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APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017 • VOL. 11— NO. 9

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Perimeter Business

Sandy Springs Reporter Learn About Our Local Birds ► Mom-and-pop concession stand hits a home run PAGE 4 ► Happy surprise: Braves traffic scoring well so far PAGE 6

Join us for family friendly guided bird walks along the trails at Overlook Park and backyard birding programs held at Lost Lower-income Corner Preserve.

Volunteering for a Better Sandy Bird Walks Springs Morgan Falls Overlook Park

housing policy in the works, Bird Programs officials say Lost Corner Preserve BY JOHN RUCH

7300 johnruch@reporternewspapers.net Brandon Mill Rd. N.W. 30328

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Join the Atlanta Audubon Society for family friendly guided BIRD WALKS along the trails at Overlook Park. Binoculars will be available to borrow. WINTER BIRD WALK

The last month of the winter will offer opportunities to see waterfowl and eagles.

Saturday March 4, 2017

8:30-10:30 AM

SPRING BIRD WALK

City officials are holding private meetings with many groups to create an affordable housing policy that could benefit low-income residents, according ACKYARD IRDING to Mayor Rusty Paul and City Councilmember Ken Dishman. But details are slim, no draft policy has emerged, and two of the organizations cited as participants say they have not discussed affordable housing with

Join us at Lost Corner Preserve learn about B B from a lo birding expert! THE 10 COMMON BIRDS OF ATLANTA

Saturday March 25, 2017

10 a.m.-12:00 p

See LOWER on page 13

ALL ABOUT BLUEBIRDS

Saturday April 8, 2017 10 a.m.-12:00 p Congressional PHIL MOSIER

Holy Spirit Preparatory School students John Radosta, left, and Mason Anker carry mulch to improve the paths at the Big Trees Forest Preserve on “Better Sandy Springs Day” April 22. They were among hundreds of volunteers working around the city in the annual event sponsored by Leadership Sandy Springs. City Councilmember Ken Dishman was among the officials who offered some orientation to the Big Trees volunteers.

Opportunities to look for spring migrants and the arrival of summer nesting species.

HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR BIRD FEEDER race revives

of purple Saturday Maytalk 13, 2017 10 a.m.-12:00 p

STANDOUT STUDENTSaturday April 22, 2017 8:30-10:30 OUTAM & ABOUT Teen’s service See these in COST : These Bird Walks Are Free! I would like to see [politibegan at your yard cal ads] focus more on the age 5 pertinent issues affecting Georgians instead AGES : 6 AND... UP of solely focusing on their political parties.

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Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff are headed to a June 20 runoff elecBird Walks are provided by tion for the 6th Congressional District seat in Audubon Society u a race thatAtlanta gained national attention for a majority-GOP region nearly turning blue. contract with Sandy Sp For locals, the idea of the Perimeter turnRecreation and Parks Departm ing purple is a familiar political theme. Last fall, state Senators Hunter Hill (RSmyrna) and Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody) won surprisingly close races against little-known Democratic challengers. And in 2015, Democrat Taylor Bennett had a surprising win in Brookhaven/Sandy Springs’ House District 80, though he lost the seat last year by a slim See CONGRESSIONAL on page 10

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Specific options for permanent repairs of the Lake Forrest Dam are coming in about two months, according to City Attorney Wendell Willard. The 60-year-old dam, running beneath Lake Forrest Drive on the Atlanta-Sandy Springs border, has been pegged by the state Safe Dams Program for repair work since 2009. It is among 11 local dams classed as “high-hazard” by the state, meaning that if it fails, the flood would likely kill people downstream. After years of talks, the two city governments agreed to split the cost of repairs, with Sandy Springs leading the planning, but progress has been slow. The lake behind the dam was drained last year as part of the survey work. On April 11, city officials and some local homeowners were called to the Safe Dams office to give an update. Safe Dams Program Manager Tom Woosley said that meeting was “very useful” in showing progress. The cities also agreed to create an “Emergency Action Plan” for the dam by July 1. That means a plan for notifying people downstream in the event of a dam failure. Willard said that with the lake drained, there is currently no danger, but that the plan will be written.

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Fulton County’s last public housing building, located in Sandy Springs, is ready for a long-planned demolition, according to the Fulton County Housing Authority. The nine-unit Belle Isle Apartments at 151 West Belle Isle Road is still occupied, but it is slated to be demolished for parking spaces as part of an expansion of the adjacent Fountain Oaks shopping center’s Kroger grocery store Housing Authority official Teresa Davis said the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development approved the property’s disposal late last year, but the work is stalled by a city rezoning moratorium set to expire in July. Under federal policies, the Housing Authority is getting out of county-run subsidized housing in favor of public-private, voucher-based models, including a recently renovated senior complex on Allen Road. But units and vouchers have enormous wait lists and are in short supply.

PLANS FO R S UB DI V I S I O N A R E WI THDR AWN

A developer has withdrawn his plans for a 16-house subdivision on Glenridge Drive. Betancourt Communities’ proposal to replace five existing houses on Glenridge south of Glenairy Drive went through many twists and turns since it was filed last summer. After reducing the number of houses from 20 to 16, among other changes, the plan got neighborhood support. But by then, not all of the current owners were willing to renegotiate their deals and the plan fell through, said Betancourt president Steve Ficarra at the April 18 Sandy Springs City Council meeting. At a previous council appearance last December, Ficarra had expressed uncertainty about keeping the deal alive after councilmembers suggested various numbers of houses that might meet with approval. At the April 18 meeting, where the council accepted the withdrawal, City Councilmember Chris Burnett said he wished the plan could have continued. “I’m disappointed because I think this was an opportunity to do a good project that would have pleased the neighbors,” Burnett said. “But it didn’t work out.”

FU LTO N CO M M IS S I O N V IC E C HA IR G A R NER DI ES

Fulton County Commission Vice Chair Joan Garner died April 18 after a battle with cancer. Garner had represented the commission’s Atlanta-area District 4 since 2011. She was known for work on healthcare issues, and she was the commission’s first openly gay member. In a written statement, Fulton Chairman John Eaves expressed sorrow and praised Garner’s work on such issues as HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. “She put her heart and soul into her service to citizens, with a particular focus on health,” said Eaves. In a social media post, the city of Sandy Springs offered “thoughts and prayers” to Garner’s family.

CITY TIG HTENS R UL ES O N B URY I NG UT IL IT IES

The city has tightened the rules on when developers must bury electric lines and other utilities. Now, more types of developments will have to put utilities underground. Under the updated rules, 1) subdivision developers must bury any existing overhead utility lines running along the property’s edge, and must bury any utilities that are moved due to a roadway change for the project; and 2) any new commercial development of 20,000 square feet or larger must bury new or existing utilities. SS


Community | 3

APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

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The pavilion at 606 Old Cobblestone Drive in a photo from city files.

SPECIAL

City orders teardown of illegal pavilion BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

A homeowner must demolish a brick pavilion built without permits, the city has ordered after hearing about it from a neighbor’s complaint that the structure blocked a view of the Dunwoody County Club. Joanne Black, the homeowner at 606 Old Cobblestone Drive, had the 13-by-13foot backyard pavilion built nearly a year ago without a required permit and zoning variance. In a 4-2 vote on April 13, the city Board of Appeals declined to legalize it. Black’s attorneys say a legal appeal is possible, but could cost as much as the pavilion itself: $20,000 to $25,000. “Allowing this structure to remain won’t cause any harm,” Hadeel Masseoud, one of Black’s attorney’s, argued to the board. “Tearing it down would be a great endeavor causing a lot of waste.” Board member Colin Lichtenstein was not convinced there was a hardship in losing a structure whose main physical function was providing shade. “Wouldn’t an umbrella serve the same purpose?” he asked. The approximately 2-acre property at 606 Old Cobblestone, bordering the country club’s golf course, includes a house, a swimming pool and a clubhouse. The brick pavilion was part of an improvement project that included a patio, a fire pit and a horseshoe pit. The city learned of the structure in March from neighbors’ complaints of unpermitted construction and issued a stop-work order. One emailed complaint said the pavilion was built without notice to the community’s homeowners association, and, along with tree plantings and other work, “obstructed our view of the golf course.” The neighbor later withdrew the objection, but the city’s planning staff remained unconvinced. The pavilion violated zoning by standing 15 feet from the property line in an area with a 50-foot limit due to the requirements of setback rules and a stream buffer. Black did not speak at the hearing. Diana Parks Curran, another attorney for Black, said her client “inadvertently” built the pavilion without a permit or zoning variance due to confusion about the property’s “agricultural” zoning designation — an outdated category the city is eliminating in a zoning code rewrite. Curran and Masseoud noted the property’s irregular shape results in construction being barred on an unusually high percentage of its lawn. Requirements for a back-up septic system field leave much of the site unbuildable, and the area where the pavilion stands comes to a sharp point with overlapping setbacks. Board chair Ted Sandler, one of the two votes to allow the pavilion to remain, was sympathetic to the situation. “This is something that I can’t say I’ve ever seen before,” he said of the large limits on land use caused by the septic requirements. But most other board members agreed with planning staff that the limits didn’t meet the definition of a hardship. With the pool, club house and patio still remaining, the “applicant has reasonable use of the area for entertainment purposes without the pavilion,” a staff memo said. SS

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4 | Perimeter Business

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Perimeter Business A monthly section focusing on business in the Reporter Newspapers communities

PHOTOS BY DYANA BAGBY

Left, Carol and Bill Gregoire sell concessions at Dunwoody Senior Baseball. For nearly two decades, they sold concessions at Murphey Candler Park for the girls softball league. Right, Carol Gregoire makes one of her signature grilled cheese sandwiches.

Mom-and-pop concession stand hits home run at Dunwoody ballfields BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

As the loud “pings” of aluminum bats sound in the distance, Carol Gregoire takes an order through a window from a mom wanting a pickle and some pickle juice for her toddler. Carol serves up the pickle in a small foam cup for a dollar. She tells the woman, who’s dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, that she hopes the young one enjoys it. It’s another Saturday at the ballfields in Dunwoody Park. Carol and her husband, Bill, are working the concession stand, selling hot dogs, chips, candy and, yes, pickles and pickle juice, to baseball players and their family and friends sitting in the stands. “On a beautiful Saturday or Sunday, we’re out with the community and watching baseball,” Carol said during a lull. “What’s not to like?” This is not your fancy chef-driven or chain-restaurant concession stand where a hamburger can cost $12 or more, such as the ones at the new SunTrust Park. Carol and Bill, who don’t have an official name for their for-profit concession business, sell sodas and candy bars for $1.25, cheeseburgers for $4 and even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for $2. Carol is a bookkeeper at Dunwoody Elementary School and Bill drives a bus for the DeKalb County School District. Their daughter, Katherine, 25, is a teacher at

Dunwoody High School and occasionally who was in her 80s and had run the conceshelps out at the stand. sion stand business for Dunwoody Senior Carol and Bill have been in the conBaseball for years, was ready to finally recession stand business for some 20 years, tire, Weiner told them. beginning at Murphey Candler Park in “So we came and worked with Miss BetBrookhaven, where they live. Carol played ty last spring to learn the ropes and decidsoftball as a girl on the fields there and ed to do it,” Carol said. “This is on a much when her daughter signed up to play, Carsmaller scale than at Murphey Candler. It’s ol signed up to help. much more laid back and definitely someShe began selling snacks and drinks thing the two of us can do.” at the Murphey Candler Girls Softball DSB does not charge the Gregoires rent Association games and tournaments to use the stand, a simple building set up with other volunteer parents and did so between the two baseball fields at Dunfor about eight years. woody Park. The family purchases the food When the association decided to get out it sells, marks it up and keeps any profits. of the concession business 12 years ago, “I wouldn’t say we make a huge amount Carol recruited Bill to run their own literof money,” she said. “But it is enough to al mom-and-pop business. give us extra stuff and to give us nice famLast year, some ily vacations. I can see us doing this Murphey Candler when we can retire.” leagues decided they Carol said she takes a simple wanted local restauapproach to pricing. She wants a rant Café at Pharr to family to be able to eat at the park take over the concesfor around $20 because she knows sion business. Carol money is not always a luxury. and Bill thought their “Who wants to pay $30 for a other career was over. park meal? For that amount, I may Jerry Weiner, presas well go to a restaurant and have ident of Dunwoody a margarita,” she said. Senior Baseball, how“I may sell a drink for $1 and ever, had other ideas. someone else sells it for $2, but He called Carol and I know I am making money on asked if she would be that $1 and that I’m not trying willing to take over to gouge you,” she added. “I just DYANA BAGBY concessions for their ask myself, ‘What would we pay The menu at the Gregoires’ league. “Miss Betty,” if we went out?’” concession stand.

Over the years, customers have told Carol they wanted healthier food options. She does sell protein bars for $2.50, but attempts to sell items like salads or healthy drinks were largely unsuccessful. A major reason Carol said she decided to go into the concession business all those years ago was to provide jobs for her son and daughter, who started working at the stand wrapping burgers and working the window in their early teens. Katherine still helps out when she can. Carol credits the concession stand business for also keeping her and her husband young. They don’t have a cash register and count money in their heads. The children and teens they see at the ball park are many of the same ones they see at their jobs in the school system. The job is not just candy and sodas, however. The hours are long — especially after putting in a long day at school or driving a bus. Working seven days a week is also not unusual, so rooting for a rain-out is not frowned upon in their household. “We like rain outs,” Carol said with a grin. “But we also know there will be makeup games.” Does Carol have a specialty? Some coaches and players tell her she makes a “mean grilled cheese sandwich,” she said. And when it’s not busy, Bill said he likes to pull up a chair outside and watch a game while working on a crossword puzzle. “Sometimes we can just enjoy the day,” he said.


Perimeter Business | 5

APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Perimeter Business A monthly section focusing on business in the Reporter Newspapers communities

Business groups work to bring millennials into the boardroom BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

At a Leadership Sandy Springs event in February, a speaker delivered a familiar message: The millennial generation is important to Perimeter cities and businesses. Also familiar was the lack of many millennials in the audience of business and political leaders. But this time, one of them spoke up — Samantha Marks, the marketing and social media manager for Sandy Springs Hospitality and Tourism. She expressed her generation’s desire to get involved in city leadership, “but I’m the only person in the room” from the age group, and said she objected to the term “millennial” and its stereotypes. The speaker, Lee Fisher of Ohio-based CEOs for Cities, said Marks had a point. “For too many years, cities have patronized young generations,” Fisher said, describing millennials as placed at the “kid’s table. It’s like Thanksgiving all over again.” The millennials don’t have the patience for that, he added. “We’re in a time [where] we need to have millennials at your table, not at the kid’s table,” he said. Perimeter-area business associations are working hard to bring millennials to the table. Some, like the Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber, still are trying to attract their first millennial board members. Others have been more successful, like the Buckhead Business Association, where 2018 board president-elect Chris Godfrey is a millennial. But, experts say, millennial leadership in business organization is easier said than done. There are challenges on both sides of the equation, they say, as old-school business groups meet a generation that is used to individual impact and instant gratification. It’s also a generation that seeks to be appreciated without being stereotyped — a tricky balance for an organization to pull off. For those that do, says Godfrey, the millennial representation pays off. “It matters a lot, absolutely, because we want to stay relevant,” he said of his

Buckhead association.

Repping a generation Like most generational labels, “millennial” is a term from marketing and demographics, with definitions that vary somewhat among those who measure such things. Mark Kooyman, CEO at the Athensbased EXPERIENCE Discovery Group, a branding and marketing consultant to major corporations, defines the generation as those born in 1979 through 1994 — now ages 23 through 38. More important than specific ages, Kooyman says, is that’s a big generation — about 76 million people — that is now hitting its peak of societal influence. About 98 percent of babies born this year are coming from millennial parents, he said, and millennials are likely the largest share of the workforce and possibly the largest taxpaying base. “A firm or organization that doesn’t inContinued on page 8

Lee Fisher, head of CEOs for Cities, discusses millennials at a February event hosted by Leadership Sandy Springs.

JOHN RUCH

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6 | Perimeter Business

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Braves traffic is more dream than ‘nightmare’ BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The Braves stadium traffic dreaded for years as a potential “nightmare” turned out to be a dream over the team’s first week of home games, starting with the April 14 opener. While officials say it’s still too early to have solid data or completely relax, SunTrust Park’s light traffic has surprised many and paved the way for boosts to the local hotel business. Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul, who repeatedly predicted initial traffic would be a “disaster,” had a different perspective at the April 18 City Council meeting. “It’s not over yet, but so far, it’s been a non-event as far as traffic impacts on Sandy Springs,” he said. Reed Haggard, the president of Sandy Springs’ Riverside Homeowners Association, hosted a forum last fall that drew more than 250 residents expressing traffic fears. “Braves traffic hasn’t been much of an issue,” Haggard said last week. “No

Stationed on Powers Ferry Road at Northside Drive, Sandy Springs Police Officer Tim Taylor spent most of his time near his cruiser, not directing the light traffic.

