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Cobb's newest Park on Ebenezer  June 23, 2018





                                                                                                                 
Canton Road Neighbors Inc. Is a Georgia Nonprofit, nonpartisan civic and neighborhoods-based organization of neighborhoods along the Canton corridor and our focus is on planning, zoning and other issues related to an aging commercial and residential community.  We have a five-member board of directors and twelve members on our neighborhood advisory committee   

We offer these areas for volunteer activity either as a Board member or on the Neighborhood Advisory Committee:

Planning & Zoning, Community Gardening


 
 The Perennial Garden is on the west side of Canton Connector just past Sandy Plains
 

link to Garden Archive


The CRN perennial garden was started on Earth Day, April 2010.  It is 950 square ft, with 1,200 daffodils, 450 daylilies, and 200 tulips.  The garden has been funded by private contributions and the garden is tended by volunteers.  Thanks to our garden friends for their support. CRN will be adding two new sections with seasonal varieties of daffodils, donated by Georgia DOT.

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  • No rezoning cases our area in October or November


Canton Road Neighbors October Update

While some challenges continue on the southern section of Canton Hwy, the County is trying to
address those issues. The 2.5 year overdue Racetrac driveway at Liberty Hill (and new private road
from Westerly Way to the new driveway) may finally get underway in the not too distant future.

An update on the Racetrac driveway will be posted as soon as we have the news.



The future of the rezoned gas station at 2120 will depend on a new tenant or resale to an investor
willing to invest in improvements. It has been appropriately rezoned to LRO. The current owner has restored electricity to the structure and has recently completed sidewalks.

The tire store at 2328 Canton update:  The business owner sold his interest to another individual and the property owner gave the new owner a new lease.  The site has been cleaned up substantially (tires removed) but according to Code Enforcement, there is more to be done. It appears that a tire store will remain in business at that location.

Sidewalks coming this year!


Now, the good news. Commissioner Birrell has directed Cobb DOT to fill in the sidewalk gaps from
Rosedale south to Powell Wright Rd. On Tuesday Sept. 11th Agenda Item 29 Transportation authorized

sidewalk construction from Rosedale south to Powell Wright Rd. on the east side.


Construction is estimated to start in mid November this year.
This has been a goal spanning 12 years for Canton Road Neighbors and has mostly been achieved by
participating in the rezoning process. Funds from the 2016 SPLOST will be used for the sidewalks,
which is an appropriate funding source. I will never forget Chairman Sam Olens's remark to me in
2009 during zoning case Z-21 as he stated “ You vote for SPLOST and you will get your sidewalks”.

In hindsight I should have asked which SPLOST, but better late than never.

Photo from 2009 push to get sidewalks built on Canton Hwy.

Thanks Commissioner Birrell!

The cracked and crumbling Powell Wright Rd will be considered for the 2019 Resurfacing List by the
Cobb DOT. This road is used as a cut-through by many (speeding) vehicles, including heavy trucks
which do not belong on a narrow 25 mph local road.

In fall 2017 a rezoning application by Loyd Development Services for a 12 acre tract on Hilltop Drive
was presented and later withdrawn without prejudice. Mr. Loyd decided to develop the challenging
property as zoned, R-20, single family residential. After seven months in the Site Plan Review
process , Loyd met the exacting requirements of 13 County Departments and was signed off for a Land
Disturbance Permit last Tuesday afternoon. The plan consists of 25 single family detached homes on
Hilltop Drive and a 5 acre tract on Suholden. The homes will range from the 400's to 500's and will be
built on lots zoned R-15 and R-20. This is one of only a few recently planned quality residential
subdivisions just off of Canton Hwy to be built at R-20. It is also a rare example of quality
development to be built without a rezoning process. Mr. Loyd has not requested a tax abatement for
The Overlook at Hilltop. The site plan is shown below.


On October 23rd the County will have the 2nd public hearing on proposed Code Amendments.  The newsworthy item is a proposed Workforce Housing incentive in the RM 12 zoning district.  The revised RM 12 (multifamily residential at 12 units per acre) would allow attached and detached town homes in addition to condos and apartments.  These are only allowed in High Density Residential Land Use and in Regional Activity Centers.  The builder could get a  density bonus of 10% for setting aside 15% of the units as Workforce Housing. This means housing affordable to households earning not more than 100% of the Atlanta Metropolitan area median income of @$75,000.00 per year.  This could be thought of as a two income household including a firefighter and a teacher with two children. A three bedroom home would be capped at @ 230,000 and a 4 bedroom home at 260,000.  While there are existing homes for sale at this price point, there is a shortage of new construction in this range. 

I spoke in support of this amendment since the price of new housing in Cobb usually starts in the mid 300's and soars from there.  Prices in the 400's and up effectively shut out opportunities for home ownership for middle income families.  There will be a presentation at the Monday Oct 22 BoC work session on Workforce Housing in other communities.  This will be prior to the Tuesday evening vote on the amendment.

A bit of good news: on the agenda next Tuesday is a proposal to approve professional parks master planning for the newly acquired 300 acres of park land, including the 18 acres on Ebenezer at Canton.  Also on the agenda is a
Partner Design and Construction of Agreement with the National Park Service for Kennesaw Mountain Pedestrian Improvements, Project. This will improve and expand the existing multi-use trail system in and around the Park.

Carol Brown, Chairperson
Canton Road Neighbors, Inc.





Canton Road Neighbors August 2018

  When CRN engages in one of Cobb County's monthly zoning hearings to address an application that will impact our community, we post the outcome of the vote. In many cases, a year or more passes before any new construction or remodeling is seen.  In a few cases, nothing ever comes to fruition.  It is very rewarding when an application turns out to have a positive effect on an area that has needed attention for many years. The new Life Storage building on Canton Connector at the merge, is the larges5t and most expensive project to be built on the southern end of Canton Hwy in at least twelve years. While the new Grace Assisted Living is an attractive facility, the Life Storage building has turned out to be a game-changer at the entrance to the Canton Road Corridor.


It started out as a Variance application in May 2016, unusual for a request to build a 3 story building.  The end product was a collaborative effort: CRN engaged in the County Variance process, worked collaboratively with the BZA appointee(Trombetti), County Staff and the owner/applicant, Sovran Realty.  This is why community participation is important.

Garden News

As we wrap up this soggy summer, with grass growing at least an inch a day, I am trying to keep the area mowed and the garden weeded to get ready for fall.

 The gravel strip in front of the garden had several large potholes. Who would have thought those guys driving the big rigs liked to pull over and look at the flowers?

For the 2nd time in 3 years Mr. Dennis Haring, a senior project manager for NW

Express Roadbuilders (HOV Lanes), has sent a road crew with a bucket of crush and run to fill the potholes! It looks great and is really appreciated. Keep Marietta Beautiful has made a donation to buy pinestraw, which is really appreciated as well!


 Over the next two months the rest of the daffodil bulbs will be planted in a strip at each end of the garden. Some of the bulbs were planted inside the borders as infill last spring.

Hopefully the hard work will pay off with a beautiful spring display of flowers.

Thanks to everyone for your help and generous donations!  

Carol Brown

A summary of recent developments on and near Canton Corridor:

Grace Assisted Living is planning a Phase II of its new facility on Canton Hwy.  It is currently in Site Plan Review.


Amelia Walk is in the Site Plan Review process.  The property at the corner of Morgan and Piedmont was rezoned as Residential Senior Living this year.

