03-31-17 Dunwoody Reporter

Page 1

MARCH 31 - APRIL 13, 2017 • VOL. 8 — NO. 7


Dunwoody Reporter


Perimeter Business ► Agents deploy drones, hire models to sell multimillion-dollar homes PAGE 5 ► Cities jump on the logo brand-wagon



Communities of Faith


Will backyard chickens come home to roost?

BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net Thanks to some prodding by a couple of local Girl Scouts, some City Council members are ready to reconsider the city’s ban on backyard chickens. A proposed ordinance legalizing backyard chickens is expected


Lauren Fitzgerald, left, and Chloe Fenster, who want to have their own backyard chickens (but now can only have a stuffed one) are hoping to help legalize backyard chickens in Dunwoody.

EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATOR Bringing science to life Page 20

Our streets and our neighborhoods cannot handle the volume of cars that it’s going to take to move the people to the games. Are we prepared for Braves traffic? Residents speak out. See COMMUNITY SURVEY Page 14

See WILL on page 12

OUT & ABOUT Author talks early aviation in Georgia Page 8

State lawmakers approve increase in hotel/motel tax BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

State lawmakers have approved a request from the city of Dunwoody to increase its hotel/motel tax to raise nearly $2 million annually that some have said will fund trails and green space in Perimeter Center as well as cover costs to market and brand the trails that city leaders believe will attract more tourists to the city. The bill now goes to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk for his signature and then back to the City Council for a vote on See STATE on page 15

2 | Community

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Dunwoody High School students participating in the first ‘mock City Council’ include, in front, Isaiah Gardner and Iman Hoque; and in back, Matthew Eitel and Rachel Greenwald.

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A group of Dunwoody High School students are trying to prove that young people can be involved and make a difference in local politics as part of a “mock City Council” that exposes the teens to governing and policy making. “We really represent change for the future ... we are the future of the community and we need to be included,” said Matthew Eitel, 17, a junior, and a founding member of the high school’s City Council club, which was started this year. The stereotype of government, Eitel added, is that only “old people” are involved. The new club wants to be part of breaking down that stereotype. “This is a unique chance to represent adolescents of Dunwoody,” Eitel said. In January, the six students in the club — Eitel, Isaiah Gardner, Iman Hoque, Rachel Greenwald, Sarah Perling and Claire Tannen — presented results of a survey to the “official” City Council. The students had polled their classmates about what they wanted to see at the new park that will be built in a few years at the current Austin Elementary School site. In February, several of the students shadowed city employees to learn more about the day-to-day activities of running a city. The students have also given input to the council on what they’d like to see at Brook Run Park. For Hoque, 17 and a junior, attending City Council meetings and speaking with city elected officials and employees has exposed him to the importance of local government. “Most people have a strong grasp of what’s happening at the national level ... but not at the municipal level.” But it is at the local level where people actually have a say in how decisions are made, he said. “It’s really opened my eyes to how government works,” added Gardner, 17, also a junior. “The most interesting takeaway for me is Dunwoody seems like a quiet city

and I previously thought it was an inactive community — but I now see it’s really not quiet if you choose to be interactive.” For Greenwald, 17 and a junior, it’s important for young people to learn to engage in municipal government. “It’s essential for students to have a role in the government of their city so they can see they can make an impact,” she said. “We can have influence, even if we are not able to vote. It’s important to this group that we communicate that to other students.” City Councilmember Pam Tallmadge has helped organize students to become more involved in city government. She and Assistant City Manager Jessica Guinn have worked together and with the students to ensure they have access to information and resources and to get their voices heard. “A year ago, Denny [Mayor Denis Shortal] was talking about putting youth on committees and I thought that would be a great idea,” Tallmadge said. “We’re always saying we don’t have enough young families and youth at our meetings.” So Tallmadge began investigating how a “mock council” could be created and learned there are numerous such high school groups in other areas and states. After meeting with Principal Tom McFerrin and Social Studies Department Chair Michael Berry and teacher Megan McClendon signed on as advisors, the new high school club was formed. “They bring fresh, new ideas to the city,” Tallmadge said. “They should have a say in some of our decisions.” Guinn said student involvement in local government can set the tone for future growth. “I feel it’s important to get youth involved in local government because it gives them an opportunity to participate and interact on matters that are felt close to home,” she said in an email. “Their involvement and input on these decisions and initiatives may potentially mean more to them since they can actually feel and see the impact of a particular project happen within their own community.”


MARCH 31 - APRIL 13, 2017

Community | 3


City looks to clean up home business zoning BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

When Rhett Roberson sought a special land use permit from the city to operate a physical therapy business in the basement of his Dunwoody North home, he thought he would likely get approval because “licensed therapists” was listed as an example of such a business in the city’s official code. Instead, the City Council voted unanimously in January to deny his application after backlash from some of Roberson’s neighbors opposing the application. They told council members, among other things, that they worried about more traffic in their quiet residential neighborhood. Before the council vote, the Planning Commission voted to deny approval. Roberson said he has spoken to an attorney and is considering the appeals process. He may also start over and reapply. “I could also continue with my three other jobs,” he said. The controversy that ensued after Roberson’s application became public prompted city officials to decide to take a closer look at the code. The council is now considering tweaking the Type B home business restrictions to included shorter hours, stricter parking requirements, and defining “incidental client contact.” Second and final read of the

tweaks to the code are slated for April 11. Currently in the city code, Type B home occupations are defined as “those in which household residents use their home as a place of work and either one non-resident employee or customers come to the site. Typical examples include tutors, teachers, photographers and licensed therapists or counselors.” At the March 27 City Council meeting, Councilmember Terry Nall asked Director of Community Development Steve Foote if the city should remove the listed examples of businesses for Type A and Type B businesses. “I’m not a fan of articulating any examples,” Nall said. “It should never be assumed that approval will be automatic.” Foote said he and the Planning Commission had discussed that listing the examples might give applicants a “false impression” and that he would go back and make edits. At the January meeting when the council voted to deny the SLUP request, Councilmember John Heneghan said he was voting against it because Roberson’s physical therapy business is actually a medical facility. And, according to the city’s comprehensive plan and character area studies, medical facilities are not allowed to be located in areas such as the Dunwoody North neighborhood. However, Foote and city staff did recom-

mend approval of Roberson’s SLUP request and did not define it as a medical facility. Roberson thinks perhaps the Manget Way controversy from several years ago is affecting the City Council’s decision. Last year, the city settled a federal lawsuit for $850,000 with Center for Discovery, a California-based company that leased a house on Manget Way as a place to treat teenage girls with eating disorders. Residents and the Zoning Board of Appeals at the time argued city staff had wrongly designated the treatment center as a personal care home rather than a medical facility, but the courts ruled against the city. “I think that [decision] sparked a lot of fear in the community,” Roberson said. “People are gun-shy now,” he added. Heneghan said after the March 27 meeting that he believes Roberson’s proposed business is a medical facility despite what city staff recommended. Roberson said he felt Heneghan’s arguments led to a lot of “misdirection” and that the code should be interpreted literally while comprehensive plans are “vision documents” that are not meant to be taken literally. “Licensed therapist is in the code as an approved Type B business,” Roberson said. “I think this decision silos Dunwoody a little bit — it’s a step backward.”

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4 | Perimeter Business

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Perimeter Business A monthly section focusing on business in the Reporter Newspapers communities

With new logos, Perimeter cities join the branding boom BY JOHN RUCH, DYANA BAGBY AND EVELYN ANDREWS


The new Sandy Springs economic development marketing logo.

