Council approved the intergovernmental agreement with the Georgia Department of Transportation regarding the Dunwoody Village Parkway Transportation Enhancement Grant.
Execution of that real property pact is necessary in order to fulfill federal funding requirements. It calls for the city to obtain the easements for the project in accordance with federal guidelines.
Design plans call for a conversion of the four-lane parkway to two lanes, removal of the median and dozens of trees and the advent of bike lanes and sidewalks on either side.
Councilman Terry Nall acknowledged community opposition to the project, specifically the impending removal of the travel lanes and median.
“Personally, I agree with those sentiments … and I don’t think the invasive change was contemplated when the original grant was awarded,” Nall said. “However, we’re boxed in a corner as we really don’t have any right of way outside the parkway to speak of.”
Moreover, the city runs the risk of being blacklisted if grant monies were returned unused due to disagreement with a given project, said Nall.
Council is mulling four alternative plans and the costs associated with each.
Ken Wright was among those to express his support for the parkway alterations at the council meeting.
“As a local business owner, as a business taxpayer and as a local resident who lives within walking distance of Dunwoody Village, I support the [project],” Wright said. “I believe this is going to be a game changer for Dunwoody Village. I read a lot about the economic development aspects of it and I’ll withhold judgment on that … I just encourage [council] to move forward with this worthwhile project.”
Elsewhere on the agenda, the Dunwoody Board of Ethics request for a hearing officer passed.
Ethics board Chairman Steve Blaske lobbied council to fund the position at its previous meeting. The hearing officer is expected to guide the September proceedings when the ethics board deliberates the merits of complaints filed against and amongst city council members.
Mayor Mike Davis and council members filed an ethics complaint against Councilwoman Adrian Bonser charging that she leaked information about land transactions discussed during executive session related to the Project Renaissance redevelopment initiative targeting the Georgetown area. Bonser countered with a complaint of her own, accusing her fellow city government officials with holding an improper meeting.
Blaske’s request passed on the recommendation of acting city attorney Cecil McClendon.