The Marietta City Council will again consider the Nexus Gardens and Laurel Park development proposals at its meeting Wednesday night. If the rezonings are approved, developer Nexus Marietta would move forward with the mixed-use developments, which would bring a combined 243 townhomes, 176 apartments, 160 senior living units, retail and office space to the city.
Nexus Marietta, the developer of both projects, has faced strong opposition from Marietta residents. The city's planning commission recommended denying the application in March after locals spoke out against the projects, saying they would reduce affordability, increase traffic to dangerous levels and threaten nearby wetlands.
The planning commission’s recommendation is not binding — council members have the final say.
Both proposed developments are on Powers Ferry Road at its intersection with South Marietta Parkway. After the planning commission’s meeting, the council tabled the applications at the request of Nexus Marietta’s lawyer, who cited a new traffic study that may have necessitated amending the application.
Rusty Roth, the city's development services director, told the MDJ that "after the traffic studies were received, we were informed by the attorney representing Nexus that they would be proposing to upgrade Meadowbrook Drive (to a road that can handle more traffic). However, they did not provide plans showing that proposed upgrade."
Also on the agenda is a second reading of an ordinance to expand criminal liability for street racing and similar activity.
The measure would target street racing and “reckless driving exhibition,” which is when people gather for an event around reckless driving. This includes “laying drag,” when motorists drive around in circles or zig zags. If passed, drivers, organizers or people who promote or profit from such events could be charged with a misdemeanor and face a $1,000 fine and up to six months in prison.
Several other metro cities, including the city of Atlanta, have passed similar ordinances. Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin proposed the ordinance as a proactive measure due to street racing becoming a problem in other metro communities.
Another rezoning on Wednesday’s agenda would allow a halfway house to be operated at 340 Lockheed Avenue, located off South Marietta Parkway near its intersection with Cobb Parkway. The rezoning application and special land use permit to enable the halfway house was approved unanimously by the planning commission and would have a 3-year limit.
On the consent agenda, the city will vote on contracting with Cobb County Board of Elections and Registration to carry out city elections in November. The mayor, City Council and Marietta Board of Education are on the ballot this fall.
Finally, avid trail-walkers may be looking forward to artistic enhancements. A motion to approve the Marietta Arts Council's installation of an art gallery along the fence adjacent to the Mountain-to-River Trail is on the consent agenda.