Cobb Planning Commission holds decision on Mableton Parkway mixed-use development until September

Screenshot of presentation on rezoning hearing for Mableton Parkway mixed-use development

The Cobb County Planning Commission delayed a recommendation on a request to rezone a property on Mableton Parkway at Old Power Springs Road until its September meeting.

The case was Z-62-2019 and if approved by the Cobb County Board of Commissioners the property would be rezoned from R-20 (single-family residential) to PVC (Planned Village Community) for the purpose of a mixed-use development.

The applicant is Embry Development Company, LLC.

Kevin Moore, the attorney representing the applicant, described the property as follows, “This property is almost 31 acres, primarily fronting on Mableton Parkway. Also located at the intersection with Old Powder Springs, and then also … portions of it located on Milam Drive, which is a local road,” said Moore.

He said that the existing business at the major intersection, a used tire business, has a history of multiple code violations, and “at the behest of the community,” his Embry had negotiated with the owner put that property under contract.

Moore then delivered a presentation on the site plan.

The proposal calls for 81 town homes, 46 houses he described as “courtyard cottages,” or detached homes with zero lot line, and 21 single family residential detached homes.

“What you get with this is a mixture of residential product that provides for not only a mixture of price point, but provides for different types of home product choices and home options,” Moore said.

“The commercial portion totals 13,500 square feet of commercial space that will be for retail and restaurant,” he said. “What the real vision here is to have a gathering space; local restaurants that prove to be extremely successful for residents as well as the community, where there’s outdoor area, as well as areas to enjoy fellowship with each other, and dine, as well as have some retail offerings.”

Moore said that the applicant had received a letter from the Mableton Improvement Coalition at the end of July with additional stipulations, and that the applicant was agreeable to all MIC’s requirements in the letter.

Robin Meyer, representing the zoning committee of Mableton Improvement Coalition, signed up to speak in opposition to ensure that the applicant accepted the stipulations MIC had registered in the letter. But when the applicant, through Moore, agreed to the stipulations she recommended approval of the project.

She said, “I reserved this time to speak in opposition, mostly as a form of insurance in order to make the points contained in our letter of July 30. However, with Mr. Moore’s comments accepting all of those six points, I won’t take our time this morning and repeat them.”

“I will say that we have very much enjoyed working with Mr. Moore throughout this process,” Meyer said. “We are very happy to see that commercial corner redeveloped and we are very excited to see that distinctive architecture and the high quality of new development that we hope will be coming soon to our community.”

“So, with with that, I’ll close and ask you to please consider recommending this application for approval. Thank you.”

When the public comment section of the hearing ended, Galt Porter, who represents District 4 on the Planning Commission raised a number of other concerns.

His first concern was the configuration of entrances. He said that in order for someone to go from the amenities area with the pool, back to their single-family house, they would be required to first go onto Mableton Parkway, a four-lane state highway.

He also suggested that the entrances be reworked so there was more direct access to the two schools in the area, Pebblebrook High and Clay Harmony-Leland Elementary.

He then raised a number of other concerns related to the internal roadways and parking.

Porter also raised objections to the use of corrugated metal as an exterior material, which he said violates the area’s design guidelines.

He said that two non-profits with rezoning requests in the area were being prohibited from using corrugated metal.

“If we’re going to make nonprofits live up to the standards of the design guidelines, we certainly ought to make a commercial venture like this live up to the standards,” Porter said.

“We also have a facade improvement program going on in that corridor where businesses are encouraged to upgrade their facade to design standards with some low interest loans, and that, you know, through community development, and I just don’t see allowing this to go forward with corrugated,” he said.

Porter made a motion that the request be continued until the September Planning Commission meeting to work through the details further, and the motion passed unanimously.

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