Buckhead-based Isakson Living has withdrawn its re-zoning application saying it needs more time to drum up community support. It plans to re-file the application at the beginning of next year.
A rezoning application is required because the company is seeking to use the 53.7-acre tract as a continuing care retirement community, a use that is not allowed under current county zoning.
Rezoning requests must be approved by the Board of Commissioners and are also heard by the county’s Planning Commission.
The plan to turn the area off Roswell Road adjacent to East Cobb Park into a massive senior-living community drew the ire of nearby residents, who said the scope of the project was simply too large. A petition opposing the development gathered more than 1,000 signatures.
Plans called for a 987-unit development with one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes for seniors ages 62 and older. Homes were to range from 1,800 to 2,500 square feet.
Buildings would be four stories and built on top of a parking garage.
Construction was planned to take place over 10 years with about 240 homes to be built in the first phase along with about 75,000 square feet of space for dining, fitness and other activities.
The plan was modeled after the 398-unit senior development it built in Stone Mountain in 2004 called Park Springs.
But now the company is going back to the drawing board and says it wants to carefully consider community concerns.
“We have heard the issues the community has raised,” said Kevin Isakson, director of sales and marketing for Isakson Living, in a written statement. “We want to make certain they are thoughtfully addressed and the additional time will allow us to do so.”
The company had already requested two continuances for re-zoning hearings scheduled in October and November. Isakson could not say Monday afternoon how much the firm had spent on its plans.
Jill Flamm, president of the East Cobb Civic Association, says her main concerns over the intensity, height and scale of the project remain but she is happy to hear the company will take more time.
“We haven’t seen anything since the original plan, but I’m glad they’re taking some time to come back,” said Flamm, whose organization represents about 9,000 homeowners in east Cobb.
Demand for affordable senior housing is only going to increase in Cobb, Kevin Isakson said, as the amount of residents in Cobb who are age 65 and older has grown 67 percent since 2000.
Bob Ott, who represents the area on the Board of Commissioners, praised the developer for withdrawing its application and listening to community input.
“Clearly what they brought in initially, the community wasn’t comfortable with it,” Ott said. “I think a lot of people weren’t comfortable with it, and I had some issues with it.”
Ott said he has two binders full of opposition letters his office has received.
Still, he said Cobb doesn’t see many zoning cases withdrawn and he said it was “the right thing to do.”
“I think it’s a huge positive,” Ott said. “I’ve had numerous discussions with them over the last couple of weeks and months.”