Marietta buys new park land; City pays $230K for 1.9 acres
by Jon Gillooly
November 15, 2012 12:50 AM | 3200 views | 14 14 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This property and an adjacent one, at 298 and 302 Chicopee Drive, were purchased to turn into a new park.<br>Photo special to the MDJ
This property and an adjacent one, at 298 and 302 Chicopee Drive, were purchased to turn into a new park.
Photo special to the MDJ
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MARIETTA — The City Council on Wednesday agreed to spend $230,000 on 1.9 acres of property on Chicopee Drive in the Cherokee Heights Neighborhood to be used as parkland.

The Council agreed to the purchase in a 6-0 vote.

Councilman Andy Morris abstained from voting because the real estate agent, Nancy Dorsey, is his sister.

Councilman Johnny Sinclair, who chairs the Council’s parks committee, said he often receives calls from residents requesting the city build a park in their neighborhood.

“Some mothers that I know said, ‘we would like you to come over and walk with us from our houses all the way across to Lewis Park, and you have to cross Church and Cherokee to do that,” Sinclair said. “They said, ‘we want you to see what it’s like to cross Church and Cherokee with a baby stroller.’ So I wasn’t 30 seconds into our visit when I said, ‘I get the message, it’s terrifying.’”

Sinclair, himself a real estate agent, later toured the Chicopee Drive property in question.

“It’s just a huge piece of property with just gorgeous trees, gorgeous, and it just clicked in my head, and it was like God spoke to me and said, ‘Johnny, this is the perfect park,’” he said.

The city’s parks director, Rich Buss, said the city purchased two lots, 298 and 302 Chicopee Drive, totaling 1.9 acres. The property was owned by the late Carolyn Carr Riddle, according to tax records. The contract was signed by Nancy Riddle Martin as executor of the estate, Buss said.

“The land was a residential property with a home on the larger parcel. The rear of the lot and the adjacent property at 302 Chicopee is nicely wooded,” Buss said.

Sinclair said the city doesn’t need the home, which he described as a four-bedroom, two-story Cape Cod-stylehouse.

“I would imagine that the house will either be razed or moved,” Sinclair said. “I would like for the City Council to offer to sell it to some one who would move it or maybe even give it away. It’s a very nice old house from the 19-probably-40s, so it’s not particularly historic, but it has a good history to it.”

Sinclair says what becomes of the park will be up to the community.

“When people say, ‘what’s going to be in the park,’ I say, ‘you tell me.’ We need to meet with the neighbors and say we’ve bought this gorgeous piece of property, what do you want to see?” Sinclair said. “I would imagine what we’re going to have is a pretty low-intensity park, a good neighborhood park with some handicap parking, maybe a pavilion, a playground, a walking trail, just a place where kids can play.”

Funds to purchase the property were paid for with the city’s 2009 $25 million parks bond.

Funds in the bond can be used to build the park as well.

“We have spent about $11.4 million to date on land acquisition and completed projects,” Buss said.
Comments
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Silent Majority
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November 15, 2012
So people are angry that land is being set aside for the community and for the future? Ok then let's all sharpen our pitchforks and complain about what "they" are doing wrong. Comments like these make me shake my head, and then I just move on with my life, not bothering to add my voice to the madness.

"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."
Live Free!
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November 15, 2012
What a beautiful piece of property and what a generous and righteous thing for the family to do for the community. There are dozens of children who live nearby who will benefit as will the rest of the immediate and surrounding communities.

What makes happy and healthy kids is what makes happy parents. What makes happy parents makes happy, thoughtful neighbors. What makes thoughtful neighbors makes a great place to live. This combined with strategic investment with SPLOST, active participation of community, church, etc make Marietta a top community in the Southeast.

Well done to our civic representation to have the vision.

Don't bother with the sourpuss comments from others.
Horrified Neighbor
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November 15, 2012
I completely agree with the Mayor to Be. No one in this neighborhood will be able to use the park because it will be run down with the scary foot traffic strolling down Chicopee. What a horrible idea. Clearly the City has too much money.
Mayor to be
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November 15, 2012
I will bet $10,000 cash right now that this park will be a drug dealing, homeless hangout!!! Go look 2 blocks up at the QT and see your park people!!

fred the plumber
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November 15, 2012
Johnny,

Maybe it was the devil speaking to you....
Ben Franklin
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November 15, 2012
I find it very interesting that Andy did not vote but his sister was the agent that had another contract offer for a rehab of the house and the city pays just a few dollars more???? Hmmm, go figure. Crooks and Crooks....
Century22
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November 15, 2012
Previous to this deal....the House was going for $250K, Lot next door, $65K.. seems like a great deal to me...
Steve Avison
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November 15, 2012
Johnny, while having such a great idea did you ever figure out how to be a law abiding person and pay all back and current taxes??

Go figure, nepatism at it's finest....
Dan Mason
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November 15, 2012
Did Johnny or anyone else do a sex offender search relative to walking location to this "park"? I doubt it!!! It is also a shame with all of the other land that the city is sitting on... Another example of poor leadership from a group of theives....
green space?
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November 15, 2012
I am just wondering, as a taxpayer, if I am helping to pay for a soccer field, etc, or is it possible that this area will turned into desperately needed green space? Bet the soccer field wins!
Fotball
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November 15, 2012
There are already new soccer fields very close to this proposed park.
VFP42
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November 15, 2012
I am all for parks, and this is great for the neighborhood, but the main issue here still exists.

Why do we have roads inside our city that we are too scared to cross?

Why do we let those living in West Cobb and Paulding endanger our lives so that they can "buy a bigger house"?

Why do we let Wellstar (aka Deathstar) do whatever it wants?

Why can't we ride some sort of train to work in the city? Why do we all choose to drive everywhere every time we go somewhere?

We are alomst as bad in our habits as the West Cobb Paulding people. The only difference is we are a teensy bit less stupid than them in that we chose location location location for where to live rather than "how much McMansion can you fit onto a fifth of an acre".

Finish the Marietta Loop. Make it go AROUND AROUND AROUND Marietta, not through the center of it so everybody ends up on Whitlock, Cherokee and Church! Loops around things go AROUND them, not SMACK THROUGH THE CENTER OF THEM!
VFP43
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November 16, 2012
FYI, Church and Cherokee run north to south, not east to west, so you shouldn't blame people driving from west to east for mothers not being able to cross these streets. Also, a lot of people living in West Cobb and Paulding live there because it's affordable and they can't afford to live in Marietta. Assuming everyone who lives in these areas have "McMansions" is ridiculous and has nothing to do with a park on Chickopee.
marietta is great
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November 15, 2012
Please, no more parking lots. It is a neighborhood park. People can walk, people need to walk. Park on the street.
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