With a tie-breaking vote cast by the mayor, Sandy Springs City Council decided to delay consideration of a zoning request that would allow construction of a driveway connecting the parking lot of a medical building to a neighborhood street.
The building fronts on Glenridge Drive. The building’s owner asked the council to remove a zoning condition prohibiting connecting the commercial building’s parking lot with Glenforest Road, a street that runs alongside the property and into an adjacent neighborhood.
The proposal riled residents of a neighboring subdivision. Several dozen residents packed the City Council chambers Dec. 4 to show they opposed the driveway.
Resident Doug Falciglia said the office complex should drop plans to build the new driveway and instead do what other businesses do– hire an off-duty police officer to stop traffic to allow cars to get in and out of its parking lot.
But Mayor Eva Galambos said she would vote for the delay in order to give representatives of the developer and local residents more time to discuss the proposal to see if they could reach an agreement.
Her vote broke a 3-3 tie with council members John Paulsen, Dianne Fries and Gabe Sterling voting for the delay and council members Chip Collins, Tibby DeJulio and Karen Meinzen McEnerny voting against it.
Galambos told the residents they should take advantage of the situation to try to upgrade the entrance to their subdivision.
“I think you’ve got an opportunity to get a nice entrance…,” Galambos said. “I think there are a lot of things you can negotiate out of this.”
The decision to delay the vote drew loud boos from the audience.
Afterwards, residents gathered in the parking lot outside City Hall to discuss their frustration.
“I just seems like they talk about it and postpone and talk about it and postpone,” Glenridge Forest resident Michael Pearson said. “It’s almost like they think they’ll wear us down.”
Resident Dan Skill said residents would continue to negotiate with the building’s representatives over the traffic.
“I don’t think we have a choice,” he said. “The problem is we have been talking with owners of the building for years. I don’t know what’s going to change by the next [council] meeting, but we’re going to find out.”