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NOV. 25 - DEC. 8, 2016 • VOL. 10 — NO. 24


Sandy Springs Reporter


Perimeter Business ► Weather Company moving to Perimeter Center PAGE 5 ► New programs promote local video gaming industry PAGE 7 Family recipe hits shelves, Page 4

The holidays, Swedish style

Comp Plan gets down to details of input, parks, traffic BY JOHN RUCH


Playing the role of Sankta Lucia by wearing a candlelit wreath, Ella Sortino, 11, leads the Swedish Lucia Choir in singing Scandanavian holiday songs at SWEA Atlanta’s Swedish Christmas Market. The Swedish Women’s Educational Association’s Nov. 19 event, held at the Dorothy Benson Center in Sandy Springs, exposed guests to the culture, holiday traditions and handicrafts of Sweden. The market also offered activities for children hosted by the Swedish School of Atlanta. The musical performance was directed by Mia Peters.

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More. I just want to get everybody a better gift compared to years before. I don’t want to get them the same kind of gift. I want to upgrade. FRANCEIN TAVACKDI

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A passion for music See STORY on page 20

People tell us whether they will spend more or less than they did last year on holiday gifts. See Commentary, page 10

OUT & ABOUT Back to Nature Holiday Market Page 17

After 18 months of work through the “Next Ten” process, the city’s new Comprehensive Land Use Plan is nearly finished and discussions are down to details. But some of those fine points are big ones: a tougher traffic policy, better public input and a plan for a 20-acre park capping Ga. 400 on Pill Hill. The Comp Plan, as it’s commonly known, is a 10-year policy and planning document guiding land use and redevelopment. It serves as the basis for the city’s zoning code, which is being rewritten in a process that will kick into high gear in early 2017. The new Comp Plan also includes “small area plans” giving more detailed attention to Roswell Road, Perimeter Center, MARTA stations and Powers Ferry Landing. The final draft of the Comp Plan was presented by consultants at community meetSee COMP on page 14

Race to build TSPLOST projects begins BY JOHN RUCH

Fulton County voters’ approval Nov. 8 of a transportation-project sales tax boost was a big win for the city of Sandy Springs, which aims to spend more than $100 million carrying out nine programs and projects. Major wish list items — a PATH400 trail connection, Mount Vernon Highway roundabouts, and new sidewalks — can now be built. But the vote was only the beginning, as the city must now race to start all of the projects within the 0.75 percent TSPLOST’s fiveyear lifespan, and to complete them within seven years. It amounts to a complex meSee RACE on page 13

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City officials are seeking nominations for the city’s 2017 Humanitarian Award honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The award recognizes someone who embodies King’s history of character and service, according to a city press release. Nominees must live or work within the city of Sandy Springs to be eligible for nomination. “Dr. King embraced the philosophy of community service: helping those who need a hand up,” said Mayor Rusty Paul in the press release. “The Humanitarian Award gives us a chance to recognize today’s heroes who give back selflessly to our community.” The nomination form can be found online at Nominations are due by noon on Tuesday, Dec. 6. A volunteer committee will review all nominations and select the award recipient. The award will be presented during the city’s annual MLK Day Festivities on Jan. 16.


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The state has placed water-use restrictions in DeKalb and Fulton counties due to drought conditions, including limits on lawn-watering and a ban on outdoor fountains and non-commercial car-washing. “Today’s declaration is driven by an extended period of little or no rain and increasing dryness in the impacted areas,” said Richard Dunn, director of the state Environmental Protection Division, in a Nov. 17 press release. “What’s more, there is little hope for relief as weather forecasters expect an unusually warm, dry winter across most of the state.” Metro Atlanta is in its 22nd week of drought conditions, according to the state. DeKalb and Fulton are among 52 Georgia counties to get an increased drought response. The counties had previously been under an informational advisory encouraging voluntary restrictions on water use. Now they are under some mandatory restrictions. Restricted but allowed outdoor water uses include: ■ Outdoor landscape watering is only allowed two days a week, determined by odd and even-numbered addresses. Evennumbered addresses and properties without numbered addresses may water on Wednesday and Saturday between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. Odd-numbered addresses may water Thursday and Sunday between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. ■ Irrigation of personal food gardens at any time of day.

■ Irrigation of new and replanted plant, seed or turf may at any time of day for 30 days after installation. ■ Drip irrigation or irrigation using soaker hoses at any time of day, and handwatering with a hose with automatic cutoff or handheld container may be done at any time of day. Banned outdoor water uses include: ■ Washing hard surfaces, such as streets and sidewalks. ■ Water for ornamental purposes, such as fountains. ■ The use of fire hydrants, except for firefighting and public safety. ■ Non-commercial washing of vehicles. ■ Non-commercial pressure washing. ■ Fundraising car washes. For more information, see epd.georgia. gov/water-conservation.


Sandy Springs police officers will begin field-testing body cameras the week of Nov. 28. The department is testing body camera models from three different companies with the goal of selecting one and having all 70 patrol officers wearing them by late April, Deputy Chief Keith Zgonc told the City Council Nov. 15. Zgonc said the department recently issued a request for proposals from body camera companies and received five responses. Four companies were selected for interviews with police and city officials earlier this month and three of them made it to the field-testing round. Councilmembers asked about some of the legal and financial questions in the evolving field of police body cameras. Privacy rights of victims, suspects and officers is a big topic. City Attorney Wendell Willard said legislation around that is still evolving, but there will be a city policy on when and how officers use the cameras. A draft policy is already in place, Zgonc said, and a formal one will be ready for review in January. Another issue is storing the camera’s videos. Zgnoc said the department is leaning toward paying for cloud-based, off-site storage. The cameras are an expense and might need to be replaced every two years, he said. A nationwide push for police to wear body cameras has been underway in the wake of controversial police killings of civilians, such as the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014. Police in Atlanta, Brookhaven and Dunwoody are either wearing body cameras or are in the process of rolling them out. The Sandy Springs department previously tested body cameras in 2010 as part of a corporate deal with TASER, but did not adopt them as regular equipment. SS

NOV. 25 - DEC. 8, 2016

Community | 3

Plan for 28 townhomes to replace eight houses draws concern BY JOHN RUCH


A plan to replace eight single-family homes with a 28-unit townhome complex is drawing concern in Sandy Springs’ Glenridge-Hammond neighborhood. The city’s current land use plan, or Comprehensive Plan, does not allow such higher-density replacement housing on the properties, which are bordered by Hilderbrand Drive and Johnson Ferry and Harleston roads. But the latest draft of a new land use plan does allow it — a change made in just the last few months. That change was made partly due to the residents’ interest in selling out, said Assistant City Manager Jim Tolbert, though the city thinks it also makes sense as a “transition” area next to downtown. About 30 people attended a Nov. 21 preliminary meeting about the plan at the Sandy Springs United Methodist Church. The density of the population and related traffic were the top concerns. The plan involves demolishing the eight ranch-style houses for the townhome complex, which would have a driveway opening onto Hilderbrand. A plan shows a small “park” within the complex. “The land use on it currently doesn’t support that use,” said Doug Falciglia, an association member and an officer of the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods. The area is currently one of the city’s “protected neighborhoods,” meaning that any single-family house can be replaced only by another — though possibly bigger — single-family house. The intent is to preserve the city’s historic suburban neighborhoods. “[Something] we don’t want to see is special interests coming in and impacting the planning process … for their own good,” Falciglia said, noting that after developers and house-sellers leave, “The neighborhood is left with what’s there.” A rezoning document from developer Monte Hewitt Homes specifically notes that the new Comprehensive Plan, still in draft form as part of the city’s “Next Ten” process, would allow the density. An earlier draft land use plan from July still had the area as a protected neighborhood. Carl Westmoreland, an attorney for Monte Hewitt, said at the meeting that the project is “consistent with the proposed Comprehensive Plan,” without mentioning the project itself was a reason for the change. Questioned by a resident, he said the developer has no “authorship” of the land-use plan and noted it is not yet final. City spokesperson Sharon Kraun said earlier this month that the townhome plan “doesn’t have anything to do with [the land use map change] …. The two are not related.” However, Tolbert later said the city knew about the redevelopment project and was partly influenced by it in changing the “protected neighborhood” designation.

“We knew the neighbors were interested in” selling for the redevelopment, Tolbert said. “When you got eight people who decide it’s not a place they want to live,” the city considered changing the land-use designation, he said. However, Tolbert said, the change was made in response to the home-sellers’ interest, “not necessarily for the plan the gentleman’s got … I’m not sure it should be 28 units.” Many residents at the meeting didn’t think it should be 28 units, either. Monte Hewitt said he is open to rearranging the plans with such amenities as a street-front park, but indicated he is counting on the land-use plan and the 28 units to make his project work. Tolbert said the home-selling plan was not the only reason for the city to change the land-use designation. The city has switched as many as 100 properties in the latest draft of the land-use plan, which is still not final and can be changed some more. In this case, the city was looking at “edges” of neighborhoods, Tolbert said. “We’re looking for transitions” between residential and commercial areas where higher density or mixed-uses might work, he said, and the eight properties in question abut a bank and a car-parts store. Falciglia said residents have concerns

about a larger pattern of zoning changes that appear suited to a particular redevelopment or small group of businesses, such as a recent action allowing four car dealerships on Roswell Road to expand. “That reeks of special interests and tailoring things to it,” he said. The existing houses played a role in another recent development controverSPECIAL A map of the proposed townhome project between sy — the city’s Hilderbrand Drive and Johnson Ferry Road. plan to turn the Johnson Ferry/ urban homes, according to state and federMount Vernon Highway intersection into al officials. Due to the city’s use of federal dual roundabouts. funds, it could not take any of the homes The roundabouts were forced to be or property without potentially expensive drawn farther north, eating into the propmitigations. erty of the Mount Vernon Towers senior The historic character does not put any condos, because the houses are in a potensimilar restrictions on a private developer tially “historic” neighborhood of 1950s subsuch as Monte Hewitt Homes, said Kraun.

