Debate among city officials over whether changes are needed in Dunwoody’s new zoning and building ordinances turned to sidewalks during the Oct. 27 City Council meeting.
City Councilwoman Lynn Deutsch said she could foresee a situation where a homeowner would have to pay to put in a sidewalk when rebuilding a home.
“I don’t think someone should be required to put in a sidewalk when you take one home and replace it with a new home, and it doesn’t affect the neighborhood,” she said.
Mayor Mike Davis said he agreed that “building sidewalks to nowhere is ludicrous.”
But Councilman Doug Thompson said sidewalks have always been done this way and he doesn’t see a problem.
City officials are trying to resolve the language for chapter 16 of the City Code, which involves subdivision plat appeals and single-family exemptions for required street improvements. The council is trying to determine whether any changes are needed to the new codes adopted last year.
The proposed language for exemptions reads, “New and replacement homes on existing lots where a single-family residential dwelling will be demolished and replaced, except those that exist along an arterial, collector or other as expressly stated in a city-adopted plan.”
Thompson said during the Oct. 27 meeting that he wants to vote on the issues in the City Code chapters 16 and 27 together, whereas some members of council want to take out the issue of personal care homes for further discussion.
Concerning the language for personal care homes, discussed in chapter 27 of the city’s code, City Councilman Terry Nall said he is worried about having a gap in the language that waiting wouldn’t solve.
On the issue of subdivision plat appeal, Thompson said he still believes City Council should not make the final decision because it’s a judicial and not a legislative issue. Nall said the “buck stops” with council and “if we’re not willing to make decisions then we’re abdicating our responsibility.”
Council approves Chick-fil-A on Ashford-Dunwoody
City Council told developers planning to build a Chick-fil-A restaurant on Ashford-Dunwoody that they must build or finance a sidewalk at the location. All council members except Councilman John Heneghan, who previously questioned the benefit to the community from granting the developers a waiver, voted to approve the restaurant’s proposal.
Hotel occupancy rising
Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Katie Bishop says 2015 is looking to be a great year for Dunwoody tourism. Bishop said 2014 has been a “record-breaking year.”
She highlighted that Dunwoody hotel occupancy has been steadily increasing, with “tremendous growth” on the weekends. “The goal for 2014 was 5,000 visitors a night, and we’ve already surpassed that,” she said.
Weekend hotel traffic is up from 56 percent in 2010 to 70 percent, Bishop said.
City Council members approved the bureau’s proposed 2105 budget.
Sounding Board members appointed
A group of citizens has been appointed to help as a sounding board for issues affecting the Perimeter area.
During the City Council meeting Oct. 13, Mayor Mike Davis said he wanted a combination of people who work, run businesses and live in Dunwoody to be involved.
The council voted Oct. 27 to approve appointments of seven people to the board: Alex Chambers, Stacey Harris, Bob Dallas, Jennifer Harper, Cheryl Spitalnick, Tony Torbert and Robert Miller.