Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Future Dunwoody and the Future of the Perimeter

Last month the Dunwoody Homeowner's Association discussed and voted on a zoning issue for a piece of property on Ashford Dunwoody Road.  The issue was/is a curb cut for restaurants and retail.  The curb cut may have a negative impact on traffic on Ashford Dunwoody Road.  The curb cut would most likely not directly impact homeowners in Dunwoody.  So, should the DHA be involved and take a stance on issues in the PCID?  Can the PCID police itself?  After all, the Perimeter area (PCID) is full of CEOs, CFOs, UFOs, and business tycoons.  Surely they know what is best for progress.  They know how to zone and manage the affairs in the Perimeter area.  They may not own a home here but they work here.

The DHA and its board is comprised of old people, middle-aged people, parents, and just average home-owners.  What do they know?  Surely they are out-classed and out-gunned by the CEOs.  "Let the Perimeter leaders do what they want.  They know what is best for Dunwoody" is what I've heard lately.  "Don't impose impact fees as that will scare away business" I was told during the past campaign.  "Impact fees are anti-business and so is the DHA", are some other comments.

But the truth is, the Perimeter does have an impact on homeowners now and that impact will increase more in upcoming decades.  The DHA does need to keep informed and does need to continue to voice its opinion on issues in the PCID. Our schools are impacted by growth.  Our police force and our zoning officers are impacted.  Developers tell us how very few children actually live in apartments and condos.  I suppose they never sat behind a 40-foot yellow beast unloading 60 kids at one stop.

The bisnow (Real Estate Now) sends out weekly emails and I suggest you sign up to receive these emails.  Here is part of a recent email blast:

We held our third annual Future of Central Perimeter last week where Kris (center, flanked by Seven Oaks' Bob Voyles and Cresa Partners' Billy Hobbs) offered his strong prediction for the submarket: "More money will be made in the Central Perimeter in the next 15 years than any other market in Atlanta, probably by a factor of two."

 It's the retail hub of the Southeast; the medical nexus of the Southeast; largest office market in Atlanta; and one of the most desirable neighborhoods for executives.

 It's the retail hub of the Southeast; the medical nexus of the Southeast; largest office market in Atlanta; and one of the most desirable neighborhoods for executives.
 Add to the fact you have transit and you have the making of what Hines Interests' John Heagy calls "the emergence of a new urban core... When you look at the generational swings that we're seeing in terms of where people want to work and people want to live, it's in markets like this," he told an audience of 300 at The Retreat at Perimeter Summit. "It's been a long time coming." And he says a demographic shift is at work: Boomers make up 26% of the workforce. By 2014, 36% of the workforce will be made up of the Millennials. By 2030, 75% of our workers will be Millennials. (And by 2060, 100% of seniors housing will be occupied by Millennials.)
 With 35,000 employees in Central Perimeter and 123,000 vehicles commuting there each day, traffic will always be a fact of life for the area, says Perimeter Community Improvement District's Yvonne Williams (center). But with four MARTA stations, a huge corporate branded environment—with names like UPS, Newell Rubbermaid, Cox and Airwatch—a $3B medical industry, and a focus on creating greenspace walking environments, Yvonne says the area has all the characteristics companies look for when seeking cities that will attract a strong workforce.
Creating Greenspace?  Did Yvonne Williams mention greenspace?  It appears so.  This is a new development.  Where will the PCID create this greenspace?  I can't find greenspace in the PCID's own "Envisioning A New Urban Center" document. Is the PCID building a park or simply trying to build a 12-foot concrete path to Brook Run?  Brook Run is a great place for apartment dwellers.  They can walk their dog(s) to the newly planned $145,000 dog park.  But these 'urban core' residents don't need to bring a baseball glove or a volleyball or a tennis racket because Dunwoody's largest park has no use for such devices.  If going to Brook Run you need:

a) a plastic glove/bag to scoop up your dog's poop.
b) a skate board
c) a sense of direction to walk back to your urban core because Brook Run is not a park for active adults and children.  It is a 5,000 year-old Big Forest Preserve wooded lot for the protection enjoyment of one flood-plain neighborhood to keep out the sounds of children and active adults.  And Brook Run will soon be home to the Metro Atlanta Dog Park.People from all over Atlanta will drive in cars here so their dogs can poop and pee on Dunwoody dirt.  We should be so proud to soon have a new Urban Core and the Metro Atlanta Dog Park.  The Dunwoody P.R. Department needs to get the word out.

I look forward to attending a PCID event where Yvonne announces a new park (greenspace).  Perhaps the PCID will also soon announce an elementary school or a cooperation with the local schools and become a true partner to Dunwoody.

Should the DHA and city council members and the mayor get in line with the PCID and agree that the New Urban Core / aka the TOD (Transit Oriented Development) is the future for Dunwoody?  Or do we not allow any new residential development that is not owner occupied and  multi-family?

Perhaps at Food Truck Thursday there will be a new vendor, the Purina Chuck Wagon.  They can help promote the Metro Atlanta Dog Park.



This week's The Dunwoody Crier has an article on a similar issue HERE.

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