Monday, July 11, 2011

July 11 Dunwoody Council Meeting

Watching the meeting online, but got a late start due to Monday at Moe's $5 burrito night and a quick trip to Publix.  I tuned in just in time to see the parks bond issue deferred.

Parks Bond
On Council's agenda the parks improvement bond ($33 million) and the land acquisition bond ($33 million) were lumped together as one (and would have been two choices on the ballot).  I think it was Robert W. who first suggested it be split apart for council's vote, allowing council the option to vote 'yes' for one or both parts.  Good idea and it looks like the language will be modified a bit.

A discussion on a contract to resurface some roads.  Heneghan suggests a joint venture whereas Dunwoody would continue to use the Doraville police dog, and in exchange Dunwoody would pave the part of Tilly Mill that touches PIB.  That piece of Tilly Mill is in Doraville.  The idea had some support from Thompson, but Wittenstein, Shortal, and Ross, in a rare sign of agreement, disagreed with Heneghan.  All three emphasized that too many Dunwoody roads need paved and no way should we pave one foot in Doraville.  City manager agreed with Heneghan and said although the road is Doraville, the adjoining properties are in Dunwoody.  Sorry Doraville, pave your own road.  Don't be surprised if the Doraville dog is suddenly unavailable next time the request is put in for its services.  Perhaps Dunwoody should stop buying Segways and four-wheelers and buy a trained Belgian Malinois for a willing officer.  Probably less expensive. On a side note, if the city wants to do an IGA with Doraville, they should have investigated the Doraville 911 system in more detail than partnering with ChatComm.

Special Land Use for Piano Teacher
The next 'chicken' issue.  Danny Ross opened things up by stating that PianoLady is okay and this needs approved.  Most on council agree that the process (Special Land Use Permit) needs modified.  Look for PianoLady to win in two weeks at next meeting.

Wide Sidewalks in da Vill (Dunwoody Village)
Design Review Committee and Planning Commission and Community Council bickering over the width of future sidewalks in da Vill.  City staff and Community council say 12 feet, Planning Commission wants 8 feet wide.  Wittenstein mention planting fruit trees (he was part of the pear posse).  Then we heard a brief discussion of permeable surfaces, blah blah blah. Shortal makes a good point that fruit trees may not be best option for da Vill. 

Some guest speaker took to the mic and spoke about bike paths and ideal pedestrian walkways.  He mentioned Silver Comet trail and other bike trails.  He needs to be careful using those words in Dunwoody.  He agreed with 12-15 foot sidewalks.  I like how the speaker kept saying "Main Street", referring to da Vill area.  DunwoodyTalk was first to suggest renaming Chamblee Dunwoody Road to Main Street.  All it takes is one property owner on Chamblee Dunwoody Road to bring the issue to council.  Come on, someone owning a home on Chamblee Dunwdooy Road needs to bring this issue to council.  Council needs something interesting to discuss this summer. Main Street should be from GA 400 down to '285'.

Imagine if a 12 foot sidewalk was planned for the horrible drive-thru (thanks DeKalb County for that wonderful zoning - a drive-thru with a two car queue at Dunwoody's busiest intersection) at Dunkin Donuts.  I think Dunkin' Donuts should move across the street to the old Blockbuster site.  The sidewalk discussion for da Vill is getting painful to watch, almost as boring as sign ordinance discussions.  The speaker is talking about some photos he has, but the city's online viewing (SIRE Public Access) is a one camera option.  I was hoping the $4 million spent on cameras and microphones that us online viewers would have a better experience.  Once I finish my public access TV show (nearly done with the pilot) maybe I'll contract with the city to do live TV broadcasts with Comcast.  BloggerBob can do the commentary and Sustainable Pattie (with a tripod) can operate a camera. 

Zoning Hearing Policy and Procedures
I had to top-off my Crystal Light Lemonade and Sky drink so I skipped this.  I doubt it matters to anyone.

Illegal Signs
"Dunwoody Singles", "We Buy  Houses", "Gutters Cleaned".  Dunwoody has an 800 page sign ordinance yet our streets and utility pools are littered with garbage signs.  These sign folks know they can put anything on a street after 4 PM Friday and it stays until Monday.  I think the city needs to deputize me and about 100 others and allow us to remove illegal signs (after a training session with Tom).  Warren mentioned that "street sweeps" will happen on Saturday mornings. Mayor mentioned that residents can dispose of illegal signs in the right-of-way. I still want deputized by Tom, just to be safe.

Crosswalk on Tilly Mill
Heneghan plugging for crosswalk on Tilly Mill and Binghamton Drive.  King John talked as to the unsafe nature of the area.  On a side note, kids need to beware of crosswalks.  They can present a false sense of security.  Advise your kid not to cross until cars stop. There is one on Chamblee Dunwoody Road near Redfield and no cars (except those living in the immediate area) stop at the crosswalk.  Crosswalks are great, but drivers rarely stop at them when a kid is waiting to cross.  The tale spun by Heneghan can be applied to dozens of streets across the Smart City.  As soon as you leave the subdivision streets, it gets very dangerous for pedestrians all over the city (except the PCID, who has done a great job with sidewalks).  If Heneghan wins this battle, I'll be bugging District 1 guys (Shortal and Wittenstein) for a lighted crosswalk at Chamblee Dunwoody Road at Spalding.

Farmer Bob has been bragging all over town about his tomatoes.  Good for him, he deserves a good tomato now and then after his dismal tomato season last summer.  The HOPE bed is thriving with hot peppers, soon to be plucked (note to food pantry posse, wait until they turn color before picking).  You have something that has four legs instead of two legs eating your tomatoes?  Most likely a chipmunk or squirrel. Take a look here to a post from nearly one year ago. Hopefully a DunwoodyTalk reader will share the tomato love this week and save me from the Return of the $5 Tomato.  Pest control is easy if you have the right tools.

Unless something major happens this week my next post will center around gardening.  I'll also discuss why conservatives should be promoting the Sustainability issue (hint - go check out a copy of Backwoods Home magazine from the Dunwoody/DeKalb library.

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