City of Dunwoody
Though the city's name derives from a misspelling, Dunwoody honors Major Charles Dunwody, a Confederate solider. Though the city still depends on DeKalb County for some basic services, its recent incorporation in December 2008 has allowed residents more say in the area's growth and zoning.
One of Dunwoody's most historic buildings dates from 1829. The Ebenezer Primitive Baptist Church, at the corner of Roberts Drive and Spalding Drive, is still active to this date and is also the home to one of the city's oldest cemeteries, where many the city's founding fathers rest. The first public school, Dunwoody Elementary, first stood near the city center at the intersection of Chamblee-Dunwoody Road and Mount Vernon Road. It was in continuous operation from 1911 to 1986. A fire destroyed the school's cafeteria in 1966, which was on the corner of Womack Road and Chamblee-Dunwoody Road. On that site today, the Dunwoody branch of the Dekalb County Public Library now operates along with the North Dekalb Cultural Arts Center. In 1881, the Roswell Railroad opened and ran along what is now Chamblee-Dunwoody Road north to the Chattahoochee River. It operated for 40 years, and in 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt made a campaign whistle stop in the city along his way to Roswell.
On account of the railroad, Dunwoody developed into a small crossroads community. The community continued to grow and prosper even after the railroad shut down in 1921. Dunwoody remained rural until suburban residential development was initiated in the 1960s. In 1971, the Spruill family sold a large portion of their property for the construction of Perimeter Mall, with the completion of Dunwoody Village occurring the same year.
In early 2006, a study was conducted by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government of the University of Georgia, to determine how feasible it would be to incorporate Dunwoody as a city. Critics claimed that incorporation of Dunwoody, as in the incorporation of Sandy Springs in 2005, would take away a great deal of tax revenue from the rest of the county, leading to shortages of services, tax increases, or both for everyone else in the county, as has happened in Fulton. Citizens for Dunwoody, Inc. was the non-profit advocacy group begun by Senator Dan Weber to promote the effort.
The bill for incorporation was withdrawn from the Georgia General Assembly for further study in 2006 and passed only the lower house in 2007. In 2008, the bill of incorporation was re-introduced by Senator Weber, and due to increased pressure, it passed in the senate as well as the house. Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue signed the bill allowing the residents to vote for a city of Dunwoody on March 25. The referendum for cityhood, which took place on July 15, was approved by an overwhelming majority of voters. The Dunwoody City Charter was later ratified by the Georgia General Assembly, and on December 1, 2008, after a three-year movement, Dunwoody officially became a city.
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Updated: 23rd May, 2019 6:06 AM.