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Perimeter Business | 7

APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

PHIL MOSIER

Traffic heading west on the Perimeter toward the new SunTrust Park in the distance from Sandy Springs’ New Northside Drive interchange was lighter than a Friday rush hour norm. This photo was taken around 6 p.m., 90 minutes before game time.

doubt, ‘regular’ traffic is on the rise,” he added. That “regular” traffic includes increased congestion on the “top end” Perimeter as repairs continue on the collapsed section of I-85 in Atlanta. Yet Opening Day traffic was below average at the interchange of I-285 and Northside Drive on the Cobb County line, where Sandy Springs officials feared the worst impacts. “The traffic this evening is lighter than usual,” said Sandy Springs Police Officer Leon Millholland, standing next to his car in the interchange with little to do only 90 minutes before game time. “We were expecting more congestion than is here.” Dave Rossman is the general manager of the Wyndham Atlanta Galleria hotel, located smack dab in the middle of the interchange. “Traffic’s not been that bad,” Rossman said. “Traffic seems to be moving very well.” Also going pretty well is the hotel business. When first reached for traffic comment, Rossman couldn’t talk – he was riding a hotel shuttle bus full of guests heading to a Braves game. Why has traffic worked so well? It’s hard to say yet, with a few factors in play. The Braves and local governments put considerable effort into various traffic strategies and tactics, from stadium entrance placement to new signage. Traffic back-up fears may have scared away people who would otherwise have driven through the area, or the fears might have been overblown to begin with. Michael Hunter, a traffic engineering professor at Georgia Tech, said he has not formally studied the stadium’s traffic plan, but his professional instinct is that the Braves got it right. “I would say it is not luck, but a function of well thought-out planning,” Hunter said of the stadium’s traffic. He pointed to the stadium’s multiple entrances, dispersed parking lots, and adjacent commercial complex as good strategies for spreading out traffic across several

hours and different roadways. The Braves were happy to take credit for good planning. Team spokesperson Beth Marshall also pointed to the later game times, advance parking sales and use of the Waze navigation app, along with coordination with government agencies. “This combination of planning, education, execution and the cooperation of our fans and those in the surrounding area made our opening home stand a success,” she said. Sandy Springs has some hard data on the way, as it is conducting before-and-after traffic counts at 39 intersections and roads. City Councilmember Andy Bauman, who requested the traffic counts, said the initial data reports should be available in the next few weeks. Many locals are getting a first-hand experience, too. Mayor Paul said he had already attended three Braves games. It took him about 15 minutes to arrive, and returning home took about “twoand-a-half songs on the radio” while he passed police officers standing around “like the Maytag repairman.” Rossman, the hotel manager, has also visited SunTrust Park. He and his son ran into the stadium’s one significant traffic issue – a confusing lineup of Uber drivers that led to delays. “If that’s the worst problem, it’s pretty good,” Rossman said. Overshadowed by traffic talk is the opportunities some local businesses see in the stadium’s attraction of tourists to the area. Rossman said he’s already had some guests clearly staying for the baseball games, with some wearing gear advertising the Braves or the opposing team. The hotel is now dedicating one of its existing shuttle buses to game-day trips. Rossman expects even better business from the stadium’s forthcoming slate of major concerts, which likely will draw regional visitors. “There’s no season ticket holders for Billy Joel,” he said of the headliner for SunTrust’s first concert, slated for April 28.

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8 | Perimeter Business

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talking via social media, “but as much as everything’s digital … face-to-face networking … has its place.”

corporate them today … has to think about aging out,” Kooyman said. Myths and realities Perimeter business groups are acutely aware of that. The BrookhavAs the target demographic du jour, local en Chamber of Commerce is “very conmillennial business leaders say they like sciously” working to gain millennithe attention, but not the stereotyping. al board members, and now has a few, “Stereotyping us is unhealthy,” said said board Chairman Jay Groundwater. Snodgrass, laughing while describing A few years ago, the chamber conductsomeone assuming she automaticaled a demographic study of Brookhaven ly knew how to use the Snapchat app. and found the city is about 30 percent milChambers shouldn’t be stereotyped, eilennials — “that really ther, she added. surprised us,” GroundGodfrey said that water said — and about when his coworkers 30 percent minority as learned he would be well. And it was a contalking about millencern for his board. nials, “they were like, “Chambers tend to ‘Oh, that word.’” He be older folks” and give dislikes the “assumpan impression they’re tion we’re job-hop“sort of an old, stodgy ping or wanting to men’s organization, if be in charge of everyyou will,” Groundwater thing immediately.” said. “So keeping that Kooyman said there [demographic study] in are certainly some false mind, we’ve tried to crestereotypes — includate a chamber that’s a ing that millennials little more diverse than are college-aged, when one might expect. DiSPECIAL that’s actually a differversity, by age, by ethnic Chris Godfrey, 2018 president-elect of ent generation. the Buckhead Business Association. group, whatever, is imBut, he said, there portant to the lifeblood of a chamber.” are common behaviors and attitudes that The Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber’s hold true across racial, economic and top staff member, president and CEO even national lines, probably due to the Stephanie Snodgrass, is a millennial. But unifying effect of social media and techits board has yet to gain its first millennial nology. Indeed, feeling they are immune member, she said. to stereotyped behavior is itself one of “We are trying hard to fill that role … betheir characteristics, he said with a mildcause we are a young city and we’re attractly evil burst of marketing laughter. ing the millennial types,” Snodgrass said. The era of “helicopter parents and “If we’re representative of our businesses … soccer moms” and smartphones gave we have to change.” millennials a culture of getting what At a board retreat this year, she said, they want on demand, he said. members talked about the rising impor“They have a demand for impact. They tance of social media and the difficulty of have a demand for change. And they begetting younger people to come to tradilieve they can get it,” he said. tional meetings. Some of the older memThat individualism can be tough for bers — “we use the word ‘seasoned,’’’ both sides when it comes to business orgaSnodgrass said with a laugh — have no nizations. “They basically don’t understand first-hand understanding of social media and haven’t dealt much with organized functions such as Facebook analytics. politics,” Kooyman said of millennials. Most local chambers and other large At the Sandy Springs event, Fisher said business organizations have young prothat “by and large, the millennial generation fessionals groups that can act as feeder is one that doesn’t want to wait its turn.” systems for millennial leadership. The Kooyman has a different context, Buckhead Business Association goes an saying the millennials shouldn’t be extra step, making the president of its viewed as impatient. It’s more about “Young Bucks” group a board member offering meaningful, locally impactful of the overall group as well. That gave positions, not token slots. Godfrey his seat at the table that is now “It’s not so much they want to be a turning into the board presidency. leader, but they want to affect change The local business group leaders say and be part of the process,” he said. that drawing in younger business people “They want some self-acknowledgement has challenges. Groundwater said that traand reward for what they do.” ditional breakfast meetings don’t work so Or as Godfrey put it, his is “a generation well for millennials. Godfrey, on the oththat wants to give back and wants to have er hand, said that his generation is used to something behind what they’re doing.”


Perimeter Business | 9

APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Openings Cutting the ribbon April 20 at Chastain Wealth Management, 7000 Central Parkway in Sandy Springs, were (from left) Angela Forrester of the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce; city representative Erica Rocker-Wills; company CEO Larren Odom; co-owner Jennifer Odom; Operations Director Cary Norpel; Ed Ukaonu of the Chamber; and Suzanne Brown, the Chamber’s vice president of client relations. For more info, see chastainwealth.com.

Minuteman Press of Sandy Springs, at 6780 Roswell Road, cut its ribbon April 19. Joining in were, from left, Beth Berger of the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce; Minuteman’s Arona DeSure; owner Jon Wittenberg; graphic designer Kyle Gisel; and the Chamber’s Suzanne Brown and Ed Ukaonu. For more info, see sandysprings.minutemanpress.com.

FR EN CH RESTAUR ANTS M ER G E Two longstanding French restaurants have merged into Petite Violette, a Brookhaven dining spot that scheduled a public grand opening May 5. The restaurant is at 2948 Clairmont Road, the former location of Violette, which has merged with the former Petite Auberge, which was located for more than 40 years in the Toco Hill Shopping Center near Emory University. The May 5 grand opening runs 3:30 to 5 p.m. and includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres on the patio. The celebration also serves as a memorial for Violette’s longtime owner and manager, Stephanie Belcher, who died last month. The event will include a condolence book and details on donations in her memory to the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. For more information, see petiteauberge.com or call 404634-6268.

