Residents of Sandy Springs’ Huntcliff neighborhood live well, Home Owners Association President Dane Seibert says.
The people living in the more than 450 homes surrounding the Cherokee Town and Country Club have all of the finer things in life within reach.
While the country club stands the center of the neighborhood, the residents also have their own clubhouse, where they can swim and play tennis. They ride horses at the Huntcliff Equestrian Center, a rival of the horse park in the Chastain Neighborhood. They hold impromptu dinners on high hills overlooking the hilly and winding streets of their neighborhood, located on the banks of the Chattahoochee River.
Seibert warns residents about those winding streets in his regular newsletter to residents. The rise and fall of the roadway creates a speeding problem. “I catch myself sometimes,” Seibert said while giving a driving tour of his community.
There aren’t any sidewalks in Huntcliff, raising the risk that a speeding driver could hurt a pedestrian.
Sandy Springs Public Safety Director Terry Sult said that the city’s police department receives numerous complaints about speeding in Huntcliff, but Georgia law limits what police can do. In Georgia, officers can only write speeding tickets at the bottom of a hill that is less than a 7 percent grade. Huntcliff’s topography makes it difficult to enforce speeding laws there, Sult said.
The Huntcliff neighborhood faces other challenges as well.
The horse stables near the Chattahoochee River have to be evacuated during heavy rains, as was the case May 19. The equestrian center is at the water level and Seibert said there are a handful of homes that are “challenged” by the river. Seibert said he and other neighbors received notice when the Federal Emergency Management Agency redrew its flood maps, but said those disputes have been settled.
Dispute resolution is something the neighbors are pretty good at, Seibert said.
Seibert likes to tell the story about the umbrella and patio furniture on the hill behind his house.
Before the furniture was there, the hilltop was home to a group of dead trees and tangled property lines. Neighbors chipped in, cleared the deadwood and created a communal space where they could share one another’s company.
“We had a dinner party up there last night, impromptu, had some friends over,” Seibert said.
Michael Fowler, who lives across the street, said at times the neighborhood feels so removed from the city that “it’s almost like being in the woods.” “We have the best neighbors in the world,” Fowler said.
The neighborhood is zoned for Woodland Elementary, Sandy Springs Middle and North Springs High schools. City Councilwoman Dianne Fries is also a resident and has lived in the neighborhood for 30 years.
“It’s an island, an oasis,” Fries said. “It’s heaven.”
The neighborhood has its traditions.
At Christmas, a fire truck comes around and one of the neighbors plays Santa, giving candy to the kids. On Memorial Day, flags go out in the yards.
There are parties for every occasion.
Seibert said sometimes there are parties for no reason at all.
“Great neighbors make for a very happy life,” Seibert said.