The Dunwoody City Council approved a call for a November referendum on a $60 million, 20-year parks improvement bond at its June 13 meeting.

The bond fund would finance improvements for parks and trails, including:

  • Buildout of Homecoming Park, formerly referred to as Vermack Park, and other park improvements, including a 10-acre tract of land that used to house Austin Elementary School;
  • The acquisition of land and construction of softball fields at a site that has yet to be determined;
  • The construction of four multi-use trails (in the Dunwoody Village area, Winter’s Chapel Road, North Peachtree Road and Mt. Vernon Road).

The average annual tax increase for a resident with a house valued at $500,000 would be around $160, according to city officials.

The bond referendum will be on the Nov. 7 ballot.

The council also held public hearings on several zoning changes, including a request from developer JSJ Perimeter LLC to drop timing limitations on a 225-unit, age-restricted apartment project at 84 Perimeter Center East.

A staff memo recommended the lifting of a restriction that stipulated that the developer apply for a land disturbance permit within two years of the zoning approval, considering economic conditions that have made financing for such projects difficult.

“Impacts from Covid-19 have complicated financing and construction timelines,” a staff memo said.

Staff also recommended not placing another date in the restrictions “as enforcement would be difficult.”

Josh DiGiovanni, representing the developer, said the company is still “fully invested” in the project and continuing to seek financing.

“It is our hope that things will open up by the end of the year,” DiGiovanni said.

“I’m very disappointed that this project hasn’t started, but I understand the economic environment has forced this change,” Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deutsch said.

The council also held a public hearing about a zoning change that would allow for the construction of a storage facility at 4470 Chamblee Dunwoody Road. No attendees spoke either in opposition or support of the change, but council questioned the appearance of the building, saying that it prefers it to look more like an office building than a storage facility.

In other action, the council:

  • Approved on second reading a Special Land Use Permit that would allow for the construction of 12-pickleball courts at the Marcus Jewish Community Center. Attorney Kathy Zickert, representing the applicant, said several improvements have been made to alleviate court noise that could affect neighbors, as well as a limit on its hours of operation;
  • After extended discussion, voted 6-1 to name a future park on Roberts Drive Wildcat Park. The choices also included Village Crossing, Discover, Juniper, Dogwood Overlook, Loblolly, Humblebee and Piedmont Breeze;
  • Approved $800,000 to alleviate stormwater and erosion issues at the Dunwoody Nature Center;
  • Discussed a conceptual design for a 12-foot pedestrian path on Peeler Road from Winters Chapel Road to Lakeside Drive, an initiative that several speakers at the public comment section of the meeting say they oppose its location on the north side of Peeler Road.
  • Accepted a $433,000 donation to build a Vietnam veteran’s memorial at Brook Run Park.

Cathy Cobbs covers Dunwoody for Reporter Newspapers and Rough Draft Atlanta. She can be reached at