Editor’s Note: 2022 certainly promises to be another news-filled year, from a continued fight against COVID-19 to a debate over whether Buckhead should break off from Atlanta. Reporter Newspapers surveyed local leaders to hear what they think will be the biggest issues in the next 12 months. See all the predictions here.

Ronda Smith, President/Zoning Chair, Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods 

Sandy Springs has a long and continued reputation as a safe community which roots it to a quality of life that draws new residents and business interests and holds its long-time residents here. 

Planning an economic future and creating a balanced City of improved core mixed-use commercial areas while preserving that which has made neighborhoods special and an attractive place to live will be a challenge because the priorities of residents and commercial stakeholders may sometimes diverge. 

The fairly fixed framework within which our decision makers must guide future change and growth is pressured with: a scarcity of undeveloped land, high land prices for that which we wish to see improved coupled with today’s high construction costs. 

How will housing needs, more intense uses, density, infrastructure needs, public safety and environmental sustainability all be balanced with the market forces driving new economic development? 

Communication between leadership, residents and stakeholders must be clear, complete and timely for all to have the opportunity to be included in the conversations surrounding the future of the City. Whether it involves changing or sustaining that which affects our quality of life we all must be willing to contribute to and participate in what will create that future.

Ronda Smith

Ronda Smith is President/Zoning Chair of the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods.