Monday’s public meeting was more presentation than input but residents did have their say.
The first of three public meetings, this week, was held at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School.
After a presentation hosted by master planning firm Goody Clancy on various looks for a new downtown area, resident Christine Schroeder asked about uses for older apartment complexes and the idea of getting pass-through commuters to actually move to Sandy Springs.
“I don’t mind if we have higher density downtown,” she said. “I’m just not hot on the idea of more rental units and more people in Sandy Springs, unless you can assure me that you are going out in the community and will get rid of some apartments that are not in this [downtown] area and turn those areas into parks.”
David Dixon from Goody Clancy tried to describe new rental housing that will be established in Sandy Springs. “This is an utterly different market than the rental housing you’ve been addressing. It is a whole segment of folks who would rather rent than own,” he said. “This is high quality housing stock.”
Longtime resident Bill Cleveland wondered if the planned charettes through Wednesday will be effective. “This is my fifth charette, fifth study since 1997,” he said. “This community either changes an progresses or dies. And we all pay for that failure.”
Cleveland also complained about the danger of crossing traffic on Roswell Road.
During the presentation, Jeff Smith, an engineer with Kimberly Horn Associates discussed medians to create safety when crossing the road, and emphasized transit uses for the downtown project.
During breakout groups at the first public input meeting in May, residents said they want the new downtown to include green space, arts and culture venues, connectivity to parks and walkability.
Are you attending any of this week's meetings? Do you think residents' feedback will have an impact on the overall project?
Meetings continue today with a morning meeting from 7:30-9:30 a.m. and 5-7 p.m. Attendees will work in small groups to map a specific vision for Sandy Springs’ downtown. [Both sessions will cover the same agenda.]
A daylong session will be held from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Wednesday. The Goody Clancy team will be available to answer questions. Team members will have an informal presentation using community feedback so far. Presentations will be made at 9 and 11 a.m.; also 1, 3 and 5 p.m.
The sessions are in the Media Center at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School at 510 Mount Vernon Highway.