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Atlanta Suburb Bringing Its Zoning Code Up to Speed

Sandy Springs, Georgia is rewriting the nuts and bolts of its planning process. A first draft of the city's new zoning code has been released in the hopes of finalizing a new code later this year.
March 23, 2017, 10am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Jon Ruch reports on the zoning code reform effort underway in the city of Sandy Springs, Georgia. "So far, the first draft of Sandy Springs’ new zoning code is fulfilling its designer’s promise of simplifying and modernizing while adding some new ideas," writes Ruch. "The innovations include a bonus system allowing taller buildings in exchange for such benefits as middle-income housing."

Austin-based Code Studio is leading the zoning code rewrite, which released its "consultant draft" earlier in March. Next up in the process is a series of public meetings to gather input on the draft code. Ruch provides additional details on how the new code will simplify the code, allow for height bonuses in some parts of the city, and achieve some additional land use goals like capping the number of gas stations in the city.

Sandy Springs approved a new Comprehensive Land Use Plan in December 2016, paving the way for the zoning code rewrite. The city hopes to have the new zoning code finalized by the fall of 2017.

Sandy Springs is famous among planning circles for banning wood construction for buildings over certain heights and square footages in 2016 as well as a movement to "completely privatize" the city in 2012.

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Published on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 in Reporter Newspapers
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