City approves high-end gated development
by Rachel Gray
October 19, 2013 12:51 AM | 3122 views | 3 3 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print

City of Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin, right, talks with Councilmen Johnny Sinclair and Andy Morris outside the gated community The Retreat on Burnt Hickory Road near the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park on Thursday. The city recently approved four variances and annexed a 16-acre tract next to the neighborhood for another gated residential development, which will feature six homes in the million-dollar range.
<br>Staff/Kelly J. Huff
City of Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin, right, talks with Councilmen Johnny Sinclair and Andy Morris outside the gated community The Retreat on Burnt Hickory Road near the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park on Thursday. The city recently approved four variances and annexed a 16-acre tract next to the neighborhood for another gated residential development, which will feature six homes in the million-dollar range.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff
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MARIETTA — Six Cobb families have joined together to develop a gated community in the latest expansion of the city’s boundary west toward Kennesaw Mountain.

After a recommendation by the Planning Commission in favor of The Farm at the Retreat, the City Council on Oct. 9 unanimously approved the new development off Burnt Hickory Road, east of Barrett Parkway.

The approval of the five proposed home sites along with the annexation of 2 acres from Cobb County into Marietta includes one existing house that will be remodeled.

Mayor Steve Tumlin said the new development will quickly blend with the area.

“There is almost no drawback,” Tumlin said.

Councilman Andy Morris, who represents Ward 4 where the neighborhood will be built, said he heard about the project two months ago.

“It was a very easy decision,” Morris said.

The Farm at the Retreat will encompass 16 acres, with lots ranging from 1.1 acres to 3.2 acres. The homes will offer 3,500 to 7,000 square feet of living space and three-car garages.

Gravis Sams, who has been a zoning attorney for 34 years and represents the developers, said the exteriors will have a mixture of brick, stacked stone and Hardiplank siding. Prices will range between $750,000 to $1.5 million.

The infrastructure in the subdivision, as well as the grading of the lots, will be completed within the year, Sams said. Construction of the homes could begin during that period.

The future homeowners, who Tumlin described as young professionals, formed the Farm at the Retreat LLC to develop the property, which is surrounded on three sides by the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.

“It is almost a friendship corporation,” Tumlin said.

The families date back in Cobb County for generations, so they know the area well, Tumlin said.

A city’s dream development

Along with the land grab from Cobb County, the council also approved a few

variances, such as an 8-foot high entry gate that will be set back from Burnt Hickory Road by 50 feet.

Others increased the maximum length of the cul-de-sac from 700 to 940 feet and removed the requirement for a sidewalk along Burnt Hickory Road.

Farm at the Retreat will sit next to an existing gated, exclusive housing subdivision, the Retreat at Kennesaw Mountain.

“Gated is probably perfect out there for the number of people who visit the park,” Tumlin said.

Marshall Dye, who served on the Marietta Board of Zoning Appeals for seven years and is running in Ward 4 against Morris, said since the community is so small, sidewalks are not necessary and that saves the homeowners more than $200,000.

The property is zoned as low density residential and does not include a club house or other amenities often placed in sprawling neighborhoods.

Westward expansion of city limits

Dye said the exclusive area will have private streets, which will not require maintenance from the city, and will increase the city’s tax digest.

“Nearby communities love it because it keeps their property values up,” Dye said.

Tumlin said the high-quality development strengthens the city and “complements our growth to the west.”

The continuous stretch of land being incorporated into the city could include annexing properties across Burnt Hickory Road.

“This is a strategic expansion of the city’s boundaries,” Sams said.

Comments
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a win 4 chickens!
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October 19, 2013
Praise the Lord it's not yet another $750,000 @ five per acre densi-slum. These lots are a good size, The 3.2 acres lot(s) will even qualify automatically for backyard chickens, thus making the name "The Farm" slightly less ironic.

neee
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October 23, 2013
Apparently, castles on smart growth lots are slums? Whereas, poor use of land is "good" development? No wonder Marietta is falling so far behind Smyrna and average home prices aren't keeping up with Smyrna's growth.
yes, slums
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October 26, 2013
Yes, the sardine pack mcMansions are slums. They are of very large size but very low quality and have about 12 feet between them.

Developers know that plenty of fools want the biggest house with the "fanciest" front and a big tub in the master bath and that is all they care about because they don't know anything about anything.

It is a given that sardine pack McMansions don't know anything since they put all their real estate investment dollars into a structure that will crumble and turn worthless, leaving only the fifth acre lot for their grandchildren.

This is America where the houses do NOT last, so you want more land, less house for your real estate dollar.

If the sardine pack densi-slum "castles" (as you call them) were build of stone and were actually castles, it would be a different story, but since you think they're castles, if you were able to borrow $750,000, you surely bought one. My condolences.

Back to the positive side of the story, the development covered in this article does sound to be good development. Smyrna can keep the sardine packs.
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