895 acres in Cobb under review for possible change
A vote by the Cobb Board of Commissioners to adopt a proposal changing 895 acres in District 2 to a more intensive zoning area could be delayed due to concerned community feedback.
The amendment to Cobb's Comprehensive Land Use Plan proposed this January by District 2 Commissioner Ott is for multiple parcels covering a total of 895 acres to be designated as a RAC or Regional Activity Center, allowing for more high density residential and retail development when the lots come up for rezoning.
This proposal was okayed by Cobb's Planning Commission on January 7, 2020 (see MDJ article "Planning Commission recommends expansion of Cumberland-area density"), and is set to be voted on by the full Board of Commissioners Tuesday, January 21 at 9am.
After hearing from the community, Commissioner Ott announced his decision to request a motion to hold the amendment (CP-2-1) for 6 months for further review (see link to his newsletter announcement here).
These parcels are located on the north and south sides of Atlanta Road, south of Church Road / Plant Atkinson Road, including the Sterigenics Plant and the Georgia Power Plant McDonough-Atkinson to South Cobb Drive, east of I-285, and south to the Chattahoochee River.
The Sterigenics Plant has been in the news recently, "Cobb County Sterigenics plant to close indefinitely", and "Sterigenics' foul air: Residential and industrial zoning don’t mix", as has the Georgia Power McDonough-Atkinson Plant, "Lawmaker Urges Georgia Power to Remove Coal Ash from Cobb County"
According to the County Land Use Map document: The intent of the amendment is to provide for future land use guidance that is compatible with existing uses but also provides flexibility for a wide range of redevelopment options. The full CP-2-1 amendment here on pages 63-69 (numbered pages 60-66) is available here.
Currently the 895 acres are a mix of the following zoning categories: High Density Residential (HDR), Medium Density Residential (MDR), Community Activity Center (CAC), Neighborhood Activity Center (NAC), Industrial (IND), Industrial Compatible (IC), Public/Institutional (PI), Parks/Recreation/Conservation (PRC), Transportation / Communication/Utilities (TCU).
RAC's (Regional Activity Centers) zoning areas that currently border East Cobb are Cumberland, Town Center, and Powers Ferry. Last January, 320 acres in the Powers Ferry area were changed to a RAC, or Regional Activity Center, by the Board of Commissioners (see "In changing Powers Ferry Road corridor, citizens worry about community impact" and the image below).
It is important to understand the new changes that are being proposed. The acreage may not be in our immediate area, but changes to this many acres at one time will affect future traffic patterns and allow for higher density developments on properties within the RAC area.
Our community should stay informed on these proposed changes and their potential affects, and we will continue to post updates on this issue as they become available.
Changes to the Future Land Use Map or FLUM occur annually as the County reviews changes in existing land uses and long range uses for land in Cobb. There is a public input period for these changes before a vote happens (usually in January), however the onus is on citizens to know the amendments are coming out, review them and ask questions &/or give input during the two scheduled meetings before the final vote. This information is posted on the Cobb County Comprehensive Plan page.
You can email your input to the members of the Board of Commissioners as the proposal gets held for 6 months for further review &/or attend the upcoming Board meetings about this topic.
Mike Boyce, Commission Chairman
Keli Gambrill, District 1 Commissioner
Bob Ott, District 2 Commissioner
JoAnn Birrell, District 3 Commissioner
Lisa Cupid, District 4 Commissioner