Author Topic: Staff Report RZ09-001 for the Planning Commission on May 21  (Read 5171 times)

Offline ethercat

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I received the following PDF.  It's interesting in several ways.

Staff Report RZ09-001 for the Planning Commission on May 21

Quote
Prepared by the City of Sandy Springs Department of Community Development for the Planning Commission Hearing on May 21, 2009
Page 8 of 15

SITE PLAN ANALYSIS
The proposed site plan submitted shows the existing 32,053 square foot office building and 11,193 square foot underground thirty (30) car parking deck. The applicant proposes interior renovations to the existing building to allow for a church. The total floor area is proposed to be expended to 43,246 square feet by enclosing the 11,193 square foot parking deck. The proposed basement will contain the sanctuary, additional office space, and classrooms. The proposal will reduce the existing parking from 111 parking spaces to 81 parking spaces. The surface parking lot has fifty (50) parking space on the parcel and thirty (31) on an easement from the Post Office. The surface parking lot surrounds the building and is accessed by one (1) curb cut from Roswell Road (SR9) and an access point at the Post Office’s driveway from Glenridge Drive.

Article 18.2.1 indicates parking requirements are to be calculated based upon the proportion that each use contributes to the total. For example, a building with multiple uses would be required to provide parking based upon the total parking requirement associated with each use. On the other hand, parking requirements for uses with large public assembly areas relative to the remainder of the building (i.e. meeting halls or libraries) are based upon the largest public assembly area. Normally, staff would analyze the parking needs for the Church of Scientology building relative to the size of the sanctuary. However, because proposed development will have a sanctuary which comprises less than 5% of the total net floor area, staff has instead analyzed the parking impact using an aggregate of the uses in the building (sanctuary, offices and classrooms).

I think this explains a lot that we didn't understand.  For one thing, they plan to get around the 75 lbs/ft2 by using an underground parking lot for the sanctuary.  I had heard them talk about underground parking at the meetings, but didn't realize it was already there.

That will require them to enclose it, and build it into an appropriate area for the sanctuary.  Oh, I bet that will cost a bundle.  By doing that, they both increase the space that is inside the building (which will require more parking spaces) and simultaneously reduce the number of existing parking spaces.  They thought they could get by with fewer spaces by using only 1400 ft2, but by using less than 5% of the building for sanctuary, they have changed the way the number of parking spaces is assessed.  Oh, LOL! 

Parking Analysis Parking Bldg. Req. Use Ratio/s.f. Area (s.f.) Parking
UseSpaces:ft2Bldg. AreaSpaces Required
Sanctuary 1:30 1,218 41
Classroom 5:1,000+11,153 56
Office 3:1,000+17,065 51
=29,436

Total Required Parking148
Parking Providing-81
Parking Deficit=67

There is more in the PDF, but someone else might want to have some fun analyzing it, so I'll end for now, and let someone else have the floor.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2009, 00:59 by ethercat »
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Raven

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i think we need to hit them hard over the size of the classrooms.  The classroom picts they have on the net allow for over 70 people in a room.  Also Toronto has cchr, applied, and everything else grouped together.  We should hit them over the office space too.

Offline Lorelei

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Basically, if they want to host several businesses in that building, along with their (snicker, LOL) "religious sanctuary" space, then the parking needs required should be approached from "what does a business need?" and then multiplied by each business under the same roof, and the "religious sanctuary" needs to have its own parking requirements as well.

If you use your building 99% of the time for business-related concerns, then you must abide by business zone requirements for parking. As that is more, iirc, than for a "sanctuary," the accommodations they make to legally host ample parking for the several businesses within that building will mean that they will have ample parking for the bogus and non-existent "services" (i.e., getting zapped with e-meters, going through brainwashing regimens (TRs) where they stare at each other for hours, read Lewis Carroll excerpts,  learn how to become an emotionless robot while someone shouts abuse or sexually-provacative obscenities at them until they stop flinching or laughing, and shouting at ashtrays to levitate themselves off tables and then loudly thank them for (not) levitating). How much space is required for a bronze bust of Elron to "hip hip hooray" at and a bullying, aggressive registrar with a calculator and a cash register?

