FAA study to examine land usage near Dobbins
by Nikki Wiley
December 23, 2013 12:17 AM | 5529 views | 1 1 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — As the county government and Dobbins Air Force Base team up to study land uses around the installation, officials say the impact of the Braves’ move on the base is still unknown.

Cobb Chairman Tim Lee says conversations have started between the base and the baseball franchise. There aren’t any major concerns that the new stadium or its accompanying mixed-use development planned for the Cumberland area will have a negative impact on the base or Lockheed Martin’s operations, he said.

The proposed stadium is expected to be about 200 feet in height, according to information from the team, which is lower than the surrounding buildings.

A Federal Aviation Administration study will be done, but the franchise said it doesn’t expect any problem that “we will not be able to address in a satisfactory manner.”

The Braves “will be at the table” over the next year, Lee said, as Cobb and the cities of Marietta and Smyrna complete a study into land use around the base.

Cobb plans to spend more than $100,000 with a consultant for the study, but no final price has been approved.

“We’re basically kind of looking at ways to improve the land uses that are in Cobb County and Smyrna and Marietta as it relates to whether or not they’re compatible with the air base,” said Rob Hosack, community development director for Cobb.

It’s all being done at the request of the Air Force Reserve Command in hopes to accomplish “reduced and improved” land use in airfield clear zones and address encroachment issues, said Lt. Col. James Wilson.

Hosack said the request came before the Braves’ announcement and studies like the one Cobb will undertake are being done at air bases across the country.

About a year ago, the county updated its zoning ordinance to reflect Air Installation Compatible Use Zone recommendations.

“Once we all kind of updated our ordinances for the AICUZ, us being the city of Marietta and Cobb County, I think everybody agreed that it might be a good time to actually step back and take a look at the land uses,” Hosack said. “There may be changes that Cobb County could make to our future land use map that might get it more in line with what the AICUZ guidelines call for … there may be some changes that Dobbins could make.”

Hosack said things like the height of buildings and zoning categories that allow for construction of single-family homes will be studied.

“Generally what you want to avoid is single-family residential houses to where they’re going to be constantly subjected from the noises,” Hosack said.

The study, Lee said, is a way to show the community stands behind Dobbins.

Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin agrees and said communication between the base and local governments is important.

“We’d be mortified if they closed Dobbins, so by having a good working relationship with them, it helps the next time the BRAC comes along,” Tumlin said, referring to hearings held by the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission, which has a role in determining if certain military bases are still needed.

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December 23, 2013
Many other military airfields have joint use runways in which a secure area is created adjacent to he runway to provide for civilian passenger use. Cobb County has a huge, largely underutilized runway in the heart of the county and within ten mikes of most business travelers. If Cobb can steal the Braves, maybe they should consider stealing home and make a play for business travelers out of Marietta.
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