Dunwoody Village buffer dispute resolved through reallocation

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After lengthy negotiations between local residents and property owners, the last two remaining lots in the Dunwoody Village Overlay District are being reallocated.

During a session on September 17, Dunwoody City Council voted to reclassify two properties in Dunwoody Village – the Shops at Dunwoody at 5500 Chamblee Dunwoody Road and an adjoining car wash at 1244 Dunwoody Village Parkway – from the Local Commercial and the Dunwoody Village Overlay District, to the city’s DV-1 or Village Commercial District, and to the DV-4 or Village Center District.

The council initially approved a rededication on November 30, 2020 to turn the collection of stores and malls known as Dunwoody Village into a mixed-use development. However, the Shops of Dunwoody owner sued the city, saying the size of the buffer zone between the village and neighboring apartments limited the available redevelopment area. The city removed the Shops of Dunwoody and the car wash from the zoning.

Initially, the city and the landowners agreed to divide both plots into the DV-4 district and to leave the space between the village and the nearby residential buildings at 50 meters. Thirty-five feet of that area would have been undisturbed, while the remaining 45 feet would be redeveloped into green space.

However, following disputes between neighbors and property owners over whether this compromise violated an alleged 1977 condition of the property that required an undisturbed buffer of at least 50 feet, the parties involved continued negotiating. The new zoning increases the undisturbed buffer from 35 to 50 feet and reduces the available remediation space from 50 to 30 feet.

Councilor Stacey Harris said the 50-foot portion of the property adjacent to the residences will now be zoned under DV-1 to protect these neighbors from future developments. Dunwoody’s DV-4 District allows buildings with a maximum of five floors, while DV-1 allows buildings with a maximum of four floors. Although the buffer between the village and the neighborhood must be an open space with no buildings, Harris – who was one of the councilors who worked closely with residents to negotiate these terms – said the DV-1 zoning provided the residents is intended to protect major developments that could take place many years in the future.

An illustration of the proposed zoning from the agenda for the Dunwoody City Council meeting.

“I have protected the residential properties on the west side from any future advice,” said Harris. “Zoning conditions can be removed, they can change. Since the property is directly adjacent to your DV-1 houses, in my opinion this offers a little more protection due to the different uses and heights. ”

The negotiations also resulted in several zoning conditions being included, including the neighbors’ desire to install a chain link fence along the property line, separating the neighborhood from the open space. Local residents can read more about the negotiations on the city’s website.

Representatives of the neighbors and property owners spoke during the public statement. Attorney Den Webb spoke on behalf of property owners Peachtree Shops of Dunwoody LLC and Sodop II LLC and agreed to the terms and conditions presented to the council.

Bob Fiscella, president of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association, said the neighbors were “satisfied, if not entirely satisfied”.

“Although homeowners hate to lose the 50 meter long undisturbed buffer they have enjoyed for over 40 years, at the end of the day they understand that they don’t own the property in question,” he said. “They are happy … that the city and the commercial property owner went back to the drawing board and the commercial property owner stepped in and made concessions to alleviate some of the homeowner’s worries.”




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