Also, how do they plan to fit "600 parishioners" into 148 parking spots? The cult throws "parties" each time it needs to gouge more money out of its sheeple, and those parties apparently are "come or else" affairs. They would HAVE to have a minimum of four cultists per vehicle. Too bad for those who only have the classic Midlife Crisis-type two-door sports cars (though, I imagine, with the money sink that is the cult, few long-term Scilons can afford such luxuries).

Lastly, with the community so clearly signaling that they DO NOT WANT the cult to move into their 'hood, I think they are beyond foolish to keep pushing to go where they are adamantly and definitely not wanted. Your so-called religious beliefs do not entitle you to force your presence on a community that does not want you in their midst.

Frankly, regardless of whatever religion was trying to circumvent local guidelines, I would be firmly opposed to them based on the lies about their congregation size, their brazenness in holding an event there before getting legal permits and zoning / etc. issues approved, their history of neglecting their properties and hassling neighbors constantly with surveillance and intrusiveness, their history of not paying their debts or bills in a timely fashion 9or, sometimes, at all), their habit of filing frivolous lawsuits to intimidate anyone who they don't agree with or like, and their abuse of tax-paid resources such as local LEOs being called constantly for fraudulent issues and for dishonest excuses when they do NOT pay their taxes.

They are a blight, and their attempts to lie repeatedly and whine about "religious persecution" to get their way in this zoning issue are standard operating procedure for this sect. They are so accustomed to stat-boosting and exaggerating claims about how popular and Important their cult is, they forgot to stop lying when it was not in their best interests to lie. Their religion / beliefs have not been part of the issues here until their representatives MADE them part of the issue. We don't care what they believe. Their activities speak for themselves. It is not "religious persecution" to require a group to follow the same guidelines as everyone else, or to accurately and honestly report their intentions and numbers and needs, or to point out that they operate 90% of the time as a group of front group BUSINESSES, or that they do not pay their bills, or that they do not maintain their properties (not just world-wide, but also here in ATL, because Narconon looks like crap, and their current org features geysers of exploding pewp that they likely can't afford a plumber to repair because every spare penny has to go uplines to the Mothership lest they get too downstat...oh, but, hey, that last bit is pure speculation.

I'm just sayin'.

Wring the crankiness out of what I said above (I need more caffeine), and the bottom line is that they are not complaint, and juggling numbers and trying to deceive the committee about the use the building will serve, and whining about "persecution" (no one cares about your space opera  / body thetan nonsense, you are simply NOT COMPLIANT and not likely to be able to GET compliant because you foolishly bought a shopworn piece of property inadequate for your needs--because Glorious Dwarven Leader demanded spanky-new "Ideal" Orgs and thus must have his precious real estate white elephant properties--and you compounded your bad business decision by trying to shoehorn that overpriced, money pit of a property to fit your needs after the fact, and that is YOUR problem, not Sandy Springs' or its residents' problem) SHOULD NOT even be given a minute of anyone's serious consideration, because lies and whines are irrelevant to the issues at hand.

THE PROPERTY IS NOT SUITABLE FOR THEIR NEEDS.
IT PROBABLY CAN NOT BE MADE TO FIT THEIR NEEDS WITHOUT A LOT OF MAJOR EXPENSIVE CONSTRUCTION.
THEY KEEP TRYING TO LIE ABOUT THEIR SIZE AND THEIR INTENDED USE OF THE PROPERTY TO GET THEIR WAY.
THE NEIGHBORS DO NOT WANT THEM THERE.

Now, tediously, the same old "wah, religious bigotry!" argument. I am so beyond tired of their nonsense. They should try not LYING or trying to pull the "camel's nose in the tent" / "give a mouse a cookie" strategery, where they blithely just do what they want until it is noticed and complained about, at which point they argue about their usurped and unearned privileges potentially being, rightfully, taken away.

They tried to stick the camel's nose into the tent by holding their party before they technically were cleared to occupy the site, and, fortunately for the neighborhood, people noticed and said "WE DO NOT APPROVE."

