Consultants are moving forward with the overhaul of Dunwoody’s zoning regulations after listening to public input on the most important issues facing the city.
On April 26, the city hosted its second public meeting as part of the year-long zoning code rewrite process. Consultants hired by the city will take the 1970s-era zoning code Dunwoody inherited from DeKalb County and tailor it to fit the city’s needs. The updated document is expected to be about 200 pages.
Since the project kicked off in January, consultants have been compiling a report, titled the Concepts and Design Report, based on their observations and public input about what direction the city should take with its zoning code rewrite.
“This report is still a fairly big picture,” said Kirk Bishop, a consultant with Duncan Associates. “As we prepare the new rewritten rules, we will identify other ideas.”
For example, Bishop said the current zoning guidelines are “silent” on sustainability measures such as solar energy, rain barrels and bicycle parking.
Since Dunwoody became a city, residents have told City Council members that sustainability is a priority.
“The ordinance ought to be clear and say upfront ‘we welcome this’ with safeguards to make sure they protect residential areas,” Bishop said.
Bishop said a sounding board of Dunwoody residents pointed out several things for the consultants to look at that weren’t addressed in the city’s comprehensive plan or transportation plan, including regulations for stream buffers and home-based businesses.
The approximately 40 residents who attended the meeting also had an opportunity to tell the consultants what they thought they should be included in the rewrite. Many offered input on a variety of topics, such as having special considerations for the Perimeter Center business district, restrictions on multi-family housing, and establishing rules for infill development in residential neighborhoods.
Councilman Terry Nall said he was glad to see more people attended the city’s second zoning meeting, but hopes to see more involvement in the future.
“We want to reflect the heart and soul of Dunwoody and what our needs are and what they’re going to be in the future. The more involvement we have the better,” Nall said. “It’s important to know what the community believes to be a priority.”
Nall said the zoning code rewrite is one of the most important things the city will do over the next year.
“I think it’s important for us to preserve the good things that make Dunwoody what it is, but find a common-sense balance that allows us to adapt to the needs of the changing environment around us,” Nall said.