While Sandy Springs’ new zoning code will get a hearing at the Aug. 1 City Council meeting, the adoption vote will wait until the Aug. 15 council meeting, according to Mayor Rusty Paul, clarifying a timeline that has caused some local anxiety.

Paul also said that councilmembers appear to be looking favorably on the latest draft code’s preservation of existing conditions attached to prior rezonings, a controversial point in community debates. However, the actual vote remains to be seen.

The city Planning Commission on July 20 voted to recommend approval of the Development Code, as it is formally called, with those conditions – but also with concern over the speed of voting on a not-quite-finished draft. Many residents and the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods expressed concern about the unfinished state of the draft as well. City planning officials at that meeting said the council wanted to move quickly — partly due to pending city elections that could cause mayor and council turnover — and that a vote could come as early as the Aug. 1 meeting.

However, since then there were signs the council would slow things down, including an Aug. 1 agenda with a staff memo requesting an Aug. 15 adoption vote.

In a July 31 interview, Paul said the Aug. 1 council meeting will devote a full hour – including public comments – to an unusually long hearing on the zoning code. There is council consensus for the adoption vote to follow on Aug. 15, allowing time for the public to review any post-hearing changes in the draft, he said.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.