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4 | Perimeter Business ■

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

Father and son aim to add bloody marys to the craft cocktail trend BY JOHN RUCH

In a wood-paneled office on Lake Forrest Drive in Sandy Springs, prominent zoning attorney Pete Hendricks has hashed out real estate plans with such major metro Atlanta clients as Cousins Properties and Ashton Woods. Now that office doubles as the headquarters for a more personal business: Sister’s Sauce, a handcrafted bloody mary cocktail mix that Pete’s son Nat is making from an old family recipe. It’s named for a beloved bird dog who is depicted in an oil painting hanging over the office fireplace. “Over the years, we’ve served it to friends,” Pete Hendricks said of the bloody mary mix he first whipped up in college 50 years ago. “People kept saying, ‘You’re nuts not to do anything with this.’” A year ago, Nat decided to take the reci-

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pe commercial as a way to escape a corporate job for a more creative and personally rewarding line of work. “It encapsulates a lot of what I value— our family, our dogs,” Nat said. As a business, the Hendrickses aim to have Sister’s Sauce bring bloody mary mix into the booming craft cocktail and beer market. “The [craft] mentality hasn’t been applied to this yet,” said Nat, whose Sister’s Sauce label design advertises it as “bespoke” and “handcrafted one bottle at a time.” The bloody mary is a cocktail that mixes vodka and tomato juice with a variety of spices and seasonings, typically including horseradish, lemon juice, celery seed, pepper and Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces. A bloody mary mix is a prepared version of the tomato juice and seasonings ready for adding to vodka. Pete Hendricks developed his mix in the 1960s when he attended Washington JOHN RUCH and Lee University in Virginia. He said it Nat (left) and Pete Hendricks pose with a bottle of Sister’s Sauce under a painting was the “old-school Washington and Lee,” depicting the mix’s namesake, Sister the bird dog, at their Sandy Springs office. where food-servers dished out cocktails on interned for then-Rep. Nathan Deal, now As for what’s inside the bottle, Nat says Sunday mornings. One option was a tub Georgia’s governor. Nat ended up with a there are no secret ingredients, just “a very of vanilla ice cream with bourbon poured job at a logistics firm overseeing the imporclassic, simple bloody mary the way it over it; bloody marys were another option. tation of auto parts. He should be made.” “I got tired of drinksaid it was financially, but “Life’s complicated enough,” he said. “In ing these bloody marys not creatively, rewarding. a world of over-complication, this is simwhere I just felt bloated Looking around for ple.” when I was done,” Pete other options, Nat said, But it’s a finely tuned mix of the genersaid. “I started screwhe asked himself, “What ations, with the father’s old-school recipe ing around with concocif I start making dad’s refined by the son who talks in the modtions” and developed his mix?” ern language of “sustainable” and “holistic” own recipe. He got a commercial business. Pete said Nat “took the concocThe future Sister’s cooking certification, tion and refined it, but got all the junk out Sauce got one previous tweaked Pete’s recipe, of it.” It has no MSG or high-fructose corn public tasting in the earand began hand-bottling syrup, and it’s gluten-free, Nat says. ly 1970s, when Kathy the mix at shared kitchen While the Hendrickses can’t control Hendricks — Pete’s wife facilities, most recently at how people serve Sister’s Sauce, they hope and Nat’s mother — ran the University of Georgia. the attitude of simplicity carries over into a cooking and catering He dreams of opening his the garnish, which in many bars and resbusiness called Cook’s own “saucery,” a term he taurants is going well beyond the standard Corner on Buckhead’s coined for a mix-making celery stick and olives. Nat said he’s seen East Shadowlawn AveJOHN RUCH kitchen. “outlandish-looking bloody marys … with nue. Pete taught a course The label of Sister’s Sauce bloody The brand name came three chicken wings sticking out.” on his three special- mary mix features the dog Sister. naturally from Sister, The handmade Sister’s Sauce sells for ties: bloody marys, fried who belonged to a line of $15 a bottle — two to three times the price chicken and cole slaw. hunting dogs now in its eighth and ninth of the typical jug of mix available in groKathy’s kitchen also was an influence generations on the Hendricks family farm cery stores. Nat said his customers find it on Nat, who played at tossing together inin Starrsville in Newton County. Pete calls a fair price for a handcrafted family recipe. gredients. Sister, who died in 1990, “the love of my Sister’s Sauce launched a year ago at a “Mom would say, ‘You’re making polife.” She was important to Nat, too. pop-up shop in Midtown’s Ponce City Martions now,’” Nat recalled. “Literally his first word, clear as a bell, ket and is now available at specialty stores But Nat’s first career steps, a decade was ‘Sister,’ ” Pete recalled. around Atlanta, including Lucy’s Market in ago, headed toward government and comA painting of Sister decorates the mix’s Buckhead. For more information, see facemercial real estate. In 2006 and 2007, he label.

NOV. 25 - DEC. 8, 2016

Perimeter Business | 5

Weather Company moving corporate headquarters to Perimeter Center

Buckhead location Opening Spring 2017


The Weather Company is moving its corporate headquarters to the Perimeter Summit office complex in Brookhaven, according to a press release from Gov. Nathan Deal. The company, whose weather-forecasting products and services formerly included the now independently run Weather Channel, will relocate from Cobb County to 1001 Perimeter Summit Parkway in Perimeter Center in spring 2017, according to the press release. The move includes the creation of 400 jobs. “The Weather Company has made significant contributions in Georgia for more than three decades,” Deal said in the press release. “The company’s decision to expand its workforce in the metro Atlanta area is a reflection of our state’s ability to retain dynamic companies with our businessfriendly environment and highly skilled workforce. We look forward to our ongoing relationship with The Weather Company and its continued success in Georgia.” “We are pleased that The Weather Company has chosen Brookhaven, with everything our city has to offer, for its new headquarters,” said city spokesperson Ann Marie Quill. “The company’s decision to remain in Georgia and expand its workforce in Brookhaven will be a benefit to the city, the [Perimeter Center Improvement Districts], the region and the state.” IBM bought the Weather Company early this year. “The combination of technology and expertise from The Weather Company and IBM is progressing well as we create additional value for the clients of both companies,” said Cameron Clayton, The Weather Company’s CEO and general manager, in the press release. “The additional hiring and the move to a new headquarters are indicative of the support and investment that IBM is providing to attract and retain the best and brightest as we build this amazing business.” The Weather Company will be eligible for tax incentives if and when it actually creates the promised jobs, according to Stefaine Paupeck Harper, a spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. The company would be eligible for the “Quality Jobs Tax Credit,” with varying amounts depending on the salaries of the created jobs, she said. The company did not receive any city incentives for the relocation, according to Quill.

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For Braves, stadium traffic is a business decision BY JOHN RUCH

