Developer Ashton Woods is stirring controversy for another plan to turn former Glenn family land on Sandy Springs’ Glenridge Drive into single- and multifamily housing paired with a major institution’s plan.
The “Glenn West” project at 6500 Glenridge Road, which puts 123 homes alongside new ball fields for Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, is right across the street from where Ashton Woods plans a variety of housing around the future Mercedes-Benz USA headquarters.
Neighbors already unhappy with density and traffic impacts of the Mercedes plan aren’t thrilled with 80 townhomes, 43 single-family homes and five new driveways coming to Glenridge Drive. About 60 residents expressed concerns at an Aug. 27 Community Developer Resolution Meeting at Sandy Springs City Hall.
The 36-acre site is largely wooded, with a forking stream running through it. The property is part of the former Glenn family estate that once covered nearly 500 acres. The pieces Ashton Woods and Mercedes are acquiring, on the east side of Glenridge, is being sold by family member Caroline Glenn Mayson, who also controversially demolished Glenridge Hall, the family mansion, earlier this year. The Glenn West parcel, on the west side, is being sold by Tom Glenn and his wife Lou, according to Dr. J. Brett Jacobson, the head of school at Mount Vernon Presbyterian.
At Glenn West, the school would take 10 acres for a new multi-sport field and softball diamond. In part, that clears room for a new high school building. School officials say that won’t boost the cap of 750 students allowed on that campus, but will increase the number who currently attend.
The project requires rezoning to allow the townhouses, and variances to let the school’s field encroach on a street setback and a stream buffer.
Neighbors questioned Ashton Woods’ density calculations—which include the ballfields—and traffic numbers. They generally opposed the multifamily component.
Mike Busher, a senior vice president of Ashton Woods, said demand is driving the multifamily part. “Certainly, I feel [the mood] from the room that one more [multifamily project] is too many,” he said, but added the market shows a “huge underserved need for Perimeter housing” of that type. In a later interview, he said Ashton Woods will continue to negotiate with neighbors.
The project will go before the city’s public Planning Commission on Sept. 17. For more details, see the project filing on the city’s website.