A map of the proposed Glenn West redevelopment on Glenridge Drive.
A map of the proposed Glenn West redevelopment on Glenridge Drive.

Despite city staff recommending an approval of its Glenn West project, developer Ashton Woods sought and won a deferral at the Sept. 17 Sandy Springs Planning Commission meeting to negotiate with neighbors concerned about traffic and density.
“We have asked that the case be pushed back a month,” said Carl Westmoreland, an attorney for developer Ashton Woods. “We met with a group of the neighbors [Sept. 9] and discussed a list of issues” and will respond to them, he said.
Some of those residents previously indicated a willingness to sue Ashton Woods over another project across Glenridge Drive at the future Mercedes-Benz USA headquarters site. A 30-day time limit on filing that suit appears to expire in mid-September and no lawsuit has emerged, Westmoreland said.
“I have heard absolutely nothing about an appeal,” Westmoreland said.
Hakim Hilliard, an attorney representing a group of residents concerned about the Mercedes-Benz-related project, and Matt LaMarsh of the Mount Vernon Woods Homeowners Association, who has previously discussed a possible lawsuit over that project, did not respond to questions. LaMarsh reportedly attended the recent Glenn West meeting.
The Glenn West project at 6500 Glenridge Drive would redevelop largely wooded land as 123 units of detached and multifamily housing along with new ball fields for the Mount Vernon Presbyterian School.
Trisha Thompson, president of the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods, said she attended the Sept. 9 meeting between residents and representatives of Ashton Woods and the school. She said residents criticized the project’s density, among other issues. Ashton Woods indicated that “minor adjustments” in the plan might be possible, she said.
Thompson said she believes Ashton Woods is trying to avoid a repeat of the situation next door, with the threatened lawsuit over density and lingering public outrage over the property’s seller, Caroline Glenn Mayson, demolishing the family’s historic mansion.
“My thoughts are, the applicant, Ashton Woods, does not want to go through the firestorm of public hostility that was caused by the razing of the Glenridge property,” Thompon said. “I think they would not like to have that raging opposition.”
Dr. J. Brett Jacobsen, the head of school at Mount Vernon Presbyterian, said he feels that talks have been “extremely collaborative.”
“Traffic and the long-term implications continue to be a point of discussions,” along with property buffer issues, Jacobsen said.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.