City of Sandy Springs approves Rezoning for Northside Hospital and a Zoning Modification for a swimming pool project


Northside Hospital expansion approved with traffic fixes

I was at the Sandy Springs City Council meeting last night for a zoning modification hearing on a swimming pool project that I have been working on for the last few months.  The zoning modification for the swimming pool project was unanimously approved, and I’m really happy for the family because they are wonderful people and have patiently worked through this process.

The zoning modification for the swimming pool was 4th on the agenda so we witnessed the City Council and Mayor of Sandy Springs work through three rezoning applications.  The most interesting of the three was the rezoning application for Northside Hospital.  The applicant presented a compelling case for the need to rezone this property citing increased number of patients in every area of the hospital from labor & delivery to the emergency room.  The head of emergency medicine at Northside Hospital spoke about how important every minute is in the emergency room and how this political decision could affect operations at the hospital.  Then, a parking consultant spoke about how smart parking can increase the usability and efficiency of parking lots.  I love smart technology and could have listened to the parking consultant for hours.

Then, Mayor Rusty Paul closed the public comments so the City Council could discuss the project.  There were passionate objections recommending a deferral of the project because of the traffic impact on the community based on this project.  I drive through this area on a regular basis and the traffic is absurd.  How can an emergency room help me if I’m 15 cars deep in the left hand turn lane?

After almost an hour of spirited debate, eventually the rezoning application was approved.  While I’m nervous about the traffic implications in the area, I’m excited to see the future developments at Northside Hospital.

New York Times: How the BeltLine is Changing Atlanta


Atlanta is featured in the Sunday edition of the New York Times.

“It’s the most important rail-transit project that’s been proposed in the country, possibly in the world,” said Christopher B. Leinberger of the George Washington University School of Business, who follows urban redesign projects and has for years called Atlanta “the poster child of sprawl.”

Continue reading article here.

Fulton County: Exemptions Available to Property Owners


Here’s a comprehensive list of exemptions available to Fulton County property owners, along with helpful document downloads and explanations for each.

1. BASIC EXEMPTION FULTON COUNTY/ CITY OF ATLANTA $30,000 To be eligible for this exemption, you must meet the following requirements: Must be a legal resident in the City of Atlanta. Must own and occupy your home as of January 1.Applies to Fulton Operating, Atlanta General, Atlanta School Atlanta parks, in the amount of $30,000. 

2. $10,000 STATEWIDE SCHOOL TAX EXEMPTION To be eligible for this exemption you must meet the following requirements: Must be age 62 on or before January 1.Your Georgia taxable net income for the preceding taxable year cannot exceed $10,000. (Georgia Taxable Income as Defined by OCGA)Applies to City school Bonds in the amount of $10,000 for residents within the City limits of Atlanta. Applies to Fulton Operating, and Fulton school Bond in the amount of $10,000 for residents of Fulton County.

3. CITY OF ATLANTA $40,000 EXEMPTION This exemption is granted on all City of Atlanta ad valorem taxes for municipal purposes. To be eligible for this exemption, you must meet the following requirements: Must be a legal resident of the City of Atlanta. Must be age 65 on or before January 1. Your Georgia taxable net income for the preceding taxable year cannot exceed $40,000 Applies to Atlanta Operating and Atlanta Parks in the amount of $40,000.

4. CITY OF ATLANTA SCHOOL $25,000 EXEMPTION To be eligible for this exemption you must meet the following requirements: Must be legal resident of the City of Atlanta Must be age 65 or disabled on or before January 1. Your Georgia taxable income for the preceding taxable year cannot exceed $25,000.  Applies to Atlanta School Bond and Atlanta School in the amount of $25,000.

Many more available here.

DeKalb County: Exemptions Available to Property Owners


Basic Homestead
Basic Homestead is an exemption you may claim against the taxable value of your home as long as you own and occupy that home as your primary residence on January 1 of the year in which the exemption is being claimed. There are no age or income requirements for this exemption.

All homeowners seeking a homestead exemption are required to file an application. Application is not automatic. Neither your mortgage company nor closing attorney may file the application when a home is purchased. A homestead application can be obtained from the Tax Commissioner’s Office. It may be returned by mail as long as it is postmarked no later than April 1 st. A copy of the application can be found on our Forms page, or you may also apply on-line by clicking here

Property Assessment Freeze
Residents in DeKalb County that receive the benefit of homestead exemption may also apply for a property assessment freeze to help offset future increases in property value. This freeze does not affect school, city or state taxes. Residents who currently have homestead exemption must apply for this freeze, however new applicants applying for exemption will receive the benefit of the freeze with their exemption. Once the Freeze Level is set, it cannot be “re-frozen” at a lower level regardless of changes in assessment. Residents must qualify for this freeze by April 1.

Review all exemptions here.