Sustainability Eco-Friendly Policies
The City of Dunwoody and the Sustainability Committee along with the Dunwoody community seek to minimize environmental impacts through the continued adoption of eco-friendly policies and ordinances.
The City of Dunwoody has pursued Green Communities certification since incorporation in December 2008. In an effort to maintain that certification and become a leader in sustainable governance, the City has adopted a number of policies, some that impact employees, and some that impact the community.
Also, take a look at the ongoing educational efforts to ensure our staff is well informed of the policies set by City Council.
- Bicycle Parking Policy – A minimum of four bicycle racks shall be located at or near all City of Dunwoody parks and community facilities owned or operated by the City.
- Complete Streets Policy – Each City road project is analyzed to determine if bike lanes, sidewalks, transit shelters, and other modes of transportation can be accommodated.
- No Net Loss of Trees Policy – Every tree removed on City property (parks, right of way, or other city property) is required to be replaced.
- Green Buildings Policy - All future government buildings or renovations over 5,000 square feet are required to be LEED or ENERGY STAR Certified. Any plumbing fixtures installed are required to be WaterSense Certified with ultra-high efficiency.
- Environmentally Friendly Purchasing Policy – More sustainable options are required to be considered when making purchases for the City—that includes the requirement to purchase 30 percent post-consumer recycled paper and for electronics to be ENERGY STAR certified.
- Sustainable Landscaping Policy – Requires sustainable planting, watering, and pest management practices on City property.
- Lights Off, Power Down Policy – Requires all electronic equipment and other office equipment to be powered down or set to more efficient modes when not in use.
- No Idling Policy – Requires all vehicles used for City business to be turned off when not in transit to prevent the excess pollution created from idling vehicles. Reasonable exemptions apply to emergency vehicles.
- Sustainable Building Plan Review – Development plans submitted for structures that are seeking discretionary green building certifications or propose sustainable components, like solar panels, will receive expedited review.
There are other initiatives the City has implemented that further environmental stewardship:
- The City has been working aggressively to make sidewalk connections by adding 69 miles of sidewalks in less than ten years. Private development has contributed to additional sidewalk length, as it is a requirement of the code for many projects.
- Water Resource Management Plan - The City complies with the management plan as a function of the Service Delivery Strategy with DeKalb County.
- Traffic Signal Synchronization – In partnership with PCIDs, Dunwoody has a traffic operations team to monitor the synchronization of the lights in Perimeter Center and adjust them according to live conditions.
- The City developed a plan to change out incandescent traffic lights to LEDs as they burned out. That replacement plan was fully implemented in 2014.
- The City enforces the Energy Code. The Chief Building Official requires all construction projects to conduct duct leakage and blower door tests and complete housewrap inspections to ensure the structures that are being erected are meeting efficiency requirements.
- In accordance with the zoning and land development codes, parking lots are required to provide landscaping and tree islands. Look to developments like Sterling Pointe and the Spruill site for compliance with our parking lot landscaping standards. Other Smart Growth standards can be found throughout the code, like the implementation of non-motorized transportation facilities, mixed use zoning districts, and requirements for developing the public realm to accommodate livability and walkability.
- Dunwoody has an agreement with DeKalb County for recycling and yard debris collection services for residential and City facilities. Curbside, commercial, and non-traditional recycling services are provided. Glass recycling drop-off facilities are provided by DeKalb County at Brook Run Park and the Dunwoody Public Library.
- The City also collects nontraditional materials like batteries and electronics at an event held twice annually.
- Dunwoody hosts two Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) events annually to collect paints, pesticides, and other hard-to-dispose-of household chemicals. This is one of our most popular events.
- From inception, the City has promoted infill development in effort to utilize the City's increasingly limited landspace to its best use. Project Rennaisance in Georgetown is a prime example of the City engaging in a private-public partnership to execute smart infill development.
- In compliance with our MS4 Permit, the City hosts stream clean-ups and provides educational resources regarding protecting our waterways from pet waster and stormwater runoff. Take a look here.
- In Chapter 27, the City’s Zoning Code, outdoor lighting is regulated, requiring full cut-off fixtures and reduced glare on adjacent properties to aid in minimizing the amount of light projecting into the dark sky.
- The City has been recognized as a TreeCity USA since 2012 for its commitment to the preservation and replacement of tree canopy.
- The City supports community gardens and farmers markets by providing space and resources in City parks dedicated to these activities.
- The City’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan prioritizes bicycle and pedestrian mobility.
The City has partnered with Chattahoochee Riverkeepers to begin monitoring streams on a regular basis to detect changes in the stream chemistry. The goal of the program is to more quickly identify the changes and detect point source pollution. Data collected as part of the program can be viewed here: https://nww.chattahoochee.org/DataPage.
The City has installed EV charging stations at Brook Run Park and the Dunwoody Nature Center to facilitate the growing use of electronic vehicles in the City. The intiative was highlighted by the GMA.
The Sustainability Committe participated in the Solarize Dunwoody campaign, which brought solar to 52 residences. Solarize is a national movement, dating back to 2009 in Portland, Oregon, that helps bring solar power to local communities — helping them to go green and save money both on the cost of implementation and on long-term power bills. Our program is the fourth Solarize program to run in Georgia.
Established by the Sustainability Committee in 2010, the Sustainable Hero Award acknowledges an individual, group, non-profit organization or business which has increased community engagement on a sustainability topic and inspired the community or its employees and peers to improve sustainable practices such as waste reduction, conservation, education or recycling efforts.
The Sustainability Committee has two ex-officio committe member positions for local high school students and two for college students to facilitate youth involvement in sustainability initiatives. High school students routinely volunteer at Sustainability Committee events, and the Committee has assisted in recycling activities at the high school.
Dunwoody’s Energy Strategy for the Future:
- Measure and track the energy performance of our organization's facilities, where possible, by using tools such as those offered through ENERGY STAR;
- Develop and implement a plan consistent with the ENERGY STAR Guidelines for Energy Management to achieve energy savings;
- Help spread the word about the importance of energy efficiency to our employees, customers, tenants, shareholders, and/or community; and
- Highlight our achievements with recognition offered through ENERGY STAR.
- LED bulbs have a higher efficacy rate, meaning they produce more lumens per watt than any other bulb and at a lower temperature. This allows the light to be brighter without compromising energy consumption or output. The City has begun its efforts to convert traditional bulbs by removing the old ones from the front desk lamps of the Community Development Department.
- Did you know the City has a Green Fleet Policy? That’s a policy that prioritizes purchase of alternatively fueled vehicles.
- Did you know the City has youth representation on the Sustainability committee? A total of 4 positions on the Committee are dedicated to students. Let us know if you’re interested in participating!
- City Hall is located at a greyfield site. What is a greyfield? It’s an underutilized property that has been revitalized by the City. The former underperforming bank building is now home to your City services.