Many of metro Atlanta’s corporate giants, from Coca-Cola to UPS, attract customers with instantly recognizable brand logos. In turn, cities marketing themselves as hometowns for such businesses are trying to stand out with

their own brands, with new city logos popping up everywhere from Perimeter Center to Peachtree City. Dunwoody and Sandy Springs are among the local cities that have recently created new city logos at considerable cost in time and money that they figure will pay off with economic development. “A city is a business,” said Sharon Kraun, communications director at the city of Sandy Springs, which recently spent more than $175,000 on a package of logos. “We are a business. We are attracting other businesses to come.” The city of Atlanta is the old-school holdout, its post-Civil War emblem of a phoenix reborn from ashes remaining essentially unchanged from its adoption in 1887. That logo appears everywhere, including on the city’s economic development handbook that tries to sweet-talk businesses into moving to Atlanta and staying. But the city also built a distinct economic development authority, Invest Atlanta, that has a modern logo of a stylized “A” in the blue-and-green color scheme that is popular in recent city logos. Atlanta also had a “New Coke” moment of a branding change gone wrong, according to former Mayor Sam Massell, who now heads the Buckhead Coalition. During his administration in

the early 1970s, he said, the city introduced a redesigned phoenix intended to look modern and cosmopolitan, as Hartsfield-Jackson airport began running its first non-stop international flights. The logo didn’t fly, he said. “We weren’t really international,” Massell said. “We were talking bigger than we deserved.” Getting a city’s brand spoton is “just a hard, hard job,” Kraun said. Indeed, the new Dunwoody and Sandy Springs brands are in part replacements for previous logos that didn’t work so well. In Dunwoody in 2010, the city and the Convention and Visitors Bureau paid a branding company $105,000 for a logo that was immediately derided as a confusing copycat. It featured a star that looked like an asterisk and became known as the “Walmart logo” for its similarity to the discount retailer’s symbol. As much as the City Council wanted to change the logo, it was even more eager to avoid spending more money on another one. This year, three Dun-



woody residents who head marketing and branding firms — Jay Kapp of Kapp Koncepts, Mike Martin of Jackson Spalding, and Heyward Wescott of Custom Signs Today — did pro bono work to produce a new logo. Their final design is the city’s name in blue with a curving green brushstroke beneath it. “We went with a very safe design,” Wescott said, while Kapp added, “We didn’t want to see the city go through another round of a logo that people didn’t like.” A big difference city logos have from corporate counterparts is that they must try to represent an entire diverse community and their costs must be justified politically to city residents. Dunwoody was able to say its new logo was free, but the design team said their volunteer effort had a market value of around $30,000. Sandy Springs took some heat for spending nearly $100,000 on its new city logo, the primary version of which is three blue-and-green brushstrokes. That was on top of $77,000 spent on Continued on page 6

MARCH 31 - APRIL 13, 2017

Perimeter Business | 5



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A Buckhead estate that’s been on and off the market for three years, Chestnut Hall, is still the most expensive house for sale in Georgia. Listed at $48 million, it’s among the elite properties that requires creative sales techniques. The 17,776-square-foot mansion sits on an 18.6 acre lot, but it’s not the size of the land or the amount of bedrooms that drove the price up. With seven bedrooms and 11 bathrooms, the size of the house isn’t much different from many other houses listed in Buckhead for half the price. Rather, it’s the meticulously decorated rooms and curated pieces of fine art. According to ChestnutHallEstate. com, a website marketing the property, he estate features a pair of 17th-century limestone lions from France, a 19th century French chandelier and an original painting by Pablo Picasso. There’s also custom seamless carpeting, Venetian plaster walls and imported Jerusalem stone floors. Almost every room features a chandelier, even the gym. The property’s owner and real estate agent declined to comment about the sale. The house has been on and off the market since 2014 and hasn’t sold, but that’s part of selling multimillion-dollar homes, real estate agents say. Blaine Palmer, a real estate agent at Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, said although homes in the luxury market have been moving quickly for the past couple of years, homes with higher prices are going

to take longer to sell. “The higher the price point, the longer it typically stays on the market, so you have to prepare the owner,” Palmer said. To sell a house like this, you have to be creative. “You’ve got reach out beyond the metro area to find a buyer for a $48 million home,” Andy Payne, a real estate agent at Sotheby’s, said. For houses with such a slim market as Chestnut Hall, real estate agents enlist creative strategies, such as getting a special on HGTV devoted to the home and pitching articles to magazines like Architectural Digest, Payne said. Debbie Sonenshine, another real estate agent at Coldwell Banker said international marketing is often vitally important in selling a luxury estate. They also target certain international markets depending on the features of the home. Sonenshine is currently selling a house owned by a landscaper who did the landscaping for Hong Kong Disneyland, so she is advertising heavily in China. Real estate agents also stage the house to appeal to target markets. When Sotheby’s real estate agent Chase Mizell sold filmmaker Tyler Perry’s house last year, he hired models to pose by the pool and in other parts of the home for photos and videos, Payne said. “You’re not selling a house, you’re selling a lifestyle,” he said. No one needs 10 bedrooms or a bowling alley in their house, but features like those are part of the lifestyle they’re looking for, he said.

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6 | Perimeter Business

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Director of Communications Bob Mullen, left, presents three concepts for a new city logo during the recent council retreat. The design on the far right was unanimously selected to be the new logo.

With new logos, Perimeter cities join the branding boom Continued from page 4


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branding its new “City Springs” downtown area anchored by a $220-million public-private development — a name that private developers are already imitating. Kraun said it’s true that various websites will design a custom logo for $500. But, she said, cities get what they pay for, including market research, vetting of designs and creation of alternatives and spin-off logos to use in other formats. Sandy Springs got six separate designs and a branding guide to using them. “If it was just to draw that one icon, yes, a hundred thousand dollars would be a lot,” Kraun said. “The cost for us was not just that icon. ... It’s not just something you put on a T-shirt.” Sandy Springs presented its branding companies with complex challenges. Its previous city logo, depicting a river and trees in shaded colors, was popular, but it was a nightmare to use in different sizes, colors and applications. The replacement had to be not only more flexible, but also had to match well with the new City Springs brand — an abstract, fountain-like image — that, in turn, has a more specialized goal of drawing residents and customers to downtown. The $100,000 included several designs integrating the new city logo with other images for such special uses as

the parks department and the city’s new performing arts center, which is set to open next year. One of the new logos is specifically for economic development marketing materials. It shows the city logo wrapped around the Concourse Center’s King and Queen skyscrapers, the icons of the city’s Perimeter Center big-business hub. The cost included “how we were able to take something so iconic and wrap it with the brand,” Kraun said. “From an economic development perspective, we’re tying all the pieces together.” Businesses ultimately base their location decisions on measurable factors such as demographics, community amenities and tax incentives. Does a city logo really matter? Are cities creating them mostly because everyone else is? Kraun likened the value of a city brand to a basic rule in the public relations business: “‘No comment’ is a comment. No logo is also a logo. ... It’s a calling card.” Kapp said the logo serves as a foundation for a city to build its brand value upon. “A logo is what you make of it, how you use it,” he said. “Of course you don’t want a logo with [the cartoon typeface] Comic Sans. But what’s in a brand? The reason Coca-Cola is as well-known as it is, is not because of a logo.”

MARCH 31 - APRIL 13, 2017

Perimeter Business | 7


Real estate agents get creative to sell multimillion-dollar homes Continued from page 5 Real estate agents are also taking advantage of technology such as 3-D walkthroughs, virtual reality headsets, drone videos and websites dedicated to individual estates, Payne said. Those technologies not only promote the home, but also reduce intrusion into owners’ homes because people can decide if they are interested in the home without touring it. People also can’t just call and come tour houses in this price range. The seller has to arrange the showing and verify the interested buyer could actually afford to buy the house. “This isn’t a museum,” Palmer said. Occasionally, showing a home requires real estate agents and interested buyers to acquire clearances, such as

when Palmer was showing a condominium in a building where superstar comedian Will Ferrell also lives. Instances like that are becoming more common as the filming industry in Georgia continues to increase, as well as the probability that agents will show a home to a celebrity. “With the movie industry in Atlanta and around Georgia right now, showing to celebrities is becoming more and more a reality,” Palmer said.


Chestnut Hall is the most expensive home for sale in Georgia at $48 million.

