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Sandy Springs asks residents to complain
by Noreen Lewis Cochran
September 18, 2012 08:34 PM | 1635 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Residents and business owners, irked at visitors’ vehicles cluttering their personal space, should respond only by calling the city of Sandy Springs’ telephone number if a new business arrangement gets out of line.

That was the message delivered at Tuesday’s regular Sandy Springs City Council meeting at City Hall, where a 5-1 vote overturned the planning commission’s July 19 denial of a funeral home at 4579 Roswell Road, in District 5.

District 5 City Councilman Tibby DeJulio, whose motion for denial died for lack of a second, voted against the applicant, Sandy Springs-based Community Funeral Service.

The Roswell Road site is owned by Paul Brown, proprietor of adjacent business Gallery 63, whose popular Discovery Channel show “Auction Kings” has led to parking overflow — and neighbor protests.

District 3 City Councilman Chip Collins said constituents told him the police and code enforcement departments play hot potato with the problem, each referring violations to the other’s jurisdiction.

Not so, according to Sandy Springs Police Chief Terry Sult.

“Parking on the grass is the responsibility of code enforcement,” he said. “Parking on the street is the responsibility of the police department.”

The two departments will confer on the topic, Sult said, and closely monitor the situation — in which, according to the funeral home’s lease, auctions will not occur on the same days as funeral services.

Agreeing with Mayor Eva Galambos’ request that the public help the city “do a better job enforcing our ordinances,” District 2 City Councilwoman Dianne Fries said notification via the city’s call center is the best way to notify authorities.

“We had not gotten any complaints,” she said, earning an outcry from some of the 20 neighbors in attendance. “Call the call center phone number, so it is going to the proper department, so we are having those recorded. If you talk to a policeman on the street, we don’t hear about it.”

Public protest also will drive the enforcement of a new law Sult proposed during the city council’s work session.

The law will regulate fees, which at $500 to $700 he called “exorbitant” and a “legal form of extortion,” charged by car booting companies.

District 4 City Councilman Gabriel Sterling asked how to enforce a law keeping the companies from overcharging violators of private parking covenants.

“Basically, by complaint, as we enforce pretty much everything else,” Sult said.

The law may be on the Oct. 2 city council meeting agenda.

Information: The Sandy Springs Call Center can be reached at (770) 730-5600.

What’s next?

The Sandy Springs City Council may vote on the booting law Oct. 2.

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