Thursday, September 30, 2010

Closing-in on Dunwoody Music Festival; Update on Dunwoody Real Estate

The Dunwoody Music Festival is just three weeks away at Brook Run Park, but there is still time to enter the Chili Cook-Off. Speaking with organizer MJ Thomas of the Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce, which is hosting the event, she expects more than 40 entries. Did you need some extra incentive to enter? First place is worth $1,000!

For more information on the Festival as well as the chili cook-off, click on the links above.

Dunwoody Recycling

Dunwoody resident Joe Seconder forwarded me the following information from DeKalb County Sanitation. According to county recycling coordinator Sheri Arnold, of the more than 21,000 residential households in Dunwoody, only 4,626 recycle (use the blue bin). That's just 21.5 percent! And of the 467 commercial businesses with sanitation services, just 46 are recycling. That's only 10 percent! I know many in Dunwoody would like to consider this a "green city," but it's too bad those numbers are not a lot higher.

Dunwoody Real Estate

A new listing in Springfield came on the market this week at 4845 Summerford Dr. There are now 5 active listings in the neighborhood. To view each listing, click on the link below:

Despite what you might have read from another real estate agent's ad in the back of The Crier, there are only 163 active listings in Dunwoody in the 30338 zip code. These listings range in price from $1,568,000 to $169,900. To view any of these listings, click on the link below:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

DeKalb County School Board Forum Tonight - Update

Former City of Dunwoody councilman Tom Taylor, now a candidate for Georgia State Representative, phoned me late this afternoon to say that current board member Jim Redovian (pictured) will not be able to make tonight's DeKalb County School Board, District 1 candidate forum at 6:30 pm at Dunwoody City Hall.

Jim, was scheduled to be at the forum along with the two other candidates running for the position, Bobby Gillis and Nancy Jester . Despite Redovian's absence, the other two candidates will be there answering.

All three candidates responded to a survey concerning what they would do as our school board representative. Click on their name to view their responses.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kroger Renovation; Overseeding Your Fescue Lawn

Coming soon: the Georgetown Kroger will undergo a massive renovation to its store, increasing its size from 48,000 to 70,000 square feet. Kroger plans a total re-facing of the exterior (seen above) as well as adding stacked stone touches and tile design to the exterior of the entire shopping complex. Kroger also plans to resurface the parking lot as well as adding many landscape features (yes, this barren parking lot will finally have trees and shrubbery).

As for the interior, Kroger says it will remove the drop ceiling, add skylights and completely renovation flooring and shelving.
Kroger realizes this store is underutilized by Dunwoody neighborhood residents, and is hoping the massive renovations will change that.

Overseeding Your Fescue Lawn

Is now the time to overseed your fescue lawn that, in most cases, is showing signs of massive stress from the summer heat (at least my lawn is - or what's left of my lawn)?
According to Georgia gardening expert Walter Reeves, optimum air temperatures for tall fescue germination are 68 to 77°F and soil temperatures greater than 60°F. While the forecast calls for high temperatures in the 90's today and tomorrow, expect fall temperatures to sweep the region starting this weekend. According to's forecast, the highs from Sunday through next Thursday will not even reach 80 degrees! Are you ready for the fall?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dunwoody Village Meeting; New "Burger Joint"

Two big thumbs up for the City of Dunwoody, which hosted the first of 4 community meetings on Tuesday evening to discuss the future of Dunwoody Village. I give two thumbs up because the "to-the-point" meeting, which wrapped-up in about one hour, was all about getting public input. The more than 200 people that nearly filled the chapel at Dunwoody Baptist Church took part in a slide show survey. We were asked to give our thoughts and opinions on what the Village should look like a generation from now.

The two large video boards at DBC would flash a slide, such as the one pictured above, and we were asked, on a scale of 1-to-5, if this is what we would like to see. There were a total of 65 slides in all followed by some multiple choice questions/opinions. Afterward, we were invited to give more input on such issues as traffic, bike trails, greenspace, etc.

It was encouraging to see this many folks come out on a Tuesday evening. However, it also was disappointing that even more choose not to get involved in the process. The next meeting on the Village is scheduled for Tuesday, October 28. For more information on the Village redevelopment, go to Master Plan Dunwoody Village.

The project manager for the Dunwoody Village redevelopment plan is city manager Warren Hutmacher. Click on the link below to read his thoughts on the project, prior to last night's meeting.
Village Burger

Dunwoody Village now has a "burger joint." This week Village Burger opened in the location previously occupied by Brusters. I haven't been there yet, but in previous conversations with co-owner Richardo Gonzalo, his idea was a family-friend restaurant that served great burgers (100 percent Angus beef, never frozen) in a low-key environment.

Village Burger's menu is available online. The House Burger with a side of fries is $5.28. The menu also includes all-beef hot dogs and charbroiled, chicken breast sandwiches. For dessert - chocolate or vanilla frozen custard (Village Burger describes it as "what happens when soft serve meets premium ice cream). Beer and Wine is available.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chick-fil-A Coming To Dunwoody?

Chick-fil-A in Dunwoody?

