The proposal for a large hotel in Sandy Springs was heard at a Board of Appeals meeting on Dec. 10 and was approved for one of the needed variances, but the remaining two were deferred.

The proposed Mayson House Hotel, planned for the northwest corner of Abernathy Road and Glenridge Drive, requires a number of zoning variances, or deviations from the standards set in the city’s development code. 

The requested variances include on the loading dock location; on the height of the retaining walls, and on the transparency requirements, or the required visibility of the building.

Because the plan only needs zoning variances and not a rezoning of the property, the project is not required to go through a process of community meetings and City Council approval.

The developer, Glenridge Green Partners, LLC, requested a variance to allow a loading dock between the street and the hotel and to allow a retaining wall to exceed eight feet in height. The developer also requested to reduce the transparency requirements for the first four floors of the hotel facing Glenridge Drive.

City staff recommended approval for the variance on the height of the retaining walls and for the loading dock because there are extraordinary conditions due to the shape and topography of the site, according to a memo. But staff recommended denial of reducing the transparency requirements because they can easily be met by covering the stairwells and elevator shafts, the memo said.

The board approved the variance on the height of the retaining walls but deferred the decision on the variance for the loading dock and the variance on transparency. The board will make a final decision at a Jan. 14 meeting.

The hotel is proposed to have over 240 rooms; a conference center; a restaurant; and a rooftop bar and pool, according to site plans. The site plans also include a small, secondary building for an outdoor tavern that the developer is calling a “Biergarten.”

The planned hotel rests near land that was formerly Glenridge Hall, a mansion and heavily-wooded estate dating back 85 years in Sandy Springs, which was demolished in 2015 and now holds a number of redevelopments.

Hannah Greco

Hannah Greco is writer and media communications specialist based in Atlanta.