The Enclave at Hawkins Store is in Plan Review.  The tract on Hawkins Store west of Canton Hwy was rezoned to R-12 early this year by Loyd Development Services.

The tire store at 2328 Canton at Liberty Hill should be relocating at the end of August.

Is a new Lidl grocery store in our future?  It appears to be not too far from Canton Hwy, but we won't disclose the location. 

Z-48 was approved by the BoC.  Todd Chapman will be building a new two-story brick office building on Shallowford Road near Jamerson for his Tree Service business.

About the Planning Commission

     There are five Planning Commissioners and five appointees to the Board of Zoning Appeals.  In some cases an appointee will serve on both boards.  Along with other duties, their most public function  is Zoning. They review zoning applications and discuss them with Cobb County's professional staff of engineers and planners who have analyzed the application to ensure that it meets Cobb County standards. The Planning Commission receives comments on the zoning application from nearby residents or area civic groups – and will often meet with concerned residents to discuss issues.  The Planning Commission meeting is on the first Tuesday of the month and the zoning meeting is open to the public. After the presentation by the applicant or zoning attorney, the public has 10 minutes to address the Planning Commission.  The Planning Commissioners then deliberate the merits of the application and make a motion to recommend approving or denying the application.  From there, the case is heard by the Board of Commissioners two weeks later.  The Planning Commission only recommends a course of action, they do not vote to approve or deny. They give input on a range of planning issues including Transportation and the Comprehensive Plan, but typically do not weigh in on political issues. Traditionally Planning Commissioners are apolitical (unbiased or politically neutral) in their appointed role.

      From the Cobb County Code of Ordinances: Article II Administration and Enforcement; Division 2.

Planning Commission; Section 134-62 Membership; term of office;

Each member appointed by a member of the board of commissioners shall serve concurrently with and at the pleasure of the appointing commissioner's term of office . . .

     Since the Cobb County Board of Commissioners are not subject to term limits, their appointed Planning Commissioners may remain in place for many years.  In some instances a  talented Planning Commissioner may be appointed by another Commissioner if the original appointing commissioner is no longer in office.  In other cases, Planning Commissioners may simply choose to step down after many years of service. Recent changes to the Planning Commission began in 2017 when Christi Trombetti resigned to devote full time to her business.  Commissioner Joann Birrell then appointed Planning Commissioner Judy Williams to District 3.  Early this year Commissioner Ott's appointee Mike Terry resigned after years of service in Cobb and the City of Smyrna.  Ott then appointed Andy Smith as his new Planning Commissioner.   Further changes are likely this year: Chairman Mike Boyce will replace Mrs. Powell with a new appointment and in January 2019 Commissioner-elect Keli Gambrill may either retain Planning Commissioner Skip Gunther or appoint another person.

Cobb County Planning Commission

Judy Williams (Chair) District 3 Birrell

Skip Gunther  District 1 Weatherford

Andy Smith District 2 Ott

Galt Porter District 4 Cupid

vacant    Chairman's appointee

 And finally

      As most people know, Cobb Board of Commissioners approved an increase to the millage rate for the County General Fund last month.  The good news is that if you are a long-term homeowner with the Homestead Exemption, the increase shouldn't have much impact on your budget.  The other good news is that the County will be beefing up its Road Maintenance division in the DOT by creating 4 new maintenance crews: one crew for each commission district.  For the first time in recent memory, Cobb's right of ways will be mowed on a regular basis and litter picked up. 

Hopefully there will be ample money in the new budget to repair potholes promptly.

That's all folks!

Carol Brown,  Chairperson, CRN


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Cobb's Budget Crisis-FINALLY ADDRESSED ! 
Thank you Chairman Boyce, Commissioners Cupid and Weatherford


Cobb County Commission votes 3-2 to raise taxes LINK to AJC article

Cobb Commissioners vote to approve 1.7 millage increase to the general fund LINK to MDJ article
           ---------------------

Cobb raises water rates, takes millions for general fund AJC by Meris Lutz LINK to article

Proposed Cobb tax increase galvanizes residents for and against AJC by Meris Lutz  LINK to article

Change.org Petition

Cobb residents refute need for tax increase in alternative Town Hall  MDJ by Jon Gargis   LINK to article


Cobb County Board of Commissioners
are used to posing for photos with shovel in hand at ground breaking ceremonies. For the next month they will be using shovels to dig out of a financial and public relations hole that several unwise votes helped to create.  As just about everyone knows, Cobb is facing a $30 million dollar budget shortfall and there are efforts to educate the public about the need for a millage increase - or for cuts to services and programs loved by the public.

CRN realizes that a millage increase to the General Fund is needed and long overdue.  There is good information about the budget and how the county got into this mess: LINK to Cobb County's presentation, Cobb's Budget Journey
There is a millage rate increase calculator at the end of the presentation that is very helpful and informative. For the majority of homeowners with the Homestead Exemption, the rate increase would not be a large amount and it would prevent cuts to the Animal Shelter, Libraries, Parks and Senior centers.

This is a link to the MDJ article about the Monday Town Hall meeting at East Cobb Senior Center. Overall, the standing room only crowd seemed to lean towards supporting the proposed millage rate increase.

Here is a good letter submitted to the MDJ by Jim Smith.  Lowest taxes around but at what cost?

Because it is very important to the future of Cobb County to bring the millage rate back to where it needs to be, CRN has started a petition asking Commissioner Birrell and others to support the increase on July 25th.

Link to Petition

Cobb Commissioners please vote for a millage increase on July 25 and save our County!

There will be 3 public hearings: Tuesday July 10 at 9 a.m.,Tuesday July 17 at 6:30 p.m. and
Wednesday July 25 at 7 p.m.

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Check out the newly completed Life Storage Building - looks great!
The new building resulted from two Variance hearings in 2016.
This was heard by the Board of Zoning Appeals.  CRN worked with then-Planning Commissioner Christi Trombetti, Code Enforcement Manager Ms. Pickett and the applicant, Thomas Willett of Sovran Realty.  It took two years, but it was worth the wait!
site of former "Uncle Bob's Storage"


MINUTES OF VARIANCE HEARING COBB COUNTY BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MAY 11, 2016 PAGE 9 REGULAR AGENDA (CONT.) V-70 THOMAS M. WILLETT (CONT.)
The public hearing was opened, and Mr. David Braswell, Mr. Thomas Willet, and Ms. Carol Brown addressed the Board. Following presentation and discussion, the following motion was made: MOTION: Motion by Trombetti, second by Gay, to hold V-70 until the June 15, 2016 Board of Zoning Appeals Variance Hearing. VOTE: ADOPTED 5- 0

MINUTES OF VARIANCE HEARING COBB COUNTY BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS  JUNE 15, 2016  PAGE 2
CONSENT AGENDA MOTION: Motion by Gunther, second by Williams, to approve the following cases on
the Consent Agenda, as revised:
V-70 THOMAS M. WILLETT (Sovran Realty Company LP, Sovran Acquisitions, LP, and Mini Storage Partners, owners) requesting a variance to: 1) waive the front setback from the required 50 feet to 25 feet; 2) waive
the maximum impervious surface in a Neighborhood Activity Center from 70% to 78% ( Existing); and 3) waive the maximum building height from one story to three stories in Land Lot 733 of the 16th District. Located on
the east side of the Canton Road Connector and on the west side of Canton Road ( 1987 Canton Road). ( Previously held by the Board of Zoning Appeals from their May 11, 2016 Board ofZoning Appeals hearing until the June 15, 2016 Board ofZoning Appeals Hearing.)
To approve V-70, subject to:
1. Landscape and site plan emailed from Mr. David Braswell on June
14, 2016( attached and made a part of these minutes)
2. Building rendering dated June 4, 2016 ( attached and made a part
of these minutes)
3. County Landscape Architect to approve the final landscaping plan
for the property   --------------------------------------------------------

There is more to celebrate! Come preview Cobb's newest Park at 4055 Ebenezer Rd, just off Canton Hwy. Saturday June 23 rd from 10 am to 12:00 pm. 

