10-26-18 Sandy Springs

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OCT. 26 - NOV. 8, 2018 • VOL. 12— NO. 22


Sandy Springs Reporter



► Voters Guide to ballot questions PAGE 4 ► Local candidates outline differences at Dunwoody forum PAGE 6

Bike share stations come to national park

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net


Elizabeth Uhles and Daniel Johnson rent a ride from the Zagster bicycle share station Oct. 23 at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area’s Cochran Shoals in Cobb County, just across the river from Sandy Springs.


Steaks and sides with Michel Arnette Page 18

The ‘Marsy’s Law’ ballot question: Pro & Con


Marsy’s Law would enforce a victim’s bill of rights Marsy’s Law is a solution in search of a problem

See COMMENTARY, page 10

OUT & ABOUT Gear up for the holidays Page 16


A bicycle share service recently began offering rides at two stations in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area bordering Buckhead and Sandy Springs. And in November, the bike rental service, organized by Cobb County’s Cumberland Community ImproveSee BIKE on page 15

Trail, bridge proposals see revival BY EVELYN ANDREWS AND JOHN RUCH Proposals for citywide trail networks and bridges over the Chattahoochee River are rising to the top of the city agenda — including in its north end planning and green space expansion — as a 10-year parks master plan update nears conclusion. The Sandy Springs Conservancy proposed at its annual dinner Oct. 17 a prototype trail behind the city Tennis Center that would pilot a citywide trail network. The Conservancy also revived a plan to build a bridge over the Chattahoochee near the Morgan Falls dam. See TRAIL on page 22

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HO LY SPIR IT PR EP S EEKS M A JO R S I TE EX PA NS I O N Holy Spirit Preparatory School is planning a major expansion of its Buckhead Upper School campus onto a roughly 13-acre site next door in neighboring Sandy Springs. The plan would consolidate the Lower School, currently on Sandy Springs’ Long Island Drive, onto the current Upper School site. Plans filed with the city show the largely wooded site being filled with four school buildings totaling nearly 200,000 square feet, a parking deck and a sports field. The plans also add a large new rectory for Holy Spirit Catholic Church, which shares the school’s property. The plans require a conditional use permit. A community meeting about the plan is scheduled for Oct. 30, 6 p.m., at Holy Spirit Prep’s Upper School Library, 4449 Northside Drive.


Two Convenient Locations Atlanta 980 Johnson Ferry Road Suite 910 Atlanta, GA 30342

Community Briefs

Woodstock 900 Towne Lake Parkway Suite 302 Woodstock, GA 30189

The Sandy Springs Conservancy bestowed its 2018 “Greenspace Champion Award” to David Perez, former High Point Civic Association president, for his work in helping to create the city’s newest park, Windsor Meadows. Perez and the association worked with the Conservancy and the city on the plan, which turned 4 acres of once-flooded properties into the park. Windsor Meadows opened this summer. Perez accepted the award at the Conservancy’s Oct. 17 “Thought Leaders” dinner at City Springs.




E 1992

STOREWIDE SALE “MacGyver” crew members stand at monitors inside a local house during the filming of an episode Oct. 12.



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The TV series “MacGyver” filmed scenes at a Heards Ferry Road house on Oct. 12. Neighbor Wil Johnson said the crew offered him $1,000 to park a generator in his yard, and he snapped some photos of the production. Now in its third season, “MacGyver” is a reboot of the 1980s action series about a secret agent skilled at improvising devices that help him defeat his foes. The series has primarily filmed in metro Atlanta since its debut.


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Several local leaders and former candidates have donated to an effort to study an independent school system in Sandy Springs. Among those Citizens for Local Area School Systems says donated to its campaign are: City Councilmembers Andy Bauman and Jody Reichel; Kevin Abel, a former Democratic candidate for the 6th Congressional District seat; and Brian Eufinger, co-operator of the Sandy Springs Zoning Coalition Facebook group and a former City Council candidate. For more information, visit sandyspringsschools.org. SS

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S C UL PT UR E I N STA LL ED IN MA RSH CR EEK PAR K The city unveiled a new sculpture in its Marsh Creek Rain Garden Park on Sept. 28, a gift to the city from the Riverside West Garden Club in honor of the club’s 50th anniversary. The circular sculpture of a heron and water plants is installed on a gate at the entrance to the park at 90 Johnson Ferry Road.



The sculpture is installed at the entrance to Marsh Creek Rain Garden Park.

The city has threatened to issue a lien against a Roswell Road apartment complex to force it to clean up a large pile of trash near its entrance. The complex, Edgewater Apartments, is located in the city’s north end at 7600 Roswell Road and has had 24 code enforcement calls within the last two years, City Attorney Dan Lee said during a presentation at the City Council’s Oct. 16 meeting. Edgewater’s management did return a request for comment. The complex was in the process of cleaning up the trash before its court hearing set for the morning of Oct. 17 began, city spokesperson Dan Coffer said. If the cleanup had not been done before then, the city was planning to have its Department of Public Works do the work and issue a lien against the apartments for the cost. The cost would have been more punitive than a citation fine, which is capped at $1,000, Lee said. The work was estimated by the department to cost $2,500, he said. “The lien sends a very strong signal to the owners and the bankers,” Mayor Rusty Paul said. The authority to do so is a “rarely used section” of the city code, Paul said.

SANDY SPRINGS VETERANS DAY CELEBRATION FRIDAY NOVEMBER 9, 2018 Join the City in honoring our country’s veterans with three familyfriendly events, all taking place at City Springs – 1 Galambos Way. VETERANS DAY TRIBUTE: 11:30 a.m. on the City Green: Keynote speaker, Retired USMCR Colonel Jim Bacchus, along with musical accompaniment by the 116th Army Band Brass Quintet. UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION: Immediately following the Veterans Day Tribute, there will be a ceremonial cake cutting for the United States Marine Corps 243rd birthday inside the Performing Arts Center.




VETERANS DAY CONCERT: 7 p.m. on the City Green: Enjoy music under the stars featuring Yankton, a Nashville favorite with a set list including popular songs as well as patriotic anthems.


All of the events are free and open to the public. Parking is available on-site in the underground parking decks.



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VOTERS GUIDE Nov. 6 ballot questions

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Voters will face a bevy of ballot questions on Nov. 6, including constitutional amendments and statewide and local referendums. In various Reporter Newspapers communities, voters will see at least eight, and up to 12, questions on the ballot. The following is a guide to what they mean in plainer English.


Would direct up to 80 percent of sales tax revenue from sporting goods stores to a conservation-oriented trust fund. The Sandy Springs Conservancy is among the supporters.


Would create a statewide specialty court, with judges appointed by the governor rather than elected, to handle business-oriented disputes.

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Would alter an existing system of reduced taxation of large tracts of timberland that are under conservation agreements and a formula where the state reimburses local governments for some of the lost tax revenue. The amendment would raise some tax assessments under state collection authority, while reducing the required length of conservation agreements and creating a new, smaller class of tax-break-eligible timberland.


Also known as “Marsy’s Law,” this would give certain judicial system rights to people who report that they are crime victims, including the right to receive notice when their offender is released from prison, and invitations to participate in court hearings. Most of those rights already exist under state law, but would now be enshrined in the state Constitution. For pro-and-con commentary from advocates about this amendment, see ReporterNewspapers.net.


Would allow independent public school districts below the county level, but serving a majority of students, to call for a countywide, 1 percent sales tax referendum to fund building construction.

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Would limit property tax assessment to a 2.6 percent annual value increase for homeowners in a city that is in more than one county, pays a public transportation sales tax, and has an independent school district. In practice, this new homestead exemption is intended for Atlanta homeowners. But it was made a statewide referendum because lead sponsor state Rep. Beth Beskin, a Buckhead Republican, was unable to get the largely Democratic Atlanta delegation’s support for a local question.


Would allow nonprofit facilities that provide services to people with mental disabilities to have tax-exempt status when a for-profit business is among its owners due to financing and construction.

FULTON COUNTY QUESTIONS Voters in Fulton County, including Buckhead and Sandy Springs citizens, will have three countywide questions to decide.


Would repeal a state Constitutional provision that keeps the area along Fulton Industrial Boulevard in south Fulton as the county’s last unincorporated area. The repeal would open the area to annexation by Atlanta, the City of South Fulton or both, as both have previously attempted to do, creating a dispute that is pending in the state Supreme Court.


Would exempt homeowners over 65 years old from paying property taxes on the first $50,000 in assessed home value. That is a $20,000 increase for the Fulton County government portion of the tax bill.


Would cap the portion of property taxes that go to the Fulton County School System annually at 3 percent or the inflation rate, whichever is lesser.


Citizens in all four cities in Reporter Newspapers communities — Atlanta, Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs — will vote on local questions that would authorize the sale of alcoholic beverages in restaurants on Sundays starting at 11 a.m. rather than the current 12:30 p.m. The question would enact the so-called Brunch Bill legislation sponsored by state Rep. Meagan Hanson (R-Brookhaven/Sandy Springs).


