The Cobb Planning Commission approved the plans for the community Tuesday.
The one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom Craftsman-style cottages are planned for a 40-acre site off Chastain Meadows Parkway between Big Shanty and Bells Ferry roads near the KSU athletic fields. Units will be between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet.
Though the Planning Commission recommended approving the rezoning of the property from a mix of residential uses to a category that allows multifamily housing, the Cobb Board of Commissioners gets the final say at its meeting at 9 a.m. on Dec. 17 at 100 Cherokee St.
The site is owned now by California-based BK Properties LP, but it will be constructed and managed by Texas-based Aspen Heights, which has properties on the University of Georgia and Georgia Southern University campuses.
Christi Trombetti, who represents the area on the Planning Commission, said she didn’t receive any feedback from neighbors before Tuesday’s meeting despite the size of the development.
“The sense is there’s general support but questions and concerns because it is a big project,” Trombetti said.
Some planning commissioners questioned if multiple students would be allowed to share single bedrooms.
Charlie Vatterott, executive vice president of Aspen Heights, said his company will only allow one student per bed and isn’t “trying to burden this site with too many units.”
“Kids this age are used to having their own bedroom, their own bathroom, and that’s one thing they have here. … These are not the kids trying to save mom or dad twenty bucks or forty bucks,” Vatterott said.
Concerns about traffic
One nearby property owner told the Planning Commission he’s concerned about traffic and opposes the development.
“I really don’t think I want multi-housing in the back of that subdivision,” said Jeffrey Gresch.
He says his neighborhood has already experienced an increase in traffic from the rapid growth at Kennesaw State.
“We’re talking about a lot of students, a lot of parking and a lot of cars,” Gresch said. “It could create a lot of traffic.”
Trombetti pointed to the development’s proposed multiple entrances on different streets as a measure to alleviate traffic and said more student housing is part of having a growing college.
“It’s just a necessary change. It’s been incredible over the last 15 years or so, what’s happened up there,” Trombetti said.
KSU growth encroaching on neighborhoods
Others fear student housing could soon encroach on their homes.
David Snyder has lived on Briargate Lane, near the proposed development, for seven years and has seen the expansion of KSU slowly make its way toward his home. He’s concerned that multifamily units could take over his single-family neighborhood.
Christina Devereux likes her tree-lined community, she told the Planning Commission on Tuesday with her two small children, Sophie and Francis, in tow. Though she likes the undeveloped nature of her neighborhood, she said the property will likely be used for student housing.
“We really like the agricultural area that it is right now, but we know that eventually someone’s going to buy it,” Devereux said.