MARIETTA — Neighbors of a proposed homeless development center and shelter in Mableton did not get the denial of the project they had sought at Tuesday’s Cobb zoning meeting despite their commissioner’s initial desire to turn down the request.
Instead, Mableton-based Family Life Restoration Center was allowed to withdraw its rezoning application and will be allowed to submit a land-use permit for the goal of creating a program with Georgia Works to help “chronically homeless men” return to the workforce. The application had been opposed by several neighbors of the 1.6-acre site at 6328 Mableton Parkway, south of Mableton Parkway’s intersection with Factory Shoals Road.
“A lot of homeless facilities, they are positioned near supportive services — where there are health services, where there’s transit, where there’s other community support systems to wrap around. … That is not this community,” said Commissioner Lisa Cupid, who oversees the area. “This community does not have those adjacent supportive uses to help buoy this being here.”
Cupid encouraged those who wished to help the homeless population to help find places in the county more fitting for such a program. Later, she acquiesced to Chairman Mike Boyce’s proposed solution to have the matter pulled from consideration to have proponents meet with neighbors to hammer out details of an amended plan.
Opponents at past meetings had raised concern about the facility lacking security measures to keep neighbors safe.
Boyce also suggested discussion of having the shelter begin with fewer residents than the 30 proposed for its first year of operation, and a maximum of 50 after two years of successful operation.
“There comes a time when you have to be part of the solution. If your answer to everything is, ‘No, not in my backyard,’ then there’s never going to be a solution,” Boyce said.
Prior to withdrawing her motion, Cupid expressed concern that land-use permits for other group home-type proposals had been denied in past cases. But Boyce and Commissioner Bob Ott said they would support Cupid’s decision on the matter if it returns for consideration in her district.