Canton Road Neighbors, Inc 2020-2021
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.
This is the official website of Canton Road Neighbors, Inc. We do not host a Facebook site and do not post to Next Door. Updates are posted to this site and quarterly updates are sent via email to those who have signed up to receive our newsletter.
To stay updated on Cobb County news visit www.cobbcounty.org
This website, CRN's third, is the most current version and will be updated as needed. As of 12/27/20 it is still under construction.
The first site, CRN Archives, covers zoning cases and other activity from our incorporation in 2005 to 2015. The link to CRN Archives is
The second, more recent site covers zoning cases and community development issues from 2015 to fall 2020. It is available at this link.
Below: Perennial Garden on Canton Connector Easter 2021
Street racing gang Canton Road alert
Early this morning a street racing gang shut down the intersection of Canton Road and Liberty Hill by the Racetrac. The photo below shows that vehicles were doing "donuts" in the intersection. Apparently a passenger vehicle tried to drive around the activity and their vehicle was damaged by bystanders. The headlights were broken as well as the rear windshield.
The reported activity took place at approximately 1 am Sunday, and nearby residents reported hearing it between 2 and 3 am.
This is not the first time that street racing has been a problem on Canton Hwy. On June 22, 2020 CBS 46 reported an incident in the parking lot at the intersection of Canton and Piedmont.
Cobb County Police arrested one of the drivers, a 19 year old from DeKalb County, who was charged with 17 criminal charges. Canton Road will be put on Police Zone Patrol starting this weekend.
Report any concerns immediately: call 911.
Carol Brown, Canton Road Neighbors, Inc.
COVID in Cobb UPDATE - August 9, 2021
"We sat down with Dr. Janet Memark to discuss the latest surge in COVID cases in Cobb, the state of Georgia and the US. We discuss; - What is fueling the rise in cases. - How it is affecting local hospitals. - Despite "breakthrough" cases, why the unvaccinated are suffering the most. - Advice if your kids are heading to school. Please visit https://www.cobbanddouglaspublichealt... to find a vaccination location near you."
Good news for fans of Cherokee Cattle Company! It is undergoing renovation and will be opening again for business, date TBA.
The Ebenezer Road residential rezoning has been continued until the September Planning Commission meeting. Hopefully a compromise can be reached that will be a win-win.
The former Trophy shop on Canton at Hawkins Store is in for a zoning upgrade. Its more of a "cleanup zoning" from GC to NRC. The property is adjacent to Emerson Church. Z-58. It was recommended for approval by PC on Consent Agenda.
June and July 2021
Z-14 Pearl River Brothers LLC, from GC to NRC for restaurant, former Rib Ranch site. Planning Commission April 6, BoC Zoning April 20 Approved on Consent.
The restaurant is under renovation.
Below: new Quikrete site, former concrete site, new Public Storage Canton Hwy,
CRN 2020 year in review and a look ahead
CRN focuses on planning, zoning and other development issues that affect the community therefore this blog will stick to those topics. We know that the lives of many neighbors have been impacted by the Covid 19 virus and many of us know those who have been unfortunate enough to experience it. We hope 2021 will begin a time of healing for our friends, neighbors and the country.
Covid 19 changed the way the County held zoning hearings; after postponements of 2.5 months, meetings resumed virtually. Participation by the public declined and the hearings had an impromptu feeling as Commissioners, staff and the public tried to adapt quickly. Kudos to Cornelius Pope, Cobb’s TV 23 Senior Producer, for staying on top of technical challenges and delivering meeting videos to the public on schedule.
The zoning caseload for the Canton Road area did not lighten up in 2020, however there were only a few cases that could be considered significant in impact. Only one will have a positive impact on the area. There were 16 cases addressed by CRN in the Canton Road area, with another four in the City of Marietta in 2020. Of the 16, most were minor, either upgrades of zoning category or change of business use.
Several industrial and service businesses required more attention because of their close proximity to residential properties. One applicant demanded no limitation be put on their operation even though zoning code was explicit in what was permitted and not permitted. This was one of two cases that will have a significant impact on the area, but likely not in a positive way. Special Land Use Permit 7, Quikrete, at 4960 Canton Hwy just north of the Jamerson commercial node, was approved by a 3-2 vote to move into a site previously occupied by a concrete plant. Quikrete applied for a dry bagging operation which they said would have little impact on the nearest neighbors. They were able to secure operating hours of 24/7 in violation of Code. Their plan for at least 30 daily round trips of deliveries to Home Depot using semi tractor trailers, as well as multiple deliveries of aggregate material from Vulcan Materials to their Canton Hwy operation will likely have the greatest impact on the community and on the roads.
