MARIETTA - The Cobb Board of Commissioners recently agreed to rezone two east Cobb properties for the development of subdivisions that will add 55 new homes to the market.
The measure was approved June 18. Prior to the vote, there was a zoning meeting which attracted interest from area residents and developers.
One development is a strip of property on the outskirts of Marietta connected to the East 120 Loop by Roswell Road. On the west side where Sewell Mill Road intersects East Piedmont Road, the 4.64 acre parcel was cleared years ago for development.
Marietta attorney Garvis Sams, who represents East Lake Asset Management, as well as owners Bobby Stanley, Robert Stanley and Tony Stanley, presented a site plan that includes nine residential lots that are a half acre each.
Sams said the small corner development would contain homes with three-car garages and full basements that are priced between $700,000 and $900,000.
The properties should sell quickly because there is a lack of available residences on the market in the desirable area, Sams said. Sams said the East Cobb Civic Association supported the application for rezoning, and if approved by the Board of Commissioners, construction can begin in two months and be completed in a year to 18 months.
There was opposition
The line of nine homes will face East Piedmont Road with two entrances for the single-street subdivision. The plans include building a private street running from East Piedmont Road to Sewell Mill Road, to prevent each property from having a drive way that empties into an already busy intersection.
The entrance off of Sewell Mill Road would allow cars to only turn right into the neighborhood, as well as only turn right out of the neighborhood. Tony Gamorni, who lives in an adjacent community on Windsor Estates Drive, spoke in opposition to the plan.
He said the private drive proposed would encourage traffic to cut through the corner and would dump more traffic too close to the intersection. Gamorni described the empty lot that he said became an eyesore in 2005 when a patch of trees that had provided a buffer to traffic noise was removed. The proposal includes planting a new line of trees at the southwest corner, adjacent to Windsor Estates. Gamorni said the Virginia pines specified in the plan will not adequately address the noise problem. He added construction should be completed in six months, not two years.
"I share the neighbors concern that something get started and completed," Commissioner Christi Trombetti said.
Trombetti said the proposed development can only help the unsightly area, but did recommend further discussion between the developer and neighbors on the quality of the landscaping.
Houses not condos
Attorney Parks Huff, who represents Cotter Properties and Development, proposed a housing development on 13.3 acres of land. The East Cobb location, between Smyrna and Vinings, sits on the west side of Spring Hill Parkway that runs parallel to I-285, near Paces Ferry Road. Huff said previous plans to build multi-story condominiums had been denied. Commissioner Mike Terry said the spot has been waiting 20 to 30 years as site plans have been redrawn numerous times through periods of negotiation between developers and adjacent neighborhoods.
"We wanted the right kind of development," Terry said. Huff's plan calls for 46 single-family detached residences with 3.5 homes per acre, which he said is higher than the recommended density for the land. Huff said the developers lost land to create a 25- foot to 35-foot buffer at the west of the site that will include a 6- foot-high fence to run along th property line of an existing home. Prices for the 2,500- to 4,500-square-foot homes will range from $400,000 to $700,000, Huff said. He added that all the properties are styled as executive homes, meaning the buildings are designed to attract occupants that work at corporate offices nearby.
On a hill
The targeted lot sits on a hill, so any development will be clearly visible by the community.
Clearing the elevated land will result in the loss of many hardwood trees, but Terry said Cobb County has strict requirements for the replacement of trees.
The biggest concern is that the steep hill will cause stormwater drainage and erosion problems, Huff said. One road to be built as part of the project will be at an 18 percent grade, which is the steepest angle allowed by the county. "Our engineers are already working on those challenges," Huff said. If approved by the board, Huff said construction will begin over the next couple of months and can be completed within 18 months. He added the project's team tried very hard to work with surrounding land owners.
"I was glad to see we didn't have any opposition," Huff said.