With so many things to do, we suggest getting an early start on your want-to-do list. There’s a lot to do at The Piedmont Retirement Community — clubs, events, socializing, and more. So, go ahead and make your want-to-do list. But please don’t include a bunch of chores. We’ll take care of most of those for you. We invite you to see all that The Piedmont has to offer (including assisted living services if needed) at a complimentary lunch and tour. Please call 404.381.1743 to schedule.

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Atlanta voters will decide a question that would alter the current homestead exemption of the first $30,000 in assessed value for the APS portion of the tax bill. Homeowners would pay taxes on the first $10,000 in assessed value, but the exemption also is increased to $50,000. The new exemption system would last three years and has support from APS, which says it would reduce tax revenues by roughly $25 million that could be made up elsewhere. The legislation was sponsored by state Sen. Jen Jordan (D-Buckhead/Sandy Springs).


Brookhaven voters will decide whether to authorize the city issuing a roughly $40 million bond to fund construction of improvements to several public parks. For pro-and-con commentaries from advocates on the issue, see ReporterNewspapers.net.

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Local GOP, Democrat candidates outline differences at Dunwoody forum


U.S. Rep. Karen Handel sat alone at a table set up for candidates at the Oct. 21 forum sponsored by the Dunwoody Homeowners Association because her challenger, Democrat Lucy McBath, declined to participate.

BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Candidates running for the state legislature staked out their party differences on such issues as education, Medicaid expansion and the state’s voting system during an Oct. 21 forum sponsored by the Dunwoody Homeowners Association. State Sen. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody) and his Democrat challenger Sally Harrell, a former state House representative from Chamblee, appeared together at the forum in the hotly contested race for Senate District 40 that includes Dunwoody and portions of Brookhaven and Sandy Springs. Also participating in the forum were Republican Ken Wright and Democrat Mike Wilensky, both of Dunwoody, who are vying for the open seat left by state Rep. Tom Taylor (R-Dunwoody). The race for House District 79 includes all of Dunwoody.

SD 40 and healthcare A key difference between Harrell and Millar is their stance on Medicaid expansion — she supports it, he does not. Georgia is one of 18 states that did not approve Medicaid expansion to low-income residents under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Harrell said Medicaid expansion would provide healthcare to some 500,000 Georgians currently without any coverage. Medicaid expansion would also give rural hospitals the revenue they need to remain open, she said. “We pay federal taxes for Medicaid and we are not getting it back. Our money is going to other states,” she said. “It makes no sense.” Millar said the state would likely offer Medicaid waivers next year to stabilize premiums. He said he supported legislation to create a rural hospital tax credit that went into effect last year. The tax credit allows corporations and individuals to donate to qualifying rural hospitals to help them cover costs. Millar also noted that the Supreme Court recently ruled able-bodied people can be required to work or volunteer to receive Medicaid. “We can’t just have people be given something for nothing,” he said. “There’s a cost in everything.”

SD 40 and the voting process Millar said at the forum there is bipartisan support in the legislature for a voting system with a paper trail that includes a receipt given to voters, so they know their ballot was counted as they wanted. He noted a commission was formed this year to study paper ballots and next year there are plans to select a new voting system and have it in place by 2020. Harrell said she also supported a paper ballot system so voters can be assured they know how their votes are counted. She also said the state needs to address gerrymandering so people can feel as though their votes “make a difference.” “Voting integrity is the root of our democracy,” she said.

State Sen. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody), left, and Democrat Sally Harrell, served in the state House together from 1999 to 2005. Harrell is now opposing Millar in the state Senate District 40 race.

SD 40 and education Millar, chair of the Higher Education Committee and who served on Gov. Nathan Deal’s Education Reform Commission, boasted the legislature fully funded education this year. But he acknowledged the need to update the school funding formula. An updated formula, he said, would mostly help students with disabilities and include a factor for poverty. “How can you say you fully funded education when you don’t know how much it costs to educate a child?” Harrell shot back at Millar, referring to the state using the 1985 funding formula. “An entire generation of children have been shortchanged” due to $9.2 billion in education budget cuts over the past several years at the General Assembly, she said. She said many parents have told her they have pulled their children from public schools due to the budget cuts and were forced to find money to pay for private schools. “Public schools should be a viable option for everyone,” she said.

HANDEL MAKES HER CASE FOR CONGRESSIONAL RE-ELECTION U.S. Rep. Karen Handel, a Republican, appeared alone at the Oct. 21 Dunwoody Homeowners Association candidate forum. Her challenger, Democrat Lucy McBath, declined an invitation to participate, according to DHA President Adrienne Duncan. The 6th Congressional District includes portions of Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Brookhaven. Handel praised President Trump for his expected signature later this month on an opioids package passed with bipartisan support that includes $1 million to combat the opioids crisis in the 6th Congressional District. She said she supported “common sense gun legislation” that includes strengthened background checks and more mental health services. Handel was asked about the Central Americans making their way to the U.S. border in a migrant “caravan.” The caravan, she said, is “why we must fix our broken immigration system.” She addressed the country’s $779 billion deficit and said it includes some $100 billion in unplanned federal disaster relief. She said she supports a balanced budget amendment and a two-year budget cycle. McBath’s homestead exemption in Cobb County has been questioned by Handel. McBath moved to Tennessee where her husband lives in 2016 before moving back in 2017. Handel says her husband is claiming the exemptions in both states.

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Wilensky said he supports updating the Quality Basic Education formula, which determines the amount of state funding going to public schools by establishing a cost per student. The formula hasn’t been updated since 1985. Updating the formula, he said, would ensure more money to Dunwoody schools to alleviate overcrowding and maybe even eliminate trailers that crowd campuses. Wright said he also supports updating the QBE. He said he was the “poster boy” for local control — he helped lead the effort to incorporate Dunwoody — and would propose legislation for an independent school district. An independent school district is a “big hill to climb,” but he said he was told that Dunwoody would never become its own city. Wright said he believed the DeKalb County School District spent too much money on bureaucracy at its administrative offices and more of that money should be spent in Dunwoody.

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Republican Ken Wright, left, and Democrat Mike Wilensky participated in the Oct. 21 Dunwoody Homeowners Association forum. Both are vying for state Rep. Tom Taylor’s seat.

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HD 79 and the DeKalb delegation Wright said as a Republican, he would play a key role in stopping the Democratled DeKalb County delegation at the Gold Dome from passing “punitive” legislation against Dunwoody, specifically House Bill 244. Sponsored by state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur), the bill would require newer cities, such as Dunwoody, Brookhaven and Tucker, to continue paying for DeKalb pension liabilities through property taxes. After the cities were incorporated, property taxes that went to pay for county services went instead to their municipalities. “I will fight it tooth and nail,” Wright said, calling the bill “punitive against Dunwoody.” “I will stand up and pull these punitive bills [from the DeKalb delegation],” Wright added. “They want to come after us as homeowners.” Wilensky said the pension bill is “heavily argued” at the DeKalb delegation. “This is very important to figure out,” Wilensky said. “We do not need to pay any money not owed.”

HD 79 and Dunwoody independent school district While an independent school district for Dunwoody is ideal, Wilensky said legislators must make priorities, and finding support in the General Assembly for this is “very, very difficult.” Taylor introduced a resolution for a constitutional amendment for the past several years to allow Dunwoody to separate from DeKalb Schools, but it has stalled.

Election Day is Nov. 6 Election Day arrives Nov. 6, when local voters will help to decide the race for governor, Congressional seats, many local state legislative races, and a bevy of ballot questions. For more about local candidates and their policy positions, see our Voters Guides and continuing coverage at ReporterNewspapers.net. For information about your polling place and elected officials, see the Georgia Secretary of State’s “My Voter Page” at mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do.



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THE PLACE TO APPLAUD Event tickets are on sale now at citysprings.com

Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company November 1, 2018 Take Me To The River November 3, 2018 The Assad Family November 4, 2018


City Springs Theatre Company presents Elf the Musical December 7 – 16, 2018 The Sounds of Christmastime December 15, 2018 Jewels’ Handmade Holiday December 19, 2018

SANGAM - World Music With No Boundaries November 17, 2018

Boston Brass: Christmas Bells are Swingin’ December 22, 2018

Roswell Dance Theatre presents The Nutcracker November 23 – December 2, 2018

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra New Years Celebration December 31, 2018

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New Chamblee Doraville Community Improvement District raises hopes, concerns BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

A new Chamblee Doraville Community Improvement District aims to boost local projects, including Chamblee’s downtown master plan and a connection to Brookhaven’s Peachtree Creek Greenway trail. But there is concern about what it will mean for Buford Highway’s famously diverse businesses, many of whom do not qualify to directly join the group of self-taxing property owners. Dan Reuter, a consultant working to form the CID sometime next year, says that members believe the two cities already have a lot of good plans in place and some strong assets, like the businesses, communities, highways and MARTA. The goal is to provide at least $1 million a year to help leverage more funding for them. “The area has a lot of functional infrastructure,” Reuter said. “It’s just not

stitched together very well.” And Reuter said the CID’s initial members — mostly large-scale real estate and car dealership operators — are aware they’re in “really the most mixedcultural, diverse area in metro Atlanta” and aim to be “grassroots and inclusive… [and] not get anyone worried about the intentions of the CID.” Marian Liou, executive director of the Buford Highway advocacy group We Love BuHi, called the CID an “exciting development,” but spoke cautiously about it as well. “Any transformation in Buford Highway’s outward form — for example, from a dangerous transportation corridor to a tree-lined boulevard — will be hollow unless we are intentional about sustaining its heart and soul and ensuring that its immigrant community can remain, adapt and thrive in place,” Liou said in an email. “What is Buford Highway, after all, without its people?”

