MARIETTA — Property owners are worried the county’s roads, schools and water management system cannot support an additional 100 homes proposed during a recent Planning Commission meeting.
In a 5-0 vote, the commission recently approved 2 subdivision plans in southeast Cobb, in the Smyrna-Vinings and Mableton areas. Two plans for northeast Cobb, near Cherokee County, were held for another month.
On July 15, the Board of Commissioners will review a development plan by one of metro Atlanta’s largest homebuilders, Carrollton-based Patrick Malloy Communities LLC.
The site is west of Atlanta Road and north of Cooper Lake Drive, southeast of Smyrna city limits, across the street from the Central Garden subdivision also being built by Patrick Malloy Communities.
“There are so many rooftops in this area,” said attorney Garvis Sams, who represents the property owners for the Marietta law firm Sams, Larkin and Huff, LLP.
The newest Patrick Malloy community would have 22 homes on 5.4 acres of an “irregular-shaped piece of property,” Sams said, making the density 4.07 units per acre.
The two-story homes will be an average of 8,500 square feet, although some will be less than 7,000 square feet, Garvis said. The prices will range from $450,000 to $650,000.
Garvis said the roads will be private and maintained by a homeowners association. It is yet to be determined if the subdivision will be gated.
“That is something to be dictated by the market,” he said.
The 22-home subdivision would replace five houses on the existing land. Two are still occupied, but all homes will be demolished within two months.
If approved, construction could start by mid-October, with homes going up in March, Vice President with Patrick Malloy Communities John Gaskin said.
Gaskin said he expects the lots to sell out and the subdivision to be completed in two years.
The roads will be tree-lined, according to the site plan. Also, a plot where houses could have been built will instead be reserved to save healthy, native, rare trees, Garvis said.
“There are not many developers that would go to this extent,” Garvis said of the two lots not to be developed.
Opposition, developer headaches
There were three people at the meeting in opposition to the Patrick Malloy development.
Mary Rose Barnes, who was representing the Oakdale Community Association, said she was concerned about the density, which places a hardship on property owners because of flooding.
Barnes said other developments placed nearby have caused erosion problems for neighbors, “negatively impacting the quality of life and property values.”
Suzanne Ballue said she lives in the Paces Green subdivision, with 100 homes built between 1994-96, with a stream running through the development.
Ballue said the area cannot tolerate the water flow increasing any further.
“Our quiet little stream has turned into a raging river,” she said.
There are 10 properties sitting next to the stream, and Ballue said owners have spent “tens of thousands of dollars” to fix overflow problems on their land.
Ballue wanted to know who to hold responsible if the drainage issue grows.
Joseph Atkins, an attorney who represents the county, told the board Cobb does not have the money or resources to maintain a subdivision’s retention pond for years to come.
“If it is private, it needs to stay that way,” Atkins said about the residential development not being a public project.
A second subdivision was approved 5-0 in the Mableton area, west of Interstate 285, south of Vinings Estates.
The Pebblebrook community would include 36 homes on a 16-acre tract, with a density of 2.25 units per acre and 5.14 acres of open green space.
Sams, who represents the owners DCG Pebblebrook, LLC, said the nature of the property and typography means some of the homes will be less than 20 feet apart at some places.
The homes range from 1,800 to 3,400 square feet and will be priced between $400,000 and $500,000, Sams said.
Although Sams said his clients have not selected which national builder will develop the project, construction could begin in 60 days and take 12 to 18 months to complete.
Two subdivision held for review
The Planning Commission voted 5-0 to hold two projects for another month of review.
Both subdivisions are in north Cobb near the Cherokee border, down Jamerson Road from a nearly 200-home subdivision approved across the county boundary.
John Moore, who represents the owners O’Dwyer Properties, LLC for the Marietta law firm, Moore, Ingram, Johnson and Steele LLP, said 28 homes will be built on the 15 acre tract of land north of Jamerson Road, west of Wigley Road.
The homes will range from 5,000 to 6,000 square feet on 15,000 square foot lots, for a density of 1.85 units per acre.
“We are seeing houses as big as this going in 7,500 square foot lots in east Cobb,” Moore said.
Planning Commissioner Christi Trombetti, who represents the area, said she wants any new development to fit in with the area.
“This is a different part of suburbia,” she said in response to comparisons with east Cobb. “For a while, everything was quiet, and now, everything is opening up again.”
Opponents to the plan spoke about the increased traffic on the curved road and the quick rise in the population having a negative impact on the area’s schools.