Will a Chick-fil-A soon be popping up in Williamsburg Village where the old Blockbuster used to be? Word on the street is that Chick-fil-A would like to tear down the old structure and build one of its signature restaurants. How do the neighbors surrounding the property feel about that? One neighbor told me his first reaction was "we'll start to look like Buford Highway."

I don't agree with that comment, but I understand not wanting a fast food restaurant less than 100 feet away from a residential neighborhood. However, if you had to hand pick a fast food chain to location there, it would be Chick-fil-A. Not only is Chick-fil-A closed on Sunday, but the company has a history of being extremely community-oriented. By the way, the Chick-fil-A on Mt. Vernon Rd. near the movie theatre is actually located in Sandy Springs and not Dunwoody.
Funeral for Alice Storc
Funeral Services for longtime Springfield resident Alice Storc are 11am this morning at All Saints Church. Alice unexpected passed away last week at the age of 66. She spent the last 20 years as a teacher at Mt Vernon Presbyterian’s morning out program, something she truly cherished and about which she had such passion. Mrs. Storc is survived by her husband, Stanley Storc; daughter Suzanne Storc; sons Timothy (Hayley) and Anthony (Caitlin) Storc; sister Margie Farrell; brother Eugene (Karen) Farrell, as well as grandchildren Tate and Chase Storc. She was preceded in death by her parents, Peter and Margaret Farrell, and brother Peter Farrell.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

City Invites Public To Help With Master Plan

Public Invited to Participate in Area Master Plan Efforts
Planning Processes Kickoff for Dunwoody Village and Georgetown Areas

Dunwoody – September, 2010 – The City of Dunwoody is pleased to announce the kickoff for two concurrent master planning processes for the Dunwoody Village area and the Georgetown/North Shallowford Road area. For each planning process the City will host four community meetings.


Each of the two planning processes will seek to provide a framework to guide land use, transportation, and open space improvements in the future. The kickoff meetings, September 15 for Georgetown and September 21 for the Dunwoody Village, will include an introduction of the Planning Team, explanation of the planning process, a summary of existing conditions information (highlighting the market analysis as a central element), administration of the community preference survey, and a series of community engagement activities. At each meeting, participants will have an opportunity to provide input and work with the Project Team in small groups. All are encouraged to attend and be part of these two exciting planning processes.

Dunwoody Village Meeting Dates and Times
1. Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
Dunwoody Baptist Church Fellowship Hall
1445 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338

2. Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
Dunwoody Baptist Church Fellowship Hall
1445 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338

3. Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
Dunwoody United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall
1548 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338

4. Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
Dunwoody United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall
1548 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338

Georgetown Meeting Dates, Times, and Locations
1. Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
Peachtree Charter Middle School cafeteria
4664 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338

2. Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
Peachtree Charter Middle School cafeteria
4664 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338

3. Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
Peachtree Charter Middle School cafeteria
4664 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338

4. Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
Peachtree Charter Middle School cafeteria
4664 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338

MORE: For more information regarding the master planning process please contact
Kimberly Greer, Assistant to the City Manager at 678-382-6709 or

PHOTO OPPS: Available throughout each meeting.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Atlanta Journal Constitution Story on Dunwoody

Friday's Atlanta Journal Constitution contained a 2-page story on Dunwoody - almost 2 years after becoming a city. It's a very fair article about the city as it closes in on its second anniversary.

Jenny Troha supported Dunwoody becoming its own city because it meant more local control.

The stay-at-home mom got a taste of exactly what that meant when her 8-year-old daughter, Emma, wrote the new mayor asking for sidewalks on Valley View Road.
Mayor Ken Wright wrote back, explaining that the city was focusing this year on sidewalks near schools but that busy thoroughfares like Valley View were on the list for coming years.
“It was a good lesson in civics for her but it was also nice to see that the government really cares about the constituents,” Troha said. “I feel like we’re in a pretty good place right now, as a city.”
Dunwoody became Georgia’s newest city – and 16th largest in the state – when it incorporated on Dec. 1, 2008.
Advocates said cityhood would mean residents would have closer and better government that would address their specific needs.
Opponents argued against the finances, predicting the proposed budget underestimated expenses. Services would need to be scaled down or taxes would have to go up.
Turns out, both were right.
For instance, the city of 40,000 put a police force on the street in just four months, earning praise from residents and political watchers alike.

Click on the link below to read the rest of the story.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Homes For Sale In Dunwoody

There are currently 170 homes for Sale in Dunwoody in the 30338 zip code. Click on the Buyer Short Report below to view any of these listings. Another 20 homes are currently under contract.

Simple arithmetic tells us that only 11 percent of homes on the market are "sellable" (the metro area as a whole is about 15-18 percent). What can the other 89 percent of would-be-sellers do to get their home under contract and eventually sell? Two things: 1) hire the right agent 2) list the home at a realistic price.