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A CID is a fundraising mechanism allowed under Georgia law where commercial property owners can voluntarily agree to pay additional income Dan Reuter, a consultant to the Marian Liou, executive taxes that are new Chamblee Doraville CID. director of We Love BuHi. spent on improvements within a defined district. The imin just Chamblee and Doraville. provements are usually geared toward “We haven’t really sought to go into beautification, transportation and pubBrookhaven yet. That could happen lic safety. CIDs also can conduct plandown the road,” he said. “…It’s just a lot ning studies. more to bite off.” Some well-known and influential The CID’s proposed district roughly CIDs in the area include Buckhead in Atruns in the area between Buford Highlanta, Cumberland in Cobb County, and way and Peachtree Boulevard. To the the Perimeter CIDs, which cover parts northeast, border landmarks include of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy I-285 and the White Windmill Bakery. Springs in Perimeter Center. In 2016, a To the southwest, border landmarks innew CID was established anchored on clude the Plaza Fiesta mall and the new Doraville’s Assembly site. Whole Foods supermarket. The Chamblee Doraville CID has a “In theory … any commercial propercouple of points of origin. A CID was ty within Chamblee or Doraville could among the recommendations of a recent eventually be part of the CID,” Reuter Atlanta Regional Commission Livable said. Centers Initiative study of the Buford The additional property tax for CID Highway corridor in those cities. members is proposed at somewhere in The CID is more directly an outgrowth the range of 3 to 5 mills. Reuter said that, of the Peachtree Gateway Partnership, depending on which millage is chosen, which secretly formed in 2015 among that is projected to raise over $1 million city leaders of Chamblee, Doraville, to $2 million a year. “We wanted to have Brookhaven and Dunwoody. It was ina minimum of $1 million a year,” he said. tended as a joint planning and economic development authority, roughly centered on the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport in Chamblee. At that time, Reuter was on the ARC staff and worked on the PGP C ID FO UNDING M EM B ER S group’s formation. Officials from the PGP member citJimmy Ellis, Ellis Automotive ies still meet regularly, Reuter said, but Larry Callahan, there has been little in the way of formal Pattillo Industrial Real Estate results besides early talk of coordinating Vince Riggio, Trinity Development city multiuse trail plans. The group appears to have been more influential for networking and spin-off conversation, notably including a group of top end Perimeter cities and other CIDs collaborating on studying transit possibilities along I-285. A CID along the Peachtree Industrial Boulevard area was another early idea in the PGP. Reuter said a “Peachtree Gateway CID” was the initial idea, but that property owners have settled on starting

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Special Section | 9



A map of the Peachtree Creek Greenway’s proposed route, connecting Doraville and Mercer University to Buckhead via Chamblee and Brookhaven.

The next step is to put together a formal plan to present for approval to the DeKalb County tax commissioner’s office, Reuter said. He expects that to happen in the first quarter of next year.

Greenway connections

Besides some general concepts of supporting existing city efforts, the CID has some specific intended priorities. Working on a plan to connect the Chamblee Rail Trail to Brookhaven’s Peachtree


1. Study “low-cost projects” to improve appearance, mobility and accessibility. 2. Landscaping and access improvements at I-285 interchanges with Peachtree Boulevard and Buford Highway. 3. Develop proposal to connect Chamblee Rail Trail with Peachtree Creek Greenway. 4. Branding and promotion in Buford Highway area. 5. Review transportation system and development needs in specific sub-areas. 6. Support Chamblee’s study of self-driving shuttles and other alternative transportation connections to MARTA.

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Creek Greenway is a big one. The Greenway is a concept for a 12-mile park and trail running along the creek and Buford Highway, eventually connecting Doraville and Mercer University to the Atlanta BeltLine and other trails in Buckhead. Brookhaven expects to break ground by year’s end on a “model mile” of the Greenway. Reuter said the Greenway is a “project that is inspiring a lot of people right now. ... If we were able to have the CID advance connections from Chamblee’s downtown and Doraville’s downtown

to the Peachtree Creek Greenway, you could ride a bike all the way from Chamblee to the BeltLine.” But the Greenway is also among the projects raising concerns about gentrification and displacement on Buford Highway. Liou, who served on the Buford Highway LCI that recommended the CID’s formation, said she has discussed the community’s preservation with organizers. “I’m optimistic after hearing from CID organizers that they fully recognize Buford Highway’s unique character and its small, immigrant-owned businesses as intrinsic and valuable to the CID’s identity and mission,” Liou said. “Undoubtedly the organizers will not avail themselves of Buford Highway’s longheld reputation as an ‘International District’ without fully informing, including and incentivizing the participation and leadership in the CID effort of the immigrants who make this place amazing.” For more information about the CID, see PeachtreeGatewayPartnership.com.

10 | Commentary

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Commentary / The pros and cons of ‘Marsy’s Law’ The Nov. 6 ballot includes, as Question 4, a proposed state constitutional amendment that “provides rights for victims of crime in the judicial process.” The Reporter Newspapers asked two advocates to explain the pro and con arguments on the question, which is commonly known as “Marsy’s Law.”

Marsy’s Law would enforce a victim’s bill of rights This November, when you head to the polls, you will not only be voting on your legislators; you will also be asked to vote on a number of state and local measures. One section of the ballot will include five statewide constitutional amendments. Of these five, the fourth amendment, is a victims’ rights initiative known as “Marsy’s Law.” Here’s a brief description of this amendment and the reasons why I supported it in the state Senate. The purpose of “Marsy’s Law” is to outline a victim’s bill of rights to ensure that victims are aware of any information pertinent to their offender in a court case. It will give victims the right to know information about the case and the offender and the right to be heard through the criminal process. Victims will have the right to request the court and release dates of their offenders; the right to be notified of any rulings

in the case; and the right to decide whether or not they want to be part of the criminal proceedings. Companion legislation also allows victims to petition prosecuting attorneys in writing to be notified of all proceedings. Under current statute, these rights are present, but not enforced. By putting “Marsy’s Law” into the state Constitution, we are ensuring that victims of a crime have rights and can use their voices to be made certain that their rights are adhered to. Because this amendment deals with the rights of criminals and victims, I want to assure you that this is a measure to protect victims and will not create a layer of legal issues. This law will not undermine defendants’ rights or law enforcements’ authority. The sole intention behind this measure is to ensure that victims feel safe by know-

ing the status of their offender through each step of the legal process. I hope that this gives you insight on why I supported the legislation known State Sen. Elena Parent as “Marsy’s (D-Atlanta) represents Law” and the 42nd District, includhow I believe ing part of Brookhaven. that Amendment Four will allow victims of a crime to meaningfully participate in criminal proceedings, have their voices heard, and ensure that courts are held accountable in enabling victims to feel protected.

