Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dunwoody E-Newsletter, Springfield Variance, Georgetown Master Plan

The City of Dunwoody's October E-Newsletter is out. To view it - click here or on the photo above.

Stream Buffer Variance

Tonight the City of Dunwoody's Zoning Board of Appeals will hear from Springfield neighbors Laura & Ben Hogan as the seek a stream buffer variance to allow for a very nice addition to their home at 4800 Summerford Dr. The city is recommending to the board that the variance be denied. However, the city, in its report, appears to have made a couple of significant mistakes concerning the addition. In the city's recommendation, it says the addition will be constructed within 25 feet of the stream (and I use the word stream lightly as water is only present in the "ditch" when it rains). According to the plans, the addition would be no closer than the current structure, which is approximately 55 feet. Huge difference. Also the addition does not include a massive patio within the boundary of the stream buffer (75 feet from any stream). The plans call for the patio to be outside the buffer and much smaller than reported by the city.

The way I see it, allowing the Hogan's addition is a "no-brainer" for Springfield residents. It not only increase the value of the neighborhood, but it does not encroach on any neighbor’s property and it does not compromise the characteristics of the neighborhood.

If you agree and have the time, please email the Zoning Board of Appeals (which the board welcomes) at and/or come to tonight's hearing at 7:00 PM in the Council Chambers of Dunwoody City Hall, which is located at 41 Perimeter Center East, Dunwoody, Georgia 30346.

Georgetown Meeting

The City of Dunwoody held its 2nd public workshop on the Georgetown/North Shallowford Master Plan last night at Peachtree Charter Middle School. About 60 residents were in attendance. The meeting started with a summary of the survey residents completed during the first meeting last month. There was a total of 94 surveys. Councilman John Heneghan has posted all the results on his Dunwoody North blogsite. Click here for the 84-page Powerpoint presentation of the survey and how residents responded to a series of pictures - asked to score between 1-to-5 on what they would like the Georgetown/North Shallowford area to look like in the future. The presentation gets very interesting starting with slide 12.

After this summary, those in attendance broke into four groups of 10-15 people. Each group sat at a table with a facilitator. They were asked to place, within the Georgetown district, where they would like to see senior housing, residential housing mix use, civic buildings, and open space.

Looking at the results afterward, it was surprising to see the consistency among the four groups. Most favored senior housing (independent living, empty-nester type housing) in the area near the Atrium because of its proximity to Kroger and other shopping, or where the old Shallowford hospital was located.

Most saw civic buildings including city hall/police station in the pipe-farm area. Also, most wanted bike lanes and better pedestrian amenities along the major roadways. Many of the areas within the district were deemed to be long-term redevelopment opportunities because of current ownership. An example of this was the Georgia Power property and the old Shallowford School, which DeKalb County School System has showed no interest in selling. These areas were dismissed as being on any short-term redevelopment wish list.


Anonymous said...

"However, the city, in its report, appears to have made a couple of significant mistakes concerning the addition."

Bob - your statement comes as no surprise. Ask anyone who has interfaced with the Community Development Department on these kind of Code and variance issues and projects. Our Community Development staff has made significant mistakes in carrying out its duties since day one. Some mistakes are clerical missteps; others are more serious with improper interpretations and/or overlooking specific provisions of Dunwoody Code requirements.

In my personal opinion, we've become worse than Dekalb County was in this specific area. Clark Patterson Lee is the contractor running Community Development and needs to be replaced at the next contract renewal date. It's time for our elected officials to stop sloughing it off as "growing pains."

Rick said...

how did it go a the ZBA Bob?

John Heneghan said...

Audio video equipment discussion is on the City Council agenda for Monday.

Someday soon we will be able to watch all major city meetings from the comfort of our own home live as it happens and/or at our lesiure. I am really looking forward to that day.

Bob Fiscella said...

Rick - the ZBA heard from the city, yet by vote of 7-0 granted the Hogan's their variance. It was great to see common sense rule the day!

Rick said...


Perhaps me & the city can share video resources once my public access TV show launches. You can be one our first guests.


John Heneghan said...

Bob, ever notice that you rarely see me on the city council videos?

I have a face more suited to radio therefore I will gracefully decline your your generous offer.

Bob Fiscella said...

John - I could make a comment about some of the other faces we do see, but I have a feeling it wouldn't be taken in the vain in which it is said.

And with that Rick - you know I still do a little TV. Will there be an online application soon?

Rick said...


I see you now and then on TV, plus a couple of the radio sports jocks drop your name here and there. Chip is already under contract for in-house co-anchor but we will need some support staff as well. We plan on live remotes once a month at festivals and other public gatherings - that may be your sweet spot.

Bob Fiscella said...

Rick - I'd love to get a crack at some of Chip's responsibilities. But I'll have my agent contact you!