Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Another School Redistricting Meeting Tonight?

So are you ready for another DeKalb County School redistricting?  Well, there's a meeting by the DeKalb County Delegation tonight to address redistricting (details above).   But take a deep breath.  The meeting concerns redistricting off the DCSS school board representatives and not the students.  Apparently the delegation will also take up the issue of reducing the size of the school board from nine to seven.  For more on this evening "surprise" meeting, read Dunwoody Farmer Bob.  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Real Estate Update

My listing in Dunwoody North, one of 50 single family homes in Dunwoody under contract.
This week my Keller Williams office here in Dunwoody, which is part of the Rawls Group of KW offices, released its proprietary numbers for the 4th quarter of 2011 (thanks to the resources of our of managing broker Shaun Rawls, I have little doubt our numbers are more in depth and accurate than any other real estate company in the city). 
According to the numbers, in the metro Atlanta area, there were 15.1 percent more homes sales in the 4th quarter of 2011 than in the 4th quarter of 2010.   In Dunwoody, the increase was even greater.
In the 30338 and 30360 zip codes, 51 single-family homes sold in the 4th quarter, up from 31 homes in the 4th quarter of 2010.  However, the median sales price dropped from $314,000 to $306,000, which is less of a drop than most cities in the metro area experienced.  But the bottom does appear to be very near (we really won't know it until it's in our rear view mirror).
Is now the time to put your home on the market?  Absolutely.  Especially if you are "moving up."  Not only are interest rates at historic lows (call Randy Lipp of Starkey for a rate quote), but the money you will save on the purchase of a higher-priced home, will make all the difference.  In other words, you'll give a little, but get a lot in return!

There currently are 147 active single family homes listed in Dunwoody (30338, 30360), priced from $94,900 to $1,200,000, with an additional 50 homes under contract.  The 3-to-1 ratio is very promising.

To view any of the active listings with photos, click on the top link below.  To view in a line item report, click on the bottom link.

If you have any questions about buying or selling a home, or know someone who does, please give me a phone call at 404.644.5220, or send me an email at bobfiscella@kw.com.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dognapping in Dunwoody

I didn't know if you'd see this story otherwise, but these are truly the "dog days of Dunwoody!"

By Alexis Stevens

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

This 2-month-old Maltese puppy is a sibling
 to the dog that was stolen
How much is that doggy in the window? Police in Dunwoody say a man didn't bother to find out. The man allegedly ran out of the Petland store on Ashford Dunwoody Road with a 2-pound Maltese puppy worth $1,800.

The suspect initially told store employees he planned to buy the puppy as a gift, and they let him hold it. When a store worker turned away, the man allegedly dashed out of the store and into a waiting car Sunday afternoon.
“I hear, ‘Someone just stole a puppy!'" Geoff Campbell, the store's sales manager, told the AJC Tuesday. “Our doors were closed, but he banged them, and that’s what got everyone’s attention."
Two store employees ran after the man, who identified himself as "Romeo," but weren't able to catch him, Campbell said.
Two store employees ran after the man, who identified himself as "Romeo," but weren't able to catch him, Campbell said.

"He had a pretty good start," Campbell said. "He had a car waiting around the corner, and he got in and took off.”
Click Dunwoody dognapping to read full story.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Big Turnout for City's Open House on Much-Needed Road Project

Crowded room at St. Patricks for City Open House.
It was fabulous to see the great turnout for Thursday evening's open house at St. Patrick's Church on North Peachtree concerning the improvements to the Tilly Mill/N. Peachtree/Peeler intersection

I commend the city for hosting the open house, and city council 1.0 for putting this project on the agenda.  My question is - why did it take so long?  And do we really have to wait until the fall of 2013, at the earliest, before the project breaks ground?  If so, how long will it take to get a turn lane on Mt. Vernon?

I understand the estimated cost of construction is $1.6 million and the city doesn't have the funding to start the project any sooner.  I get that.  But maybe if we didn't spend $1.44 million on the Peachford Rd. extension - what's now being called the "road to nowhere" - maybe the city could start construction tomorrow?  Or yesterday?
The Peachford Rd. extension will someday be part of the redevelopment of Georgetown.  But the Tilly Mill/N. Peachtree/Peeler intersection has been a mess for years, and should have been addressed long before now.  One of the reasons Mike Davis was elected mayor is because he gets it.  Said Davis upon being elected, “we need to work on our priority list. We need to start at number one, then number two, then number three…not go to number 27 because we have a bunch of money burning a hole in our pockets.”  
This project is a great example of starting at No.1.

While on road projects ...