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Congressional race revives talk of purple Perimeter Continued from page 1 margin to Republican Meagan Hanson. Joseph Knippenberg, a professor of politics at Oglethorpe University, said Ossoff was “running the Taylor Bennett campaign on a wider scale, and Republicans would do well to remember what happened in that district.” But for now, Knippenberg said, the region still is typically a safe place for a “generic Republican with name recognition,” and Handel fits that bill. According to the Secretary of State’s Office, Ossoff won 48.12 percent of the vote (92,673 votes) and Handel won 19.77 percent (38,071). For Ossoff, a virtual unknown who doesn’t even live in the district — an unusual situation allowed by the U.S. Constitution — the vote totals came amid national media attention and party support as he presented the race as a referendum on President Donald Trump. Handel emerged from a huge field of Republicans as the experienced contender. The Roswell resident is a former Georgia secretary of state and Fulton County chair, though she has failed in runs for governor and U.S. Senate. Trump support, or lack thereof, was something of a litmus test among GOP candidates, too, as they sniped

at each other with negative ads. The president himself weighed in on the race several times via his favorite medium, Twitter, including after the race was called a runoff. “Despite major outside money, FAKE media support and eleven Republican candidates, BIG ‘R’ win with runoff in Georgia,” Trump tweeted. “Glad to be of help!” Knippenberg said the president, with his penchant for unpredictable statements and surprise policies, will remain an X-factor in the race and could sway it either way. “A lot can happen in two months,” he said. Another factor, Knippenberg said, is the “enthusiasm gap” between complacent or uncertain Republicans and energized Democrats who recently formed such grassroots groups as Dunwoody’s Perimeter Progressives. “The challenge for Republicans is to gin up the enthusiasm, and Ossoff’s challenge is to sustain it,” he said. The campaign is already notable for enormous amounts of advertising, with Ossoff alone spending more than $6 million. Knippenberg, who lives in the district and received his share of mailers and “robocalls,” said the ad money will only increase for both sides. That sort of spending in itself can turn off voters, he said. “I think there’s a risk both campaigns

run that they’ll drive people screaming from the room,” he said.

Election Night parties

Ossoff held his Election Night party at Dunwoody’s Crowne Plaza hotel in the SPECIAL SPECIAL Ravinia complex. Among Jon Ossoff. Karen Handel. the local attendees was Peat the crowd in the ballroom. rimeter Progressives found“I thought it was wildly crazy to think er Joe Seconder. Ossoff would win outright,” Seconder said. At her party in Roswell, Handel But he said that Ossoff can win the runoff drew such supporters as Dunwoody and live up to the national attention. “Even City Councilmember Terry Nall and though the seat doesn’t change the vote in Brookhaven City Councilmember Joe Congress, it damn well changes the percepGebbia. Coincidentally, Handel celetion to the American public,” Seconder said. brated her birthday on Election Day Eileen Esworthy of Sandy Springs and the usual campaign night amenibrought her son, Evan, 15, to the party, she ties were joined by a birthday cake. said, to show him that local politics matOssoff’s party had a rock-concert atters. “Our local community has a say in mosphere. The hotel ballroom was packed what happens nationally,” she said. with hundreds of supporters and cars lined Esworthy actively volunteered for Osthe narrow roads at the complex. soff and campaigned for him — something DuBose Porter, chair of the Georgia she’s never done before for a candidate. Democratic Party, led the raucous crowd “I’m very unhappy with the direcinto a loud chant of “Flip the 6th!” — a tion our country is going,” she said. “I campaign slogan about bringing Demofeel disenfranchised by the presidential cratic representation to the majority-Readministration.” publican district. Eric Singh of Sandy Springs and Scott Seconder said, “I found out I’m not the Henderson of Roswell are friends who only Democrat in Dunwoody” as he waved volunteered for Ossoff in what they said was their first campaign work. “Before I thought it wasn’t worth it,” Singh said. “Now it is.” Handel’s party at the DoubleTree Hotel on Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell drew about 100 people. A birthday cake was brought out early in the evening and the crowd sang “Happy Birthday.” Handel held up a strand of pearls that were with the cake, a birthday decoration that was a nod to her signature accessory. “I have the greatest gift ever, and this is all of you in this room,” Handel said in brief comments to the crowd. Dunwoody Councilmember Nall said Handel would represent the area well and likes her campaign’s “energy.” “It was a very hard-fought race, but the energy is very high and support is very strong,” Nall said, adding that he believes Handel “would be good for both DeKalb County and Dunwoody.” Longtime Dunwoody residents Bev and Windy Wingate were among Handel’s supporters. “Having known her for many years and supported her in the past, I have nothing but high hopes,” Bev Wingate said. “She’s a workhorse, not a showhorse.” Also attending were Jim and Laura Strange of Dunwoody. “She’s a very solid person and we rePlease call or come in ally respected her as secretary of state. … to see how we can be of And she’s local, she lives in the district,” Jim assistance for your loved ones. Strange said. Near Mt. Vernon and Gelnridge Drive intersection Laura Strange said Handel has the combined experience of business savvy and political savvy that other Republican candi690 Mount Vernon Hwy. NE, Sandy Springs, GA 30328 | 404-843-8857 | InsigniaofSandySprings.com dates didn’t.

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Community | 11

APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

State Senate race heads to May 16 runoff BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net SPECIAL

Kay Kirkpatrick.

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The state Senate District 32 race is heading to a May 16 runoff election between Democrat Christine Triebsch and Republican Kay Kirkpatrick. The two were the top vote-getters April 18 among eight candidates seeking to replace Marietta Republican Judson Hill in the district, which includes part of Sandy Springs. In the Republican-majority district, Triebsch won the most votes, about 24.2 percent of the total, causing her to compare herself with Congressional Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff in social media posts. Kirkpatrick drew about 21.1 percent of the vote total. Triebsch is an attorney from Cobb County. Kirkpatrick is a surgeon from Marietta.

State Sen. Hunter Hill declares run for governor BY JOHN RUCH

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State Sen. Hunter Hill (R-Smyrna) has announced that he will run for governor next year. “I am running to cast a bold vision for Georgia that can only SPECIAL come about with true, conservative leadership,” Hill said in a State Sen. Hunter Hill. statement on his campaign website. “Republicans have an opportunity to bring about sweeping change in Georgia, and I refuse to stand by and simply mark time. Georgians expect and demand results, and I am ready to deliver.” Since 2012, Hill has represented Senate District 6, which includes large sections of Buckhead and Sandy Springs. He is president of Tommy Newberry Coaching, a lifecoaching business and a U.S. Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Hill frequently cites education, healthcare and transportation as his top issues. Last year, he also touted his work in passing the “Beer Jobs Bill,” which expanded the craft beer and liquor business in the state. Hill won re-election last year, but drew only 52 percent of the vote against a virtually unknown Democratic challenger. That was among other close calls for Republican candidates in once reliably Republican districts that preceded the current national attention on a strong Democratic challenger in the area’s 6th Congressional District. Hill’s campaign website is votehunterhill.com.

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Jeffrey Langfelder (far right) enjoyed one of the Braves’ final games at Turner Field last year with (from left) wife Elizabeth, son Evan and daughter Rebecca.

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Sandy Springs Farmers Market co-founder dies BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Jeffrey Langfelder, a co-founder of the popular Heritage Sandy Springs Farmers Market, died April 8 at age 72. In 2010, Langfelder and now City Councilmember Andy Bauman created the farmers market at what is now the City Springs project site. The market quickly became one of the city’s most popular events. The duo handed off operations to the nonprofit Heritage Sandy Springs in 2014. At Langfelder’s funeral at Temple Sinai, held three days before the farmers market opened its 2017 season, Bauman recalled raising the idea of the market with him. “His reaction was classic Jeff: ‘I’m in’ and ‘Let’s do it’ – and off he went,” Bauman wrote in his eulogy. “I was like, ‘Whoa, let’s think about this.’ But for Jeff, the idea was all we needed. Few plans, little details – Jeff just knew we could get it done.” “And let me be clear, without Jeff there never would have been any market,” Bauman recalled. “Now, eight years later, it has become somewhat of a Saturday morning institution in San-

dy Springs, and our community should be very grateful for all the time and energy Jeff put in to making it so successful. It will open this Saturday morning, and it will be bittersweet without having Jeff there.” Langfelder began a career in real estate in his early twenties. He later became vice president of real estate for Home Depot during the company’s early years and oversaw its initial stage of growth. He co-founded The Shopping Center Group, a regional brokerage for retailers, in 1984. According to an obituary, his passions included Atlanta Braves baseball, where he held season tickets for over 30 years; the Temple Sinai Brotherhood, where he was past president; and Standardbred horse racing. He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Elizabeth; son Evan and daughter Rebecca, and five nephews, four nieces and parents-in-law. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Weinstein Hospice (weinsteinhospice.com) or the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation (cholangiocarcinoma.org).

