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HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD. PLEASE attend community meeting #1 on April 24 at 6 PM at the Holy Spirit Church / School Campus.
We want our neighborhoods to remain residential in spirit and in fact: a quiet, single-family, low density, residential community with a high quality of life.
We want our homes to be places where we can reside peacefully, with our streets and our families safe.
The NPA is opposed to inappropriate commercial development in our residential neighborhood. We are currently raising funds to oppose expansion and construction plans contemplated by Holy Spirit Church and Holy Spirit Preparatory School (the developer).
Based on our previous experience, between 1998 and 2003, we are anticipating considerable legal costs in order to contest these commercial development plans. We are a not-for-profit, grass roots organization and would very much appreciate your donation to support this cause. Any unused funds at the conclusion of the NPA's efforts to restrict the developer's plans will be returned to our donors on a pro rata basis net of expenses incurred.
Make checks payable to : NCMPNPA and mail donations to:
Neighborhood Preservation Association
6300 Powers Ferry Road
Suite 600 #217
Atlanta, GA 30339
On April 3, 2019, the Archdiocese of Atlanta, on behalf of the Holy Spirit Church and Holy Spirit School (The "Developer") began an application process with the City of Sandy Springs seeking to obtain a Conditional Use Permit to allow construction of a major new commercial development on property bordered by Northside Drive, Mt. Paran Road and Jett Road.
The Northside / Chastain / Mt. Paran Neighborhood Preservation is a not-for-profit limited liability corporation registered with the State of Georgia. The NPA is governed by named officers and a designated board of directors. The NPA meets regularly with our membership and reports on association financials, membership, fundraising initiatives, communications and initiative progress.
The NPA is actively engaged with other neighborhood civic associations and homeowner associations that are equally concerned with the developer's plans.
As proposed to the City of Sandy Springs by The “Developer,” the commercial development of 13 acres on the Sandy Springs side of the property would allow Holy Spirit Church to expand its facilities and parking for the private school leasing property from the church, now called Holy Spirit Preparatory School (formerly Donnellan School), to consolidate its preschool, elementary (currently on Long Island Dr), middle, and high school into a school complex for a student population of up to 750 students.
The Proposed Development
Holy Spirit’s proposal relocates the HS Lower School, now located on Long Island Dr, to the Northside/Mt Paran site, thus consolidating two campuses and expanding the School’s capacity from 320 to 750 students and accommodating the growth of the church. The development includes the following:
· Construct a parking deck – three stories, 230 spaces with playfield at top level
· Construct a roundabout near the existing exit onto Mount Paran Road and add surface parking
· Construct a new driveway opening onto Mount Paran midway between Northside Drive and Jett Road, across from 797 Mount Paran Road
· Construct a 40,000 square foot (SF), three-story private school classroom building adjacent to Mount Paran Road where the old house (former Sims residence) is currently located
· Construct a two-story 67,290 SF school recreation center with basketball court
· Construct four (4) two-story 7,000 SF, parish buildings as homes for retired priests or other church or school purposes
As required by City of Sandy Springs regulations, the Developer held an open meeting to present its proposed commercial development.
As a result of this meeting, the Northside / Chastain / Mt.Paran Neighborhood Preservation Association is re-energized to represent the interest of concerned neighbors and their families.
Originally formed in 1998, the Neighborhood Preservation Association was established to minimize the impact of the developer’s wish to create a school of up to 600 students.
Over the course of five years the NPA, the neighborhood and the developer negotiated an agreement to limit the size of the school to 320 students.
Specifically, restrictions applied to the number and size of buildings on the site.
This agreement formed the basis of a Special Use Permit, which was agreed to by all parties and remains bonded to the property in perpetuity. It is memorialized as Special Use Permit U-03-09 decreed by the City of Atlanta on July 28, 2003.
This legally binding document prohibits any further expansion of the school and its facilities on this site or any contiguous property.
Highlights from the Special Use Permit:
1. "The School is not to request any administrative amendments that seek to change any of the specific conditions"...
2. “There shall be no further expansion of the student population on this or any contiguous site. The ... School specifically agrees to cap the student population at 320 students and to prohibit any future expansion of the student body, ever, on this site, or any contiguous property.”
3.The combined total gross floor area of all buildings on this site shall not exceed 60,000 square feet. “No ... School buildings shall be constructed on any contiguous property.”
4. “The parties agree that it is impossible to measure in money the damages that will accrue by reason of the failure of the School to perform any of its obligations under this Agreement. Consequently, if the School does breach or threaten to breach any of the obligations enumerated herein, the Association shall be entitled, in additional to all remedies available at law or in equity, to institute an action or proceeding to enforce specifically the provisions of this Agreement
5. ACCESS: . . . Ingress and egress for faculty, students and staff on a daily basis shall be from Northside Drive only. . . . "
The Neighborhood Preservation Association, in conjunction with neighboring Homeowner Associations, and the local residential community is concerned about:
1. Disregard for the 2003 agreement, which clearly prohibits school development on contiguous property and caps student capacity at 320.
2. Public safety risk due to significant increase in traffic density on Mt Paran Rd, Northside Drive, Jett Road and other narrow neighborhood streets in a neighborhood zoned as single-family residential.
3. Loss of a rare, 100 year-old Climax Deciduous Forest situated on the Sandy Springs site. The value of this Urban Forest is scientifically determined by the oxygen it produces for us and the animals who live in this biome, as well as the work it does in gathering storm water and retaining it. Such forests are active in carbon sequestration, erosion prevention, and climate maintenance through transpiration.
4. Unknown duration of major commercial construction in our otherwise quiet residential neighborhood with incumbent bulldozers, heavy lifting vehicles, dump truck, cranes and potential rock blasting resulting in damage to nearby buildings and residences.
We are greatly concerned about the broader impact of these proposals and are determined to protect and preserve appropriate traffic density in our residential neighborhoods and to promote conservation of the Historic Urban Forest situated on the developer's property and throughout our neighborhoods.
The goals of our organization are enveloped in the 2003 Special Use Permit.
The following link on the City of Sandy Springs website provides the required documentation as currently submitted to the City of Sandy Springs regarding the Church and School application for Conditional Use Permits for expansion of their facilities.
Review the documentation related to the request for Conditional Use Permits U19-0004 and U19-0005 that has been submitted by Holy Spirit found under the "About Project" section. This documentation provides greater understanding of what Holy Spirit may propose on the 13 acres of property located in the City of Sandy Springs.
This documentation is NOT the official application filing of the plan that will move forward through the balance of City's public process which will include:
- A Community Meeting 2
- A Planning Commission hearing
- A Mayor and City Council hearing
Holy Spirit was required at a minimum prior to the Community Meeting 1 held on October 30, 2018 to provide the documents you see at the link. Those documents to be submitted in conjunction with Holy Spirit's official application for these Conditional Use Permits once it is filed may differ from what you see at the above link today.
Using the link above, under the documents in the "Public Comments" section you will find the "Petition Comment Form" link.
You are highly encouraged to use this form to provide your comments and feedback about the proposed development. Use of this form insures that your comments are made part of the public record for the Conditional Use Permit case and will be reviewed by the Sandy Springs decision making bodies. Your personal contact information will be redacted to insure your privacy.
This site is funded and maintained by your neighbors. The content is designed to reflect best known information and documentation as of the date that it was last edited. We will continue to post additional information as it becomes available. We encourage all interested neighbors to contact us with questions or concerns. With all of us working together, we can accomplish great things. To reach the Neighborhood Preservation Association leadership please email info@RespectOurNeighborhood.org