Category: Top Stories

Brookhaven parks bond opposed by group that helped create it

Members of a task force that helped create Brookhaven’s proposed $40 million parks bond are now opposing it and urging voters to shoot it down on the Nov. 6 ballot, saying the amount is too much, too soon. They say the bond would hike property taxes unnecessarily, adds projects the public never approved, and ignores alternative funding sources. The public opposition by four of the five members of Parks and Recreation Coalition of Brookhaven reverses their previous impartial stance and follows the recent creation of a “Yes for Brookhaven Parks” group. Not all conservancies or “friends of” groups within...

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‘Georgia Gang’ debates governor race at Chamber event

Two hosts of Fox 5 TV’s weekly political talk show “The Georgia Gang” predicted moderate and women voters to be key to winning the race for governor during an Oct. 9 Sandy Springs event. Hosts Tharon Johnson and Phil Kent also discussed key issues, including transportation and crime, and made predictions for the next legislative session. Johnson is a Democratic consultant who has advised U.S. Rep. John Lewis, former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. Kent is a Republican who publishes the InsiderAdvantage and JAMES political magazines. They spoke at a Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber...

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Sandy Springs may build trail as ‘prototype’ for citywide network

Sandy Springs and a parks advocacy group are proposing a creekside trail off Abernathy Road, connecting the city Tennis Center and a forthcoming new park at the Aria housing development, that could be a “prototype” for a citywide path network. A partly city-funded study for the “Marsh Creek Trail” is underway and construction could start as soon as 2020. The Sandy Springs Conservancy is also reviving a long-stalled idea of building a pedestrian bridge across the Chattahoochee River at Morgan Falls dam. Trails and multiuse paths have long been a city policy goal, but no major ones have yet...

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Fire breaks out at Buford Highway apartment complex

Two DeKalb County firefighters suffered minor injuries and were transported to a hospital Oct. 17 while fighting an apartment fire that caused thick clouds of smoke to billow over Buford Highway just north of North Druid Hills Road. Two residents experienced smoke inhalation and were treated on the scene. DeKalb Fire Rescue crews were dispatched at 1:30 p.m. to the Esquire Apartments in the 3100 block of Buford Highway and were met with “heavy smoke and flames,” said Capt. Dion Bentley. The fire was confined to one of the buildings in the complex. Six apartments in the complex were...

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Sandy Springs threatens lien against apartment to force cleanup

Sandy Springs threatened to issue a lien against a Roswell Road apartment complex to force it to clean up a large pile of trash near its entrance. The complex, Edgewater Apartments, is located in the city’s north end at 7600 Roswell Road and has had 24 code enforcement calls within the last two years. All of the calls were concerning the trash pile and 10 resulted in citations, City Attorney Dan Lee said during a presentation at the City Council’s Oct. 16 meeting. The complex did not have immediate comment. The complex was in the process of the cleaning...

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Salesforce to add 600 jobs and its name to Buckhead tower

The technology company Salesforce says it will add 600 jobs to its Buckhead regional office and put its name on the tower that houses it. The expansion was jointly announced by the Georgia Department of Economic Development, which described it as a $12.25 million investment. In response to an open records request from the Reporter, the state said Salesforce will receive some type of state incentives for the project. But the company and the state declined to provide any details pending a signed agreement, with the Department of Economic Development citing an exemption in the open records that allows...

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New Buckhead fire station opening may be delayed

The Atlanta Fire Rescue Department’s new Station 3 at Phipps Plaza mall is supposed to open this month, but may be delayed by a hang-up in the furnishings budget. The department is having “a little problem with money” being appropriated on time, Capt. Chris Jackson of Station 21 reported to NPU-B at its Oct. 2 meeting. He said the Station 3 firefighters might have to be temporarily housed at another station until the new firehouse is fully furnished. The Fire Rescue Department did not respond to questions. The original Station 3 was built within a Phipps Plaza parking garage...

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Future of Sandy Springs’ Mount Vernon Highway takes shape in two projects

Two Sandy Springs proposals to remake Mount Vernon Highway between Roswell Road and Ga. 400 are taking shape after recent public meetings. One project is a major reconfiguration of the road’s intersection with Johnson Ferry Road. The other project would bring a multiuse path and new sidewalks to over 1 mile of Mount Vernon. Both projects are on the city’s special transportation tax list, which was approved by voters in 2016. Intersection concept The Sandy Springs City Council chose to instruct staff to begin the full design process for the “compressed” grid option for the Mount Vernon and Johnson...

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Sandy Springs’ north end task force presents potential projects

Members of Sandy Springs’ North End Revitalization Task Force presented possible projects and proposals at its latest meeting Oct. 3, where they also discussed their potential role in gentrification. The discussion came ahead of an Oct. 18 community meeting, where the task force will solicit feedback from the public. Over a month-long break from meeting, the members were tasked with coming up with proposals for specific topics they were assigned, including parks, transportation and zoning issues. An overall component of the north end’s recommendations is expected to include several “nodes” that have different character and proposed developments. The members...

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Redistricting for Brookhaven’s new Lewis Elementary begins

A process to draw an attendance zone for Brookhaven’s new John Robert Lewis Elementary School began Oct. 2 with a community meeting. Named for the congressman and civil rights leader, the school is currently operating in a temporary location on North Druid Hills Road and will open in a new building on Skyland Drive in August 2019. Lewis Elementary currently has over 500 open seats, vacancies that the school district hopes to use to curb overcrowding at nearby schools. About 200 residents attended the Oct. 2 meeting, held at Cross Keys High School. Hans Williams, the director of planning...

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Community Survey: Divided politics make for eager voters

Turnout for the November election could be high, if the voters follow the lead of respondents to a Reporter Newspapers community survey. About six in 10 of the 200 respondents said they are more likely to vote in the November election than in past elections. And more than a third of the people who responded that they weren’t more likely to vote this time said that was only because they vote in every election anyway. The survey was conducted by 1Q.com via cellphones to residents in Reporter Newspapers communities. The results are not scientific. Why do so many plan...

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‘More MARTA’ transit in Buckhead will take more money

Buckhead is a step closer to gaining rail connections to the Atlanta BeltLine and Emory University, plus a slate of bus service improvements, after MARTA approved a “historic” system-wide spending plan Oct. 4. But the transit agency also tempered the excitement, as the sales tax money won’t entirely cover most of those projects, and a quest for more funding will begin. “Think of this as a major and transformational down payment on our future commitment to the city and to the region,” said MARTA General Manager & CEO Jeffrey Parker in a press release. “This is an important milestone,...

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