The Sandy Springs City Council on Aug. 21 voted 4-3 to settle a lawsuit filed by MLGP Lakeside over plans to develop the property at 5775 and 5795 Glenridge Drive, with Mayor Eva Galambos casting the tie-breaking vote.
Under the city’s charter, the mayor only votes when there is a 3-3 vote on the council. Councilwoman Dianne Fries, Councilman John Paulson and Councilman Gabriel Sterling supported settling the lawsuit. Councilman Chip Collins, Councilman Tibby DeJulio and Councilwoman Karen Meinzen McEnerny voted against it.
That lawsuit has its roots in a 2007 zoning application which the city denied in 2008. The developers in 2010 filed a new plan for the 26-acre property, which the city also denied.
The new site plan the City Council approved on Aug. 21 calls for 520 residential units, 8,000 square feet of restaurant space, 700,000 square feet of office space and 42,000 of additional commercial space.
That’s a 40 percent reduction in the office density, developers said. The council in July deferred settling the case because it did not feel the public had enough prior notice.
Doug Dillard, an attorney representing the Glenridge Hammond Neighborhood Association, asked the council to amend the zoning application to increase the buffer area between the development and neighbors. Dillard said the city had discretion to amend a judge’s consent order requiring the city to rehear the application. Richard Robbins, an attorney representing the developer, said the company couldn’t afford to lose any more space than it has already given up.
Collins, voting against the settlement, said the city had complied with the consent order and it did not require the council to approve the zoning application. Sterling, who voted to settle the lawsuit, said the development followed the city’s zoning laws, leaving the council no other choice but to approve the settlement.