DUNWOODY, Ga. — During an emergency teleconference meeting March 18, the Dunwoody City Council unanimously declared a city state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The action follows President Donald Trump announcing a national state of emergency March 13 and Gov. Brian Kemp declaring state of emergency for Georgia March 14.
Under the provisions of the city emergency act, essential services like police and public safety will continue, but much of the city’s normal business is on hold or online only.
Later that day, the council held another teleconference emergency meeting to set temporary rules for bars and restaurants. The ordinance advises establishments to cease dine-in services immediately and makes compliance mandatory beginning Friday, March 20 at 9 p.m.
“I totally empathize with the restaurant owners, and the whole thing is crushing to me,” Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deutsch said. “This is just disastrous, and I also don’t think we’ve hit the worst of any part of this … None of this is easy for any of us. This is a really extraordinary time.”
Restaurants will be allowed to offer delivery or takeout. Establishments that are authorized to sell beer and wine on premises will be allowed to sell unopened beer and wine for takeout.
The emergency state is set to be repealed April 17, but can be suspended sooner or extended longer as circumstances change.
Under the state of emergency, the City Council may continue to conduct meetings via public teleconferences. Council business is limited to policymaking directly related to COVID-19, public health and safety or fiscal operations.
Long-term planning, zoning, policymaking unrelated to public health, presentations and proclamations have been suspended until the city is no longer in a state of emergency. City boards, like the Planning Commission or Sustainability Committee, will not meet.
All matters requiring a public hearing are paused until the emergency is no longer in effect. Any permits currently in effect that require a public hearing for renewal or extension, such as an alcohol permit, will not lapse and will be extended until public hearings are resumed.
The city closed City Hall to the public March 14. Non-essential staff are working remotely.
“Our priority is to keep everyone safe and healthy,” Deutsch said. “I’m grateful for the preparation by staff to be ready to telework. Dunwoody’s greatest strength is our community, and I know that working together we can make everyone feel supported during these uncertain times.”
Some of the tools residents, businesses and visitors can access online are:
• Permits can be filed and inspections can be scheduled online at dunwoody.portal.iworq.net/portalhome/dunwoody.
• Code Enforcement will be available at talktomycity.com/create.
• Public works repairs can be reported at dunwoodyga.gov/index.php?section=for_residents_report_a_problem.
• Citations can be paid at municipalonlinepayments.com/dunwoodyga.
• Anyone with a Dunwoody Municipal Court hearing scheduled during the week of March 16 or March 23 should call the court clerks’ office to reschedule. The number is 678-382-6973. Court clerks are available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Business license submittals may be processed online using information at dunwoodyga.gov/index.php?section=for_businesses_business_licenses. Anyone with questions can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• City vendors should continue submitting invoices through their Concur portal.
City staff who are working remotely will monitor their landline office phones regularly or forward them to their new location. Questions about specific department operations can be found on the individual department pages on the city’s website: dunwoodyga.gov.
Dunwoody Police will continue patrols and enforcement while taking precautions to protect against COVID-19. Those wishing to file a police report can call 911 to schedule an officer to come to them at a location within the city limits on a non-emergency basis.
Alternatively, filers may come to police headquarters and use the intercom located at the main entrance to announce their request. The representative on duty will dispatch an officer to meet them in the parking lot.
All requests for copies of police reports (incident or accident) as well as all open records requests must be submitted at dunwoodyga.gov/openrecords.
All fingerprinting services and background check services have been suspended until March 30. All training events, community programs and classes have been suspended until further notice.
For remote assistance with a child safety seat, email email@example.com.