People concerned over developer’s plans for large subdivision in Sandy Springs neighborhood

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — Plans to build a large subdivision in the middle of an already established Sandy Springs neighborhood aren’t sitting well with those who live nearby.

A developer has proposed purchasing eight homes on property off Johnson Ferry Road, not far from Roswell Road, in order to build roughly 50 new detached homes.

“We want them to know that our neighborhood is special,” said Rebekah Barr, president of the Glenridge Hammond Neighborhood Association in an interview with Channel 2′s Mike Petchenik. “The location is amazing. We have a lot of young families.”

Barr said her neighbors are concerned about the proposed density of the project, which would require a zoning change from the city of Sandy Springs.

“The character of our neighborhood is supposed to be protected, where we have half acre, residential lots,” she said. “And this obviously compromises that protected nature.”

Barr said a project with that many homes could generate too much traffic, especially since the neighborhood already sits just a few yards from busy Roswell Road.

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“Now this will take what would have been eight drivers, let’s say 16 drivers, and now make it 90 drivers,” she said. “So that just adds that much more cut-through to the neighborhood.

At a meeting this week, Barr and her neighbors met with the developer, Hedgewood Homes, to learn more about the project and to express opposition to it.

“They made it seem like they cared what the neighbors thought, and they didn’t want to do something that did not have the support of the neighborhood,” she said. “But you know, if they’re in business and, and business is there to make money, and if the project is good enough, then they probably will go through with it.”

In an email, Don Donnelly, of Hedgewood Homes, sent Petchenik answers to questions about the project:

“Our plan is very similar to projects we have produced in Alpharetta, Buckhead, Woodstock, Norcross and City of Atlanta—an infill project that will provide new upscale homes within walking distance of City Hall and their amphitheater, restaurants, shopping and offices. We know that new home buyers want this type of home with private gardens, public green spaces and walkable to urban amenities like Sandy Springs offers. The new proposed City multi-use trail will run along the front of our proposed project from City Hall as you can see on the attached site plan.”

Donnelly told Petchenik traffic studies for similar projects showed a negligible affect to traffic patterns in those areas.

“The density is much less than the new apartments recently constructed 1 block away and is a good transition to the existing large-lot homes that were built ~70 years ago.”

Donnelly told Petchenik community opposition could play a role in whether the company files an application to move forward with the project.

“Of course, community opposition to any project is a big focus for us. Our zoning approval for the Buckhead project last month was a result of us addressing Buckhead neighborhood concerns and so similarly, we will continue to work with the Sandy Springs neighborhood to continue to improve this project.”

A Sandy Springs City spokesman told Petchenik the city had “no position” on the project.

“It’s too early in the process,” said Dan Coffer. “The zoning report and recommendation won’t be issued until after a submittal of their application materials and a review and analysis is properly undertaken by staff.”

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