Marsy’s Law is a solution in search of a problem November ballots in six states, Georgia among them, include a referendum on whether to add to those state constitutions a victims’ bill of rights commonly known as Marsy’s Law. It’s likely to pass; no right-thinking person would vote against victims’ rights. But in Georgia, where the statutory crime victim’s bill of rights is acknowledged as one of the strongest in the nation, a constitutional amendment is a solution in search of a problem. Marsy’s Law is an initiative begun and heavily funded by California billionaire Henry Nicholas, whose sister, Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas, died after being shot in 1983 by her ex-boyfriend. Marsy’s brother told the Los Angeles Times: “After the funeral service, we were driving home and stopped at a market so my mother could just run in and get a loaf of bread. And there in the checkout line was my sister’s murderer, glowering at her.” He said the family was not told the accused killer had made bail; there was no obligation by the state or court to inform the family. Nicholas funded a ballot initiative that led to a 2008 California constitutional amendment. In 2009, he founded Marsy’s Law for All, whose goal is to add victims’ rights to all state constitutions and, eventually, to the U.S. Constitution. Voters in Illinois, Ohio, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota passed constitutional amendments. A Montana court tossed its version out. South Dakota’s leg-

islature and Marsy’s Law advocates renegotiated after the amendment passed with costly, unintended consequences, including hindering the press. In South Dakota and North Dakota, some officers are claiming “victim” status to shield their identity after shootings. Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina and Oklahoma are next. A Kentucky judge has already ruled the amendment is so vaguely worded that the vote will not be certified, noting, “The electorate cannot be expected to vote on a constitutional amendment of which they are not adequately informed of the substance.” The Marsy’s Law for All mantra is, inexplicably, “equal rights for crime victims,” as if crime victims are less equal under the Constitution. Victims of crime were shepherded across Georgia and into the state Capitol to share how the justice system let them down. Heart-wrenching campaign ads feature victims, while advocates and lobbyists argue a constitutional amendment is needed to add heft to statutory victim protections. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation warned in 2017 of the unintended consequences of the Senate’s initial legislation. The subsequent bicameral compromise is less harmful. Now, a victim (broadly defined) would “opt in” to be informed of case proceedings. If they are not informed, they have a right to be heard in court. Georgia legislators are justifiably proud of their hard-won, nationally recognized advances in criminal justice re-

forms, accepting since 2011 that it’s time to get “smart on crime.” In a state where one person in 13 is under some form of correctional supervision, separating justice from vengeance is crucial; it’s perhaps why Lady Justice is blindfolded. Georgia’s Crime Victim’s Bill of Rights has been in force Benita Dodd is vice pressince 1995. ident of the Georgia PubGeorgia state lic Policy Foundation, a Rep. Mannonprofit, nonpartisan redi Ballinger, search institute that proa former vicmotes economic freedom tims’ rights and limited government. advocate, asserted, “Georgia has one of the strongest victims’ rights statutes in the country.” The state also has a Victim Information Program and metro counties participate in the VINELink victim information network. If the system is letting down some victims and alleged victims, the solution would be to repair the system. Instead, Georgia wants voters to sign off on a potential new problem by experimenting with evolving proposals and enshrine victims’ “equal rights” in the state Constitution, where problems become even more difficult to fix. SS

Commentary | 11

OCT. 26 - NOV. 8, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Around Town

Joe Earle is editor-at-large at Reporter Newspapers and has lived in metro Atlanta for over 30 years. He can be reached at joeearle@reporternewspapers.net

The season for haunted lawns returns The dragon is back. It spreads its bright yellow wings in Blair and Alex Garrett’s front yard in Brookhaven. It’s been there since October flew in. Blair wanted to put the inflatable dragon out in her yard in September, but her husband said no. That was just too early, he said, to decorate for Halloween. Don’t tell that to Anthony Cabrera. He spends the whole year planning his Halloween decorations and starts building stuff about Labor Day. “Over the course of the year, I experiment with stuff like, ‘What would make a good-looking wall in an asylum?’ he said. “The more time I have, the crazier it gets.” Once the big day itself arrives, Cabrera, a corporate lawyer, expects hundreds to tramp through his home — so many, in fact, that he’s turned his annual display into a fundraiser to buy toys for patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Last year, 900 people stopped by to see his Halloween decorations. The time has come again to dress up our houses for the holidays. Forget autumn leaves. Around here, the real sign of fall is the coming of the jack-o’-lanterns. October is the month when faded bedsheets turn JOE EARLE Blair and Alex Garrett pose with the into ghosts and hang in trees, subdragon in their Brookhaven yard. urban yards sprout gravestones and oversized spider webs, and green isn’t the color of the lawn, but of a witch’s warty skin as she pulls Reese’s Pieces from her cauldron. In Sandy Springs, some of those witches gather at the Hammond Hills home of Sallie Duncan. She started her Halloween tradition shortly after she moved into the neighborhood more than 20 years ago. Now, Duncan attracts packs of trick-or-treaters every year. “It sort of developed and grew over the years,” she said. Does she plan to decorate again this year? “Do you think I have a choice?” she said. “If I didn’t do it, I think I’d get egged.” Duncan says she waits until the last minute to set up her decorations. Through the years, she has pulled together a corps of friends who dress up as witches and help out by working the door and escorting trick-or-treaters through what Duncan described as “less a haunted house than a haunted dining room.” “I think the adults like it as much as the kids,” she said. Cabrera’s not satisfied with a single room of scary stuff. He uses the entire first floor of his Cobb County home and his garage for his homemade Halloween haunts, which he calls The House of Unhappy Pumpkins. Each year’s display has a theme: a haunted hotel, a swamp. This year it’s “Lily’s Sanatorium,” named for his 17-year-old daughter, he said. “My wife says this is pretty crazy,” he said. But it can draw a crowd. Last year, visitors to the Cabrera family home at 1260 Grand View Drive contributed thousands of dollars for Christmas toys for young patients at CHOA, he said. To raise the money during “a dark holiday like Halloween, it makes us feel good,” he said. In Brookhaven, the Garretts just enjoy watching neighborhood kids gather to watch the dragon. The Garretts live at the corner of Mathews Street and Thornwell Drive in a neighborhood with a lot of kids. They’ve decorated their yard with lights and a giant spider web and spider and a few gravestones, but it’s the dragon that pulls the crowds. “It’s kind of cool to have a 15-foot dragon in your yard,” Alex Garrett said. The Garretts started decorating for Halloween shortly after they moved into their neighborhood about five years ago. “It keeps growing and growing,” Blair Garrett said. They don’t have kids themselves (“That’s the biggest question we get: ‘Your kids must love it?’” Alex Garrett said. “Nope. No kids.”), so they say the monsters referred to by the sign next to their front door announcing “the home of the Wicked Witch and her little monsters” refers to their two dogs, Lucy and Charlie. And, yes, the dogs dress up for Halloween. Blair Garrett caught the holiday decorating bug when she was growing up in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Her mother loved to decorate for the holidays and her uncle strung colored lights on his fishing boat for holiday parades. “My family was really big into Halloween,” she said. “My mother was a schoolteacher. They’re really big into decorations.” The Garretts work in finance. She analyzes businesses and he’s a financial advisor, so decorating the house gives them a break. “I look at spreadsheets all day, so I enjoy doing something creative,” Blair Garrett said. It’s not just Halloween. October just kicks off the house decorating season. Thanksgiving follows and then there are decoration-friendly holidays lined up into next year and orange and black will give way to red and green. “I go pretty much nuts during Christmas,” Blair Garrett admitted. SS

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North end redevelopment proposals receive mixed reaction BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Residents got their first look at potential proposals for north end redevelopment, which some feared could lead to displacement of current residents while others believed the task force creating the ideas to be on the right track. The North End Revitalization Task Force, which was set up by the city in March and began its work in July, started its process with a public meeting where residents provided ideas for projects and initiatives. Most of the task force’s proposals presented at the Oct. 18 public meeting stemmed from that process, Otis White, a consultant leading the process said, but it has also added additional projects to the list. Still to come is the process or steps needed to make these ideas happen. The task force has been charged by Mayor Rusty Paul to avoid gentrification, but at times members have disagreed about its affordability goal. They frequently cite the Atlanta BeltLine as an inspirational project, though that multiuse path and park plan has spurred gentrification in many intown neighborhoods. The task force presented 14 “big ideas”: creating a set of villages, each with distinc-

tive character; creating the “Greenline,” a lighted trail for walking and biking; expanding greenspace; slowing traffic and adding more crosswalks and bike lanes on Roswell Road; creating a landmark marking the entrance to the north end; creating a pedestrian bridge over the Chattahoochee River near Morgan Falls; adding new ball fields and a swimming complex to Morgan Falls; partnering with the Fulton County School District to use school facilities; creating mixed-use complexes; creating a community suitable for all ages; encouraging housing for all incomes; increasing home ownership; attracting “creative industry” jobs and companies; and making the north end a “major destination for visitors.” The meeting began with residents voicing concerns about the lack of diversity on the task force, which is heavy with developers and appears to be entirely white. Members also include the president of the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods, affordable housing advocates, former City Councilmember Gabe Sterling and current City Councilmember Steve Soteres, who chairs the task force. Meeting attendees voted on the 14 proposals, which were posted around a City Hall conference room, using color-coded stickers that signified support or concern

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A resident votes on a north end proposal at the Oct. 18 public meeting held in City Hall.

