A proposal to place homes on the site of a former Powder Springs water park could be slid onto county commissioners Tuesday, as well as a plan to allow for a homeless development center in south Cobb off Mableton Parkway.
Among the rezoning cases expected to be heard by the Cobb Planning Commission is Summerlyn Homes’ request to construct a single-family detached subdivision of 56 residences on 33.7 acres at 5350 Holloman Road, south of Hiram Lithia Springs Road. The land had once been the site of Sun Valley Beach water park, which operated for nearly 40 years from 1973 until 2012, according to attorney Garvis Sams.
After laying idle a few years, the land had been eyed by Cumberland Christian Academy for the possible consolidation of its school operations but ultimately the plans never came to fruition. The proposal from Summerlyn would allow homes of 1,800 to 2,500 square feet priced from $285,000 to $330,000 and up but keep 13.1 acres — about 39 percent of the site — as perpetual open space protected by a conservation easement.
A vote on the matter, when it was proposed at 59 homes, was delayed in February, with Planning Commissioner Galt Porter saying the developer’s site plan needed to remove several homes that were proposed within a floodplain. Sams said the site plan to be considered Tuesday did just that, but also reduces the development’s density to under two homes per acre.
“You’re going to see this area really start to muscle up with a lot of rooftops … This is just kind of the harbinger of more residential developments up and down Holloman Road, Sams said, citing the increased availability of sewer service in the area over the past few years and the city of Powder Springs’ recent sale of its water system to Cobb County.
HOMELESS CENTER WOULD HOUSE JOB PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS
Mableton-based Family Life Restoration Center is seeking to rezone the 1.6-acre site at 6328 Mableton Parkway, south of Mableton Parkway’s intersection with Factory Shoals Road, to allow for a homeless development center and shelter in collaboration Georgia Works.
“It’s not a ‘homeless shelter’ — it’s a job training program that has housing. These men have a home, they’re not homeless if they’re a part of this program,” said attorney Kevin Moore, who is representing Family Life Restoration Center’s request to zone the property to the light industrial category from its current neighborhood retail center designation.
“The men who will be participants in the program will live on the property (and) will be provided with extensive workforce and job training,” Moore added, with the property limited to no more than 50 participants.
Georgia Works’ goal, according to its website, is to help “chronically homeless men” by providing a full-time job and permanent housing for each participant. “Men who enter the program are typically dependent on drugs and handouts; when they graduate, the goal is to never be dependent again,” according to the site. If approved, the shelter would be Georgia Works’ first within Cobb County.
Participants must remain drug and alcohol free during the program, Moore said, with the average program length being about six months.
But planning commissioners are likely to hear opposition on the matter and have already received some prior to the hearing. County zoning staff are recommending denial of the project, citing county code that requires homeless shelters be no closer than 500 feet to the nearest single-family residence; the site is contiguous to residential property and is within 150 feet of a home.
“Transient guest (sic) coming and going from the property with limited access to sidewalks could cause pedestrians slowing or impeding motor vehicles traveling on Mableton Parkway,” according to the staff analysis.
Commissioner Lisa Cupid, who represents the area, has also shared with zoning staff at least one email from a nearby resident whose subdivision is directly across from the proposed shelter. The resident wrote that she and her neighbors “have already encountered unidentifiable people loitering” around the neighborhood.
“I know the proprietor may have good intentions, but not here,” the resident wrote.
Any zoning matters moved forward by the Planning Commission, whether by a recommendation for approval or denial, could be considered by county commissioners for final approval as soon as their April 16 zoning meeting. The Planning Commission’s recommendations are advisory in nature, with county commissioners having the final say.
The Cobb Planning Commission meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Cobb Government Building.