Dunwoody residents stick Post-Its on a white board to share their thoughts on what amenities in Dunwoody they're happy to have and those they need for the future, during the "Shape Up Dunwoody" meeting March 2.
Dunwoody residents stick Post-Its on a white board to share their thoughts on what amenities in Dunwoody they’re happy to have and those they need for the future, during the “Shape Up Dunwoody” meeting March 2.

It’s that time again for residents and city officials in Dunwoody. Mayor Mike Davis says Dunwoody prides itself on using the Comprehensive Master Plan.

“What people tell us they want is what we are going to do over the next five years,” Davis said.

On March 2, at the second of six public meetings, residents got to provide feedback on what aspects of Dunwoody make them happy and what needs they have moving forward. The white board broke down by age groups so citizens as young as 10 could chime in with different colored sticky notes.

Dunwoody resident Melanie Manning is the mother of a 5-year-old daughter, Caroline, and she showed up to “weigh in” on town she’s called home for five years. As a home-based business owner, Manning said she isn’t as concerned about the traffic, but she is interested in the “big picture impact” of the Comprehensive Master Plan. She said her daughter walks to school every day the weather is decent, and she enjoys having sidewalks in the neighborhood. In fact, Manning said she wants to see more sidewalks and connected trails.

“My priority is more progressive infrastructure, connected parks, walkability, innovation, clean energy, environmental stewardship and that sort of thing,” she said.

She wants to see more mixed-use planning and hopes the city of Dunwoody will attract more residential business.

“I’d like to see us be a little bit more progressive with our businesses, attracting businesses to the residential part of Dunwoody,” Manning said. “Perimeter’s got a lot of commerce going on, but I’d like to see us do a little bit of planning, maybe mixed use, over here as well.”

Many of those in the 65 and over age group want more facilities and amenities for seniors who can’t drive.

Gerri Penn, who serves on the Zoning Board, wants to see all age groups represented in Dunwoody amenities.

“I want to see that we accommodate our seniors,” she said, adding that some seniors can’t join community organizations because they are on limited incomes and some cannot drive.

Matt Boettcher and his family have lived in Dunwoody since 2006. He said he thinks the city’s done a good job providing things for families. He founded the Dad’s Bucket List website, where he and other local dads develop programming for dads to spend time with their kids. His Checklist Challenge event was held in Brook Run Park last fall.

“I’m a jogger,” he said, and he added that he wants to see well-maintained sidewalks on Mount Vernon Road and throughout the city.

Boettcher admitted some of the suggestions on the white board made him laugh.
“Low taxes,” he said. He’s happy with the parks and amenities, but wants to watch city spending, he said.

Jacobs Engineering is the company taxed with sorting through the residents’ suggestions from the first two workshops. Jim Summerbell, the project manager, said all six meetings complete a basic requirement to keep Dunwoody eligible to receive federal funding.

The first two workshops, which concluded March 2, provided an idea of the community’s vision and goals for the next five years.

Two future public meetings set for April will evaluate needs and opportunities, Summerbell said. Around May or June, two public meetings to develop a five-year work program and then a plan of action will take place.

To reach more people than can attend a public meeting, the company will use online surveys and white boards in public places like the library and in city hall, Summerbell said.

Davis said he and city officials haven’t pulled out the last CMP because they want to start with a “blank piece of paper.”

“We don’t want to jade you,” he said. “It’s really important what you’re doing here tonight. We really do follow your instructions.”