Marietta Council topics to watch
by Noreen Cochran
February 13, 2013 12:00 AM | 2287 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Topics to watch while the Legislature is in session are cell towers, the split-penny tax, downtown renaissance grants and a railroad easement, according to Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin.

He will address the proposed laws at today’s City Council meeting at City Hall.

Cell tower bill

Tumlin said at a work session Monday that House Bill 176, whose sponsors include Rep. Don Parsons of northeast Cobb, will give cell tower builders “more autonomy” over local zoning.

“Local home rule in zoning is very important,” Tumlin said. “We have rights as a community.”

The law would limit the time local governments have to make zoning decisions and consider no decision the same as an approval, among other requirements.

Tumlin said cell tower builders AT&T and Verizon Wireless are pushing for the bill to become law.

Controversy over public properties bill

The mayor favored the downtown renaissance bill, which would give tax credits for downtown housing redevelopment, but not another bill that would allow cities and counties to borrow state land to use for public projects.

Tumlin said the new law could give the state control over a new $750,000 trail planned for development in Marietta.

“This one is a little scary,” Tumlin said. “They’re taking a little harder look at granting an easement along the railroad tracks where we’re going to put the multi-use trail.”

The Kennesaw Mountain to Chattahoochee River trail is a $750,000 2005 SPLOST project, slated to be put out to bid in June.

“There’s a lot of heartburn about this, but Sen. Lindsey Tippins is working with us,” Tumlin said. “We’ll get back on track.”

Split-penny bill

Cobb representatives John Carson, Rich Golick and David Wilkerson are among the sponsors of legislation known as the split-penny or “fractional SPLOST” bill. It would allow for the creation of special purpose local option sales taxes of less than 1 cent.

“That might work with Cobb County, but most of the little counties wouldn’t want that extra sales tax,” Tumlin said.
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