Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day; DHA Meeting Reveals Survery Results; Sparks Controversy

DHA Survey

The Dunwoody Homeowners' Association recently sent an email survey to its 1,400 members concerning Chick-fil-A's plans to build a restaurant off Mt. Vernon at Dunwoody Club Dr.  At last night's monthly meeting, the DHA revealed the results of the survey, in which 310 DHA members responded to the seven questions.  Below are the Results.

1.  The E-mail request to participate in this Survey included links to view the complete application for Rezoning and the requests for Variances submitted to the City (of Dunwoody) by Chick-fil-A.  These links show the current site plan and the proposed site plan.  Did you review these Documents before starting this survey?
Yes      89.7%
No        10.3%

2.  The Jett Ferry, Mt. Vernon, Dunwoody Club commercial area contains three shopping centers.  How close do you live to this commercial node?
Within 500 yards     2.8%
Withing 1,000 yards   3.8%
Within 1 mile            28.8%
Over a Mile away    65.2%

3.  Two of the shopping centers bordering Jett Ferry in this commercial node are in the City of Dunwoody (the shopping center featuring Kroger is in Sandy Springs).  Do you support adding more fast food locations with drive-thrus to either of the shopping centers currently without them?
Yes     34.5%
No     16.0%
Maybe, depends on Who, What, Where    44.5%
I don't care     5.0%

4.  Chick-fil-A has started the application process with the City of Dunwoody for a rezoning to allow them to build a Chick-fil-A on the triangle at Dunwoody Club and Mt. Vernon.  This would replace the building where Blockbuser was located.  Do you support the rezoning of only that portion of the shopping center which contains the closed Blockbuster building and that portion of the lot East of the Dunwoody Club entrance from Neighborhood Shopping District to C-1 (commercial zoning) to allow for the construction of a fast food restaurant with a drive-thru as shown in the initial application (Neighborhood Shopping zoning does not allow restaurant drive-thrus)?
I don't care one way or another      1.3%
Yes to Chick-fil-A's request as submitted     69.7%
Yes to Chick-fil-A, but without a drive-thru     10.3%
I want Chick-fil-A here but not this particular site plan     4.8%
I'm unsure and need more information to decide      3.9%
No        10.0%

5.  Besides a rezoning of the eastern portion of the shopping center, Chick-fil-A has also applied for variances to our current zoning standards.  The main variances are to decrease the setback from the streets, decrease required landscaping coverage 60% to 80% and a decrease in parking requirements by approximately 70%.  The existing building will be torn down with no new entrances to the shopping center requested.  Do you support the granting of these variances in order to construct a new fast food restaurant with a drive-thru?
Yes   35.2%
No    17.7%
I'm unsure and need more information to decide    9.4%
I'd like to see a Chick-fil-A here, but I want the site to conform to the landscape and parking standards set by our city.       37.7%

6.  The City of Dunwoody recently adopted a Comprehensive Land Use Plan to guide redevelopment over the next decade.  Master plans are currently in development for two commercial nodes:  Dunwoody Village and the Georgetown area.  These Master Plans get more specific and go into more detail that the city-wide Comprehensive Plan.  Do you want the Dunwoody City Council to contract for a detailed master plan for that part of the Dunwoody Club, Jett Ferry, Mt. Vernon commercial node which is within the city limits?
Yes      43.0%
No    23.1%
I don't care    22.8%

7.  This is the first time the DHA membership has been polled on an issue via this method.  Do you think DHA should continue this manner of polling as needed in the future?
Yes       96.4%
No          1.0

Chick-fil-A's plans to build a restaurant at this location has become a source of heated debate, as was the case again at last night's DHA meeting.  Bob Lundsten, who's chief of staff for DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer, as well as a zoning guru, says bending the rules for Chick-fil-A could very well open-up the city to numerous lawsuits by other, less desireable businesses that want to come into Dunwoody.  However, others say the spot zoning, combined with serveral factors, will prevent that from happening. 
City of Dunwoody Councilman John Heneghan, Robert Wittenstein and Doug Thompson attended last night's meeting, soaking up the spirted debate.

DHA Welcomes Nancy Jester

DeKalb County School System board member Nancy Jester was at last night's meeting updating the DHA on the redrawing of attendance lines.  Among Nancy's thoughts, she said she had issues with the Jefferson Apartments seemingly being carved out of Dunwoody Elementary School and moved to Vanderlyn.  Said Jester, not necessarily speaking specifically about the Jefferson, "I don't think we should be in the business of social engineering.  I have an issue with that."  Nancy stressed that the lines have to make geographical sense adding, "a district that looks like Laos stops passing the smell test." 
Nancy also said that she has been told by DCSS officials that the old Chamblee Middle School on Chamblee Dunwoody Rd. near Shallowford Rd. and Peeler Rd. will be torn down.  She said DCSS is addressing that this year.  Councilman Wittenstein, partially tongue-in-cheek, said the city has no problem with DCSS donating the property to Dunwoody, which could turn the site into a park.   Wouldn't that be nice!


Dunwoody Mom said...

I'm glad to read that DCSS has decided to tear down that building. A total eye-sore!! The gym seems to still be in good shape and is being used by an outside organization. Is the gym slated to be torn down as well?

Bob Fiscella said...

Dunwoody Mom,
Good question. I don't know, if I get an answer - I'll pass it along.

Flashburger said...

I would like to ask Nancy this question -- if you are solely using geographical proximity as your criteria in redistricting, why wasn't the Jefferson redistricted to Austin (as it is closer to Austin than the Branches) and Oxford Chase placed in Kingsley (as it is closer to Kingsley than Vanderlyn)? Just curious.

ILuvFruityDrinks said...


Aside from proximity, the redistricting was to consider current district and try to be least disruptive. The Branches is already at Austin and Oxford Chase is already at Vanderlyn. And if you want to ask a question on redistricting send it to Tyson - she made the map, not Jester.

The Jefferson is closer to Austin thna Branches.

But who said Austin was the starting point? What if Tyson started at DES and worked her way out. She would get to the Jefferson before getting to the branches. Point being The jefferson is closer to DES than the Branches. Go Tigers!

Flashburger said...

I Love Fruity Drinks:
So it's okay to disrupt the kids from the Jefferson who already attend Vanderlyn, but not the kids who live in the Branches who already attend Austin? Also, the most logical starting point would probably be the Jefferson to see if it's closer to Austin or DES. As would the entrance to the Branches.

Bob Lundsten said...

The DHA poll was as unscientific as any poll could possible be.
When you start the questions with CHICK FIL A, everything from there on is biased, because... all togethe r now, we LOVE Chick Fil A, they are great corporate citizens .... blah blah blah.
The fact that every homewoner that lives with in 500 yards of the proposedwere AGAINST the the new fast food joint is the tellng sign.
Tell me who the "spot Zoning " coments were coming from.
Tell everyone to read the codes. BEtter yet publish my letter, typos and all.
Go ahead and build the Chick Fil A. But the the DHA stops doing its job and that is the protection of HOMEOWNERS rights.
Pretty easy to support a FF jont when you live You live down the hill in Brook Run and dont have to live with all the issues everyday of your life.
What the hell, while we are at it why dont we rezone all the houses across the street to C1 Better for business and more jobs.
We can close down the DHA and justbecome an affiliate of the Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce

Bryan Smith said...

Hopefully Dunwoody can acquire the site so that it can be used for something that benefits the community such as greenspace and not more new homes