The Sandy Springs Police Fleet Maintenance Facility on Roswell Road will have this style of security fence limited to portions of the property not visible from the roadway. (Sandy Springs)

The Sandy Springs City Council voted to approve a plan for security fencing around its future police fleet maintenance facility at 8475 Roswell Road that would use decorative security fencing for the sections visible from the road.

Jim Dwyer was one of a group of Huntcliff Trace residents who asked the council during its July 18 meeting to move the variance to the development code request off the consent agenda.

“I’d like to ask for more conversation about the appropriateness of a fleet maintenance facility in the currently proposed location near the intersection of Hightower and Roswell. As we understand the proposed concept, the facility is a pre-engineered metal building bordered on three sides by razor wire fencing,” Dwyer said.

The council agreed to move the item to new business and discussed the residents’ concerns with staff and consultants.

Dave Wells, director of Facilities/Capital Construction and Building Operations, said the fleet maintenance facility will include a pre-engineered metal building that will include office space and vehicle service bays. A fueling station, parking, an outdoor picnic area and above-ground stormwater management will be included.

He said a traditional ornamental picket fence with brick columns every 24 feet was planned for the fence at the front of the property along Roswell Road. The rear and sides of the property were to be enclosed by a 6-foot chain link fence topped with concertina wire as a security measure to prevent intruders from climbing the fence.

Shrubs will be planted along the front of the building and by the front fence. Overcup Oak and American Hornbeam trees that already are 10 feet tall will be planted along the front of the property and the building, and around the detention facility.

“What we did here to improve the aesthetics of the building is the side that is facing Roswell Road is brick. You’re not seeing metal panels on that side,” Jericho Design Group’s Yara Bond said.

Other properties considered for the fleet maintenance facility did not work. Well said originally they wanted to put it on the same property as the new police headquarters at 620 Morgan Falls Road along with the future firearms training center. Additional parking was needed for the municipal court, eliminating that possibility. Property on Trowbridge Road where Public Works houses its salt spreaders, salt deposits and other supplies would have required underground detention and a substantial retaining wall.

That led them to choose the Roswell Road site.

The city’s security consultant explained the need for fencing.

“This is a police facility no matter how you look at it. It has the same security concerns that we have at the police headquarters. And since this is a police facility, you’ll have police assets sitting in the yard,” Larry Latimer, the city’s security consultant with Next Level Engineering, said.

After discussion, the city council voted to approve the variance for fencing with concertina wire on the sides and back of the property, but with the stipulation that the more decorative fencing would be used along the portion on the south side still visible from the road.

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.