Cobb citizens have noticed a dramatic uptick in development without a corresponding increase in greenspace preservation.
How many know Cobb’s own greenspace goals include preserving at least 10 percent and up to 20 percent of county land? To achieve those 2030 Comprehensive Plan goals, Cobb needs to purchase 8,000 to 30,000 acres of county land. Saving this much greenspace requires a countywide strategic plan for purchasing large tracts of land, but also for acquiring properties as landowners put them up for sale.
Many Cobb citizens remember the 2006 Park Bond and the 2008 Park Bond ballot referendums. The $40 million Park Bond of 2006 saved over 400 acres of precious property. However, the $40 million Park Bond of 2008 has not yet been funded despite overwhelming voter approval, and unfortunately, many properties selected for purchase by the county have already been developed.
The Cobb Parks Coalition and other like-minded groups led the effort to pass both Park Bonds, and these groups continue to ask the Board of Commissioners to act on the 2008 voter mandate to purchase parkland. The LoveCobbParks.com “All We Want for Christmas is the $40 million Park Bond 2008” email campaign requests this funding as an essential first step to improve Cobb’s growing greenspace deficit.
Preserving greenspace actually has Triple Bottom Line Benefits: for the economy, for the environment, and for individuals. By saving land from development, our quality of life stays strong, home values increase, the watershed is protected and businesses migrate to where people enjoy living.
As more land gets bulldozed around Cobb, we need to remind the Board of Commissioners of our county’s greenspace goals to create parks, connect trails, as well as protect rivers, lakes and streams before the county is overly built-up and the land is lost forever. We need to keep Cobb beautiful with cleaner water and less clear-cutting. We need to protect more emerald corridors just to keep pace with development trends. Cobb stands ready for a greenspace renaissance.
Published in the Marietta Daily Journal on December 21, 2015. View the original link here.