A Cobb County invasion — the county manager, the Acworth mayor, police chief, three city council members and a gaggle of residents — descended on Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor’s weekly public hearing to voice their opposition to a proposed apartment complex, but the effort was too little, too late.
At the July 12 hearing, zoning request RZ2152 asked that a parcel of land along Interstate Highway 75 near Ross Road be rezoned from A-1 to R-1 to accommodate a proposed “upscale gated apartment development” as described by Jeff Watkins an attorney representing the developer, Lynwood Development Group LLC.
The proposal had received unanimous approval from the planning commission.
But Doug Haynie, an attorney representing the adjacent property owners and the city of Acworth, demurred, pointing out that the planned 338-unit development would have to utilize Ross Road, abandoned several years earlier by Cobb County, in order to enter or exit the development.
“That would be approximately 2,300 cars per day on Ross Road, a 1,667 percent increase,” he said. “Ross Road cannot handle that traffic. It is substandard and is not safe for the travelling public. The people living in those apartments will be miserable.”
Watkins assured Taylor that the developer had agreed to make improvements to Ross Road to meet Cobb County requirements.
However, Haynie noted that Bartow would reap all the rewards because the parcel in question lies in Bartow County, but is surrounded by the city of Acworth.
“All the tax revenues will go to Bartow County,” Haynie said. “But Acworth will be burdened with all 911 calls.”
One representative from Cobb County stood and said he was there to support Acworth’s opposition.
Several other speakers also expressed opposition, each citing the extreme increase in traffic in the area.
But Taylor was perplexed by the small number of county and city officials that came to voice their opposition.
“Out of respect for our relationship with Cobb County, I am going to table this until the next meeting,” Taylor said. “With all the letters I have received, I am surprised that none of their [Acworth’s] commissioners are here.”
At Wednesday’s meeting, the Cobb delegation arrived in force, each expecting to be able to voice their opposition, but Taylor would have none of that.
“The public comments on this request was closed after the last meeting,” he said. “Out of respect for Cobb County, I will allow one person to speak on this topic, then I will decide.”
Haynie again spoke for the opposition, citing the increased traffic and the safety concerns it raised as reason to deny the request. But when he announced that the Acworth mayor wished to speak, Taylor shut it down.
“Out of respect, I said I would allow one speaker,” he said. “We’re not going to rehash this all over again.”
With the stroke of his pen, Taylor approved the request.
In other business, Taylor:
• Approved an application for a $10,000 grant from the Georgia Dept. of Economic Development Tourism Product Development Office for enhancement of George Washington Carver Park.
• Approved an application to PetSafe Bark for your Park for a grant funding a dog park at Hamilton Crossing Park.
• Approved an application for a grant from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency to purchase three emergency generators.
• Approved an agreement with the city of Rome for traffic signal maintenance.
• Approved an agreement with Atco Baptist Church to use it as an election precinct.
• Approved an agreement with MediAds to display third-party advertisements on ambulances.
• Authorized a moratorium on mobile home installation permits.
The county commissioner will hold a regularly scheduled public meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 10 a.m. in the Commissioner’s Conference Room, Frank Moore Administration and Judicial Building 135 W. Cherokee Ave.
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