Traton Homes developer Clif Poston met with residents May 28 to announce results from a traffic study and a cut of 17 homes from the proposal for 116 townhomes at 900 Spalding Drive.
Additional traffic, Poston said, would be negligible.
“It’s obviously a very busy road, but the additional traffic is not a substantial change,” Poston said.
Resident Angela Conliffe disagreed. “It’s already jam-packed and so I’m glad that you have done your own study; however, I would have liked to see the study because I cannot understand how this is not going to cause an impact to traffic in the community,” she said.
Members of the Spalding Woods Club voted in February to sell 11 acres of land to the developer to build townhomes, on the conditions that Sandy Springs approves the rezoning and the attorney general doesn’t object to the club’s dissolution plan.
City Planner Kevin Howard said the traffic study would be posted online for the public as soon as city staff reviews it and adds comments.
Conliffe compared the city’s work in easing traffic on Peachtree-Dunwoody Road to allowing a similar situation where people try “to feed in to make a left onto Spalding because of this development.”
The problems that exist within the system don’t “fall on individual developments,” Howard said. “When a rezoning application comes in, we can’t ask folks to make system improvements. That’s something that has to be done separately.”
Howard said a traffic study for the area as a whole has not been done by the city.
Lorraine Glynn, a Lafayette Square resident, said she believes Sandy Springs allows development without proper regard for the impact of infrastructure.
When people start complaining about traffic or blocked access to certain roads, Glynn said, then the city will go in and “rip up everything all over again to try and make it better.”
She said she would prefer the city and its planners take into consideration the effects before development starts.
Conliffe said development should be done “in a responsible way.” She added that the city government should ensure that the community’s interests are met. Safety for children leaving the high school remains a top priority for her.
“You’re backing up school traffic and endangering children’s’ lives [with the proposed development] because children are constantly crossing that street,” Conliffe said.
“It’s dangerous, and if you permit this to happen without looking at that intersection, then the city of Sandy Springs is responsible.”
Howard said city staff will review the traffic study before next month’s planning commission meeting and make recommendations for the mayor and City Council members, who will vote on the rezoning request made by Traton Homes.