More than 70 Sandy Springs residents attended a public information meeting on the City Springs Master Plan update to add their opinions to the latest proposals for development and improvements in the district.
City staff and representatives from Pond & Co., the city’s consultant on the project, explained proposals for roads, sidewalks, trails and property development within the district, which centers around City Hall at 1 Galambos Way, during the Nov. 7 meeting.
A recurring theme for many comments left on aerial views of the City Springs district was a call for a more walkable area and no more apartments.
Community members who didn’t attend can still offer their own comments through the City Springs website. Surveys ask for input on recommendations made in three categories: Policy & Programs, Redevelopment & Investment, and Public Realm Improvements. The surveys will be open until Nov. 18.
Many residents have said they want the area to be more walkable, Jonathan Corona, the project manager for Pond & Co. said. The consultants will write the 10-year master plan update, he said. Suggestions and proposals were shown and explained during the meeting.
“So tonight, there are recommendations about programs and policies. We also have recommendations on some future redevelopment and potential investment opportunities for private developers as well as the city to partner with whatever those entities might be,” he said.
Other recommendations for the city itself to make would include streetscape enhancements, other multimodal enhancements and reinforcing a sense of place in the city with projects such as signage to create gateways to the city.
After the meeting and more online public comment, Pond & Co. will write a draft plan for City Council to review. When the final update is approved, the city can start implementing it, Corona said.
Many of the residents at the public information meeting live within the City Springs district or nearby.
“I’m looking mostly at the transportation and sidewalk issues, just because I live near here and I like to be able to walk here from my house,” Shanna Cook said. “And the sidewalks aren’t really good right now, where I come from so I was kind of looking at what are they planning?”
She wasn’t happy to lose her turn from Boylston Avenue onto Mount Vernon Highway, but traffic changes seem to fix the problem, Cook said.
“I sort of liked the cut-through behind the library. I know a lot of people fought against that,” Cook said.
The fact that the city is involving the community is a positive step, said Karan Vafadari.
He said that development isn’t necessarily a good thing. The city needs to take care of what businesses are invited to Sandy Springs and the City Springs district.
“It’s the same thing with future projects. They have to take their time to attract the right business as opposed to any business. Any development is not necessarily a good thing,” Vafadari said.