This is just north of the Hawkins Store Rd intersection at Canton.  The next right is Ebenezer.  It has taken TEN years since the Parks Bond was approved to get District 3 a new park, but thanks to Commissioner Birrell's diligent effort
that park is now part of the Canton Road community.  Be sure to congratulate her and say thanks for the good work!



Finally, we are also proud of the way the Perennial Garden (on the Connector) has grown. 


April 2010, Ken Dixon, Beverly McMurray and Carol Brown

below: June 2018

Plan to attend the Park Preview this Saturday the 23rd !

Carol Brown
Canton Road Neighbors, Inc.

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In 2004-5 Commissioner Tim Lee began the process of corridor planning for Canton Road. 

There was an appointed Steering Committee consisting of a well rounded group of stakeholders from business, schools, neighborhoods and the Cobb Chamber.  The document that resulted from the process was the Canton Road Corridor “Main Street” Design Principles Plan & Recommendations 2005.  Some excerpts from that document are quoted below.  An additional Corridor study was made to look at roadway improvements that could be made using funding from SPLOST.                                                                                                       

In 2008, following up on the 2005 document, Canton Road Neighbors organized a new stakeholder group to draft Design Guidelines for the Canton Corridor. The group was composed of stakeholders from the local business community, the real estate profession, community groups, and had feedback and advice from Planning and Community Development.  The Design Guidelines were adopted by the BoC in early 2009.  Since that time those guidelines have been applied to many rezoning applications on the Corridor.

In 2012, Commissioner JoAnn Birrell created the Canton Road Redevelopment Foundation with a small group of members primarily from the business community.  I was the sole representative for Neighborhoods.  The CRRFI had assistance and feedback from Cobb County Community Development. Its mission was focused on filling an inventory of vacant, mostly older properties along the corridor. It also considered ways to promote and facilitate business in the area. Many of the buildings in the redevelopment inventory came back in to rezone when new owners or tenants were found for the properties.  The stipulations approved by Commissioners suggested  a way to spruce up the appearance of the exterior, making reference to the Design Guidelines. The BoC also asked that sidewalks be installed.  

Very few of the sites actually resulted in new development or redevelopment.  However, the cumulative effect of rezoning and upgrades resulted in overall improvements to the appearance to the corridor when combined with new infrastructure funded by SPLOST.  Progress has been uneven over the 5 mile corridor.  In the 2005 Corridor document the area was divided into three sections.  Some excerpts from that document are below, followed by a visual overview of photographs and commentary comparing changes from 2005 to 2018 between the northern "Campus District"  and the southern "Loft District ".  The Commerce  District has not seen significant change during the period.

Excerpts

“In October 13, 2003, Commissioner Tim Lee held a Town Hall Meeting at Sandy Plains Baptist Church with the over 100 members of the Northeast Cobb Homeowners Group (NECHG) in attendance to discuss the potential of developing a corridor plan for Canton Road.”

“In the meeting, the primary concerns vocalized by the public related to Canton Road were specific to regional traffic during peak travel periods, unsightly buildings and signage along the corridor, continuing code enforcement issues to address, and increased community desire for more diverse and neighborhood-oriented businesses along the corridor.“

“The majority of the buildings situated along the corridor are General Commercial (GC) zoned prefabricated “Butler” buildings with metal facades and roofs. The business owners have been persistent in placing promotional banners, illegal signage, neon paint colors, trampolines, hot tubs, etc. near the right-of-way of the roadway to promote their respective commercial establishment “ The other central theme in the evening input session was the statement, “No median on Canton Road!”

Steering Committee convenes May 2004                                                                                                                                                                                           

"In July 2004 the Canton Road Steering Committee members were ask to complete a questionnaire, and then be interviewed by a member of the Planning Division staff, regarding the improvement of the corridor. During interviews with the Canton Road Steering Committee members regarding improvement of the corridor, the following general themes and recommendations emerged."

July 2004 Steering Committee Interview/Questionnaire Summary

􀂃 The overall appearance of buildings along the corridor should be enhanced. This should be achieved by creation and use of design guidelines requiring higher quality exterior materials (more use of brick), uniform signage, etc.

􀂃 The general streetscape along the corridor should be improved. This should include more landscaping, addition of street trees, placement of uniform lighting fixtures, and installation of street furniture.

􀂃 During times of peak travel, traffic congestion should be alleviated. Ideally, more interparcel connections should be created to avoid cars having to re-enter Canton Road to travel to nearby businesses.

􀂃 During times of low car volume, reduced speed along the route should be a goal. Visually, this should be accomplished by widened sidewalks, colorful brick-colored street treatments, and landscaping.

􀂃 Mixed-used developments built in order to achieve a live-work-play atmosphere would be welcomed. Such developments would give the corridor more of a village feel and offer residents the chance to reduce car use.

􀂃 Office complex construction should be sought along Canton Road. This could provide an opportunity for economic development as well as offer residents an increased chance to work closer to their homes.

􀂃 Public transportation in some form would be beneficial. Whether this should be accomplished by means of regular bus service, Bus Rapid Transit, commuter rail, or localized trolley service should be determined at a later time based on funding and other county, regional, and state plans.

􀂃 Increased greenspace is needed in the area. Greenspace in all forms (pocket parks, bike/running trails, passive parks, and preserved open land) should be a priority.

􀂃 At least one community center featuring activities for all ages is needed. This community center with recreation facilities should be easily accessible.

􀂃 In order to establish an identity for the corridor, a gateway/gateways should be established. Well-designed monument signage announcing arrival to the corridor should be placed at a strategic location(s).

“The Planning Division discussed the potential of narrowing the existing vehicular through-lanes to 11’ wide, which will provide a less comfortable driving experience at higher rates of speed, thus causing the driver to slow their overall traveling speed. The technique of narrowing existing travel lanes as part of a resurfacing project provides a “traffic calming” benefit by narrowing the existing lane widths towards the center of the roadway, where the additional pavement along the edge of the roadway serves as a “bicycle-friendly shoulder” for Class-A bicyclist mobility. “

“The Steering Committee voiced their concern about high density residential projects being considered in the redevelopment areas, with a particular emphasis on the southern location adjacent to the Sandy Plains Connector. The group stated that high density residential or mixed-use development in the southern redevelopment area location would force existing elderly residents to be displaced from their homes and forced to making other living accommodations.”

“The proposal to add parallel access roads on both sides of Canton Road from Blackwell Road to Piedmont Road received criticism from existing property owners living near the proposed road alignment. In particular, the proposal to add Skyland Drive to the proposed access road alignment scenario received vocal objections from some existing property owners. Staff stated the road would be constructed as a condition of a rezoning process.”

