The Sandy Springs City Council chose to instruct staff to begin the full design process for the “compressed” grid option for the Mount Vernon and Johnson Ferry intersection reconfiguration.
The grid concepts would change the unusual x-shaped intersection into two independent streets connected by the new, controversial cut-through road east of the Sandy Springs Library. The council previously delayed picking one of the two options, which also includes a full grid that would require the taking of most businesses on the south side of the intersection between Roswell and Boylston.
The compressed grid would likely save those properties, and an estimated $5 to $10 million on right-of-way acquisition costs. The full grid would create a miniature park of 2.4 acres. The compressed grid would save 0.8 acres.
The expected cost for the compressed would be $26.6 to $31.6 million, according to a city presentation. For the full grid, it would be $31.4 to $36.4 million, the presentation said.
Of the comments submitted at an Aug. 30 meeting, Alan Johnson, the city’s manager of projects funded by a transportation special local option tax, said 13 people were in favor of the full grid and 10 were in favor of the compressed. Many who chose the compressed option said they did so because of cost, Johnson said.
Councilmembers Tibby DeJulio and Jody Reichel preferred the full version. DeJulio worried the city would later regret constructing the compressed option. Reichel said many neighbors she has talked to are in favor of the full version, and that increased greenspace could be used for a dog park the city has previously considered.
Councilmember Chris Burnett said he is in favor of the compressed version because it would avoid taking businesses and comes at a lower cost. Councilmembers John Paulson, Steve Soteres and Andy Bauman made similar statements.
The council instructed staff to move forward with the compressed version and to try to save room for as much green space as possible. A full design will later come back for public input and city approval.
“This is not written in stone yet,” Bauman said.