STOCK speeding violations in school zone

DUNWOODY, Ga.— At its Feb. 24 meeting, the Dunwoody City Council unanimously approved a contract to place speed enforcement cameras in school zones. 

Police Chief Billy Grogan said speeding in school zones is one of the most common complaints the department hears from citizens. 

“We deploy our Crime Response Team to those areas on a daily basis and issue citations,” Grogan said. “That limits us in what we can do and the coverage that we can provide. Camera enforcement in the school zones, using the technology, can provide some good leverage for us to be able to address these important issues and more importantly change driver behavior.”

Grogan recommended a contract with RedSpeed to place cameras in three zones: Roberts Drive, Womack Road and North Peachtree Road. In one day, the department found 2,300 instances of drivers traveling at least 10 miles per hour over the speed limit in the three zones. 

RedSpeed is already approved in nearby cities including Alpharetta, Chamblee and Clarkston. There is no upfront cost to the city. RedSpeed pays for the equipment and installation, and in return receives 35 percent of fees collected. 

The remaining revenue collected would go to the city and could only be used to fund public safety initiatives. Fines will only be issued to cars going 11 mph or more over the speed limit and will be $75 for the first offense and $125 for subsequent violations. A ticket does not result in any points or insurance ramifications for drivers.

RedSpeed will also install a license plate reader to alert police immediately if a wanted person or registered sex offender is spotted. Recently, a RedSpeed camera in Henry County helped solve a burglary.

The speed cameras cannot go into effect until approved by the Georgia Department of Transportation and the DeKalb County School District. Once approved, there will be a 30-day warning period and public awareness campaign. 

In other business at the meeting, the council unanimously approved an amendment to allow construction fence wrap to include advertisements for the projects under development. 

The council also approved the site plan change requested by the developers of Perimeter Marketplace, a new grocery-anchored shopping center along Ashford Dunwoody Road between Ashwood Parkway and Meadow Lane

The City Council originally approved the shopping center in June 2019. The developers asked to change plans for a standalone bank on the southwest corner of the lot to allow for uses that include medical, office, restaurant or retail. The council included a condition that the building could only have a drive-through if it was occupied by a medical office.

Additionally, the council approved a fee increase for single-family homes in streetlight districts. The intent of streetlight districts is for properties on roads with streetlights to pay for the cost of operating and maintaining those lights.

The city last adjusted the streetlight rate in 2011. Since then, Georgia Power has raised its fees. The city approved an 18 percent rate increase, which equates to around $6 per year for most homeowners. 

To further offset costs to the city, the council approved establishing a commercial streetlight district. All areas that are not already part of a streetlight district and are not single-family homes now belong to a commercial streetlight district. Property owners — including apartments, townhomes, office space and retail — will pay a fee based on their street frontage. 

By passing operating costs onto property owners, as is already done for single-family homes on streets with lights, the city anticipates saving $125,000.

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