By John Schaffner

Voicing its objection to having only five days to review the 280-page document, the Sandy Springs Planning Commission failed to act on the Comprehensive Plan Draft Community Agenda which it was to have voted on at its May 24 meeting.

Instead, the commission set a “special called meeting” on June 7 at which it will work on recommendations to be forwarded to City Council for its work session on June 12.

Commission members Lee Duncan and David Rubenstein were most vocal about not having had enough time to review all aspects of the plan, only having received their copy of it on the Saturday before the Thursday meeting.

It was pointed out that members of City Council also received their copies on that Saturday, but they had until June 12 to review the document.

Commission Chair Roger Rupnow, who was a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Comprehensive Plan, wanted to vote on issues involving the various nodes in the land use part of the plan. However, he agreed it was unfortunate the commission had not had more time to review the documents.

Vice Chair Bob Wiley, who also was a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee, felt the plan “pretty well represents” the views of the community and wanted to send it on to council with no vote of the commission.

Pointing out that no board or commission of the city is likely more impacted in its work by the Comprehensive Plan, Donald Boykin expressed that the commission has a responsibility to send its input on the planning process to City Council.

In addition to the June 12 City Council work session review of the plan, there is a second public hearing scheduled for June 16 and council is scheduled to take action on the plan June 19. It then will be sent on to the Atlanta Regional Commission and Georgia Department of Community Affairs for review. The deadline for completion of the process to set the city’s Comprehensive Plan is December 1.

In other action at the May 24 meeting, the Planning Commission voted to defer for 30 days an application by Southern Gentry Development LLC to rezone property at 5270 Greenland Road to allow for development of 31 single family residential lots and a church.

The “church” would not be a church, but rather a rectory that would house a total of 12 priests. It would be their living quarters and used only for their private services, not for public services. In Sandy Springs, a rectory is not allowed as a primary use in this zoning designation, but a church is allowed.

Developer Robert Donner wants to place the rectory in the subdivision as a charitable act and stated that those who have expressed interest in moving into the neighborhood have no objection to it. The surrounding High Point Civic Association also supports the idea.

Wiley opposed the idea referring to it simply as a group home.

The commission approved an application by the Second Church of Christ Scientist to rezone the property at 347 Carpenter Drive to allow for a church in the existing building. The commission approved the application, but required the applicant to conform to the city’s policies for sidewalks and streetscapes.