here,” he said. He noted that SunTrust Park will have about 9,000 fewer seats and many more As the April 14 Opening Day nears for entrances than the old Turner Field, nickthe new Atlanta Braves stadium complex named “The Ted.” Unlike The Ted, the new in Cobb County, many Sandy Springs resistadium is paired with a massive mixed-use dents and officials have voiced fears of trafproject called the Battery, featuring many fic jams. A common complaint is that the shops and restaurants. The idea is that trafteam is more focused on its stadium busific will be spread out, instead of jammed at ness than on its neighborhood impacts. game time, as many fans choose to come It turns out that the Braves have worearlier and stay later for shopping and eatried about traffic, too, because it could iming. pact stadium business. Evan Gitomer, the However, some Sandy Springs officials executive in charge of marketing and seatsay they are more concerned about the Batselling at the Braves’ SunTrust Park, sits in tery’s traffic impacts than that of the ballon traffic-planning meetings, he said at a park. Nov. 10 talk at Temple Emanu-El in Sandy Gitomer said the Braves also expectSprings. ed some traffic improve“Parking meetings are ments due to the ballpark not my favorite,” Gitomer being located closer to its said. But sales and trafnorth metro Atlanta seafic-planning departments son-ticket population. must work together, he He said that “55 percent said, because the Braves are of the people that come selling an entire fan “expethrough our gates come rience.” with a child,” leading the “What we learned is, team to assume fans will the experience doesn’t start travel from home rather when [fans] walk in the than from the workplace, doors,” Gitomer said. It incutting down on long-disSPECIAL cludes how long, and how tance travels from work Evan Gitomer, marketing painlessly, it takes them to centers such as downdirector at the Atlanta get to the ballpark, he said. Braves’ SunTrust Park. town. That’s one reason the Seat sales are “very Braves have made such good,” Gitomer said. He explained that changes as moving game start times back the goal in baseball is selling about half to 7:30 p.m., he said, a decision that came the seats as season tickets, and the Braves from a 12-day study of when rush hour are “well beyond half” now. He said comstarts to thin out. petition with Atlanta’s other sports teams Gitomer spoke about the stadium as with new stadiums is a factor, but baseball part of Temple Emanu-El’s community is different in deliberately keeping some lecture series. He’s a consultant with the low-priced seats. At SunTrust, the cheapest sports marketing firm Van Wagner Sports seats will be $6 and the most expensive will & Entertainment, hired by the Braves to dibe around $500. rect stadium marketing, starting with sellFans at Temple Emanu-El were eager ing the naming rights to SunTrust. to know whether they would be allowed Gitomer has worked in similar posito bring food into SunTrust games. Gitions for such teams as the NFL’s Philadeltomer said the team hasn’t decided yet phia Eagles and, most recently, the Orlanand that safety is a factor. do Magic basketball team. He talked about Regarding in-house concessions, the getting into the sports marketing business team is focused on quality rather than after seeing how games can bring people rock-bottom pricing, he said, contrasttogether with events that are “trivial” in the ing it with the Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s grand scheme of things. recently announced plans to sell $2 hot “You start to see this camaraderie that’s dogs. At SunTrust, he said, concession built,” he said. “You see people going to companies pay the Braves a flat fee, not those games and hugging complete stranga percentage of sales, so they have an iners.” centive to sell higher-quality food. However, the Braves’ move from AtlanResidents at the talk also were curita to Cobb has not always generated camaous about rumors of a grocery store joinraderie. About 250 people attended a Seping the Battery complex. Gitomer said tember forum in Sandy Springs to voice the Braves are in talks with two grocery concerns about traffic. At the Temple Emachains, but added that it’s a tough businu-El talk, a few residents expressed siminess driven by highly specific demolar fears. graphic statistics. Gitomer said that, while the Braves have “I wouldn’t say it’s impossible,” he their own concerns, they’re also comfortsaid of a grocer coming to the Battery. able with the solutions. “I would say I would anticipate one will “We’re in Atlanta. Traffic’s not great happen.”

NOV. 25 - DEC. 8, 2016

Perimeter Business | 7

Video game industry ‘ecosystem’ gets local boosts BY JOHN RUCH

ment industry. A video of the conference shows officials discussing the Georgia boom, with As Georgia’s video game industry more than 113 game development compabooms, so are local efforts to help organize nies operating in the state, up from eight in and sustain it. 2005, with an estimated $550 million ecoAn October conference at Sandy nomic impact. Springs’ Launch Media Network brought One of the biggest is Alpharetta’s Hi-Rez a hundred professionals together to share Studios, makers of the hit game “Smite.” ideas, and early this month, DeKalb CounA combat game, “Smite” has become an ety debuted a Film, Music and Digital Entersport that has highly skilled players comtainment Commission. peting for prize money in tournaments The efforts all are about developing “the fans can view online or on TV. media of the 21st century” the way metro Todd Harris, chief operating officer of Atlanta in the previous century developed Hi-Rez, said at the Launch Media conferthe likes of CNN and Turner, said Andrew ence that his company started with four Greenberg, who is one of the new DeKalb employees and now has 275, with plans to commission’s members as add 75 more in the next year. well as executive director of While “Smite” turns a the Georgia Game Developers few players into well-paid eAssociation. sports athletes, Harris said Launch Media is a video that gaming can connect game journalism, marketing people to coding and comand social networking computer jobs in general. pany that recently moved to “Gaming is basically a Sandy Springs from Buckgateway for many people head. On Oct. 12, it hosted a into technology,” he said at conference called “Exploring the conference. “For many the Ecosystem of the Gaming SPECIAL people, games are what light Andrew Greenberg, Industry.” that fire.” executive director “The purpose of the event Launch Media is planof the Georgia Game was to unite Atlanta leaders, ning another conference, Developers Association businesses, universities and with the Game Developers game development studios Association, next spring. to meet one another to discuss the impact The new DeKalb entertainment comof the gaming industry and its growth in mission is intended to foster the partnerGeorgia,” said Launch Media spokesperson ships and mentoring that draws employees Kathryn De Shields. into the industry and provides opportuAmong those attending were officials nities for them closer to home, Greenberg from the Georgia Department of Economsaid. ic Development; professors and students “DeKalb County was the epicenter of from Georgia State, Kennesaw State and the gaming industry in Georgia” in the SCAD Atlanta; and leaders of the state’s big1990s and 2000s, he said. Back then, he was gest gaming companies. lead developer of “Vampire: The Masquer“Launch Media is not only producing ade,” an extremely popular tabletop game jobs in Georgia, but they are supporting opcreated by White Wolf, a company based portunities for students, companies, and at the time in Stone Mountain. And today, gaming enthusiasts,” said Asante Brad“The county is home to astonishing numford, the Department of Economic Develber of creators,” including 600 film union opment’s liaison to the digital entertainmembers, he said.

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said. Republicans did score a victory in House District 80, which inGeorgia Republicans should broaden cludes Brookhaven and a slice of Sandy their party’s appeal to Latinos, Asians Springs, with Meagan Hanson defeatand African Americans if they want to ing incumbent state retain control of the Rep. Taylor Bennett by governor’s mansion fewer than 300 of the and the Legislature in 24,486 votes cast. the future, local politiJoseph Knippencal experts say. berg, a professor of pol“We need to reach itics at Brookhaven’s out and work with peoOglethorpe University, ple who aren’t Caucasaid while Democrats sian. It’s that simple,” like to claim HD 80 is a said State Sen. Fran swing district, “it’s basiMillar (R-Dunwoody). cally a Republican dis“We need to have a mestrict” where “a generic sage that resonates Republican beats a gewith these people.” neric Democrat for the Millar was re-electtime being.” ed Nov. 8 to a third term Knippenberg said representing District Hill’s “near death exFILE 40, which covers porGOP tate Sen. Fran Millar perience” is due to the of Dunwoody said while tions of DeKalb, Fulton rapidly changing deRepublicans mostly prevailed and Gwinnett counties. mographics of his disin the Nov. 8 election, state Although traditionaltrict and that some ReRepublicans will need ly a Republican strongto reach out to African publicans, such as Hill Americans, Asians and Latino hold, the district’s deand Millar, can no lonto ensure they keep their mographics have ger waltz into office power in the legislature. changed dramatically and will have to “break in recent years as mema sweat” in upcoming races and also bers of minority groups and transplants reach out to minorities. have moved to the suburbs. Millar, who voted for Trump, said Millar’s opponent, Tamara Johnsonthe contentious president-elect might Shealey, a Peachtree Corners Democrat have played a role in hurting some lowho ran on a platform that included cal Republican candidates in the metprotecting voter rights and being supro-Atlanta suburbs, such as in Cobb and portive of immigrants, received 44 perGwinnett. cent of the vote -- two more points than “For me, [voting for Trump] was she received when she ran against Milabout capitalism and the Supreme lar two years ago. Court,” he said. “And she didn’t do Millar denied Trump anything. She ran a ran a racist and anti-SeFacebook campaign mitic campaign and said and got 44 percent of “he’s not going to deport the vote. That is an area 10 million” undocuof concern for me,” he mented immigrants like said. he promised throughState Sen. Hunter out his campaign. InHill (R-Smyrna), whose stead, Millar said he bedistrict includes parts lieves Trump and his of Sandy Springs and administration will foBuckhead, won his recus on health care, edelection with only 52 ucation, lowering taxes percent of the vote over and transportation. Democrat and political “For the things that newcomer, communiare important to everyFILE ty activist and pediatric one, you have to offer a Dunwoody state Rep. Tom dentist Jaha Howard. solution,” Millar said. Taylor said the changing And with Cobb and State Rep. Tom Taydemographics of Georgia Gwinnett counties votmeans Republicans need to lor (R-Dunwoody) ran begin embracing ‘fiscally ing for Democrat Hillunopposed in District conservative and socially ary Clinton over Repub79, which includes pormoderate’ policies. lican Donald Trump in tions of Chamblee and the presidential race, Millar said state Doraville, cities known for their ethnic Republicans can no longer “take things and racial diversity and immigrant popfor granted.” ulations. He agreed with Millar that this “This is maybe a wake-up call,” he election might indeed be a wake-up call

