November 19, 2015
I am writing in reference to guest columnist Paul Paulson’s article on the 2008 Park Bond not being acted upon by the Cobb County Commissioners. My neighborhood in Smyrna was developed in the late ’60s when lots were over .5 acre, native trees were left in the yards, and only one home was built on the property. Now the trend in Cobb County is for developers to bulldoze and level a lot and put as many homes as possible on the property.
My community, which includes Bennett Woods, recently had to fight off zoning challenges from developers who wanted to develop 6.5 acres of native trees from R 20 (our present zoning) to RAD. RAD allows more density per acre, and houses to be built less than 10 feet apart, leaving no room for greenspace. We are slowly being inundated with RAD developments all around us in Smyrna. RAD developments have taken over N. Cooper Lake Road, and the only trees left are in our neighborhood.
The Park Bond issue was voted on and passed by a majority of the voters who wanted the county to spend $40 million to buy properties to preserve future park greenspace in Cobb County. That desire is still prevalent today in 2015, probably even more, as properties are gobbled up by greedy developers and we are losing trees, wildlife and greenspace at an alarming rate. Hundreds of people from Bennett Woods showed up at every zoning meeting to fight off the developer, which illustrates that preserving greenspace is a “Quality of Life” issue that is still as important today as it was in 2008.
The 2008 vote, during a time of economic down turn, was a resounding public cry to save greenspace in Cobb. The economy has improved and millage rates have gone down, but property values have gone up. $40 million will not buy now what it could have bought in 2008. I think it would behoove the commissioners to get on the right side of this issue and spend the $40 million that the voters approved in 2008. They must buy properties that are left on the 2008 park property list before there are no more properties left to buy, and all our trees are gone. The public voted, and now the commissioners must act.
Published in the Marietta Daily Journal on November 19, 2015. View the original link here.