Delayed zoning cases include Austell, east Cobb housing developments

Mar. 6—A proposed Austell housing development of more than 80 homes is being delayed until next month's Cobb Planning Commission hearing.

The rezoning request is for a roughly 19.5-acre parcel in Austell where Atlanta-based Drapac Investments has asked to build more than 57 townhomes and 24 single-family houses, down from an original proposal that included more than 70 townhomes. The development would be wedged between several subdivisions east of Maxham Road and south of Veterans Memorial Highway.

Planning commissioners previously delayed the case during its December hearing, citing concerns nearby residents had about the development's traffic impact, and it was not heard at the commission's February meeting.

A preliminary assessment by traffic engineers found the roadways around the subdivision would be sufficient for handling anticipated traffic. In December, the developer said its engineers would follow up with a second study to be submitted to county staff.

In a Feb. 23 letter to county zoning staff, Garvis Sams, the attorney representing Drapac, asked the county to continue the case to the April 4 zoning hearing.

"My client is continuing to work on revisions to the site plan and adjustments to the Traffic Analysis based on topics discussed in meetings with area residents and conversations," Sams wrote.

The Austell development has been recommended for approval by the Cobb zoning division.

Development threatens historic landmark

Another housing development that has seen numerous delays in zoning hearings since last September will wait at least another month for its first appearance before the board.

Originally proposed to zoning staff in September, the 20-home development from Kenneth Clary on Post Oak Tritt Road in east Cobb has yet to be heard by the Cobb Planning Commission, Parks Huff, the attorney representing Clary, confirmed.

The 20 homes would be built on just over 13 acres on the south side of Clary Lake. Initially, the proposal was to rezone for homes on 15,000-square-foot lots, though that has since been revised to 20,000-square-foot lots. The land is zoned for single-family homes with 30,000-square-foot lots.

Huff told the MDJ engineers are addressing concerns about the proposal from zoning staff. Though Huff's request for delays do not specify issues staff and engineers are working through, there is a historic landmark on the property that has become a cause of concern for others in the county.

The Power-Jackson Cabin, built as a one-room log cabin sometime in the early 19th century, is located on the property.

Trevor Beemon is the executive director of Cobb Landmarks, which preserves historic buildings in the county, and said in an email to the MDJ that his organization "is working to secure a future for the structure."

At its August meeting, the Cobb County Historic Preservation Commission noted it was made aware of the rezoning request that would affect the Power-Jackson Cabin, and at its meeting the next month the commission said its staff had reached out to Huff "to see if preservation solutions could be discussed."

East Cobb Starbucks, two mixed-use developments delayed

Three other developments round out those that were continued to March but will not be heard for at least another month.

A Starbucks proposed for Paper Mill Village in east Cobb is one of them, as changes made to the stipulations for the coffee shop could not be implemented in time for Tuesday's meeting, according to Sams, who is representing Starbucks in the zoning process.

Two other developments that will not get hearings until April are both mixed-use projects which would build retail and apartments on a few acres of land.

The bigger of the two is a proposal from Branch Acquisition Company to build a five-story, 393-unit apartment building with some ground level retail spaces at Atlanta and Plant Atkinson roads. The development would also include two-story retail buildings, with all of it on about six acres of land.

Cobb zoning staff recommended the proposal be denied, and Kevin Moore, the attorney representing Branch Acquisition, requested the continuance to next month for "additional time to discuss the proposed development with surrounding residents and homeowner representatives and work toward resolutions and coordination with the Cobb Department of Transportation."

Thus far, the applicant has requested six continuances in the case, and it has yet to be heard by the planning commission.

The other mixed-use development continued to next month is one proposed by SWI Investments for just under two acres. The five-story, 36-unit apartment building on Austell Road would come with about 11,000 square feet of ground level retail and restaurant space. It was previously continued by zoning staff until this month.

The Cobb Planning Commission will meet Tuesday at 9 a.m. in the Board of Commissioners room at 100 Cherokee St. in Marietta.