To the Editor:
I too would like to express that it is not biking that I oppose. Not at all. But it is the narrowing of our streets that is upsetting.
Dunwoody founded a city where almost every piece of land has been built on, leaving nothing vacant on which to build the amenities we might wish to have. With that being the case, who in their right mind decided our streets were up for grabs! Our streets are not to be considered vacant property!
Many of you may not know it, but Mt. Vernon is a designated truck route. Many of the trucks (with their mirrors extended) are 10 feet wide. Why in the world did the City Council approve widening the street and then giving one-third of the roadway for 5-foot-wide bike lane! This is a tight fit for large trucks competing with 15,000 other vehicles every day!
The time to make the lane 4 feet instead of 5 feet is before the striping is done. When the question of a 4-foot-lane was posed to a council member, the answer was this was a decision of the city engineer, Michael Smith.
Where on the ballot did Michael Smith’s name appear? For your information Dunwoody City Council, we did not elect Michael Smith, or Mr. Hutmacher—the city manager (with his insulting comments in last week’s Crier)—or any other department head—we elected you. It is time for the Council to start doing their job for all their citizens instead of pandering to just a few.
We can’t even have a walking trail in Brook Run without it being taken over for bikers! Now the bikers are demanding the Village Parkway be torn up at a cost of over $2 million while the rest of us get nothing!
Council, take notice that it is our money you are spending and a lot of us do not like what is happening.
To the Editor:
I ask city council to please reconsider narrowing Dunwoody Village Parkway. Besides creating a small town effect with the boulevard, it’s an avenue for locals to get around the left turn traffic blocking the intersection of Chamblee Dunwoody and Mt. Vernon during peak periods.
As far as accommodating bicycle traffic, in the 39 years I have lived here, I have seen one bicyclist on the parkway, hardly enough to merit his own lane. Surely, we are civil enough to share one of the two lanes with the bike riders. Also, the parkway is so winding, I think the existing median prevents auto accidents. Take it out, and there are apt to be numerous head-on collisions.
Please rethink this issue and settle with resurfacing the parkway, not rebuilding. If sidewalks must be built, can they be placed on one side only?
To the Editor:
Council meetings can be painful for a number of reasons. Sitting in those darn chairs for over four hours this past Monday night was painful enough, but to listen to the council rehash the same stuff over and over again without taking specific action is torturous. It is the result of governing by emotion rather than business sense.
I get and agree with the argument that this (Dunwoody Village Parkway renewal) project could spark the “economic rebirth” of the Village, I really do. I would love to see the Village get “polished up.” But spending the equivalent of the city’s entire annual discretionary budget on one project should be based on the internal rate of return it provides for the monies spent, not on beliefs, feelings, or wishes. Hope is not a strategy.
Regency Center, Inc., which owns the majority of the property surrounding the parkway, would see an immediate financial benefit with this project as it would certainly increase the property value. According to comments made by several council members, Regency has been less than interested in spending dime one on this project, or any additional improvements to their property, as is evident by the current state of the parking lots. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.
In the meantime, if 100 percent of the cost of this project will fall on the taxpayer’s shoulders council needs to stop the hyperbole and commission a study to quantify the internal rate of return on this and our other needed transportation improvements. We’ll then have a “road map” (no pun intended) based on science, not emotion.
I implore Council to:
1) Assess the need and priority for the projects against our most pressing needs
2) Quantify the “soft” and “hard” dollar return on investment the expenditure will produce
3) Compare it to the internal rate of return with projects of similar priority; with limited monies to spend the internal rate of return should dictate where the money is spent!
3) Reach out to all local businesses impacted by the potential project to insure their input has been heard and considered
4) Plan your work and work your plan!
5) Measure your results against your projections.
Kerry de Vallette
To the Editor:
I agree with Mr. Booth’s letter to the editor concerning the yield sign at Nandina Lane. It should be replaced with a stop sign.
Everyday I sit at my desk at The Crier office and hear car horns honking or brakes screeching and I know what it is... another near miss! Another driver failing to yield and driving at a high rate of speed.
To the Editor:
Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan gave a report to the Dunwoody City Council in January of this year. In the report he noted that the great majority of criminal activity in Dunwoody is taking place in the business and commercial districts. He reported that, while crimes do of course occur in our residential neighborhoods, the overwhelming number of calls involving criminal activity that his officers are responding to are coming from the areas of Dunwoody where business and commerce is taking place.
According to the consulting firm hired by our city to conduct research, about 16 percent of the land space in Dunwoody is currently zoned for commercial, industrial, institutional or governmental use. In contrast, about 84 percent of our land space here in Dunwoody is zoned for residential use. In short, our Dunwoody police officers are battling the vast majority of crime in what amounts to about 16 percent of our land space. Yet, some folks in our community want to rewrite the zoning rules and ordinances in such a way that will expand that battlefield for our police and emergency responding professionals. It makes no sense to do that.
“Home Occupation” is a term used for those people in our community that work or otherwise conduct commerce or business from their homes. We currently have zoning regulations and ordinances that allow for homeowners to operate a home occupation business from their home. These home occupations are subject to permit requirements called a “Special Land Use Permit,” or SLUP. SLUPS protect the interests of homeowners in the neighborhood, by helping to regulate the conditions at the home occupation location. This helps reduce noise, excessive vehicle and pedestrian traffic and other unwanted nuisances near our homes. These SLUPS are critical to maintaining a safe and pleasant environment for both the home occupation homeowner and other residents in the neighborhood.
