DUNWOODY, Ga. — The Dunwoody Planning Commission unanimously supported proposed updates to the Dunwoody Village Master Plan March 10, with amendments to require additional buffers.
The next step is for the master plan to go before the City Council for final approval. However, because of concern over the coronavirus, all planning cases have been deferred until May.
The Dunwoody Village Master Plan dictates zoning and land use near the intersection of Chamblee Dunwoody Road and Mount Vernon Road. Initially adopted in 2011, the master plan envisions transforming the area into a more walkable, mixed-use city center.
Last year, the city hired Atlanta-based planning firm TSW to review and rewrite zoning regulations in an effort to make the area more attractive to developers.
The Planning Commission first heard TSW’s proposal at a Feb. 11 meeting, but ultimately voted to defer their decision for a month. In that time, planners and Mayor Lynn Deutsch met with some 50 people from the neighboring Branches and Wynterhall neighborhoods, according to city reports.
In response to community input, the staff made a few changes to the proposed plan, including doubling the undisturbed buffer abutting single-family homes on the west of the village from 75 to 150 feet and moving the proposed parking deck located on the Dunwoody United Methodist Church farther away from single-family residences.
Several residents spoke at both Planning Commission meetings, citing concerns over buffers, building heights, school overcrowding and traffic congestion.
Those concerns echo those raised by the Dunwoody Homeowners Association, which in February shared its official recommendations.
The homeowners board unanimously supported placing a 100-foot buffer between the village commercial properties and the homeowners’ lots in the Branches. In a split vote, the board also opposed allowing residential units within the village overlay.
TSW’s plan allows housing, in some form, throughout Dunwoody Village. Owner-occupied condos and age restricted housing, rental or owner-occupied, would be allowed in all four districts. Townhomes would be allowed in specific areas.
Planning Commission Chairman Bob Dallas said trying to create a vibrant Dunwoody Village without a residential component is unrealistic.
“All these require financing,” Dallas said. “If the ideas is that we want 100 percent owner occupied, you’re going to be a challenged to have any product built. It’s just the way the market works today … If you don’t have the residential component as part of mixed-use, it will be very, very hard to support the retail side of things.”
“I hope that we can come up with a plan that does attract a developer who is willing to make the investments in the community,” Dallas continued. “Something we and our families will like, so we don’t have to go to Alpharetta, to Roswell, to Chamblee to enjoy these kind of things.”
The entire proposed plan can be found on the city’s website, dunwoodyga.gov.