Dunwoody Proposed Ordinance to Eliminate Certain Potential New Development in City if Passed: Council Testifies Against Monday

dunwoody meeting

The Council for Quality Growth, on Monday, November 10th, for the fifth time since March 2014, testified in opposition against a proposed building amendment that has the potential to effect certain development within the City of Dunwoody. Despite hearing from industry stakeholders about the detrimental effects of a passage of the ordinance, members of the Dunwoody City Council continue to push for final adoption. The lone voice of opposition of adoption to this ordinance is Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis.

Here is a portion of James Touchton’s, Director of Government Affairs at the Council for Quality Growth, testimony to the City Council Monday night (to view the full testimony and letter presented to Council, click HERE):

“The letter presented represents the continued position on behalf of the Council’s  many members in the Metro Atlanta Region, many who invest and pay property taxes in the City of Dunwoody, building and investing in both residential, commercial and mixed-use properties. While it has been mentioned that the people testifying are not Dunwoody residents, it is worth noting that when I represent the Council, I represent many members who invest millions of dollars in the local economy of the City.

It is our belief this amendment remains unnecessary.  There are a limited number of zoning classifications in the Dunwoody City Code that allow buildings over 3 stories in height.  Those are RM (Residential multi-family), O-I (Office-Institution), and the M (Industrial) zoning district.  Only 3 of the City’s 22 zoning districts (RM-HD, OI and M) allow buildings over 48 feet or 4 stories in height. 

On the City’s official zoning map, those classifications are only found within the City’s major activity centers.  As further protections the city’s code does not allow building heights to exceed 35 feet (3 stories) adjacent to any single-family district, firmly protecting the city’s single-family neighborhoods.  The zoning code also already requires all proposed buildings over 35 feet to undergo an additional life safety review by local fire and rescue services.”

It should be noted on the Memo for Staff to City Council, their recommendation says “The Adoption of the Amendment is a decision for the City Council.” When the professional staff don’t think it is a needed amendment, one would think the City Council would not take that lightly.

The Council for Quality Growth continues to oppose the amendment, requests a deferral of the amendment and has offered our assistance to help the City and its citizens to see why this remains unnecessary. We respectfully suggest the formation of a city led stakeholders group, constituting of a balance of community interest, industry interest, and investment interest within the city. The stakeholders group would be tasked with evaluation the problems at hand and considering all solutions, including design guidelines which could be applicable to various property types, as a way of ensuring quality and sustainable development to meet the high standards for which Dunwoody is known. After 18 months of this issue being on the table and with the industry and Council continuously opposing and achieving a delay, it is important that we work to defeat this Amendment once and for all.

To View the Entire Agenda and Documents pertaining to Chapter 8, click HERE.

To view the Council for Quality Growth’s letter to Mayor and Council from previous opposition, click HERE.

To view the Council for Quality Growth’s letter to Mayor and Council from Monday, click HERE.