Everyone should understand that some project rewrite proposals are being entertained that would discontinue the SLUP requirements for home occupation and that poses a potential threat to every homeowner in Dunwoody. Proposals have been and continue to be made that will allow even more business activity in our residential neighborhoods including proposals that will allow multiple face-to-face customer contact at homes in Dunwoody.
Proposals to allow nonresident employees of home occupation businesses to visit and traffic to, through and from our residential subdivisions and neighborhoods are being discussed, as well. For the most part, these are all bad ideas that should not be adopted by the city of Dunwoody.
Most of the criminal activity in Dunwoody right now is happening in the areas where commerce is taking place. Voting to rewrite our zoning regulations to allow more business and commercial activity in our residential areas will bring that crime right into our neighborhoods. Is that what homeowners in Dunwoody really want? Do we really want to ignore Police Chief Billy Grogan? Do we really want to make his job and the job of our law enforcement officers tougher, by allowing still more commercial activity in our neighborhoods?
I am opposed to the idea of changing our zoning requirements to allow an increase in the amount of business activity in our residential districts. The number one reason for my opposition is the negative impact it will have on the safety, security and serenity of our neighborhoods. I am, however, in favor of strengthening code enforcement. I am also in favor of allowing for some type of expedited process for home occupation homeowners, that have one-on-one customer contact, to get a SLUP for their home business in an expedited fashion without any undue burden in that process. These are priority issues that should not be ignored.
To the Editor:
On behalf of the Board of Directors and the staff of the Dunwoody Nature Center, I’d like to thank everyone who made our 2012 Butterfly Festival a resounding success. Observing the hundreds of people in the park that day, one attendee said, “This looks like the closing scene of a small town feel-good movie.”
We are indebted to our sponsors including Crier Newspapers, Kimberly-Clark, Georgia Power, Cable Materials, Schulman Dentistry, CVB of Dunwoody, Cox Enterprises, DHA, Cooper Dentistry, UPS, Custom Signs Today, Dunwoody Animal Medical Center, Georgia Transmission Corporation, Georgia Natural Gas, Kapp Koncepts, Pankey & Horlock, LLS, Teradata and Troutman Sanders. We are immensely grateful to our volunteers many of whom worked from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the day of the event and put in hundreds of hours prior to the festival. Most importantly, we thank our guests and visitors. We hope you enjoyed your encounter with the butterflies and we hope to see you again next year.
Brook Run trail
To the Editor:
I noted with some interest your article on “A Few Object to Size of Brook Run Trail” in the Crier’s Aug. 15 edition. The concrete trail is supposed to be 12 feet wide and 2.2 miles long. One mile equals 5,280 feet. Multiplying 12 times 2.2 times 5,280 equals 139,392 square feet of concrete with an environmental impact that may look minor up close but that in the aggregate may seriously influence the health of Brook Run Park. My experience as the Habitat Coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation for the last five years indicates that natural materials could be used for such a trail instead of concrete.
To the Editor:
What fool would be against a trail through a lovely park, full of 50-year-old hardwoods, streams, native plants, and scenic views? No one. That is right, no one is against the concept, but a lot of us do want the trail to be done right by the environment. That is, the construction of the trail through Brook Run Park, an area of wetlands, soil erosion, a drainage swale and streams that empty into W. Nancy Creek that, in turn, empties into the Chattahoochee River, must be done according to the rules of law and basic principles of engineering and environmental common sense.
Right now, only “a few” object to the plans at Brook Run, because most of the citizens of Dunwoody have no earthly idea what the trade-offs are to the construction of a 12-foot-wide concrete roadway through Brook Run’s urban forest. When humans meet up with nature for a development project, there has to be some give and take for all sides to win. We think the humans can get a great trail and nature can keep most of her precious trees, the stream can be healthy, and not over burdened, and the soil can maintain its nutrients. We can do this if we plan for the preservation of the environment.
There is so much to be said about the issues surrounding the proposed trail, a contract for which is already signed, and underbrush cut and surveys done. Time is wasting, and soon there will be far fewer precious hardwoods in the park, and a concrete roadway installed in places where soil erosion and drainage issues already exist.
Increased rainwater runoff into surrounding communities and into W. Nancy Creek, that is already at capacity in 2-inch rains, will cause increased flooding risks to Dunwoody homeowners. Increased risk of flooding will be a probable consequence of constructing the trail, as planned. For, at the moment, there is no plan to address drainage. No plan to control the additional water, to conserve it, perhaps, to hold it for re-use in the park; no plan to treat the area surrounding the concrete path to promote absorption of rainwater into the ground.
It has been stated by city engineers that there will be no negative environmental effect from the acre of concrete that is about to be installed in the park, and no additional rainwater runoff. The water will simply be absorbed into the ground. Without a plan, we doubt this will happen, especially in the areas where the ground has already become impervious, for example, in the area of the dog park.
We feel that too little attention is being paid to the critical environmental issues that include tree conservation, soil erosion prevention, water management, and the overall health of the park. We have been told that environmental and engineering analyses have been conducted, but no copies have been produced to date, and it is probably the case that hydrology, soil erosion analysis, and tree conservation studies have not been conducted. Going into this project without scientific and environmental data and guidelines can only lead to poor decision making.
We request a public meeting with a panel composed of Brent Walker and representatives from Lose/Lewallen to explain exactly why they have chosen the trail design presently envisioned and the actions they have taken to ensure that this design is appropriate and will not cause damage to the park and the surrounding areas. Such a meeting should answer all questions of concern or prompt the necessary actions to eliminate citizen concerns and to proceed with development of the trail.
Hugh and Kathy Fries
Dick and Joyce Roberts
Doris and Herb Williams