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Posted by on July 26, 2012.

City center planners studying public input

Sandy Springs asked the public for input on developing its downtown master plan.

The city of Sandy Springs’ downtown planning process saw a flurry of activity at the end of June, but has been quiet in July as planners examine the public’s suggestions and see if they are feasible.

David Dixon, principal-in-charge of planning and urban design for Boston-based Goody Clancy, said the firm wants to return within the next 30 to 45 days with its findings.

“We need to come back with something that is tangible and feasible in order to be fair to everybody at the next stage,” Dixon said.

Goody Clancy held three days of planning workshops at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School at the end of June, drawing hundreds of residents each day.

The city hired Goody Clancy to explore options for a downtown along Roswell Road, between Abernathy Road and I-285.

Debate largely has centered on property the city owns at 235 Johnson Ferry Road, a former Target store. Some residents want the city property to become a park.

Mayor Eva Galambos has long championed building a city hall there.

Dixon said the firm will need to match the suggestions with the data. If there is strong support for mixed use retail, the firm will look at its research and determine if that’s something the city could reasonably pursue, for example.

He said the firm would meet with city leaders first and then present its findings to the public. That meeting hasn’t been scheduled.

Dixon said the planners have learned some things about the city’s residents.

“One thing that is very interesting about Sandy Springs is people are very aspirational and they’re very realistic,” he said.

The final downtown plan is expected sometime this fall.

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