No variable specified
Sandy Springs postpones Lakeside, OKs Scientology
by Noreen Lewis Cochran
July 18, 2012 11:49 AM | 2344 views | 1 1 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Sandy Springs City Council will take up the rezoning application of MetLife Inc. and Greenstone Properties, owners of 5775 and 5795 Glenridge Drive, at its Aug. 21 meeting after voting 6-0 Tuesday to defer the case Tuesday at City Hall.

The applicant has been trying since 2008 to redevelop its 26-acre Lakeside office park, suing the city in Fulton County Superior Court almost exactly four years ago.

Prior to Tuesday’s vote, commercial and resident neighbors said the mixed-use development will create traffic issues.

“We have a very special need here which is not being met by the current plan,” said Ralph Edwards, general partner of the Glenridge Medical Office Building, whose consumers may require urgent care.

Doug Falciglia, president of the 480-home Glenridge Hammond Neighborhood Association, said his fellow homeowners had insufficient notice of the meeting.

District 5 City Councilman Tibby DeJulio, in whose district the property lies, moved for the deferral.

“We realize we have a problem. The problem is our problem that we didn’t notify people,” said DeJulio.

Mayor Eva Galambos urged both sides to use the time to settle their differences.

“Try to solve this thing,” she said.

The Neighbor and another newspaper carry legal advertising for the city.

Debate ended for the Church of Scientology as it secured a 5-1 victory from the city council for its rezoning application, a vote which also settled a lawsuit pending in federal court.

DeJulio opposed the application to renovate a former office building at 5395 Roswell Road.

During a pre-vote public hearing, Jack Shaw of the Round Hill Condominium Association said the city exhibited a “misguided fear” of paying damages to the plaintiff.

“Any such potential costs would be dwarfed by those associated with the lawsuit from the citizens of Sandy Springs,” he said. “And we, by the definition ‘citizens,’ are never going away.”

The issue, as it has been since 2009, was the number of parking spaces suitable for 44,000 square feet.

“There will be plenty of parking to serve the needs of this community,” church attorney Woody Galloway said.

Supporters said with the conversion of a garage into a sanctuary, office space and classrooms, they will have the space they need to relocate the church from Dunwoody.

“Our desire to restore the beautiful building on Roswell Road is a dream come true,” said John Nesbit of Suwanee. “In order to fulfill our religious practices, we require these expanded facilities as described in the proposed plan and application.”

*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, spam, and links to outside websites will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides