Ameetav Nangrani, left, and his wife, Rashmi, were among the dozens of Crossroads area residents who attended and participated in the public open house on Aug. 30. (Bob Pepalis)

Residents of the Crossroads area within Sandy Springs’ Roswell Road Small Area Plan gave feedback at an Aug. 30 open house about the updated plan for land use and urban design concepts.

Ameetav Nangrani and his wife, Rashmi, were among the more than 60 people who attended the second Crossroads Small Area Plan Update open house on Wednesday night. He said they live in a new townhome in the Crossroads Small Area Plan under study by the city.

“This is really more for the old properties and some of the areas and trying to rehabilitate the properties,” he said.

Some of the people in the area around The Prado, where new multi-story buildings are proposed, may have objections, he said.

“But I think I think long term, it’s for the betterment of the whole of the community,” he said.

Since the first open house in April, the city has received a lot of valuable input, said Sukirti Ghosh, principal and urban designer for the city’s consultant, RHI. His company is a planning, urban design, and landscape architecture firm, working with the city on the Crossroads plan.

He said that community members liked the area’s location with access to and from Roswell Road and I-285, and its housing affordability compared to options in other parts of the city. They disliked rising housing costs, housing conditions, the area’s appearance, pedestrian safety, and traffic congestion.

They want transportation improvements, including walkability and pedestrian safety, better public transit options and facilities. The Crossroads area needs new and improved parks and green spaces, including play spaces, community members said in surveys, Ghosh said.

Major themes developed by RHI from that input included housing, maintaining the affordability of housing, improving multimodal connectivity, utilizing existing natural resource areas as opportunities for community amenities for expanding open space and recreational opportunities, expanding retail and restaurant options and enhancing the appearance of this area.

RHI created a set of planning and design principles to guide the development of the draft urban design plan unveiled at this week’s open house, he said. Those included protecting and rehabilitating workforce housing; showing feasible redevelopment options for opportunities sites, including the Prado; establishing a connected grid of streets as a framework for new development; creating compatible transitions between existing and new development; and transforming the Long Island grid floodway into linear parkland.

Buildings up to 10 stories tall near The Prado along Roswell Road would include residential above-ground-floor commercial space, with an emphasis on Hispanic businesses and culture, he said. Nearby buildings would taper down to three stories next to existing residential developments that would be protected and rehabilitated. Along the Long Island Creek floodplain, park space, and trails were suggested.

No zoning changes would be made with the final plan’s adoption by city council, Ghosh said.

Now the city wants local residents’ feedback on what should stay, what should change, and what they should develop, Crossroads area resident Rashmi Nangrani said.

“Overall, we think it’s great that they want to do this, and it’s good that they’ve involved us also,” she said.

Community members have until Sept. 15 to respond to a community survey using either the English comment form or the Spanish comment form.

The Crossroads study area is outlined in black, with existing neighborhoods designated for protection, preservation and rehabilitation. (Sandy Springs/RHI)

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