Sandy Springs s far too nice a community to go the way of Clearwater, Florida. And I'd fight just as hard if Wal*Mart--or any denomination of religion / pseudoreligion that claimed 600+ members and an intention to grow in size when there are only 1/10th the number of available parking docks--tried to shoehorn itself onto that lot, frankly.
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Offline mefree

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Quote
Frankly, regardless of whatever religion was trying to circumvent local guidelines, I would be firmly opposed to them based on the lies about their congregation size, their brazenness in holding an event there before getting legal permits and zoning / etc. issues approved, their history of neglecting their properties and hassling neighbors constantly with surveillance and intrusiveness, their history of not paying their debts or bills in a timely fashion 9or, sometimes, at all), their habit of filing frivolous lawsuits to intimidate anyone who they don't agree with or like, and their abuse of tax-paid resources such as local LEOs being called constantly for fraudulent issues and for dishonest excuses when they do NOT pay their taxes.

^^^^THIS and I agree about Clearwater.

I forwarded my original letter to some additional City Council members, the Mayor and PZ, and a few others with very minor revisions just to reinforce and disseminate info on Clearwater's experience.
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
-Dalai Lama

Offline ethercat

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I sent my letter very early this morning (before 6am).  Linda Abaray has said that there will be a Mayor and City Council Meeting on June 16, at which point the decision on the deferral or the rezoning application will be made.  Correspondence was to be in 2 weeks prior to the meeting in order to be submitted for the meeting, so I thought this morning was just in the nick of time.  This afternoon I received an email back from Ms. Abaray, telling me that my letter was too late for the June 16 meeting, however I had the foresight to also cc: the Mayor, the City Council, the Planning Commission, and the Community Development heads.  I got a nice reply back from several of them.

Here are the letters from me, and to me from Ms. Abaray:

Mine:
Quote

Subject: Comments on RZ09-001

To whom it may concern:

This is in reference to the zoning variance application for 5395
Roswell Road by the Church of Scientology. 

Mr. Galloway says that in order to have adequate parking at 5395
Roswell Road, that the members of Scientology will carpool.  Mr.
Galloway has stated that he would like to do a parking study in order
to prove that his clients will not need additional parking spaces
beyond the ones already on site at 5395 Roswell Road.  Such a study
will undoubtedly prove his point, however the validity of such a study
is nil. When the person doing the study and the people whose behavior
is being studied know the desired outcome of the study, they can easily
produce the outcome they desire, and need, to occupy this building. 

I have been in a position to observe the parking habits of the members
of Scientology for the past year, and I have not observed any
substantial carpooling by members.  I have observed the members arrive,
in most cases, one or two to a car. 

Mr. Galloway stated that the planned bookstore will serve only the
members of the Church of Scientology and not the public.  Not only does
the current sign at their current location invite the public to visit
the bookstore, the plans submitted show a "Reception and Public Book
Sales" area with a planned 565 square feet.  There is also a 3200
square foot "Display Area," and a "Department of Promo & Marketing" at
435 square feet.  Combined, this is almost three times the amount of
space planned for the Chapel.  This sounds more like a retail operation
than a church.

Mr. Galloway has told of the plan to enclose the underground parking,
which will eliminate 30 of the already too few spaces on the lot.  This
will permanently cripple the building for any future use.  When the
Church of Scientology outgrows the building, there will be no potential
buyers who will invest in such a white elephant building without
adequate parking.  The building will never be able to return to use as
Office/Institutional, only being suited for an unusual church with a
zoning variance.

Throughout the hearings, Mr. Galloway has repeatedly changed the stated
plans for the building, given different numbers of members at different
times, contradicted himself, and is seemingly changing what he says to
satisfy the issue of the moment.  Mr. Galloway is obviously trying to
shoehorn the Church of Scientology into a building which is not
suitable for their use.  The charade needs to end.

If the rezoning application is approved with conditions, how will these
conditions be monitored, and how much manpower will be required to
assure that the conditions are met, and continue in effect through the
lifetime of this building as the Church of Scientology? 

I urge you to deny the zoning variance request for this location,
RZ09-001. 

Thank you,

Ms. Abaray's:
Quote

Thank you for your comments and concerns regarding RZ09-001. The
packages have already been submitted for the June 16 Mayor and City
Council meeting. If the Mayor and City Council choose to defer this case
you e-mail will be added to the packages being distributed to the
Planning Commission (7/16/09) and the Mayor and City Council (8/18/09).