"As a component of the Market Study, the Planning Division broke down the Canton Road corridor into three distinct segments due to the rather expansive acreage within the initial study area. The 4.5 mile section of Canton Road included a theoretical “Loft District” from the Sandy Plains Connector to Piedmont Road, the “Commerce District” from Piedmont Road to New Chastain Road, and the “Campus District” from Chastain Corners to Jamerson Road. The names for the districts were derived based on the land use successes for the areas in question. The Loft District has an existing grid street network which promotes residential-type uses in this portion of the corridor, similar to the Brumby Loft development theme in the City of Marietta. The Commerce District is based on the existing retail and commercial enterprises from Piedmont Road to New Chastain Road, and the Campus District draws from the success of existing office and educational land uses on the northern portion of the corridor study area."

Comparing progress in the northern Campus District with the southern Loft District 2005-2018

A visual overview by Carol Brown

The Campus District

The Canton Jamerson intersection was once one of Canton Corridor's most blighted areas. Over the past ten years it has been revitalized thanks to the Redevelopment Inventory, CRRFI, rezoning, new restaurants, implementation of SPLOST projects and use of Canton Design Guidelines for new development. Below: The Canton Jamerson intersection 2012.                                        

 

     Above: May 2018    

In 2007 Z-57 was approved and would become the site of Vespucci's and later, Roy's Donuts. Discussions were taking place about some type of design guidelines for the Corridor at the time Z-57 was approved.


MINUTES OF ZONING HEARING 
COBB COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION 
JUNE 5, 2007 PAGE 12
Z57 MOHAMMAD NOWROOZZADEH ( Canton Jamerson, LLC, owner) requesting Rezoning from NS and GC to NRC for the purpose of Retail in Land Lot 60 of the 16th District. Located on the west side of Canton Road, south of Jamerson Road.
The public hearing was opened and Mr. Mohammad Nowroozzadeh and Ms. Carol Brown addressed the Commission. Following presentations and discussion, the following motion was made:
MOTION: Motion by Trombetti, second by Williams, to recommend approval of Rezoning to the NRC zoning district subject to:
  • site plan received by the Zoning Division April 3, 2007, with the District Commissioner approving minor modifications ( on file in the Zoning Division) 
  • architecture to consist of a combination of brick and stucco 
  • enclosures for dumpsters to be constructed of same materials as the building 
  • HVAC to be screened from view 
  • awnings to be placed on storefront windows and doors 
  • if a tenant is a restaurant, then an area for outdoor seating and patio would be set aside and subject to Plan Review approval 
  • ground based monument style signage ( no aerial or portable signs or billboards allowed) 
  • the following uses are prohibited: convenience food store with self service fuel sales; full service gas stations; automotive repair; radio, television and other communication towers and antennas; self-service laundry facilities; pawn and title pawn shops; pool halls, billiards and tattoo shops 
  • Fire Department comments and recommendations, Water and Sewer Division comments and recommendations, Stormwater Management Division comments and recommendations, Cobb DOT comments and recommendations, owner/developer to enter into a Development Agreement pursuant to O.C.G.A. ~36-71- 13 for dedication of system improvements to mitigate traffic concerns 
  • inclusion on Consent Agenda for the Board of Commissioners zoning hearing of June 19, 2007
VOTE: ADOPTED unanimously
MINUTES OF ZONING HEARING 
COBB COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS 
JUNE 19, 2007 PAGE 4
MOTION: Motion by Lee, second by Goreham, as part of the Consent Agenda, to approve Rezoning to the NRC zoning district subject to:
  • site plan received by the Zoning Division April 3, 2007, with the District Commissioner approving minor modifications ( attached and made a part of these minutes) 
  • hours of operation limited - all businesses to close by midnight 
  • architecture to consist of a combination of brick and stucco 
  • enclosures for dumpsters to be constructed of same materials as the building 
  • HVAC to be screened from view 
  • awnings to be placed on storefront windows and doors 
  • if a tenant is a restaurant, then an area for outdoor seating and patio would be set aside (subject to Plan Review approval) 
  • ground based monument style signage ( no aerial or portable signs or billboards allowed) the following uses are prohibited: convenience food store with self service fuel sales; full service gas stations; automotive repair; radio, television and other communication towers and antennas; self-service laundry facilities; pawn and title pawn shops; pool halls, billiards and tattoo shops 
  • Fire Department comments and recommendations, Water and Sewer Division comments and recommendations, Stormwater Management Division comments and recommendations,
  • Cobb DOT comments and recommendations owner/developer to enter into a Development Agreement pursuant to O.C.G.A. ~36-71- 13 for dedication of system improvements to mitigate traffic concerns
VOTE: ADOPTED unanimously
 
The blighted structure below was on the Redevelopment Inventory site. It was demolished and in 2013 Waffle House applied with case Z-53.
MINUTES OF ZONING HEARING 
COBB COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
SEPTEMBER 17, 2013
PAGE 5
CONSENT CASES CONT.

Z-53 WAFFLE HOUSE, INC. ( David B. Mizelle and Dana Mizelle, owners requesting Rezoning from NS to NRC for the purpose of a restaurant in Land Lot 85 of the 16' District. Located on the west side of Canton Road, south of ]amerson Road and north of Old Noonday School House Road 4797 Canton Road). 
To approve Rezoning to the NRC zoning district 
subject to: 
NRC tor purpose of redevelopment for Waffle House restaurant 
Planning Division comments and recommendations
Fire Department comments and recommendations 
StormwaterManagement Division comments and recommendations 
Water and Sewer Division comments and recommendations
Cobb DOT comments and recommendations Owner/developer to enter into a Development Agreement
pursuant to O.C.G.A. §36- 71- 13 for dedication of system improvements to mitigate traffic concerns



Above: Canton Road Redevelopment Foundation 2012: Stakeholders meeting Clockwise: Commissioner Birrell (Government), Planning Commissioner Trombetti (Government), Frank Wigington (Business) Maureen Kozol (Education), Carol Brown (CRN Community Representative), Chuck Martin (Business). Photo by Patch 2012
The infrastructure projects at the Canton-Jamerson intersection and on Jamerson Road to Lee Waters were funded by the 2005 SPLOST. The photo above, looking north at the intersection from Canton Road, is before the SPLOST project was implemented in 2012.
Note the sidewalks, pedestrian crosswalks, median at turn lane and upgraded traffic signals below.

An area can also be shaped when an application is rejected.  In 2011 the progress on the northern section of Canton Corridor was threatened by the application Special Land Use Permit 3, Snapfinger Properties LLC for a scrap metal processing plant.  The applicant proceeded with his plan prior to the mandated review by the ARC as a Development of Regional Impact, which was required before the case was heard by the County.