The recently updated site plan amendment to the Smith Douglas Homes development on Canton Road at Kensington, is the zoning most likely to have a positive impact on the corridor. It was approved as RA 6 (Z-66 2019)for a town home community. Development should begin this spring.
Past zoning approvals finally underway
The 5.8 tract at the corner of Shallowford Connector and Shallowford is finally underway. Zoned RA 6 for Pearson Communities in 2015 and updated in (Z-80) 2016, it will conserve green space and feature attached dwellings targeted to 55+. The stipulations mandated right in right out at the main entrance on Shallowford, with open access on the less heavily traveled 2nd entrance on Shallowford Connector.
Another Pearson property on Sandy Plains at Ross Rd. received final approval to proceed with a Phase I and II subdivision of detached town homes. Phase II for 49 town homes on 8.21 acres was approved as RA 6 in November. This will add access to the signal on Sandy Plains in addition to the entrance on Sandy Plains across from Hasty Rd. Phase I on Sandy Plains was approved in 2015 for RA 5 as Z-90. The owners sued Cobb County and a settlement was reached and approved in 2019. Phase I was approved as RA 6 with a total of 41 town homes. The community is targeted to ages 55+.
Prior year rezonings completed
Racetrac’s new main driveway alignment with the signal at Liberty Hill, and the new access road at Westerly Way finally opened in February 2020 with a well attended ribbon cutting ceremony. The zoning, Z-21 2016 requested the infrastructure improvements with costs shared by the County and Racetrac. It was worth the four year wait.
Zoned as Z-50 and SLUP 10 in 2017, the new storage facility just south of Racetrac on Canton Hwy is the corridor’s most expensive project and only the second commercial four-sided brick structure built since Heath Linebeck in 2006. Hopefully the new development and the Racetrac improvements will raise the bar for future commercial development in the area. Progress in that area is welcomed and long overdue.
The 55+ detached town home community on Piedmont at Morgan is nearly completed.
A new detached single family community developed by Loyd Development Services and Heatherland is nearly complete. It is on the corner of Suholden and Embry located just off New Chastain and Canton Road. Just up the hill, development on Hilltop Dr. is scheduled to begin this spring. Homes will be priced in the $500,000 + range.
Homeowners in the Bells Ferry/Turner Road and White Circle area in the City of Marietta saw rapid improvements on White Circle and parts of Bells Ferry. The northeastern and southeastern side of White Circle have been transformed from overgrown, heavily littered vacant tracts by attractive new industrial development (CII) and a new residential subdivision by Venture Homes.
At 1691 Bells Ferry near Williams Drive, Loyd Development Services is building a new subdivision of affordable homes on a 5 acre tract.
A proposed mixed use development application by Atlantic Realty Acquisitions for Sprayberry Crossing will finally be heard on February 2, as ROD 1. The fire station on Brackett Rd off of Canton will be relocating. The new fire station is planned for construction on Canton at Chastain Corners and should get underway this spring. It was approved by the BoC in early 2019.
The large tract at the SW corner of Chastain Rd and Chastain Meadows will be developed as Piedmont Medical Center. An intense mixed use zoning at that location(Z-71 Pope and Land) was denied by the BoC last year. The Medical Center is being built out as currently zoned with permits.
There is interest by developers in the Piedmont Village site (SE corner of Piedmont and Canton) for a potential mixed use development. This is the former location of the Drivers License branch. There may also be interest in new development at Blackwell Sq at the vacant Walmart site.
The planned improvements on Canton at Shallowford,funded by SPLOST, which include an eastbound right turn lane and a narrow apron in the SB center lane at the signal, are still on hold. We have heard that negotiations over County acquisition of right of way from an owner are causing the delay. This is a very dangerous intersection and area residents hope this is resolved and that work can begin as soon as possible.
This election year has brought many changes to the County Commission. Incumbent Chairman Mike Boyce lost his bid for reelection and Commissioner Lisa Cupid will become Cobb County’s new Chairman. We wish Mike Boyce well and thank him for a job well done. We look forward to Chairman Cupid’s term and know that the County will continue to be in good hands.
The District 2 Commission seat formerly held by Bob Ott has a new Commissioner, Jerica Richardson. District 4 Commissioner Monique Sheffield was sworn in on Dec. 22, replacing former Commissioner Lisa Cupid in that seat.
There will likely be new Planning Commission appointees, and we will post that information when announced.
Local elections continue in 2021 with the City of Marietta Mayor and Council Member seats up for reelection in November. Ward 6 Councilwoman Michelle Cooper Kelly has announced that she will challenge Steve Tumlin in the race for Mayor. The Mayor and Council races are nonpartisan.
Voters in Cobb approved the 2022 SPLOST to everyone’s relief, ensuring that roads and bridges will be repaired and repaved in the future as needed.
For specifics on zoning cases described please check out our updated website at www.cantonroadneighbors.org. There are also links to our two earlier websites which provide information on zoning cases and area development going back to the CRN incorporation in 2005.
To stay current on pending issues and zoning cases please visit www.cobbcounty.org and sign up for e newsletters from the County and Commissioner Birrell. You can also sign up for zoning analysis notification by email. (This is available to the public in part due to the CRN effort in 2012-2013 for a Neighborhood Notification Initiative program in Cobb).
Wishing you a safe, healthy, prosperous and Happier New Year.
Carol Brown, M.R.P.
Chairman, Canton Road Neighbors, Inc.
Here is the status of area zoning cases: December 27
Z- 65 in December was the last case in CRN area this year.
Z-57 2165 Canton (former GH Horseshoe) BoC Approved on Consent GC to NRC for Georgia Clean.
Z-60 2120 Canton (Petroplex, Tom Mitchell) Approved by BoC Deletion to NRC for use by Tailgate.com only RVs stored behind the fence with one outside for demonstration and pickup during the day only. Right in Right out for RV traffic on Canton. The owner, Tom Mitchell, owner of the site (Petroplex) has filed suit against Cobb County.
SLUP 9 Crawford Landscaping Fowler Circle Approved on Consent No chipping or grinding of tree stumps
SLUP 8 Lockhart Holdings aka Property Masters Lee Waters Rd Approved on Consent.
OB 53 Smith Douglas Homes Canton Hwy at Kensington Approved on Consent for site plan modification re landscaping and sidewalks on Kensington.
Z-44 Peach State Salvage (Rustique) Approved by BoC on Consent GC deleted to NRC
OB 59 2558 Canton Approved on Consent for Granite Countertops
OB 61 760 Hawkins Store to amend stipulation 4 (1997) to allow other business
Z 65 3481 Canton at Blackwell OI to CRC to allow RV trailer sales Continued until December Planning Commission
LUP 18 east side of Piedmont Drive south of Umland Single-family residential Proposed Use To allow more adults and vehicles than the code allows BoC Denied
Carol Brown Canton Road Neighbors, Inc.
SLUP 7 Quikrete application approved by Commissioners 3-2.Boyce, Cupid opposed. Birrell, Ott, Gambrill supported.Link to YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJjQvLfJHwISLUP 7 starts at 1 h r 41 minutes 25 seconds into the video.Outcome of SLUP 7 Quikrete at 4960 Canton Hwy.Commissioners voted to approve it 3-2, with Commissioners Birrell, Gambrill and Ott supporting. Chairman Boyce and Commisioner Cupid opposed. Commissioner Cupid discussed the case at length.The hearing lasted just over 1 hour. There were two speakers in opposition, Carol Brown of Canton Road Neighbors and Dr. Charles Highland of the Etowah Veterinary Clinic.The Code for Concrete plants has two important requirements:They should not be located less than 1,000 feet from residential property andThey should be limited to daylight hours only.Other regulations concern worker safety and the environment and are subject to State and Federal oversight. Quikrete has numerous OSHA violations across the US and EPA violations as well. They currently have open cases at their Lithonia Plant, at San Antonio and at Paxinos in Pennsylvania.Here is the motion made by Commissioner Birrell which was adopted in a 3-2 vote.Quikrete will limit truck deliveries to the hours of 5:00 am to 7:00 pm (Monday-Saturday);Quikrete will not operate the plant on Sundays;Quikrete will not use the adjacent railroad line for delivery or dropoff of materials. Should Quikrete choose to seek to use the adjacenet railroad line for delivery or dropoff of materials in the future, Quikrete agrees to limit the hours of loading and dropoff to 7:00 am to 7:00 pm Monday to Saturday.Quikrete will plant a single row of Emerald Arborvitae planted 4' apart in a 10' landscape strip that runs along the west side of the west side of the propertym shown as a cross-hatched on the drawing hereto attached and;Quikrete will cease outdoor activities on the yard between the hours of 11:00 pm and 5:00 am and will cease the use of backup alarms between the hours of 9:00 pm to 5:00 am Quikrete also agreed to work with Cobb DOT Maintainance to keep the northern end of the access point to the private Spur road clear of brush.Staff comments and recommendations will also apply to Quikrete in the plan review process.Here is what was not adopted or addressed. The plant will operate indoors 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. The BoC should only have approved for daylight operations. Residents closest to the plant will probably be able to hear the backup alarms onsite operating in the evening until 9:00 pm and at 5:00 am Monday – Saturday. Loading pallets onto trucks may be heard until as late as 11:00 pm.There was discussion about the fact that because the plant was built many decades ago, the code requirement that a concrete plant should not be closer than 1,000 feet to residential property did not apply. The plant was built before the homes and the code limiting the distance to homes and daylight hours of operations was