Leslie Oberholtzer points out to the Dunwoody Homeowners Association Aug. 2 different building types that may exist in a Perimeter Center zoning code.

A Perimeter Center area zoning code is all about balance, design consultants say.

In May, the city of Dunwoody contracted with Duncan Associates and CodaMetrics to write out a specific plan for Perimeter Center because, during the Zoning and Land Development Code Rewrite process, City Council determined the area required additional attention through an independent process.

This isn’t a master plan that would address a vision for the future, but rather a zoning plan that considers the reality of today, Leslie Oberholtzer said.

She and Kirk Bishop presented a draft of the code to the Dunwoody Homeowners Association on Aug. 2 and they again presented the draft to City Council at a special-called meeting Aug. 3.

“Our mission was to facilitate the evolution of Perimeter Center into something that is more urban, but reflects the unique character of Dunwoody,” Oberholtzer said.

She added that the code works to create a balance between what the current zoning code says and what has been recently approved. The current code says buildings can be no higher than five stories, but Oberholtzer said “anyone who can read” would know Ravinia and other buildings far exceed that. This new code will correct the “huge disconnect” between what exists now and recent development, including the ongoing and soon-to-be approved State Farm development, she said.

The presentations focused on two main documents: the first is an overlay map (see below) and the second is a map of four districts. The overlay map focuses on creating a consistent and mandatory design of interconnected parkways, trails and frontage requirements. The Perimeter Center districts include requirements that are optional for future developers to increase the height of a building in exchange for higher design standards, such as “high quality” building materials.

In the most dense district, which contains Perimeter Mall and the State Farm multi-use complex, buildings could be up to 35 stories in the current draft. Council members discussed implications of building heights in not only Perimeter Center District 1 but also in the other three districts.

All the documents for the zoning code draft are available online and more public feedback will be sought after the mayor and City Council have a chance to provide their feedback. The code will go to the planning commission and before the public early in 2016.