A former Home Depot CEO won’t get his 12-acre estate annexed into Sandy Springs from Buckhead after Gov. Nathan Deal earlier this month vetoed legislation enabling the move.
The annexation attempt involved 1250 and 1290 West Garmon Road, a multimillion-dollar mansion and estate on the Atlanta-Sandy Springs border owned by Robert Nardelli, the former CEO of Home Depot and Chrysler Corporation. This year, the General Assembly approved two bills enabling the estate to be removed from the city of Atlanta and annexed into Sandy Springs.
While the legislation was technically public, the annexation was not publicized beforehand. Some Sandy Springs officials said they learned of it only from Reporter Newspapers coverage, though state Rep. Wendell Willard (R-Sandy Springs), who is also the city attorney, was among the bills’ co-sponsors.
In a May 9 veto statement, Deal cited a need for more discussion about the annexation.
“I do not feel that these bills received the proper amount of discussion during the legislative session and require more time for all parties to discuss the effects of these bills,” the governor wrote. His office did not respond to a request for further comment.
Nardelli did not respond to a comment request made through his current company, XLR-8, and Willard declined to comment.
State Rep. Beth Beskin (R-Atlanta) said that Nardelli approached Atlanta legislators with the annexation request about a year ago. She called it “a boundary cleanup, public safety matter,” noting that “this property is literally a peninsula that sticks up” into Sandy Springs. As the only property on the street that is not in Sandy Springs, she said, there was concern that first responders to emergency calls could be confused.
“I don’t want to talk about any particulars I may have discussed with Mr. Nardelli,” Beskin said when asked whether Nardelli had experienced such emergency response issues, but added she is “under the impression there were incidents or events.”
But, Beskin said, her decision to support the annexation was driven by the logic of putting all properties on a given street into the same city. “It has nothing to do with the particular landowner,” she said.
As for the governor’s veto of the annexation, she said that “apparently, we need to do more discussing about it.”