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8 | Out & About

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News 1548 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Info: palsonline.org or 770-698-0801.

EARLY AVIATION IN GEORGIA Tuesday, April 4, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.









Scenes from “Oh, the Humanity and Other Good Intentions” by Will Eno, and monologues from Leonard Cohen’s “Book of Mercy,” will be performed by the Performing Arts group at Dunwoody United Methodist Church. $10. Dunwoody UMC, 1548 Mt. Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Info: 770-394-0675.

Presented by The Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces, Artsapalooza brings musicians and arts and crafts participants to the streets of Sandy Springs. 6100 Lake Forrest Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: sandyspringsartsapalooza.com.

Friday, April 7, and Saturday, April 8, 7 p.m. Sunday, April 9 at 3 p.m.


Friday, April 14, to Saturday, April 29

Act3 Productions presents “Urinetown,” a humorous musical satire set in a Gothamlike city where a severe water shortage has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that charges admission. Tickets: $15-$28. Act3 Playhouse in Sandy Springs Plaza, 6285-R Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. Schedule and ticket info: www. act3productions.org or 770-241-1905.


Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m.to 6 p.m. through Saturday, May 6. Opening Reception: Thursday, April 6, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The work of sculptor Thomas H. Williams will be showcased in an exhibit at the Spruill Gallery. Williams teaches ceramic figure sculpting at the Spruill Center for the Arts. Free admission for exhibit and reception. 4681 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Sandy Springs. Info: spruillarts.org/gallery or 770-3944019. THOMAS H. WILLIAMS

Saturday, Apr. 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Apr. 16, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

AUDUBON SOCIETY OPEN HOUSE Saturday, April 15, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Join the Atlanta Audubon Society for the kickoff event of Atlanta Bird Fest 2017 at the Blue Heron Nature Preserve. Guests can view the National Audubon’s 2016 Photography Awards traveling exhibit; tour the Amphibian Foundation’s new conservation laboratory; participate in a nature scavenger hunt; and meet Chris Wood, assistant director of information science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Free. Drop-ins welcome. Registration requested. 4055 Roswell Road, Buckhead. Info and registration: atlantaaudubon.org/atlanta-bird-fest.


Ongoing through Tuesday, June 13.

Senior Services North Fulton hosts Step On It!, an eight-week wellness program to help keep older adults active and independent. Any north Fulton resident age 60+ can participate. Free, and each participant gets a pedometer, while supplies last. Sandy Springs Senior Center, 6500 Vernon Woods Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: ssnorthfulton.org or 770-993-1906, ext. 227.


Mondays through May 15, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. No class April 10.

The spring quarter of Perimeter Adult Learning & Services (PALS) classes is underway at Dunwoody United Methodist Church. Class topics include: the Pacific Coast Indians, the 2017 real estate market, travel, Shakespeare, state and local politics, President Harry S. Truman, “The Black Experience 1800-1900,” bridge, mahjongg and “Examining Your Funny Bone I.” Classes are held on Mondays in three time slots. $45 for the entire spring session, or visit for $8 per day. Bring a lunch or purchase a meal for $8 with advance reservations.

Heritage Sandy Springs’ Titles@Twilight program for adults continues this month with Dan A. Aldridge, Jr., author of “To Lasso the Clouds: The Beginning of Aviation in Georgia.” Aldridge, vice president of the Friends of Georgia Libraries, set the historical record straight on the first airplane flight in Georgia, which he reveals was the first flight of a monoplane in the U.S. The Garden Room at the WilliamsPayne House, 6075 Sandy Springs Circle, Sandy Springs. Info: 404-851-9111.


Jonathan Sandys, great-grandson of Sir Winston Churchill and the author of ”God and Churchill,” will be interviewed about the role spiritual beliefs played in the former British prime minister’s leadership on the world stage. Free. The Lovett School, 4075 Paces Ferry Road, N.W., Buckhead. RSVP: rsvp@ lovett.org.


Saturday, April 8, 10 a.m. to noon.

Learn about bluebirds and how to attract them to your yard, then go outside to observe Lost Corner Preserve’s resident bluebird family. Ages 6+. $12. Bluebird houses will be available for sale. 7300 Brandon Mill Road, Sandy Springs. Registration: registration.sandyspringsga.gov. Info: friendsoflostcorner.org or 770-730-5600.


Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Friday, April 7 to Saturday, April 9, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Reception: Friday, April 7, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Dunwoody Fine Art Association and the Dunwoody Community Garden Club will host a joint art and plant sale at the barn area in Brook Run Park. The April 7 reception will include affordable art work by local artists for sale. All events free. 4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody. Info: bflexner@hotmail.com.


Saturday, April 8, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Atlanta History Center guests can experience the process of making cloth with demonstrations of sheep shearing, wool dyeing, spinning and weaving. Open hearth cooking, blacksmithing, candle making, live music at Smith Family Farm. Free for members; included with general admission. Tickets: $11 to $16.50. 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: atlantahistorycenter.com.


Saturday, April 8, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The seventh annual cleanup hosted by Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and its partners includes North Fork Peachtree Creek in Brookhaven. Since 2011, volunteers have removed 41 tons of trash from the Chattahoochee River. Volunteers can join in as walkers, waders equipped with their own boots, or paddlers who provide their own kayaks or canoes. Register: chattahoochee.org/sweep-the-hooch. Info: tbates@chattahoochee.org.


Attract butterflies, polliThe Community Assistance Center offers nators, birds and more free help with tax returns. CAC’s team of to your garden by adding trained and certified VITA [Volunteer Innative plants. More than come Tax Assistance] volunteers can help 120 species of plants, includfilers earning up to $55,000 in 2016. Aping herbs and veggies for the edible garpointments are available now. CAC is one den, will be available at the Chattahoochof many metro area VITA sites, an initiaee Nature Center’s Annual Spring Native tive of the IRS and the United Way. 1130 Plant sale. Horticulturists and knowlHightower Trail, Sandy Springs. Info: edgeable volunteers will be available to 770-552-4889, ext. 221 or contact VITA@ give advice. Free admission to the garden ourcac.org. area. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. SUBMIT YOUR EVENT LISTING WITH US AT Info: chattnatucalendar@ReporterNewspapers.net recenter.org.

MARCH 31 - APRIL 13, 2017


Out & About | 9

Farmers markets blossom for the season Like perennial flowers, farmers markets are making their return in the spring season. The following markets are blossoming now and will remain open into the fall.

PEACHTREE ROAD FARMERS MARKET Saturdays through mid-December, 8:30 a.m. to noon. Wednesdays, April 19 through late October, 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Located in the parking lot at the Cathedral of St. Philip, the market is open rain or shine. Each week brings chef demonstrations, live music and, on Wednesday nights, fresh meals ready to eat. The market accepts SNAP (food stamps) and doubles their dollar value. 2744 Peachtree Road, Buckhead. Info: peachtreeroadfarmersmarket.com.

HERITAGE SANDY SPRINGS FARMERS MARKET Saturdays, April 15 through early December, 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Nearly 50 vendors offer local and organic produce, pasture-raised meat, farm fresh eggs and dairy products, and a wide variety of specialty and prepared foods. Located at the Century Springs office park, 6100 Lake Forrest Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: sandyspringsfarmersmarket.com or 404-851-9111, ext. 5.


Saturdays, April 22 through midNovember, 9 a.m. to noon.

The market is open rain or shine in the parking lot of the University Baptist Church, 1375 Fernwood Circle at the intersection with Dresden Drive, Brookhaven. Information: brookhavenfarmersmarket.com.

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What can you learn about senior living at our Lunch and Learn? A whole bunch. Ask questions. Take a tour. Ask more questions. Try the food. Ask even more questions. You get the idea. It’s casual, it’s complimentary and you’re invited. The Piedmont at Buckhead Senior Living Community’s next Lunch and Learn is on Saturday, April 8th from noon-2:00pm. Please call 404.381.1743 to RSVP.

