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Dunwoody City Council delays action on housing project

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DUNWOODY, Ga. — After prolonged discussion and input from disgruntled neighbors, the Dunwoody City Council deferred action Oct. 26 on a rezoning request that would have allowed for construction of 14 empty-nester homes on Roberts Drive.

During public comment before and after the council session, several Dunwoody Knoll residents, whose properties border the proposed development, “The Cottages,” said they were concerned about the density the rezoning would allow.

They also complained that the buffer between Dunwoody Knoll and the new subdivision was inadequate. Council members echoed those fears when the rezoning proposal was introduced on first reading.

“I am concerned about the lot coverage, which is about 85 percent (impervious space),” Mayor Lynn Deutsch said. “Would taking a few houses out solve this issue?”

Ty White, CEO of Peachland Homes, said he was willing to look at reducing the number of homes to achieve a 75 percent density level, but warned additional reductions might be a deal breaker.

Councilmen Tom Lambert and John Heneghan also voiced opposition to the proposed rezoning and asked White to come back with a plan that had fewer homes and addressed concerns raised by the Dunwoody Knoll neighbors.

After a discussion that lasted more than an hour, the council deferred the measure, and asked that it be reconsidered Nov. 9.

In other action, the council approved $400,000 of CARES Act funds to local non-profit businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. The recipients, who were given $50,000 each, included:

Community Assistance Center for rent reimbursement for Dunwoody residents;

• Corners Outreach for educational efforts, rent relief and food;

• Family Promise of North Fulton/DeKalb for expenses for families needing hotel rooms, childcare services and enhanced cleaning;

• I Care Atlanta for food purchases, vehicle expenses for food donation pickups and deliveries;

• Jewish Family & Career Services for mental health services and food pantry expansion;

• Malachi’s Storehouse for food, increased freezer capacity and utility costs;

• The Summit Counseling Center for client assistance funds;

• Society of St. Vincent de Paul for rent/utility reimbursement for Dunwoody residents.

 “This may be one of the best things we’ve done all year,” Deutsch said.  

In other matters, the City Council:

• Passed on second reading the 2021 budget, which totals about $24.5 million. Dunwoody Finance Director Linda Nabors noted that the budget includes a 2 percent cost-of-living pay hike for employees and diverts about $50,000 from the traffic signal budget to fund the former Austin School master plan.

• Heard from Police Chief Billy Grogan that online voting to name the force’s two newest canine officers was complete. The winning names are “Ranger” and “Hank.” More than 1,500 votes were cast. The dogs are in the middle of training.

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