Wednesday, August 27, 2014

McDonald's to Dunwoody Village?

Currently there are four McDonald's fast-food restaurants in Dunwoody: 

1.  Ashford Dunwoody by the mall (a fancy design and very busy location)
2.  Mt. Vernon/TillyMill/Dunwoody Club intersection  (gets a daily beat-down by Chick fil a)
3.  Wal-Mart (inside)
4.  Cotillion Drive in Georgetown area (busy, off of 285 exit ramp)

Is a 5th on the way?

As most of you know, Hickory House is closed and now for sale. The property will be sold to the highest bidder, via a closed envelope bid process.  May the deepest pockets win.  Old Hickory House had a drive-in window at some point in time, so the lot is most likely approved for a drive-thru.  

If it becomes official that a McDonald's buys the lot, it will take under one minute for the following demands to be made by people who don't own the McDonald's and won't eat at the McDonald's:

1. no drive thru
2. two bike racks
3. back-lit signs only
4. no golden arches
5. no drive thru 
6. close at 10 PM
7. donate to my school's team/club
8. no drive thru
9. senior discounts
10. can I have a car wash here since BK closed?

With an estimated sale price of above $700,000, don't look for a small mom and pop diner or fruity cafe to replace Old Hickory House.  This is prime real estate on Dunwoody's Main Street.  If you buy that lot and and pay big bucks for it, you'll need high volume and traffic to recoup your investment.  And nothing says volume like a Big Mac.  

A McDonald's here could do well.  First, it will offer free WiFi for those too cheap or too poor to buy their own WiFi. I've seen people camp out at Starbucks for hours at a time, using the place as their personal office - all for the cost of a small short Fizzio soda.  Imagine the backpack guy sitting alone in a booth (a booth designed for four people, but hey, a guy needs some office space) for a few hours, nursing a coffee.  And a McDonald's is great for the old guy crowd.  The BP gas station posse may even sneak over once a week.  Old people seem to enjoy McDonald's.  

The tween crowd is not that much into McDonald's.  They like to hang out at Panera, Starbuck's, and Village Burger.  I doubt the cool factor includes Mickey D's.  How about the 10 and under crowd?  Will Dunwoody moms (you can order a Dunwoody Mom T-shirt via dunwoody.queen@gmail.com) take their kids?  Maybe.

Note: Don't confuse the NEW "Dunwoody Mom" shirts for sale with this original from a few years ago:
This shirt is NOT the shirts for sale

As we learned when Walgreen's briefly considered going 24 hours in da Vil, there is no rule saying you can't be open 24 hours a day.  How do you feel about a 24/7 McDonald's?  How about a colonial Williamsburg designed McDonald's.

http://chronicle.augusta.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/superphoto/editorial/images/spotted/31/310018.jpg
If McDonald's does buy this property the DunwoodyStaff will need to add some words to our DT dictionary.  We already have ideas to work in terms such as McFarmHouzer, McWoody, and McDonaldson-Chesnut-Spruill Farm-fresh egg McMuffin.

The price range for a McDonald's property ranges from $500,000 to $2.5 million and has a 4,000 square foot building on a 1.1 acre lot.  The Hickory House lot is only .8 acres.  The minimum lot size for a McDonald's is .75 acres so the space is okay for a smaller footprint McDonald's.

A McDonald's would most likely be the death of the neighboring Burger King.  How that Burger King stays open is a mystery.  They have a decent 'ladder on the truck/van' crowd for lunch, but not much else.  On a side note, are there no Burger Kings in Sandy Springs?  Why do clubs and teams from North Springs High School use the Dunwoody Burger King for fundraisers?  I know they have dirty cars over by North Springs, I see them often. 



Will the BP Posse relocate to a McDonald's?



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Property Rights Mean Nothing in Dunwoody?

By a 6-1 vote Dunwoody's city council voted to deny a landowner from sub-dividing his property. Where are our local Tea Party an Liberty Party folks?  The Red Shirt Posse won a spot on council last election - did they see their man waffle and crumble and vote against property rights?  Come on Councilman R., where's that Tea Party stance?  Norb and the gang must be disappointed.  I know everyone on council and they all are great people, but they got this one wrong.

Last night the city council voted to stop a property owner from sub-dividing a lot.  The lot owner in Dunwoody Club Forest has a large lot, over 38,000 square feet.  The plan is to create two lots, each approximately 19,000 square feet.  These newly created lots would not be the smallest lots in Dunwoody Club Forest.  You can go the Dunwoody's GIS web site and use the measuring tool and find quite a few lots in the .4 acre range.  And you'll find lots a lot bigger as well.  The average lot in DCF is reportedly to be 24,000 sq feet (approx), so the new lots are smaller than average, but not the smallest.