 
This application was opposed by a coalition which included Canton Road Neighbors, East Cobb Baseball, East Cobb Civic Association, Northeast Cobb Coalition and parents of Kell High School students. The ARC recommended approval for this intense use, but the Planning Commission recommended Denial and the BoC rejected the application. 
SLUP-3 SNAPFINGER PROPERTIES, LLC ( owner) requesting a Special Land Use Permit for the purpose of Operation Of Steel, Metal, And Iron Processing And Transfer Station in Land Lots 131 and 132 of the 16th District. Located on the west side of Lee Waters Road, south of Jamerson Road; and at the northeast intersection of Canton Road and Fowler Circle. Chairman Lee announced that Commissioner Birrell would recuse herself on this petition. 
The public hearing then was opened and Mr. Parks Huff, Ms. Carol Brown, Ms. Jill Flamm, Mr. Jim Smith and Mr. David Allen Roberts addressed the Board. Following presentation and discussion, the following motion was made: 
MOTION: Motion by Lee, second by Otl, to reiect Special Land Use Permit, with directive that Code Enforcement action be delayed for 120 days, and that Planning Division staff review area for possible amendment(s) to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Map. VOTE: ADOPTED 4-0- 1 ( Birrell abstained)   

The applicant took the case to court, withdrew the appeal, and the property was sold. The current occupants are Bulk's and Property Masters. Those businesses are a much better fit next to East Cobb Baseball and near Kell High School.
Now, a new residential neighborhood is under construction across from Property Masters and East Cobb Baseball on Lee Waters Road. Logan Park was approved in April 2017. It would never have been built across from a metal scrap yard.                                                                                                          

One of the largest and eventually, most attractive developments in the northern section was Z-47, Sigma Thermal on Deen Road off of Jamerson and Canton Hwy.  An undeveloped site adjacent to GA NE Railroad, a cement plant and a busy commercial node, it had been used by some to dump old tires and other waste.  The site was across from a residential area, just off Jamerson and   near Kell High School.  A large challenging property, it took a zoning and multiple Other Business applications before the plan was ready to be built out.  This industrial headquarters was a rare win-win for the owners, the residents and the county.  The owners installed nearly 800 linear feet of sidewalks, attractive fencing, heavy landscaping and an attractive office building for their corporate headquarters.  For the first time, students walking to Kell High School could walk there safely on sidewalks.                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                            
                                                                                          

 Another large tract that had been brought in several times to rezone for convenience store with fuel sales was finally approved in early 2016 for Racetrac at the corner of Canton and Shallowford. This busy station added traffic to a challenging intersection.  Safety improvements to the intersection are planned to be built with the 2016 SPLOST.

   
Other improvements have been made near the Hawkins Store intersection and in 2018, Cobb County purchased 18 acres of greenspace on Ebenezer, just off of Canton. 
                               

The Loft District

While improvements have taken place just south of the Piedmont Canton intersection, much remains to be done on the southern section of Canton Corridor.  The renovation of Bay Breeze and construction of Heath Linebeck Engineering stand out as major contributors to the changes in the area.  Racetrac upgraded their station at 2337 Canton in 2016 but the public is still waiting on a new driveway and signal at the Liberty Hill intersection.

South of Liberty Hill to the Merge, these photographs present a stark difference to the improvements that have taken place on the rest of the corridor.  In addition to the lack of quality growth, an inadequate SPLOST project budget and a budget shortfall in the County's General Fund contribute to this area's challenges.  The overall appearance of this section is a disincentive to investment.  Perhaps if more effort had been made to assemble parcels for redevelopment rather than focusing on marketing older vacant properties, change could have come about more quickly in the current market. An Enterprise Zone designation has not brought about the desired result and has largely been beneficial to a single industrial firm.                     

2377 Canton


2328 Canton



Right of Way 2200 block Canton

2120 Canton


Rib Ranch closed December 2017

2100 Canton

There are some takeaways from this Corridor study: If there is to be redevelopment of a fairly large area, it will take time, at this point, 13 years and counting. Planning needs to be in place and commitment is needed by decision makers to adhere to it in a consistent way. It helps to have buy-in from a diverse group of stakeholders.  Progress on Canton Hwy is inadequate in the southern section. Even without more private sector investment, the appearance of the area could have been improved greatly by county investment in sidewalks and streetscape. They could have been more proactive in use of nuisance abatement, extending the sewer line south, improved roadway safety measures, and acquiring greenspace.  These were all recommendations by the Canton Road Steering Committee in 2004 and 2005, and we are still waiting for results.                                                                    

--------------------------




May 15 Update - Zoning

With the Primary Election just 10 days out and voting well underway, we wanted to post information about all Candidates for the District 3 Commission Race. For the first time in 24 years residents of this area who are Democrats will have a choice of Democratic Candidates as well as GOP. Below are links to two articles and links to two You tube debate videos. Commissioner Birrell was not present at the CCCC Debate and of course, is GOP. 

CRN also sent out a questionnaire to all four Candidates since we are not hosting a Meet and Greet or Forum this year.  As in the past our questions are mainly focused on Planning, Zoning and Community issues. Democratic Candidates Ms. Holko and Mr. Smith responded but GOP Candidates Tom Cheek and Commissioner Birrell had not responded as of this post.

Link to Candidate Questionnaire 

Commission seat pits Cheek, incumbent Birrell for GOP spot; two Dems seeking to advance

MDJ by Jon Gargis 05/11/18

http://www.mdjonline.com/news/commission-seat-pits-cheek-incumbent-birrell-for-gop-spot-two/article_13206926-5549-11e8-ae52-2bba80d56dac.html

Cobb money crunch prompts warning from rating agencies

AJC by Meris Lutz

https://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt--politics/cobb-money-crunch-prompts-warning-from-rating-agency/rNtGoPnvPE65OnokwwLPlL/


Cobb Commission District  3 Democratic Candidate Debate Youtube Link   56:00  May 7, 2018
https://youtu.be/XcK-XzDHdkE


Cobb Commission Districts 1 and 3 Candidate Debate May 1, 2018 Cobb Civic Coalition

Youtube Link    runs 90:00   https://youtu.be/L2jivvLxDxA

Two of the most important issues facing Cobb County the next few years are the budget and development of regional transportation. The Commission Candidate debate hosted by Cobb Civic Coalition on May 1 saw challengers express a range of views on the issues. Unfortunately the incumbents were not present to weigh in. It has become very predictable for conservative and ultra-conservative candidates to suggest that either there is more fat to be cut from the budget or that the deficit is exaggerated. The bottom line for many conservatives is that Cobb does not need to raise the millage rate: instead, services need to be cut.

There are also divisions about the need for transit, not just along party lines. The range of opinions can be heard in the 90 minute debate which is available on YouTube, at this link.

Following the news that while rating agencies Moody's and Fitch let Cobb's AAA rating stand for the time being, they issued a warning about Cobb's financial outlook. Cobb has not been in this situation in past decades and the current crisis is largely self-inflicted. It can be fixed.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OB 23 approved 4-1  Contractor in NRC    You tube Link below 1:55:00 to 2:21:48

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=iR5YktfZq_E


Life Storage construction progress


Construction of new metal industrial building (in NRC) for contractor Quality Plumbing Z-32 2015, OB 006 2016

                                           

Code Enforcement Actions Pending

Below- 2270 Canton Hwy, the vacant lot next to the Day Care facility, was heavily clear cut without the required permits. "Tree Service" not allowed on site.  A Stop Work Order has been issued. Sign removed.

Tire Store 2328 Canton has multiple code violations including1,000 old tires on site.  We learned that the business may relocate in the next two months.
Other Business 23. Meridian Restoration for use as contractor in NRC.  Use should be limited to Contractor office.

Deja Vu all over again . . . .

Cobb DOT SPLOST Open House  

The 2 major improvements are shown below: Canton at Shallowford and a right turn lane from Piedmont to Canton.

