At Issue: Pets at businesses — a doggone good or bad idea?

Last Week: How is the housing market doing in Fayette County?

Fayette County’s housing market seems to be gradually rebounding from recession-era reduced prices and slow sales. Real estate sources such as and currently show more than 500 houses currently for sale, ranging from $79,000 to $2.9 million. That’s quite a range, but illustrates the variety of options available to those looking to either upsize or downsize.

New construction is rising as well. Peachtree City is about to add several hundred new homes in three developments along its western edge off MacDuff Parkway, and a new loft development has been proposed for Lexington Circle. Downtown Fayetteville is planning a comprehensive redesign that incorporates more diverse residential live-work areas.

Since 2005, Peachtree City has regularly ranked highly on state and national “best places to live” listings (per BusinessWeek, Family Circle and Money magazines, and and, and both it and Fayetteville were ranked second and sixth, respectively, on the Movoto Real Estate blog list in 2014. Tyrone attracts residents who want to be closer to the Interstate 85 interchange and shave some time off northbound commutes.

Individual home prices are still not back up to pre-recession levels, but the rebounding economy seems to be stimulating more turnover. So we asked, what do Fayette residents think about the local market?

Here are some reader responses:

My wife and I live in a small subdivision located in the northern part of Fayette County near the Fayetteville city limits. We purchased our modest home new in 1987 when we both were still employed. When we moved to Fayette County, it was considered somewhat rural and a bedroom community, both factors which attracted us to the area. Back then, it was a very safe place to live, and yes there was an outstanding school system. However, as its population grew, Fayette County attracted more businesses, including the ones that are located in the Fayette Pavilion, after which crime began to creep into the area and has increased. No longer does Fayette County have a rural ambience that it once had. Home prices in our subdivision seemed to have peaked around 2007‑2008. Although home prices in our area have rebounded some in spite of crime, we will be surprised if they ever reach the level that existed in 2007 and prior. According to, our home's current value is about 80 percent of its value in 2007. Lower home values significantly impact retirees because they eventually may need to sell their home and move into an assisted living community. — Alvin Russell

I live in the Lake Windsong neighborhood in Tyrone. Our neighborhood has exploded with new home construction. There's not much new construction on this side of town. New home prices are starting around $499,000. We also have a small lake and amenities; the neighborhood has a resort feel. — Martine Warzecha

— Jill Howard Church for the AJC

More metro Atlanta businesses – from restaurants and hotels to department stores and home improvement centers – are making themselves “dog friendly,” welcoming people who bring their pooches.

As staff writer Leon Stafford reported in the The AJC, canine lovers applaud the trend. They attest to the joys of companionship, and the belief their pets are family members just as much as children.

Skeptics, on the other hand, may wonder about liability in the event of dog bites, the reaction of those with allergies, and the response of customers who fear dogs or just don’t appreciate a four-legged creature imposing on their space.

And there’s always the issue of the inevitable – uh – accident.

A survey last year by found 36 percent of readers supported dogs at restaurants and in stores; 31 percent were neutral, and 33 percent were opposed.

The trend is undeniable, though. The website counts 92 dog-friendly eateries in Atlanta. (Service dogs have always been permitted.)

On Nov. 1, the Georgia Department of Public Health issued regulations on canines in dining establishments. The rules say canines should be leashed, remain outside on dining patios and stay off the furniture. They cannot go inside restaurants on the way to the patios; touch food, plates or utensils, or be fed by customers or employees.

Dog-friendly places include such eateries as Buckhead Saloon, Nancy G’s Cafe and Einstein’s, retailers such as Home Depot, Lowe’s Macy’s, Bloomingdale and Barnes & Noble, and the Ellis Hotel, Hotel Indigo and Four Seasons Atlanta, the AJC reported.

Are businesses on the scent of success? Or are they barking up the wrong tree by possibly offending a third of their customers? Send comments to