Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sandy Springs Puts The Brakes on Apartments, Temporarily

Last week the city council in Sandy Springs approves a 60-day moratorium on apartments in commercial zones.  See Press release HERE.

SANDY SPRINGS (July 24, 2014) — The Sandy Springs City Council approved a resolution during a special-called meeting on July 23, 2014, to place a 60-day moratorium on apartment permits in commercial zoning areas identified as C1 and C2. The moratorium was enacted to allow city staff time to review current ordinances to determine if changes are needed to ensure development in these areas align with the City’s 2027 Comprehensive Plan, the City Center Master Plan and the Livable Communities Update. The current ordinance allows for apartments to be built on top of and behind retail and office uses in Commercial Zoning Districts.
“The intent of the Comprehensive and City Center Master plans are to bring true mixed-use to this area along Roswell Road. That calls for pedestrian areas, active retail and housing within a walkable environment. We want to make sure our ordinances support these objectives,” said Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul.
Any proposed changes will come before the City Council and will include an opportunity for public input.

You can also read a piece on this topic at BizJournals HERE.

Sandy Springs is trying to do a better job of shaping development patterns on Roswell road. It still deals with the consequences of land-use policies years ago that today have left parts of Roswell Road cluttered with a glut of aging apartments.

Regulars here recall a piece we wrote earlier this month where 500 new apartments were approved for Abernathy /Mt Vernon/Peachtree Dunwoody. These 500 are just the latest in apartment growth in Sandy Springs.  Many more were recently built off Peachtree Dunwoody Road and other locations in the Perimeter area. 

The PCID leaders constantly are in the ear of the local mayors, telling them about the huge demand for apartments.  We've written a few pieces on the PCID and apartments. 

Here is one that is relevant, back from July 2011. 

A couple of weeks ago I posted information regarding the MARTA Villages planned for Dunwoody and Sandy Springs.  At the Dunwoody Council meeting two weeks ago, where the PCID plan was briefly discussed, at least one council member mentioned he did not like Jobs to Apartment mix suggested by the PCID.  He attempted to negotiate a better (I suppose better is the word) ratio.  The suggestion was lower than the current 9.25 but higher than the proposed 6.3 in 15 years.
I have an idea for council - how about insisting the PCID KEEP it at the 9.25?
The PCID has taken a different approach.  They've decided to take the Jobs/Apartment ratio out of their LCI update.  Brilliant. 
From July 2011:
By taking out the jobs/apartments ratio, the PCID has achieved its ultimate goal - to plan for more and more and more multifamily apartments for Dunwoody and Sandy Springs.  High density is the name of the game.  So one or two on council suggest a ratio closer to 9.25  than 5.06 so they have some campaign fodder? We have candidates announced for council and mayor, and some up for re-election.  Ask them to ask the PCID to put the jobs/apartments section back in the LCI document and set it at 9.25 going forward (okay, perhaps an '8' will do).  Watch PCID laugh and pull the marionette's strings tighter.

For you Sandy Springs folks, click and read the link below:

An interesting read is the "Perimeter @ The Center - Future Focus - 2011 LCI Update - Final Report" (bought and paid for by the PCID and ARC)

When reading all the documents from ARC and others, keep in mind their goal is High Density Urban District type stuff for Dunwoody And Sandy Springs. It's all about higher density and growth.  Who said the cities of Dunwoody and Sandy Springs have to grow?  Note: Don't be surprised to know that very few ARC and PCID leaders actually own a home in Dunwoody or Sandy Springs.

It's refreshing for Sandy Springs homeowners to see their mayor and council take a step back and consider the future of life in Sandy Springs. 

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