#Local Government
Cobb County Planning Committee
East Cobb

The nearby homeowners and Homeowners Associations (HOAs) collectively object to and say NO Thank You to the R-15 Rezoning Application Z-40 for the Willis Woods development. We are opposed to the Proposed Rezoning because it would allow a higher density of structures and occupation that would be detrimental to our environment, schools, public safety, and the quality of life of the existing residents.

-> PLEASE scroll ALL the way to the bottom to sign, AND place the name of your Neighborhood in the “Comment” Field, Thank You.

We appreciate the process made available to nearby homeowners by Cobb County to present our concerns. And we trust that the Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners will take the concerns of thousands of long-time residents and tax-payers of Cobb County into account when making the recommendations to the Cobb County Commission and when making the final zoning decision, respectfully.

The Proposed Rezoning density is - without question – detrimental to nearby tax payers, homeowners, and HOAs in regards to school capacities, public safety, the environment, and the negative impact of reduced land lot buffers in the area, all of which will impact the quality of life of residents in these districts.

This is an established community of neighborhoods with roads, schools and infrastructure created to accommodate our current population. If the R-15 application is approved, Garrison Mill Elementary, Mabry Middle, and Lassiter High Schools will be pushed to unnecessarily high enrollment in each classroom – already alarming but worse in the time of COVID-19 concerns when classroom size must be reduced.

We pay a high amount of tax in these districts so that our children will have an excellent public education. It is the number one reason that people across the county and state move to East Cobb and in particular into Districts 2 and 3. Studies show that smaller classroom sizes and smaller teacher to student ratios allow students to learn more material, more effectively, and at a faster pace. Smaller classes have been shown to contribute to a better learning environment for students and better working conditions for teachers and staff. Yet, as of October 2019, Garrison Mill Elementary was only 13 students away from overcapacity, Mabry was 186 away from capacity, and Lassiter was 67 students away from capacity – and these numbers do not include the other new developments either planned in the area (such as Z-37) or that have already received zoning changes approval (such as Mabry Grove and others along Wesley Chapel Rd.).

In addition to concerns about the overcapacity of our schools, we also are concerned about the students’ safety and the ability to safely move busses in and out of the elementary school located on Wesley Chapel road on time. The proposed entrances for Z-40 are directly across from each other, creating a cross-road, along an already busy and dangerous road. During school pick up and drop off hours, traffic already stretches out along Sandy Plains road and past Loch Highland – and this will only be made worse by another 81 homes of families trying to access Wesley Chapel during peak hours. Garrison Mill is aware of the traffic issue and has sought to address this traffic situation by rerouting traffic in double lanes around the school parking lot, but the issue still exists and will only be made worse by an additional cross-road created for another 81 homes just feet away from the entrance of this elementary school.

Additionally, the development would create blind spots on Wesley Chapel Rd for oncoming traffic – again, a road that is the primary conduit to Garrison Mill Elementary School. Because of the blind curve on Wesley Chapel, one of the neighborhoods directly adjacent to the proposed Z-40 development has already had to remove neighborhood entrance landscaping to try to increase the visibility of residents exiting the neighborhood. The Z-40 cross-road entrances will be right in that blind curve. Further, the other entrance of this neighborhood is directly to the right of Garrison Mill and has already experienced two major accidents at its entrance from drivers moving too quickly along the road – one accident resulted in a car landing in the neighborhood’s pool which is adjacent to Wesley Chapel road, and in the other accident, the neighborhood’s brick pillars stopped the car from entering the subdivision’s pool. Yet, given the proximity to the school, many students and parents walk and bike along this road, and we are concerned that making the area even more dense will only add to this problem.

Accordingly, we believe this increased density will further cause our schools to push the limits on capacity, will create public safety issues – and in particular for students attending the elementary school, and therefore impact home values for residents in our districts if families with children no longer wish to move to our area to receive quality public education due to concerns about overcapacity and student safety.

We also are concerned about the impact to the environment. Stormwater management is already an issue in this area. When it rains, the creeks located on the property of Z-40 flood, and by removing the trees in this area, the flooding will be made worse. In addition, the surrounding neighborhoods are concerned about the runoff and silt build up into Sweat Creek, the surrounding neighborhood retention ponds, and the Loch Highland lakes. Further, if the developer is allowed to clear cut this previously held conservation tract of land, we will not only lose a significant amount of greenspace and trees, but also a significant amount of animals that currently live on the Z-40 property will be displaced, including deer, rabbits, birds, snakes, and coyotes. When the copperheads and coyotes start looking for other homes, they will undoubtedly look for those new homes in the surrounding neighborhoods, presenting a public safety issue for residents in those neighborhoods.
Lastly, the Proposed Rezoning to R-15 would require little to no buffers to established home lots nearby negatively affecting the quality of life of adjacent homes. In fact, this Z-40 proposed development will have homes that will back directly up to Sweat Creek Run, which creates a safety issue for children playing in the backyards of these homes who could run out into the street of Sweat Creek Run. Thus, a larger buffer and set back should be required between this development and the surrounding neighborhoods, which is not contemplated by the proposed R-15 designation.

We, the undersigned owners of property and residents affected by the Proposed Rezoning application Z-40 do hereby demand the Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners protect the interests of the families living in the established neighborhoods nearby the proposed rezoning. We accept that development in the area is of high interest to the owner of the property, but the owner can build within the current zoning restrictions instead of degrading the nearby neighborhoods, tax payers, and residents of Districts 2 and 3 in order to build a higher density development and sell a few more houses. Changing the zoning and allowing for higher density development will negatively affect the community, environment and wildlife, stormwater management, safety of children and pedestrian traffic, quality of education in the nearby schools, and quality of life for residents in Districts 2 and 3. Respectfully, we request the Planning Commission to recommend that this application be declined and the Board of Commissioners to deny the proposed rezoning change to R15 due to overwhelming legitimate concerns and dissent from the people who live in the area.
-> PLEASE scroll ALL the way to the bottom to sign, AND place the name of your Neighborhood in the “Comment” Field, Thank You.

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The Objection to Proposed Rezoning Z-40 petition to Cobb County Planning Committee was written by Ben Lowers and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.