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May 2010 Meeting Minutes
May 2, 2010

Gordon Jackson, President, called the meeting to order and welcomed Board Members and Visitors. Board Members in attendance were Larry Adams, Joyce Amacher, Kent Brooks, Greg Crnkovich, Barbara Dodds, Bob Fiscella, Bill Grossman, Susan Harper, Stacey Harris, Renate Herod, Gordon Jackson, Alan Mothner, Gerri Penn, Bill Robinson, Doug Thompson, and Joe Tuttle. Doug Thompson announced that he will be running for the City Council seat vacated by Tom Taylor. Qualifying for this District 3 seat is from May 10-14, 2010 and the special election will be July 20, 2010. Bill Robinson spoke on behalf of Fran MiIllar who is running for Dan Weber’s vacated State Senate seat.

Announcements

  • Gordon asked for a motion to be made to donate $500.00 to support the Stage Door and Lemonade Days. Bill Robinson made the motion which was seconded and passed unanimously.
  • Dunwoody Arts Alliance – Jean Cronin spoke on behalf of the DHA Art Alliance. DHS students are doing a full Broadway Show sponsored by the Alliance. The Alliance was formed by DHS parents in 2009 and would like our support.
  • Dunwoody Gridiron Club – Gordon Jackson said that DHS is the flagship of our school cluster. They have a new football coach and are working on rebranding the team. Coach Jim Showfety invited everyone to attend games. He said the DeKalb School system pays for ½ of the supportive coaching staff’s salaries and the Gridiron Club pays the rest. They are starting fundraising with a pancake breakfast May 15th. Spring scrimmage will either be May 14 or May 15 depending on the weather.
  • Community Affairs – After discussion, including Barbara Dodds report that we spent in 2009 $250.00 for the DHS Art Alliance, $125.00 for Senior Blast, and $125.00 for the DHS Gridiron Club., Gordon proposed a DHA sponsorship of $3,500.00 broken down with $1,000.00 for the Grid Iron Club, $1000.00 for the Arts Alliance, $200.00 for the Seniors Last Blast, and $1,300.00 for spending as desired for the Wildcat Fund. Greg made the motion and it was seconded and passed unanimously.

Approval of Minutes – The minutes for February 21, 2010, March. 7, 2010, and April 11, 2010 were approved unanimously.
Zoning and Development

  • 121 Perimeter Center West – Doug Thompson introduced Laurel David who addressed some of DHA’s concerns about their rezoning and SLUP request. She showed drawings of what the proposed restaurant and/or retail shops would look like. They are currently zoned O&I which allows up to 5 stories. They are applying for OCR which only allows for 2 stories so they need both a rezoning and SLUP with conditions for their existing 3rd floor. O & I does allow residential with a SLUP and OCR allows residential. If this building is torn down in the future, it would have to go through a rezoning and SLUP process. Both Community Council and the Planning Commission voted unanimously for approval and will be heard before City Council this month. Both Bob Dallas and Bob Lundsten of the Planning Commission said it wouldn’t set a precedent. Bill Robinson moved to send this back to the Perimeter Village Committee to work on a contract which was seconded and passed unanimously. Barbara Dodds questioned voting on this while everyone including visitors and the applicant were present.
  • Current Hotel W Variance Request – Laurel David said the Current Hotel W will be a Starwood Hotel and is being renovated and changed to two hotels with one side being the Aloft brand with 235 rooms and the other side being their Element brand with 100 rooms. They are asking for a parking variance. Currently the hotel has 275 rooms and the two hotels will have 335 rooms. With no restaurant or spa, less people will need parking so they want 245 parking spaces and the code requires 419. Lanier Parking did a study and found at peak demand, they need 153 spaces. Gordon did not feel it is realistic to have a 40% reduction. Current codes require that the current Hotel W have 344 spaces and they have 245. Bob Lundsten mentioned that DHA previously had an agreement with a proposed Marriott Hotel that they must have a shared parking agreement for overflow parking. The proposed hotels could have valet parking and park behind the hotel. Councilman Robert Wittenstein said the current City parking requirement is ridiculous and they are hoping over time to reduce the parking requirements.

Community Affairs

  • Construction Hours – Stacey Harris said that Councilman Shortal is proposing a change to the codes for construction hours to 7:30 am-7:30 pm, M-Fr and 8:00 am- 5 pm on Saturday. Stacey likes the change. This will come before City Council on May 24th, 2010. DHS renovation starts on May 31 and there will be two work shifts with the 2nd shift from 4 pm- 2 am, interior work only. Gordon asked Councilman Wittenstein if the School system has to adhere to Dunwoody codes. They can apply for a variance. Bill Robinson motioned to support Councilman Shortal’s proposal for new construction hours if they give special consideration to commercial districts versus residential districts. It was seconded and passed with 9 ayes and 6 nays.
  • Valley Restaurant and Lounge – Gerri Penn gave an update that there was a meeting with a possible applicant for a SLUP for a proposed family restaurant and lounge that would be open from 11am-4 am and pour alcohol until 2:30 am. There would be a dance floor and a stage. It would be located at Tilly Mill Crossing (the former Friday’s Plaza) where a previous applicant for El Reventon was denied unanimously by DeKalb County Commissioners the SLUP for extended pouring hours. The owner, of the proposed Valley Restaurant and Lounge, Sampson B. Monger, denied that he was sub leasing the site from El Reventon or that he knew the man from El Reventon who was in attendance. He also denied association with The Valley on Holcomb Bridge Rd in Norcross. It was discovered that he lied on all accounts as he is actually the owner of The Valley in Norcross, was let into the building by the owner of El Reventon who holds the lease on the site. The attorney for Mr. Monger at a meeting with the property manager said they were looking at other possibilities and might not apply for a SLUP.
  • Police Meeting – Gerri Penn attended a meeting at the Doraville Police Department with officers from the City of Doraville, DeKalb County North Precinct and City of Dunwoody Police. They are going to work together to deal with the day laborer situation at Peachtree Industrial and Tilly Mill Rd. Councilwoman Donna Pittman explained the current problems as did the manger of Tilly Mill Crossing. Gerri spoke about her experience of her car being surrounded by day laborers knocking on her windows and trying to get into her car. DeKalb County ICP is going to have more of presence there weekday mornings.
  • DHA Participation in Adopt-A-Spot Landscaping/Maintenance – Gordon said we stopped sponsoring the Ashford Center Parkway medians when Handy Andy took over the maintenance. Right now no one is maintaining the Parkway median. Robin Burch asked DHA to donate funds for the Mt. Vernon Estates triangle. The city planted a tree there but did not water it. The residents want to adopt the spot but would like DHA to provide funds for planting material. Gordon asked Bill Robinson if the landscape plans for that triangle had been presented to the Adopt-A-Spot Committee and Bill said no. Gerri felt that DHA should not help a neighborhood but if DHA is going to Adopt-A-Spot, it should be neighborhood neutral. Bill Grossman suggested that Robin contact The Branches neighborhood association for help. Gordon asked Bill Robinson to look at the gateways on major roads. Joyce said the DPT paid for the trees on the parkway. The City is currently responsible for the maintenance of Ashford Center Parkway.
  • Gordon asked to take no action on the construction hours vote until we study it.
  • Bill Grossman asked if DHA would sponsor a political forum on July 10, 2010.

Board Discussion and Votes
W Hotel Parking Variance – Bill Robinson motioned to support the variance. Parking is not the issue and we should focus on exterior details like landscaping. The motion was seconded and passed with 13 ayes and 2 abstentions by Joe Tuttle and Gerri Penn.

The meeting was adjourned.