Planning panel OKs upscale Vinings project
by Jon Gillooly
September 07, 2012 12:56 AM | 5437 views | 5 5 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A rendering of the homes John Wieland hopes to build in Vinings. <br> Photo special to the MDJ
A rendering of the homes John Wieland hopes to build in Vinings.
Photo special to the MDJ
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MARIETTA — The Cobb Planning Commission on Thursday recommended approving a zoning change in Vinings that would clear the way for an upscale 45-home development off Woodland Brook Drive near South Atlanta Road.

The proposed homes would run from $700,000 to more than $1 million, with sizes varying from 2,400 square feet to 4,000 square feet.

“We think that puts them in a price point that’s in the upper 12 percent of homes in the Vinings area,” said James Balli with Sams, Larkin & Huff, who is representing developer John Wieland. “It adds at least $50 million to the tax digest to the Cobb County economy. John Wieland is a Cobb County company, employs Cobb County residents and intends to invest the money in this development which will have a significant impact.”

Balli said the homes would be located on 23.94 acres with a density of 1.92 units per acre. In addition, more than half of the development would be open space, even though only a third was required. The green space would be owned and maintained by the homeowners association.

The property includes the site of the former St. John Church, with the church’s cemetery still located there. The cemetery would be open during the day for visitors and would also be maintained by the homeowners association.

The property also includes part of a Civil War earthwork. Any artifacts discovered during the construction will be donated to the Vinings Historic Preservation Society, Balli said.

The planning commission voted 5-0 in favor of the change. The matter now heads to the Sept. 18 meeting of the Board of Commissioners for final approval.

A total of 18 people turned out in opposition to the development during Thursday’s meeting, among them Glenn Dyke, president of the Vinings Village Homeowners Association.

“The Vinings community is overwhelmingly against the rezoning of this property,” Dyke said, adding that the proposed zoning is denser than the rest of Vinings.

The requesting zoning — R-20 OSC — calls for lots of 20,000 square feet or smaller with blocks of open space. R-30, the current zoning, calls for lots of 30,000 square feet, with no open space requirement, said John Pederson, the county’s zoning division manager.

Dyke said his group sent out 1,000 emails last month and got more than 300 responses, of which 83 percent said they were either opposed or strongly opposed to the rezoning.

Among the problems with the proposed development, he said, is the matter of increased traffic on Woodland Brook Drive and the danger presented by the development’s entrance being so close to the railroad crossing.

“The Vinings Vision Plan in our opinion — and we have reviewed it and many of us lived it for a year and a half now — contains no support for the promotion of rezoning properties in Vinings,” Dyke said. “Indeed, for those of you that attended our community meetings, you know that the No. 1 issue for our residents was the preservation of R-30 zoning throughout the Vinings area. The applicant purchased this property knowing that it was currently zoned R-30. We are not against development in Vinings, but we think development should occur pursuant to the existing zoning.”

Yet Balli said he’s seen the email survey sent out to homeowners and believes it is biased.

“This plan meets the Vinings Vision Master Plan density, it meets the very low density residential, and it meets the Cobb County future land use map,” Balli said. “When it does those three things, we believe that it deserves strong consideration for approval.”
Comments
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mk- @watcher,....
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September 10, 2012
The homeowners were there first. From what I've heard concerning this project, Wieland wants more density than the neighborhood wishes.

But developers trump homeowners in Cobb.

I just think the property should have been purchased as park property many years ago & protected. The tree canopy is slowly but surely being depleted in Cobb.

In Smyrna , they never met an oak tree worthy of protecting!

Guess I'm, just sick of the greed and the lack of mindfulness!!
Wrong Side of Tracks
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September 07, 2012
I live in Vinings on the "wrong side" of the railroad tracks, therefore not recognized by Vinings Vison. I do, however, agree 100% with their position on this rezoning. Constant rezonings to higher densities is what got us in the housing mess we are in -

P.S. - potential home buyers beware: "the homeowners association will maintain" the greenspace and the cemetary as a condition of this rezoning. The developer made a promise to get his rezonig (and his profits) that the homeowners will be obligated to fulfill, in perpetuity, regardless of future costs.
mk-protect land
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September 07, 2012
Why not protect some land around Vinings, for parkland?

And I don't mean a baseball field or soccer field.

It should be a beautiful natural setting w/ gardens, wooded trails , community garden and maybe a nice woodsy dog park included. A place to relax and enjoy nature!

It would be a great destination for the walkers and runners along Woodland Brooke.

Let John Weiland take his mucho grande briefcase full of cash and build along Cumberland Blvd., where the trees were cleared 15 years ago.

Please Vinings folks,.. FIGHT to SAVE this pristine property! It is an old historic slave settlement. It needs to be preservered, protected and enjoyed.

Go away John Weiland! Take your illegal contruction crews w/ you!!
@MK
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September 07, 2012
Please purchase the land and donate it to the county.

Please, put up or shut up.
Watcher...
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September 07, 2012
MK, what about the property rights of Mr. Wieland?
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