NOV. 25 - DEC. 8, 2016

Community | 9

for state Republicans. “Georgia’s population is becoming more urbanized,” he said. “We had a large influx of immigrants from the Olympics who have now become citizens. We’ve got a lot corporations relocating here.” Rather than focusing on rural, mostly white constituents, Republicans will need to be more welcoming of being labeled “fiscal conservatives but social moderates,” Taylor said. Knippenberg said the state GOP may have to rein in rural lawmakers who might feel emboldened by a Trump presidency to continue to push for controversial socially conservative policies. “Republicans who have won in metro Atlanta need to figure out a way to persuade rural Republicans to not hang issues on them that will hurt them,” he said. An example is the Religious Restoration Freedom Act, vetoed by Gov. Nathan Deal last year, and heavily supported by Republicans living outside Atlanta’s blue bubble. “If the party is not competitive in metro Atlanta, it is not going to win the governor’s seat,” he said. The national Anti-Defamation League, with a Southeastern office in Atlanta, is tracking upticks of hate crimes across the country in the wake of Trump’s election. It condemned the appointment of Steve Bannon, former Breitbart News executive, CEO of Trump’s presidential campaign and now the White House chief strategist, warning of Bannon’s support of the alt-right movement, a “loose network of white nationalists and anti-Semites.” David Schaefer, director of Policy and Advocacy for the Latin American Association, which has an outreach center on Buford Highway in Brookhaven, said his organization still is analyzing Trump’s transition and his cabinet picks. “[W]e are responding in ways that will address the concerns of the community,” Schaefer said. “We are working with the Mexican Consulate [located on Chantilly Drive, just across I-85 from Brookhaven and Buckhead] to hold a series of community informational forums in the upcoming weeks.” Locally, two Cross Keys High School teachers recently were suspended after they were accused of making deportation threats to some students; Cross Keys is known for its many Latino students. Taylor said in a recent interview he voted for Trump but knew nothing of Bannon. “I had never heard of him … I know no history of this guy,” he said. “There’s a lot of rhetoric out there.” He asked people to “give everyone a chance” and said change in government moves like an aircraft carrier, or, in other words, very slowly. “We will have to wait and see what happens,” he said.

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10 | Commentary

Reporter Newspapers 

Our mission is to provide our readers with fresh and engaging information about life in their communities. Published by Springs Publishing LLC 6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 ■

Commentary / Holiday Spending


Do you plan to spend more or less on presents this holiday season?

Phone: 404-917-2200 • Fax: 404-917-2201 Brookhaven Reporter | Buckhead Reporter Dunwoody Reporter | Sandy Springs Reporter Atlanta INtown Atlanta Senior Life

Less, because of the financial situation and because our kids are older.


C O NTA C T US Founder & Publisher Steve Levene



About the same, or maybe a smidge more, because my kids are a little older and I like to treat them well.

Managing Editor John Ruch INtown Editor: Collin Kelley Editor-at-Large Joe Earle Staff Writer: Dyana Bagby

The same. I don’t give a lot of gifts. Every day is a holiday.


Copy Editor: Donna Williams Lewis Creative and Production Creative Director Rico Figliolini Graphic Designer: Soojin Yang

About the same. Why upset tradition? Both kids are in college and expenses are tight. It won’t be too lavish, money is going to college education.


Advertising Director of Sales Development Amy Arno Sales Executives Jeff Kremer, Janet Porter Jim Speakman, Janet Tassitano Office Manager Deborah Davis

About the same. We spend pretty consistently every year.


Contributors Kate Awtrey, Robin Conte, Justin Fedich, Phil Mosier

Free Home Delivery 60,000 copies of Reporter Newspapers are delivered by carriers to homes in ZIP codes 30305, 30319, 30326, 30327, 30328, 30338, 30342 and 30350 and to more than 500 business/retail locations. For locations, check “Where To Find Us” at For delivery requests, please email

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Less, because I bought everything big last year. It will be mostly toys this year for my cousins, my sister’s kid and my child.

More. I just want to get everybody a better gift compared to years before. I don’t want to get them the same kind of gift. I want to upgrade.



Less, because we are officially empty nesters now and Christmas will be smaller, a little more toned down this year. I would like to do an adult Christmas, just more practical gift giving.

advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or online do not necessarily represent the views of Reporter Newspapers or Springs Publishing, LLC. SS

NOV. 25 - DEC. 8, 2016

Commentary | 11

Thanksgiving: It’s all in the timing What I lack in cooking skills I make way. up for in organizational abilities. I put But at one week ahead of time, the those abilities to the test in November; business starts in earnest. That’s when basically, I plan the heck out of ThanksI begin to label all the serving dishes giving. and inventory my piles of My kids retreat with us ingredients. to the mountains for the And then, it’s four days holiday, the current deal ahead of time, and I must being that I cook and they cook something. clean. So I do, and even if it’s I admit that I would a make-ahead carrot and love to create the iconcauliflower purée that no ic Rockwellian turkey evone will eat, it is incredibly ery time, but I only get gratifying to have completone shot at it per year, and ed one dish. I proceed thusmy learning curve is way ly, one dish at a time, until slower than that. So I’ve the big day, when the main given up on this goal. I’d things left to do are shove also love to present a feast the turkey in the oven and for my family complete then turn something into with three buttery starchRobin Conte is a writer gravy. In keeping with my es, two orange sides, someand mother of four who personal Thanksgiving trathing green, and a choice lives in Dunwoody. She dition, I must perform these of homemade pies, but I’m can be contacted at tasks in my bathrobe. too lazy to do all of that. Now that the Big Day is You see, I’m a Type A behind me and I’ve manpersonality trapped in a aged to lounge my way Type B body. through the kitchen and The Parade, I I’ve therefore reduced my own excan confirm for another year that what pectations to their essence, and my holmaster cooks say is true: It’s all in the iday goals (not necessarily in this order) timing. are twofold: 1) produce an edible meal, and 2) watch the entire Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in my pajamas. And for someone who can’t boil an egg without referring to a recipe, meeting said goals requires a bit of planning. So I approach the fourth Thursday of November armed with lists, charts, a stack of cookbooks, a file of YouTube videos, and a highlighter. I start two months ahead of time by rummaging through my cabinets, looking for the menu that I’ve used for the Thanksgiving weekend for the past five years. Then I go to the grocery store and stock up on butter, wine, and cream of mushroom soup. Four weeks ahead of time, I am thumbing through recipe books, searching for something I can make four days ahead of time. Three weeks ahead of time, I am purchasing a new cooking tool — a potato ricer, for example ­— that is vital to the recipe that I can make four days ahead of time. Then, I am cleaning out my kitchen cabinets to make room for that new item (by discarding the older, smaller, and in all ways inferior potato ricer). Two weeks ahead of time, I am spending hours surfing the internet and watching top chefs who show me exactly how to create perfectly mashed potatoes and fool-proof cornbread stuffing, then bookmarking those videos to my “Thanksgiving File,” which I will revisit four days ahead of time. This is all much more satisfying than doing the actual cooking, by the

Robin Conte gets into her Thanksgiving Day cooking comfort zone by starting planning and preparations two months ahead of time.

Robin’s Nest Robin Conte




For many of us, the holidays bring the return of special foods. These are days to cook up favorite family recipes that tie us to our past. Some remind us of our youth. Others connect us to family members who came before and to those taking their first seats at the family table. Without these special dishes, the holiday season just wouldn’t be the same. We’d like to share a few of our readers’ special holiday recipes. If you have a family holiday favorite treat you’d like us to include, email the recipe and a little information about it by Dec. 2 to

12 | Community ■

Plan to replace Wendy’s with bank blasted as anti-pedestrian BY JOHN RUCH

A plan to replace a Wendy’s restaurant on Roswell Road with a SunTrust bank was slammed by the city Planning Commission Nov. 17 as out of character with the pedestrian-oriented City Springs project across the street. In a 5-1 vote recommending denial of the project’s variances, the commission agreed with a city staff finding that called the bank and its drive-through a “detriment [to] the public good via perpetuating a pedestrianhostile environment.” SunTrust next goes to the City Council for a final decision. The Wendy’s restaurant has operated for about 30 years at 6240 Roswell Road at the intersection with Johnson Ferry Road. SunTrust aims to demolish the restaurant and replace it with a branch bank relocating from 5898 Roswell Road at the Cliftwood Drive intersection. Bank officials declined to say what would happen with the bank’s current location. SunTrust spokesperson Katie Lopez said the proposed relocation is “a natural part of ensuring that SunTrust is able to maximize its market opportunities and meet the needs of clients in an efficient and effective manner. The 6240 Roswell Road location provides the convenience our clients want, while also allowing us

the space that better fits our needs.” City Springs, under construction on the other side of Johnson Ferry, is the city’s massive mixed-use development. It will include a theater, a new City Hall, shops and apartments, all tied into a larger master plan for a walkable, denser downtown. SunTrust’s project requires variances, according to city planning staff members, for the property’s two driveways — which lose any grandfathered status due to the new project — and for a proposed drivethrough ATM structure separate from the main bank building. SunTrust attorney Den Webb claimed that “we don’t think we need variances at all,” triggering some confusion as to whether he was challenging the commission’s ability to hear the case. Webb then argued that SunTrust deserves the variances from the “hardship” of designing the separate drive-through because it is safer for walk-in customers than putting drive-through lanes closer to the building. Webb also pointed to a recently built Chase bank at Roswell and Mount Vernon Highway, on the other side of City Springs, which has a similar drive-through and driveways. The city’s approval of that project, he said, is a precedent that shows the SunTrust bank also should be approved. City planning staff challenged Webb’s claim that no variances are needed. They

said the project plainly contradicts the peCraig Johns, the only commissioner to destrian-oriented demands in three masupport the bank, said, “I look at this and I jor governing documents: the Main Street say, ‘I’m not sure how the Chase thing got Overlay District, the City Center Master through, but it’s pretty much a mirror imPlan and the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. age” of SunTrust’s plan. If two businessWebb and city staff also debated what es are going to sact as bookends for City advice city officials have given about the Springs, he asked, why not banks? project. Webb said he met with city Public Commissioner Dave Nickels noted that Works officials and “they don’t object to while the Chase bank has a similar design, what we’re doing.” But Ginger Sottile, the its property appears to be larger, so the city’s planning and zoning manager, said zoning variance situation likely was not staff consulted their traffic engineer and identical. “he concurs with our determination.” Rhonda Smith of the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods testified that her group agrees with city staff that the bank project is “unsafe.” “Bank business models should not impede higher city goals,” such as the City Springs project, she said. The significance of the nearby Chase bank as a precedent was debated. It appears none of the current planning staff were involved in its SPECIAL A site plan of the proposed SunTrust branch at 6240 review and approval sevRoswell Road from its city zoning variance filing. eral years ago.

