Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Will DeKalb Haul Away This Mess

Above is the mess left by the departing owner of 4899 Springfield Dr. I know DeKalb County Sanitation does an amazing job and hauls away just about anything that is put curbside, but this is ridiculous! I'd be surprised if DeKalb would haul this mess, unless it is straightened up - a lot! Hopefully the owner has alerted the sanitation department, but bottom line, this should never happen. It's an eyesore for the neighborhood!

Monday, March 29, 2010

New Listing In Springfield: Home to be Razed?

There is a new home on the market in Springfield (above) at 4827 Summerford Dr., bringing the number of homes actively listed to 4. To find out more information on the 4 listings, click on the Buyer's Short Report below.

The home in disrepair at 4899 Springfield Dr. (above) is now under contract, set to close on Wednesday. Word has it that the buyer will tear it down and rebuild, which is certainly good news for neighborhood property values. For more Dunwoody real estate related items, click on my real estate blog at

New City of Dunwoody Survey

The City of Dunwoody is conducting a survey as it creates a brand and identity. To take part in the survey, click on the link below:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dunwoody Arts Festival; Final Fish Fry

The First Annual Dunwoody Arts Festival is rapidly approaching - May 8-9 at Dunwoody Village. It's sure to be a fun family event. For more information - click here. The Arts Festival is in need of volunteers - your chance to serve the community. Most volunteer shifts are only 2 or 3 hours, and there are perks! For more information on volunteering - click here.

Final All Saints Fish Fry Tonight

The All Saints' Knights of Columbus are holding their final lenten Fish Fry of the year this evening from 5-8pm at the All Saints social hall. If you haven't been to a fish fry - you're missing a lot of fun, not to mention the best value meal in Dunwoody: salmon dinners are $8 (includes 6-oz of fresh, grilled salmon, green beans, red potatoes or cole slaw and an ice tea. Fried fish dinners (or broiled cod) are $7 (and includes hush puppies and french fries), and kids' dinners are just $4. And this evening only, the fish fry will include a shrimp dinner for $8! Beer and wine are also readily available for a small donation. The All Saints Fish Fry was featured in this week's Georgia Bulletin. To read the full story - click here. Everyone is welcome!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Springfield Athletes Shine; Chickens will NOT Roost in Dunwoody

Two of Springfield's very own were recognized this week for their athletic prowess. Hudson Randall, the former Dunwoody High School star pitcher, on Monday was named the Southeastern Conference's freshman of the year after throwing 5-scoreless innings in his first collegiate start.

And kudos to fellow Springfield resident Mark Rudder, who was featured this week in The Crier for his 5th place finish at last fall's X-Terra competition in Hawaii. The Maui competition included a 1.5-kilometer swim, a 32-kilometer mountain bike race and a 10-kilometer trail run. Mark did it all in an amazing time of 3:18:31 (that's 3 hours, 18 minute, 31 seconds).

Chickens will NOT Roost in Dunwoody

Just when it appeared that Dunwoody would follow suit with other cities in the northern suburbs of Atlanta and allow residents to keep up to 6 backyard chickens (with numerous restrictions), the Dunwoody City Council, by a 4-3 vote on Monday night, said no. For much more on the vote, read councilman John Heneghan's site at and Rick Callihan's site at This was a non-issue that should never have come before council. I feel bad for the six families that were raising backyard chickens (and quite responsibly, I might add), and now will be forced to give them up. It's not like the chickens were an eyesore or a nuisance (from what I'm hearing, none of their neighbors ever lodged a complain, as a matter of fact most seem disappointed that they will no longer get fresh eggs).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St.Patrick's Day; Dunwoody Land Use Survey

I hope you are wearing green today in honor of St.Patrick's Day. Just why is St.Patrick so celebrated? I asked that question myself, and found answers on Wikipedia. Of course nothing says St.Patrick's day like the dyed water of the Chicago River (pictured below).

Dunwoody Comprehensive Land Use Survey

After logging onto my buddy Rick Callihan's blog at, I was reminded that this is one of the final days to voice your opinion on the future of Dunwoody, or at least have you thoughts recorded as part of the city's Comprehensive Land Use survey. Click here to take the survey.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Don't Forget to Spring Ahead!

Don't forget to fast-forward your clocks one hour tonight as we switch over to Daylight Saving Time at 2am and gain an extra hour of evening sunlight! This is also a great time to put new batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon moxide detectors.

