Author: Reporter Newspapers

Board approves strip center renovations

By Katie Fallon katiefallon@reporternewspapers.net The city’s Design Review Board (DRB) recently made way for the makeover of two Roswell Road shopping centers that have not been revitalized in two decades. Hammond Springs, which is located on the southeast corner of Roswell Road and Hammond Drive, is a 62,385 square foot shopping center that was built in 1985. The proposed changes to the shopping center include enhancing the existing facade to match the new construction. The new facade will include painted brick veneer, decorative ribed metal trim, metal and fabric awnings and a metal deck with a built up roof system and steel framing. Site improvements will include new sidewalks and landscaping, with decorative pavers, decorative pole lighting, trees, prennial flowers and shrubs. The petitioner for the renovations, MSTSD, is also proposing two new buildings along Roswell Road that will total 6,914 square feet. Architect Jason Sims said all of the proposed changes adhere to the requirements of the Overlay District. The DRB voted unanimously, with member Yvonne Rizzo recusing herself, to approve the project with a set of 12 recommendations included by the Department of Community Development. Board chairman Colin Lichtnestein said he was pleased to see that staff took all of the DRB’s concerns, following MSTSD’s original appearance before the the board, into account when making its recommendations. The DRB also gave unanimous approval for plans to renovate...

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Sandy Springs needs a Historic Registry

By Joseph Mayson A wise government takes a firm leadership role in protecting and sustaining its resources, especially its water quality, its healthy mature trees, and its unique history. Sadly, under the guise of “protecting individual property owners’ rights,” our own City Council so far has continued to put the convenience of developers ahead of the conservation of our resources. When we recently questioned the Mayor about the possibility of a Historic Preservation Ordinance, she replied, “Why have one if we know we are not going to put any ‘teeth’ into it?” Why indeed? Unknown to many residents and most visitors, Sandy Springs does have a rich cultural identity and an architectural heritage which in the past 30 years of unrestrained growth has been mostly overlooked or deliberately destroyed—forever. As long as our elected officials are unwilling to provide any protection or any incentives for protection to save our surviving historic structures, then what can they at the very least do to officially support community acceptance of this important responsibility? In lieu of a preservation ordinance, we support the concept of a Historic Registry. Using an updated version of the 1995 Fulton County inventory of historic structures, we could identify all those built before 1932 as well as any of particular architectural, cultural, and historic significance built since then. Sadly, most of this revision would simply be a matter...

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City’s light fixtures are unattractive

Several years ago as part of a beautification plan, new light fixtures were purchased to line streets and sidewalks in Sandy Springs. I refer to these fixtures as “bobble-head” fixtures. To me, it’s obvious why they remind me of bobble heads. The fixtures are very unattractive; out-of-proportion; and of poor quality. The “heads” of the fixtures are too large for the poles and pole bases. The poles, even if installed correctly, are likely to “lean”. I find the fixtures to be an embarrassment for the new city of Sandy Springs. I contacted Mayor Galambos in December of 2005 about my concerns and received no reply. Sandy Springs needs to adopt a high-quality, civic-style light fixture and not purchase one more Bobble Head. Surely I am not the only one who finds the bobble-head fixtures to be offensive. Compare the elegant, timeless City of Atlanta standard fixtures to the bobble-heads. Surely Sandy Springs can do better. Go to www.springcity.com for numerous appropriate light fixtures. Joe...

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Guest column: New police unit accomplished more than expected

By Lieutenant Steve Rose We have our first year of police service under the new Sandy Springs Police Department under our belt and looking back, I believe that we’ve accomplished more than we expected in the start-up phase of this department. Originally, I was going to submit a more official version, something more like the annual report with all sorts of buzz words and four-syllable words that enhance the buzz words. I really don’t know what most of those words mean anyway. Last month I was asked to produce some “deliverables” to the (community) meeting. I thought they meant pizza. So, I decided I’ll talk about where we were, where we’re at and where we’re going in my usual manner and I hope you have patience. Two years ago, five of us were sitting around a table trying to come up with how many officers, how many cars, salaries, benefits and how much equipment we would need to start a department. In some respects it’s been a long year but in others, the time has flown. To say the least, it was a very unique experience. We’re still crunching numbers but it looks like we’re probably on track for an overall reduction of Part 1 crimes by about 30%. That’s huge, folks. Now we’re going to sit back and brag about that for about a week and then we’re...

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Soccer scores at Hammond Park

By Katie Fallon katiefallon@reporternewspapers.net From a star soccer player in high school and college to a stint as a semi-professional, Ken Dawson has brought a world of skill to the city’s soccer program at Hammond Park. Dawson’s soccer career flourished at Druid Hills High School in the mid and late 19080’s before he moved on to become a four-year scholarship player, three-year captain and three-year MVP at Augusta State University, where he played from 1988 to 1992. In addition, Dawson played for two years with the Chattanooga Express of the USISL Pro League before settling full-time on the instructional aspect of the game. After several coaching stints since his college years, Dawson has come to Sandy Springs’ Hammond Park to coach both team leagues and seasonal camps and basic skill clinics. After three seasons of coaching junior varsity soccer at Roswell High School, Dawson is in the process of transitioning to head up the girls’ soccer program at the Atlanta International School. Dawson got into coaching while still a student at Augusta State. While a sophomore there, he said younger, local players would come watch the college team practice. “I started coaching my second year at Augusta State,” Dawson said. “Youth teams would come out to watch us play and I started talking to one of the team managers. We just wanted to play soccer and to younger kids,...

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