Sandy Springs has a robust agenda planned for Tuesday’s City Council meeting that includes an amendment to approve development code changes in the North End of the city. The changes would draw builders of mixed-used projects with an affordable living component. Homeowners living in the North End and throughout Sandy Springs have voiced concerns about more apartments or density in and around their neighborhoods.
According to Sandy Springs Communications Director Jason Fornicola, the public can watch city meetings virtually, but Mayor Rusty Paul and City Council members are required to attend in-person. In an email, Fornicola told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the city doesn’t have legal authority to conduct the meeting entirely virtually and any council member not in attendance cannot vote.
“The city’s current plan is to continue (Tuesday’s) meeting with council physically present but following COVID-19 protocols,” Fornicola said. “... Further, council members and staff in attendance will be tested ahead of the meeting to determine if anyone is currently infected.”
Fornicola said that solely virtual meetings held earlier in the pandemic were under Gov. Brian Kemp’s executive order.
Former Sandy Springs mayoral candidate Dontaye Carter said he was among about 20 people at Friday’s special called meeting and he was the only person wearing a mask.
After being notified by Sandy Springs about possible exposure on Monday, Carter sent an email response — shared with the AJC — suggesting officials hold Tuesday’s meeting virtually or cancel it.
“I just think we’ve got to be extremely cautious,” Carter told the newspaper.