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Community | 13

APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Lower-income housing policy in the works, officials say

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Continued from page 1 the city in at least a year. Meanwhile, the city’s draft zoning code, set for approval this summer, contains an incentive to tear down apartment complexes currently affordable to low-income people and replace them with market-rate and middle-income “workforce” housing. The mayor revealed the behind-the-scenes policy-making at the April 18 City Council meeting, apparently in response to a Sandy Springs Reporter article about the workforce housing incentive and rent increases that are pricing people out of older apartment complexes. While acknowledging the facts were accurate, the mayor said he was “a little disturbed” by reports that the city has no policy to directly support lower-income housing and the “lack of understanding of how much work is going on.” Paul said he and Dishman are holding private meetings with a wide variety of residents, churches and organizations about affordable housing, and said that in retrospect, he should have better publicized that effort. In later comments provide through city spokesperson Sharon Kraun, the mayor offered few details about the meetings and did not respond to a request to name specific participants. “I’ve talked many times about the need for workforce housing, going back to my inaugural address [in 2014], so it should not be a surprise that I am meeting with experts and citizens to discuss how that can be accomplished,” the mayor said in the written statement. “Those conversations have revolved around options that would create a mix of housing affordable to a broad spectrum of people. None have yet led to a set of policy options that we are ready to act upon, but the quest continues.” In other interviews about housing over the past 18 months, the mayor has not mentioned such behind-the-scenes planning and has generally described the city’s lower-income housing as doomed by market forces in the long term. Dishman, whose district includes some of the apartment complexes on northern Roswell Road, offered a few more details. He said the discussions include the creation of low-income and mixed-income housing, both within the zoning code and in broader programs or policies. “The city is exploring how we can implement economic incentives in our new zoning code to help ensure that affordable housing units are included in future redevelopment projects,” Dishman said in an email. “In addition, the city is interested in collaborating with community members to proactively foster future development that accommodates a healthy mix of housing for all income levels and improves the quality of retail offerings in the district. Those collaborations are what the mayor referred to.” Dishman said the city is “pretty much leaving no stone unturned” and cited “multiple conversations in progress with residents, apartment owners, governmental agencies such as Fulton and Sandy Springs Development Authorities, [the] Council for Quality Growth, business owners, real estate consultants, and developers, among others.” But Al Nash, CEO of the Development Authority of Fulton County, said he is not involved in such conversations. “We have not discussed this subject in any detail with the city,” Nash said. “I recall that we had a general catch-up meeting maybe a year ago with Mayor Paul, Councilman Dishman and others, where we discussed a variety of subjects. There was not any detailed discussion about affordable housing.” James Touchton, the policy director at the Council for Quality Growth, a developers’ advocacy organization based in Sandy Springs, said he also has not participated in the discussions. “I have not sat down and had a specific conversation with the mayor or Ken about affordable housing,” said Touchton, adding it has been about a year since he had a formal meeting with the officials about planning in general. “I’m just sitting back and waiting for when they approach us.” He said the council also had no specific input or advance notice about the workforce housing incentive proposed in the draft zoning code. Touchton said his group has advised Atlanta City Councilmember Andre Dickens on specific affordable housing policies, and he expects Sandy Springs officials eventually will offer similar detailed ideas. “I’d rather they take their time,” he said. “I do think the mayor and [other city officials] really will come up with a great policy.” Dishman said that, while conversations are underway, “none have reached a level of momentum where there’s anything to announce publicly yet. As the mayor said, these things tend to take more time than any of us would prefer, but that’s the nature of this animal.” SS

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Community Survey / Congressional campaign ads Question: In the April 18 6th Congressional District special election, how useful were campaign advertisements, such as mailers, in deciding your vote? It turns out those political TV ads we all love to hate may have utility after all. In our most recent 1Q.com community survey, 48 percent of the respondents found mailers and other political ads to be useful as they made up their minds on how to vote in the special election in 6th Congressional District. Thirty percent of the respondents to the cellphone survey said the ads were useless, but 16 percent found them “very useful” and 33 percent said they were “somewhat useful.” The rest of the 147 residents of Sandy Springs, Dunwoody or Brookhaven – the portions of the 6th District within Reporter Newspapers’ circulation area – who responded said they didn’t see or hear any ads or mailers, or didn’t vote. When asked what more they wanted to hear from the two remaining candidates during the run-up to the runoff, respondents mentioned just about every hot-button issue, from healthcare to taxes to jobs, and from partisan bickering in Congress to dealing with the president. “I would like to see them focus more on the pertinent issues affecting Georgians, like job opportunities, economic development and education, instead of solely focusing on their political parties,” a 27-year-old Sandy Springs woman commented. “I would also like to see them address the recent infrastructure issues in Atlanta.” A 44-year-old Brookhaven woman called for more discussion about “infrastructure, social issues, getting rid of the ridiculousness in Washington” while a 36-yearold Dunwoody woman wanted the candidates to reveal “how they’re going to keep [President] Trump in check.” Others wanted to hear more about less mainstream issues. A 28-year-old Dunwoody man wanted more discussion about the “legalization of marijuana.” A 33-yearold Sandy Springs woman called for “less trash talk and more talk about issues.”

8.8% 16.3% 11.6%

29.9%

33.3%

Very useful. I learned a lot about the candidates. 24 (16.3%) Somewhat useful. I learned something, but not enough, about the candidates. 49 (33.3%) Useless. I learned little or nothing about the candidates. 44 (29.9%) I saw or heard campaign ads, but I didn’t vote. 17 (11.6%) I didn’t see or hear any campaign ads. 13 (8.8%)

Riveting or ridiculous? Our editors debate the District 6 ads Enough mailers! (But more Texan postcards!)

Turn up the TV, the ads are on!

BY JOHN RUCH As I dig through the landfill’s worth of mailers that 6th Congressional District candidates buried me under, my favorite is a picture postcard from Texas. I didn’t much care about its handwritten, yet vague, appeal to vote Democratic. I was just relieved to see some colors that weren’t mugshot gray, and to acquire an actual fact or two. Thanks to that postcard, I learned more about the Fort Worth Botanic Garden than I did about any top candidate. Jon Ossoff spent millions to tell me that he doesn’t like Trump. Meanwhile, the Republicans acted more like Valentine’s Day than Election Day, fighting each other over who liked Trump more. Less clear was exactly what their Trump-hate or The Donald-love would do for me and my life here in the 6th. One ad did give me very personalized info – a Democratic mailer shaming my “average” voting record and threatening that my neighbors would find out. My neighbors have seen me bring home dinners consisting entirely of frozen personal pizzas, so I figured I can’t look much more pathetic to them. But it was something to see an election so wretched, it even went negative on its own voters. Then again, maybe issues are nonsense. Tom Price, the last guy to hold the office, touted his Obamacare-slaying plan at every Rotary luncheon for years. The seat is open because he finally got called to Washington to do the deed, and look at how that turned out. Well, if it’s going to be superficial name-calling, go all-out. Make this a helmet-vs.-tousle showdown of the candidates’ impressive hairdos – both contrasted with Trump’s, of course. Make it a wordplay war about who can get the most out of the pun-inducing names “Handel” and “Ossoff.” Meanwhile, maybe I’ll just sit this one out and take a vacation from the inarticulate shouting. I hear Fort Worth is lovely this time of year.

