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Dunwoody Puts A Stop To Apartments For 6 Months

Dunwoody Mayor Denis Shortal talks traffic issues with Perimeter CID Executive Director Ann Hanlon at a recent Bisnow event.

It appears the city of Dunwoody is taking a cue from "Seinfeld" and its Soup Nazi when it comes to developers: No apartments for you! Come back in six months!

Dunwoody officials locked in a six-month moratorium on multifamily building applications, permits and construction to buy time for officials to review the city's fire safety codes and ordinances, Reporter Newspapers reported.

The move comes months after the Georgia General Assembly approved a bill that prohibits both cities and counties from banning the use of wood as a construction material, superseding many local ordinances that sought to steer developers on certain projects toward steel-framed construction. That law, while easily passed under the Gold Dome, was met with protest from some city officials, including Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul, whose city enacted an ordinance that prevented wood being used for framing on structures taller than three stories.

“I think wood is a very safe product when used appropriately, but when you get that high up, you have to build in safety concerns for everybody,” Paul told the Northside Neighbor in March.

Dunwoody Mayor Denis Shortal told Reporter Newspapers this week that the new state law was “maybe a small part” of why the city was revisiting its fire safety codes, with another city councilman calling the moratorium a “breather” for the review.

The moratorium does raise the question of when some developers will be able to move forward on planned projects in Central Perimeter, including GID Development Group's massive High Street project that would include 1,500 apartments, 1,500 condominiums, 400K SF of retail, 400K SF of office and 400 hotel rooms and Grubb Properties' 20-acre project that would involve 900 condo units, according to Reporter Newspapers.