Real estate, like every other commodity, is about supply and demand. And right now sellers outnumber buyers almost 10-to-1. If a seller's home shows great but is overpriced, it has little chance of selling. If it is priced right and not staged (thus shows poorly), it has little chance of selling. The key is to get the home correctly staged AND priced right. My last Dunwoody listing had an offer in 3 days, was under contract in 13 days and closed in just over a month. I'd like to pat myself on the back for doing a great job, but I can't take all the credit. My sellers did an amazing job of taking all the steps necessary to ensure that their home showed great. They were also willing to listen to the extensive statistics that I presented, and priced their home accordingly.

If you know of someone having difficulty selling their home, please give me their name and number and I'd be happy to speak with them. With that said, click on the Buyer Short Report below to view my newest listing in Dunwoody/Sandy Springs.

Buyer Short Report

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Walk to School; Retention Pond

Walk and Bike to School Day

Retention Pond

What do Tiger Woods and the DeKalb County School System have in common? Both have a trust issue and neither knows how to manage public relations!

DeKalb proved the latter again last night as it held a community meeting at Dunwoody High School to discuss the eyesore of a detention pond off Womack Rd. Barbara Colman, interim operations officer for capital improvements for DCSS, opened the meeting by telling Joe Hirsch, affectionately known as Public Comment Joe and who lives across the street from the pond, that he could not tape record the meeting. When Joe told Barbara that the meeting was public access, she said she didn't want her words taken out of context. Note to Barbara, when what you say it on tape, it's a lot harder to take out of context. I had the identical situation last year with then-DCSS superintendent Crawford Lewis. It's as if the school system always has something to hide. DCSS should take a page out of the city of Dunwoody's book (or more precisely Councilman John Heneghan's book). Record every meeting and make it available on the internet - this way there is a public record and nothing can be taken out of context. But then again, we're dealing with DeKalb County, which spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on PR, so obviously it knows what it is doing. NOT!

Back to the detention pond. Shawn Hamlin of the architectural firm Perkins+Will, which is handling the project, and Matt Tanner of Breedlove Land Planning, an expert in stormwater, did a very nice job of explaining why the current ponds were necessary (the old pond was not up to code and actually flooded neighbors' yards every five years or so) and why this system will work best for Dunwoody High School. Right now the ponds are retaining a large amount of water. But once construction is complete, the large pond (furthest away from Vermack Rd.) mostly will be a dry bed. Ditto for the small pond closest to the intersection of Vermack and Womack Rd. Only the second small pond will retain stormwater on a regular basis.

As for the pond being an eyesore, DCSS plans to plant Magnolia and Holly trees (likely in October) along the side of the ponds that fronts Womack Rd., which should help. But it won't completely hide the hideousness. In the words of Dunwoody City Councilman Robert Wittenstein, "It's going to be awful!" DCSS seems genuinely concerned with making the ponds as palatable as possible. But again, there's that trust issue.

Update from Councilman Wittenstein

Dear Dunwoody Friends and Neighbors,
First, I’d like to welcome the new additions to my distribution list and to invite any of you who get this forwarded to you to get on my distribution list by e-mailing me at

This month I’d like to share with you various ways you can stay informed on City of Dunwoody government. You might want to save this e-mail away for future reference.
If you see a public works problem and want to report it, please call 678-382-6700 and ask for Public Works. To report an after-hours emergency problem, dial the number and press “2”.
For routine issues, you can e-mail the public works department at:

If you have a police, fire or medical emergency you should call 911. If you want to talk with the police dispatcher, but it isn’t an emergency, you can call 404-294-2911.
Would you like to see information on crimes in your neighborhood? We have recently set up a website that allows residents to view a map of police activity at
Dunwoody Crime Search.
The City Council meets at 7:00 pm on the second and fourth Monday of each month. (Our meetings in September will be on the 13th and the 27th.) We welcome you to come in person to City Hall (41 Perimeter Center East, behind Park Place shopping center). We start and end every meeting with public comment where anyone who wishes to make a statement has up to three minutes to address us. You can also watch us from the comfort of your home through the Internet. Our meetings are streamed live complements of Council member John Heneghan at
Council meetings live feed.

Are you interested in what our ordinances actually say? If so, you can read and search our complete code of ordinances at Dunwoody code of ordinances.
September is budget month. We will revise our 2010 budget and also begin discussion of our proposed 2011 budget. I expect an important and lively discussion on the proper balance between spending on police, roads and parks. In the meantime, if you want to view our current 2010 budget, you can find it at
Dunwoody 2010 budget.

For those who want to stay really connected to your city government, you can arrange to have an e-mail notice sent to you each time we post news, events, or publish agendas and material for meetings. You can sign up to receive only News notices, only Event notices, only Meeting Agendas or any combination of the three. Sign up for automatic e-mail updates here.
Finally, if you have something on your mind and want to let your elected officials know, feel free to e-mail us:

Mayor Ken Wright,
Council Post 1 (District 1 Local), Denis "Denny" Shortal,
Council Post 2 (District 2 Local), Adrian Bonser,
Council Post 3 (District 3 Local), Douglas R. Thompson,
Council Post 4 (District 1 At Large), Robert Wittenstein,
Council Post 5 (District 2 At Large), Danny Ross,
Council Post 6 (District 3 At Large), John Heneghan,