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Sandy Springs rezoning cases attract controversy
by Noreen Lewis Cochran
September 27, 2012 08:40 PM | 2843 views | 1 1 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sandy Springs may get a “gateway” development on its Buckhead border if Irvine, Texas-based residential development company JLB Realty gets approval for the mixed-use rezoning application it will present to the city Design Review Board on Oct. 9.

The rezoning process, which goes on to the Planning Commission Nov. 15 with and the City Council Dec. 20, began Thursday at City Hall in a community zoning information meeting.

Scott Schlosser and Matt Hallman of the company’s Sandy Springs office gave about 20 attendees a chance to question plans for 4550, 4558, 4586 and 4616 Roswell Road, a 21-acre parcel now containing the 925,000-square-foot Chastain and Versailles apartment complexes.

The company plans to build 700 condominium-quality apartment units, Schlosser said, while Norcross-based Core Capital Advisors will dedicate 112,000 square feet to retail, including a “big-box” anchor store not yet finalized, and 4,000 square feet to offices.

The multi-use destination’s intent, according to documents filed with the city, is to create a “vibrant live/work environment” with “a real sense of community.”

Community members, however, questioned its effects.

“The general sentiment on the part of the Cherokee Park neighborhood, which is adjacent on the west side, is a concern about height, density, traffic, greenspace and the buffers,” resident Ron Comacho said.

Addressing the height issue, Schlosser said he was aware of concern about an 84-foot-high structure, for which the company seeks a variance from the city’s 60-foot rule.

“What you’re saying is 84 feet seems very high but in relationship to some of the residences here, it’s not as high as you think,” he said about houses on a hill.

Schlosser also acknowledged the significance of the city’s southernmost border.

“The fact that it’s the gateway from Sandy Springs to Atlanta means it’s an important development,” he said.

Patty Berkovitz of the Watershed Alliance of Sandy Springs said the zoning schedule may be premature.

“There’s really nothing that gives you incentive to actually make any of the big changes possibly some of the community might like,” she said.

Also at the meeting was applicant 5730 Glenridge Partners, which asked for access to a traffic light on Glenridge Drive so Glenridge Medical Office Building staff and visitors can exit safely once the Lakeside complex across the street is redeveloped.

Opponent Doug Falciglia said traffic will back up onto the residential street Glenforest Drive.

The application moves on to the city council Nov. 20.

What’s next?

Design Review Board meeting Oct. 9 at 9 a.m. at Sandy Springs City Hall, 7840 Roswell Road.

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