Key transportation projects, including the Georgia Department of Transportation’s toll lanes and MARTA’s local expansion, are on the Sandy Springs City Council’s annual retreat agenda for Jan. 22. The council will also hear an update on the second phase of redevelopment around City Springs, including a look at the feasibility of a hotel near the new civic and cultural center.

The retreat, an annual meeting where the city sets its priorities for the year, will be held at 8 a.m. in City Hall, 1 Galambos Way. Other topics include the north end redevelopment plan drafted by a task force; an update on the city’s goal to gain control of the water system currently operated by the city of Atlanta; a review of the I-285 transit study; and an update to the parks and recreation master plan.

The design for the proposed “cultural center,” which would house several local groups and an art gallery near City Springs, was included on the agenda when it was originally released, but removed in a revised version without explanation.

Tim Matthews, the project manager for the GDOT toll lane project, which would bring “managed lanes” priced by demand to I-285 and Ga. 400, will present an update. Matthews has been controversially tight-lipped as the host of two recent meetings that included little new information. Residents at the meetings, called for by the Fulton County School System after concern about the impact the project could have on Sandy Springs schools, were disappointed and frustrated by the lack of specific local information provided.

The “I-285 Top End Transit Feasibility Study” was funded by the Perimeter Center Improvement Districts and seven cities, including Sandy Springs, Brookhaven and Dunwoody. The study, which will be presented by consultants from Kimley-Horn, assessed transit options from Tucker to Smyrna as part of the GDOT’s toll lanes project.

An update to MARTA’s plans, which are expected to include “bus rapid transit” lanes along Ga. 400, will be presented by Ben Limmer, the assistant general manager.

A presentation on the second phase of redevelopment around City Springs, projected by the 2012 City Center Master Plan, will include information on the nearby Heritage Sandy Springs’ master plan; a study on the feasibility of a hotel in the area; research on 2018 visitors to the city; and an update on the first phase of development. It’s unclear what will be discussed about the Heritage master plan, but one of their key projects, a rebuild of the city’s namesake spring, has been on hold since 2017.

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