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10 | Community

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6th Congressional District

A total of 18 candidates are competing for the 6th Congressional District seat in an April 18 special election. The district — which includes parts of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs — was formerly represented by Tom Price, who left to become the new U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services. The Reporter asked all of the candidates for a biography and the answers to questions about their political stances. Part of the answers from five candidates appear below. Also at ReporterNewspapers.net are the answers from nine other candidates who previously responded: Ragin Edwards, Keith Grawert, Alexander Hernandez, Amy Kremer, William Llop, Jon Ossoff, Andre Pollard, Ron Slotin and Kurt Wilson. The candidates who did not submit responses are Mohammad Ali Bhuiyan, Judson Hill, Richard Keatley and Dan Moody.

For their full answers, including their positions on the Affordable Care Act, see ReporterNewspapers.net.


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BOB GRAY BobGrayGA.com Occupation: Technology Executive

Why should the voters choose you for this position? This race is essentially between two Republicans — an establishment Republican who has been in and out of office for the past two decades, and myself, a business outsider with more than three decades of experience as an international technology executive. We can’t expect different results from Washington, D.C., if we keep electing the same kind of people. Washington, D.C. has enough politicians who enjoy the ideological debate and get nothing done. Coming from the business world, I have a successful track record of coming up with effective solutions and getting things done. That’s exactly the approach I’ll bring to Congress! DUN

MARCH 31 - APRIL 13, 2017

Community | 11




KarenHandel.com Occupation: Business Strategy Consultant

Why should the voters choose you for this position? There has been too much talk for far too long in Washington, and the people of the 6th District deserve a representative that they can trust to actually deliver results. As secretary of state, I successfully implemented photo ID for voting to prevent illegals from voting. As Fulton County Commission chairman, I stopped the Democrats’ proposal for a massive property tax increase and still balanced the budget. And, as CEO of the North Fulton Chamber, I led the organization out of near bankruptcy while also helping to create jobs right here in our community.


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LeVellforCongress.com Occupation: Businessman

Why should the voters choose you for this position? I am the only candidate who has been loyal to President Trump since Day One. I am the only candidate who has not and will not take PAC or special interest money. To the homeowners, small business owners and voters of the Georgia 6th Congressional District, I say this: I am the only candidate who is for the people and by the people — I will not accept any special interest or PAC money.

Kitchens. Baths. Porches & Decks. Basements. Patios. Additions.

Pony Pals Summer Camp Chastain Horse Park - convenient Buckhead location! Boys and girls ages 4-8 – Mon-Fri 8am-1pm Many weeks to choose from during Summer 2017

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Camp activities for our younger riders include daily riding lessons, crafts and games!

Contact us at (404) 252-4244 or ponypals@chastainhorsepark.org or download registration form at https://www.chastainhorsepark.org/horse-camps

Occupation: Physician; Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases; Subspecialty in Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation.

Why should the voters choose you for this position? I am a cardiologist, healthcare advocate, consultant and Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) expert. As the former Director of Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation at Northwestern University, I published over 70 clinical research articles and lectured all over the U.S. and around the world. I am running because the ACA is under threat and no other candidate has my expert knowledge of the healthcare system and healthcare reform. In short, “We Need a Doctor in the House,” who understands the successes of the ACA and wants to improve and expand it to provide healthcare coverage to all Americans. DUN



12 | Community

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Will backyard chickens come home to roost? Continued from page 1

but all have ordinances people must follow. In Brookhaven, for example, the city allows livestock such as chickens, but the zoning code mandates livestock shall only be permitted on a “lot containing two or more acres,” said spokesperson Burke Brennan. The Brookhaven code also requires all buildings used for animals to be set back at least 200 feet from any property line

to be debated as soon as next month by the Planning Commission before heading to the council. The proposal brings up a controversial issue that has been brooding for some seven years, since the council in 2010 voted 4-3 not to allow backyard chickens. Councilmember Lynn Deutsch, who raised the issue of legalizing backyard chickens at the City Council’s recent retreat, said the idea of legalizing backyard chickens was “unnecessarily” controversial in 2010. “When the issue came up all those years ago, people found out their neighbors had had chickens for years but didn’t know,” said Deutsch, who sat on the Planning Commission at the time. “They weren’t bothering anyone. That was very telling to me.” Now that many years have gone by and more people have been educated, perhaps now is the time people can flock around the idea. “And now they’re also legal everywhere around us,” Deutsch added. DYANA BAGBY Backyard chickAlli Allen of Sandy Springs, where backyard ens are legal in DeKalb County, chickens are legal, feeds her chickens. Brookhaven and Sandy Springs,

and all animals be maintained at least 100 feet from any property line, he said. In Sandy Springs, those with backyard chickens must also follow strict restrictions, including housing them at least 25 feet from a neighbor’s occupied dwelling. Alli Allen, who lives in Glenn Errol subdivision in Sandy Springs, has four hens who live in a coop made from an old porch swing in her spacious backyard. The chickens wander freely in the backyard and every day she has three or four fresh eggs she eats or gives to friends and neighbors. “It’s a great way to produce your own healthy food ... and a way of being an urSPECIAL ban farmer,” Allen said as Lauren Fitzgerald, an eighth grader at Peachtree she fed Clementine, HenriCharter Middle School, hugs a chicken she met while visiting a woman with chickens in Decatur. etta, Scout and Buttercup handfuls of mealworms. fect on the community.” “I feel like I’m in the country when Lauren and her friend, Chloe Fenster, I’m really not,” she said. “It’s my slice of 13, also an eighth-grader at PCMS, are heaven.” members of Troop 29423. Deutsch and Councilmember John Lauren said they reached out to Heneghan have been working with two Deutsch last May and then started colDunwoody Girl Scouts who want to lelecting signatures from people supportgalize backyard chickens in their city ing the idea of backyard chickens. She because the girls like chickens and begathered many signatures during Food cause they hope to earn their scout Silver Truck Thursdays at Brook Run Park. Award by trying to change city policy. “I’m trying to raise as much support “We talked about having chickens for chickens as possible,” Lauren said. and then we found out we couldn’t,” A proposed Dunwoody ordinance said Lauren Fitzgerald, 13, an eighthhasn’t been completely hammered out, grader at Peachtree Charter Middle but Deutsch said it would ban roosters School. “I’ve always personally liked and would only allow a certain number chickens and I think this would be a of chickens per yard. good thing to do and have a lasting ef-

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Andy Schneider, known as the “Chicken Whisperer,” hosts the “Backyard Poultry with the Chicken Whisperer” web radio show. He’s also formerly of Dunwoody and remembers the fight over backyard chickens from years ago. “If done correctly and responsibly, backyard chickens can be a great thing ... it’s always about the responsibility of the property owners,” he said. Among the top concerns he hears as he travels around the country to cities considering adopting ordinances legalizing chickens are the following: 1) If we allow chickens, what’s next? Cows? 2) Chickens attract rodents. 3) Chickens smell bad. None of these arguments is based in fact, he said. If a person arguing that backyard chickens will lead to a cow problem is able to point to a city with a cow problem, then Schneider said the argument should be addressed. Rodents, he said, are attracted to food and water sources, such as cat food bowls left outside or bird feeders and bird baths. Chickens do not attract rodents, he said. Chicken waste – not chickens themselves -- can smell bad, but if people clean their coops regularly, there will be no smell. Schneider likened this argument to cat or dog poop in a person’s yard – all of it should be cleaned up. “I’ve had all kinds of curveballs thrown at me. The uphill battle is education,” he said. “People need to take all the facts and science-based data and not these kinds of arguments. “We’ve come a long way,” he added. “We don’t do chickens like we did in the 1930s, just like cars have been improved since the 1930s.” Henegan was on the City Council in 2010 and was one of the three who voted in favor of legal backyard chickens. “I am still pretty much pro-chicken,” he said. “But I will listen to what everyone has to say. ... I may be swayed yet.” He said that while he voted in favor of backyard chickens seven years ago, he made a vow to not be the proponent to bring it back up again. But he did all the research and due diligence years ago and still feels confident in supporting an ordinance that would legalize backyard chickens for Dunwoody residents. “I’m looking forward to hearing from the Girl Scouts,” he said. Deutsch said she believes there is a lot of confusion about what it means to have backyard chickens. Having backyard chickens is “not a small undertaking,” she said, and arguments that chickens are dirty and smelly are not valid when it comes to coops in people’s backyards. Code enforcement would also ensure backyard chickens do not become a nuisance, she said. “You can’t have free range chickens in Dunwoody like you can on a farm,” she said. “It’s a really different scenario.”


