Hardship denied for planned house

The Sandy Springs Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) voted 5-1 Jan. 8 to deny the Vinings Building Group a variance to build a 5,919-square-foot single-family house on a half-acre lot in the 400 block of Conway Point Drive.

The builders asked the BZA to reduce the required 50-foot front yard to 45 feet and the required 20-foot side yard to 18 feet. An unnamed tributary of Nancy Creek cuts through the property.

Patty Berkowitz of the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods said: “The only hardship here is that this house is huge and the lot is small.”

Pete Hendricks, a lawyer representing the Vinings Building Group, said the variances are necessary because the lot is “very irregularly shaped.”

“I think the small amount of relief being asked certainly minimizes the harm to the public,” he said.

BZA member Al Pond, who will move to the Planning Commission in February, said there is “no way they can build this house without getting into the stream buffer.”

The builders also left a pile of debris on the site and should “be good neighbors” and clean it up, he said.

BZA Chairman Mark King said: “The issue before us is not the stream buffer. It’s the setback issue.”

He added: “I’m not sure a full hardship has been demonstrated here.”

BZA member Ruth Coan voted against the denial.

After two tie votes, the board also tabled for 30 days another variance request for Vinings Building Group to build a second single-family house of similar proportions on the same block of Conway Point Drive.

Dog park not open near Morgan Falls

The Sandy Springs City Council decided Dec. 9 to install a temporary dog park within 45 days on a 3-acre site the city leases from Georgia Power below Morgan Falls Dam.

That action won’t make the Jan. 23 deadline.

City Manager John McDonough said that while the temporary park isn’t up yet, “we’re working on it.” City staff recently visited the site with representatives of the Sandy Springs Conservancy and Georgia Power, he said.

The temporary site replaces a previous plan to put a dog park on part of a nearby 27-acre parcel on Morgan Falls Road overlooking Bull Sluice Lake.

City set to disband construction board

The Sandy Springs Construction Board of Appeals, which met three times in 2006 and has yet to meet again, will likely be merged with the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals after a discussion held Jan. 13 during a City Council work session.

“It’s a very expensive proposition to staff that board,” Director of Community Development Nancy Leathers said.

Lane Frostbaum, formerly vice chairman of the Construction Board of Appeals, will likely be appointed to a three-year Board of Zoning Appeals term vacated by Al Pond. Pond was appointed to replace Bob Wiley on the Planning Commission and starts his new post in February.

The City Council reappointed Board of Zoning Appeals Chairman Mark King and member Paul Real to four-year terms Jan. 20.