PUBLIC MEETING

Announcements and introductions:

Mr. Kyle Jones is running for sheriff for DeKalb County. He said he had been on the force since 1995. He has experience in internal affairs and the financial crimes unit. He believes there is mismanagement across the board and he wants to fight against fraud and corruption.

 Mr. Andrew Ziffer Announcement he Is running for DeKalb County School Board provided his website Andrewziffer.com with no further comments. 

Dunwoody Village Overlay- Update

Adrienne There are details of the overlay is on the DHA website and a link was sent out in an email. This update will be going to the planning commission on Tuesday, 11. Many residents in the area surrounding the overlay district are concerned about the buffers that have been eliminated.  A couple of homeowners in attendance at the meeting were concerned about the arrow though her property for a pedestrian path.

Bill Grossman addressed the history and some of the changes since the last meeting last summer.  One change was that the current 75 ft buffer that surrounded residential from commercial would be changed to 20 ft. The current draft before the planning commission shows no buffer. He discussed a transitional yard of 75 feet with trees and shrubs as amin requirement. Of course, the commercial property owner can cut all the trees behind a homeowner’s property. And the plantings they would be required to put in would not mature for 20-30 years. A good compromise would be a 50 ft buffer would be an undisturbed with existing trees and 50ft of the transitional yard. There are other options to provide privacy to the homeowners. They discussed stream water variance but those are usually not approved. He talked about enforcement of zoning provisions.

A resident did not want a road and would be open to a walking path. Another homeowner had concerns about run off behind the car wash and thought the problem would be worse with development. 

Robert Wittenstein spoke to the commercial landowners right to clear cut everything to up to 50ft to a residence’s property. He does not believe if we ask of an additional 50% buffer, they will say no. He suggested that 50ft of undisturbed buffer and 25ft of landscaped yard. Discussed best way to negotiate the commercial landowners. He said the water run off problem would not be made worse by development, because the developer by law can not make a bad situation worse. He spoke to what commercial developer would like to see approved to maximize his investment and he believes they will want a “mixed use” plan. 

John Heneghan was not aware of a water run off problem and asked the resident to send him an email so he can get someone out to look at the problem.

The discussion turned to type of mixed use develop and the pros and cons of those type of development. Townhomes, stacked flats over retail. Etc.

GDOT: taking townhomes near George Town. 25 years old issue to expand the highway. Path new road because there is no money for transit. Speaking to this is DHA board member Amy Swygert who works with Sally Harrell’s office. She spoke about a bill Ms. Harrell filed to change how we use our gas tax. Currently the tax is to improve road and bridges. Which is why we are getting toll lane as opposed to transit. She admitted this was a long shot given lack of interest from other representative from different parts of Georgia. 

Tom Taylor talked about problems getting funding for transit issues. He pointed out once you get out side metro Atlanta area you are suggesting taking money from those area to improve their roads and to spend the money on mass transit in the cities. 

Board of Education update from the Fincher, Marques, and Lamas. They spoke about SPLOST and building funds. They have fast tracked 35 million dollars for a new elementary school, but we do not know the location. 2 million for a comprehensive master plan for redistricting, and renovation of older schools. They talked about how the various schools would potentially be used how they plan to provide more room for students. More trailers are coming in Vanderlyn. They encouraged people to come to the meetings and get involved.

BOARD-ONLY DISCUSSION AND VOTES:

The budget discussion began with the parade cost. Politicians will pay $500.00 to be in the parade as a Bronze sponsor. We discussed what the DHA gives to all the schools. Adrienne Duncan believes if we give school money they should be willing to help us get out our word and communications to the public. Right now we are a logo on a T-shirt. Discussions as to whether we should be the community chest. We will only give money to school that send someone to the meeting to talk to us and ask for project funding. Bob Barnwell motions to grant school donations at $500.00.  There were 9 yes and 5 no votes

Gerri Pen asked why the money for Spruill is crossed out and why we would also cross out Dunwoody Preservation Trust. 

Rick Callahan didn’t understand why all the various non-profits swap money back and forth

There was a discussion about the Crier and using them a source for communication to the public. Adrienne Duncan noted alternative PR to reach out to different groups of people using FB, Reddit and Nextdoor for example.

Gerri Pen said she would send Emails to the Crier to report on our meetings.

Bill Grossman said we will leave DPT on the list and that the Nature Center was planning to come to talk next month to our group.

Board members got closer look at the overlay. Discussion focused on the areas that allowed for multifamily living in the village.  There was a debate around growth and vibrant community and density vs the problems density would cause. Rick Callahan made a motion that the overlay eliminate all housing in the village. It was seconded by Tom Taylor. The vote was 6 yes and 4 no.

The board voted to oppose the current buffer and proposed a 50ft undisturbed and 50ft landscaped R. Wittenstein seconded the motion and the vote was 12 yes and 1 abstained