Community | 13


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14 | Commentary

Reporter Newspapers

Our mission is to provide our readers with fresh and engaging information about life in their communities. Published by Springs Publishing LLC 6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 Phone: 404-917-2200 • Fax: 404-917-2201 Brookhaven Reporter | Buckhead Reporter Dunwoody Reporter | Sandy Springs Reporter www.ReporterNewspapers.net Atlanta INtown www.AtlantaINtownPaper.com Atlanta Senior Life www.AtlantaSeniorLife.com

C O NTA C T US Founder & Publisher Steve Levene stevelevene@reporternewspapers.net Editorial Managing Editor John Ruch johnruch@reporternewspapers.net INtown Editor: Collin Kelley Editor-at-Large Joe Earle Staff Writers Dyana Bagby, Evelyn Andrews Copy Editor: Donna Williams Lewis Creative and Production Creative Director Rico Figliolini rico@reporternewspapers.net Graphic Designer: Soojin Yang Advertising Director of Sales Development Amy Arno amyarno@reporternewspapers.net Sales Executives Julie Davis, Jeff Kremer, Janet Porter, Janet Tassitano Office Manager Deborah Davis deborahdavis@reporternewspapers.net Contributors Phil Mosier

Free Home Delivery 60,000 copies of Reporter Newspapers are delivered by carriers to homes in ZIP codes 30305, 30319, 30326, 30327, 30328, 30338, 30342 and 30350 and to more than 500 business/retail locations. For locations, check “Where To Find Us” at www.ReporterNewspapers.net For delivery requests, please email delivery@reporternewspapers.net.

© 2017 with all rights reserved Publisher reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertising for any reason. Publisher assumes no responsibility for information contained in advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or online do not necessarily represent the views of Reporter Newspapers or Springs Publishing, LLC.

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Community Survey / Bracing for Braves stadium traffic Question: Do you think the Atlanta Braves and local governments have done enough to prepare for the traffic that will go to the new Cobb County stadium? Many of us believe a traffic tsunami is coming our way, and we don’t think we’re ready for it. The Atlanta Braves play their official Opening Day game in new SunTrust Park in Cobb County on April 14, and respondents to a recent Reporter Newspapers survey think local roads will be choked by cars filled with fans. “Our streets and our neighborhoods cannot handle the volume of cars that it’s going to take to move the people to the games,” a resident of the Buckhead/Sandy Springs border area commented. “We must develop a better and more efficient system of public transportation that covers a wider range of ‘home bases.’ ” The cellphone survey of 200 residents of the Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta INtown communities was conducted about a week before the stadium’s first event, a March 31 limited-attendance exhibition game between the Braves and New York Yankees. More than half – about 52 percent – of the respondents said that the Braves and local officials had poorly prepared for the coming waves of traffic headed to and from the stadium near the intersection of I-285 and I-75. Only about 4 percent thought they’d done enough. “What I know is they should’ve done a lot more than what they have done,” a 50-year-old man from the Sandy Springs/Buckhead area commented. “I’ve driven around the new stadium and there is no way the area is going to be able to handle all the traffic as currently configured.” But a 43-year-old resident of the same

3.5% 9.5% 21.5%

14% 51.5%

They’re well-prepared to handle traffic 7 (3.5%) They’ve done the basics, but could improve 19 (9.5%) They’re poorly prepared to handle traffic 103 (51.5%) I haven’t heard enough details to know 28 (14%) We won’t know until Opening Day 43 (21.5%) area felt things were going swimmingly. “The Braves traffic plan has been well stated and they have done a great job. I have been using Braves.com/parking to figure out my best options,” he wrote. “Uber will be my first choice.” Survey respondents selected their responses from among five choices, including that local officials “could have done more” (about 10 percent) and “I haven’t heard enough details to know” (14 percent). About 22 percent said they’d wait until Opening Day to decide. Fears of game-day traffic jams have raised protests from Sandy Springs residents and members of Sandy Springs City Council for months.

1Q is an Atlanta-based startup that has developed a technology which sends questions and surveys to a cellphone via app or text message from businesses and organizations across the country. Respondents are paid 50 cents per answer, through PayPal, for sharing their opinions. Payments may also be donated directly to charity.

The Braves have argued that the road network around SunTrust Park is better able to handle game traffic than the one around their old home, Turner Field in downtown Atlanta. The team is offering advance sales of reserved parking and has made changes to try to stagger fans’ arrivals and departures in order to avoid massive traffic tie-ups. Games will start later, at 7:30 p.m., in an attempt to avoid rushhour traffic, and the team believes many fans will delay their departure from the new park after the game to check out restaurants and other businesses in the surrounding mixed-use development. But many responding to the survey said nothing would be better than more and better mass transit to the stadium. “I cannot believe the lack of public transportation to the stadium. The roads aren’t even ready,” a 31-year-old Brookhaven woman wrote. And a 27-year-old Dunwoody woman’s comment was simply, “MARTA.” MARTA, of course, doesn’t go into Cobb, where voters in the past rejected plans to make the county part of the transit system. Other proposals for improving transportation to the stadium ranged from better pedestrian access, to more shuttle buses and parking decks, to never having built the new ballpark in the first place. “Move the stadium,” one 26-year-old Atlanta man said. Whatever is needed to handle traffic around the stadiums, many respondents sounded frustrated that it hasn’t been done yet. “Prepare for the worst,” a 29-year-old Buckhead woman said.

Sign up to be included in our local community polls at 1Q.com/reporter or by texting REPORTER to 86312.

Voices from the community I want to move! They should have taken time to plan the stadium, they threw it together so quickly. There needs to be more public transportation. I saw in the AJC that they recommend people coming from Alpharetta should cut through Sandy Springs streets, which will make things worse where I live, too. ← Lisa Graffagnino

Probably not, but there’s really no way around Atlanta traffic. I don’t think they have a devoted exit for the stadium. That would be nice. It doesn’t matter to me. I just have to plan. I’ll still go to the games. ← Marty Hutchinson

I think there should be more media about the new stadium, like make more people aware of the peak hours for I-285, parking information ... and some of the lanes created aren’t open yet. People don’t really know what’s going to happen and the local community will also suffer. ← Javier Pascual DUN

MARCH 31 - APRIL 13, 2017

Community | 15


State lawmakers approve hotel/motel tax increase ments in Perimeter Center “so it benefits those being taxed.” The focus now shifts to the City Council to determine what to do with the money, Councilmember Doug Thompson said. “Nothing is off the table,” he said. The tax increase, if approved by the council, would go into effect in 2018. The tax would raise approximately $1.6 million a year. State law requires the city receive half that amount, or $800,000, and the Dunwoody Convention and Visitors Bureau receive the other $800,000 to use toward marketing and branding the new trails and green spaces. The bill to increase the hotel/moDENIS SHORTAL tel tax from 5 perMAYOR cent to 8 percent needed the OK from state Reps. Tom Taylor (R-Dunwoody) and Meagan Hanson (R-Brookhaven) as well as state Sen. Fran Millar (RDunwoody) before heading to the full House and Senate for a vote. Taylor and Millar both predicted publicly the bill would not pass – Taylor even told the council in February he thought the bill was “dead on arrival” while Millar said he could not support the bill because there was no specific

project list. Although Dunwoody does not have a specific project list, Economic Development Director Michael Starling has said the city has plans sitting on shelves ready to go once funding can be secured. These plans include Perimeter Park at the Dunwoody MARTA station, an idea that dates back to 2014. There are also numerous Perimeter Community Improvement Districts plans to be completed, such as the 2012 PCIDs Commuter Trails Plan that outlines multi-use trails throughout Perimeter Center that would connect to trails in Sandy Springs and Brookhaven. Potential green spaces that would be paid for by revenues from the tax increase include one adjacent to the Perimeter Center Parkway flyover bridge and another off Perimeter Center East at the Perimeter Center East exit off I-285. Perimeter Center currently has no significant green space, a complaint made by council members, residents and visitors.

I don’t like tax increases, but this increase ... will allow us to enhance the lives of our citizens. The only reason we pushed forward was because the hoteliers [in Perimeter Center] and the manager of Perimeter Mall wanted it.

A Perimeter Community Improvement Districts rendering of a proposed park under the Dunwoody MARTA station, known as Perimeter Park.

Continued from page 1 the ordinance, including a list of potential projects. “I don’t like tax increases, but this increase ... will allow us to enhance the lives of our citizens,” Mayor Denis Shortal said. “The only reason we pushed forward was because the hoteliers [in Perimeter Center] and the manager of Perimeter Mall wanted it.” The approval of the bill only means the council has permission to raise the hotel/motel tax, Shortal said. The council must vote to increase the tax and residents will have opportunities to vet the potential projects. Councilmember Terry Nall, who voted against the February resolution seeking the General Assembly’s approval for the hotel/motel tax increase, said he doesn’t disapprove of the merits of the projects. “My vote against the resolution ... was because of the hasty process,” Nall said. “However, it is not about the merits of the projects. Some have said the money would have to go toward parks and trails just in the Perimeter, but it can actually be used anywhere in DunDUN


woody. We have no agreement where it will be spent.” Because Perimeter Center hotel managers supported the tax increase, the council has “a good reason ... to not be afraid of it,” Councilmember Lynn Deutsch said. She noted the Dunwoody Convention and Visitors Bureau conducted a scientific survey of people staying in hotels and learned what’s missing is access to running trails and safe recreational activities. “This money will afford us, in a more timely manner, [the chance] to offer recreation activities in Perimeter Center,” she said. Councilmember Jim Riticher acknowledged Dunwoody was following in the footsteps of neighboring cities, including Brookhaven, in seeking permission to raise its hotel/motel tax. “We found out through our CVB that our hoteliers want this tax increase because their clientele want the amenities [such as parks and trails]. They are calling on us, saying ‘tax us and put in these amenities,’” he said. He added he would want to restrict the spending of money raised from the tax increase to park and trail improve-

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16 | Faith Dining Out

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Communities of Faith

Rev. Lang Lowrey, center, shares a laugh with congregants and Rev. Ruth Pattison, left, after Sunday service.


As Easter arrives, a church attempts its own resurrection BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

At a church in the wooded Sandy Springs neighborhood known as High Point, it’s Easter season in more ways than one. As the congregation celebrates its members’ belief in the mystery of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, the Church of the Atonement is undergoing one of its own.

EASTER SUNDAY celebration April 16 11 a.m.

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After dwindling to a dozen worshipers in a near-death experience a year ago, the 50-year-old church is attempting a comeback under a new name, Highpoint Episcopal Community Church, and new leadership that puts community above rule-making. “We’re having a great rebirth,” said Ralph Edwards, a 40-year church member, after a recent Sunday service. “We got roots and we also have buds.”

Saturday, April 15

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DiningFaith Out | 17


Communities of Faith peachtreechurch.org

Point Road. Duffy Hickey, a church member for more than 20 years, recalls the days when the church had up to 250 members and a full-time priest. “Over time, and probably through demographics … we dwindled. We dwindled way down,” Hickey said. By late 2015, Atonement was in crisis mode and essentially leaderless, with longtime pastor Rev. Chris Starr moving to an out-of-state church. In early 2016, the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta sent Lowrey in. His official title there is “Canon for Christian Enterprise,” but he described the hat he was wearing in simpler terms: “I’m the real estate guy for the church.” “Most bishops would close it down, mow it down [and] sell the land,” he said of Atonement. “We thought it was going to be a lights-out situation.” From his business career, Lowrey recalled first seeing Atonement from the air as he flew out of DeKalb-Peachtree Airport in a corporate jet and wondering why it was located on a side street, hidden behind trees. In the sheer business point of view, that location helped save the church, because rights of way for a fuel pipeline and Ga. 400 limit its redevelopment potential. But Lowrey also saw potential in those strong community connections. Pattison noted the diversity of those ties, from a popular men’s supper club to the Capital City Opera performing regularly in the church hall. There’s also the responsibility of hosting Our Lady of Guadalupe, a Hispanic mission congregation with an active membership larger than Atonement’s. The two congregations sometimes host joint services in Spanish and English, and Guadalupe members provide many of the volunteers keeping the church running.

Palm Sunday: April 9

Sanctuary Services | 8:45, 10:00, 11:15 am Summit Services | 8:45, 11:15 am Preaching: Dr. Richard Kannwischer

Maundy Thursday: April 13

Communion Service | 7:00 pm

Good Friday: April 14

Buckhead Community Service Peachtree Presbyterian Sanctuary | 12:00 pm

Easter Egg Hunt: April 15

Cates Center: 110 East Andrews Drive Po w er sF er ry

Powers Ferry Square

Easter Services: April 15 & 16

Sat. Sanctuary Service | 5:00 pm Sun. Sanctuary Services | 8:45, 10:00, 11:15 am Summit Services | 8:45, 11:15 am Preaching: Dr. Richard Kannwischer

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Peachtree Presbyterian Church | 3434 Roswell Rd. | Atlanta, Ga 30305 | 404.842.5800

Northwest Presbyterian Church JOHN RUCH

Powers Ferry Square: 0.5 mile north of the church on the west side of Roswell Road between BB&T Bank & bartaco

Chastain Park | 10:00 am–12:00 pm

Continued on page 18

Rev. Ruth Pattison in her pop-up art studio, where people explored religious and personal themes through painting.

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Part of that optimism comes from the church’s energetic — if still only parttime — leaders. Rev. Ruth Pattison, the day-to-day pastor, has added pop-up art classes to standard Sunday fare. And Rev. Lang Lowrey, the new vicar, is a professor of church leadership at Emory’s Candler School of Theology and recently launched a thousand-member congregation in Smyrna with a start-up sensibility he honed in a long career as a corporate investor. “When I walked in, it was like that old [novel and movie] ‘The Land That Time Forgot,’” said Lowrey of his first visit to the church at 4945 High Point Road. “The light had not gone out, but it had definitely diminished.” Atonement is hardly the only church struggling in an era of increasing secularism. But, Lowrey said, it has avoided some real church-killers like debt or religious schism. While the remaining congregation is small, it’s growing again — to more than 40 members —with a closeness that Pattison likens to the Christian church’s early days. “It has that feel to it … that sense of spiritual energy,” she said. The church has a big asset, too, that’s reflected in its new name: significant connections to the larger community. It hosts everything from government meetings to a popular community garden. “We are the High Point community center. We are their town hall,” said Lowrey. “I’m really glad it’s going to stay as a church,” said City Councilmember Tibby DeJulio, who represents the neighborhood. “It’s a real asset to the community.” The church came to the community more than a half-century ago, in 1962, as a mission of Holy Innocents’, a church that remains a powerful Sandy Springs institution today. In 1967, the congregation broke ground for its own building on a nearly 8-acre site on High

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18 | Faith Community

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As Easter arrives, a church attempts its own resurrection Continued from page 17 Bishop Rob Wright, who heads the Atlanta Diocese, agreed to save the church. While the church was stripped of its parish status, it was allowed to survive as a “worshiping community,” which essentially means it operates with a start-up’s lack of hierarchy and usual rules. Pattison that makes the church appealing for people who want something more family-like than “modeling on corporate America,” while Lowrey says, “We’re just a bohemian church.” Part of the rebirth is shedding the old “Atonement” name. Internal church history says the name was chosen partly as a pun suggesting unity — “At-One-Ment.” But in Christian theology, “atonement” refers to Jesus suffering on the cross for all of humanity’s sins. Pattison and Lowrey call that a “dark” interpretation and would rather have the revived church focus on love and community. “I think the doctrine of atonement is just too dark, especially for a church going through a post-World War II … era of secularity,” said Lowrey, adding that some of his Candler School students say the name is off-putting. “Sometimes a rebranding is necessary.” The name change is still in the works.

