ACWORTH — On Thursday Acworth’s Board of Aldermen approved the annexation and rezoning of the 22-acre Lake Point Campgrounds along Cobb Parkway following the county’s decision last month to withdraw its objection to both actions.
Property owner Jon Lawson requested to rezone the property at 5134 North Shores Road — just west of Lake Allatoona and southeast of Highway 92 and Dallas Acworth Highway — as residential. The campground business is expected to remain as is with no changes in the foreseeable future.
Though aldermen were scheduled to vote on the matter at their Feb. 7 meeting following two public hearings in January, the county objected to the changes due in part to zoning concerns. The property was zoned by the county under tourist services and residential classifications and is within an area identified as parks/recreation/conservation on the county’s future land use map.
The property, which borders U.S. Corps of Engineers property near Lake Allatoona, is in the district of county Commissioner Keli Gambrill, who previously said the initially proposed city zoning’s land use was not compatible under the House Bill 489 intergovernmental agreement between Cobb and the city of Acworth. Commissioners, however, removed their objections last month after Acworth proposed rezoning the property to a residential category similar to that of the county’s classifications.
“There’s only certain things we can object to, and one of them was the way they were annexing it into the city. Essentially, they had to annex it in as a similar zone category to us,” Gambrill said. “There’s (still) an issue on sewer to that site. We knew that going in, and while that isn’t necessarily a consideration under House Bill 489 when it comes to annexation, we thought that was an important issue to discuss to let Acworth know there is no sewer to this site as it stands right now, and if they wish to develop it, it would have to flow by gravity only, but due to the proximity to the lake, the topography, right now that is not a potentially achievable (thing).”
While Gambrill said there was talk to turn the site into a senior development, Acworth Mayor Tommy Allegood said no specific site plans exist, with the owner set to maintain it as a campground following the annexation.
As a campground, the property has 130 spots for trailers and RVs. Somewhere between 60 to 70 are occupied, many by renters who have taken up near-permanent residence on the grounds, according to Acworth City Manager Brian Bulthuis.
“Once we figure out how to get sewer to the property, and the owner is working on getting sewer access to the property, once that is figured out in the future, I think he probably (will be) ready to talk (about development), Allegood said.
The site’s lack of sewer access is one of the reasons Jennifer Ragsdale, who resides on nearby Awtrey Church Road in unincorporated Cobb, raised objections to the annexation, though neither she nor any other members of the public spoke about the matter at Thursday’s meeting.
“They’d have to get into lift stations, pump stations. I think that’s scary when you talk about this close to the lake,” Ragsdale said Wednesday, adding that development would also bring with it a greater chance of runoff from fertilizer as yards are landscaped and of other pollutants off impervious surfaces such as driveways and roads.
“This is our drinking water we’re talking about. I don’t really want the development, the traffic and that kind of thing, but I just think we have to protect the lake,” Ragsdale added. “Whatever’s there now needs to be cleaned up, but if you put a development there that is more intense and has more impervious surface and even if it’s yards and that type of thing on a downward slope, fertilizer and things like that are going to wash down into the lake, and there’s not going to be any way to prevent that, I don’t think.”
In other business, aldermen unanimously approved a temporary alcohol privilege license for the North Cobb Rotary Club for its Smoke on the Lake BBQ festival May 10-11 at Cauble Park. All of the event’s net proceeds go directly to charity and is presented in association with the Georgia BBQ Association.