To the editor:
During the week of May 11, I found a flyer on my mailbox with a message that television filming would take place on my street in the next few days, and, be warned, the filming activities will involve large trucks and activity that would extend as late as 2 a.m.
Wanting to know how the city was allowing this to happen, my wife contacted Gerri Penn, president of the Dunwoody North Civic Association. Gerri began, along with my wife, a series of inquiries to the city, including Christie Berkowitz of the city planning department and Police Chief Grogan.
Christie’s e-mail response stated “because the production is taking place on private property, and not within the right of way, the application did not warrant a permit.” Also, Police Chief Billy Grogan responded by e-mail stating “staff did speak with the company about a possible permit, but determined the shoot was on private property and did not require a special event permit.”
On private property you say? Well, Christie and Chief Grogan, you should see the many photos and videos I recorded proving your statements were false. At 5 p.m. on May 20, I came home to find my street a virtual circus. My street and others were lined with dozens of vehicles, including three 53-foot tractor trailers.
Walking down Dunkerrin Lane that evening, I had to swerve far into a yard to avoid a 40- foot boom vehicle that swung across the entire road. By 9:45 p.m., Sharon Valley Court was completely blocked to traffic by the Dunwoody police south of Dunkerrin Lane. The street was filled with production equipment.
Vehicles of the film crew ringed the intersection of Sharon Valley Court and Dunover Circle in violation of the Georgia code prohibiting parking cars in an intersection or within 30 feet of a stop sign.
I called the police department twice to report the cars illegally parked at the intersection as the police were routing traffic through the intersection while not actually providing anyone at the intersection to direct traffic. Nothing was done.
I finally asked one of the several Dunwoody police officers guarding the filming, who was standing a short distance away from the intersection, to have the cars moved. He said that he would see to it that the cars were moved. I walked a few hundred feet back to my house and watched him as he did nothing. The cars stayed where they were until they left the neighborhood later that night.
I have no doubt that both Christie Berkowitz and Chief Grogan were aware that the filming would not be limited to private property, as was clear from the production company’s own notification, but decided the disruption to the neighborhood was of no consequence.