Bells Ferry Civic Association raises objections to rezoning request on tomorrow’s Cobb Planning Commission Agenda

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The Bells Ferry Civic Association (BFCA) sent a letter of objection to the members of the Cobb County Planning Commission regarding a rezoning request, which if allowed, would allow the applicant to do the following as described in the zoning document for the application:

The applicant is requesting to rezone to the RRC regional retail commercial district to develop a 375 unit, 457,700 square foot apartment community on a 17.89 acre site.The proposed buildings will be four (4) stories in height with garage parking provided in-building as well as by separate carriage buildings.

The property at issue is located on the north side of Town Center Drive, north of the intersection of Mall 5 Road, on the west side of I-575. A movie theater is the current use of the property.

The land is in District 3, represented on the Cobb County Board of Commissioners by JoAnn Birrell.

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The BFCA sent the following letter to the commissioners outlining their objections:

September 29, 2021

Re: Z-70 (2021), Application by PG Investco, LLC to rezone 17.89 acres located on the north side of Town Center Drive, north of the intersection of Mall 5 Road, on the west side of I-575 from GC to RRC for an “Apartment Community.”

Dear Cobb County Planning Commissioners, 

The Bells Ferry Civic Association is submitting this letter in opposition to Z-70. This request is to rezone the site to the RRC zoning district to develop an apartment community apparently consisting of 8 apartment buildings and 4 carriage buildings. The actual application submitted by the applicant’s lawyer is rather vague on details. We have many concerns regarding this development, including several variance requests, access roads, stormwater issues, and school capacity.

To begin with, this is an incredibly intensive development that does not belong at this location. The zoning proposal is not in conformity with the future land use map of Cobb County Georgia. The RAC designation is not supportive of the residential usage. Furthermore, the property is adjacent to the Noonday Creek Area and consists of flood plain (100-year Floodplain Flood Zone) and wetlands. Therefore, variances should not be allowed to reduce the required setbacks and infringe further into the protected areas. Instead, the setbacks should be increased. In addition, the impervious surface far exceeds the allowable amount thereby not satisfying the minimum parking lot tree standards of Cobb County tree ordinance, thus additional parking lot peninsulas may be required.  

Stormwater run-off is another concern. No water runoff control is stated on the site plan. Staff comments note that “It will be required that this project provide on-site runoff reduction and/or water quality separate from the downstream stormwater management facility.” Over the years, there has been a lot of impervious development along Noonday Creek and adding yet another massive concrete development will further increase the odds of major flooding downstream. There is a detention pond located immediately off-site. The TCCID Alliance had wanted to convert this pond and unique ecosystem into a recreational park area since it connects to the Noonday Trail. The BFCA wrote a letter detailing how this area could become another “Chattahoochee Nature Center” which would draw thousands of people yearly to this area. The Regal theater complex would make an excellent Cobb Welcome Center, Museum, and educational IMAX theater. Our letter to the TCCID is attached.

Other issues include the Fire Department concerns regarding access roads and gates, a full impact traffic study needs to be conducted as the most current one is over 3 years old, sound mitigation measures will need to be implemented since the complex will be situated next to a major interstate, and many of these buildings will be 40 ft or taller and are located within 4,000’ of a runway for  Cobb County International Airport, therefore approval will be needed from the airport manager and FAA.

Lastly, there are concerns about the impact this development will have on the assigned schools. Bells Ferry Elementary School is once again overcapacity after having added additional outdoor modular classroom buildings just a few years ago. There is already another proposed rezoning request (Z-53) for an apartment complex several miles away that will also create a burden on this elementary school.

In summary, we are opposed to this multifamily residential community as submitted due to the inappropriate usage of the site, variance requests, stormwater concerns, and the over-capacity status of school enrollment. Therefore, we respectfully ask that you recommend denial of Z-70 (2021).

Thank you for your time,

Bells Ferry Civic Association Board

Tomorrow’s Cobb Planning Commission Meeting

The Cobb County Planning Commission will meeting tomorrow at 9 a.m.

You can view the agenda by following this link.

The county posted the following information about the meeting to the Cobb County website:

Board of Commissioners Meeting Room – 2nd Floor
100 Cherokee Street
Marietta, GA

You can view the agenda for this meeting by clicking here (once published)

This meeting will be held in our second-floor meeting room with social distancing in effect.  There will be overflow areas if necessary.

You can watch this meeting in real-time by viewing CobbTV’s streams on:

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Cobb County Website: CobbTV
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Anyone with a visual presentation to show during the meeting MUST submit it in advance of the meeting to presentations@cobbcounty.org

Please send any reports of non-functioning links or streams to govpio@cobbcommunications.orgDue to the rise in COVID cases, Cobb County requires the wearing of masks while inside county facilities.  Social distancing protocols are also in place in our public meeting spaces, with a 35-person capacity inside our Board of Commissioners meeting room.  

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