In their latest sitemap, lawyers for North Point Ministries have proposed closing public access to Waterfront Drive (left) from Johnson Ferry Road.

Another site plan, another set of new issues has been raised for the mixed-use rezoning case of the East Cobb Church in the Johnson Ferry-Shallowford corridor.

Days after lawyers for North Point departments submitted major changes to their proposal, Cobb’s board of commissioners voted again on Tuesday to maintain the case.

By a 4-0 vote, the commissioners approved a 30-day suspension on what has become a contentious issue spanning the end of 2020.

Problems with traffic, storm water and density sparked the greatest concerns from neighboring residents, who reiterated their concerns in a packed meeting room on Tuesday.

A total of 56 people voted in favor of the request and 46 were against it, according to a manual count made before the hearing.

The last site map (our previous post here) would cut off public access to Waterfront Drive at Johnson Ferry Road, at the southern end of the 33-acre assembly, where the planned single-family homes and townhouses would go.

North Point’s plans are said to sell 19 of those acres to Ashwood Atlanta, a local residential developer, with the East Cobb Church and a proposed new retail space occupying the remainder of the development.

But neighboring residents protested that the road closure had to go through a public hearing process and that public safety and emergency access to their neighborhoods would be affected.

East Cobb church rezoning delay
A new site plan would allow access to the Waterfront Drive at Johnson Ferry Road (red star) only at the new subdivision.

“Those most affected are not listened to,” said Ruth Michels of the MarLanta district, who has led the opposition for several months.

Commissioner Jerica Richardson, whose District 2 includes the “JOSH” zone, asked Amy Diaz of Cobb DOT if her agency had had time to study the proposed closure of Waterfront Drive, which connects Johnson Ferry to MarLanta and DOT. ‘other subdivisions.

“We’ve had it for less than a week and we haven’t had time for a review,” Diaz said.

That was enough for Commissioners JoAnn Birrell and Monique Sheffield to back a second straight take, after Richardson couldn’t get enough backing in August to approve the zoning change.

“I am concerned about access to services for the people who live on this road,” said Sheffield, of District 4 of South Cobb. “There must be other ways to alleviate the passing traffic.”

North Point attorney Kevin Moore said the closure was proposed after receiving comments that some MarLanta residents wanted to be the only ones using the Waterfront Road access.

“That’s not what a public road is for,” said Moore, who said continued use of the road “would do more to harm our project than to benefit it.”

He said sufficient access to these areas exists via the Shallwford and Lassiter roads.

Earlier in the hearing, Moore shocked residents in attendance when he described opponents of rezoning as “sonic symbols and loud gongs that mean nothing.”

North Point had offered 71 townhouses and 59 single-family detached homes in the RA-6 housing category, with more than 20 acres for sale in Ashwood Atlanta, a residential developer.

But now the application is for 51 detached single family homes and 44 row homes under RA-5.

That would be on 19 units and the house density would be reduced to 4.98 units per acre.

Michels called this a “disinfectant calculation” because a floodplain study required the Federal Emergency Management Agency to take place only after a rezoning, and that the figure include the land where the R- residences would remain. 20 on Waterfront Circle.

Moore said if FEMA determines the existence of a floodplain, the developer will reduce the number of units to cap the density at 4.98 units per acre.

But Chris Lindstrom of the East Cobb Civic Association said although the density of the project is reduced, the intensity will increase, including nearly 25,000 square feet of proposed retail that did not exist in the sitemaps. previous ones.

She also cited more than 100 discrepancies for civic group opposition.

Moore said the gaps were necessary because they are needed for single-family homes.

Richardson’s motion to keep the case includes provisions that include connectivity to surrounding neighborhoods of Waterfront Drive and downstream impacts of stormwater.

President Lisa Cupid withdrew from the vote, citing an affiliation with North Point ministries that she did not clarify until she left the courtroom.

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