Displeasure with three planned public projects in Dunwoody spilled into the discussion during a question-and-answer session during the Dunwoody Homeowners Association’s annual meeting Jan. 6.
“When we formed this city, I don’t know anybody who wasn’t excited about it,” resident Pat Eubank told DHA president Bill Grossman after he invited public comment from about 75 DHA members and guests attending the meeting at Dunwoody United Methodist Church. “About a year ago, I lost some of that excitement. … I still am not necessarily happy with these three hot-button issues.”
The three proposals call for a 12-foot-wide concrete multi-use trail through a wooded section of Brook Run park, a roundabout at the intersection of Vermack and Womack roads and a redesign of Dunwoody Village Parkway that would add bicycle lanes.
The “hot-button” plans have drawn complaints from residents attending various public gatherings, such as Dunwoody City Council meetings. Some opponents have posted yard signs attacking the plans. A court hearing on Jan. 4 on whether to extend a court order temporarily stopping the Brook Run trail drew a packed house of onlookers, residents said.
Grossman said the DHA had not taken a position on the proposals. He said the board is studying an alternative proposed for the Dunwoody Village Parkway redesign.
Janet Glass, president of the Oakhurst Walk Homeowners Association, suggested the city develop a plan for slowing traffic along the entire lengths of Vermack and Womack, rather than simply building a roundabout at the intersection.
“I don’t see a plan for traffic calming up and down Vermack and Womack,” she said. “We need a plan, not just doing it piecemeal.”
During his address to the association members, Mayor Mike Davis said the work the city is proposing came from public planning sessions held during the first couple of years of the city’s existence. He said city officials want to make the community appealing to a new generation of families in the future.
“Most of us here are empty nesters,” he said. “We’re looking at who is going to make that move next, who is interested in living here in Dunwoody.”
He said city officials were planning infrastructure improvement projects that will attract development appealing to a generation that grew up watching “Seinfeld” and “Friends” on television, rather than “Leave It To Beaver.”
“We’re building the infrastructure to get my kids and your kids to come back to Dunwoody,” he said. “I want my grandchildren here. I don’t want them all over the country.”
Eubank said she has seen change in her neighborhood. When she moved in 35 years ago, she said, her family was one of two with young children. Now, “everyone has children,” she said.
She said she felt the changes being proposed in the city were moving too rapidly.
“I would just like to see us listen,” she said, “because I believe we have a majority of citizens against these three projects.”