BY JOE EARLE I admit it. When the negative TV ads started appearing in the 6th District race, I rolled my eyes and changed the channel like everybody else. After all, I don’t even live in the district (I live in the 5th), so what did I care about a bunch of mean-spirited TV commercials tossing dirt in an election I can’t even vote in? But then something changed. As the campaign picked up steam, I got into it. I realized that we metro Atlanta election watchers had the chance to see something we seldom, if ever, truly are exposed to: a batch of take-no-prisoners political ads in a campaign that stood for a moment at the center of the national political landscape. Usually, no one but us cares about our campaigns. Because of the way lawmakers have drawn our districts, most of our elections are so uni-partisan as to be virtually non-partisan; we can guess whether a Republican or a Democrat will win before the first candidate files. But this was different. This time, outside interests seemed to think there was a fight here worth spending their money on. Of course, they mostly don’t care who wins, just what party the winner belongs to. Still, their machine-driven, meanspirited attack ads can make for good political theater. What new vile abuse will they pile on Nancy Pelosi today? Who believes any of those angry folks on TV actually live around here and aren’t really just actors? And when did local Republicans start to turn on one another so viciously? Now that the campaign has ground down to two candidates, one from each party, I expect the TV ads only will grow nastier. As long as such baldly mean-spirited ads don’t become a regular thing in the future, I’m OK with that. Just for this one race, bring it on. SS


Community | 15

APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

German discount grocer Lidl kills proposed local stores BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The German discount grocer Lidl has killed its plans to open a store at the North River Shopping Center following community and city staff opposition. It also withdrew from a contract for another local store that was not as far along in the planning process. Stream Realty Partners, the developer working with Lidl, filed a notice of the plan’s withdrawal on April 11 “due to the proposed grocery store terminating its contract to buy the land,” according to a city planning memo. “Officials from the city of Sandy Springs made it clear they were trying to prevent Lidl from opening in the city,” said Simon Arpiarian, Stream’s co-managing partner. As part of its U.S. debut, Lidl also was eyeing another Stream-owed Sandy Springs location, the Marshall’s Plaza at 6337 Roswell Road. Arpiarian said Lidl withdrew from a contract to purchase a store location at that site as well. Lidl’s U.S. branch headquarters did not respond to questions about its withdrawal or whether it will seek other local store sites. City filings show the Lidl plan for North River, at 8877 Roswell Road, got blasted for being out of step with the mixed-use, higher-end, pedestrian-friendly goals of the

city’s new land-use plan. Lack of transparency was another concern; Lidl didn’t send its own representatives to community meetings, swore its Stream partners to secrecy, and for months wouldn’t confirm or deny its intended entry into Sandy Springs. Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods leaders praised Stream and Lidl for working to give Sandy Springs better-looking stores. But they also expressed concern that city officials proposed a largely unexplained zoning change allowing bigger grocery stores in the downtown area that would have benefited Lidl, yet did not name it. Stream had a rocky appearance before the city Planning Commission last month, and the city zoning filing contains dozens of criticisms from residents, including the head of the nearby Huntcliff Homes Association. “Adding a big-box discounter, particularly with its larger footprint, caters to who Sandy Springs was, not who it aspires to be,” Huntcliff resident Suzanne Durbin wrote in an email to city officials. Another critic was Carolyn Axt, an influential member of the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors. “Let’s hold off for what this area really can be — a jewel for Sandy Springs,” she wrote to Mayor

Rusty Paul and other officials. Lidl and its discount grocery competitor Aldi, also based in Germany, are push-

ing to expand internationally. The Marshall’s Plaza site is directly across the street from an existing Aldi.

Letter to the Editor

LACK O F FO R ESIG HT C A US ED TR A FFIC P R O B L EM S

Why do traffic problems exist? Let me count the ways: lack of planning, foresight and investment. The push to use in-fill to pack houses closer together, the current rush to throw up apartment complexes with hundreds of units, the enticement of Big Business complexes, the creation of new cities, the move further OTP, building MARTA without more than north-south and east-west lines — all have produced the current problems. Atlanta’s original design was individual houses with sprawling lawns. We moved here in 1971. Land was abundant. Forests and farms still existed in Dunwoody. Cows inhabited the farm land where Rooms To Go is now. I-285 was four lanes. Forty thousand trees hadn’t been destroyed to build Ga. 400. I could accurately estimate how much time I needed to go to a dentist. The metro area has driven a long way. Estimate at least one car for each house, apartment and condo; and one for each person employed in office buildings, malls, shopping centers, restaurants and small businesses; add the customers, visitors, tourists, sports enthusiasts, school buses, city buses, taxis; subtract zero, and you’ve got traffic with a lot of tired, impatient, angry drivers and accidents. Throw in a bridge collapse and the total comes to a standstill. Planners? Did they all flunk math? Did they have limited vocabularies lacking the word “no”? Do they have courage to extend MARTA like spokes on wheels and insist that cities join in? Can businesses stagger work hours and days, offer shuttle buses, organize car pools? Can lights be timed better at cross streets so that long lines move faster? Can drivers wave to each other while having a snack waiting for lights to change? Wishing doesn’t get it done. — Barbara Schneider, Dunwoody

UPCOMING NEXT 10 MEETING In March, we presented the maps and zoning districts. Our next meeting will include updates based on your feedback. We also will present the chapters on development regulations, street design and natural resource protection. UPCOMING CITY HALL OPEN HOUSE SESSION MAY 15, 2017 AT 5 PM SANDY SPRINGS CITY HALL 7840 ROSWELL ROAD, BUILDING 500

SS

GEORGIA


ee for children 3 and under. You don’t need to purchase tickets in advance and can pay as you arrive via Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers 16 | or Out & About ash, check, credit card.

■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

an I bring the whole family? f course! Our concerts this summer feature a diverse group of talented musicians who will be jammin’ in the meadow, but the entire family is always welcome at the Dunwoody Nature Center.

an I bring my own food? bsolutely!BROOKHAVEN That’s one of •theBUCKHEAD best things •about our concerts. Feel free to pack up the picnic basket and your DUNWOODY • SANDY SPRINGS lankets and beach chairs. This year, we will also have cold water available as well as craft beer specifically hosen for each show.

PERFORMANCES

CONCERTS BY THE SPRINGS Sunday, May 14, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Heritage Sandy Springs announces its 21st season of outdoor Concerts by the Springs, held one Sunday evening each month, May through September, on The Sandy Springs Society Entertainment Lawn at Heritage Green. The 2017 season opens with the Big Band sound of performer Douglas Cameron. Gates open at 5 p.m. Picnics welcome; food, beer and wine available. Free. 6110 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs. Info: heritagesandysprings.org, or 404-851-9111, ext. 1.

GET INTO NATURE DUNWOODY NATURE CENTER SUMMER CONCERT SERIES Saturdays, May 6, May 20, June 3, June 17, July 1 and July 15, 7 p.m.

The city of Dunwoody presents a series of six Saturday concerts at the Dunwoody Nature Center. The series kicks off May 6 with alternative band Pony League. Arrive early to set up chairs and picnic in shade. Cold water and beer available for purchase. Park at the Nature Center or Dunwoody Park ball fields. Free to Nature Center members; non-members: $5 adults, $3 students and free to children 3 and under. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature. org/2017-summer-concert-series.

GARDENS FOR CONNOISSEURS TOUR

Saturday, May 13, and Sunday, May 14. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ten lush private gardens, from tranquil woodland settings to intimate urban oases in Buckhead, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs and Midtown, will be on public view during Mother’s Day weekend. Tickets for the self-guided tour, to be held rain or shine, are $28 in advance (garden members $22), $35 on tour days, and are valid both days. Info: atlantabg.org.

FESTIVALS

ATLANTA CONCERT BAND & THE BIG PEACH SWING BAND Sunday, May 7, 4 p.m.

These two bands will present “A Stroll Down Jazz Street,” featuring the music of George Gershwin, in a concert open to the public at the Chaddick Performing Arts Center of The Galloway School. Free. 215 West Wieuca Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: atlantaconcertband.org.

CHORAL GUILD OF ATLANTA Sunday, May 7, 4 p.m.

Choral Guild of Atlanta performs music from the repertoire of Leonard Bernstein, including “Missa Brevis”; “The Chichester Psalms,” performed in Hebrew; and selections from “Wonderful Town” and “West Side Story.” Northside Drive Baptist Church, 3100 Northside Drive, Buckhead. Tickets: $15; $12 seniors; $5 students. Info: 404-2236362 or info@cgatl.org.

DUNWOODY ART FESTIVAL

Saturday, May 13, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, May 14, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The largest art festival in Dunwoody draws more than 60,000 people each year to check out the array of arts and crafts created by artists from across the country. The festival has a food court, a “Kidz Zone,” and continuous music performances. Free admission and parking. Dunwoody Village Parkway, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoody.splashfestivals.com.


