Posts Tagged ‘Sandy Springs’

Sandy Springs To Sue Fulton County Over Cemetery Flooding

The Sandy Springs City Council unanimously approved filing a lawsuit against Fulton County for its alleged failure to maintain two detention ponds at Arlington Memorial Park on Mount Vernon Highway.  The City blames the detention ponds for problems with Colewood Creek and flooding of residential properties in Colewood Court.

Judge Sides With Holy Spirit Prep And Against Neighbors

In 2008, City of Sandy Springs rezoned 8 acres of land near the intersection of Long Island and Lake Forrest drives to allow Holy Spirit Preparatory School to build a football and soccer stadium and a school administrative building.  Long Island Neighborhoods Coalition sued opposing the rezoning and the construction.

Last week, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams upheld the City’s rezoning and dismissed the neighborhood’s complaint.  The neighborhood has 30 days to seek an appeal.

Sandy Springs Opens Riverside Park

After a few million dollars and several years, the City of Sandy Springs opened the Overlook Park – 27 acres of green space, playgrounds, a 300-person public pavilion and a 170-year-old stone chimney, the last standing part of a home belonging to the settler Powers familyat the end of Morgan Falls Road on the banks of the Chattahoochee River. 

Sandy Springs Conditionally Approves Rezoning For Church Of Scientology

Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos cast the tie-breaking vote approving rezoning of Church of Scientology’s property at 5395 Roswell Road, but at 12,000 square feet less than the church wanted.

The rezoning allows the church use of 32,053 existing square feet in the former realty office at the corner of Glenridge Drive, but was not what the church wanted.  The church wanted to convert a 43,916 square feet underground, 30-car parking lot for its sanctuary.  Neighbors and city staff opposed enclosure of the underground parking lot on the basis that the church could not provide the requisite number of parking spaces for the larger space.

“The 32,000-square foot limit wouldn’t work for the church and the rights they have for religious exercises,” church attorney Woody Galloway said during his rebuttal of opposition speakers. “It would hamper them to the point they couldn’t use the site. 32,000 square feet is not at all acceptable.”

The applicant has a “great need” for space, Galloway said, a characteristic of Scientology which was at the heart of the debate.

On the one hand, the owner is a religious entity, and other churches in Sandy Springs have lower parking ratios.

“You cannot discriminate on the basis of religion. It’s what this country was founded on,” Galloway said.

However, city Department of Community Development staff determined the way the space is used is more like an office building or a community college and calculated its parking needs accordingly.

“The applicant said it is a non-traditional church with a main focus on smaller meeting rooms,” said opposition attorney Brian Daughdrill of northwest Atlanta law firm Roberts and Daughdrill. “It was appropriate for staff to analyze it as they did.”

Fulton County v. Milton County . . . Battle Lines Drawn

Fulton County leaders picked sides this week over the divorce of the north areas from Fulton County and their reconfiguration into Milton County. 

Roswell Mayor Jere Wood, Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos, and Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker lined up on the side of divorce and creation of the new Milton County. 

John Sherman, president of the Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation, Fulton Commission Chairman John Eaves, and State Representative Roger Bruce (D-Atlanta) argued to preserve Fulton County.

Sandy Springs Delays Decision On Impact Fees

The developers of the mixed-use development The Prado and the hotel Grand Bohemian Atlanta are asking the City of Sandy Springs to recalculate the impact fees it adopted on Feb. 19, 2008 to fund capital improvements in parks and recreation, public safety, and transportation.

Impact fees are charged at the time of issuance of any building permit. The ordinance also allows developers to deduct credits from those fees for system improvements they made.

Sembler Co. is redeveloping The Pradoat 5600 Roswell Road.  The City assessed $471,000 in impact fees for the development.  Sembler Co. claims it should only have to pay a net impact fee of $227,000.

Kessler Enterprises is developing the Grand Bohemian Atlanta hotel at 115 Abernathy Road.  The City assessed $119,000 in impact fees for the development.  Kessler Enterprises claims it should only have to pay a net impact fee of $45,000.

Sembler Co. and Kessler Enterprises both appealed the City’s assessments.  By a vote of 6-0 the City Council voted to defer a decision on the appeals and the recalculation of the impact fees until April 21.

Attorney Ted Sandlerof Vinings-based law firm Hartman, Simons, Spielman and Wood represents Sembler Co. in its appeal from the impact fee assessment.  Attorney Joseph Foltzof Alpharetta-based Foltz Martin LLC represents Kessler Enterprises in its appeal.

Sandy Springs Approves Four 303-Foot Radio Towers

The Sandy Springs City Council voted 5-1 to approve four 303-foot radio towers at the northeast, southeast, northwest and southwest corners of Blue Heron Golf Course on Morgan Falls Road.  The approval will allow Sandy Springs Broadcasting LLC and its parent company, American Media Services LLC (both based in Charleston) to construct the four radio towers to create a local radio station, possibly within the Sandy Springs city limits.

The council also granted, under the recommendation of city staff, variances that allowed the towers to exceed the 300-foot maximum height requirement and be located within .25 mile of an existing Georgia Power Co. power lines and two other radio towers.

The approval was not without dissenters.  Councilwoman Karen Meinzen McEnerny cast the only dissenting vote.

“I have very serious concerns about the public benefit of having a radio station operate in our community in greenspace,” said Ms. McEnerny. “In return for four towers, with a variance that’s required, and a visible light for 40-plus years, the offset is that we’re going to have a radio station that every hour on the hour broadcast our [city’s] name? … I don’t see any jobs being created.”

Sandy Springs Council of Neighbors Zoning Chairman Trisha Thompson also opposed the towers.

“Over and over and over again, every one of you have said that we need more greenspace in Sandy Springs,” Ms. Thompson said to the City Council. “All of you have been fighting for more greenspace and for park space for the children of Sandy Springs. … Why in the world are you putting a radio tower [near Morgan Falls Park] that will last and last and last? It will be a blight on the community and take away the very greenspace that you’ve been crying for.”