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DHA Message Regarding City Board Policy
Jul 17, 2016

Earlier this month, the city moved to establish a policy that disqualifies members of the Dunwoody Homeowner Association from a wide array of city boards. Sitting board members were given an ultimatum: members were to resign from the DHA or from their current board position. All DHA members, and members of other Dunwoody groups, should be deeply troubled by this action. Last week, City Council agreed to pause these efforts and discuss the matter further. We applaud their decision to seek outside legal opinions before implementing this policy change.

For decades, DHA has been the strong voice of Dunwoody homeowners and has worked to protect the single-family character of the city. We have fought some developments—and supported others. The DHA has encouraged project adjustments that we believed enhanced the proposed projects or reduced their impact on Dunwoody.

Since the city was formed in 2008, there have been voices suggesting that the DHA was no longer needed. But we have continued to successfully represent the interests of homeowners as Dunwoody grows.

Dunwoody has a wide array of stakeholders—commercial developers, large land owners, businesses, vendors and apartment complexes. Their interests do not always align with the homeowners. The DHA, through the support of you and 1,000 other members, is focused on what is best for homeowners. Because we are a non-governmental entity, we have the freedom to negotiate with potential developers to help guide their projects in ways that will benefit and protect our single-family neighborhoods.

DHA meetings, held on the first Sunday evening of the month, are the only forum where homeowners and the rest of the public may meet the people involved in new development, hear the plans, and ask questions. These forums allow us to develop an informed opinion about changes to our city before they go to City Council.

The city implemented (and has now paused) two policies that need a hard, critical look:

  • City lawyers have declared that simply being a member in the DHA presents an inherent conflict of interest with a position on any of the city boards that reviews a wide variety of zoning and land use requests.
  • They have suggested that city board members should not be present at DHA board meetings as guests to hear what developers are saying to the community as they present their proposals and the questions and concerns of residents in these meetings.

These policy changes will deprive residents of opportunities to ask questions and voice opinions about what happens in our own community.

We encourage city council and city staff to keep an open mind as they take a second look and to include the public in the discussion.

We ask for your support going forward. When your membership form comes in November, please renew and remind your friends and neighbors to do the same.

To allow you to be more informed and involved, starting in August, we will send you an e-mail in advance of each board meeting with the agenda. Agendas will also be posted via Facebook and Twitter. We welcome and encourage you to attend DHA meetings to add your voice to Dunwoody’s future.

Thank you for your past support.

Regards,

DHA Board of Directors