Yellow Brick Road

by Don Gerz

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Outcome of Rezoning Z-43: Holly Springs & Post Oak-Tritt (A 3-Month Saga!)
dongerz



The white car shown here is on Alberta Dr. attempting to turn onto Holly Springs Rd. to exit Holly Springs Subdivision.  The proposed new housing would be directly across from Holly Springs Subdivision. 


Morning rush-hour traffic on Holly Springs Road between Holly Springs Subdivision and the proposed subdivision is typical.  Note the forest of trees that would be cleared to build the new houses.

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For those who are wondering how Tuesday's rezoning hearing went, the land in question was rezoned R-15 by a vote of 3 to 1. (Chairman Lee dissented and the 5th Commissioner was on vacation.)

The developer/builder (EAH Investments) will be able to build only 64 units (instead of 88). Also, we won 2.8 acres of green space as well as 11 other stipulations.

If the builder is unable to make a go of it because he is limited to only 64 units, after a year, the property reverts to R-20, which it has been ever since we moved here in 1978.  (And the builder will probably not be able to build because he needs to build at least 70 units to make a profit.)

All in all, we won!
PowerPoint of the Presentation on Rezoning Case Z-43 to the Cobb County Board of Commissioners on Feb. 21, 2012
 
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Remarks on Feb. 21, 2012
to the Board of Commissioners on the above Case

 

Good morning, Mr. Chairman and commissioners.  My name is Don Gerz, and our family has made our home in Holly Springs Subdivision since 1978.

Thank you for the opportunity to present the concerns and positions of residents in surrounding neighborhoods.

We also thank Mr. Corley and Mr. Sams for their courtesy and for meeting the last 3 months.

I have been asked to present you with these 319 signatures from residents in Holly Springs (152), Mt. View (54), Kings Farm (84), Holly Point, and Holly Woods (29) subdivisions.  These 319, many of whom are here this morning, are in opposition to the dense, step-up R-15 Re-Zoning.  The 319 request this property remains Zoned R-20.

Over the last 3 months, we have consistently noted the high density featured in each of Mr. Corley’s proposals.  The main issue and our chief concern has always been high density—the great number of homes.  Mr. Corley refuses to reduce the number of homes.  His latest plan is still too dense with 2.15, which is TOO dense for R-15.

A development of R-15 with 60 houses and 3 or more acres of green space has always been our proposal.  We presented these requests to the Planning Committee on Dec. 5th.

Although we have compromised greatly, we have never agreed to the high-density of 72 houses, as such a number is markedly inconsistent with the low-density R-20 surrounding and adjoining neighborhoods.

Any additional daily traffic from NEW residents off Holly Springs Road can only make a bad situation worse, given that it is already a Level-C service road.  During the morning rush hours, the intersection of Holly Springs and Post Oak-Tritt is a Level-E, and during the rest of the day, it is a Level-D.  In fact, since Holly Springs is only a 2-lane road, its turn lane is used as a main lane during these times of daily congestion.  The impact of 12-to-14 additional houses adds still more density that inevitably inflicts negative impact on run-off drainage, green space, the retention of hardwoods and native plants, and other problems associated with high-density subdivisions.  58-to-60 homes will have far less impact on the infrastructure of the already congested roads.

Lastly, one of the main reasons we have been so patient and have spent so much time in discussing this matter with Mr. Corley and Mr. Sams is that both gentlemen assured us at our first meeting in November that we would be dealing with Mr. Corley as the sole builder/developer.  As late in this rezoning process as earlier this month, Mr. Corley surprised us with his decision to build only half of the houses (36) with another builder constructing the other half (36).

Our understandable concern is that still more builders will be brought in. Indeed, what is to prevent the entire property from being sold to other builders?  We are no longer sure as to what is going to occur in this most important area.  We thought and had been encouraged to think that there would be one builder and green space.  This is not the case.  The type of homes continues to change, as there is no ranch home.  We still have no idea who will build the other homes or their plans.  While Mr. Corley promised green space, there is no green space.  The last proposal was for  "pocket" green space if he received additional homes or variances on 22% of the lots.  The 4-inch caliber tree in every yard and bird boxes in the retention ponds are NOT green space.

Ever since we first met with Mr. Corley 3 months ago, we have been requesting what we requested at the Planning Committee’s hearing on Dec. 5th: namely, R-15, a maximum of 60 houses, and 3-acres of green space to avert density and preserve the quality of life in surrounding neighborhoods, most of which are zoned R-20.  We only considered R-15 because of the low density R-15 and the 3 acres of green space because we believed 60 homes with green space was possible.  We never accepted 72 homes.

Ultimately, the decision on the Rezoning of Z-43 must be based on what serves and benefits the greater good of the existing residents of the surrounding community and what will have the least negative and irreversible impact; and that is to maintain the R-20 zoning of this property, keeping the number of homes at 58-to-60.

To preserve the quality of life that will not negatively impact the residents, we request that you vote to DENY this Re-Zoning and vote to retain the R-20 Zoning. 

Thank you.

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(Newspaper Article)
"Commissioners OK Subdivision Planned in Northeast Cobb County"
http://mdjonline.com/view/full_story/17610287/article-Commissioners-OK-subdivision-planned-in-northeast-Cobb?instance=secondary_story_left_column

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Personally, I’m proud of the 2.8 acres of green space the county board of commissioners granted.  Just a week before the hearing, the builder acted as though green space had never even been proposed in the first place!  So, I made a last ditch presentation to the builder, his attorney, and our district’s county commissioner.  It was based on this post,

A Little Green is Not Too Much to Request.”
http://dongerz.livejournal.com/2012/02/01/

Who knows if it worked?  All I know is that for the last 3 months the builder had been offering ZERO green space!  I’m proud of my work in this area, which was largely inspired by those I represented who especially love Nature.  I guess I’m now a certified tree-hugger!


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