Sandy Springs District 3 Updates
In our last newsletter, I noted that the City's leadership would hold a strategic planning session in late January to discuss the important initiatives for this year.  These goals are much too lengthy to discuss in one newsletter, so over the next few weeks, I will review some of the most crucial objectives that we have set for 2017.  Let's start this week with one of most the important issues facing our development.
When I joined the City Council last July, I was concerned that the number of new apartment units coming into our community exceeded tenant demand.  I was also concerned about the impact that these properties would have on our infrastructure and our traffic.   With my support, the Council in recent months has enacted new provisions to address concerns about over-development.  While these provisions won't address the projects already underway, they will slow the pace of future development to allow time for the market to absorb the properties already under development and for the impact to our infrastructure to be more thoroughly assessed.  I am aware of one other new apartment development in downtown Sandy Springs that is approved for construction.  This project was zoned in early 2015 to replace an aging office building at 6075-6077 Roswell Road and should begin construction this spring.  The three key development initiatives implemented by the city are:  
  • The Next 10 Plan, now completed and approved by the ARC:  This plan brings much greater clarity to future zoning, land-use and density issues relating to all property types.

  • Stronger building material standards:  All new buildings of 100,000 square feet or more (or more than 3 stories in height) must now be built with concrete and steel, verses stick-built construction.  This should improve the safety, longevity and quality of future structures built in our city.

  • New Zoning Moratorium:  Last week, City Council approved a moratorium suspending all new zoning requests for the next five months to allow time to write and enact new zoning codes that are consistent with the Next 10 Plan.

Regarding point #3, a key strategic initiative in 2017 is to write and implement the new zoning codes so that they are consistent with the intentions of the Next 10 Plan.  Once in place, the City must be diligent in adhering to these new codes and I will work hard to assure that we are.

A thriving community requires parks and green space, walk-ability and quality restaurant and recreation options and the City is focused on delivering these services for our citizens.  A major initiative in 2017 is the continuing completion of City Springs and the parks, retail establishments and road improvements that go along with it. There will no doubt be frustrating times for our citizens as road closures for utility work and street-scape and lane improvements cause traffic delays.  As an older community, we have an aging infrastructure that is in need of repair, especially with the added volume of the new homes and businesses coming to our City.  I am confident that when completed, City Springs and the areas surrounding it will be an outstanding gathering place for our community that gives us a sense of place and culture.  Hence, I ask for your patience this year as this project progresses towards a spring of '18 completion.

Not all parts of our city are experiencing the wave of new development that is underway in the Perimeter and downtown districts of Sandy Springs.  The northern district continues to be challenged with aging, Class C apartments and older retail buildings and some residents in North Springs are anxious for the redevelopment that is occurring in our district to come their way.  The City will work in 2017 and beyond to encourage and help execute new developments in North Springs and across our community that offer quality, affordable housing options for citizens like our first responders, teachers and nurses.  We are also focused on improving the quality of retail and restaurant facilities across the city so that our citizens throughout Sandy Springs can enjoy the same quality dining and shopping options that are beginning to define our downtown district.

The desirability of Sandy Springs as a wonderful play to live and work can certainly create challenges and stresses on our infrastructure and on our nerves as more families and businesses move here, but I am optimistic that ’17 and ’18 will be defining years for our community as City Springs and other downtown construction projects reach their completion and future development slows to a more endurable pace.

We will talk in our next newsletter about another key initiative for 2017........traffic.  Until then, I hope that each of you has a great week!

Mark Your Calendars

Act3 Productions presents Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None

Act3 Productions presents Agatha Christie’s  And Then There Were None.  The plot follows ten strangers, each with a guilty secret, marooned on an island.  One by one they are accused of murder, and then, one by one they start to die.  February 10 - 25. Ticket information:
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17th. 11am-12pm. Mt. Vernon Hwy/Glenridge Rd. Median

Arbor Day Tree Planting and Tree Seedling Give Away

The City of Sandy Springs is celebrating Arbor Day on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 by giving away 100 tree saplings in addition to its traditional tree planting activities.  The activities take place beginning at 11 a.m. on Fig Island located  in the median at the intersection of Mt. Vernon Highway and Glenridge Drive (Parking will be available at the Sandy Springs Baptist Church Parking Lot). 

The Sawtooth Oak seedlings were made possible through a donation by Georgia Power Company.  The City’s Arborists will be on hand to provide residents with instructions on proper planting and care.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21ST. 6pmSandy Springs City Hall.

City Council Meeting

The City Council meets to conduct city business. Agendas and minutes for this meeting are located on the main page of the Public Meetings Calendar - please scroll to the end of the page.  

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22ND. 9:30am. Woodland Elementary School. 

Gail Dean (District 3) School Board Community Meeting.

Each School Board member holds monthly community meetings to keep residents informed about issues and to give citizens the opportunity to comment on Board agenda items.  

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22ND. 9:30am. Ison Springs Elementary School. 

Julia Bernath (District 7) School Board Community Meeting.

Each School Board member holds monthly community meetings to keep residents informed about issues and to give citizens the opportunity to comment on Board agenda items.  

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22ND. 6pmDunwoody Community Church.

Community Meeting I

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27TH. 6pmCity Hall, SSG Council Auditorium.

Community Meeting II

If you are interested in reading the Week in Review provided by the City Manager regarding work activity on behalf of the community, you can access it here for the week ending in February 11th. If you missed any of the weeks in review, you can access all of them from the City's website here.

As always, please direct your questions and comments to me at Best wishes for a wonderful week.

Chris Burnett