If you were unavailable to attend or if you did attend and have more suggestions, download the information packet and send your feedback to Ms. Karyn Matthews at Karyn.Matthews@cobbcounty.org or Cobb County DOT, 1890 County Services Pkwy, Marietta, 30008.  Comments are being taken from now until May 15.












April 23 Update

Earth Day weekend – CRN adds bulbs to perennial garden, fishes old tires out of the right of way and does litter patrol on Canton Rd.

CRN recently received a substantial donation of daffodil bulbs to be planted in the Perennial Garden on the Connector.

The garden was started on Earth Day 2010 by our group, as part of GDOT's Adopt A Hwy program. The 950 sq ft garden is planted with daffodils (early spring blooming), daylilies, iris, daisies and other plants loved by pollinators. Our last major addition to the garden was in Summer 2015 after receiving a grant from the Community Foundation. The new addition of bulbs will provide a long blooming seasonal mix of color and variety to the garden.  

The right of ways on Canton Road and Powell Wright sprouted a different type of crop the past week – a half dozen tires and three mattresses dumped in addition to the usual accumulation of water bottles, beer cans, fast food wrappers and building materials blown off of service vans. Kudos to Cobb Road Maintenance for the quick response and help removing the large items. There is a very simple solution to the litter problem: use a trash can to dispose of waste.

Canton Road corridor Public Information Open House

The Cobb County Department of Transportation will hold a public information open house concerning improvements at the intersections of Canton Road and Shallowford Road/Highland Terrace, and Canton Road and Piedmont Road.
The meeting will be held 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday,
May 1, at Blackwell Elementary (3470 Canton Rd, Marietta). There will be no formal presentation, citizens are invited to learn more about the project, view maps, ask questions and provide comments.
Editor's note: In discussion with Commissioner Birrell, I heard that there will be no improvements south of Piedmont Rd. There is
potential funding for sidewalks south of Piedmont on Canton in 2019.

Cobb Greenways and Trails Master Plan has been released

After a series of meetings with the public to get suggestions on possible areas for new trails, Cobb DOT's Planning Division has released a Draft Master Plan for review. http://www.cobbtrailplan.com/

CRN sponsored a small stakeholder meeting with CDOT last July at Covenant Presbyterian and are pleased that some of our suggestions are included in the Draft. We recommend downloading the Executive Summary at

http://www.cobbtrailplan.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/ExecutiveSummary_GTMP_DRAFT_Final_3.27.18_Reduced.pdf

County purchases two tracts on Ebenezer at Canton for Greenspace

In March Cobb County acquired two parcels, 4055 and 4057 Ebenezer Road, for District 3's first purchase from the 2008 Parks Bond Referendum.  

CDOT Director Jim Wilgus resigns Link to AJC Article below

https://www.ajc.com/news/local/cobb-dot-director-hired-2016-resigns-citing-stress-issue/pJWN02sIaXMN64nN04aPyK/

Whatever happened to Racetrac's new driveway at Liberty Hill?

Z-21 was approved in April 2016 and a lot of folks have been wondering when the new driveway and connecting road from Westerly Way were going to be built. Turns out the County legal department and attorney Parks Huff are haggling over a cost sharing agreement between Racetrac and Cobb DOT, who will be jointly building sidewalks, a decel lane and new driveway at 2337 Canton Hwy. In the meantime, Racetrac has completed several new stations.

RSL at corner of Piedmont and Morgan Rd Approved

Other Business Item 15 was approved by Commissioners on Consent April 17. This was an update of the site plan and stipulations first approved in 2005 for 16 attached Residential Senior Living dwellings at the corner of Piedmont and Morgan Road. The land remained undeveloped and was brought in this year by Craig Wrigley of Palladian, who submitted a revised plan for 16 detached dwellings.

Reminder: the Democratic and Republican Primary election is May 22

Election FAQ Rules for voting in the May 22 Primary: Choose a Democratic or Republican Ballot not both. LINK to Cobb Elections
Vote by Mail Rules (Absentee Ballots) - LINK to Cobb Elections page
http://www.cobbelections.org/VoteByMail.php
Get a sample Ballot for the Democratic or Republican Primary at www.cobbelections.org

If you live in one of Cobb's cities (Marietta, Kennesaw, Smyrna, Acworth, Austell, Powder Springs) you can vote for the 
District Commissioner in Unincorporated Cobb as well as your City Officials. But residents of Unincorporated Cobb can't vote for
City Officials.


Televised Debate TV23 District 1 and 3 Commission Candidates May 1, 7-9 pm

District 3 GOP candidates are Commissioner JoAnn Birrell and challenger Tom Cheek;

Democratic candidates are Jim Smith and Caroline Holko.




April 3 Update




Planning Commission Chairman Mike Terry resigned April 3rd, from his appointed position (Bob Ott District 2).
Terry had been a planning commissioner for many years, including time in the City of Smyrna. His successor is Andy Smith.
District 3 Planning Commissioner Judy Williams (JoAnn Birrell appointed) will become the new Chairman of the Planning Commission.

Election FAQs  Rules for voting in the May 22 Primary: Choose a Democratic or Republican Ballot not both.  LINK to Cobb Elections
Vote by Mail Rules (Absentee Ballots) - LINK to Cobb Elections page 
http://www.cobbelections.org/VoteByMail.php

If you live in one of Cobb's cities (Marietta, Kennesaw, Smyrna, Acworth, Austell,  Powder Springs) you can vote for the
District Commissioner in Unincorporated Cobb as well as your City Officials.  But residents  of  Unincorporated Cobb can't vote for
City Officials.                                                                                     

There will be a televised debate between the Commission Candidates on TV 23 on May  1. 




Life Storage is rapidly completing the new storage facility  It it is supposed to be "skinned" or finished with stucco, brick and EFIS. The Elevation approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals in June 2016 is below.  A photo of the building from the Canton Connector side is also shown.   



                                     

OB 11 Denied after a hearing, to extend the Special Land Use Permit to sell used vehicles at 2377 Canton (Letsos). The extension would have been for 36 months. The motion allowed the current tenant (truck sales) to remain on the property until 12/31/2018.  When an application is denied, a period of 12 months is needed before any new application could be filed..  The existing SLUP expires on April 21 of this year.  Therefore it would be 04/21/19 before a new application could be filed.  There are many good uses available to the owners as it is zoned CRC.  There is really no need for them to rezone for a restaurant, bank, vet florist, etc.
Link to the video on  Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4lFFhLmazM
it starts 2 hrs 10 minutes and runs to 2  hrs 25 minutes

Casteel has taken an office/warehouse across the street at 2197 Canton.  This may remove the need to build on the adjacent site but they do plan to keep the current site for their operation. This leaves the fate of the 3 vacant acres adjacent, owned by former Casteel CEO John Hillis in question.

I requested that Cobb County visit the vacant lot at 2270 Canton next to the day care center to see whether the owners had received a Land Disturbance Permit.  There has been a good bit of clear cutting onsite and the parcel is currently zoned NS, and would need to rezone to a more current zoning category.  As you know, some individuals act first without the required permission.  No response yet to my inquiry.


The tire store at 2328 Canton has a new court date in May for failing to address violations.  Additional actions needed to clean up this site are pending.. 
      

Z 87 was approved on Consent.The only hitch came with the suggestion to prohibit backup alarms.  Go to Youtube and watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4lFFhLmazM  

The brief segment starts at 10 min and runs to 13 min 56 sec.  No thanks to Mike Boyce.  Backup Alarms are the province of OSHA and not a state or federal law.  They are not required on all vehicles in all situations. Some communication with Cobb County is needed.