adopted in the late 90s. However Commissioner Cupid said that there were reasons why those policies changed – and that there was greater awareness of the environmental impacts on people near concrete plants. She voted to oppose the SLUP.The operation will be “90% indoors”, according to Quikrete, but the 10% of outdoor operations between the early evening hours to 11:00 pm and from 5:00 am to 7:00 am will probably be audible to nearby homeowners.The other issue is the volume of heavy truck traffic. This issue was not addressed at the hearing or by Cobb DOT. Quikrete plans to have 8 to 10 tractor trailers which will make two to three deliveries daily. This will result in approximately 60 round trips. Additionally there will be deliveries of aggregate material of sand and rock from the quarry at McCollum airport which will come from Big Shanty to Chastain and then turn north on Canton Road. This will add to the volume of heavy truck traffic on Canton Hwy. There was no discussion about requiring a merge lane for northbound trucks on Canton or installation of signs stating “Trucks entering the Highway” or an on demand signal.We will keep you updated on any new developments.Carol Brown M.R.P.Canton Road Neighbors, Inc.
Canton Road Neighbors zoning update August and September 2020 The three cases discussed below will have the most impact on residents north of Chastain, Hawkins Store and the Jamerson Canton area.Three industrial zoning cases will be heard in August and September. Two of the three are intense uses which will push the Canton - Jamerson commercial area back towards the heavy industry that defined the area decades ago. The problem is that residential development and infrastructure improvements have been built in the area near Kell High School and East Cobb Baseball. The other problem is with a lack of visibility of these applications and with the process to date in the Quikrete case.Special Land Use Permit 7, The Quikrete Companies, 4960 Canton Hwy, zoned HI, to repurpose the existing concrete plant for production of bagged concrete. BoC Zoning Tuesday August 18th at 9 amUntil recently, zoning and special land use permit signs were bright yellow (now gray) and they are required to be posted on the nearest public street in right of way for 30 days prior to the hearing and until after the hearing. Quikrete's sign was posted on a for sale sign adjacent to the fence, and at some point became missing in action. The lack of a sign caused the BoC hearing to be held until August 18. The sign still is not posted on, or visible from Canton Hwy so we are giving it a little publicity. Such an unobtrusive sign for such an intense use.Private spur road off of Canton Hwy leading to Quikrete and other businesses.The SLUP application was not included in the original July Preliminary Zoning Analysis and appeared in a revised July package. Quikrete met with several Cobb County officials to discuss the application and on June 4th I received an email from Commissioner Birrell with information about the SLUP. June 4th was the day Quikrete closed on the 5.27 acre tract. The property is zoned Heavy Industrial appropriately, and they plan to renovate the old concrete plant to produce bagged concrete. Their application requests that no restrictions be placed on the hours of operation so that they can meet demand for product. This request violates the code and the location violates the required 1,000' distance from residential property.Below are comments and recommendations from Staff analysis, followed by the applicable Heavy Industrial zoning code which permits asphalt and cement plants as a special exception.“Summary of the applicant’s proposal The applicant is seeking a Special Land Use Permit, SLUP to operate a concrete plant at the site of an existing concrete plant. The operation of the plant will be for a waterless, dry concrete packaging facility. The existing building will be renovated and retrofitted for the operation as a dry concrete packaging plant. Materials, such as sand and gravel will be delivered and stored in the exterior yard until they are ready for use in the process. The final product will be transported offsite by pallet. The applicant requests that no limitations are placed on hours of operation so that they may vary their operations according to seasonal demand.” “Based on the analysis of this case, Staff recommends APPROVAL subject to the following: 1. Site Plan received by the Zoning Division on May 14, 2020, with the District Commissioner approving minor modifications; 2. Fire Department comments and recommendations; 3. Stormwater Management Division comments and recommendations; and 4. Department of Transportation comments and recommendations.” Sec. 134-231. - HI heavy industrial district. (11) Special exception uses for industrial areas only. b. Asphalt plants or concrete plants, subject to the following minimum standards: A special land use permit is required as provided in section 134-37. Compliance with all applicable state and federal laws is required. All necessary state and federal permits shall be obtained. A spill containment plan shall be approved by county staff. Minimum acreage is five acres. No use shall be located closer than 1,000 feet to any residential dwelling or school. Hours of operation shall be limited to daylight hours.Noise abatement and air pollution abatement plans shall be approved by county staff.Industrial sites surrounded by residential community