for each idea. Nearing the end of the meeting, most votes on a one to five scale were in support of the plan’s ability to transform the north end. One north end homeowner and single mother said, though she does like some of the ideas, she was concerned some of the proposals could cause housing values and property taxes to rise, pricing her out of her home, which she has lived in since 2007. Another resident said he supports the proposals, especially ones that would bring more pedestrian connectivity and access to the riverfront. “I think it’s a no-brainer,” he said. “It’s an area that has been neglected.” Improving access to the Chattahoochee River was strongly supported at the first public meeting, and one proposal addressing that would be to build a new pedestrian bridge over the river in the Morgan Falls area, which was proposed and studied in 2009. That proposal received mixed support, with some people saying the city should instead revisit the stalled plan to build a pedestrian bridge parallel to the existing vehicular Roswell Road bridge. One resident worried the idea to encourage more homeownership is targeted at removing rental housing. “This is the PC, smarmy way of saying ‘clean out apartment residents and demolish apartment complexes,’” the resident said. Some thought encouraging “creativeindustry companies,” which included mar-

keting agencies, tech start-ups and graphic design firms, to come to the north end could bring a rise in housing prices. “Have you seen San Francisco lately? These types of industry will attract many high-end, transient earners and less middle-class families,” one person said. Another had concerns many of the ideas are in conflict with each other. Mehmet Cakmak said he is unsure how the city could increase homeownership while also encouraging new rental developments, or how it could promote tourism while reducing traffic congestion. The idea to have some sort of “landmark” marking the entrance to the north end of Sandy Springs brought mostly criticism, with comments asking why this would be needed and “what’s the point?” The “Greenline,” which would be a lighted and landscaped multiuse trail, received mostly votes for support. One comment worried it could increase crime. Making the north end a tourist destination brought some support, but others said the area should remain a residential neighborhood and the ideas should focus on existing residents. “Keep the north end quiet, residential,” one resident said. “Don’t make it into a bustling, busy, noisy area.” Residents were also able to write additional ideas the task force should consider. Among them were discouraging developments of new strip malls and redevelopment of the existing ones, taxing developers to pay for infrastructure improvements and advocating for MARTA rail expansion.


An expert on economic inequality, Richard Reeves, spoke at an Oct. 12 Leadership Sandy Springs luncheon that was sponsored by the Couchman-Noble Foundation, the philanthropic group of David Couchman and Melanie Noble-Couchman, the two co-chairs of the north end task force. Reeves specifically analyzed the outcome of children who grew up in the north end versus the rest of Sandy Springs using a new web tool called the “Opportunity Atlas.” Children who grew up in a census tract in the upper north end along Roswell Road now make a median salary of $31,000, while those from other areas in the city make a range of $54,000 to $67,000, according to the map. Reeves said that the increasing housing prices and displacement can be blamed in part on city zoning rules causing a shortage. “We rig the housing market,” he said. SS

Community | 13

OCT. 26 - NOV. 8, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

State House race turns into a courtroom drama of ethics, libel claims BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Courtroom battles stemming from allegations about a candidate’s eligibility for a Sandy Springs state House race continue as the state Republican Party makes new allegations and the Democratic candidate fights back with a libel lawsuit. The state GOP, which is backing Alex Kaufman in the House District 51 race, claims that Democratic rival Josh McLaurin lied about his eligibility on forms and illegally registered to vote. McLaurin says the accusations are nonsense and fodder for negative campaign mailers, and he is suing the Republicans for libel with the help of former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Evans. “The only reason they filed [the complaints] is so they can send nasty mail,” McLaurin said. Kaufman said he stands by the GOP mailers and called them “accurate.” “To be certain, I believe that the law and the facts paint a very different story than what McLaurin would have people believe,” Kaufman said in a written statement. “These are serious investigations against McLaurin.” Kaufman and McLaurin are seeking to replace retiring state Rep. Wendell Willard, a Republican, in the state House District 51, which covers the Sandy Springs panhandle and parts of Johns Creek and Roswell. Stacey Evans, a former state representative and former Democratic candidate for governor, has filed a libel complaint against the GOP for its mailer, McLaurin said. State Rep. Scott Holcomb is leading the defense against the allegations, he said. Complaints allege that McLaurin violated state statutes by lying on a candidacy form saying he met the residency requirement and by illegally accessing the voter registration system to register while not living in the state. He denies he violated both statutes. Candice Broce, a spokesperson for the Georgia Secretary of State’s office and the elections board, confirmed that the complaints have been filed, but could not provide any other details during the investigation. Violations of election laws can be criminal and prosecutors have the authority to pursue criminal charges, according to the Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission. A separate ethics complaint filed with the Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission accuses McLaurin of not disclosing thouSS

sands in campaign donations. That allegation comes from McLaurin not reporting work Holcomb’s law firm did during a former complaint. Pro bono legal services are not required to be reported as campaign contribution, according to state campaign finance law. But the complaint says there was additional work done by other salaried firm employees that does count, said Bryan Tyson, an election lawyer who filed the complaint. McLaurin disputes that. Alex Kaufman. The Fulton County Republican Party previously challenged McLaurin’s campaign, saying he wasn’t eligible because he has not lived in the state or district long enough. A judge later ruled in McLaurin’s favor. Now, the state GOP has sent out mailers to voters that say McLaurin is the subject of “ongoing criminal investigations.” “McLaurin is under investigation for violating two state statutes, violation of these statutes are felonies under the law, and they are crimes even if he is not prosecuted for them,” Carmen Bergman, the executive director of the Georgia Republican Party, said in a written statement through a spokesperson. “I’m not sure what word to use for that type of investigation other than ‘criminal.’ ” Bergman did not respond to specific questions about the allegations. The mailer says, “Josh McLaurin wants to be your representative but cannot follow the law,” according to images posted on social media. On the back is a photo of a man appearing to be peeking through window blinds. McLaurin accuses the GOP of knowingly publishing “false and defamatory” information on the mailers to help Kaufman win in a libel suit filed by Evans Oct. 16. Kaufman said that he believes the suit is without merit. “I believe that McLaurin’s libel suit is a political stunt rather than a lawsuit with merit — particularly given the heightened standard for libel against a public person, especially in the political arena and in the unfortunately heated political climate we are in today,” Kaufman said. McLaurin said the allegations are twisting of his testimony during a hearing about the previous complaint and of his interpretation of how to fill out

candidacy documents. McLaurin grew up in Sandy Springs and took a job in New York before returning to Georgia in 2016. “It is true that I changed my citizenship to New York for a brief period of time,” he said. He was not eligible to run when he filled out the affidavit for candidacy in March, but filled it out as if he was because he would be by the time of the election, he said. He disputes the allegation he ilJosh McLaurin. legally voted, saying he had almost completely moved to Georgia when he registered to vote and wanted to ensure he could vote in the 2016 election. He did return to New York for a week to finish his job, but was considered a resident of Georgia when he registered, he said. “The GOP has twisted it into this sto-

ry about me illegally manipulating the online system,” he said. “When you really dig into the facts, it’s absurd.” McLaurin claims the GOP only filed the original complaint to question him about registering to vote before officially moving. “When the GOP filed the residency challenge, they discovered quickly that they were not going to win,” he said. “They did it to get me under oath.” He said he established Georgia citizenship in September 2016 and residency in the House district in September 2017. An ethics complaint accuses McLaurin of not disclosing thousands in campaign donations because he did not list the pro bono work Holcomb’s law firm did in defending him during the original complaint. “If that were true no one who works in a law firm could work pro bono,” he said. “It doesn’t even make sense to me.” McLaurin said he believes the GOP is leveraging the accusations to stave off a potential loss of the seat long held by Republicans. “The politics in our suburbs are changing,” McLaurin said.

14 | Community

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A developer is seeking a rezoning to build single-family houses on 18 lots

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along Dalrymple Road in an area that is currently heavily wooded. A preliminary community meeting on the rezoning is set for Oct. 29 at 6:15 p.m. in Lost Corner Preserve, 7300 Brandon Mill Road. The proposal seeks to rezone the properties, which include 0, 309, 314 and 354 Dalrymple Road, from RE-1 [residential estate] to RD-18 [residential detached], lowering the minimum lot size from one acre to 18,000 square feet, less than half an acre, according to proposal documents. All lots fronting Dalrymple would be at least one acre, however, to be similar to other lots on the road, according to the rezoning document. One house is currently located at 314 Dalrymple Road and its future in the proposal is unclear. The houses would have at least a 50foot setback, the site plan said. The development could also extend Thornhill Lane, which currently deadends at the start of the wooded area, and create a cul-de-sac on the south side of Dalrymple. A common driveway could be created on the north side to avoid multiple curb cuts along Dalrymple, according to the site plan. A common open green area less than one acre is also proposed around a small cemetery, according to the plan. The property would cross the Georgia Power easement. To view the proposal details and for a link to submit comments, visit sandyspringsga.gov.

