A six-month moratorium on major rezoning applications in Sandy Springs ended Jan. 19 as the City Council took no action to extend it. In a hot development market, that opens the gates to more major projects to move forward.

The council imposed the moratorium in July, barring rezoning requests relating to apartments and commercial, business, office and mixed-use classifications. The council was concerned that the existing zoning code and land-use plans—both of which are being rewritten—are inadequate in handling major new developments.

The council did not discuss the moratorium’s end and did not need to take any action to let it expire. “It’s over,” city attorney Wendell Willard said after the meeting.

During the moratorium, the council approved a set of interim guidelines defining mixed-use developments, which had been a particular challenge in rezoning cases.

Councilman Gabriel Sterling indicated during a comment period that the council will consider shrinking the monthly cap on the number of rezoning permits the city will accept from the current seven to five, to avoid overwhelming city staff who had requested an extension of the moratorium earlier this month.

John Ruch

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