White Water gets first OK for new slide
by Noreen Cochran
January 03, 2013 05:28 AM | 3949 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Six Flags White Water is planning to debut a new five-story water slide in May, with help from the Marietta Planning Commission’s 5-0 recommendation Tuesday to rezone the amusement park’s employee parking lot.

Although subject to final approval by the Marietta City Council on Jan. 9, the action did not inspire controversy at the commission’s work session, nor did anyone speak in opposition to it during the regular meeting at City Hall.

Planning and Zoning Director Rusty Roth said during the work session the owners want to rezone the 5-acre parcel at 236 Cobb Parkway North from Light Industrial to Regional Retail Commercial.

“They were just using it for parking, so it was not an issue. Now they want to develop it with a ride or water feature to go along with the park,” he said. “In order to do that, they need to incorporate it into their property. To do that, they have to rezone it so it’s the same zoning as the rest of their property.”

Jeff Brewer of Kennesaw-based Brewer Engineering spoke at the regular meeting on behalf of the applicant, Six Flags Over Georgia Acquisition Co.

“There’s a slide next to an existing pool we’re replacing,” he said about the Bonzai Pipeline, a family ride that will be swapped out for a thrill ride called Behemoth Bowl by its Ottawa, Ontario-based manufacturer ProSlide Technology Inc. but being rebranded by Six Flags as the Typhoon Twister.

The 54-foot-high slide ends in a 67-foot-diameter bowl, which the park’s website notes is “the first of its kind in the state and the largest single investment in the park’s 29-year history.”

In a staff analysis of the proposal, Development Services Director Brian Binzer stated, “This rezoning request should not have any substantial impact on the transportation, education, water, sewer, electricity or other public infrastructure in the area.”

However, during the work session, commissioner Jason Waters questioned the water impact, which Roth said has been anticipated.

“With the amount of water they use already, having another feature in there is not going to substantially increase their usage,” Roth said. “The water lines along Cobb Parkway have been upgraded over the years.”

The commission also unanimously recommended approval of a rezoning for the Travelers Motel and China House restaurant, two parcels on Cobb Parkway owned by Viml Inc.

“This stuck out as the only property on Cobb Parkway that’s still got residential zoning,” Roth said during the work session. “I’m not sure what the long-range plans are for this, but at this point they’re just requesting the property be rezoned. I don’t know if they’ve got plans they’re not sharing with us. It’s more housekeeping than anything at this point.”

Commissioner Stephen Diffley said the two businesses are successful.

“It’s a viable property. It’s being used. It’s not just sitting vacant. I think the restaurant is being refurbished,” he said.

Roth said the owners, Madhakonta P. Patel and Pravin P. Patel, called the city and asked about the zoning.

“They were surprised that it was still rezoned residential,” Roth said. “We told them they would have to go through the rezoning process to have it corrected to commercial zoning.”

During the meeting, Pravin P. Patel said there are no plans to combine the properties into one, to refurbish either parcel or to build a new structure.

“It’s been that way for so many years,” he said about the property his company has owned since 1981.

The third case of the meeting, a request by Jonathan C. Pascoe of Lawrenceville to rezone a house at 238 Crescent Circle so he can rent the property as a residence, was tabled to the Feb. 5 meeting because Pascoe did not appear.

Despite his absence, the case sparked an interest in the commission to review future land use plans for that street, which is near the Square.

Most of the properties along Crescent Circle are former single-family houses zoned Office Institutional for small businesses.

“I don’t know that this will ever go back to residential use,” Roth said during the work session.
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