Author: Reporter Newspapers

Development for Glenridge, with historic site, hits a snag

By Katie Fallon katiefallon@reporternewspapers.net One local developer has hit another hurdle in his plan to build 28 single-family homes on seven present home sites along Glenridge Drive—a plan that includes saving the historic Wagon Stop House. Jason Yowell and Metropolis Homes are asking for five concurrent variances for a plan that includes building the 28 homes on 7.28-acres along Glenridge Drive between Johnson Ferry Road and Hammond Drive. Within the plan, Yowell has committed to creating an easement that would have the Wagon Stop maintained in perpetuity by the homeowners’ association of the development. At the July 19 Planning Commission meeting, however, Yowell’s plan was rejected in large part because of his insistence to stay at his requested density of 3.85 units per acre. The Wagon Stop House sits on one of the seven lots currently in the area of the development. Built in 1835, it is one of the oldest surviving structures in Sandy Springs and was used to host travelers and as the area’s first courtroom. Today, the home has retained only a small portion of its historic nature. The original space now serves as the dining room of a home located at the corner of Glenridge and Johnson Ferry Road. Some logs from the original structure remain in the face of several additions made over the years. City staff recommended conditional approval of Yowell’s plan, but...

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Sandy Springs Police Department welcomes monsignor as chaplain

By Katie Fallon katiefallon@reporternewspapers.net Members of the Sandy Springs Police Department now have an extra level of protection in addition to their bulletproof vests. At the July 17 city council meeting, Monsignor Donald Kiernan was sworn in as the first chaplain for the police department. Head pastor at All Saints Catholic Church in Dunwoody, Kiernan has spent the entirety of his 58-year career at Catholic churches all over Georgia. Kiernan, 82, came to Georgia soon after becoming ordained in 1949. At the time, he said there were only 33 Catholic priests in the entire state. His first assignment was in Savannah and he has since served in communities like Cedartown, Gainesville, Monroe and downtown Atlanta. However, his work with police departments began out of necessity. Kiernan said he was assigned to a church in Atlanta in 1954 when he had to call the Atlanta Police Department because there was a prowler in the basement. “They came and the two officers asked me to go for a ride,” Kiernan said. “From then on, they picked me up every night.” As the monsignor became more known within the APD, he gradually became friends with the patrol officers, sergeants, lieutenants and eventually the chief. In fact, as Kiernan’s primary profession took him to congregations across the state, he was able to take letters of recommendation from one police chief to the next....

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100-plus attend Big Trees memorial for Charlie Cochrane

By Katie Fallon katiefallon@reporternewspapers.net Mourners were granted a brief reprieve from the rain on July 22 as the community said goodbye to one of its most vocal greenspace cheerleaders. Charlie Cochrane died suddenly on July 12 after suffering a heart attack in his office at the John Ripley Forbes Big Tree Forest Preserve, the city’s most noteworthy area of greenspace. Cochrane, 60, was the executive director of the 30-acre nature sanctuary and could often be found walking the miles of trails at the preserve or behind his desk at the log cabin that housed his office on the edge of the Big Trees property on Roswell Road. A memorial service was held Sunday evening within the preserve, where many of the more than 100 mourners noted Cochrane could be found every day from dawn until dusk. Attendees ranged in age from toddlers guided by the watchful hand of a parent to the elderly guided by the supportive brace of a cane. Whether sitting on benches made from felled trees or standing amidst the oak wood chips spread faithfully by Cochrane and his army of volunteers, mourners were even treated to a bag piper who ended the service with a stirring rendition of “Amazing Grace.” During the service, mourners were invited to share thoughts about Cochrane. From board members who knew Cochrane for decades to visitors who frequented the preserve’s...

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Dog park plan causes stink among its neighbors

By C. Julia Nelson Sandy Springs City Council members may be in the doghouse no matter what they decide regarding a possible dog park at Ridgeview Park. The Sandy Springs Pooch Park Pals want a safe place for their dogs to run and play, unleashed, within the city limits. Pooch Park Pals are volunteers who act as stewards to the parks providing general maintenance and cleaning services. Additionally, the group has raised about $15,000 in private funds to add to the $25,000 already allotted by Sandy Springs City Council for the purpose of creating the dog park. On the other side of the fence, neighbors living in the immediate area surrounding Ridgeview Park are wary of increased traffic, lack of enforcement of current leash laws and oppose adding a dog park to a park that is rarely maintained and has limited space for other recreational activities. The catch 22: everyone is concerned that people continuously disregard the law and let their dogs run unleashed, putting children at risk. Last Wednesday, about 100 people attended a town hall meeting, at the Church of the Redeemer, 5185 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, to discuss a one- to two-acre, fenced-in space for local canines to run amok without bothering others in the 20.2-acre park. District 5 Councilman Tibby DeJulio arranged the meeting to collect information as to how and if council should proceed with the...

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Mayor lists year one accomplishments, looks to future

By John Schaffner editor@reporternewspapers.net Mayor Eva Galambos presented a long list of first-year accomplishments for the city of SandySprings—including ending the year with a budget reserve—and then forecast the future in her annual “State of the City” address July 11 to a packed house of more than 160 Sandy Springs Business Association members and guests. “The state of the city of Sandy Springs is excellent,” the mayor stated. “We are on a very sound financial footing and we have produced for you in terms of delivery of services which, after all, is what the city is all about.” She said the city finished its first year of operation with a financial reserve, “which is a frugal way of running a conservative, fiscally well-managed city.” The mayor cited as being “remarkable” that the city had, in the past year, put on the street full-fledged, professional police, fire and EMS forces. She said the police officers have the highest average of experience when hired of any department in the metro Atlanta area. She cited as being unique that when the police officers are hired they have to go through a very rigorous ethics program. Mayor Galambos explained that EMS has turned out to be the largest portion of the Fire and Rescue Department, answering more calls than fire calls. “We have a fabulous training program for all paramedics” under contract with...

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