The change to Daylight Saving Time allows us to use less energy in lighting our homes by taking advantage of the longer and later daylight hours. During the eight-month period of Daylight Saving Time, the names of time in each of the time zones in the U.S. (map) change as well. Eastern Standard Time (EST) becomes Eastern Daylight Time, Central Standard Time (CST) becomes Central Daylight Time (CDT), Mountain Standard Time (MST) becomes Mountain Daylight Time (MDT), Pacific Standard Time becomes Pacific Daylight Time (PDT), and so forth.
Daylight Saving Time was instituted in the United States during World War I in order to save energy for war production by taking advantage of the later hours of daylight between April and October. During World War II the federal government again required the states to observe the time change. Between the wars and after World War II, states and communities chose whether or not to observe Daylight Saving Time. In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized the length of Daylight Saving Time.
Daylight Saving Time is four weeks longer since 2007 due to the passage of the Energy Policy Act in 2005. The Act extended Daylight Saving Time by four weeks from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November, with the hope that it would save 10,000 barrels of oil each day through reduced use of power by businesses during daylight hours. Unfortunately, it is exceedingly difficult to determine energy savings from Daylight Saving Time and based on a variety of factors, it is possible that little or no energy is saved by Daylight Saving Time.
Arizona (except some Indian Reservations), Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa have chosen not to observe Daylight Saving Time. This choice does make sense for the areas closer to the equator because the days are more consistent in length throughout the year.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Great Tips for Remodeling Your Home

Looking for some great tips to remodel your home? The following is provided to realtors by Lowe's - it's worth reading.

RISMEDIA, March 12, 2010—As spring approaches, many homeowners grow eager to start remodeling projects to update and refresh their surroundings. Before getting started, it’s a good idea to hire a professional remodeler for a workable plan and better results, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
“A professional remodeler knows how to translate a homeowner’s dreams and budget into a beautiful reality,” said Donna Shirey, CGR, CAPS, CGP, president of Shirey Contracting in Issaquah, Wash. and 2010 chairman of NAHB Remodelers. “They have the expertise and skills to satisfy a customer while keeping the budget in check.”
Here are five tips for planning a successful home remodel that you can enjoy for many years to come.

1. Compile a list of home remodeling ideas and draft a budget for the work.You likely have some projects in mind, such as modernizing the bathroom, renovating the kitchen, replacing windows or repairing the roof. Prioritize your wish list: Maybe you don’t have the budget for your dream remodel, but professional remodelers can maximize your dollars by doing the work in phases, suggesting budget-friendly products and materials and implementing creative design solutions.

2. Look for a professional remodeler to help plan the project.Start by searching NAHB’s Directory of Professional Remodelers at You’ll get a list of nearby remodelers to contact. Asking friends and neighbors for names of qualified remodelers will also help you find a match for your project.

3. Check the references and background of the remodeler.After you start speaking with remodelers and find one or two who match your project’s needs, be sure to conduct some background research by checking with the Better Business Bureau, talking to their references and asking if they are a trade association member (such as NAHB Remodelers). Remodelers with these qualities tend to be more reliable, better educated and more likely to stay on top of construction and design trends.

4. Agree on a contract.Talk over the details of the home remodeling project and begin reviewing the contract. You’ll want to check the remodelers’ insurance coverage, ask about any warranties on their work, know who is responsible for obtaining any building permits and understand the process for making any change orders after the contract is signed. Make sure that you and your remodeler see eye to eye before you sign on the dotted line.

5. Take advantage of the energy efficiency tax credits.If your remodel includes replacing windows or doors, adding insulation, installing new roofing, upgrading heating or air-conditioning units, updating the water heater or installing energy generating products (such as solar panels, heat pumps or wind turbines) then you can take advantage of federal energy efficiency tax credits through 2010 that will help defray costs and maximize your remodeling budget while reducing home energy bills.

For more information, visit RISMedia welcomes your questions and comments. Send your e-mail to:
For more top headlines on, be sure to see:Short Sale Buyers Face Difficulty Closing Deals QuicklyA Curse or a Code – Where Do Ethics and Practices Meet?

Friday, March 5, 2010

DHA Annual Meeting - Do We Need The DHA?

The Dunwoody Homeowners Association will hold it's annual meeting at 2pm on Sunday at Dunwoody United Methodist's Fellowship Hall. If you really want to find out what the DHA does to improve the quality of life in Dunwoody and the eastern portion of Sandy Springs, I encourage you to attend (as a board member, I will be there).