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Community | 13

Race to build TSPLOST projects begins Continued from page 1 ga-project that requires hiring more city staff, competing with other Fulton cities for contractors and figuring how to keep cash flowing to projects between county tax checks, the first of which doesn’t arrive until mid-May. “We’ve got a relatively short time to do an awful lot of projects here,” City Manager John McDonough told City Council in a TSPLOST update at its Nov. 15 meeting. “We can’t afford to sit around between now and next May.” McDonough and other officials gave the council an overview of strategies to prepare for the TSPLOST, which takes effect April 1 and boosts the county sales tax to 7.75 percent. (The tax does not include the portion of the county within the city of Atlanta, which passed its own, separate TSPLOST for a different project list.) The officials also gave updates on several significant TSPLOST projects, all of which lack specific timelines at this point, but now can happen sooner rather than later. The first projects to go into actual construction likely will be new sidewalks around the city by next summer, said Public Works director Garrin Coleman. Bryant Poole, the assistant city manager for infrastructure, said the TSPLOST projects amount to a “double” of the city’s regular capital improvement program. That means more city staff members are needed in public works, community development and finance, he said. TSPLOST funds can be used for such hirings, officials said. Asked whether enough contractors will

at once, in a way that makes sense, said city Communications Director Sharon Kraun. Then there’s the question of paying for it all between TSPLOST checks. Councilmembers floated various ideas, including using general funds — an idea that led City Attorney Wendell Willard to say, “Be careful” — and different types of bonds. McDonough said Willard, who is also a local state representative, is looking into legislation to authorize one type of bond that likely would draw political support from all north Fulton cities. But in the meantime, the city likely will bridge the gap with reserve funds and other existing sources, McDonough said, adding the starting sum likely will be “well into the six figures.” Some TSPLOST project updates: PATH400 This project would design and build a “missing link” between the popular multiuse trail in Buckhead and a northern extension that will be created through the Pill Hill medical center as part of the upcoming I-285/Ga. 400 interchange reconstruction. In a separate vote Nov. 15, the council approved spending $160,000 in matching funds to move ahead with design. There is no timeframe yet, but Coleman said it likely will take a year to design and construction may line up with the I-285/Ga. 400 project, slated to wrap up in mid-2020. “This is a big step for our community … This is really a monumental night tonight,” City Councilmember Andy Bauman said of authorizing a design start.


The house at 521 Hammond Drive was purchased by the city for a possible road widening and will be rented to a police officer in the meantime.

possible safety impacts at the Mount Vernon Towers senior condos. City Councilmember Gabriel Sterling urged officials to meet with residents as soon as possible, especially as the city doesn’t have to be as confidential about a self-funded project. “That was driving them crazy and driving me crazy,” Sterling said of the communication difficulties. Hammond Drive widening design Officials again emphasized this item is about study and right of way acquisition, not actual construction, for a potential Hammond Drive widening that is controversial in its neighborhood. “We’ll have an open, transparent opportunity for people to come in” and review the eventual traffic study and widening design, McDonough said. TSPLOST funds will be used to hire a consultant, McDonough said, but added he expects “a lion’s share of the funds will go to protective buys and right of way acqui-

sition.” “Protective buys” are city purchases of houses as placeholders for the possible widening, and the city has made several already. McDonough confirmed that one of the houses, 521 Hammond, in the meantime will be rented to a police officer chosen by “auction,” according to a previously council-approved plan. As of Jan. 1, “we’ll have one of our finest moving into that house,” McDonough said. Perimeter Center last mile connectivity McDonough said he expects to deliver a public presentation next month on an early version of this plan for multi-use trails— and right of way for possible alternative mass transit in the future—connecting Perimeter Center commuters to MARTA stations. Discussions are already underway with businesses about “public-private partnership,” he said. “I think we’re well on our way to implementing this,” McDonough said.


A dispute over the historic status of Magic Mike’s Automotive at 260 Mount Vernon Highway has delayed the Mount Vernon/Johnson Ferry Road roundabouts plan.


Mount Vernon roundabouts be available to do the work as every FulThe project to replace the Mount Verton city works on similar project lists, Mcnon/Johnson Ferry intersection with dual Donough said, “There will be for Sandy roundabouts has been stalled due to a disSprings.” pute over whether an auto repair shop in Besides getting an early start, he said, the project zone is historic. the city likely will have a “cadre of pre-auThe historic dispute matters due to rethorized design firms” to assign to various quirements attached to federal funds used projects. for the project. Poole confirmed that by <Branch name> Public notice and input on so many <Location> using TSPLOST money for construction, projects also can be a challenge for both<Phone> “those restrictions kind of go away” and it’s staff and residents. The city will launch an “good news on our ability to move ahead.” updated TSPLOST page on the city’s webHowever, there is still no specific timesite,, with a project frame. map. And it likely will hold combo meetThe project also has been controversial ings where several projects can be reviewed for a proposed right of way expansion and

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Comp Plan gets down to details of input, parks, traffic Continued from page 1 ings Nov. 16 and on Nov. 17 to the city’s Planning Commission, which recommended approval with various conditions. The Comp Plan next heads to a Dec. 6 City Council hearing. The draft can be viewed online at In general, the draft Comp Plan proposes retaining the city’s suburban neighborhoods and targeting the “small area plan” sites for higher density development. About 67 percent of the city’s land would be “protected neighborhoods” preserved as single-family homes, the consultants said. In the meetings, residents, commission members and the consulting team led by Rhodeside & Harwell highlighted several concerns and new details.

doing that to go along with the new zoning code, but nothing is in place. “Is there a phrase anywhere in there that says there is a commitment to public participation for clarity and for transparency?” asked Trisha Thompson, president of the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods. There is not, Tolbert said, adding that including such language is a good idea. The commission officially backed including that language.

Stronger traffic policies

The new plan calls for the city to take a stronger role in traffic and public transit policies. Consultant Joel Mann of Nelson\Nygaard said the city must expand the type of collaborative traffic and parking planning it recently leveraged Pill Hill hospitals into agreement on. The city also Land-use designations needs stronger policies on requiring streets to be open to bikes, pedestrians and transit changing without notice as well as cars, he said. One concern repeated by residents was Mann also pushed for the city to that land-use designation of some parcels “take a position” in favor of transit runchanged without notice since the previning through ous draft in July. the Hammond Especially conDrive corridor cerning were and connectresidential paring Cobb Councels switching ty’s Cumberto mixed-use or land area with commercial arDoraville’s Gold eas. One such Line station, he proposed change said. The city is has become conpreparing a controversial for betroversial study ing partly inabout widening fluenced by the SPECIAL Hammond and needs of an acAn illustration of the proposed park over Ga. 400 is buying houses tive redevelopon Johnson Ferry Road the Pill Hill medical center ment plan. area, from the draft Comprehensive Land Use Plan. there to reserve right of way. “It’s not finished,” Assistant City Manager Jim Tolbert told the crowd Park over Ga. 400 about the proposed land-use map. Any parAn eye-catching new detail was the procel designation can still be changed, he posed park over Ga. 400, south of the Johnsaid. son Ferry Road bridge and in the medical The current land-use, or “Character center area. Consultants from the Next Ten Area,” map can be viewed at thenext10. team likened it to a similar Ga. 400-capping org. The presentation does not include any park under consideration in Buckhead. highlighting of properties whose land-use designation changed, so residents should Moratorium until new examine it carefully and notify the city of zoning code is in place any concerns. Another question is what happens in the period between the adoption of the Public input methods land-use plan — likely around late FebCommissioners and members of the ruary — and the new zoning code, which public generally praised the new draft could be a gap of several months. If a develComp Plan. Commissioner Andy Porter oper filed for a rezoning, the current zonsaid he was looking forward to one of the ing code would apply; but if the new Comp plan’s main goals: making land-use policy Plan proposed a different use for the propclearer so that fewer rezoning cases come erty, it could raise questions about the city’s before the city. intent and which use should have priority. But that also means that residents won’t The Planning Commission’s approval have as many automatic chances to hear included a recommendation to put a moraabout and review redevelopments. Assistorium on use of the new Comp Plan until tant City Manager Jim Tolbert said the city the zoning code is done. likely will come up with some new way of SS

NOV. 25 - DEC. 8, 2016


Community | 15

Sandy Springs salutes Veterans Day




Sandy Springs saluted veterans at a Nov. 11 Veterans Day ceremony at the Concourse Center off Hammond Drive, where the keynote speaker was Marines Chief Warrant Officer 5 Edwin Harman III. A. Air Force veteran Andy Anderson stands and smiles as his service song is played.