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OCT. 26 - NOV. 8, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Bike share stations come to national park Continued from page 1 ment District, will open a station at the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park and Battery complex. It’s all part of a master plan for alternative transportation and trails throughout the Cumberland area, in a burgeoning trend in local cities as well. “The Cumberland area presents the opportunity to create a major bike hub,” says Cumberland CID Director of Operations Kyethea Clark, “with access to regional destinations such as The Battery Atlanta/SunTrust Park, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area…, CobbLinc Transfer Station and many other places of interest.” The bike share service, operated by the private company Zagster, opened stations in August at the national park’s Paces Mill/ Palisades area off Northside Parkway, and the Cochran Shoals trailhead off Interstate North Parkway. “The idea is that you can ride from one unit to the other,” said Bill Cox, the National Park Service’s superintendent at Chattahoochee River park system. Each station currently includes five bikes, painted white with the CID logo and equipped with a basket. The bikes are rented through a smartphone app or text messaging, which requires an account registration and a payment method. The first hour of riding is free, with each additional hour

costing $2, up to a maximum of $16. Bike share programs are an increasingly popular form of alternative transportation nationwide and in the metro area. Atlanta launched its “Relay” bike share system last year, which includes some stations around Buckhead. Private bike shares operate in such Perimeter Center office tower complexes as Sandy Springs’ Concourse Center and Brookhaven’s Perimeter Summit. Massachusetts-based Zagster operates more than 200 bike share systems in 35 states, including in Smyrna, Alpharetta and Kennesaw. In 2016, Zagster pitched its system to the city of Sandy Springs, which eventually decided its streets were not yet set up to be safe and appealing for bike-riding services. But that infrastructure is changing rapidly, especially as new multiuse trails are being planned and built in Buckhead and Perimeter cities. Atlanta and Sandy Springs both have land-use plans proposing trails, footbridges and other improved connections to the Chattahoochee River and its national park. The Cumberland CID, a self-taxing business district, has similar ideas. The bike share is tied to its participation in the “Cumberland Trails.” Clark calls it an “emerging system of existing and planned regional connecting trails.” They include the Chattahoochee River Trail as well as the

Bicycles in the Zagster bike share station at Cochran Shoals.

Bob Callan/Rottenwood Creek, Silver Comet Connector and Mountain to River trails. The bike share program is an outgrowth of the CID’s 2016 Bicycle Connectivity Implementation Plan, which recommended multiuse trail improvements at Palisades and adding a path or two-way bicycle track to Cobb’s section of Interstate North Parkway. Last year, the CID board approved $63,000 for the launch of seven Zagster bike share stations, Clark said, and the Draft Cumberland Bike Share Expansion Study recommends 12 more. The national


park stations were the first in the system. “While additional locations have not been officially approved as of yet, the Cumberland CID is looking to add more Zagster bike share stations to promote a live/work/ play community,” Clark said. The CID has an interactive map of its area that residents can use to suggest future bike share stations. It’s available at cbp.altaprojects.net. For more information about the Cumberland-area Zagster bike share program, see bike.zagster.com/cumberland.

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16 | Out & About

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KIBBUTZ CONTEMPORARY DANCE COMPANY NOVEMBER 1, 2018 Direct from our sister cities in Israel’s Western Galilee, experience Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, one of the leading dance companies in the world. Let your ticket be your passport to this internationally acclaimed performance!




Enjoy free admission and special programs on the second Sunday of each month.

Saturday, Nov. 3, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Produced by the work of more than 400 volunteers and with more than 240 artisans and crafters from around the Southeast, this event supports Marist School programs. Visit Holiday Tradition’s Cooked Goose Café for homemade corn chowder. Event admission: $5. No strollers. Marist School, 3790 AshfordDunwoody Road N.E., Brookhaven. Free shuttle service at Perimeter Summit, 2002 Summit Boulevard, Brookhaven. Info: marist.com/holidaytraditions.


Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9-10, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (“Evening of Elegance,” Thursday, Nov. 8, 6:30-10 p.m.) This eighth annual event presented by the Sandy Springs Society features more than 90 vendors’ handcrafted artistic and gourmet creations and author book



signings. Proceeds support the society’s grant program for community nonprofits. $5. An “Evening of Elegance” on Nov. 8 includes dinner, auctions and music. $115. City Springs, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. Registration and other info: sandyspringssociety.org/the-elegant-elf.


Saturday, Nov. 10, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. This 27th annual Dunwoody United Methodist Church indoor event features more than 100 juried artisans. All proceeds benefit Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. Shop for holiday gifts, buy Casseroles-to-Go and find garage saletype treasures. Silent auction bidding is already underway online at DUMCfest18. givesmart.com. Pancake Breakfast from 7:30-10 a.m., children’s activities, photos with Santa, BBQ and Chick-fil-A lunch. Free; fee for select children’s activities. Parking on site and at 100 Ashford Center North with a shuttle running from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dunwoody United Methodist Church, 1548 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Info: facebook.com/DUMCholidayfestival.


Sunday, Nov. 11, 4-5 p.m. The Virginia-Highland Chamber Music Society, featuring soprano Brianna Gilliam, pianist Randy Elkins, and Karen Zgonc on flute, performs at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art. $5; free for OUMA members. 4484 Peachtree Road NE, Brookhaven. Info: connect.oglethorpe.edu/event/2794427.

NOV 11 • DEC 9 Designed for little kids, big kids, and the whole family, Second Sundays are for everyone. Visit us each month and experience new interactive, innovative family activities inspired by our collections and ever-changing exhibitions. Second Sundays are sponsored by the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation.


Sunday, Nov. 11, 5 p.m. Family Promise of North Fulton/DeKalb partners with local congregations and others to provide emergency shelter and self-sufficiency solutions for homeless families with children. All proceeds from the fundraising concert, co-hosted by St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church and Peachtree Road Lutheran Church, benefit Family Promise. $20 donation suggested. St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, 1978 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Info: 770609-5407 or FamilyPromiseNFD.org.

Art & Entertainment | 17

OCT. 26 - NOV. 8, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net


$5 for members. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead. Reservations suggested: 404-814-4150 or online at AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/Lectures.



Sunday, Nov. 4, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Congregation Beth Shalom hosts a Mah Jongg tournament with co-sponsor ORT Atlanta. Limited seating. $36 includes catered lunch and prizes. 5303 Winters Chapel Road, Dunwoody. Register: tinyurl.com/atlmajmad.


Saturday, Nov. 3, 7-10 p.m. A second annual evening of fundraising for Prevent Blindness Georgia includes a silent auction, music, cocktails and dinner. Last year’s event helped PBG screen 11,150 children for sight-stealing eye conditions and provide 22 vision clinics to adults in need. InterContinental Hotel Buckhead, 3315 Peachtree Road N.E., Buckhead. Ticket info: georgia.preventblindness.org/night-sightgala.




Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 3, 4, 10 and 11, 3 p.m. Paddle quietly along the Chattahoochee River and take in the vibrant colors of the trees on these final opportunities to paddle with the Chattahoochee Nature Center until next spring. Ages 6+. $35; $30 CNC members. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Advance registration required: 770-992-2055 x237 or scheduling@chattnaturecenter.org. Register online: tinyurl.com/jvvooed.

Saturday, Nov. 10, 7-10:30 p.m. Good Mews, a no-kill, cage-free cat shelter, hosts its annual fall gala and auction at the Hyatt Regency at Villa Christina. This year’s theme, “30s For Our 30th,” commemorates the shelter’s 30th year of operation. 1930s era attire is encouraged. Live jazz, dinner and a presentation by Sterling “TrapKing” Davis of TrapKing Humane Cat Solutions. 4000 Summit Boulevard, Brookhaven. Ticket info: goodmews.org.


Saturday, Nov. 3, 7:30 a.m. This Peachtree Road Race qualifying event benefits programs at St. Martin’s Episcopal School including rebuilding efforts for the Early Childhood Building which was severely damaged by arson in July 2017. Post-race celebration with music, food, and an award ceremony. $20 and up. 3110-A Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Brookhaven. Register: Search for “Warrior 5K” on RaceRoster.com.




Sunday, Nov. 4, 3-4 p.m. Join Bike-Walk Dunwoody on the first Sunday of each month for a community bicycle ride. The event starts at 2:45 p.m. at Village Burger on Dunwoody Village Parkway with a short pre-ride safety talk. Riders depart at 3 p.m. for a 4.5-mile loop around Dunwoody. All ages and abilities welcome. Helmets required. Free. Hang out after the ride for $1 custards, $1 off beers, and post-ride socializing at Village Burger, 1426 Dunwoody Village Pkwy., Dunwoody. Info: bikewalkdunwoody.org.


Saturday, Nov. 3, 10 a.m. to noon. Chattahoochee Nature Center Horticulturist Julie Hollingsworth-Hogg helps you discover native plants you can grow in your yard for beautiful autumn plant displays. Ages 16+. $25; $20 CNC members. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Advance registration required: 770-992-2055 x237 or scheduling@chattnaturecenter.org. Register online: ecommerce.chattnaturecenter.org.


Wednesday, Nov. 7, 9:30 a.m. Diana Toma, an artist and instructor who uses a free-flowing approach in her acrylic and watercolor paintings, is featured speaker for the association’s November meeting. The monthly meeting begins with refreshments and social time followed by the program at 9:45 a.m. Free. Open to all interested artists. Spruill Arts Center, Room 4, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodyfineart.org.


