Atlanta City Councilmember J.P. Matzigkeit says he has “deep concern” about the traffic and stormwater runoff impacts of the campus expansion plan by Holy Spirit Catholic Church and Preparatory School.

Writing in his June newsletter, the councilmember for Buckhead’s District 8 did not take a position on the plan, but said he’ll pay attention to its process.

Atlanta City Councilmember J.P. Matzigkeit.

“I respect and appreciate the fine work Holy Spirit Prep does, and I’ll always honor the role of religious institutions,” Matzigkeit wrote. “But as the council member for District 8, it is my job to have concerns about the impact of this plan upon our residential neighborhoods. I’ll be watching very closely to see how it unfolds.”

Kyle Pietrantonio, head of school at Holy Spirit Prep, said Holy Spirit officials met with Matzigkeit last year to preview the plan and again on May 2 to discuss a revised version and answer his questions.

Holy Spirit has a controversial plan to expand its Buckhead campus at Mt. Paran Road and Northside Drive onto an adjacent Sandy Springs site. The proposal includes relocating its Lower School from elsewhere in Sandy Springs, as well as a parking deck and church-related buildings.

The main plan will go through a zoning permit process in the city of Sandy Springs, but the city of Atlanta – and Matzigkeit – could have a role in reviewing the stormwater management plan and a proposed retention pond on the Buckhead side of the property.

“As one who cares about protecting the livability of our neighborhoods, this is a matter of deep concern to me,” Matzigkeit wrote about the expansion plan. “One of my chief concerns is the traffic this would generate in the area of Mt. Paran Road and Northside Drive. There’s also the matter of rainwater runoff that will impact our streams and sewers.”

Matzigkeit noted the “heated disagreement” between Holy Spirit and many local residents, including over a disputed 2003 agreement that barred expansion onto the Sandy Springs site. Holy Spirit says the agreement is technically invalid and a new deal could be reached.

Update: This story has been updated with comment from Holy Spirit.

John Ruch

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