Kennesaw City Council set to approve 10-year parks & rec master plan

Kennesaw Parks and Rec Master Plan discussed via ZoomMonday’s Kennesaw City Council work session. Mayor Derek Easterling and council members James Eaton, Tracey Viars and David Blinkhorn were present in the Chamber, while council members Chris Henderson and Pat Ferris joined via Zoom.

The Kennesaw City Council is expected to approve a master plan for the city’s parks and recreation department, which would help set priorities for the next decade.

Parks Director Steve Roberts presented the plan at Monday’s work session and recommended council approve it at the March 15 meeting. Consulting firm Lose Design developed the plan, which included health data, public engagement activities, demographic research, facility, program and staffing assessments.

To create the report Lose Design conducted focus groups with more than 90 individuals, held three public meetings in 2019 requesting input on improvements to current parks and facilities, and published online surveys. The three most requested programs from participants were adult fitness/wellness classes, adult swim lessons and computer classes. Cooking classes, nature programs and senior leisure programs were also high on the list.

According to the report, the two most requested facilities are a gymnastics center, plans for which are included in phase two of the new recreation center, and an aquatics center.

Recommendations in the report include: a four-phase park maintenance management plan, a north park with a splash pad, multi-purpose field and pavilion, a south park between Cobb Parkway and Kennesaw Mountain with baseball/softball fields and tennis and pickleball courts, and a performing arts center.

There are also renovation recommendations for each existing park, a project Roberts said is already underway. The 10-year plan spending plan is estimated at $35 million.

“I think it’s a great roadmap,” Roberts said, adding that the city has flexibility to prioritize and make changes as needed.

Also on the March 15 agenda:

*Rep. Ed Setzler is scheduled to give a presentation on the legislative proposal for the new city of Lost Mountain, which would be adjacent to the cities of Kennesaw and Acworth.

*Alcohol license applications for First Watch Restaurant at 3815 Cherokee St. and Lawa Cafe Bar & Grill at 3055 N. Main St. are recommended for approval.

*Bhavin Shah submitted a special land use application for 1600 Kennesaw Due West Rd. for a smoke shop. If approved, the permit will be non-transferable to any subsequent business owners. The shop will be limited to selling items on an approved list.

*The parks director and city manager recommended scheduled road closures for the Kennesaw Grand Prix 5k series.

*The zoning department recommended Beazer Homes LLC resubmit its rezoning application for an amendment to one of the conditions due to improper notification of property owners within 200 feet. Beazer wants to vary from the style and elevations of the approved nine single-family home model types to allow for their proposed five single-family home model types. The new hearing dates would be April 7 for the planning commission and April 19 for city council.

Rebecca Gaunt earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Oglethorpe University. After teaching elementary school for several years, she returned to writing. She lives in Marietta with her husband, son, two cats, and a dog. In her spare time, she loves to read, binge Netflix and travel.

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