------------------------------------------------------------------------The two Special Land Use Permits to be heard in September are:SLUP 8 (Property Masters) located at the terminus of Lee Waters Road, Zoned HI Current use of property: Special Contractor, Landscaping Proposed use: Transfer Station, Outside StorageSLUP 9 Crawford Landscaping, Fowler Circle zoned LI Current use of property: Farm and Garden SupplyProposed use: Chipping, grinding, or reduction of tree debris and vegetative waste transferPlanning Commission Hearing September 1 at 9 am. BoC Zoning Hearing September 15th 9 amZ-44 Peach State Salvage GC to LI, on the southern end of Canton Hwy will be heard in September as well. This is the site of Rustique. The case was continued from August. Staff recommended deletion to NRC.V2020-21 1705 White Circle, will be heard by the Marietta BZA on August 24th. This site will add an expansion and make significant upgrades to the buildings.We will keep you updated.Carol BrownCanton Road Neighbors, Inc.CRN. UPDATE JULY 2020CRN incorporated in June 2005 and our 15th year of community service has been busy in spite of the pandemic.On the southern end of Canton Hwy., the new signal at Liberty Hill and Racetrac is one of the best roadway improvement installations we have had. It took four years of effort on the part of the County, Racetrac and a lot of nudging by area residents but was well worth waiting for.Just south, construction on the new Extra Space storage facility stalled in early March, at least partly due to a need to restructure financing. They appear to be back on track and hopefully will be able to complete the building this year.The building owned for many years by Mr. Hill (G&H Horseshoe) on the west side of Canton at Kurtz Rd. sold in March.The property at 2120 Canton, owned by Petroplex and rezoned to LRO is now parking RV and a tour bus. The owners might want to review the LRO ordinance and zoning stipulations.Also on the southern end, at 1053 Sandy Plains, a Variance in the City was approved with a good outcome for residents who live behind the lot which is between the former Wendy's and the Carwash. It will be developed as a two story commercial building in the future and the owners agreed to build a privacy fence and install a tree buffer.Rustique is up for sale and has a potential buyer: a furniture design and assembly firm who want to move in and are asking to rezone to Light Industrial. Z-44 will be heard in August. We met with Attorney Parks Huff and the buyer recently and believe that concerns will be addressed. It looks as though there will be some improvements made to the facade of the old Rustique building, the use will be less intense than first thought and hopefully the LI zoning designation will be lowered to something more neighborhood friendly.This is a work in progress, but heading in a good and equitable direction for all concerned.The 6 acre property at the corner of Canton and Kensington which was rezoned last year to RA 6 is getting underway this summer. Smith Douglas Homes is the developer.Quikrete plans to open a new bagged concrete plant on the northern end of Canton Hwy (4960) not far from the County line. It will repurpose and upgrade an old concrete plant. Quikrete acquired the property last summer. SLUP 7 was on Consent for the Planning Commission meeting but to the surprise of all, our Planning Commissioner changed the agreed to Consent Motion to give the applicant leeway to operate 24/7. The HI zoning code allows cement plants as a Special Exception and one requirement is that operation must b limited to daylight hours. Additionally, the required zoning signs were not posted and so, the case will be continued until the August BoC meeting. Residents need to be informed about this intense use and the chance to give input to the Commissioners.On Bells Ferry Rd. several developments are underway that are or will be hard to overlook. A new Town Home development, the Overlook at Bells Ferry (1691) is being developed by Loyd Development Services.These attached townhomes will be marketed in the $300s. Density is the necessary downside for the relatively affordable price points. Further west, at 1401 and 1411, next to the Cottages of Marietta, Mr. Hrib, owner of CII will be developing a new office park with three buildings. The property is zoned CRC but needs a Variance from the City to develop the land. That will bring improvement to a previously challenged tract. There is another development around the corner on White Circle on a property owned by Mr. Hrib.1705 White, the old furniture factory, now with different uses is expanding with a 12,000 ft new building.This will also bring a considerable improvement and upgrade to the site. Finally in this area, a new single family detached subdivision, Heritage Ridge, is still under construction on White Circle. It will also feature homes in the $300s.Don't forget to check out the 2022 SPLOST renewal. A vote to extend the 1% sales tax will be on the ballot this November. The SPLOST funds capital outlay projects in the County.