MARIETTA – In a marathon zoning hearing that went well after 7 p.m. Tuesday, the Cobb Planning Commission gave the green light to a 110-home subdivision near McEachern High School in Powder Springs.
The project is planned for a site of almost 60 acres between Gaydon and Macland roads. For decades the property has been the site of a shooting range operated by the Werbell family. Most of the land is undeveloped. Cobb-based developer Traton Homes is asking the county to rezone allowing them to fit out 110 homes on the site, up from 103 allowed in the property’s current zoning category.
The application differed from a standard single-family zoning in that Traton was seeking the designation of “community of open spaces”. The special category aims to “encourage the preservation of natural resources in residential development,” according to the Cobb County code.
With that in mind, Traton proposed to set aside approximately 15 acres of the property containing two man-made ponds as open green space. Kevin Moore, the developer’s attorney, told commissioners on Tuesday that the developer wanted to donate the land to the county for use as a public park.
While neighbors on the property raised concerns about stormwater runoff, traffic and impact on wildlife, the Planning Commission was pleased with Traton’s proposal and a review by county staff. to recommend unanimous approval.
The decisions taken by the Planning Commission are only recommendations. All final decisions are made by the Cobb Council of Commissioners, which appoints the members of the Planning Commission.
Tuesday’s meeting was the last to be chaired by longtime Planning Commissioner and Chairman Galt Porter, first appointed by Cobb South Commissioner Lisa Cupid in 2013. He was reappointed this year. by the current South Cobb Commissioner, Monique Sheffield.
Porter’s announcement came as a surprise to his fellow planning commissioners and follows a disagreement he raised in April over a proposal supported by the Council of Commissioners to rezone a county-owned property. Porter convinced his colleagues to withhold the proposal, a move which he said at the time “would send a message to the Council of Commissioners.” This decision was then overturned by the four district commissioners, against the wishes of Cupid, the president of the council.
True to form, Porter was the only opposition vote when the case returned on Tuesday. The rezoning went from 3-1, the town planning commissioner Stephen Vault being absent.
Speaking after the meeting, as well-wishers thanked him for his years of service, Porter said he has been considering resigning for some time.
“You just realize that at some point it’s time. A bit when it gets more frustrating than pleasant, it’s time to move on, ”he said, adding that the decision was up to him alone.
When asked if his argument with the Council of Commissioners played a role in his decision, Porter said he would not “hinge on one thing or another,” but admitted it gave him a helping hand.
“I think it made me realize that it was about time,” he said. “I think I felt like it was almost time and I was staying to help Commissioner Sheffield. But it probably would have happened before too long anyway.