The houses that will be were to be might be built would have a higher value than many homes in DCF, perhaps worth more than most.  But DCF homeowners are not focused on home value; they are focused on maintaining the character of the neighborhood.  Most seem to oppose the in-fill and a large new home on a smaller lot.

What happens when lots are subdivided?  Do newer, more expensive homes in the neighborhood equal higher values for existing homes? Not necessarily.  If you own a well-maintained home with some upgrades and renovations, your home value would not be harmed by new homes nearby.  For those whose homes have not been maintained or updated or renovated, then your home most likely declines in value if lot sub-dividing occurs often.   Your home value drops and only your lot has value.  Prospective buyers view your lot as a blank slate and the tearing the home down is another expense on the way to building something new.  Sad in a way, but is it the Government's role to control supply and demand for residential lots in Dunwoody Club Forest? Is it city council's job to protect you (your home value) from newer homes on lots that still meet the zoning requirements?  If you believe it is the city's role to protect your home value, then you should be opposed to every new home application in Dunwoody.  You should have stuck around last night and opposed the rezoning for the 55 condos.  You should have shown up and opposed the new fancy homes going to be built across from the Vermack pool (home to the world-champion Vermack Viking swim team).

The DCF case and council decision is about mob rule.  The mob opposes the subdivide and the elected officials (6 of 7) agreed with the mob.  There was no rezoning decision last night.  The new lots met the city's definition for DCF's zoning class. No rules were broken (the order in which the paperwork was submitted was a technical issue that could have been corrected quite easily) and no one suffered any harm.  No water run-off issues occurred and no setbacks were violated.  

The case came down to securing votes for future elections and a few words in a city document that says, "in a manner compatible with existing development'.  Now that's a loose set of words for sure.  Is building a $700,000 home in a neighborhood with homes valued from $400,000 to over $1 million compatible?  Is building a home on a 19,000 square foot lot compatible with some neighboring homes built on 18,000 square foot lots?

Would I want the subdivide if I owned a home there?  Probably not, unless I too planned on selling my lot at some point in the future.  The victory is one for the homeowners in Dunwoody Club Forest.  The defeat belongs to the property owner, property owners throughout Dunwoody, and the taxpayers. This case is probably headed to court, and the city will pay to defend its position that property rights are inferior to its own personal opinions on what is compatible. Taxpayers will pay the price either way this shakes out.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Nancy Jester for DeKalb Commissioner

We know, it's a bit early to start talking about candidates, but we here at DunwoodyTalk would love to see Nancy Jester as our next DeKalb District 1 commissioner.  She did a great job exposing financial issues within DeKalb's school system, and it seems that skill is needed at the county commission.

The existing county commissioners won't want her there, investigating spending and contracts, so look for people outside of District 1 to support candidates not willing to take a stand for the taxpayers.

We support Nancy Jester for DeKalb County Commissioner, District 1. Looks like the special election will be on the November ballot.

O.C.G.A. § 21-2-540

GEORGIA CODE
Copyright 2014 by The State of Georgia
All rights reserved.

*** Current Through the 2014 Regular Session ***

TITLE 21.  ELECTIONS  
CHAPTER 2.  ELECTIONS AND PRIMARIES GENERALLY  
ARTICLE 14.  SPECIAL ELECTIONS AND PRIMARIES GENERALLY; MUNICIPAL TERMS OF OFFICE

O.C.G.A. § 21-2-540  (2014)

§ 21-2-540.  Conduct of special elections generally 


   (a) Every special election shall be held and conducted in all respects in accordance with the provisions of this chapter relating to general elections; and the provisions of this chapter relating to general elections shall apply thereto insofar as practicable and as not inconsistent with any other provisions of this chapter. All special elections held at the time of a general election, as provided by Code Section 21-2-541, shall be conducted by the poll officers by the use of the same equipment and facilities, so far as practicable, as are used for such general election.

(b) At least 29 days shall intervene between the call of a special primary and the holding of same, and at least 29 days shall intervene between the call of a special election and the holding of same. The period during which candidates may qualify to run in a special primary or a special election shall remain open for a minimum of two and one-half days. Special elections which are to be held in conjunction with the presidential preference primary, a state-wide general primary, or state-wide general election shall be called at least 90 days prior to the date of such presidential preference primary, state-wide general primary, or state-wide general election; provided, however, that this requirement shall not apply to special elections held on the same date as such presidential preference primary, state-wide general primary, or state-wide general election but conducted completely separate and apart from such state-wide general primary or state-wide general election using different ballots or voting equipment, facilities, poll workers, and paperwork. Notwithstanding any provision of this subsection to the contrary, special elections which are to be held in conjunction with the state-wide general primary or state-wide general election in 2014 shall be called at least 60 days prior to the date of such state-wide general primary or state-wide general election.

(c) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a special primary or special election to fill a vacancy in a county or municipal office shall be held only on one of the following dates which is at least 29 days after the date of the call for the special election:

      (A) In odd-numbered years, any such special election shall only be held on:

         (i) The third Tuesday in March;

         (ii) The third Tuesday in June;

         (iii) The third Tuesday in September; or

         (iv) The Tuesday after the first Monday in November; and

      (B) In even-numbered years, any such special election shall only be held on:

         (i) The third Tuesday in March; provided, however, that in the event that a special election is to be held under this provision in a year in which a presidential preference primary is to be held, then any such special election shall be held on the date of and in conjunction with the presidential preference primary;

         (ii) The date of the general primary; or

         (iii) The Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

   (2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a special election to present a question to the voters shall be held only on one of the following dates which is at least 29 days after the date of the call for the special election:

      (A) In odd-numbered years, any such special election shall only be held on the third Tuesday in March or on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November; and

      (B) In even-numbered years, any such special election shall only be held on:

         (i) The date of and in conjunction with the presidential preference primary if one is held that year;

         (ii) The date of the general primary; or

         (iii) The Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

   (3) The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to:

      (A) Special elections held pursuant to Chapter 4 of this title, the "Recall Act of 1989," to recall a public officer or to fill a vacancy in a public office caused by a recall election; and

      (B) Special primaries or special elections to fill vacancies in federal or state public offices.

(d) Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, the superintendent of each county or municipality shall publish the call of the special election.

(e) Candidates in special elections for partisan offices shall be listed alphabetically on the ballot and may choose to designate on the ballot their party affiliation. The party affiliation selected by a candidate shall not be changed following the close of qualifying.

HISTORY: Code 1933, §§ 34-806, 34-1314, enacted by Ga. L. 1964, Ex. Sess., p. 26, § 1; Ga. L. 1969, p. 308, § 35; Ga. L. 1969, p. 329, § 8A; Ga. L. 1984, p. 1, § 14; Ga. L. 1984, p. 638, § 3; Ga. L. 1986, p. 382, § 6; Ga. L. 1986, p. 1538, § 3; Ga. L. 1991, p. 316, § 1; Ga. L. 1994, p. 1406, § 27; Ga. L. 1996, p. 145, § 21; Ga. L. 1997, p. 590, § 42; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 240, §§ 43, 44; Ga. L. 2005, p. 253, § 64/HB 244; Ga. L. 2008, p. 131, § 1/HB 296; Ga. L. 2010, p. 914, § 25/HB 540; Ga. L. 2012, p. 995, §§ 41, 42/SB 92; Ga. L. 2014, p. 1, § 8/HB 310.

CV Classic 5K at Dunwoody's Peachtree Middle School October 18

Peachtree Charter Middle School 5th Annual CV Classic Saturday, October 18th, 8:00 am - 10:00 am This Year's Theme: COMMIT 2B Fit



Join us at the 5th Annual CV Classic here at Peachtree Charter Middle School (PCMS).  Both courses will start and end on the PCMS track.  5K begins at 8:00 am and 1 mile Run/Walk begins at 8:30 am.

As part of our theme "Commit 2B Fit", Northside Hospital is offering FREE screenings for persons over 18.


Registration forms are available at http://www.peachtreechartermiddleschool.org/cv-classic-registration---2014.html.






Individual registration is $20 by September 5, $25 Sept 6-Oct 18; family sponsorships are available for $100 (includes two registrations). All proceeds will go to the PCMS Foundation to provide a school nurse for our students.

Race Number Pickup: Thursday Oct 16th from 4-6 PM, Friday Oct 17th 10am - 2pm in PCMS gym. Race numbers are also available day of event starting at 7am.

Parking available at Peachtree and neighboring Chesnut Elementary. 


CV Classic runners

Sponsor & Celebrity Ribbon Cutting CV Classic 2013

2013 winners with Coach G