B. Harman speaks to the crowd. C. The Sandy Springs Police Department Honor Guard carries the colors. D. U.S. Marine Corps veterans observe the centennial of the Marine Corps reserve. Among those participating were Police Chief Ken DeSimone, who also commands American Legion Post 140; City Manager John McDonough; City Councilmember John Paulson; and city Community Relations Manager Dan Coffer. E. Dr. Doug Huber, chaplain of American Legion Post 140, left, and Harman salute during the presentation of colors. F. The Honor Guard steadies the flags as the wind picks up.

16 | ■


10 am | Young Families Service | Sanctuary 12 noon | Communion Service | Kellett Chapel 1 and 3 pm | Family Candlelight Services | Sanctuary 6 and 8 pm | Traditional Candlelight Services | Sanctuary 8 and 11 pm | Candlelight Services | Summit

Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church is filled with love and energy- an inclusive congregation committed to spiritual growth through worship, study, fellowship, and service. WORSHIP : Sundays | Minister: Reverend Joe B. Martin 9:00am (“First Cup” service) 11:00am (traditional) Newly- established Spanish Ministry Program ministered by Reverend Ricardo Green. CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES : December 24th Family Service @ 5:30pm Candlelight Service @ 7:30pm Sign up for our monthly newsletter and weekly email! Email for more information.

3434 Roswell Road, NW | Atlanta, GA 30305 | 404.842.5800 |

471 Mount Vernon Highway NE, Sandy Springs, GA 30328 (404) 255-2211 |

All are welcome to celebrate the

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4:00 pm.......Mass (Children’s Liturgy) 4:15 pm........Mass (In Gym) 6:00 pm.......Mass (Life Teen) 8:00 pm........Vigil Mass 10:30 pm......Vigil Mass (Choral Prelude at 10:00 pm)


9:00 am.......Mass 11:00 am......Mass 1:00 pm........Mass in Spanish 7:00 pm.......Mass in Portuguese

7171 Glenridge Drive NE Sandy Springs, GA 30328 770) 394-3896


Saturday, December 3


Monday, December 5


Sunday, December 11


Wednesday, December 14


Friday, December 18


Saturday, December 24


Sunday, December 25

9 am-12 pm in the Fellowship Hall

Benefiting local partners in Buckhead community.

7-9 am, 11 am-2 pm & 5-7 pm

A service of scripture and music.


11 am in the Sanctuary 6 pm in the Sanctuary

9:30 am in the Sanctuary 6 pm in the Sanctuary

11 am in the Sanctuary

Invite a friend, relative, or neighbor to our community-wide events! More details at 2715 Peachtree Rd NE | Atlanta, GA 30305 404.266.8111 |

NOV. 25 - DEC. 8, 2016


Out & About | 17





University Museum of Art, 4484 Peachtree Road N.E., Brookhaven. More information:

part of Heritage Sandy Springs’ monthly Winter Classic music indoor concert series celebrating classical, jazz, and vocal music. Tickets at door: $5 HSS members; $10 for non-members. Heritage Hall, 6110 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs. More information:


Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

BALLET, TAP AND JAZZ DANCE Thursday, Dec. 1, 6 p.m.

The MJCCA’s J Dance Company will perform original ballet, jazz and tap dance choreography at a performance showcase. A second performance is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4. Tickets are $8 for the community, $5 for members. MJCCA’s Morris and Rae Frank Theatre at Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Tickets:

COMFORT AND JOY Dec. 2 and 3, 8 p.m.

Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus kicks off the holiday season with a festive choral performance that will include a first act comprised of new works and arrangements of old favorites written specifically for gay men’s choruses. Tickets: $15. The Cathedral of St. Philip. 2744 Peachtree Road, Buckhead. More information: voicesofnote. org.

ATLANTA CONCERT BAND HOLIDAY CONCERT Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church presents the Atlanta Concert Band for its annual Holiday Concert. Free. Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church Sanctuary, 471 Mt. Vernon Hwy., Sandy Springs. More information: contact John Arnold at 404-358-1966.


Dec. 11, 4 p.m. The Dunwoody United Methodist Church Chancel Choir, led by Rev. C.G. Walden III, brings new life to your favorite Christmas music. In the church sanctuary, 1548 Mt. Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Free. For more information:

GERMAN CHRISTMAS MARKET Saturday, Dec. 3, 11:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The 2016 German Christmas Market offers food and drink, live entertainment, Christmas craft activities for kids, a photo opportunity with Christkindl and St. Nikolaus, a large choice of gift items, and much more. Atlanta International School, 2890 North Fulton Drive, Buckhead.

Saturday, Dec. 3, 7-11 p.m.

HERITAGE WINTER CLASSIC Sunday, Dec. 11, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Indulge in the fine tunes of Joe Gransden with special guest Theresa Hightower as

This free event features musical performances, visits with Santa, Christmas & Hanukkah crafts, refreshments, lighting of the Christmas tree and a Hanukkah display. The city is also holding its first Wreath Contest, and winning entries will be displayed at city facilities. Deadline for submission is Dec. 3, and winners will be announced at Light Up Brookhaven. Attendees are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped gift for Toys for Tots. Blackburn Park, 3493 Ashford-Dunwoody Road. More information: brookhavenga. gov or call 404-637-0508.

Dec. 9 and 16, 5:30-9:30 p.m.


Sunday, Dec. 11, 4-5 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 8, 6-8 p.m.


Sunday, Dec. 11, 4 p.m.

SWINGIN’ IN THE HOLIDAYS WITH THE BRENT RUNNELS TRIO Join The Brent Runnels Trio for a festive afternoon of music in the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art. The trio features Brent Runnels on piano, Ben Bailey on drums and Kevin Smith on bass. Tickets $10; free for OUMA members. Oglethorpe

Meet talented entrepreneurs and local vendors selling holiday gifts galore. Visit the Nature Store for eco-friendly gifts, nature-related toys and games, and nature-related books. Free. Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Information:


Welcome the holiday season with the Jambalaya Cajun Band, sponsored by the Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association. A dance follows a free dance lesson from 7-8 p.m. Tickets: $18 adults, $5 students, $14 active military. Dorothy Benson Center, 6500 Vernon Woods Drive, Sandy Springs. More information:

Stroll along candlelit wooded trails connecting decorated historic homes such as The Smith Family Farm and the Swan House. Festive activities, a Holiday Market, and a visit with Santa are among highlights at the Atlanta History Center, which aims to take you back in time this holiday season. 130 W. Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta. Tickets: $10 members; $15 nonmembers; $8 for children. Purchase and information at


Celebrate the holiday season with Mediterranean cuisine, an international dinner auction, jewelry and other items for sale by local venders and a gently-used book sale. Congregation Or VeShalom. 1681 North Druid Hills Road, Brookhaven.

GLOBAL GIFT MARKET Sunday, Dec. 11, 12:30-5 p.m.

Just in time for holiday gift-giving, CoveContinued on page 18

COMMUNITIES OF FAITH Northwest Presbyterian Church

18 | Out & About ■ Continued from page 4 nant Presbyterian Church will host its popular Global Gift Market in the church’s Fellowship Hall. Expect hand-crafted gifts, jewelry, home décor, accessories and more for sale from Haiti and around the world, along with fair trade food products and baskets. Proceeds will support the efforts of Ten Thousand Villages and the LaGonave Haiti Partnership. Covenant Presbyterian Church.. 2461 Peachtree Road, Buckhead.


For the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Steve Twomey has penned a book about the 12 days leading up to the Japanese attack — the warnings, clues, and missteps. He’ll give a lecture about his book at the Atlanta History Center, 130 W. Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead. Reservations required. Reserve tickets online: Atlanta History Admission: $5 members, $10 non-members.

At Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, students are discovering everything, except their limits. All-School Open House Saturday, Dec. 3 11 a.m.

A college-preparatory school for students 3 years old through 12th Grade. Schedule your tour today. Visit

LECTURE: THE CONUNDRUM OF NAZI-ERA ART Wednesday, Dec. 7, 7-8 p.m.

Dr. Glenn Sharfman, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Oglethorpe University and a historian with a research interest in Holocaust and Jewish history, sheds light on the conundrum of Nazi-era art. Tickets: $5 general admission; free with Petrel Pass or OUMA member-

ship. Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, 4484 Peachtree Road N.E., Brookhaven. Information: event/lecture-nazi-art-degenerate-art-rather-see/.


Children of all ages are invited to participate in a workshop with Davio’s Atlanta Pastry Chef Qiana Davis as she teaches guests to build personalized gingerbread houses. The event benefits Toys for Tots. Admission is $40 per child, adult admission free. Each child will receive one gingerbread house to decorate, with decorations included, as well as afternoon snacks prepared by Davio’s Executive Chef Timothy Magee. Reservations required. Davio’s Phipps Plaza, Phipps Plaza, 3500 Peachtree Road, Buckhead. More information: 404-844-4810 or email to secure your seat.

