Cobb residents of Bellemeade aim to join city
by Jon Gillooly
August 13, 2012 01:06 AM | 5809 views | 4 4 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Stephanie Russell Splawn, left, stands beside a City of Marietta zoning notice for homes in the Bellemeade Farms Subdivision with children who live in the neighborhood. Children from the Ojulari family, Mariam, 14; back row, Olabisi, 9; Azeez, 12; and Jamiu, 10; stand with Wilson Canale, 7, front row in white shirt. <br> Photo by Jon-Michael Sullivan
Stephanie Russell Splawn, left, stands beside a City of Marietta zoning notice for homes in the Bellemeade Farms Subdivision with children who live in the neighborhood. Children from the Ojulari family, Mariam, 14; back row, Olabisi, 9; Azeez, 12; and Jamiu, 10; stand with Wilson Canale, 7, front row in white shirt.
Photo by Jon-Michael Sullivan
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MARIETTA – The 22-home Bellemeade Farms subdivision is right next to the City of Marietta’s Dunleith Elementary School. Trouble is, parents can’t send their children there because the subdivision is in the county.

“Our kids have to go to Fair Oaks Elementary, which is two to three miles away,” resident Patrick Reese told the Marietta City Council last week in asking for the neighborhood to be annexed into the city.

Six homeowners in the subdivision, which was developed around 2001 near the intersection of Sandtown and Austell roads, originally approached the city in July. City documents note that the neighborhood is “completely surrounded” by other properties that are within the city limits.

Homeowners association president Stephanie Russell Splawn presented the council with a petition signed by 19 of the homeowners on Wednesday. The other homes are occupied by renters, she said.

“When you look at it from a perspective of being just a good neighbor, it’s the right thing to do,” Splawn said. “It’s a better school next door. Kids can walk to the school next door instead of having to go to a school that is seemingly not as educationally equipped or technically equipped as Dunleith.”

The neighborhood appears to sit in northwest Cobb Commissioner Helen Goreham’s district, though it is near the line with southwest Cobb Commissioner Woody Thompson’s district.

Splawn said the subject of annexing into the city came up last year.

“The original homeowners, the kids are now — how should I put this — now in elementary and middle school,” Splawn said. “When they were in kindergarten, it wasn’t an issue. Now the parents know what’s good and what’s not good.”

Cobb’s Fair Oaks Elementary feeds into Griffin Middle School and Osborne High School. All Marietta City elementaries, meanwhile, feed into Marietta Middle School and Marietta High School.

As for the homeowners who don’t have children, there is the benefit of resale value, she said.

“Wouldn’t you like to live next door to a school that’s considered one of the better elementary schools in your area?” Splawn asked. “Financially it’s only going to be anywhere from $30 to $50 more on our taxes. We’ll make that up in the fact that we have city trash pickup. Right now we’re private. We pay.”

Mayor Steve Tumlin said he was pleased that the county homeowners want to become part of the city.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming them to the city, but it is a procedure. All 22 people have to be given formal notice,” Tumlin said. “We didn’t have all the paperwork before us to allow us to consider it in August, but we will in September, and we look forward to bringing these houses in.”

In the interim, the children will continue attending the Cobb schools they currently attend, Splawn said.
Comments
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placido123
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August 13, 2012
I would like to make a suggestion WHICH I know will NOT go over very well but here it is...

1. Eliminate County Government. Let them take care of the prisons etc.

2. The unincorporated cities in Marietta, Austel get absorbed into those cities.

County Government is a waste. By eliminating it, people can save money...no more Commissioners and their staff, no more bloated bureaucracy. eliminate the dysfunctional school board...

County Government goes back a LONG time and is quite frankly archaic. To better serve residents, the city should be responsible...Just my thoughts
DustyCulpepper
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August 13, 2012
What's the problem with feeding into Osborne Ms. Splawn? The students and staff there are not second class citizens.
Good point
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August 13, 2012
It seems to me Marietta HS has been placed on that famous list of schools not meeting Federal Mandates. Osborne has passed according to Cobb County. Fair Oaks is a 90 90 90 school. I would stay put.
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