A draft of issues and ideas that will be addressed in Sandy Springs’ new zoning code will be presented at a special City Council meeting on Tues., March 29.

The presentation will not include an actual code, but will include “analysis of the issues we have with the current code, along with ideas on how we might address [them],” said city spokesperson Sharon Kraun. The forthcoming Unified Development Code is still being written by city-hired consultants.

Examples of possible “form-based” zoning that defines building types, shown in the draft Sandy Springs Unified Development Code presentation.

The presentation, which is already available on the city’s website, includes a number of new ideas. Some big changes: form-based zoning that regulates size and shape of buildings; eliminating zoning overlay districts; creating separate Perimeter Center Improvement District zoning areas; and expedited zoning reviews in certain areas to speed redevelopment.

Another new idea: a “neighborhood ‘compact’” or agreement that residents will support redevelopment in major commercial areas and developers will avoid big projects in residential neighborhoods. The draft presentation says that agreement would allow redevelopment “with as little friction as possible—follow all of the new rules and get your permits—in trade for conservation of the stable residential areas of the city.”

The specially called City Council meeting with the draft zoning presentation will start at 5:30 p.m. on March 29 at City Hall, 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500.

The new zoning code is part of the city’s “Next Ten” planning process, which is also developing a new citywide land-use plan and several neighborhood-specific plans. A public workshop for one of those “small area plans,” targeting the existing North Springs MARTA station and a potential future Northridge Road station, will be held March 28, 6-8 p.m. at the Sherwood Event Hall, 8610 Roswell Road.

John Ruch

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