At the end of March, the Cumberland Community Improvement District, a self-taxing district formed in 1988, unanimously voted to triple its green space by expanding into federal parkland.
Today, the Board of Commissioners will possibly sign off on the expansion of the boundaries for the first time since 2007.
If approved, about 572 acres of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area will lie within the district, jumping from the 264 acres of green space the CID includes now.
The proposed expansion would increase the amount of green space in the CID from 7.4 percent to 20.3 percent. The land area of the CID will also expand from 5.6 square miles to 6.5 square miles.
According to a report from Rob Hosack, Cobb director of community development, the National Park Service provided a letter of support for the boundary expansion.
About 25 miles of multi-use trails weave around Cumberland’s office towers. By partnering with the National Park Service, the CID will be able to invest in the Palisades and Cochran Shoals areas, said CID board member Mason Zimmerman.
The CID can only spend money within its boundaries, so in order to help with an investment in the trail system, the land must be part of the CID.
Taking part of the national park does not require spending any cash, until the CID opts to fund a project on the land. The National Parks Service will not be subject to the additional property tax the CID levies to fund its projects.
Even though the expansion will not produce any revenue, the park space is an asset, Zimmerman said.
The CID had already invested in improving trail connections and accessibility when “the question became what else can we do?” Zimmerman said.
The CID was looking into ways to “better integrate quality of life elements into the commercial district,” Zimmerman said, so it’s a natural expansion.
“There is no question that Cumberland CID benefits greatly from its location near so much parkland,” said Zimmerman, who is an active runner and cyclist.