, it's nice to see fewer and fewer crime reports here in Dunwoody. And hopefully the neighborhoods remain safe and the only illegal thing we see are signs cluttering the right-of-way.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Chairman of Planning Committee Suggests 8-story Apartments in Dunwoody Would be Okay?

Our city council members live here among us and have always had the best interest of the homeowners.  Since inception of the City of Dunwoody ten years ago, no new multi-family units have been approved, and no zoning changes have been made to allow new multi-family units.  But elections have consequences and there's a new leadership in the city.  We will soon know if this new council will keep Dunwoody as is, or change zoning for 165 acres in the heart of Dunwoody, paving the way for condos. apartments, and subsidized rent-controlled affordable housing.

Two years ago four council members, all of who are still on council, voted to create a task force on 'affordable' housing.  You can read about it HERE.  You'll also see in the article comments from Dunwoody's Planning Commission chairman.   Expect this task force to be soon created.  The former mayor of Dunwoody failed to actually appoint members of this newly proposed task force, and the current planning commission members were all appointed/retained by this same former mayor.
In Brookhaven: Workforce (Affordable) housing. For-sale or rental housing units that are affordable to those households earning no more than 80 percent of the median household income for the Atlanta MSA, as determined by the current fiscal year HUD income limit table. 
Last night local residents were entertained by the monthly Planning Commission meeting.  I didn't stay for the entire meeting but did review much of the footage this morning.  I encourage you to watch it HERE. Last night's soup at Vintage Pizza was ham and potato, thus the early egress from said meeting.  Vintage has nightly soup specials and they are always tasty.  Don't bother posting about Vintage on the Dunwoody Restaurant Group Facebook page as that page is for bashing and attempting to ruin every food place in Dunwoody.  Vintage is great.  And so is Novo, NFA, VB, and Marlow's.

So back to that meeting.  Fast forward to the 1:30 mark.  A committee member asks to city staff, "why are we going this route?".  He was basically asking why all of a sudden is it necessary to rezone the Village for apartments?

Side Note: There are three things going on with the Village.  One is allowing an open-container entertainment district and another is allowing breweries in Dunwoody. See HERE.  I fully support both of these items. These are two things that will make the Village a nicer spot to visit for current homeowners.  These items do not include changing the zoning to allow for new housing in the Village area. These items, if approved, will create new opportunities for property owners and will, for some people, add to the quality of life in Dunwoody.  These items will not directly put more kids in our schools and will not significantly affect rush-hour(s) traffic.  Full steam ahead on these items.  Council and staff have done a good job here. The third item is huge - it involves changing the zoning classification for the entire Village. It's this third item that should be of major concern to all homeowners in Dunwoody.  At last week's DHA meeting, the DHA voted to oppose all new residential zoning for the Village.  Opposed. All.

So back to that question from the committee guy to the city's Community Development Director, a proud resident of .... Woodstock. The CDD replied, "A lot of people came to me and said 'we want to make it better' " "you have the zoning code, then you have the master plan.  But the zoning code rules."  "I felt like we should examine the Master Plan, and add to it."

I seriously doubt any homeowner said "go build some apartments and condos in the Village".  But here we are.  City staff telling a room full of homeowners from The Branches and Dunwoody West that some people came to him with something so he's moving ahead.  Homeowner be damned.  Most likely anyone who went to him asking for new zoning was a developer. Go watch the exchange on video. We also heard this gem from city staff - "before we met with the public, we met with Regency (largest landowner in Village) and other property owners".  In case you are still wondering where you stand, in the eyes of city staffers, it's right behind local businesses.  What started out as a zoning code writing task resulted in city staff and the consultants overstepping their role and added Master Plan items including five-story apartment buildings.

Will the planning commission and council side with the majority of homeowners or commercial interests?

Now head to the 2:06  mark in the video.  The PC chairman suggests that 8-story apartments are okay!  Go look at some, he tells you.  He then compliments Chamblee and Brookhaven on all their stick built apartments.  "Do we want the school tail wag the dog of good development?" he continued.  He doesn't believe that new multi-family will result in more trailers and even more overcrowded schools.  He blames one small single-family neighborhood on Vermack.  Perhaps he should look at the huge increases of school-aged children living in the apartments across Dunwoody.  Although new apartments have not been built, the number of kids living in these properties HAS increased, a lot.  Now image when 75% of Dunwoody Village (yes, the details of the plan clearly allow for this, despite anything else you read or hear) has new apartments.  Are we attracting young singles to move here to enjoy the pleasures of a couple of farmhouses (sans actual farm animals) and the ultra-cool late nights at the Dunwoody Tavern?  No.  These units will be filled with families with kids, more kids, and more cars.

For the best public comment of the night, go to wonderful lady at the 2:11 mark.