Out & About | 17

APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

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The Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association offers beginning Zydeco dance classes with a focus on building confidence on the dance floor. Cost: $10, including a discount on the June 10 ACZA dance. Darwin’s Burgers and Blues, 234 Hilderbrand Drive, Sandy Springs, Register by contacting instructor Don Baggett at essex34d@aol.com. Info: aczadance.org.

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The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta presents the 24th Annual Harris Jacobs Dream Run, beginning and ending at MJCCA’s Zaban Park campus. The community event features the 5K Road Race/Walk, which is a 2018 Peachtree Road Race qualifier, and the 1-Mile Community Walk. Race/Walk fees: $30 by May 6, $35 on race day; $15 for children 12 and under. 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atlantajcc.org/HJDR, or Pam Morton at 678-812-3981.

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Continued on page 18

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18 | Out & About

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Continued from page 17

DUNWOODY COMMUNITY BIKE RIDE Sunday, May 7, 2:45 p.m. to 4 p.m.

A community ride for all ages and abilities kicks off at Dunwoody’s Village Burger on first Sundays monthly through November. Helmets are required and bikes with gears are recommended to handle hills on a 4.5-mile loop around Dunwoody. Riders age 10 and under must be with an adult. Rides cancelled in inclement weather. 1426 Dunwoody Village Pkwy., Dunwoody. Info: bikewalkdunwoody.org.

PARTIES WITH A PURPOSE

ROCKIN’ AT THE RIVER

Saturday, May 13, 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

This annual event, featuring food, music, drinks, dancing and a live auction on the grounds of the Chattahoochee Nature Center, supports the center’s efforts to connect people to nature and preserve the Chattahoochee River. Tickets: $125. VIP tickets: $250. Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org/ratr or 770-992-2055, ext. 225.

COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS BROOKHAVEN COMMUNITY DAY Saturday, May 6, noon to 5 p.m.

This annual event includes a cookout, music, activities and a parade that starts at noon from the Lynwood United Church of God in Christ to the Lynwood Community Center. Free. Lynwood Park Recreation Center, 3360 Osborne Road, Brookhaven. Info: brookhavenga.gov.

ISRAEL’S BIRTHDAY BASH Tuesday, May 2, 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Join the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta’s young adults for Israeli street food, drink specials, Israeli dancing and a night of fun celebrating Israel’s Birthday. Ages 21+. Free to first 300 registrants, $18 for all others. Buckhead Saloon, 3227 Roswell Road N.E., Buckhead. Info: Stacie Graff at 678812-3972 or stacie.graff@atlantajcc.org.

FOOD THAT ROCKS

Saturday, May 6, 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

This second annual event presented by Taste of Atlanta features food and wine/ beer/cocktail tastes from more than 25 Sandy Springs restaurants and mixologists. Benefits three Sandy Springs nonprofits. Ages 21+ only. Advance tickets: $55 general admission; $70 for VIP First Taster. Tickets are $5 higher at the door. Hammond Park, 705 Hammond Drive N.E., Sandy Springs. Info: foodthatrocks.org.

PEACHTREE HEIGHTS EAST GARDEN PARTY Sunday, May 7, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The 31st annual Garden Party of Buckhead’s Peachtree Heights East neighborhood this year celebrates its newly restored Duck Pond Park. The event, held at the park, includes fun eats, drinks, music and shopping at the new “Duck Pond Store.” Proceeds will help


n About Our Local Birds

Out & About | 19

APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

endlysince guided along theGarden trails atAdults Overlook Park the 1930s.bird Hostedwalks by the Ladies of the Lake Club. only. 70 Lakeview Ave., Buckhead. Tickets: $50 in advance; $60 at event. Info: ladiesofthelake.org/tickets. d birding programs held at Lost Corner Preserve. fund special projects and maintenance at the private park, maintained by neighbors

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TITLES @ TWILIGHT Lost Corner Preserve look Park Tuesday, May 2, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

7300 Brandon Mill Rd. N.W. 30328 This monthly education program for adults continues with an appearance by Myra Lewis Williams, author, with Linda Hughes, of “The Spark That Survived.” Williams, singer-songRD ALKS ACKYARD IRDING writer Jerry Lee Lewis’ former child bride and cousin, presents her story of how she crawled out of darkness and came to stand in the light of building a new life COMMON BIRDS OF ATLANTA ALK for herself. Free. Garden RoomTHE offer opportunities at the Williams-Payne House, 6075 Sandy Springs Circle, ALL ABOUT BLUEBIRDS Sandy Springs. Info: heritagesandysprings.org.

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20 | Education

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Teen’s service began at age 5 Megan Anandappa, senior St. Pius Catholic School

Standout Student

The idea of service is no foreign concept to Megan Anandappa. Starting at the age of 5, Megan began working in St. Francis Table Soup Kitchen weekly alongside her father, and the tradition has never stopped. Megan is responsible for cooking meals for the homeless people who visit the soup kitchen and preparing the shelter before they arrive. She attributes her early love for working at the soup kitchen to the fun routine her dad started: “Because the shifts would be really early in the morning, my dad and I would always get Dunkin’ Donuts before. It became a fun little tradition.” Now, her service extends far beyond the walls of St. Francis Table. In the winter, her family cooks meals together and then serves the food at Central Night Shelter. Additionally, Megan is the president of the Students for Life Club at St. Pius, in which she first became involved in freshman year. As president, she organized a drive to collect diapers for low-income expectant mothers so that they can begin providing for their children as early as possible. This drive successfully collected 1,500 diapers. One charity that holds a special place in Megan’s heart is the Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a cancer home located in downtown Atlanta. She makes and collects encouraging cards to bring to the patients during her visits. During one visit, Megan was able to see one of her former teachers, Charleen Klister. “Going to see her there was really cool, and she was a really good person, so being able to help at that home really meant a lot knowing I was impacting people that I knew,” Megan said. Megan’s teachers have high praise for her, with many highlighting her humility. Her AP Statistics teacher, Katie Stilson, reveres Megan for her “incredible intelligence and talent, yet her focus is never on herself. She takes whatever time is necessary to help those around her.” Nominating Megan to be included among Reporter Newspapers’ “20 under 20” honorees this year, Father Michael Silloway called her “the most engaged, most present, strongest-charactered teenager” he has ever met.

What’s next?

Megan will attend the University of Georgia in the fall. After college, she hopes to pursue a career in the medical field.

Megan Anandappa.

SPECIAL

This article was reported and written by Amanda Gibson, a student at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School. To nominate a Standout Student, contact editor@reporternewspapers.net.

Reporter Classifieds To Advertise, call 404-917-2200 ext 110

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Classifieds | 21

APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

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22 | Community

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Call (404) 497-1020 for an appointment.

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FoxTheatre.org/Riverdance

City lowers fees on paint-and-sip businesses, with debate BY JOHN RUCH

sip could become a new front in the city’s war with adult businesses. “Let’s just say one of the strip clubs de“Paint-and-sip” type businesses, cided their strippers should be put in body where people bring their own booze to paint as a piece of art,” the mayor said. casual art classes, got cheaper and easiAfter a pause, Willard replied with a er to operate in Sandy Springs on April laugh, “That could be a problem.” 18 as City Council tweaked its licensWillard went on to say that an existing law. But the 4-2 vote came amid deing paint-and-sip business in town albate about whether it left loopholes for ready “has ladies who come there and criminals or strip clubs to abuse the unclothe, and there’s art being done” paint-and-sip trend. — in other words, “Brown-bagging,” nude models for or bringing beer and life-painting. wine to such busiThe mayor joknesses, was already ingly questioned permitted under prewhether the city vious city code. But attorney knew inconsistent legal inthat from expeterpretations by city rience. But City staff members had Councilmembers paint-and-sip comChris Burnett and panies paying for Tibby DeJulio — full-blown liquor lithe “no” votes — censes as if they were more serious. were bars, which the DeJulio said he City Council never didn’t want anintended. The issue GABRIEL STERLING other “11 years in was raised last year CITY COUNCILMEMBER court” with adult when Painting With businesses, reA Twist paid more ferring to the city’s ongoing legal batthan $1,500 to get licensed on Roswell tles over the location of strip clubs and Road. adult bookstores, which pit crime conCity Attorney Wendell Willard precerns against constitutional liberties. sented a new ordinance that makes “I recommend we bring some clarity brown-bagging at paint-and-sip places to the word ‘art,’ ” Burnett suggested. a stand-alone law. “Christ, guys, I’m trying to put comOnly businesses that provide inmon sense into a normal thing,” said struction in art, sewing or cooking Sterling in frustration. He suggested that would be eligible. That currently means the council shouldn’t “overthink ouronly three businesses in operation in selves into a knot that can be painted.” the city, according to city finance direcHowever, Sterling had his own ontor Karen Ellis. The new fees: $125 for the-fly change questioning of the law’s a license, $40 for a background check, wording. Willard had suggested that and $275 total for a first-time applicabring-your-own beer be limited to “two tion filing and advertisement. 16-ounce bottles.” Sterling noted that City Councilmember Gabriel Sterbeer comes in many shapes and sizes, ling had pushed for the changes as a such as the popular growlers. business-friendly reform. “It’s so limiting,” Sterling said of While they were approved, the the two-bottle wording, while Willard thumbs-up came only after debate asked, “How much do you want to allow about potential unintended consepeople to drink and go drive?” quences. Mayor Rusty Paul suggested Ultimately, the council approved a the provision could be abused by a busitweak that permits 32 ounces of beer ness owner who was barred from getin two “containers” or any “equivalent” ting a liquor license, or that paint-andcontainer. johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Christ, guys, I’m trying to put common sense into a normal thing... [we] shouldn’t overthink ourselves into a knot that can be painted.