A lot of folks are of the opinion that since we are now a city, the DHA no longer has a role. But that couldn't be further from the truth. And despite the perception of some, the DHA is not a heavy-handed organization. As a matter of fact, the DHA has no legal powers at all.

Hope to see you on Sunday (FYI - last year the DHA provided refreshments)!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New Listing; Link to City of Dunwoody Newsletter

There is a newly listed home in Springfield at 4899 Springfield Dr. The bad news is - it is listed for a paltry $200,000, which won't do anything for neighborhood property values. The good news is - we have the potential to get a great new neighbor that will invest time and money into the dilapidated property, and in the long-run increase the value of the neighborhood. To view the listing - click on the photo below (warning - the pictures are disturbing)!

I'm honored to know that someone at the city of Dunwoody is reading my humble blog! How do I know? I received the email below this morning:

Hi Mr. Fiscella,

Good Morning. Thank you for posting our newsletter to your blog. We had to fix one of the links on our site and now it may not connect from your blog. For your convenience the new link is Again, thank you for your post and if you ever have any questions please let me know.

Thank you,

Edie Damann
Marketing & PR Manager

Edie - thanks so much for passing that along. Keep up the good work!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

City of Dunwoody Newsletter

Did you know the City of Dunwoody puts out a regular newsletter? The latest edition focuses on potholes in our roads and makes for some interesting reading. To read the newsletter - click on the picture below.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Councilman Heneghan's Thoughts

In my last post, Dunwoody City Councilman Robert Wittenstein raised a number of issues that were/are or will be before the council. Below are the comments of councilman John Heneghan on how he sees the issues. John - thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Robert raised a number of issues which were discussed in council within the last month and like he said many of these have little, if any support, therefore they may not be going anywhere.
Council members are not allowed to discuss items away from the public eye therefore every once in a while an item is discussed at a work session to feel out the other members. Sometimes ordinances are drawn up based on the conversations had at the meeting and sometimes they die right there. As far as the items brought up by Councilman Wittenstein, I am already on the record for the following items…
• Addresses should be encouraged for public safety but not a finable offense. The Dunwoody Police Explorers were doing this as a public service project a while back. I will look into it in order to see if it is still going on.

• I am against mandatory Fire Sprinklers for new single family homes constructed in Dunwoody, but am on the fence for single family cluster homes built close together.

• I am against any ordinance restricting on street parking.
• I am against any ordinance restricting driveway parking.

• I am against mandatory recycling since it is already available to those who want it. I would like to find a way to encourage apartment complexes and businesses to participate at a higher level since that is where I believe the biggest gains could be made at little or no cost.
• I am in favor of some oversight of the taxi cabs working in Dunwoody but as with all regulations, the devil is in the details.A while back we had a taxi related issue come in front of us and in doing my due diligence, I compared taxi ordinances from what we originally adopted to that of our neighbors. What I discovered was that our regulations were vastly different from that of our neighbors of Doraville, Chamblee, Sandy Springs and many others.Their regulations attempted to assure the safety and oversight of taxis operating in their city where as Dunwoody only attempted to oversee the companies physically headquartered within the City Limits of Dunwoody. The State of Georgia defers taxi requirements down to the City level and it appears to me that there is a hole in our regulations where we in the City of Dunwoody are deferring the safety of our citizens to other municipalities’ oversight (or lack thereof). Because of this, I asked for review of the language in order to assure that we had originally adopted was correct and proper. I have posted the various city ordinances down below to highlight the differences in jurisdictional oversight.Dunwoody: A taxicab shall be deemed to be doing business in the City when its original terminus, that is to say, the place from which it operated and is subject to calls, shall be located in the City.Chamblee: Any person shall be deemed doing business in the city under this chapter if such person is picking up passengers in the city and accepting or soliciting any consideration, charge or fee which is determined by agreement, by mileage, by the length of time the vehicle is used, or by contract for the use of any motor vehicle or other vehicle designed or used for the purpose of transporting passengers.Sandy Springs: No person, firm, or corporation shall operate a taxicab in the city except in accordance with the terms and provisions of this article.As far as the Backyard Chickens, I know this item will be coming in front of Council this month therefore I will hold judgment on the issue but let me say that I am looking forward to the presentations, discussions and public hearing.