Linda Abaray
Planner I
City of Sandy Springs
7840 Roswell Road, Bldg. 500
Sandy Springs, GA 30350
O. 770-206-1577
F. 770-206-1562

Funny, I would have thought 2 weeks would have included today, up to the close of business, since the meeting is in the evening of the 16th.
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Offline ethercat

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I have written but not yet sent the following back to Ms. Abaray:

Quote
Thank you Ms. Abaray.  I saw the following on
http://www.sandyspringsga.org/tPanelRelatedLinks.aspx?P=906c0f959da644f8a0078b424b14709c
and I didn't realize it wouldn't apply to what I have sent:

Note: Boards, including the Mayor and City Council, DO NOT accept the
submittal of material at meetings. Any material that an applicant or
the public wish any Board to receive and review must be submitted to
the Planning and Zoning staff two (2) weeks prior to the scheduled
meeting date to be included in the official package forwarded them.

************************
E-mail correspondence must be submitted to the Planning and Zoning
staff one (1) week prior to the scheduled meeting date to be included
in the normal distribution sent to any Board.
************************

Perhaps you can arrange to have this reworded on the site, lest it confuse someone
else like it did me.

Thank you.

Before I send it...  Yes?  No?
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Offline mefree

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Hmm.

I would just send an email asking for clarification without sending the suggestion for updating their website. She might just be confused about dates. You can still email it, right?

Nice letter, btw. 
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
-Dalai Lama

Raven

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i'm sugar coat it waaaayyyy more.  We wants them to likes us

Offline SocialTransparency

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I have written but not yet sent the following back to Ms. Abaray:

Quote
Thank you Ms. Abaray.  I saw the following on
http://www.sandyspringsga.org/tPanelRelatedLinks.aspx?P=906c0f959da644f8a0078b424b14709c
and I didn't realize it wouldn't apply to what I have sent:

Note: Boards, including the Mayor and City Council, DO NOT accept the
submittal of material at meetings. Any material that an applicant or
the public wish any Board to receive and review must be submitted to
the Planning and Zoning staff two (2) weeks prior to the scheduled
meeting date to be included in the official package forwarded them.

************************
E-mail correspondence must be submitted to the Planning and Zoning
staff one (1) week prior to the scheduled meeting date to be included
in the normal distribution sent to any Board.
************************

Perhaps you can arrange to have this reworded on the site, lest it confuse someone
else like it did me.

Thank you.

Before I send it...  Yes?  No?
I feel you should both send it and also send it directly via EMAIL to any and all parties involved. This is what i am doing. Direct contact with those on the council and the Mayor. Understand that Mr Galloway is doing this with the zoning commission, but in a face to face manner. He is getting paid to do this. Sooo, on that note, city protocol should be followed, yet a well composed letter via email to the politicians would be read, though would not be entered into the actual meeting doc.

I guess what i am saying here is any effort to convey your opinion and or feelings on this matter will be seen or heard. Not doing so is more of the issue. Hedge your bets so to speak. We are dealing with overburdened government employee,s. Many of who do not have any stake in the outcome of this situation.

The district councilmen and women will respond to your emails. The Mayor also!

Offline ethercat

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My original email did go to all the individuals involved, as well as to Ms. Abaray. 

My concern, when I wrote the unsent response to Ms. Abaray, was whether she cut off the deadline half a day early, more as a matter of principle than anything else.  The meeting is at 6pm on June 16, and the original email was sent at around 6am on June 2.  It was supposed to be in 2 weeks before the meeting, yet 13 and a half days was too late.  The deadline was for inclusion in the "official package" forwarded to the others.  But since the message also went to the people who would have gotten it in the official package, and some of them responded nicely, I think I will revisit the issue at a later time, if at all.  In other words, the message got through, despite Ms. Abaray.

Here are a couple of the letters back from the individuals, names removed.

Quote
Thank you for your e-mail and comments. I also concerned about the lack
of parking - especially with the suggestion of closing off the
underground parking area. As for monitoring the conditions IF it is
approved - we put conditions on every zoning and the city does monitor
those. Thanks again for your comments and I will keep all of them in
mind as I continue to review this application.

Quote
Thank you for taking the time to share your reasoned viewpoints with me.
This matter will be  coming before us in the next several months and
your concerns about parking limitations and retail use will be
considered.  Thank you for being engaged in your community.

'Nuff said, read between the lines.