A rendering of the proposed front facade of the building at 2120 Canton (Z-87 Petroplex) is shown below.

That's all for now.

Carol Brown

CRN


    






2018 Elections: Qualifying to run for office in Cobb is March 5th - 9th. There are two announced GOP candidates for Commission District 3: JoAnn Birrell and Tom Cheek. Jim Smith, who has been an active member of CRN for 7 years, qualified to run as a Democrat on Monday.  He will step off of the CRN committees while he is a candidate. On Thursday another Democratic Candidate qualified: Homemaker Caroline Holko.  Primaries are May 22 and the General Election is in November.

Link to AJC article:

Cobb financial troubles hang over commission races 


Canton Road Neighbors February update

Just when you thought the southern section of Canton Hwy was going to improve: I learned Thursday the 8th that the Storage Development facility approved on Consent last fall (south of Racetrac), will not happen. The investors backed out. Too bad - it would have been one of the nicest new developments the blighted southern section of Canton Hwy has seen since Heath Linebeck was built ten years ago.

But we do have another (blighted) property about to be approved: Z-87 PetroPlex, the old gas station at 2120 Canton.

HELD UNTIL MARCH 20

Feb 21, 2018 — After Commissioners heard presentations by the applicant for the old gas station at 2120 Canton Hwy. and by CRN, the case was HELD until March 20. The applicant sent in plans to the county the evening before the hearing, which was not sufficient notice. The applicant only plans to paint the canopies to match the brick. That will not be enough to meet Development Standards. The applicant was directed to come up with a reasonable plan to improve the old building.

  LINK to Z87 Hearing Video     Starts 4 hours 13 min to 4 hrs 33 min


JoAnn.Birrell@cobbcounty.org

Mike.Boyce@cobbcounty.org

Bob.Ott@cobbcounty.org

Bob.Weatherford@cobbcounty.org
Lisa.Cupid@cobbcounty.org

There is a proposed Code Amendment to the Neighborhood Retail Commercial district that is very important to support. In 2010 that Neighborhood-friendly zoning district was opened to much more intense uses, such as Contractor, at the request of local property owners. The amendment to NRC will remove the intense uses and return NRC to what it was prior to 2010. The Commission recommended Denying this. The 2nd Public hearing is Tuesday Feb 27th at 7 pm. Email Commissioner Birrell and other Commissioners to support the Code Amendment to NRC at minimum remove Contractor as a Special Exception when adjacent to reside tial neighborhoods.

 Z-32 2015 2487 Canton Contractor as Special Exception in NRC. This use is not really neighborhood retail.  Commissioner Birrell supports leaving this in NRC.
 In 2013 Z-15 was approved for a Contractor(HVAC) in NRC.  A neighborhood is behind.  Many improvements were made to the previously industrial site.  It only took about 3 years for the business to become heavy industrial in nature. What the code says is "Neighborhood retail uses means commonly found low scale and low intensity retail uses (with square footages in accordance with the use limitations established within the individual zoning districts of this chapter) that offer basic services and frequently purchased goods to the immediate surrounding residential areas," "All special exception uses allowed within the NRC district must be contained completely within an enclosed building. No uses are to be conducted outside, except for those allowing outdoor display of merchandise." "Contractor (specialized) without heavy equipment (subject to 35-foot landscaped screening buffer adjacent to all residentially zoned property)." 
Casteel Heating and Cooling also expanded and grew from a family owned HVAC to an intense industrial use adjacent to      a residential neighborhood.  Contractor was previously limited to GC and Heavy Industrial.  There are many industrial parks in Cobb that need tenants. These uses do not belong in NRC next to residential neighborhoods.

Other Code Amendments of interest - The Business Incentive program . The pro-business county crosses a line from time to time, and by adding this incentive, it has gone more than a few steps across that line.

Acceleration of public hearing dates for rezoning requests, special use permits, variance requests, and requests for changes in zoning conditions, pursuant to compliance with state law “

What this does is to create uncertainty for the public, which is accustomed to receiving a letter about zoning cases if they live within 1,000 feet of the application, and to seeing yellow zoning signs posted 30 days before the Planning Commission Hearing. Georgia law on zoning hearing procedures (OCGA 36-66-4) allows for signs to be posted for as few as 15 days prior to the hearing and has no requirements that a letter be sent to residents within 1,000 feet.

This proposed incentive places business at a distinct advantage over residents potentially affected by a zoning. It also makes the zoning process arbitrary and creates a system of advantages for some applicants and not others. It is a bad idea and should be rejected.  The Planning Commission agreed and recommended removing this proposal.

The Planning Commission recommendation on other Code Amendments: They voted to recommend Denying the NRC Code Amendment and the Workforce Housing Ordinance, among other things. The Public has another chance to speak on Feb 27th at 7 pm.

---------------

It is nearly 3 years since the SLUP for used car sales on Canton at Westerly Way was approved and it will appear again on March 20 as OB 11.

There will be a public meeting with Cobb DOT at Gritters Library on Wed March 7 from 2-4 pm. Topics include a transit study, 2016 SPLOST update and area traffic concerns. Commissioner Birrell informed me that there is no money for Sidewalks in the 2016 SPLOST.

2018 Elections: Qualifying to run for office in Cobb is March 5th - 9th. There are two announced candidates for Commission District 3: JoAnn Birrell and Tom Cheek.                                                                       

The winter took its toll on our trees, gardens, right-of-ways and health. Hopefully warmer, sunny weather and a lot of work will repair the damage. There is still no excuse for the volume of trash along the Corridor right-of-ways but CRN made a dent in it recently. 

                                                             

That's all for now.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Carol Brown, Canton Road Neighbors, Inc.



Canton Road Neighbors 2017 / Pursuing progress in 2018

There were many unexpected developments this eventful year; the highlights are listed (not ranked) below:

  •  Rib Ranch closes Christmas Eve 2017
  •  Two properties on the short list are removed from Parks Bond consideration
  •  Marietta BZA Denies MUST Ministries Variance for a shelter / MUST goes ahead with new shelter
  •  Walmart Neighborhood Market closes December 4
  •  A new residential developer comes to Canton Road; Staff recommends Denial of all 3 zoning cases.


 A friend called several weeks ago to tell me that the Rib Ranch was closing. I was shocked and he sounded sad and concerned. We did not know at the time that the issue was with the lease on the property and not due to a lack of customers. The Rib Ranch was a landmark like the Big Chicken; it was a community favorite, not only for the good food but for the friendly, welcoming atmosphere. About the only downside was getting in and out of the driveway. A group of concerned citizens met in the side room in April 2005 and decided to incorporate as an organization, Canton Road Neighbors, Inc. In the summer of 2008, several civic organizations met to draft the Canton Road Design Guidelines which were adopted by the BoC in early 2009. CRN held many lunch and dinner meetings at Rib Ranch as well as meetings to discuss zoning cases. The last large meeting we hosted was in December 2015 to discuss Z-95, the new Racetrac on Canton at Shallowford. A smaller group met in August to discuss Z-50, the new self storage facility which is to be built across from Casteel.

The closing of Rib Ranch followed the closing of Walmart Neighborhood Market by only a few weeks. While Walmart was open for 5 years, Rib Ranch had a 35 year run. We don't know what the property owners have in mind for that location, but Rib Ranch will be a hard act to follow and it will be missed.



