Thursday, August 5, 2010

Weighing In on Residential Parking Management


The Dunwoody Blogs are abuzz (read Dunwoody North and Dunwoody Talk as well as the posted comments)! The proposal by one of our Dunwoody elected officials to manage residential parking has created a massive stir. If you haven't read the proposal yet (which is referenced in my previous post by Councilman Wittenstein) -which will go before council at its 7 pm, August 9 meeting - you should. It could affect you (click here to read). It definitely affects our neighborhood.

In a nutshell, the proposal says we need more regulations on how many vehicles you may park in your driveway. On the surface this may seem like a good idea, but it is? And be sure to read the language of the proposal carefully. You may be in violation.

Instead of taking up issues like parking management - not to mention chickens - I would rather council spend its valuable time figuring out how to fix our embarrassingly deteriorating roads (have you driven on Ashford Center Parkway lately? How 'bout North Peachtree? Or Tilly Mill near Peachtree Industrial?). I'm more concerned with the health of my car's suspension from driving on these barely drivable roads, than how many cars a neighbor three streets over has parked in his driveway.

The 4th of July maybe in our rearview mirror, but Monday night's council meeting is sure to have its share of fireworks!

13 comments:

Chip said...

All I can say is "Thanks, Councilman Wittenstein. You've done it again."

Why not work on drafting a proposal to do some significant and important work like improving the intersections in Dunwoody, accelerating the repaving/repair activities, and getting on with the real work of being a City?

Why don't you and the Council stand up to obstructionists like Ric Woroniecki and start making some progress, rather than getting us into these inane debates??

It would appear that since you've got no interest in dealing with real, substantive issues you and your fellow Council members are just looking for areas to "meddle in" to give yourselves the appearance of "being busy."

Sheesh!!!

Rick said...

Bob,

No money for roads. The city has put out its paving/resurfacing plan based on funds available. The only way to speed up that process is for you, me, and other homeowners to pay more in taxes, starting now.

kathrynch said...

Maybe this is why the council is spending time on ridiculous proposals like these. They'll get money from the fines and put it in the coffers to pay for roads. That way no one is on the record for "raising taxes."

Chip said...

Not to belabor the point, Rick, but the "funds available" is just a planning number. The Council doesn't have "funds available" for a 911 Center and taking over the fire department, it doesn't have "funds available" for new sirens, it doesn't have "funds available" for two new detectives per year. It doesn't have "funds available" to fix and upgrade the parks.

The Council decides where to spend the money and how much to spend. If the Council wanted to, they could allocate more funds to road repair, defer some of their actions on expanding public safety expenditures for little or no benefit, and put those monies toward making long-term improvements, like fixing the Womack/Tilly Mill and Tilly Mill/N. Peachtree intersections, your favorite problem intersection at Spalding and Chamblee-Dunwoody, etc.

All it takes is someone who actually "cares about these things" on the Council, not a Mayor who publicly has declared his opposition to any attempt to make traffic improvements during his administration.

Chip

Bob Fiscella said...

Rick,
I realize the city doesn't have the money. However we would have a lot more money if we spent less than $6 million on police. I think our police department is first class all the way, please don't get me wrong (and Chief Grogan has done a great job within the community), but I think a lot of the money allocated to police should have gone into our roads (remember, the Carl Vinson study that the Citizens for Dunwoody touted, said $2.8 million was about right for police services).
As for bringing this issue to the forefront, Chip blames Councilman Wittenstein. However, since the councilor appears to be against much of the proposal, it makes me believe it is someone else. Let's not blame Robert for everything.

SDOC Publishing Internet Solutions said...

Bob--
Thank you for saying what I've been thinking in your concluding statement. Parking and chickens are "special interest" ordinances. Every poll (including the massive survey done some months back) shows that the majority of those participating want current zoning enforced (especially in multifamily housing) and roads improved. Special interests are a luxury that can be brought up after the priorities are underway. That doesn't mean we can't discuss issues on the horizon, plan for the future (master plan, park development etc) but make sure the horse comes before the cart. I can think of all kinds of ordinance changes that would make my life more convenient, but I'm not going to present them at this time because the City has to stay focused on the reasons we incorporated. Then everyone benefits and some of the "special" ordinances may get a more positive reception down the line.

Chip said...

Please let me correct a mis-impression. I do not attribute the ordinance to Rob Wittenstein, I just call him on starting the ball rolling for all this nonsense (which he's done before)before it's even really become an issue.

In his email update, he says:

"I have deep concerns about this proposed new ordinance.
We already have laws that prohibit parking on the grass or on gravel and laws that require all cars to be licensed. This isn’t about safety and it isn’t about upkeep.
I can only think of two reasons to pass such a law. It could either be about conformity or it could be aimed at specific Dunwoody homeowners. Either way, I think it is ill advised. I looked at several nearby cities and could not find any with similar ordinances.
Homeowner’s associations are the appropriate way to deal with this type of restriction. Residents can choose to sign a contract and comply with the terms or they can choose to buy a house elsewhere. I don’t think we want Dunwoody to become a gigantic citywide homeowner’s association."

Now these are perfectly legitimate and appropriate comments....to be made at a Council work-session or at the public meetings....not in an email update about a "proposal" that hasn't even seen the light of day. Rob and fellow Councilmen Heneghan and Thompson plus Councilwoman Bonser have enough votes to thwart the Mayor, and Councilmen Shortal and Ross on this divisive and unnecessary ordinance in the public forum.

When he gets guys like Ric W. mobilized to start printing slogans, T-shirts, and jamming the Council chambers to speak their peace, these are all activities that are best deferred until there is actually a an ordinance being read for the purpose of adoption, not just being considered.

Rob did this with the chickens, and now he's at it again. He speaks first, then thinks second in this regard....in spite of his reputation as being the most diligent and contemplative of the Council members.

Rick said...

Robert was in favor of chickens.

For fire department, you are billed on your property taxes now from DeKalb, not Dunwoody. The theory is to not have residents pay DeKalb for fire, but instead pay the city directly. In theory, the net we pay (to DeKalb or Dunwoody)for fire protection would be the same, so no tax increase. Problem is that we need money up front for trucks and such. Also, like the police, we'd have a fire department way bigger than we need. Regarding funds for 911, Chip is part correct and I was part correct. Every telephone pays a 911 fee. Currently those fees (from Dunwoody residents) make their way to DeKalb. If we had our own 911, those 911 fees would come to us instead. Problem is that the state collects those fees and then distributes the money so all of it would not make its way back to us. Same goes for school tax dollars from the state. Metro Atlanta counties subsidize smaller school systems in S GA, same goes for 911 centers.

I think the sirens are a waste of money. I signed up for Sandy Springs severe weather warnings. I get a cell phone call when severe weather hits here. Works great unless you are in Vegas sleeping in your hotel at 3 AM and your cell rings with a warning of severe weather in Sandy Springs.

It is depressing to see the streets and intersections remain in such poor condition.

Anonymous said...

有用的才華若不用,便如同日晷儀放在陰暗之中............................................................

韋陳富 said...

老天爺賦予了強者的能力,就是要他比弱者多擔待..................................................

Bob said...

can somebody translate the above?

Rick said...

Bob,

老天爺賦予了強者的能力,就是要他比弱者多擔 is Manderin. In English it translates to, "I want to meet wealthy FarmHouser and move to Dunwoody."

Bob Fiscella said...

Hopefully the Manderins don't have a propensity for parking too many cars in their driveway!