Thursday, Nov. 8, 8 p.m. Bestselling author Winston Groom appears at the Atlanta History Center to discuss his book “The Allies: Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin, and the Unlikely Alliance That Won WWII.” Groom is the author of 18 previous books, including “Forrest Gump,” “The Generals,” and “The Aviators.” $10,

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18 | Food & Drink

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Steaks and sides with restaurateur Michel Arnette BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Restaurateur Michel Arnette made a name for himself with his restaurants in Brookhaven — Haven, Valenzo and Vero — all located on bustling Dresden Drive and part of the Word of Mouth Restaurants group. He chose Brookhaven again to open his newest restaurant, Arnette’s Chop Shop, last year in the renovated Bagcraft Papercon building on Apple Valley Road in a complex named Apple Valley Brookhaven. Chef Stephen Herman, Arnette’s business partner, moved from Haven to Arnette’s Chop Shop, but is also the culinary executive director for all Word of Mouth restaurants. Arnette already has a fifth restaurant in the works, on Peachtree Road at the edge of Chamblee and Brookhaven. The concept is named The Royal, he said, and is a “blend of upscale diner meets roadhouse grill.” The site is an old gas station and the interior and exterior design “will be influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright’s

creative style,” he said. A longtime Brookhaven resident, he now lives in Sandy Springs.

Q: Why did you decide

Q: What do you like about Brookhaven? A: I’ve always loved its diversity of neigh-

A: I felt we had done

borhoods. You have Historic Brookhaven that borders with Lynwood Park and reaches to Brittany. Then, there is gentrified Brookhaven, which comprises Ashford Park, Brookhaven Fields, Brookhaven Heights and Drew Valley, which blends into Buford Highway.

Q: What prompted you

to open your restaurants on Dresden Drive?

A: My family lived in Ashford Park and I would drive Dresden Drive every day headed to Buckhead for work. Something kept telling me that this is where it begins. I had dreams of a warm and cozy little neighborhood restaurant where I could feed the soul of the community. I met the developer, Dan Woodley, and the rest is just a wonderful journey where we are still making our history.

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to open Arnette’s Chop Shop on Apple Valley?

our work to bring attention to Dresden Drive. [Apple Valley Brookhaven] thrives as a wonderful mixed-use vibrant community center in the heart of our neighborhood. It was time to branch out. ApANGIE WEBB CREATIVE A variety of steaks highlight the menu at Arnette’s Chop Shop in ple Valley feels like that edgy enclave in Brookhaven, from dry aged strip steaks to Wagyu flat iron steaks. Brookhaven ripe for new development. It has that Inman Park and West Midtown vibe. How do you like your steak cooked? What sides and wine do you prefer with a steak dinner? What do you like and appreciate about Chef Herman? I am a fan of wet aging and love a prime



A: Stephen has been with me since the be-

ginning. He is first a wonderful friend and a great partner. I trust him implicitly and he is skilled and gifted with creative culinary talents that I do not possess. I learned early in my career to surround myself with humble and trustworthy people and provide an environment for them to thrive.


Do you think the restaurant scene is picking up outside the Atlanta intown area?


The restaurant scene certainly has grown outside of the Perimeter. I believe it is due to urban sprawl and the planned home communities that have developed in the last 20 years. People also don’t want to deal with the traffic after a commute to and from work.


What do you think of Brookhaven’s place in the metro Atlanta food scene?

A: My thought is Brookhaven

1Q.com/reporter or text REPORTER to 86312

has been a suburb of Atlanta. You could say the same of Buckhead some 25 to 30 years ago. It takes time and the efforts of many people for a neighborhood, and now a city, to become a dining destination. I like the word “destination” in dining destination. It’s derived from the word destiny. Most restaurateurs want a location that already has a built-in market; it is just safer. It is something special when you believe you have the ability to create the destination. I sure hope we are doing our part!


rib eye steak served up just past medium rare. Add just about any kind of potato and anything green and I’m happy. As for beverage, I am a fan of a good pinot noir, burgundy or Brunello di Montalcino.

Q: Are you personally a good cook? A: Let’s get real here, I am educated in the

business of fine cuisine, but you do not want me cooking! I leave that to the talents of my chefs and my wife, who is an excellent cook.

Art & Entertainment | 19

OCT. 26 - NOV. 8, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Book Festival of the MJCCA set for Oct. 30 to Nov. 18 The 27th annual Book Festival of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA) is set for Oct. 30 to Nov. 18 with some of the nation’s bestselling authors. This year’s event features more than 45 authors, including Oscarwinning actor Tom Hanks (Oct. 30), former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman (Nov. 3), and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Mike Luckovich of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Nov. 4). Most events will be held at the MJCCA, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Some other authors scheduled to appear during the festival proper include Anna Quindlen, Stuart Eizenstat, director Kenny Leon, Jon Meacham, Liane Moriarty and NPR’s Peter Sagal. “Included in our exciting lineup are some of Atlanta’s best local authors presenting their work,” said Book Festival Co-Chair Susie Hyman in a press release. “Additionally, I am thrilled that we will bring back our ‘In Con-

versation’ interviews between authors and local journalists; as well as various events with book clubs from throughout the city.” Individual tickets and series passes are available. Some events are free. For the complete lineup and tickets, call 678-812-4005 or see atlantajcc.org/bookfestival.

WEEK 2018

20 | Education

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Aditya Barot Dunwoody High School

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Aditya Barot, sitting in the center wearing gray and surrounded by friends, displays an app he built over the summer.

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Aditya Barot, a sophomore at Dunwoody High School, used his passion for computer science to teach himself how to build a phone app, using most of his summer to build a game and publish it. Aditya has been invested in coding and app design from a very early age. He and his friends would often discuss their interest in the field and their plans to one day develop apps of their own, he said. He finished his first app earlier this year. Called Pixel.Jump, the app is a game where you must maneuver triangles at an accelerating speed. Although science, technology, engineering and math programs, often called STEM, are rapidly growing at both public and private schools, Dunwoody High does not yet offer many classes that teach the skills Aditya wanted to learn, so he set out on his own. “I would sign up for classes such as intro to digital technology or computer science, which I am taking this year, but I found that I didn’t learn much about programming other than the absolute basics,” Aditya said. Aditya, however, did not allow that to stop him. He began teaching himself to code and design as a freshman, often using sources such as YouTube tutorials and educational websites like Code Academy when he got stuck or needed help. Those tools paired with his extensive background in robotics helped him successfully learn the skill by himself. Developing Pixel.Jump took Aditya almost all summer. He started in late May, with sleepless nights and long days. “When I really got into it, I would spend hours working each day,” he said. Although the actual designing and building of Pixel.Jump wasn’t completely smooth sailing, the real challenge was getting it published. His major setback was not being able to publish the app as a minor, but his parents helped him work a way around the strict guidelines and he was able to publish it on the iPhone app store. “I’m glad I worked hard on it because, in the end, it paid off,” he said.

Standout Student

What’s next?

Aditya hopes to attend Georgia Institute of Technology after graduating high school. He also plans to have his own app development or design company. “It’d be really cool to have a company of my own, where I’m in charge,” he said. This article was written and reported by Halimah Budeir, a junior at Fulton Science Academy and a Dunwoody resident. Editor’s Note: Through our “Standout Student” series, Reporter Newspapers showcases some of the outstanding students at our local schools. To recommend a “Standout Student” for our series, please email editor@ReporterNewspapers.net with information about the student and why you think he or she should be featured.

Classifieds | 21

OCT. 26 - NOV. 8, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

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22 | Community


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Trail, bridge proposals see revival

TO THE QUALIFIED VOTERS OF THE CITY OF SANDY SPRINGS: NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that on the 6th day of November, 2018, in conjunction with the state-wide general election, an election will be held at the regular polling places in all the election districts of the City of Sandy Springs, Georgia, at which time there will be submitted to the qualified voters of the City of Sandy Springs, Georgia, for their determination, the question of whether sales of distilled spirits or alcoholic beverages for beverage purposes by the drink should be allowed on Sundays between 11:00 A.M. and 12:30 P.M., as provided in Section j.1 of Article 1 of Chapter 3 of Title 3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. The ballots to be used in said election shall have written or printed thereon substantially the following language: Shall the governing authority of the City of Sandy Springs, Georgia be authorized to permit and regulate Sunday sales of distilled spirits or alcoholic beverages for [ ] Yes beverage purposes by the drink from 11:00 A.M. to [ ] No 12:30 P.M.?”’ Voters desiring to vote in favor of the question shall do so by voting “Yes,” and voters desiring to vote against the question shall do so by voting “No.” If more than one-half of the votes cast are in favor of the question stated above, the governing authority of the City of Sandy Springs, Georgia may, by appropriate resolution or ordinance, permit and regulate Sunday sales by licensees from 11:00 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. Otherwise, such Sunday sales during this time period shall not be permitted. The several places for holding said election shall be at the regular and established voting precincts of all of the election districts of the City of Sandy Springs, Georgia, and the polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on the date fixed for the election. Those residents of the City of Sandy Springs, Georgia, qualified to vote at such election shall be determined in all respects in accordance with the election laws of the State of Georgia. This notice is given pursuant to a Resolution of the Council of the City of Sandy Springs, Georgia, adopted on the 17th day of July, 2018.



