What caught my eye in the article (“On the table or off the market?” MDJ, 8/14/2016) are the eight potential parks crossed off with a red line. Now, those eight prime properties are developed, flattened and paved over. What a loss for all of us.
If the commissioners had purchased these properties in 2009 when the Citizens Advisory Committee submitted the list, those parks would be ours to enjoy with families and friends. Instead, the commissioners ignored the list and have not purchased a single acre of park land since 2008.
Especially heartbreaking is East-West Connector at Fontaine Road in Smyrna. Treasures on the tree-covered 64-acre property included a pond, streams, wetlands and mature trees. Seven years after Park Bond 2008 was passed by 2/3 of Cobb voters, this prime park land was destroyed. Now it is Cooper Lake at Fontaine, an upscale subdivision of several dozen homes — homes with exclusive access to Cooper Lake and Cooper Lake Creek. These are precious water features that should have belonged to all Cobb residents.
If the commissioners had acted sooner, this land could have been ours and our children’s, preserved as green space. What a legacy this 64 acres could have been for residents of Cobb County and Mableton and Smyrna neighborhoods: green space with a lake and stream, another park with access to the Silver Comet Trail. Sixty-four additional acres within a mile of Heritage Park, an existing county park.
Instead we have a bare, paved subdivision, trees cut down and topsoil scraped away. New houses add to the county tax base, but protected green space has value, too, and makes Cobb a desirable place to live.
I urge the commissioners to fully fund the $40 million Park Bond 2008 and purchase green space before it is all gone.