By Maggie Lee
Dunwoody City Council has decided a new flagship park belongs on the block with the Farmhouse and another park should be built on Chamblee-Dunwoody Road.
However, the City Council’s unanimous approval of both plans doesn’t mean they’ll get done soon. They’re starting relatively modestly, with a remake of Dunwoody Village Parkway.
The Dunwoody Village Shopping Center should get a serious face-lift, or even a total rebuild, and part of its parking lot should be dug up and replaced with a green space of at least 1.5 acres, under a concept adopted by City Council on March 28. Under that plan, the park would be ringed by shopping, office and residential buildings, preferably two or three stories tall.
In the Georgetown area, the city would like to put a six- to eight-acre park and perhaps a civic building on the property known as the “PVC farm” near the intersection of Shallowford and Peachtree-Dunwoody roads. South of that, along I-285, planners foresee a public transportation “node” with denser, mixed-use developments rising as high as eight stories.
The concepts are the end results of about nine months of traffic studies, research and public meetings undertaken by city planning consultants. State law requires various land use plans from cities. The Atlanta Regional Commission paid $80,000 toward the roughly $250,000 total cost of the two plans.
Councilman Danny Ross voted for both, but cautioned on the village, “you can have all the good plans you want, but if it is not feasible to develop it’s going to stay exactly the way it is.”
Dunwoody must wait for developers who wish to build the homes or offices, and to build them roughly in accordance with the plans.
The city already is moving on the new walk-bike-drive redo of Dunwoody Village Parkway, which runs alongside the Dunwoody Village Shopping Center and connects Chamblee-Dunwoody Road and Mount Vernon Road. At a public open house on March 31, city officials displayed conceptual drawings of the road cut down to two lanes and lined with 5-foot-wide bike paths, trees and benches, and 6-foot-wide sidewalks.
The median would be removed so the project could be done without the cost of acquiring new rights of way. However, a narrow strip of trees should still divide some stretches of the road. Greenery-wise, the draft choices along both inside and outside the street are crepe myrtle, and various oaks and maples among others.
All the works would cost about $1.2 million. Of that, $500,000 is projected to come from the state Department of Transportation. Another $275,000 will be from MARTA, essentially as repayment for a loan. That leaves $425,000 for the city to pay, using taxpayer dollars or any grants or outside funds they may be able to find.
The construction contract should be let sometime in the year beginning in July 2012.
The timeframe for the rest of the plans stretches two decades.