Meanwhile, the church is playfully advertising its new initials with a street sign reading, “What the HECC?” While the church is getting a second chance, it’s not an unlimited one. Lowrey said the diocese has set certain benchmarks and expectations, including a goal of reaching 75 to 100 members by year’s end. “I don’t know where we are in five years,” said Dickey, the longtime church member. “We may close shop. We may have a hundred members and a full-time priest.” But, he added, “There is a blessing to [the challenge], in that we’re tighter together.” Lowrey said that sense of community helps to support the congregation’s faith and hope. “These are Easter people,” he said.


The congregation of Highpoint Episcopal Community Church gathers for the Sunday service on March 19.

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Community Education | 19

MARCH 31 - APRIL 13, 2017 2017 ■■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net www.ReporterNewspapers.net

S TUD EN T S JOI N SA F E-C RA C K I N G CO M PETITIO N Safecracking is the unusual hobby of five Weber School students, who won fifth place on March 29 in an international science competition where they matched wits with othSPECIAL er students. From left, Safe-Cracking Club members Justin Cobb, The safes Levi Durham, Ross Williams, Eric Lieberman and in question Becky Arbiv with their confounding device. aren’t the steel-and-combination-lock variety. They’re physics experiments where students build devices with clever locking mechanisms, such as lasers, that they challenge others to unlock with only a few hints. The Safe-Cracking Club at the Sandy Springs private Jewish school includes members Becky Arbiv, Justin Cobb, Levi Durham, Eric Lieberman and Ross Williams. The team was among many, including the Atlanta Jewish Academy in Sandy Springs, invited to join an annual safe-cracking competition at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. The Weber club was the top U.S. finisher. “Our team is ‘Coca-Cola’ since we’re from Atlanta,” said Spencer Roby, a math teacher who serves as the Weber club’s faculty sponsor. Likewise, he said, the treasure locked in their safe is Coke’s fabled secret formula. Spoiler: It’s actually just a document reading, “Love.” --John Ruch

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20 | Education

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Claire Marie Huff Atlanta Classical Academy Editor’s note: Through our “Exceptional Educator” series, Reporter Newspapers showcase the work of some of the outstanding teachers and administrators at our local schools. If you would like to recommend an Exceptional Educator to be included in our series, please email editor@ReporterNewspapers.net with information about the teacher or administration and why you think he or she should be featured. Claire Marie Huff teaches seventh grade science and Advanced Placement biology at the Atlanta Classical Academy, a public charter school located in Buckhead. She’s been teaching for seven years.


What attracted you to teaching at first?


While at Georgia Tech, my chemistry fraternity visited an Atlanta area middle school to perform some science demonstrations for the students. Their excitement and curiosity were infectious. I loved being a part of that day, guiding the students, answering questions and sharing their enthusiasm for science. After I graduated, I went to work in the adhesives industry as a chemist, which felt


fore. I want to be more thorough, more exciting, more challenging, and it is important to me to be as up-to-date as possible with what is happening in the global scientific community. Another thing that I look forward to is finding new ways to illustrate scientific concepts with demonstrations, activities and hands-on explorations. Teaching is a work in progress and I love trying to make my science classes more engaging and enriching year after year.


anti-climactic after my college career. My days were monotonous. Fortunately, I was given the opportunity to teach eighth grade physical science and I left industry to become a teacher. As soon as I started, I saw that every day in the classroom is different than the day before. It was extremely rewarding. I haven’t looked back since.

Q: Has the appeal changed? A: Every year there are differ-


ent challenges, but I still love What do you think everything about teaching and makes a great teacher? feel so lucky to share every day A great teacher loves with my students. Every year, I SPECIAL the subject they teach. A try to find new ways to engage Claire Marie Huff great teacher loves learning in my school community. I have just as much as teaching. A great teachtaught and sponsored the Atlanta Classier respects their students. And, perhaps cal Academy string ensemble for the past most importantly, a great teacher does not two years as well as sponsored the ACA take herself or himself too seriously. science club. We have just begun a school-


wide service project to rehabilitate some land into an Atlanta city park.

Q: What keeps you going year after year? A: What I look forward to the most ev-

ery year is having another opportunity to make my lessons better than the year be-


What do you want to see in your students?


I want them to look at the periodic table [of elements] and think of it as the pantry in the universe’s kitchen, containing the ingredients of all matter

around them. I want them to grow into adults who have a working knowledge of different branches of science and can critically read a scientific article with understanding and insight. I want them to be smart and kind stewards of the world they live in because they understand and have great respect for life and the world around them.

Q: How do you engage your students? A: We have a new science laboratory at

ACA where my AP biology students engage in weekly scientific inquiry. Throughout the year, the seventh-graders may be found using microscopes in the lab, making their own periodic table, burning magnesium on the tennis court or classifying household acids and bases in the classroom. Bringing science to life in the classroom or lab is a guaranteed way to engage students.


Is there a “trick” that works to get students involved?

A: No, I do not have a trick. Q:

What do you hope your students take away from your class?


I hope that students leave my classroom having a respect for the breadth and depth of science, curious to learn more. I want students to see that science is all around them, present in every aspect of our lives.

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22 | Community

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Building height cap set for proposed Perimeter Center zoning ordinance BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net


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Dunwoody City Council appears ready to limit the height of buildings in the busy commercial area known as Perimeter Center to 16 stories while allowing developers to seek special land use permits to build up to 36 stories as part of new zoning guidelines. At the March 27 council meeting, members reached a 4-3 consensus that buildings in Perimeter Center be at most 16 stories tall and not a proposed maximum of 20 stories. The consensus gives city staff members a height cap for the proposed zoning ordinance that will be considered on second and final reading in two weeks. Since 2014, city staff and the council have been working with Chicago-based consultants Kirk Bishop and Leslie Oberholtzer to come up with a Perimeter Center Overlay District intended to create a more walkable, pedestrian-friendly area and Perimeter Center Zoning Districts. The effort grew from a rewrite of the city’s zoning and building codes in 2013. The Perimeter Center area intentionally was left out of that zoning rewrite because the area is so different from other parts of Dunwoody, city officials said. Perimeter Center is an area of high-rise office and residential buildlings, shopping centers, restaurants and hotels, and city official believe it needs its own building and zoning rules. But in recent months, how tall is too tall for a building in the Perimeter Center has been a sticking point for council members in developing the Perimeter Center Overlay District. At the March 27 meeting, council members Doug Thompson, Pam Tallmadge and John Heneghan said they were fine with 20-story buildings in the densest area. Mayor Denis Shortal and Councilmembers Jim Riticher, Lynn Deutsch and Terry Nall said they preferred 16 stories. The mayor and council also came to a consensus that developers could apply for a SLUP if they wanted to build up to 36 stories. “The [Perimeter Center] is where you want big buildings,” Thompson said in arguing in favor of allowing developers build 20 stories “by right” and without seeking a SLUP. “This is where we need to concentrate the growth. The money that comes out of here pays for our parking, for our parks, for our police.” Shortal said he didn’t believe limiting the height of buildings to 16 stories would stymie growth in Perimeter Center because developers can still come and ask for up to 36 stories. “And if they come for a SLUP, we can put conditions on them to our liking,” he said.

