At the most recent batch of rezoning hearings for the county, developer Richard Duncan of Kennesaw requested approval to build nine homes on 4.2 acres of land in northeast Cobb.
The original zoning would only allow for seven homes on the north side of Mountain Road. The nine homes would bring the density to about one home per half acre.
Duncan said the homes would have a minimum of 3,000 square feet of living space, with basements and three-car garages.
The homes would line a long court just on the east and north side, leaving adjacent neighbors in the existing subdivision to the west complaining their backyards would face a new road.
Five people who live in the Highland Ridge subdivision appeared before the Cobb Planning Commission on Tuesday morning to oppose the construction plan.
Most of the complaints were concerns about light pollution from more street lamps, the extra traffic created by the new families and a loss of a scenic view overlooking a mostly undeveloped lot.
“Currently, we have a full cityscape view that is unblocked,” said Kelley Reis, who lives on the far north side of Outlook Way, which is a horseshoe-shaped road that encircles the property being rezoned.
With the new houses being built along a ridge, Reis wanted a stipulation added to the plans that would require homes butting against the back of her property to be one-story. A larger elevation of a two-story home would allow the new residents to peer into Reis’ pool area.
Many of the opponents said the narrow, curvy Mountain Road is unsafe for any more vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
“The curves are extremely blind,” said Reis, and the new court would be built at a point where Mountain Road bends, between the two entrances for Outlook Way.
Residents also said the intersection down Mountain Road at Sandy Plains Road is a safety concern when trying to turn left.
The petitioners wanted any action by the Planning Commission delayed for a month, saying they only received a letter from the developer a month before the public hearing.
Planning Commissioner Christi Trombetti, who represents the area, said the two weeks until the Board of Commissioners meeting is enough time for the residents to discuss with Duncan the personal concerns and “my-back-yard issues.”
Other than that, it is a “straight-forward application,” Trombetti said. “This is not controversial in my mind.”
However, she said concerns from residents are common when the last piece of undeveloped property is sold in a residential area.
The board unanimously recommended, 5-0, to approve the new development, with the Cobb Board of Commissioners scheduled to have final say March 18.
No opposition to
Another small portion of land in south Cobb had an easier time getting the Planning Commission’s unanimous recommendation for approval.
Marietta resident Skip Harper said he has been wanting to broker a deal with the owners of a prime location for more than 25 years.
Finally, the owners of the Oliver Bridges estate, on the east side of Hicks Road south of Pioneer Trail, are ready to sell, Harper said.
The site in south Cobb would have 42 detached, single-family homes on the eastern side of the land, resulting in a density of 2.1 units per acre. The one-story homes with two-car garages would be priced between $230,000 and $280,000.
Eight acres of open space on the western portion would create a passive park, including a trail system and picnic area with 30-year-old pine trees.
Harper just completed a development of ranch homes for seniors called Cobblestone Ridge off Barrett Parkway.
Even though the plot discussed Tuesday would not be zoned as residential senior living, the development would be marketed to “active adults 55 and older.” But, 20 percent of the homes, or eight spots, may be purchased by buyers younger in age.
“We will be building to easy living standards,” with wider doorways and entrances without steps, Harper said.
He said there would not be a significant impact on traffic flow and the yards would be maintained by the homeowners association.