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Sandy Springs Unveils Ambitious Development, Transit Plans

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[A comprehensive plan for Sandy Springs. All images via The Next Ten.]

Not all that long ago, Sandy Springs was largely a sleepy suburb of Atlanta, with single-family homes on large lots and commercial strip centers lining Roswell Road. After 10 years of cityhood, Sandy Springs, riding on a massive wave of development, is now setting its sites on growth over the next decade. A plan called "The Next Ten" was recently unveiled, highlighting the city's commitment to smart, dense growth and, simultaneously, the preservation of its residential neighborhoods. With a ton of visuals showing plans for complete street designs, transit, mixed-use nodes and greenway initiatives, the comprehensive plan is downright ambitious. To allow for citizen input, the city is accepting comments on the plan through Feb. 28.

As the character of Sandy Springs has changed from strictly suburban to increasingly urban, neighbors have expressed concerns about the potential loss of quiet residential communities around the city. The plan goes a long way in assuaging those fears, highlighting the concentration of dense development in a few select districts. The most dense node, shared with neighboring Dunwoody, is the Perimeter Center area, and the plan tries hard to show how all of the expected growth might logically work.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Sandy Springs is hoping to transform the Roswell Road corridor — which stretches from Atlanta to Roswell — into a beautified boulevard. The city has identified nodes where they believe development should be concentrated, while preserving large pockets of single-family residential uses throughout the city.

To connect all of this, the plan suggests the nodes would be united through greenways and transit links. In fact, a large component of the plan hinges on the growth of transit, utilizing the city's three MARTA stations as interchanges to crosstown transit corridors. Months ago, the city hinted at studying a monorail system, though from the looks of it, that was just one of a slew of out-of-the-box options being explored.

· The Next Ten [City of Sandy Springs]