The city of Sandy Springs has announced its public hearings for zoning cases, which have been mostly on hold since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March, will resume later this month via a hybrid model.

In a Jan. 4 news release, the city stated the public hearings will resume Jan. 19. Due to the outbreak, they were suspended in April, when all in-person meetings were postponed, and held only twice since then (at the Aug. 18 and Oct. 20 city council meetings), city spokeswoman Sharon Kraun said.

Under the hybrid model, public hearings will resume through a virtual format, but residents who cannot participate in a public hearing using remote online tools can join the meeting through a digital connection at City Hall.

“We are doing everything possible to safeguard health while fulfilling our responsibility to responsive and accountable government under Georgia’s open meetings laws,” City Manager Andrea Surratt said in the release.

Under the special hybrid model, the city’s council, planning commission and board of appeals meetings will be live-streamed, with the council and commission members attending remotely. Individuals wishing to address these boards on zoning matters can do so one of three ways:

Video conference via Zoom: All speakers must register to speak by noon on the day of the meeting and must call in at least 10 minutes before the meeting starts.

Written comments: Comments should be submitted by noon on the day of the meeting. These comments can be read into the record or submitted in written form using the public comment form found on the city’s website: http://bit.ly/3b9rbEW.

In-person comments: An individual can opt to address the commission body in-person in the Studio Theatre at City Springs (1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs). They will speak from a podium, with comments live-streamed to the commission members, participating in the meeting from remote locations. Only individuals speaking will be admitted into the Studio Theatre during comment periods to minimize the potential for gatherings. Masks will be required, except for the speaker at the podium.

Agendas for all city meetings can be found online at http://bit.ly/3b9rbEW. A link to the live stream for each meeting is contained within that meeting’s agenda.

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