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Public Safety | 23

APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Police Blotter / Sandy Springs From Sandy Springs police reports April 7 through 19.

signer baseball caps and two designer belts.

8725 Roswell Road — On April 11, following a 3 a.m. alarm call at a cellphone R O B B E RY store, the alarm company said the phone product was wired „„8700 block of Roswell Road with GPS and showing it at — On April 11, a 38-year-old Ga. 400 and Spalding Drive. man said he and his wife were The officer located a Jeep near meeting a man known as “TrayCaptain this location and followed von” from OfferUp.com, an onSTEVE ROSE, it. The Jeep suddenly picked line buying-and-selling webSSPD up speed and exited onto the site. They intended to sell an srose@san- MARTA ramp, where it lost iPhone. During the exchange, dyspringsga.gov control and hit the guardrail. the suspect tried to take the Three men got out and ran, phone by force. The man fought and then jumped a fence into back, but was hit by the suspect, who was the Peachtree-Dunwoody Road area. Inwearing brass knuckles. Another suspect side the Jeep, several iPhone boxes were accompanied the first, and both fled tolocated. Items in the Jeep were taken as evward apartments behind the location. idence and the Jeep impounded. „„4000 block of Highgrove Pointe Road „„7000 Roswell Road — On April 11, a — On April 14, a landscaping employresident said sometime between Friday ee reported he was robbed at gunpoint, and Tuesday, someone entered his apartjust after 9 a.m., by a man who took a ment by forcing the door. Several elecleaf blower, then fled in a red four-door tronics were taken. Dodge driven by another man. The following information was provided by Capt. Steve Rose.

B U R G L A RY „„5700 block of Lake Forrest Drive —

On April 7, the complainant said his unlocked office was entered sometime overnight. A checkbook, debit card and Walmart gift card are missing. „„1300 block of Summit Springs Drive —

On April 10, the resident said between 6 p.m. the day before and 1 a.m., someone accessed his apartment by forcing a window. Two Samsung 55- and 60-inch TV’s, shoes, PS4, Xbox One, $2,500 in jewelry and $300 cash were missing. Also taken were two de-

„„

„„8725 Roswell Road — On April 15,

health supplement store employees reported that someone used a wire to “fish” a bank bag from a drop box located on the store safe. $216 is missing. „„8725 Roswell Road — On April 15, a

Chinese restaurant reported that someone forced a rear door and took $350 from a cash register. „„5000 block of Winterthur Drive — On

April 16, someone took two Trek Road bicycles from the garage. „„500 block of Northridge Road — Between

NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY FOR PUBLIC COMMENT SANDY SPRINGS CITIZEN PARTICIPATION PLAN AMENDMENT The City of Sandy Springs announces the availability of its amendment to the Citizen Participation Plan required for participation in the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. This amendment includes additional requirements for citizen participation when conducting the Assessment of Fair Housing. Public comments will be accepted from May 5-May 19, 2017. The amendment is currently available for review and comment by the citizens of Sandy Springs prior to its adoption by the Sandy Springs city council. Adoption is scheduled for the regular city council meeting on June 6, 2017. A copy of the draft Citizen Participation Plan is available at www.sandyspringsga.org and can be accessed by selecting CDBG under Urban Development – Planning and Zoning Website on the City’s webpage, as well as in hard copy at Sandy Springs city hall, located at the Morgan Falls Office Park, 7840 Roswell Rd., Bldg. 500; the Sandy Springs regional library at 395 Mt. Vernon Hwy.; and at the Benson senior center at 6500 Vernon Woods Drive. Citizens of Sandy Springs are encouraged to submit comments on the Amendment to the Citizen Participation Plan through this email address cdbgprogram@sandyspringsga.org or in writing c/o the CDBG Program at the city hall address listed below. Final adoption to the amended Citizen Participation Plan will be presented to the Sandy Springs city council regular meeting on June 6, 2017. All meetings start at 6:00 p.m., are open to the public and held at the Sandy Springs City Hall, 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500, Sandy Springs, GA, 30350. Citizens in need of translation services or materials in alternative formats should call 770-730-5600 seven calendar days prior to the regularly scheduled meeting. SS

April 13 and April 16, someone forced entry to the home by forcing the front door and took a TV and PS4 game system.

THEFT „„3200 block of River Exchange Drive

— On April 7, a company representative said someone took an office phone and HP computer and screen, from the office. A suspect is a former employee who left over low pay. The company representative called the person, who allegedly said she was not welcomed to retrieve the items and they should “take it as a loss.” The case was forwarded to detectives. „„6690 Roswell Road — On April 11, the

40-year-old victim said he placed his personal items in the locker at a gym and secured it with a combination lock. It was compromised and his wallet and other personal items were stolen. „„On April 7, an 85-year-old man report-

ed that he was at a secondhand store on Roswell Road at Abernathy Road when he was “bumped” by three men. They turned and walked away. He then realized his wallet was gone. „„ 4300 block of Spring Creek Drive —

On April 9, a 59-year-old man said someone took his Lenovo laptop from his dining room table sometime between April 8 and April 9. He had just obtained a new roommate from Roommate.com by the name of Paul. They had already discussed issues regarding money and he suspects the roomie of stealing the computer. „„990 Hammond Drive — On April 11,

„„ 8601 Roberts Drive — On April 11, a 27-

year old man said he believes a subcontractor, who was hired by the apartment complex to fix his bathtub, stole items from his apartment, including a signed Julio Jones football, photo, and a laptop. „„6000 block of Riverside Drive — On

April 11, the resident reported that his lawn lights were taken from his home. „„8100 block of Colquitt Road — On

April 11, a 66-year-old woman reported that her car was parked in an apartment parking spot. She started the car around 10 p.m., intending to go to the store. She re-entered the apartment, leaving the car running. When she returned, the car was gone. The car is a four-door 2008 Pontiac G8. „„4800 block of Roswell Road — On

April 12, a 22-year-old woman reported that while she was attending a class at a beauty school, someone stole her Samsung tablet from her bag. A second student reported a theft of a rolling backpack containing school items. An instructor at the school also reported a book stolen from a desk. „„6080 Roswell Road ¬— On April 14, a

phone store reported two men snatched five phones from the wall display, then fled. „„5505 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road —

On April 15, an employee of a cosmetics brand reported someone accessed a money drawer and stole just over $400 and an iPad. „„5925 Roswell Road — On April 15, an

employee of a home improvement store an employee reported a 2005 GMC Yusaid he placed his phone down while he kon Denali stolen from the parking gawas in the plumbing aisle and at some rage of the business. The keys were in point shortly after, someone took it. the gas compartment. Survey equipment next to the vehicle was READ MORE OF THE POLICE BLOTTER ONLINE AT also stolen.

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SANDY SPRINGS NOTICE OF USE PERMIT Petition Number:

U17-0001

Petitioner:

Mount Vernon Presbyterian School

Property Location:

510 Mount Vernon Highway NE & 0 Glenridge Drive (Mount Vernon Presbyterian School)

Present Zoning:

R-2

Request:

Request to revise use permit conditions to increase the allowable square footage, reallocate footprints, and redefine enrollment allocation, with concurrent variances.

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission May 18, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council June 20, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.

Location:

Sandy Springs City Hall Morgan Falls Office Park 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500 Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350 770-730-5600


24 |

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04-28-17 Sandy Springs Reporter  
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