Dunwoody City Council is scheduled Sept. 8 to open a city debate on whether to allow personal care homes in single-family neighborhoods.

City Councilman Doug Thompson told members of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association on Sept. 7 that the council would consider a staff proposal to stop allowing the homes in single family areas as part of a sixth-month review of the city’s new zoning code. Changes to the code would be debated by several city boards, city officials said.

“We are at the beginning of this process,”  Thompson said.

The council is scheduled to consider the proposal during its informal meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. Sept. 8.

Dunwoody Development Director Steve Foote said city staff made the recommendation to the council after debate arose of a proposed home on Manget Way for teenage girls with eating disorders.

City staff members approved development of the home as an allowed personal care home. The city’s Zoning Board of Review sided with neighbors against the home, saying it should be considered a medical treatment facility and not a personal  care home. The California company planning to build the facility has appealed the decision to DeKalb Superior Court.

“If you look at what goes on in a personal care home, I do have to think young girls with bulimia is pretty innocuous,” he said. “If everybody got that upset about that…based on where we are today in 2014, since we are in the process of reviewing things about the code, from a staff point of view, it made sense to put it out there and say, ‘Is this something we should take a look at?’”

Foote said the city’s zoning code did not differentiate between different sorts of personal care homes. “There’s a lot of room for different interpretations,” he said.

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