Planning commission recommends denial of Holly Springs rezoning

Garvis Sams representing applicant in Holly Springs Road rezoning requestGarvis Sams, the attorney for the applicant in Cobb County zoning case Z-63-2018. (photo by Larry Johnson)

The Cobb County Planning Commission recommended that the Board of Commissioners deny a rezoning request from Loyd Development that would allow the applicant to build 16 senior residential units on property currently zoned single-family residential. The property is located on Holly Springs and Davis roads.

If the BOC approves the rezoning the property would move from R-20 (single-family residential) to RSL (Residential Senior Living).

The existing zoning would allow the developer to build seven units.

For more detailed information on this request visit the county’s online zoning analysis at this link, choose December, then  select Z-63-208


Attorney Garvis Sams, representing the applicant, said, “This property is in East Cobb County, and as you can see, there aren’t that many properties, or larger tracts, left to be developed.”

He said the board of directors of the Ashmore HOA, representing a subdivision adjacent to the site, had submitted a letter from their board in support of the application for rezoning the previous evening.

If approved the new subdivision would be age-restricted to people over 55-years of age, and that traffic generated by that demographic is between 30 and 35 percent less than for younger residents, Sams said.

He said the estimated price range for the homes would be between $550,000 and $600,000.

Charles Sprayberry, representing the Cobb County Board of Education, opposed the request, citing the impact on the school system budget of increasing the number of residents exempt from paying school taxes.

Arthur Robinson, who represents the Hudson Pond subdivision, said,  “I’ve lived here since 1980, and I’ve seen almost unconstrained growth. We live in a situation now of gridlock.”

Randy Shaw, also from the Hudson Pond subdivision, said he is on the HOA’s architectural control committee.

“Holly Springs is, during most of the day, a nightmare,” Shaw said. “And that entrance, that close to a roundabout, is just going to create additional problems. People already can’t make left-hand turns out of their relevant subdivisions onto Holly Springs.  I see people every day doing really stupid things to try to get out into traffic.  I saw a school bus this morning turn left 100 feet from a car, and they couldn’t get out.  This is just not a good access point.  If it were a little further down the road, perhaps.”

He said sixteen homes in an HOA for seniors was not adequate to have an active, responsive HOA to keep the property maintained.

Patrick Burns from the Chestnut Oak subdivision said his concerns were the high density and traffic.

Judy Williams, the planning commissioner representing the district where the property is located, said that the development was small compared to most RSL requests, and asked how the HOA would be supported. She said the lots were “the size of postage stamps.”

Commissioner Galt Porter also mentioned the size of the proposed RSL, and said, “Usually RSLs do lawn maintenance and all those sorts of things.”

Commissioner Andy Smith said the proposed subsivision was “too dense.”

Skip Gunther said that while he supports RSLs because of the lower traffic impact, he would prefer the density recommended by county staff, of 2.5 units per acre.

Williams made a motion to recommend denial of the request, and the motion passed 4-0.

Watch video of hearing for Z-63