The proposed Perimeter Center Zoning Districts are divided into four areas: ► PC-1 DISTRICT — This is the central core of Perimeter Center, including the area directly surrounding the Dunwoody MARTA station, and allows for the highest intensity of buildings, a high level of employment uses and active ground story uses and design that support pedestrian mobility. ► PC-2 DISTRICT — This district is made up primarily of employment uses, residential buildings and limited shopfront retail and services. ► PC-3 DISTRICT — This area is a smaller scale and less intensive commercial district that permits shopfront buildings and office buildings. ► PC-4 DISTRICT — This area is made up primarily of residential uses at a scale that provides a transition between the intensity of the Perimeter Center and the surrounding single-family residential neighborhoods. Each district requires some kind of green space or open space. At the March 27 meeting, the buffering between the PC-2 and PC-3 Districts came under some scrutiny. Shortal made the following proposals for the required buffer distance between residential and commercial buildings: • Between 0 to 500 feet, a building can only be three stories; • Between 500 and 1,000 feet, a building can only be five stories; • Over 1,000 feet away, a building can be 14 stories tall. Thompson warned against putting too many restrictions on developers. “I get concerned when we put restrictions on development that stops development,” he said. “With the price of land in [the Perimeter Center], we have to give some density. … From a good, sound tax policy, you want big buildings next to the MARTA tracks.” Bill Baker, the general manager of Perimeter Mall, spoke during public comment, and told the council that developers need to know what they can build. “You’ve got to know going in what’s possible,” Baker said. Shortal said people living in residential neighborhoods also need assurances that they will have some kind of protections and buffering from commercial properties. Deutsh agreed and said she was concerned about single-family homes abutting higher density areas. “I would not want a 14-story building within 500 feet from my home,” she said. DUN

MARCH 31 - APRIL 13, 2017

Public Safety | 23


Police Blotter / Dunwoody From police reports dated March 18 through March 25 The following information was pulled from Dunwoody’s Police-2-Citizen website.

B U R G L A RY A N D R O B B E RY 1600 block of Old Spring House Lane —

On March 22, in the afternoon, a woman reported a burglary attempt at her home.

L A R C E N Y / S H O P L I F TING/ THEFT 2800 block of Winterhaven Court — On

March 19, a wallet was taken from a car. 2900 block of Winterhaven Court

— On March 19, someone stole a Kate Spade purse and two pairs of Adidas shoes from a car. 2500 block of E. Madison Drive — On

March 20, sometime the night before, someone broke into a Kia parked on a residential street, taking the a woman’s purse with her wallet, $5 cash, debit card and I.D. inside. 2900 block of Winter Rose Court —

On March 20, someone broke the glass and tried to enter a woman’s parked car. 2400 block of W. Madison Drive — On

March 20, someone broke into a parked car, taking a bag containing a passport. 2600 block of E. Madison Drive — On

March 20, the victim found his backpack in his front yard and papers scattered in the street. Someone had entered the victim`s Dodge Charger, which was parked and unlocked in the driveway. 100 block of Perimeter Center Place

— On March 20, in the evening, a wallet containing $300 cash and several debit and credit cards were reported missing from a guest dining at a restaurant. 4500 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

200 block of Perimeter Center Park-

way — On March 20, officers responded to a hotel regarding a theft complaint involving $1,000 in stolen cash. 4800 block of N. Peachtree Road — On

March 21, a man said his license plate was stolen from his car.

a man was arrested and accused of driving without a license.

— On March 22, a woman was arrested at a clothing store and accused of attempting to steal from the store. ter Center — On March 23, a vehicle tag was stolen from a car.

4300 block of Ash-

ford-Dunwoody Road — On March 21, a woman was arrested and accused of shoplifting various items at a department store. 4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On March 21, a man was arrested at a clothing store and accused of trying to steal nine gold bracelets. He was also accused of criminal trespassing. 4300 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

— On March 21, in the evening, a man was arrested for trying to steal five pairs of sunglasses from a department store. 4400 block of Pineridge Circle — On

March 22, a woman reported that her car was stolen overnight. 4500 block of Pineridge Circle — On

March 22, a man reported a rock was used to shatter the window to his car. An iPad was taken. 4400 block of Pineridge Circle — On

March 22, a woman reported that someone entered her car overnight. That same day, another woman reported that someone tried to enter her car overnight.

4600 block of Peachtree Place Parkway

March 22, a man’s work truck was broken into overnight via a shattered window and a tablet was stolen. — On March 22, a car was stolen from an apartment complex during the day.

On March 20, in the evening, a 17-yearold man was arrested at a discount department store and accused of trying to steal a cellphone.

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On March 22, an officer responded to an attempted entering auto incident in the parking garage outside of a department store near the MARTA station walkway.

4700 block of N. Peachtree Road — On



4400 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

ter Center Place — On March 21, in the morning, a woman was arrested and accused of trying to steal headphones from a discount department store.

4400 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

March 20, someone broke a window to the victim’s car, taking a gym bag with a pair of high-end headphones inside.

ing with a suspended registration and no license.

100 block of Perime-

1000 block of Dunbar Drive — On

100 block of Perimeter Center Place —

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On March 22, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

100 block of Perime-

— On March 20, two teenage girls were arrested and accused of trying to shoplift at a department store after providing false names and dates of birth to the officer. — On March 20, two young women were seen on surveillance footage at a clothing store apparently stealing a blue dress.



block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On March 22, a woman was arrested and accused of trying to shoplift at a department store.

4400 block of Ash-

ford-Dunwoody Road — On March 23, a man was arrested and accused of trying to steal a wallet from a clothing store. 4400 block of Ashford-

Dunwoody Road — On March 25, a woman was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

A S S AU LT 4000 block of Dunwoody Park — On

March 18, just after midnight, police responded to a dispute between a man and a woman. 2300 block of Lake Ridge Lane — On

March 18, officers responded to a domestic dispute. 2900 block of Lake Ridge Lane — On

March 18, officers responded to a domestic dispute. 1900 block of Peachford Road — On

March 19, in the morning, a woman was arrested and accused of battery. 2300 block of Lake Ridge Lane — On

March 19, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of family battery. 1400 block of Vernon Ride Close —

On March 21, officers responded to a domestic dispute. 4600 block of Chamblee-Dunwoody

Road — On March 21, officers met with both parties involved in a dispute. 10400 block of Madison Drive — On

March 22, officers responded to a civil dispute.

ARRESTS 200 block of Perimeter Center Parkway

— On March 18, drug activity was suspected at a hotel. Ten grams of marijuana were located and two arrests were made. I-285/Chamblee-Dunwoody Road —

On March 18, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of driv-

I-285 /Peachtree Road — On March 18,

10200 block of Peachford Circle — On

March 19, a woman was arrested and accused of reckless driving after losing control of her car and crashing into two other vehicles in a parking garage. Ashford-Dunwoody Road/ Perimeter

Center — On March 19 in the evening an officer noticed a traffic hazard where the driver was sleeping behind the wheel. He was arrested and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol. 100 block of Ravinia Drive — On

March 20, a woman was stopped for having a cancelled registration on her car. She was arrested and accused of driving without a license. I-285/ Chamblee-Dunwoody Road — On

March 20, at night, a man was arrested and accused of driving with a suspended registration and license and no insurance. 100 block of Perimeter Center — On

March 21, a man was arrested and accused of a probation violation. I-285/ Chamblee-Dunwoody Road —

On March 21, a man was arrested and accused of speeding and driving with a suspended license. 6800 block of Peachtree Industri-

al Boulevard — On March 21, in the evening, an officer patrolling the area found an individual asleep next to a dumpster. He was arrested and accused of disorderly conduct and providing a false identity to the officer. 100 block of Perimeter Center — On

March 22, in the early morning, a woman was arrested and accused of prostitution. 100 block of Perimeter Center — On

March 22, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of criminal trespass after receiving written notice that he was not allowed on the property. 4500 block of Olde Perimeter Way — On

March 22, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of marijuana possession. 4700 block of Winters Chapel Road —

On March 22, an officer observed a woman driving after 9 p.m. without headlights and pulled her over. She was arrested and accused of driving without a license.



24 |

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