About Sandy Springs
Sandy Springs is the 6th largest city in Georgia and second largest in metro Atlanta according to its website. In 2005, Sandy Springs incorporated and started to provide some of its own services. This included providing building permits and inspections. SawHorse enjoys working with our clients in Sandy Springs. We are very familiar with the requirements to get permits and inspections for your new custom home, custom renovations or light commercial projects.
The city of Atlanta has a reputation for strict guidelines and standards that need to be met in order to get a permit. Compared to the City of Atlanta, getting a permit in Sandy Springs used to be much easier. It can be argued that Sandy Springs is more challenging that the City of Atlanta with the adoption of its latest zoning ordinance in 2017.
Since 2005, several things have changed in their permitting and enforcement process. Here are some items you need to be aware of if you still working off the old permit checklist:
New Zoning changes in 2017
Survey and Site Plan Requirements for your permit
- You will need a full “tree and topography” survey for any addition that you work on. Check the date on your survey. You might need a new one because the zoning has changed in September of 2017. A comprehensive survey is standard for all municipalities now, not just Sandy Springs.
- The new zoning codes can be found on this site Some of the changes that could impact your property might be changes such as the side yard setback increase from 10 feet to 15 feet depending on your zoning.
- You will need to survey your property and parts of your neighbors property. Most surveyors only survey your property, however here are several items on the checklist that need to be added to the survey or site plan:
- Canopy calculations for trees
- Up to 250 feet surveyed on adjacent properties
Permit Checklists and in person Plan Review
- If you submit a set of plans without consulting the new checklist- you will get a full copy of the checklist as part of the plan review from Sandy Springs. Our advice is to do your best to comply with ALL of the items on the list the first time around. Here is a link to the list of items that you will need on the set of plans when submitting for a permit.
- Sandy Springs officials are very helpful and willing to meet with you/ us before submitting the permit documents. They take appointments every Thursday to review any questions and offer guidance on how to navigate the new codes. We have set up meetings for each of our current and prospective clients. We have come away from them with a better understand of how they will enforce the zoning and building codes.
Other permit considerations
- Pools– their checklist states that “Pool Permit will be required prior to SFASP approval. See Pool Permit Checklist…” NOTE– we got a pool permit first on one of our projects according to this checklist, however in a plan review they asked why we got a pool permit separate from the building permit. Next time we will apply for both at the same time. The note on the checklist since there is internal confusion at this time.
- The Chattahoochee River runs through Sandy Springs. If you are planning a project within 1000 feet of it you need to get special approval. Contact ARC- Atlanta Regional Commission.
- Neighbors Trees– Must create an escrow account to hold funds for trees that could be damaged on neighbors property as stated in 9.3.8 E:
- Where the City Arborist determines that due to approved construction or land disturbance activity an applicant may remove a tree pursuant to the terms of this Article, and the applicant is required to pay for the lost tree canopy of the removed tree, the applicant may, at its election, propose alternative construction or site design methods to attempt to preserve the continued viability of the tree. Should the City Arborist determine that the proposed alternative construction or site design methods will reasonably result in the survival of the tree, that portion of the funds required to pay for the lost tree canopy of the tree pursuant to this Article must be paid into an escrow fund maintained by the City.
We can help you
We will continue to edit this as we learn more and get feedback on on different projects. I’ll also create a list of items to be expected in ALL municipalities based on state codes.
Don’t let all of these items dissuade from doing your project. If you do not have a design team yet, please contact us. We will guide you through the design and permitting process. If you already have a set of plans can can still help with permitting and construction.