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Council approves city center plan
by Savannah Weeks
December 19, 2012 01:09 PM | 1424 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Boston-based Goody Clancy’s final city center plan now will be implemented following the Sandy Springs City Council’s unanimous (6-0) vote to approve it during Tuesday night's council meeting at City Hall.

Ben Carlson, a representative from the firm, said one of the main goals was to make the city center a walkable area with greenspace.

The city center will have 2 acres of greenspace spread through the proposed plan, which stretches from Allen Road past Johnson Ferry Road along the Roswell Road corridor.

District 2 Councilwoman Dianne Fries made a motion to approve the plan, with District 6 Councilwoman Karen Meinzen McEnerny making a substitute motion to approve the plan with the condition of adding another acre of greenspace.

“[People are] still very concerned about basically, there’s not enough greenspace in the city center plan. We need to have a basic addition of one acre,” she said.

The motion died for lack of a second, so the council voted to approve the plan based on Fries’ motion.

Sandy Springs resident George Nathan expressed concern with the proposal during public comment.

“I support the plan, but I would ask you to make sure you consider a couple of major items – to proceed with the street/intersection planning improvements,” he said. “I believe the plan has ignored how to deal with the east Cobb traffic. I don’t understand the narrowing of Sandy Springs Circle [in the plan]. As you proceed with implementation, I simply ask that you don’t ignore this thing sitting in the corner of the room.”

The city does not yet have a timeline on when the city center would be built, but it owns the old Target site property, which could be the new City Hall location.

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In other news, the council voted at the end of the meeting to pay Fulton County $500,000 to settle a fire department lawsuit, according to Sharon Kraun, the city’s spokeswoman. The suit regards overtime pay. Kraun said the county was originally asking $1 million be paid in due overtime hours.

The council also voted 5-2 to approve the rezoning of 5975 Mitchell Road, the location of St. James Anglican Church, from R-1 (single family dwelling district) to R-5A (single family dwelling district), a townhouse zoning, with concurrent variances. McEnerny and District 5 Councilman Tibby DeJulio dissented.

Disputes surrounding the ownership of the church and whether it is still active have held the project up since April, when Arrowhead Real Estate showed an interest in buying the property to develop it as a townhouse community. The property is still owned by the church, though Arrowhead does have a development plan for it.

“The church acknowledges a settlement has been reached between the church and Arrowhead,” said William Lundquist, senior warden at St. James. “We are allowing them rezoning.”
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