Plants mattered Sept. 10 in Sandy Springs.

That night Zainabia Islamic Education Center located on Hope Road went before the city Board of Appeals for preliminary approval to redevelop its facility.

The nonprofit has operated as a place of worship in Sandy Springs for 12 years and is looking to replace two circa-1960s buildings with one, “more architecturally-pleasing” structure, said Zainabia construction committee member Vick Gardezi. In order to do that it must obtain five variances from the city to exempt the center from zoning and tree ordinance requirements for its parking lot.

But because the proposed plan nixed some landscaping, the board was hesitant to approve the variances and tabled a decision for 30 days. The application will be heard again Oct. 8.

It “seems like to me there are several opportunities to put in trees,” said board member Ruth Coan. “We are trying to have tree islands for a reason.”

— Amy Wenk