Dunwoody City Council has approved a plan to build a 90-unit assisted living facility on Womack Road.

The council’s 6-1 vote to approve the Berman Commons project drew applause from a crowded council chamber May 13 after council members approved the project without requiring the developer to build a bicycle lane on nearby Tilly Mill Road.

“My personal feeling is it’s unreasonable to ask them to put in bike lanes,” Councilwoman Adrian Bonser said before the vote. “It sounds to me like the city is trying to get a bike lane for free.”

But other council members argued city law required the construction of the bike lane. Not requiring construction of the bike lane as part of the project would mean that eventually it would have to be built at public expense, they argued.  “If the bike lane is not put in by the developer, then the bike lane will be put in by the citizens,” said Councilman Denny Shortal, who cast the sole vote against approving waivers from city development rules needed to build the facility.

The council considered asking the developer to build the bike lane on Tilly Mill because the assisted-living facility was to be built on a parcel the developer wanted to combine with the much larger property of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, which fronts on Tilly Mill.

“I’m not in favor of holding up a large landowner who’s doing something on one road because of something on another road,” Mayor Mike Davis said before the vote.

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