Sandy Springs council members hear final plans for city center
by Savannah Weeks
sweeks@mdjonline.com
November 21, 2012 11:15 PM | 605 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SANDY SPRINGS — Sandy Springs residents may finally see the beginnings of a downtown area if the city council approves the Boston-based planning firm Goody Clancy’s final plan for the city center.

Goody Clancy representatives David Dixon and Ben Carlson presented a final proposal to the council at its Tuesday work session.

The firm will host one last open house Nov. 13 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the council chambers for the public to hear the final plan, ask questions and become engaged in the process.

“We came to understand the importance of identifying and creating a stronger sense of place in this community,” said Dixon.

He said initial goals included creating a space that was supportable by a market and creating a greenspace.

“We learned that an active and walkable space was very important for folks — places that bring people together,” he said. Part of this vision includes a 3-acre city green, a 0.1-acre outdoor dining space and a 5.3-acre city square.

Carlson said the city center plan included about 15 acres of greenspace, altogether.

The city green and square plan was modeled after cities with the same plan, like Asheville, N.C., Alpharetta and Woodstock.

Carlson said he heard from residents who did not think Heritage Green offered enough space, hence the need for a larger city green.

In terms of parking, Carlson said the city center would include about 140 parking spaces at Heritage Green and about 400 spaces at the planned civic facility/civic green area.

Much of the plan includes on-street parking with some structured parking, which will be hidden by buildings.

About 27 percent of the current space planned for the city center is designated for parking, but only about 15 to 20 percent of the new city center space will be for parking, according to Carlson.

Goody Clancy expects 85 percent of the market looking to move in to be young people who are likely to utilize public transportation.

To serve these people, Carlson suggested the city partner with the Buckhead Community Improvement District in providing a shuttle service from the city center to MARTA stations and other public places.

“The key is branding the service as different than MARTA,” he said. The plan also includes an expanded bicycle network, which would provide extensions to the Sandy Springs and Dunwoody MARTA stations, and a connection to Abernathy Drive.
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