City plans hearing for $35M Franklin Rd. project
by Bridgette Bonner
April 16, 2013 12:27 AM | 2691 views | 2 2 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print

City officials plan to hold a public hearing May 8 to gather input about a proposal to redevelop Franklin Road.

The redevelopment project includes the city’s purchase of aging apartment complexes, which would be funded by a $35 million general obligation bond.

Mayor Steve Tumlin has targeted an area on Franklin Road between the South Loop and Delk Road with apartment complexes that draw heavy attention from police and fire units and allegedly have a negative impact on Marietta schools because of the transitory nature of the residents living there.

Before making any decisions on the plan, City Council members want to hear from the public and the city manager to get as much information as possible.

As of last week, officials had not spoken to any complex owners regarding willingness to sell, according to Beth Sessoms, Marietta economic development director.

But at a city work session Monday, City Manager Bill Bruton said there has been contact with potential developers. Various department heads within city government have also met to discuss the plan, he said.

Bruton did not disclose with which developers city officials had been in contact.

The council set a deadline for the May 1 committee meetings to hear details of the redevelopment — which Tumlin said could be residential or commercial if complex owners sell.

The public hearing May 8 would occur before the council votes on acceptance of the plan, according to City Attorney Doug Haynie.

On Wednesday during its regular meeting, the council will vote to allow the city to use an urban redevelopment plan, but it won’t consider the Franklin Road plan specifically.

“You need to know what you’re getting into before going through with this process,” said Councilman Philip Goldstein. Other council members agreed.

In order to pose a bond to fund the redevelopment on the November ballot, the council must vote on the plan by August, Haynie said.

Update on water revenues, parking

In other business on Monday, Board of Lights and Water President Bobby Lewis told the council revenue is flat. Residential water and sewer rates are competitive, he said, but the Board received a compliance order from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for having eight spills last year. The goal is to stay below seven, Lewis said. Six of the eight were pipe failures.

Lewis said the Board received a clean audit, which he will present to the council Wednesday at the regular meeting.

Also on Monday, members of the City’s Vision 20/20 Committee, which develops recommendations to improve the city, suggested making parking more accessible throughout the Square.

Vision 20/20 President Kee Carlisle said the City needs to improve parking signage to let visitors know which places are free and which are under time limits.

Carlisle suggested the city work with Cobb County to revisit availability of spaces in parking decks.

“Some of the people complaining about parking are the ones violating parking laws,” Carlisle said.

The committee spoke with the Marietta Police Department about the importance of enforcing the two-hour parking limit, and Carlisle said since the conversation, he has gotten two parking tickets.

The Marietta City Council will meet Wednesday at 7 p.m. at city hall.


Comments-icon Post a Comment
April 16, 2013
I applaud Hickory Lake Apartments and I want for someone to research why they survived for at least 40 years UNDER THE SAME NAME. They did something right. My husband lived in Hickory Lake when it was rocking in 1970. There are other apartments in Cobb County that were rocking way back then. There are apartments such as East Lake that are under recent new ownership that have survived. Old timers have a story to tell. Let's learn from them.
April 16, 2013
I must give applause to city officials for taking a step in the right direction, and that is to gather input to take away to make an informed decision about what to do. Somebody asked earlier why officials allowed so many apartments to be built. That answer is easy...because there was a demand when they were built. Just as why so many houses were built that now stand vacant...there was a demand for them. Just as why many office spaces now stand vacant...there was a demand for them (before telecommuting and downsizing. If we left it up to some of the armchair critics out here, we would still be living in the Wild West, and we would never change as the entire world is changing. The economy has changed since these apartments were built. The demographics have changed. The world has changed. I applaud city leaders and am very proud of them. They recognize we live in a changing world, and we must figure out how to adapt to change in a way that is positive for the greatest county in Georgia. Individually, our city leaders also recognize they do not have all the answers sitting from their armchairs in the comfort of their own homes, but collectively, intelligent (and non-emotional) persons in the community will provide input to help them arrive at the best solution. Cobb County has the smarts, and the city officials are wise enough to know this. False, slanderous, and hateful retorts are not welcome in reply to my post. Read it and move on. I think the approach of buying some and working with others to condense the units down is the best approach. I don't think buying them all up is the best approach. See, I gave my opinion without being hateful or accusing anyone. That is how it should be.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides