Friday, July 24, 2015

Millennials Will Not Always Live in Apartments

Lots of cities and counties in metro Atlanta keep talking about millennials and their desire to live beside a MARTA station, ride a bike on the street, and live in a 1,200 square foot apartment, surrounded by other millennials.

Sandy Springs has seen a huge growth in apartments.  Take a drive down near Costco and the Peachtree-Dunwoody Road Publix and you'll see the stick built units, lots of them.  It's almost as though Sandy Springs political folks forgot that today's shiny, new apartment will soon become a not-so-desirable apartment, and the city's high crime area.  it's a repeating cycle.  You can't show me one apartment complex in Atlanta that looks better now than when it was built.  Single family neighbors do improve over time as trees mature and the sense of community grows.  Well, the folks in Sandy Springs are slowing things down a bit.  They now have a moratorium on permits for new apartments in C1 and C2 zoning areas.  Mayor Randy Paul is taking heat from many voters (homeowners) and perhaps this was a factor in the moratorium.  Read about the Sandy Springs issue HERE.

DunwoodyTalk had a post about a year ago on a similar moratorium in 2014, HERE.

The apartment/PCID issue is nothing new.  Here's a piece written in 2011. This post discusses the PCID and its quest for higher density.

PCID Removes Jobs to Housing Ratio from Report

Prior to the incorporation of the City of Dunwoody, developers, DeKalb County, and the PCID took advantage of zoning loopholes and slammed the DeKalb section of the PCID with apartments while the Fulton County (Sandy Springs) grabbed new business tenants.  My vision is for the DeKalb section of the PCID to receive new businesses only - we have enough apartments on the books.  If the PCID wants more multi-family housing, let Sandy Springs have it.  We need jobs in Dunwoody, not apartments.  

A couple of weeks ago I posted information regarding the MARTA Villages planned for Dunwoody and Sandy Springs.  At the Dunwoody Council meeting two weeks ago, where the PCID plan was briefly discussed, at least one council member mentioned he did not like Jobs to Apartment mix suggested by the PCID.  He attempted to negotiate a better (I suppose better is the word) ratio.  The suggestion was lower than the current 9.25 but higher than the proposed 6.3 in 15 years.

I have an idea for council - how about insisting the PCID KEEP it at the 9.25?

The PCID has taken a different approach.  They've decided to take the Jobs/Apartment ratio out of their LCI update.  Brilliant. 

By taking out the jobs/apartments ratio, the PCID has achieved its ultimate goal - to plan for more and more and more multifamily apartments for Dunwoody and Sandy Springs.  High density is the name of the game.  So one or two on council suggest a ratio closer to 9.25  than 5.06 so they have some campaign fodder? We have candidates announced for council and mayor, and some up for re-election.  Ask them to ask the PCID to put the jobs/apartments section back in the LCI document and set it at 9.25 going forward (okay, perhaps an '8' will do).  Watch PCID laugh and pull the marionette's strings tighter.
State Farm recently announced they will build offices and bring jobs to Dunwoody, and will not use some of their land for apartments. This news is cheered my most, jeered by a few.  The neighboring High Street project will soon be built, adding 3,000 new housing units (1,500 apartments, 1,500 condos), adding to an existing inventory of multi-family units in the Perimeter area.

And back to those millennials.  Keep in mind that State Farm doesn't hire just millennials. They will hire people Generation X (the doers) and Baby Boomers (the Me gen) as well. 

The millennials will eventually have kids and buy homes.  They will not stay 'cool' forever and will download children (real children).  They will move from the noisy, crowded urban areas and buy a home.  Some (the white ones) may even move to Decatur and try to prolong their coolness another decade or so.  

Dunwoody doesn't need more apartments.  DeKalb County permitted enough back before we were a city.  And for once, it looks like Sandy Springs is following Dunwoody's lead.







1 comment:

Robert Wittenstein said...

Rick,
The latest State Farm development proposal no longer includes apartments. They have taken that out of their development plan as a result of community input.

On August 4th, the consultants who are working on the new PCID Master Plan will present their draft proposal to the DHA Board. It will be interesting to see what multi-family housing is included in their plan. The meeting starts at 7:30pm in Room 4 at the North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center.