DUNWOODY, Ga. – Dunwoody City Council members had mixed reactions at their April 12 meeting discussing a text amendment to limit fence and wall heights to 6 feet in single-family residential areas.
A memo submitted to the council from Dunwoody Planning and Zoning Manager Paul Leonhardt said that the 6-foot limit would only impact interior side and rear yards. Fences in front yards and side street yards would be limited to 4 feet in height “or 6 feet in specific situations.” The memo did not spell out out what specific situations would allow for a 6-foot fence.
The memo said that city staff recommended approval of the text amendment, but added that the Dunwoody Planning Commission voted 7-0 against it at its March 9 meeting.
“(The) main reasons (for the commission’s vote) are a desire not to take away fencing options and a low number of complaints about fence height,” the memo said. “Commissioners discussed options to take height into consideration, however, no option that would be easy to administer was found.”
The memo indicated that Councilwoman Pam Tallmadge had requested staff to research and draft the text amendment. It listed limitations that are in place in neighboring municipalities. Alpharetta, Atlanta and Doraville have 6-foot maximum heights, while Brookhaven, Chamblee, Decatur, Roswell and Sandy Springs have 8-foot maximums.
“I regret voting for the 8-foot fence (stipulation) several years ago,” Tallmadge said. “You don’t know (how invasive it is) unless it happens to you.”
Council members Jim Riticher, John Heneghan and Tom Lambert expressed reluctance to make the change.
“I see arguments on both sides of the issue,” Lambert said, a sentiment Heneghan and Riticher echoed.
One resident spoke in favor of limiting fence heights during a public hearing about the proposed amendment. No action was taken on the matter.
In other action, the council:
Accepted a donation of five trees from the Dunwoody Womens Club to commemorate the organization’s 50th anniversary.
Discussed, without taking action, several designs for a stretch of intersection along Mount Vernon Road between Corners Drive and Mount Vernon Place.
Issued a proclamation honoring the Dunwoody Sustainability Committee’s Hero of the Year, Pattie Baker, in recognition of her efforts to advocate for alternative forms of transportation within the city.
Swore in two new police officers, Alec Brown and Matthew Hansen.
Issued a proclamation honoring the Chattahoochie Riverkeeper organization for its work promoting water safety and testing.
Acknowledged the city receiving a certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting for its year-end report by the Government Finance Officers Association.
Discussed funding sources for the Georgetown Gateway project, which will incorporate sidewalks, share use paths and streetscape improvements on Chamblee Dunwoody Road from Cotillion Drive to Peeler Road.
Voted to approve high school student Seamus Stephenson to the Dunwoody Sustainability Committee as an ex-officio member.