A map of the proposed Marsh Creek Trail, shown in red, as displayed Oct. 17 at the Sandy Springs Conservancy’s “Thought Leaders” dinner at City Springs.

Continued from page 1 The group advising the city’s parks master plan process also has proposed trails and creating better connections with the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Areas. The north end task force proposed at its Oct. 18 public meeting a new trail called the “Greenline” and the same bridge that the Conservancy had pitched. There were few details about the “Greenline” released at the north end meeting, but it was envisioned as a paved, lighted and landscaped trail that would be for pedestrians and cyclists. The dovetailing of these projects by different groups shows the behind the scenes work being done to create more connections citywide. A citywide trail network is proposed in the city’s latest land-use plan, adopted last year, and some pieces are in the planning stage, including an extension of Buckhead’s PATH400 through the I-285/ Ga. 400 interchange. But the Conservancy wants to build a trail sooner. A feasibility study is already underway to study the Conservancy’s prototype trail at a cost of $30,000 to $40,000,

with the city and the Conservancy each paying half. City spokesperson Sharon Kraun did not respond to questions about how and when the city authorized its spending on the study. The proposed trail would run for less than a mile east-west along a wooded, swampy section of Marsh Creek in the area behind the Tennis Center and the 550 Abernathy Apartments. The eastern end would connect with a new 10- to 12-acre park that Aria developer Ashton Woods is donating to the city. Steve Levetan, the Conservancy’s outgoing board chair, said in an interview that he expects that park to be turned over to the city in two phases, with the first likely coming in the spring. The trail is shown as a partial loop, circling an area behind the Tennis Center that parks advocates earlier this year said could be improved as a green space, which Levetan says is indeed a related possibility. Along with existing sidewalks, the trail could broadly provide access between Roswell Road and the UPS headquarters area on Glenlake Parkway, and possibly to the North Springs MARTA Station.

SANDY SPRINGS NOTICE OF USE PERMIT Petition Number: Petitioner: Property Location:

Present Zoning: Request: Public Hearings:


U18-0004 Masoud Zahedi 400 & 0 Carpenter Drive Parcel #s 17 009000020326 & 17 009000020334 CX-3 Request for a Conditional Use Permit for self-service storage use. Planning Commission October 23, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council November 20, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. Sandy Springs City Hall 1 Galambos Way Sandy Springs, Georgia 30328 770-730-5600 SS

Community | 23

OCT. 26 - NOV. 8, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net Last year, the Conservancy revived another older idea: building trails along the Georgia Power Co. electric-line corridor across the city. Levetan said at the time that the group hoped to build a prototype trail there within five years. That project did not happen, and Levetan now says the Marsh Creek Trail project may inform the power-line trail concept.

Parks master plan

The city is nearing the completion of an updated parks master plan. Ken Dishman, a former city councilmember who is heading an advisory group for that process, said the group was aware of the Conservancy’s trail proposal. The group did not reveal the Conservancy’s trail or bridge proposals at its Oct. 16 meeting, but did discuss the need for more trails, which was a finding of a survey done by the master plan’s consultant. The survey initially used the wrong the study area, only capturing responses by residents in the city center, but was redone and now has input from 512 residents citywide. The survey essentially found that there is low use of parks and park programs, but high quality ratings. The survey also found the most support for building new trails and parks. Over 60 percent of respondents were “very supportive” of developing new walking and biking trails, new parks and purchasing land “to preserve open space,” the presentation said. One of the consultants, Steve Provost, said the city should considering participating in a concept study led by the Georgia chapter of the Trust for Public Land to build a trail and park network along the Chattahoochee River. Similar to the Conservancy’s plan, TPL and environmental groups are planning to build a pilot trail in Cobb County, while also building a master plan for the river corridor from Lake Lanier down to Coweta County. The consultants recommended having 12 acres of parks for every 1,000 residents, which would mean essentially doubling the amount of land from 253 acres to 487 acres, according to a pre-

sentation. Potential natatoriums, swimming pool facilities, could be considered on the north end and west side of the city. A natatorium near Morgan Falls was proposed at the north end public input meeting. Other needs, according to the survey results, include community gardens, outdoor pools, recreation centers or gyms, picnic sites, ropes course and an amphitheater, among a long list. The task force plans to present recommendations to the City Council in late November.

Chattahoochee River bridges

Improving access to the Chattahoochee River was strongly supported at the first north end public meeting, and one proposal addressing that unveiled at the Oct. 18 north end meeting would be to build a new pedestrian bridge over the river in the Morgan Falls area, which was proposed and studied in 2010 before stalling. That proposal received mixed support, with some people saying the city should instead revisit the stalled plan to build a pedestrian bridge parallel to the existing vehicular Roswell Road bridge. The Conservancy also proposed the same bridge at its dinner. Unlike the Marsh Creek Trail plan, there is no new study or timeline. Levetan said he just wants to float the idea again in modern times, when trails are more familiar to the public. He also noted that during the bridge planning more than eight years ago, the city’s Morgan Falls Overlook Park did not yet exist in that area. “So people didn’t have a vision of what this could be,” he said. The bridge would connect Sandy Springs with Cobb County and give access to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, which has trails of its own. The city’s Next 10 Comprehensive Plan calls for constructing a new footbridge across the Chattahoochee River within the next 10 years.


City of Sandy Springs


An Ordinance to amend the Development Code as follows: To amend requirements associated with building height in Sec. 3.4.3. Residential Multi-Unit; Sec. 3.5.3. Residential Mixed Use; Sec. 4.2.3. Office Neighborhood; Sec. 4.3.3. Office Mixed Use; Sec. 4.4.3. Commercial Mixed Use; Sec. 4.5.3 Shopfront Mixed Use; Sec. 4.6.3. Transit Mixed Use; Sec. 4.7.3. City Springs; Sec. 4.8.3. Industrial Mixed Use; Sec. 4.9.3. Commercial Corridor; Sec. 5.3.3. Perimeter Mixed Use Low/Mid-Rise; Sec. 5.4.3. Perimeter Mixed Use High-Rise; Sec. 5.5.3. Perimeter Medical; Div. 5.6 Perimeter Center Frontages; Sec. 6.1.3. Height and Mass; Div. 6.4. Protected Neighborhood Transitions; and Div. 6.7. Height Bonus; To amend requirements associated to conceptual plans in Sec. 6.1.1. Lot Parameters; Sec. 11.4. Subdivision Review; and Div. 12.2. Defined Terms; To amend Div. 6.3. Development Patterns: Cottage Court to allow townhouses; To amend Div. 6.4. Protected Neighborhood Transitions to allow access points through the wall for maintenance purposes; To amend connectivity requirements in Div. 10.3 Blocks and Access; To amend the use standards in Sec. 7.3.2.E. Personal Care Home; Sec. 7.6.1. Industrial Uses – Artisanal; Sec. 7.8.3. Drive-Thru Facility; Sec. 7.8.22. Accessory Structures; To amend Sec. 8.1.4. Parking Reductions to allow for reduction in bike parking; To amend Sec. 8.3.9. Signs Area Allocation and Sec. 8.3.12. Crown Sign to allow larger crown sign areas; and Sec. 8.3.16. Wall Sign to modify the placement requirements of wall signs; To amend Sec. 9.2.4.A.2. Buffer and Setback Requirements to clarify the intent and purpose of the impervious surface setback; To amend Div. 11.7. Nonconformities to add provisions for the result of government actions on the nonconforming status of a property; To clarify the applicability of Sec. 6.1.1. Lot Parameters; Sec. 6.5.2.C. Parking Location; and Sec. 8.2.10. Fences and Walls;




Wayne & Gina Elowe

Property Location:

315 Breakwater Ridge

Present Zoning:


To make minor amendments (such as correcting typographical errors or reorganizing text) in Sec. 3.3.2. Residential Townhouse; Sec. 4.3.1.A. Office Mixed Use (OX-); Sec. 6.1.2.B. Setback Encroachments; Div. 7.3. Residential Uses; Div. 7.4. Public and Civic Uses; Div. 7.5. Commercial Uses; Div. 7.6. Industrial Uses; Div. 7.7. Open Uses; Div. 7.8. Accessory Uses and Structures; Sec. 9.2.2. Stream Buffer Protection – Applicability; Sec. 9.2.4. Stream Buffer Protection – Land Development Requirements; and Sec. 9.4.2.G. Grading.


Rezoning from RE-1 to RD-18 to rectify an error on the zoning map

Draft documents will be posted on the City website: http://spr.gs/devcode

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission October 23, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council November 20, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.



Sandy Springs City Hall 1 Galambos Way Sandy Springs, GA 30328 770-730-5600

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission October 23, 2018, 6:00pm Mayor and City Council November 20, 2018, 6:00 p.m.


Sandy Springs City Hall, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs GA 30328, 770-730-5600

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