By C. Julia Nelson
cjnelson@reporternewspapers.net

The application for a proposed senior independent living facility at 305 Carpenter Drive has been withdrawn from the city until further notice.

Applicant Masoud Zahedi addressed the Sandy Springs Design Review Board during a regular meeting on Feb. 12 to submit a third revision of the application.

The new application for the 1.19 acre site called for a rezoning request from A-L (apartment limited district) conditional to AL (apartment limited district) for a 220 unit, 320,000-square foot building. It also included a request for a permit to exceed the maximum allowable height of six stories to build an 11-story building atop of a 3-story parking garage; twelve stories would be visible above street level.

Board chair person Colin Lichenstein expressed interest in getting more clarity from the applicant before moving forward with the new proposal and voiced his support of the staff recommendation to withdraw the application in the meantime.

“The changes are so great from the original application that I am inclined to agree with the recommendation (to withdraw the application),” he said.

Board member Marlise Landeck agreed. “It is not enough information for us to make an intelligent decision,” she said.

Zahedi first presented the site plan to the board in Oct. 2007, where it received a unanimous denial based on an excessive height request (26 stories), the need for buffers for the neighboring Campbell Stone Apartments and a high density (300 units) request. In Dec. 2007, the Planning Commission deferred the plan in request of a traffic impact study, after which, the applicant revised his application and site plan to include 10 stories and 170 units.

In Jan. 2008, city council deferred the plan to the Planning Commission’s Feb. 21 meeting, but instead the applicant revised his plan a third time and resubmitted it to the Design Review Board.

“A retirement facility requires a lot of amenities,” Zahedi said relative to the request for a permit to exceed the height requirement. “We have to have a certain number (of stories) to justify the project.”

Patty Berkovitz, representing the interests of the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods, spoke in opposition of the height of the proposed facility. “We support 10 not 12 stories,” she said.

Initially Zahedi opposed the idea of delaying the project any further, but eventually conceded to the will of the board in hopes to come back later with a more suitable application and site plan.

Based on the staff recommendation and request from the developer the Design Review Board unanimously approved a withdrawal of the application.

In other business, the Design Review Board also unanimously approved dimensions for a proposed banner to announce that businesses at the Prado Plaza are still open and issued a 12-month extension to Jan Saperstein, owner of the Sandy Springs Plaza, for future infrastructure improvements. The extension was awarded respective to the upcoming improvements to the Roswell Road streetscape project.