By Amy Wenk
A new year is about to begin but will the Church of Scientology’s case see a resolution?
The Sandy Springs City Council will for the fourth time vote on the church’s request to relocate its Georgia headquarters to the city. The meeting will be held Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 7840 Roswell Road, building 500.
The Planning Commission Nov. 19 recommended approval to rezone the church’s 32,000-square-foot building at 5395 Roswell Road to allow for religious services, but vetoed the renovation the Scientologists are seeking. Since the application was introduced, the church has asked to enclose the basement-level parking garage for more than 10,000 extra square feet but 30 fewer parking spaces.
The city has refuted the request on the basis it would leave inadequate parking onsite. Parking and traffic are major concerns of the at least 700 residents who have signed petitions opposing the rezoning.
The zoning process has been delayed since June due to revisions submitted by the church. Each proposal aims to gain approval for 43,916 square feet.
City officials would not comment on the upcoming vote when asked if the applicant has brought forth new conditions.
“I think we will get a good solution on Scientology,” said resident Bill Gannon in an early November interview. Gannon attends nearly every City Council meeting. “They have a legal right to practice their religion … That’s the law. In Sandy Springs, we have to know where the law is. I don’t want us to spend money on lawsuits.”