The Sandy Springs pig has flown.

Mayor Rusty Paul is the pilot.

After years of planning by our mayor and the Sandy Springs City Council, along with teams of consultants, planners, developers and builders, the new Sandy Springs has begun to rise.

Square One, at the corner of Hammond and Roswell, is a perfect example of our mayor’s vision of turning Sandy Springs into a high-rise Perimeter Center Improvement District. To a completely broken intersection, we’re adding hundreds of new residents and hundreds of cars in a grand box of a building. How are they going to get in and out or to and from Roswell Road? What quality retailer will open a business on the ground floor at this location?

The concrete block of the new parking deck at the corner of Mount Vernon and Sandy Springs Circle will forever be my entrance to the new City Springs. An ugly gray box. Who could think this is acceptable? What designer or builder could dream that this is what Sandy Springs should look like?

We’re holding our breath for Modera and other high-density projects near Roswell and Hildebrand, the projects at Cliftwood, new apartments on Roswell across from Steak ’n Shake, the new communities at Allen and Lake Forrest. The list will continue to surprise us with new high-density live/work/play communities that make it very difficult for us to live, work and play.

I know Sandy Springs tax coffers will swell. I understand that lobbyists, lawyers, consultants, developers and builders need to provide for their families. But we’re left holding the bag. We have to live here. We will have to fight traffic all the way to and around the city center and every place of business near it for years.

It borders on incompetence to allow all of this to be built without any significant improvement to our roads and only token “show and tell” public input sessions to address the “quality of life” issues which make a city great. It is hypocrisy to unleash this torrent of development and then say we must slow down and review our building codes. Or to say that next time around we’ll require developers and builders to have skin in the game for infrastructure with impact fees. Insult to injury is the pivot to the glorious Sandy Springs Next Ten vision project to distract us from the fact that the Next One, Next Two and Next Three are going to be hell on wheels.

The good news is that Mayor Paul is up for re-election very soon. It’s time for all of us to start thinking about having a mayor who cares more about the quality of life in Sandy Springs than the size of the purse you can make out of the ear of our beloved Sandy Springs pig.

Wil Johnson
Sandy Springs

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