Sunday, May 15, 2016

What has Changed in Dunwoody?

Here is an excerpt from a 2012 Dunwoody Crier article:

The seeds of the idea began when Dunwoody purchased the "PVC Farm" to prevent it from becoming high-density apartments. Hutmacher noted the city already has more than 9000 rental units.
------------------------------------------- A big reason Dunwoody became a city was for local control of zoning.  For years, DeKalb County permitted many office parcels to become apartments.  For several years, multi-family units in the thousands were built in Dunwoody, adding a strain to schools, roads, and emergency services.  Land owners rushed to Dekalb County prior to Dunwoody incorporated, getting thousands of yet-to-be-built apartments approved. The 3,000 units at High Street are leftovers from the pre-cityhood era.

Many of the legendary 'Dunwoody Yes' folks  complained about the onslaught of multi-family, and vowed to end it when we became a city.  Dunwoody's city council fast-tracked a huge land purchase, putting millions of dollars on the line, speculating with a soon-to-be-broke home-builder. Project Renaissance was born.  

many empty lots and built homes for sale

new Dunwoody homeowners on the way

Why were Dunwoody leaders so anxious to buy the land in the Georgetown area? Was it to add soccer and softball fields?  I hope not, because none are there.  Was it for a lacrosse field or sand volleyball?  I hope not, because none are there.  The reason Dunwoody purchased 35+ acres was to stop 300+ apartments from being built.  The land was zoned for apartments, and the city did what it could to stop them from being built.

So why is the city council (many of the current council were on council when the land was purchased to block apartments) now negotiating for hundreds more new apartments with a developer whose land isn't even zoned for apartments?  What has changed?

And finally, no one will ever get to play pickleball at the new park, unless you go at 6 AM.  There is no pickleball court. There are basketball courts, with one half court marked for pickleball. Best of luck trying to get the hoopsters to move so you can play.  If the city wants pickleball to be played, build dedicated courts for it.


GaryRayBetz said...

No basketball, baseball, or pickleball for the children or adults, but if you're a dog you've got over five shaded acres to aimlessly frolic while your master/mistress languidly sits and gossips or if you're a bicyclist - you've more miles of bike lanes than city sidewalks. And if you're a cycling canine, you're damn well in 7th heaven!

And if you're an ex City Councilman and now incumbent State House Rep who drives 72 MPH in a 45 MPH zone (imagine that on Holcomb Bridge Road) with four foreign exchange students in your SUV and when caught you blow a .225 DUI, you're immediately embraced and supported by the city fathers ("Oh just lighten up, those kids must have had a fun roller coaster ride of a time!") as well as the wine and spirits distributors political action committee.

I'll tell you this, Rick Callihan, you're too conservative for me to support you for a federal or perhaps even a state position, but if you ever run for city council or mayor, I'm in your corner. You're intuitive, insightful, and you have this "Jefferson Smith" type of artless aura of incorruptibility about you.

Anonymous said...

And weren't some of these the same folks who tried to push thru a bonds referendum that would have replaced hundreds of apartments with ball fields, rec areas and many fewer owner-occupied townhomes?

How long did it take for our "local control" to become just like the previous not-so-local control? And who really is in control?

Bob Lundsten said...

Gary long time since I have written on this Blog good to see you are still "active"
A couple of points for Rick, then I will comment on your comment.
First there was not 'rush" on land in Dunwoody when city hood was coming. Just not true.
The High Street development was in discussion for almost 2 year far from a rush job.
That project was originally proposed as 3000 apartments The DHA negotiated that down to 1500 owner occupied and 1500 apartments.
This is directly opposite the proposal now under consideration which will be 75% owner occupied.
The loophole that allowed apartments under DeKalb for fought for years. I personally reached out to the DHA and schools seeking support to change that code. In fact it was changed significantly before Cityhood. But it became battle cry shouted by Sen Weber.

Now Gary, While I do not condone the behavior of Rep Taylor, I believe everyone deserves a second chance. I laughed as if no one you know ever drove 70 MPH in a 45. Not even you are that perfect.
It is the behind the scenes gossip and lies that are being spread that is so upsetting. There is no purity in the world. How many people in Dunwoody do you think go to a backyard cookout, ALTA match, swim parties at the "clubs" and had a drink too many yet still decided to drive home. That line would be very long line with a lot of familiar faces..
There are all kinds of sayings and quotes, "let he who is without sin ,caste the first stone" , "Punish the sin forgive the sinner" and what my friend Dr. Carla Roberts just sent me as well: "" Once read this beautiful quote: "Second chances are not given to make things right, they are given to prove we can be better even after we fall."
I fear you are taking this a an opportunity to attack a conservative. Tom will pay for his mistakes yet he has earned a second chance

GaryRayBetz said...

Sorry Bob, but there's no hypocrisy from me as I wouldn't support politician who terrorized four children by driving 72MPH in a 45MPH while being so drunk he blew a .225 DUI no matter their stripes - I never supported Ted Kennedy after his drunk driving Chappaquiddick incident. I know too much how traumatized I was myself as a child to have no choice but to ride in vehicles driven erratically by drunken adults. Where has there been any concern for the four foreign exchange students that were subjected to this harrowing experience? "Not my children or children of another Dunwoody citizen? Ah, then who gives a damn!"

Trust me no hypocrisy from me - I've already admitted to imbibing, inhaling, ingesting, and injecting all and sundry items, but realizing my penchant for vice, I never drive children in that state nor would I ever consider ever running for anything other than village idiot (but out of respect for your incumbency, Bob, I politely defer).

But I do observe a most Pharisee-like hypocrisy from Dunwoody politicians and politically active citizens who continue to blindly support Tom Taylor's candidacy, those hypocrites who vilely besmirched Adrian Bonser, Jill Chambers and others, just because they disagreed with their own politics - reputable persons who never endangered children as Tom Taylor did by forcing them to ride along on his .225 DUI 72MPH jaunt.

Or the hypocrisy of a City Councilman who initiates a call to arms against speeding drivers in Dunwoody, even villainizing one who dared to pass him by posting a video of the incident on his blog - shame he didn't get a video of Tom Taylor swerving in a .225 DUI manner 27 miles per hour over the posted limit with four children in his SUV.

Or the hypocrisy of those citizens seeking an independent school system for Dunwoody, who urge us to continue to support a man who endangered students entrusted to his care to carry the banner for Dunwoody schools in the state legislature.

But Robert, do you want to know who's the biggest hypocrite of them all? It's Georgia Republican State House Representative Tom Taylor himself, who allowed the Dunwoody and Georgia good-old boy network, to voice their support of him - "Only ye without sin can cast the first stone!", then authors a pathetic, "oh woe is poor me" apology letter, then two weeks AFTER the incident accepts money for his campaign from a LIQUOR distributors lobbyist!

No Robert, there are a lot of hypocrites and folks with agendas to go around concerning Tom Taylor's plight, but I'm not one of them. I ain't got no dog in the fight to give a damn about the color of his stripes.