By Amy Wenk
Sandy Springs City Council’s decision to vote down, for the second time, a plan to redevelop Lakeside Office Park has cheered some residents.
The board, at their Aug.17 meeting, voted 5 to 1 to deny an application to remake the 26-acre office park on Glenridge Drive at the intersection of Ga. 400 and I-285.
“We were happily surprised,” said resident Christine Schroeder, who lives about 300 feet from Lakeside in the Glenridge Forest neighborhood. Schroeder collected 90 petition signatures from people opposing the redevelopment plan and spoke against the application at the August meeting.
Mark Sampl, transportation chairman with the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods, also said he was pleased with council’s vote. “We think the information and the facts spoke for themselves.”
Dist. 5 Councilman Tibby DeJulio said he was “totally against” the redevelopment plan due to concerns about increased traffic on Glenridge Drive.
“They are trying to put 6,000 to 7,000 cars where 6,000 to 7,000 cars shouldn’t be,” DeJulio said.
In 2008, the council also denied plans to remake Lakeside due to concerns about how much traffic would be generated. The case has been in court since.
Sandy Springs City Attorney Wendell Willard said the application would return to the Fulton County Superior Court. A judge will decide whether or not the zoning is constitutional, he said, and based on that decision, the application could go back before the council.
Dist. 2 Councilwoman Dianne Fries, who cast the dissenting vote, said she would like the city, the applicant and the surrounding property owners to come to an agreement “rather than leave it in the hands of a judge.”
Attorney Carl Westmoreland, who represents MetLife, the owners of Lakeside, said his client did not wish for him to comment on the council’s decision to deny the application.
The compromise plan was drawn up in an effort to resolve litigation with the property owners. The city itself was the applicant for the new plan.
The plan proposed to keep four of five existing office buildings and add 520 apartments, a 16-story office building, covered parking and a restaurant to the site.
“We feel Sandy Springs is a jewel but that everybody in the world is trying to cut it up for themselves,” said Schroeder, who bought her house on Pine Brook Road in 1991. “We don’t want a bigger kingdom. We want our village back.”