WINTER DADDY-DAUGHTER DANCE Sunday, Dec. 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Girls in grades Pre-K to 6 are invited to dress up in semi-formal attire and dance the night away with a “date” — their father, uncle, older brother, etc. Prizes, dinner and dancing are included. Donations of winter coats will be collected. Tickets: community $50/pair, MJCCA members $35/pair. MJCCA Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Contact: Ilana Schlam, 678-8123727,

NOV. 25 - DEC. 8, 2016

| 19

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20 | Education ■

Justice Michael

North Springs Charter High School, senior

Open House Sunday, December 4th 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Register now at

DISCOVER GALLOWAY At Galloway, students (age 3-grade 12) are inspired to be fearless learners, to embrace challenges, and to discover more about themselves and the world around them.

Justice Michael has had a passion for music throughout his life. He started by playing on pots and pans as a baby. Justice has now been playing the drums for 14 years and has been playing the piano for two. Along with his brother and friends, he formed a funk/fusion band called Anonymous Da Band when Justice was only 9. Anonymous Da Band has won attention locally. The band played an 80-minute show at the Atlanta Jazz Festival, an annual festival celebrating jazz musicians. Anonymous Da Band played the festival last summer, and released their premier album, “The Odyssey.” They’ve also opened shows at the Mablehouse Amphitheatre for performers such as Chrisette Michele, Na-

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jee, Brian Simpson, and Pieces of a Dream, Justice said. ”The special thing about this band is the overwhelming humble spirit that surrounds them – hence the name Anonymous,” the Atlanta Jazz Festival

Standout Student

Justice Michael


said. “Each member is a master of his own instrument and they come together in perfection to share their awesome talents.” Beyond the success of his band, Justice has also performed individually in iconic venues. He competed in 2010 at the Amateur Night at the historic Apollo Theater in New York, where he took first place in the child star division, according to his web page, and he has provided half-time entertainment at an Atlanta Hawks game. In addition to his achievements outside of school, he continually contributes talent and service to the band program at North Springs Charter High School. He helps with the new music technology class and recording studio, lending his expertise and time to the music program. This summer, Justice attended Berklee College of Music’s Five Week Performance program in Boston, where he was awarded a scholarship for next fall. Justice also sees himself composing and producing music for other artists in the future. Along with his passion for drumming and music, Justice also enjoys gourmet cooking, ping pong, and deep sea fishing.

What’s next?

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Justice plans to continue studying music next fall at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He plans to study drums and performance and pursue his dreams of touring as a professional musician.

Coupon valid for $5.00 off retailer’s suggestedretail price per gallon of up to 5 gallons of Aura® Interior, Aura® Bath & Spa, ben® Interior, Natura® andRegal® Select Interior. Redeemable only at participating retailers. Must present this original coupon to red eem - no copies will be allowed . Limit one per customer. Prod ucts may vary from store to store. Subject to availability. Retailer reserves the right to cancel this offer at any time without notice. Cannot be combinedwith any other offers.. Coupon expires 12/31/2016.

This article was reported and rewritten by Olivia Koenig, a student at Riverwood International Charter School.

Vi s i t u s t o d ay :





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Classifieds | 21

Reporter Classifieds

To Advertise, call 404-917-2200 ext 110

SERVICES AVAILABLE Home Tending – Regular inspections of your unoccupied property. Call Charles, 404-2290490. Driveways & Walkways – Replaced or repaired. Masonry, grading, foundations repaired, waterproofing and retaining walls. Call Joe Sullivan 770-616-0576.


Matthew’s Handy Services – Small jobs and chores are my specialties. Shelves, organizers, carpentry, drywall, painting, and plumbing. Member of BBB – 404-547-2079 Email: Quinn Windows – Family owned and operated. Windows & home remodeling since 1980. or call 770-939-5634.

HELP WANTED Atronix Engineering, Inc. – Seeks a Controls Engineer to: Participate in the design and implementation of future control systems, system integration and implementation for new equipment and processes - designing Control System Architectures; Provide support to project teams, relative to design standards, responsible for installation, commissioning and validation of control systems; Making programming changes to PLCs (Allen-Bradley, Modicon, Siemens) under supervision of a senior engineer; Making programming changes to HMI systems under supervision of senior engineer; Troubleshoot and debug control systems and programs; Provide standby support for automated systems; Operate computer-assisted engineering or design software or equipment to perform engineering tasks; Confer with engineers, customers, or others to discuss existing or potential engineering projects or products; Design, implement, maintain, or improve electrical instruments, equipment, facilities, components, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, or domestic purposes. Must have Master’s Degree in Engineering. Please send resumes to Attn: Sarah Campanelli, 3100 Medlock Bridge Rd. Suite 110, Norcross, GA 30071.

Commercial Real Estate Services – Have a Commercial Building to Sell or Lease? Call Rick 678-209-3100. Proven local results.

CEMETERY PLOTS Three mausoleum crypts – Arlington Memorial Park, valued at $10K each. All reasonable offers considered. Contact John at 334-244-6808.

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22 | Public Safety ■

Police Blotter / Sandy Springs The following incidents and arrests represent some, but not all, of the reports filed with Sandy Springs police from Oct. 31 through Nov. 9 and Nov. 12 through Nov. 17. The following information was provided by Capt. Steve Rose of the Sandy Springs Police Department from its records and the information is presumed to be accurate.

R O B B E RY „„3400

block of Glenridge-Stratton Drive — On Nov. 15, a 32-year woman reported that she arrived in her apartment complex parking area around 4 a.m. When she got out of her car, she was approached by a man who had a gun. He took her purse, at which time she saw a second man remove her cosmetic bag from her car. She said she saw a third man as they left in a silver sedan. Another car near the victim’s appeared to have been broken into, leading the officers to believe that the woman may have interrupted the three men, who originally had intended to break into cars, but decided to rob her when she drove up.

B U R G L A RY „„600 Block of Highland Park Trail —

On Nov. 5, someone entered an apartment through a screened window in the bedroom. An officer found a TV unplugged in the center of the living room. The apartment had been ransacked. The owner was not at home, so items missing were not listed. „„900 block of Glengate Place — On Nov.

7, the resident said he was gone overnight and upon his return, found that someone had entered his home. A safe and documents were taken. „„4500 block of Lake Forrest Drive — On

Nov. 12, responding to an alarm, the officer found pry marks on the front door. It appears the would-be burglar did not get in. „„1600 block of Saddle Ridge Way —

On Nov. 14, the residents reported they left around 7:45 a.m. and upon returning home, just before 6 p.m., found that the home had been entered and gone through. Several items were taken. The home is on the market and had been shown recently. „„Gables Lane — On Nov. 14, residents

said a change jar was not as full as they had left it. They checked the home and discovered a considerable amount of money that had been stashed in other places in the apartment was gone. „„100 block of Highland Park Drive —

On Nov. 15, the 22-year-old resident said she was awakened with a noise, but assumed it was one of her roommates, so she ignored it. She returned to sleep but later found a window was bro- CAPT. STEVE ROSE, SSPD ken and blood was on the blinds. Nothing was out of place. It is not uncommon for burglars to cut themselves when they break a window in an entry attempt. It’s good DNA for the file to compare with later. „„7100 block of Peachtree Dunwoody

Road — On Nov. 15, someone forced entry into a storage shed and took an Echo leaf blower valued at $250. „„3100 block of River Exchange Drive —

On Nov. 15, between about 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., someone entered the apartment and took several items, including a TV, PS4, iPhone 6, $300 cash, and an HP laptop. The resident said she had opened the window the night before, but forgot to close it. The blinds were out of place and the screen was off, indicating the entry point. „„400 block of Glenmont Court — On

Nov. 17, someone entered the home and took a stovetop from the kitchen. No forced entry was found. „„900 block of Landmark Drive — On

Nov. 17, an officer responded to an alarm call and found two landscaping employees working, one in the front yard and one in the back yard. The officer also found that a rear door had pry marks indicating entry or an attempt at it. He detained and spoke to the two employees, as they could now be possible suspects. The landscapers were cooperative and allowed the officers to look in their truck and trailer. It is believed that when they showed up, they may have scared off a would-be burglar. The resident said nothing was taken.

THEFTS „„800 block of E. Powderhorn Road —

On Nov. 7, a 2007 Ford F-150 truck, recently purchased, was taken from a driveway towards the rear of the home. The truck’s keys were in it. The truck had loud dual pipes that woke the complainant when started up around 3 am. The stolen truck was later believed to have been used in a theft from a vehicle on Glenridge Drive about 5:30 am that same morning.

„„6000 block of Riverchase Drive — On

Sunday, Nov. 6, the resident reported missing jewelry. „„8725 Roswell Road — On Nov. 12, an

86-year old woman said she had been shopping and had unloaded her groceries into her car. She pushed the cart to the side and drove home. She then realized she had left her purse in the cart. She returned to the store, but the purse was gone. The parking lot video shows a white van pull up and two men get out. They noticed the purse, took it and drove away. „„1100 block of Hammond Drive — On

Nov. 12 at Fairfield Inn & Suites Marriott, a guest said that while she was out, someone took her Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv face crème from her makeup pouch. „„7900 block of

Colquitt Road — On Nov. 13, a 59-year-old man said someone stole his black Honda Civic from his apartment complex some time during the night.

