Before going into the first argument, we should note that today (April 5, 2014), the zoning signs went up in front of the Tritt property, to notify the public of the May 6 Planning Commission Hearing and the May 20 Board of Commissioners Meeting for this zoning case. The signs went up on the very last day possible, even though the hearing dates have been known since January 3, 2014. Certainly in keeping with the letter of the law, though maybe not the spirit.
We have heard that the Isakson Living proposal is a "done deal". Of course, that was what we heard about the initial plan, and Isakson Living has revised that plan twice. It is only a done deal if the East Cobb community allows it.
In 1999, Isakson-Barnhart Development (the old name for Isakson Living) proposed a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Athens, GA. This was to be on 56 acres of low density residential land adjacent an elementary school and existing subdivisions. The land was zoned for half-acre residential lots, just like the Tritt property. Isakson-Barnhart proposed 456 units, including two 5-story buildings.
- Residents wary of housing proposal, June 29, 1999
- Residents condemn housing plan, June 30, 1999
- Group ready for land battles, August 16, 1999
In July 1999, the Clarke-Athens Planning Commission rejected the Isakson-Barnhart proposal. The arguments against the proposal were much the same as ours against the current Isakson Living proposal - density, traffic, not fitting with the neighborhood, and deviation from the land use plan that designated the property low density residential; a deviation so great from the land use plan as to renders it meaningless - "a joke" as one Athens resident was quoted. We concur.
By the way, the newspaper articles on the Athens CCRC proposal by Isakson-Barnhart include traffic statistics that call into question the traffic study done by Isakson Living for the East Cobb CCRC proposal on the Tritt property. We will have an article on traffic soon in which we will examine this.
So, Isakson Living was defeated in Athens in 1999 for a proposal with fewer units on slightly more land! We can also defeat this proposal, or at least get the developer to scale it back to an acceptable density. It does not need to have so many units. Isakson Living and their partners at Erickson Living can scale their proposal back to something reasonable, or they can go elsewhere.
We need your help! Please let the Cobb County Planning Commissioners and Board of Commissioners know that the Tritt property should be kept low density. Please attend the May 6 and May 20 county meetings and stand up for your community.
FYI, there is a zoning sign in front of another property a little further east along Roswell Road, before Robinson Rd, to rezone 1.5 acres from LRO (low-rise office) to O&I (Office & Institutional) for a climate-controlled self storage facility. This is case Z-22 and will be heard the same day as Isakson Living.
Info on Z-22 is here:
http://zoning.comdev.cobbcountyga.gov/2014-05/preliminary_zoning_analysis/05-2014_Preliminary_%20Zoning_%20Analysis.pdf (page 11).
Note that Isakson Living's preliminary zoning was done months ago, and noted as "Continued." We should expect final zoning analysis from the county for both cases in a couple weeks.
An interesting note from the Z-22 application: they justify rezoning the 1.5 acres away from low-rise office due to a lack of demand for office space along Roswell Rd, which counters Isakson Living 's assertion that the Tritt property could be developed as office buildings.