DeKalb County

Dunwoody dinosaur display to go extinct after complaint sent to city

DUNWOODY, Ga. — For the past three years, a Dunwoody neighborhood has been home to a dinosaur display, inflating it into a popular attraction.

However, someone complained about the display.

Now, city officials say it has to come down because it violates the Dunwoody sign code.

Channel 2′s Bryan Mims was in Dunwoody, where the homeowner said they’ll comply with the removal.

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Lisa Torres told Channel 2 Action News that she wants to follow the law.

She started decorating her yard on Dunwoody Club Drive at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Now, despite the city’s order to remove the dinosaurs, Torres’ neighbors are rallying to keep the beasts from going extinct.


At first, Torres told Channel 2 Action News she would only put the dinosaurs up for holidays.

Then, Torres, a mom of two small children started to keep them up year-round, with a different theme every month.

She said each display was accompanied by an encouraging message, like “Do Good.”

“Joggers, walkers, people strolling with their babies, old people, young people, have all come together and appreciated our messaging and our creatures,” Torres said.

Over the past three years, she said she had never gotten a complaint.

That changed last week, when Torres received a notice from Dunwoody officials that the dinosaurs had to go by Sept. 20.

The notice said Dunwoody has a sign ordinance, banning air-filled or animated signs.

Torres learned the notice was prompted by a complaint emailed to the city, cratering the display’s positivity.

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“It’s heartbreaking that it took one person over hundreds of people that have expressed their love and support for it to be taken down,” Torres said.

A statement from the city obtained by Channel 2 Action News said “our code enforcement is complaint-driven, and we cannot selectively enforce the codes. In response to this case, city leaders have asked staff to look into possible modifications to the sign code.”

One neighbor, Pam Swift, told Mims she thought the display should be kept in place.

“To have something that’s positive, that people ride by and makes kids feel good, it just needs to stay,” Swift said.

Torres said she knows who filed the complaint but did not want to identify the person. For now, she plans to comply with the city’s rule and take the dinosaurs down by Sept. 20.

Channel 2 Action News obtained a copy of the complaint to Dunwoody officials, but the form also shows an extension was granted to keep the dinosaurs up until October.