Sunday, February 12, 2012

PVC Farm highlights DHA Meeting, Update from Nancy Jester

Discussion on the future of the 16-acre PVC Farm was one of the main topic at Sunday night's Dunwoody Homeowners Association meeting.
If you believe a "leak" from a special called executive session of the Dunwoody City Council on February 3, the city is in discussions with developer John Wieland concerning the sale of the property.  While the "leaker" needs to be dealt with accordingly (fired immediately), the question being asked is why is the city holding an executive session on this matter?  The parcel of land being discussed is owned by the city (the citizens of Dunwoody), and thus the public should be made fully aware of council's intentions (remember, when this land was originally purchased, we were told, directly, that it would become a park on more than one occasion by more than one person.
And why is the city in discussions only with Wieland?  Not that there is anything wrong with Wieland, a quality builder, but if the land is to be sold to a developer, shouldn't it be put up for bid?  Highest and Best?  Regardless of who it is sold to, the city controls the zoning on the property, so we really don't have to be concerned with a project that doesn't fit the master plan (or high density).  And hopefully, the city will reserve four or five acres as a park.

The DHA also heard a presentation for Wellstreet Urgent Care, which plans a $1.3 million dollar renovation of the old Blockbuster next to the BP at the intersection of Mt. Vernon and Chamblee Dunwoody.  While Wellstreet has a wonderful-looking rendering of its building, it wants a variance for its proposed signage, asking for more than double the allowable size.
By unanimous vote, the DHA supports the current codes for the Dunwoody Village Overlay District, and city signage.  My guess is the city will follow suit, and Wellstreet will be denied its variance, at least as presented to the DHA.  By the way, Wellstreet is planning a facility that will service 70-80 patients per day, seven days a week.  Good luck to Wellstreet, but I'm a big supporter of Dunwoody Urgent Care.  My experiences with DUC and Dr. Casey Locarnini has been nothing short of exceptional!

Update from Nancy Jester

The following was sent by our DeKalb County school board member Nancy Jester via email on Sunday evening.

As you probably know, the DeKalb House delegation met last week to consider the reapportionment and, pursuant to SB79, reduction of the DeKalb County Board of Education. I was in attendance at their meeting and you can view the video posted on John Heneghan's blog by clicking here. It's an interesting and enlightening view of the Body Politic that is the legislative delegation from DeKalb.

The subcommittee of the delegation presented a 5-member map as their sole recommendation but could not garner enough signatures for approval.

I must note that it was inaccurate for any of the Representatives to state that they had not received maps from board members. Just as with the county commissioners, individual board members presented maps to the subcommittee and Representatives within the delegation. I was in attendance at a public meeting where Mr. Womack (BOE rep., district 4) and Mr. McChesney (BOE rep., district 2) presented maps to the subcommittee. Furthermore, I have presented a map that was endorsed by three BOE representatives.

As I stated last year during the discussion surrounding SB79, I was concerned about the mechanics of shrinking the BOE. I asked repeatedly for guidance on how this was to be accomplished. I saw conflicting legal requirements that would make it difficult to accomplish the goals of those advancing this idea. Furthermore, I disagreed (based on important statistical distinctions) with the thesis that a smaller board will somehow be a "better" board in DeKalb. But, in the political realm, this was a "win" for legislators despite the complexity. As predicted, we are now faced with the difficulties and unintended consequences of last year's legislative actions.

Please note that I still believe that the map that is placed on my website (click here to view it) is best map for DeKalb. I have worked on an alternative map that combines some of the attributes of a map presented by Reps. Oliver and Benfield (OB map) with my original map. Click here to go to my blog to view this updated map.

Here are just a few of the reasons I believe that my alternative map (TJ map) is an improvement to the OB map:

  • The TJ map is the most likely to pass judicial scrutiny and compliance testing based on the traditional redistricting principles of "compactness" and "dispersion". The districts in our map are more compact than those of the OB map and represent a low dispersion quality. They will have more favorable compliance numbers on both the Plosby-Popper scale and Reock/convex hull measurements.
  • High School attendance lines (the main design feature of the OB map) change and schools close. The DCSS planning department has stated that redistricting for school zones will occur more frequently than in the past. If we are building districts on the current attendance areas, they will soon be incongruent with each other.
  • It complies with SB79.
  • It keeps communities of interest united.
Please email your legislators once again and ask them to support the TJ map.

Late breaking news: Sen. Millar has developed a bill to delay the implementation of SB79 so that the complex issues surrounding it can be worked out. Stayed tuned...

As always, I am available if you have any questions or concerns.


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