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June 2009 Meeting Minutes
Jun 7, 2009

Gordon Jackson, President, called the meeting to order and welcomed Board members and guests.

There were no announcements. The minutes were approved unanimously.

Zoning and Development

  • Rooms to Go – Carl Westmorland represented Rooms to Go. Rooms to Go’s proposal is for the old Expo location in Perimeter. They would be subdividing the space for probably two other retail stores. They are requesting a lot of variances to basically keep it as it is. Variances are to increase the lot coverage from 80% to 91%, to reduce parking, reduction in loading space required, let storm water system stay as is, variance for 25 foot setback due to cemetery behind the store, and two landscaping variances. Currently there is 115,000 sq. ft. and they are expanding by 6,500 sq. ft. They are using 45,000 sq ft of the space. In addition, they need variances for signs to allow for three signs on the front of the building, 1 per tenant and they also want a three signs on the building facing Ashford Dunwoody Rd. where there is no access to the store. Bob Lundsten asked them not to use internally lit signage and asked them to look at Target in the Sembler project. Bob said we are trying to clean up that area with a Dunwoody look. They said they are planning an LED internally lit sign since it sits back and that would make it more visible but they will take his suggestions into consideration.
  • Winters Chapel Rd. /Peeler Rd. update was given by Gordon Jackson. The Shell Station withdrew without prejudice and they are reducing the size of the building to make it compliant without a variance. There was a technical problem with City staff that the neighbors within 250 feet were not notified in advance by letter.

Community Affairs

  • Soap Box Derby – Gordon said there were lots of cars and our car did well and DHA was well advertised. We didn’t spend as much as anticipated.
  • July 4th Parade Update – Bill Robinson said that the pole banners are going up and the police are ready for the parade. There are three venues. New this year is Cavalry Church’s Children’s Festival is now moving to our festival area behind Calico Corners. We will have the same food as last year. Pam needs volunteers for the beginning and end of the parade route. Each volunteer gets a T-shirt and whistle to keep. One person is taking care of all of the tents. Just Trash It has refined their operation to meet the needs of the size of the crowd. There will be seven Happy Cans.
  • AED Program – Bob Lundsten made a presentation on Sudden Cardiac Arrest and the importance of the Dunwoody Police cars being equipped with AEDs. He gave facts on what it is, who it can strike, and the importance of AEDs in saving lives. He also told the story about his wife’s sudden cardiac arrest. A committee has been formed and they need to raise $75,000 for fifty AEDs by Dec., 09. Chief Grogan would be selecting the AED he wants in the patrol cars. Bob asked for DHA to vote on a donation for this worthwhile endeavor.
  • Dunwoody Sustainability – Stacy Harris said that she is on the committee and Mitch Garber has a project to get more parking for bikes. This is something DHA can consider in the future.
  • DHA Participation in City Board meetings – Gordon asked DHA Board members to attend City Board meetings. There have been issues on the agenda at City Board meetings that have not come before DHA. There was a discussion on DeKalb Community Council and the lack of experience on the City Community Council. DHA is needed as they can do things that staff cannot do as staff goes strictly by the codes and DHA can work on agreements with conditions. There was also discussion of the Goddard School variance and there were residents in attendance at the meeting who wanted to know when DHA would schedule a meeting with the applicants and them. They said the advertised address was wrong and they received written notification a couple of days before the hearing. Gordon asked then to leave their contact information.
  • DHA Participation in Sembler Tax meeting – Sembler is asking for a 51 million dollar tax abatement. The meeting is being led by Mike Jacobs at 7 pm at Chamblee United Methodist Church on June 8th, 2009. Fran suggested that a representative from DHA just go and listen but take no position.
  • Code Enforcement – Gerri said she needs other eyes to let her know about violations as she does not drive all around Dunwoody. Stacy brought up the Arby’s banner and dancing people with signs on free Wednesday. Gerri told Stacy that Code Enforcement is dealing with it. There was discussion that Code Enforcement is complaint driven. Gerri told the Board how Code Enforcement did a sign sweep and picked up over 200 signs and plan to do sweeps about every six weeks. Bill Grossman suggested that if anyone has a complaint to go to the City web site and fill out an online complaint form that is anonymous.

Board Discussion and Votes

  • Rooms to Go – Gordon will get with them and go over the language of the agreement. Bill Robinson said the new sign ordinance, if passed, would not allow for internally lit signs. Fran said have them change the signs so that they are not internally lit or back lit. He feels they should be externally lit. Bill Robinson moved to support the variances if they eliminate internally or back lit signs and clarify that the signs be located on the building, not freestanding. The motion passed unanimously.
  • AEDs – Fran asked how much did we use for the Soap Box Derby and we used $5,000 of $8,000 and he motioned that we donate $3,000. Bill Grossman made a substitute motion to donate $7,500, 10% of what is needed. The motion passed unanimously.

The meeting was adjourned.