On last Tuesday, June 21, the Cobb County Board of Commissioners at their monthly zoning hearing approved a rezoning request that will allow the construction of a 38-unit townhome community located on the north side of Mableton Parkway, northwest of Hunnicutt Road. The access to the community will be off Rioca Circle.
The Cobb County Planning Commission in its meeting on Tuesday June 7 recommended approval of the rezoning request.
The representative for the applicant was Dan Mason, and the project will be built by Kerley Homes.
Mason stated at a previous Planning Commission meeting that the company anticipates pricing in the mid-$300,000 range.
The current zoning is OS and RM-12. The proposed zoning is RM-8.
OS is described as follows in the zoning document:
The OS district is established to provide locations for office and business distribution/service
facilities, and assembly processes which do not emit noise, vibration, smoke, gas, fumes, odors
or radiation and are located entirely within an enclosed building which do not involve
manufacturing or fabrication of any product.
RM-12 is described as follows:
The RM-12 district is established to provide locations for multifamily residential uses or residentially compatible institutional and recreational uses which are within properties delineated for high density residential and regional activity center categories as defined and shown on the Cobb County Comprehensive Plan.
RM-8, the proposed zoning, is a residential multi-family category.
During the Planning Commission hearing for the application Mableton Improvement Coalition requested that a $150,000 escrow account should be set up by the applicant for any damage to homes in the community affected by possible blasting on the site.
Mason said at the BOC zoning hearing that the applicant is willing to set up a $100,000 account.
Mary Rose Barnes, speaking in opposition to the rezoning request on behalf of several residents on Rioca Circle, adjacent to the property, raised a number of concerns, including that the application lists St. Bourke as the applicant, but that Mason presents himself as representing Kerley Homes for purposes of the application.
She also stated that Mason had not presented a blasting schedule or a statement that neighbors would be informed if blasting were schedules.
Robin Meyer, representing the Mableton Improvement Coalition, said the following,
“There are two two issues that that I do specially want to focus on. One has to do with shielding the homes on Rioca Circle from the cul de sac and the parking lot.
“I understand that there were two options offered by Mr. Mason yesterday. And of those two options, we prefer the one that moves the two parking spaces on the cul de sac to another location with the final site plan to be approved by our district commissioner.
“And then the very last issue is one that has that I’ve been pleased to hear we’ve made some progress on although it is not contained in the most recent stipulations letter we’ve seen.
“Mr. Mason did promise just a moment ago to establish the escrow account for adjacent property owners who might experience damage as a result of the blasting. That is a request we’ve made for quite some time. And so we’re pleased to see some some progress on that matter.
“The amount that we would like we would like to see for that escrow account is $150,000. We reached that amount by multiplying $10,000 times the 13 homes on Rioca circle.
“One of these homes is within 66 feet of the property line of the property that will have the blasting that might have blasting and, as described to us by Mr. Mason, the area that might that has the highest probability of needing blasting is immediately adjacent to the property line on on the Rioca side of the property.
“So not only are the homes on the western side of Rioca Circle quite close to this. But even on the eastern side of Rioca Circle, the the concrete driveways of those homes are only about 220 feet from the area that might be blasted.
“As a resident of this area, I can tell you that we’re pretty much all sitting on the same big piece of rock. As neighborhoods have been developed around me, on Queen Mill Road in the time I’ve lived there since 1984, when blasting occurs, it’s not a surprise to you. You know what’s going on, you know what’s happening.
“And I’ve never been as close as these homeowners are going to be and I think they deserve all the protection that we can afford them,” Meyer said.
Meyer said that if those details can be worked out Mableton Improvement Coalition would support approval of the project.
District 4 Commissioner Monique Sheffield, who represents the area where the property is located led a discussion of what blasting entails. She questioned Cobb DOT engineer Amy Diaz about road, sidewalk and parking requirements for the plan.
She then made a motion to approve the rezoning with a long list of stipulations she outlined (watch the video below to hear the complete list of stipulations).
District 3 Commissioner JoAnn Birrell asked that since the number of units had been reduced to 38, which put it in RA-5 and RA-6 density levels, why rezone it as the higher density RM-8?
Zoning Division Manager John Pederson said that commissioners could delete the zoning to RA-5 or RA-6, but it would have no affect on variances being requested by the applicant.
The question was called on Sheffield’s motion and passed 5-0.