One of my pet peeves is the rare occasions in which I have to drive my daughter to school at Dunwoody Elementary.  I know it's not a priority of the city to fix the traffic disaster that is "morning drive" on Womack Rd. (not to mention afternoon drive), but man-o-man is it chaos!
Round trip from my house to the school is 1.9 miles.  On Thursday morning that trip took 32 minutes.  And that's an improvement from the last time I had to do it in December!  In case you're keeping score, I averaged less than four mph.  I think I violated Dunwoody's anti-idling law on multiple occasions.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

City Meeting on N.Peachtree,Tilly Mill, Peeler Interchange

Public Information Meeting – Intersection Improvement

Courtesy of Councilman John Heneghan's Blog
The City of Dunwoody will be hosting a Public Information Meeting to discuss an intersection improvement at North Peachtree Road and Tilly Mill Road on Thursday,
January 19, 2012 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church
4755 North Peachtree Road

This will be an open house style meeting with no formal presentation. The proposed intersection improvements involve adding turning lanes to Tilly Mill Road, North Peachtree Road and Peeler Road to improve safety and reduce traffic congestion.
This project was identified as a high priority project in the city’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan.
For more information or if you have any questions, please contact the Public Works Department at 678-382-6850 or public.works@dunwoodyga.gov.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Parents Night at Dunwoody Elementary, Murphey Candler Spring Softball

Dunwoody Elementary School is hosting a Prospective Parents night on THURSDAY, JANUARY 19th at 6:30 p.m. in the school cafeteria.

Parents of rising Pre-K and Kindergarten students as well as any parents interested in learning more about Dunwoody Elementary School are invited to attend. You will have the opportunity to meet our principal, assistant principals and PTO representatives as well as learn more about our school and take a short tour of our beautiful building.
We look forward to sharing our school with everyone!

Murphey Chandler Spring Softball

Registration for Girls Softball at Murphey Candler closes on January 22.  If you have interest in signing up your daughter, click on Murphey Candler Softball.  My daughter is entering her third season at Murphey Candler, and she has had a fabulous time!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Annual DHA Meeting - Worth Your Time

The Dunwoody Homeowners Association is holding its annual meeting at 2 pm Sunday at Dunwoody United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall.  If you are a homeowner in Dunwoody, I believe it is worth your time to attend (especially now that the Falcons have been eliminated from the post-season and will not be playing opposite the meeting). 
I believe there is a lot of misconception about the DHA and what it does.  I certainly had my thoughts about the organization before becoming an active board member.  I thought it was stodgy bunch of senior citizens that cared little about anyone's opinion but its own, and was hell-bend on keeping its firm vision of Dunwoody intact. 
I was wrong.  The DHA is made up of a diverse 28-member board whose sole purpose is to look out for the best interest of the homeowners. All the homeowners - not just those in Dunwoody Club Forest or homes zoned to Austin and Vanderlyn. 

Bill Grossman, DHA president

The board consist of members who were in favor of the city as well as those against; those who voted for the parks' bonds and those against; those who feel a Chick-fil-A is a welcomed addition to Williamsburg and those who don't. 
Monthy DHA meetings provide a forum to express opinions on issues facing homeowners.  Everyone who attends has the opportunity to have his/her voice heard.  Unlike city council meetings, DHA meetings are interactive.  While Sunday's meeting will not be interactive like the other 11 yearly meetings, I do feel you find it very informative and well worth your time.
I hope to see you on Sunday!

DHA President's Update
Presentation of Business of the Year award to Chamber of Commerce
Dunwoody Nature Center plans for 2012 and presentation of the Dave Adams award to Brent Walker, Parks Director: Alan Mothner
PCID, the next ten years: Donna Mahaffey
Presentation of the Citizen of the Year award to Pam Tallmadge
Dunwoody Police Dept. Community Involvement: Chief Billy Grogan
Presentation of Community Service awards to Ken Wright, Robert Wittenstein and Danny Ross
Remarks by Founding Mayor Ken Wright
Remarks by New Mayor Mike Davis

By laws update vote and Executive Committee election: Bill Robinson

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Council Meets, National Championship Game, the Falcons & Tebow

Dunwoody's new city council will hold its first regularly scheduled meeting at 7 pm Monday night.  It is a non-voting meeting, but with a robust agenda
Among the items to be discussed:  the 2012 capital paving plan, the five-year paving plan and the winter storm response plan (which will go a long way towards solving some of the issues that arose last year).   I encourage you to click on the links above provided by Councilman John Heneghan.  These plans are almost certain to affect you over the course of time.

Alabama, LSU clash in National Title Game

College football doesn't get any better than tonight's BCS National Title Game in New Orleans between the top-ranked LSU Tigers and the second-ranked Crimson Tide of Alabama.  This is a rematch, as LSU beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa, 9-6, in overtime on Nov. 5.  The game doesn't kickoff until a little after 8:30 pm ET, so if you plan on attending the council meeting, you may have to leave early to catch the opening kickoff.
I don't have a dog in the fight, I'm simply hoping for a competitive game that isn't decided until the final minute.  If I were a betting man, my money would be on LSU.  I feel the Tigers offensive talent is more capable of putting points on the scoreboard.  For what is it worth, I think LSU wins 21-17 (sorry, Mr. Cranky Pants - I know you are pulling hard for the Tide)!

