Sandy Springs City Council on May 21 approved zoning for a development of 62 townhomes along the 5800 block of Glenridge Drive, with prices starting at $350,000.

Some of the residents living around the townhomes say the prices are too low and will be a drag on the value of their $1 million brick homes.

City Council rejected those suggestions, approving the zoning after making minor changes to the townhome plan submitted by Pulte Homes, the site’s developer. The additional conditions for approval included adding brick columns to shield the neighbors from the development.

Chris Carlson, a resident of nearby Timberlane Terrace, said the neighborhood could easily support $450,000 townhomes and $600,000 single family homes.

“To be consistent with the newer homes and renovations taking place in our neighborhood, we feel very strongly that the $350,000 price point and starter home construction quality of Pulte’s proposed product is way too low,” Carlson said.

City Councilman Chip Collins disagreed, saying the price point is perfect for Sandy Springs.

Neighbors who spoke against the rezoning held up the Johnson Creek Townhomes along Roswell Road as an example of what they thought the development should look like.

Collins said Johnson Creek, at the intersection near Johnson Ferry and Roswell roads, is surrounded by residential development. The townhomes on Glenridge will be bordered by offices, in addition to single family homes.

“I don’t think it is a bad thing to add 63, $350,000 houses in Sandy Springs,” Collins said before voting to approve the project. “You’re talking about people who’ve got to be making over $100,000 to afford those. That’s exactly the kind of person that works in Sandy Springs. It’s exactly the kind of person we want to live in Sandy Springs.”

Garen Smith, Director of Land Acquisitions for Pulte Homes, faced a couple of gut-check moments as the City Council made last-minute changes to the site plans to accommodate neighbor requests.

Ultimately, Smith agreed to give up one townhome, reducing the plan from 63 townhomes to 62, and will have to build more brick columns to obscure the company’s lower-upper-middle-class development.

A few residents spoke in favor of Pulte’s project. Bill Collier, president of the nearby Sutters Point Home Owners Association, suggested the price point might be a good thing for the city, cutting down on traffic by giving people a shorter commute from work to home.

“I believe Sandy Springs needs more townhomes and condominiums at this price point in order to attract the young professionals who work in this area and hopefully encourage them to move into the area,” Collier said.