The moral of this story is that you can still get your message across to the individuals who will decide the matter, even if it's too late for the "official package."  Write now.  The individual addresses are on http://www.sandyspringsga.org .
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Offline ethercat

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Nice letter, btw.
Thanks.   :)
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Offline SocialTransparency

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Sweeeet! :D

Offline mefree

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Nice response. WTG EC
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
-Dalai Lama

Offline SocialTransparency

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I sent my letter very early this morning (before 6am).  Linda Abaray has said that there will be a Mayor and City Council Meeting on June 16, at which point the decision on the deferral or the rezoning application will be made.  Correspondence was to be in 2 weeks prior to the meeting in order to be submitted for the meeting, so I thought this morning was just in the nick of time.  This afternoon I received an email back from Ms. Abaray, telling me that my letter was too late for the June 16 meeting, however I had the foresight to also cc: the Mayor, the City Council, the Planning Commission, and the Community Development heads.  I got a nice reply back from several of them.

Here are the letters from me, and to me from Ms. Abaray:

Mine:
Quote

Subject: Comments on RZ09-001

To whom it may concern:

This is in reference to the zoning variance application for 5395
Roswell Road by the Church of Scientology. 

Mr. Galloway says that in order to have adequate parking at 5395
Roswell Road, that the members of Scientology will carpool.  Mr.
Galloway has stated that he would like to do a parking study in order
to prove that his clients will not need additional parking spaces
beyond the ones already on site at 5395 Roswell Road.  Such a study
will undoubtedly prove his point, however the validity of such a study
is nil. When the person doing the study and the people whose behavior
is being studied know the desired outcome of the study, they can easily
produce the outcome they desire, and need, to occupy this building. 

I have been in a position to observe the parking habits of the members
of Scientology for the past year, and I have not observed any
substantial carpooling by members.  I have observed the members arrive,
in most cases, one or two to a car. 

Mr. Galloway stated that the planned bookstore will serve only the
members of the Church of Scientology and not the public.  Not only does
the current sign at their current location invite the public to visit
the bookstore, the plans submitted show a "Reception and Public Book
Sales" area with a planned 565 square feet.  There is also a 3200
square foot "Display Area," and a "Department of Promo & Marketing" at
435 square feet.  Combined, this is almost three times the amount of
space planned for the Chapel.  This sounds more like a retail operation
than a church.

Mr. Galloway has told of the plan to enclose the underground parking,
which will eliminate 30 of the already too few spaces on the lot.  This
will permanently cripple the building for any future use.  When the
Church of Scientology outgrows the building, there will be no potential
buyers who will invest in such a white elephant building without
adequate parking.  The building will never be able to return to use as
Office/Institutional, only being suited for an unusual church with a
zoning variance.

Throughout the hearings, Mr. Galloway has repeatedly changed the stated
plans for the building, given different numbers of members at different
times, contradicted himself, and is seemingly changing what he says to
satisfy the issue of the moment.  Mr. Galloway is obviously trying to
shoehorn the Church of Scientology into a building which is not
suitable for their use.  The charade needs to end.

If the rezoning application is approved with conditions, how will these
conditions be monitored, and how much manpower will be required to
assure that the conditions are met, and continue in effect through the
lifetime of this building as the Church of Scientology? 

I urge you to deny the zoning variance request for this location,
RZ09-001. 

Thank you,

Ms. Abaray's:
Quote

Thank you for your comments and concerns regarding RZ09-001. The
packages have already been submitted for the June 16 Mayor and City
Council meeting. If the Mayor and City Council choose to defer this case
you e-mail will be added to the packages being distributed to the
Planning Commission (7/16/09) and the Mayor and City Council (8/18/09).


Linda Abaray
Planner I
City of Sandy Springs
7840 Roswell Road, Bldg. 500
Sandy Springs, GA 30350
O. 770-206-1577
F. 770-206-1562

Funny, I would have thought 2 weeks would have included today, up to the close of business, since the meeting is in the evening of the 16th.
With the revelation of the AJC article of June 5 2009 have any impact on your packet getting into the politicans hands now?

Offline Lorelei

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Nicely done, EC.
"Once the foundation of a revolution has been laid down, it is almost always
in the next generation that the revolution is accomplished." -- Jean d'Alembert

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"I spend hours surfing the web for information, so you don't have to!"