Falcons Season Ends, Tebow's Broncos advance

While college football doesn't get any better than Monday night, the Atlanta Falcons can't get much worse than Sunday when they were bounced out of the playoffs 24-2 by the New York Giants.  For all the hype that surrounds this team and quarterback Matt Ryan, the Falcons have yet to win a playoff game with him behind center.  They are now 0-3.
Meantime, the highly-criticized Tim Tebow just keeps winning.  Tebow wrote the next chapter of his never-quit story by leading the Denver Broncos to an improbably 29-23 overtime victory over the heavily-favored Pittsburgh Steelers to advance to the next round.  Say what you want, but all the kid does is win, with style and grace.  I give the Broncos little chance of beating the Tom Brady-led New England Patriots this coming weekend, but I'm looking forward to Tebow proving me wrong!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Perimeter Mall Replaces Bloomingdale's; Last Season for Dunwoody's Seacrest on Idol?

By Peter Cox
Dunwoody Patch

Perimeter Mall moves quickly.
One day after Bloomingdale's announced it would be closing its Perimeter Mall store, Von Maur, an Iowa-based department store, made public its plans to move into the slot.
Von Maur, an upscale department store, will move into the mall and open in the fall of 2012, General Growth Properties, which owns Perimeter Mall, announced Thursday. 
Click DunwoodyPatch.com to read full story.

Last Season for Dunwoody's Ryan Seacrest on American Idol?

Rodney Ho
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Ryan Seacrest, with blond tips and Brian Dunkleman in tow, launched “American Idol” nearly ten years ago. Entering season 11, a much wealthier, darker-haired Seacrest is about to hit a crossroads.

His three-year, $45 million contract expires after this season. Is Seacrest ready to truly say, “Seacrest out?”

Hollywood Reporter speculates that given the show’s declining ratings trajectory (season 10 notwithstanding), he may have to take a pay cut to stick around. Simon Fuller, who was a big ally of Seacrest, the story noted, is no longer involved. Producers could pay a replacement significantly less, of course, than $15 million.  Click Ryan Seacrest to read full story.

Weekend Weather
Good news, bad news on the weather front this weekend.  Temperatures will heat up into the low 60s and Friday's forecast is outstanding!  However, there is a 40 percent chance for rain on Saturday and Sunday.  Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope the 60 percent chance of no rain prevails. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dunwoody Swears In New Council

Judge David Nahmias swears in new city council.
The Dunwoody City Council chamber had not seen a packed gathering like Tuesday night's since the great "Backyard Chicken Debate."   But unlike that hostile assembly, this one had mostly smiling faces as new Mayor Mike Davis and Councilors Terry Nall and Lynn Deutsch were sworn into office (Councilman John Heneghan was also sworn into office for a second term). 

View from the back standing next to CEO
 It was like a Who's Who's of Dunwoody, with Georgia Supreme Court Justice David Nahmias, a resident of the city, presiding over the ceremony.  Outgoing Mayor Ken Wright handed the gavel to the new mayor.  Also on hand, former mayoral candidate Bob Dallas, who's been nothing short of gracious in defeat - it would have been easy for Bob to skip the event.  State Representative Tom Taylor was in attendance, along with DeKalb Commissioner Elaine Boyer and her chief of staff Bob Lundsten.  And even DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis made the trek north (but arrived late and had to stand in the back of the jam-packed room, which seemed somewhat appropriate). 

The only piece of business was picking a mayor pro tem.  Not surprisingly, Councilman Denis Shortal got the unanimous support of the new council. 

The next council meeting is Monday night and it could be an interesting agenda.  I suspect at some point in time (but not Monday night), the new council will take a run at rescinding, or at the very least discussing, the vote by the previous council to narrow Dunwoody Village Parkway to two lanes.  The public appears lukewarm to the idea, at best.  You can include me in that group, as I really don't understand the $1+ million expenditure in city funds (plus another $1.4 million in grants).  Perhaps someone will educate me on why this makes sense for the city, especially at this juncture in time.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Council Swearing In; Sanitation Schedule

Mike Davis
Tuesday evening at 7 pm at City Hall, newly-elected Mayor Mike Davis and Councilors Terry Nall and Lynn Deutsch will take the oath of office (the ceremony is open to the public, click on the link for more information).  Congratulations to our new elected officials, but now the going gets tough.  As they say, you can't please everyone.  I expect the new council to be more pragmatic than the outgoing council.  Mike Davis is on record as saying, "we need to stop buying stuff and start fixing stuff."  Adds Terry Nall, "we need to separate the needs from the wants." 

Sanitation Schedule

According to the DeKalb County website, garbage and yard waste that is normally collected on Monday, will be collected on Tuesday.  Tuesday garbage and yard waste collection will be Wednesday.  Regular collection schedule will resume on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012.
No curbside recycling pick-up service this week.