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City Council delays Scientology vote
by Noreen Lewis Cochran
June 20, 2012 10:37 AM | 944 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At the Sandy Springs City Council meeting Tuesday at City Hall, the Church of Scientology received a setback in its mission to renovate and occupy 5395 Roswell Road at the corner of Glenridge Drive.

The city council voted 4-2 to defer the vote until its July 17 meeting.

District 1 City Councilman John Paulson and District 2 City Councilwoman Dianne Fries were opposed.

The matter arose from a federal lawsuit brought by the church when the city approved its zoning request Dec. 15, 2009 for 32,000 square feet in a former real estate office.

The church wanted 44,000 square feet but the city said there were not enough parking spaces to support the expansion.

According to city defense attorney Laurel Henderson, U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg ordered the two parties into mediation.

The result was a new parking plan and a deal, conducted during a closed session March 26, brokered in which 130 spaces were created to support 44,000 square feet.

Henderson strongly advised the city to approve the zoning modification to strengthen its case.

However, residents like Robin Beechey decried the matter’s lack of public notification, which had been limited to a legal advertisement in the May 30 edition of the Sandy Springs Neighbor.

The matter will be advertised at least 15 days prior to the next city council meeting in both the Sandy Springs and Northside Neighbor newspapers.

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