THEFT FROM VEHICLES „„Five instances of theft from vehicles

between Nov. 5 and 6, and five instances of theft from vehicles between Nov. 12 and 17.

A S S AU LT „„800 block of Mt. Vernon Highway —

On Nov. 5, a 46-year-old woman reported that about 6:30 pm, she was walking her dog when she was struck in the side of her head with a chicken nugget. She told the officer that someone in a Jeep CJ-7 threw the nugget, which struck her in the temple area of the head and caused a noticeable headache. She declined medical treatment. Granted, we take this seriously because it could have been a bottle — but it wasn’t. It was a chicken nugget. „„1100 Hammond Drive — On Nov. 5, an

13, a 53-year-old man reported his car had been stolen from his garage during the night. He said the car was inside the closed garage, but he believes his kids left the door open when they returned home earlier. The car’s keys were inside the vehicle. A bike also was taken.

employee called police after being assaulted by another employee. The victim said he is a team leader and as such, addressed an employee because he wore an inappropriate uniform. The two were in the stockroom when the victim addressed the uniform issue. The other guy pushed the victim, then shoved him to the ground and hit him in the mouth. Other employees broke it up. The suspect left. The officer obtained video of the assault and turned it in. The manager of the store declined to give the information on the suspect to the officer until he consulted with Human Resources. It was an assault. Act like a leader. Would it kill you to provide SUSPECT information?

„„6600 block Roswell Road — On Nov.

„„6110 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road — On

„„600 block of Highland Park Trail —

On Nov. 13, a 26-year-old woman reported someone took her car from her apartment parking lot. „„900 block Bergeron Place —On Nov.

15, a business owner said two propane heaters, tower type, were stolen from outside the business. The heaters, each valued at $1,000, had been chained to the fence. „„Morgan Falls Road — On Nov. 16, a

24-year-old woman reported that she received a call from a friend who was coming into town and allowed her to stay at her residence. She said her friend stayed at her home, but later decided to stay at a hotel. After she left, the resident noticed her driver’s license and a debit card missing. She called her friend who said she had it and must have taken it by mistake. She drove to the hotel on West Paces Ferry to retrieve her ID and debit card. Two days later she discovered her corporate credit card missing too. The credit card had been subsequently used for about $6,000 in charges in and around the city, including the hotel room, which was rented in the victim’s name. The card issuer’s fraud department is working with her on the theft and fraud. The friend has vamoosed.

Nov. 7, cops were called to a hotel just before 6 a.m. They spoke with a woman who said she was assaulted by someone she knew as “Chance” and who was sharing the room with her. She said she was in the bathroom when Chance came in and demanded that she owed him $80 and ordered her to “get back out there and earn your money!” He then threw condoms at her. The suspect hit her and then stole $200 from her. The suspect fled prior to police arrival. The victim said she was leaving that day for Nevada, so the officer gave her the information she would need to pursue a warrant. The room had been rented by a man against whom police reported prior aggravated assault warrants. „„6401 Roswell Road — On Nov. 12, an

employee said a man came in and walked around the store a couple of times, then took a bottle of tequila, placed it in his sleeve and tried to walk out. The employee tried to stop him, but the man hit him a couple of times in the head and face before running down Roswell Road. The SS

NOV. 25 - DEC. 8, 2016

employee was seen by EMS for a swollen eye. „„Cedar Run — On Nov. 13, a 36-year-

old woman was injured while fighting another woman, according to her husband, who talked to officers at the hospital where she was being treated for a broken arm. The two women were sitting on a sofa. $200 cash was sitting on the sofa between them. The other woman picked the money up, which started the fight. The fight went from the couch to the floor, where the injured woman broke her arm. No one seems to know who the other woman was and why she was in the apartment. The victim and her husband were evasive when asked about the other woman.

FRAUD „„7840 Holcomb Bridge Road — On

Nov. 16, SunTrust Bank employees reported a woman presented a check for $7,800 to be cashed, along with a Texas ID and debit card. The teller became suspicious during the conversation with her and as such, the woman became nervous. She demanded her ID back, but the teller hung onto it. The woman bolted and got into a red, fourdoor vehicle driven by a man. The car had a temp tag. „„Nine other incidences of fraud were

reported between Nov. 12 and 16.

ing down a couple of road barrels. The officer stopped the driver and as he approached the car, could see she was on the phone. She said she was speaking with her ex-husband. The officer’s report said he noted a smell of alcohol. She said she was lost in the area, on the phone with her ex-husband, and trying to locate one of her ex-husband’s coworkers for a “booty call.” She was eventually arrested for impaired driving.

„„Another shoplifter at the same gro-

cery store was detained after he put some Advil down his trousers. He too was cited and given a trespass warning not to return. The Advil was recovered. same store after lifting some Sinex Nasal Spray ($6.79) and dropping it in his jacket pocket, then trying to walk out. Another citation and court date. He said he forgot to pay for it.

„„1600 Windridge Drive — On Nov. 6, po-

lice were called to a theft in progress, a suspect stealing rims off tires—something we’ve been having a lot of over the past several weeks. An update said there were two suspects. When the cops arrived, they saw one subject running between apartment buildings. The cops gave chase, yelling for him to stop. He didn’t. He ran right off the edge of a 20-foot drop onto some rocks. He got up and continued to run into the wooded area with two officers chasing him. He was caught without much difficulty. The second subject absconded. The arrested man ended up in the hospital with a back injury and a bruised lung. He remained a day or so in the hospital before being transferred to jail. Detectives said there were other charges pending against the suspect, and Brookhaven and

ARRESTS „„Long Island Drive — On Oct. 31, an

off-duty officer who was working an off-duty extra job at a construction area noticed a car driving erratically, evidenced by the fact that it was bowl-

cops were called about 2 a.m. to a restaurant regarding a drunk guy with a can of beer in his hand who wanted to fight just about everybody. Employees said that he came in with the beer and took exception of being asked to leave. He told the officers that he walked to th location from Lithonia and the restaurant didn’t serve him. He was arrested.

ter threatening to do harm at the Holy Innocents Episcopal School on Mount Vernon Highway. He was not on the school property when he made threats, but did so via text and/or e-mails. His vehicle was spotted and stopped by officers who took him into custody. There was a weapon in the car. Holy Innocents was in lockdown mode for a while and dismissed classes for

„„5565 New Northside Drive — On Nov. 12,




Sheldon Taylor, Regent Partners, Inc.

Property Location:

5900 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road

Present Zoning:



Rezone from MIX to MIX for the development of a hotel, multi-family building, and restaurant project with two Use Permits for increased height (hotel and multi-family buildings) and a concurrent variance for a reduction in required parking spaces.

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission - November 17, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council - December 20, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.


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

„„915 Crestline Parkway — On Nov. 6, two

friend has phoned her at work repeatedly and threatened her by telling her he could pay someone $600 to get her and the cops would have no ties. She was given information on how to file for a protective order. Okay here’s how that goes. The guys who pay $600 to someone to “take care” of others is quickly arrested because that $600 “Take-Care-Of” guy is going to be a moron or undercover cop.

„„8725 Roswell Road — On Nov. 14, the

„„On Nov. 9, one man was in custody af-

„„Yet another shoplifter was caught at the

„„A woman reported that her ex-boy-

a 19-year old woman said her car was vandalized by spray paint at some time after midnight. Painted on the car was the dreaded F-bomb and her initials. She said just before, she saw a juvenile next to her car.

the day.

woman was detained after grocery store security officers observed her stealing meat and eggplant(s) and then trying to leave. She was later cited for shoplifting items valued at $11.96 and released with a trespass warning and a court date.

store manager at a grocery said that a man went into the men’s room and sprayed liquid soap from the store container all over the floor. He said this was the fourth time this happened this month.

„„66 Northwood Drive — On Nov. 1,

Chamblee Police Departments were looking at him as well.

„„8725 Roswell Road — On Nov. 5, a

would-be thieves were arrested about 1:30 a.m. after a witness called the police after seeing two men looking into cars in the parking lot at a suites hotel. The complainant chased them to a nearby parking lot after calling the cops. (We don’t recommend this.) The officers checked the parking lot, finding a white SUV with feet sticking out from under the car. The officer finally rousted the two subjects up and spoke to them. One said he was homeless and the other said he was from Acworth and came to Sandy Springs to be homeless with his buddy while they drank. Although they were not seen breaking into cars, the area has a notable theft rate and so the two were arrested for loitering and prowling and taken to jail.



Public Safety | 23




FM Glenridge, LLC

Property Location:

6045; 6065; 6085; 6095; 6105 Glenridge Drive

Present Zoning:

R-2 (Single Family Dwelling District)


Request to rezone from R-2 to R-5 for the development of single family homes, with concurrent variances.

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission - November 17, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council - December 20, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.


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




City of Sandy Springs


An Ordinance to Amend Section 19.3, Administrative Permits, (Private Swimming Pools), of the Sandy Springs Zoning Ordinance

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission - November 17, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council - December 20, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.


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

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11-25-16 Sandy Springs Reporter  
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