 


Zoning 2017 11 Rezoning cases (Z-11, Z-21, Z-50/S10, Z-71, Z-87, Z-83 were significant), Variance Marietta V2017-22 was also significant .

Public Meetings: Z 50/SLUP10 and Z-71, Attendance at Gritters to discuss Z-71 was 26. Casework assistance on Z-87 was provided by Jim Smith and an online petition had 129 signers.

CRN requested a stakeholder meeting to learn about Cobb Greenways and Trails Planning. This was held at Covenant Presbyterian.


Ending the year on a positive note!


Atlanta Piano is a welcome addition to Canton Road businesses.  Located next to Bay Breeze. 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Briefly . . .

The long delayed new driveway at Racetrac 2337 Canton has been delayed another 8 weeks.  This time Cobb DOT is slowing it up.  Maybe someday a new driveway will be under construction. 

A Huge new Racetrac is under construction at Church St Extension near Wellstar - NOW we know what is causing the delay on the Liberty Hill Driveway!       

Z-71 Hilltop Drive has been withdrawn without prejudice.

Z-87 PetroPlex  2120 Canton Hwy was recommended for Deletion to Low Rise Office with other stipulations.  Applicant to ask for Continuance until February 2018.

Z-83 Loyd Development Services, Hawkins Store Rd: HELD until February Planning Commission Meeting.

ZONING UPDATE Z-87 PETROPLEX  2120 CANTON HWY 


CASE TO BE CONTINUED UNTIL FEBRUARY 2018

Dec 15, 2017 — The Planning Commission recommended Deletion (changing) the Zoning request from NRC to Low Rise Office for professional office use only. The motion follows:

MOTION: Motion by Williams, second by Gunther, to recommend deletion of Z-87 to the LRO zoning category, subject to:
1. Professional office use only
2. LRO use to be approved by the District Commissioner
3. Building be brought into compliance with the Canton Road Design Guidelines
4. District Commissioner to approve architectural style of the building and any minor modifications
5. Pole signage to be removed and replaced with ground based monument sign
6. Installation of sidewalk
7. Removal of the southernmost entrance on Canton Road
8. Adherence to the 70% impervious surface
9. No overnight parking of commercial vehicles
10. Staff comments and recommendations, not otherwise in conflict VOTE: ADOPTED 5-0

The applicant called Commissioner Birrell to discuss this and see if it would be possible to get the NRC. Since the applicant does not have a tenant, a site plan, building elevations or a letter of agreeable stipulations, he is not ready and the case will be continued until the February BoC Zoning meeting.

We think the Planning Commission recommendation was appropriate at the time and we will keep you posted on developments.


Canton Road Neighbors Fall Update 2017

Ever wonder about what happened to those good developments that were supposed to take place because of a rezoning case, or what's coming online in the next few months?

That is the focus of this update.

A number of changes are taking place on Canton Hwy:

The WalMart Neighborhood Market at the corner of Canton and Blackwell Road will be closing on December 4th. No word yet on a possible new occupant.

Casteel Heating and Cooling, a locally based company, was acquired by Horizon Services, based in Delaware. Casteel will continue operations using the Casteel name. 


The 2nd phase of the Racetrac development at 2337 Canton Hwy is about to get underway. Racetrac's expansion was approved in April 2016 and the store closed for remodeling. It reopened in Jan. 2017, but plans to relocate the main driveway to align with the traffic signal at Liberty Hill were put on hold.



Also planned is the creation of a private drive from Westerly Way to the new driveway. This will allow drivers to have access to the signal on Canton at Liberty Hill. A land disturbance permit was just given to Racetrac, so construction should begin soon.

The Racetrac at 4400 Canton (at Shallowford) opened recently and it features the new, expanded store design. It was approved as Z-95(2015) in February 2016.


Life Storage at 1987 Canton Road (formerly Uncle Bob's) was approved to build a new 3 story self storage building on the existing site in June 2016 (V-70). Construction is in progress. Expect to see a more modern and attractive design for the new building, including landscaping on the Canton Connector side.


Z-50 and SLUP 10, approved in September for Storage Development Group, will be built on a 3.39 acre tract in front of the 2197 Canton Distribution Center, south of Racetrac. Plans call for 4-sided brick architecture, 35' high, no outdoor storage or parking of heavy vehicles, street landscaping and sidewalks. Construction should begin early next year and wrap up by September 2018. 



Grace Living, an attractive new assisted living facility at 2417 Canton Hwy opened for business this summer.



Just up the road, the former Jennings Music is under new ownership and features new sidewalks.


To the north on Canton near Hawkins Store Rd, Fontis Water, rezoned as Z-95 in December 2016 has a new warehouse under construction.

Remember the “Turkey Barn” on Hawkins Store Road which had multiple rezoning and Other Business applications? It took nearly 7 years for the exterior to be completed and then sat empty for a long time in search of a new tenant to finish the interior. Finally in 2017, Titan Sports Academy purchased the property, completed the interior and is open for business. We wish them well! 

      

Not all of the prospects along Canton Hwy's commercial area are encouraging. Early this year the old tanks at the vacant service station at 2120 Canton Hwy were removed and the site was purchased by Petroplex Joint Ventures LLC. Because the station had been vacant since 2002, (built in 1979-80) it needs to be rezoned from General Commercial to Neighborhood Retail Commercial (or LRC or LRO). The application will be heard in December for a “Kitchen and Cabinet Showroom”, however the “existing (building) will remain”.


While the market for new homes is thriving in other parts of Cobb County, neighborhoods in the Canton Road area have not been competitive – until this year. In March 2017 Developer John Loyd applied to build new homes on Lee Waters Road, across from East Cobb Baseball, and just up from Kell High School. Approved in April with a modified site plan, Mr. Loyd is not wasting any time and construction is already underway. A half acre lot will be added to the existing tract if approved this month. For families looking for a reasonably priced new home, close to good schools and recreation, this location is ideal.


As more upscale developers turn to Commission District 2 to build homes starting at $800,000. and up, Loyd Development likes the Canton Road area and sees opportunity for infill in the older existing neighborhoods. Z-71, Hilltop Drive in the Addison Heights neighborhood and Z-83 on Hawkins Store are pending, both to be heard in December. For long time residents who are wary of commercial encroachment or noisy industrial uses, these medium density, reasonably priced subdivisions are an option long overdue.


There were two rezoning applications approved for First Center (David Pearson) on a large tract at the corner of Shallowford and Jamerson in 2015 and upgraded again in October 2016. Mr. Pearson is apparently taking his time and construction has not yet begun.


We are still going to keep an eye on Spring 2018 when Planning for the 2016 SPLOST Canton Corridor projects gets underway. This time, Canton Hwy needs to get its fair share of sidewalk construction. After all, the 3rd SPLOST should be a charm. Also pending are SPLOST funded renovations to Gritters Library.

We are not pleased to learn that Cobb County is using the Public Library system as a political football in an attempt to cover a budget shortfall. There is something callous about balancing the budget on the backs of average citizens and their kids while throwing money at large corporations.

Overall though, progress continues on and near the Canton Road Corridor. By working together we can keep the momentum going and ensure that our community continues to be a great place to live, work and play.

Carol Brown

Chairperson, Canton Road Neighbors, Inc.













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