The five-member commission unanimously approved three separate single-family housing developments that are planned for sites near Roswell at Shallowford and Mabry roads, Roswell Road and Heathemoor Hill Drive, and Mabry Road and Nettle Lane.
A 63-unit townhome community was also approved to be constructed on Spring Hill Parkway near Interstate 285. Those homes will target single residents and empty nesters priced in the mid-$300,000s. If given final approval by the Cobb Board of Commissioners, the owner would be allowed to rent no more than 10 percent of the townhomes.
The Board of Commissioners will take up the proposals next Tuesday.
The housing rebound is a trend that economists are noticing nationwide.
Home sales are at their highest level since November 2009, according to the National Association of Realtors. The 1990s and early 2000s were marked by a housing boom fueled by easy credit, which led to overbuilding, and then a crash landing in late 2008.
Now, Realtors are seeing fewer foreclosures and there is actually a shortage of homes on the market.
Planning Commission member Christi Trombetti says the housing market is improving for new homes and resale properties.
“In my opinion, we are seeing an increase in new subdivision proposals as a result of pent-up demand. Since 2007, we have not had very many new developments,” she said, noting that Monday’s seven-hour meeting is the longest she has attended in years. “In the meantime, existing inventory has been absorbed.”
Residents want more input
Still, some Cobb residents told the Planning Commission they want more input on what happens near their homes.
A 10-acre property surrounded by the Hedgerow neighborhood planned to be developed at Mabry Road and Nettle Lane met opposition Monday from residents fearing loss of privacy and damage to roads and private property by construction activities.
“We fully acknowledge that we’re coming through an existing subdivision which always raises some questions and concerns,” said Kevin Moore, who represented the property owner at the public hearing.
Moore hopes to placate neighbors by limiting construction access and construction hours and vowing to repair any damages.
“If what we’re doing causes damage, above and beyond the normal wear and tear, we want to be sure to address that,” Moore said.
Phillis Cormier said she isn’t completely against the development but worries about the distance of the development to her home, which sits across the street from where construction is proposed to take place. The development would be completely encased by a long-established Hedgerow neighborhood.
She maintains that with 11 children under the age of 11 on just her road and other children residing in the larger neighborhood, safety should be a priority.
Trish Steiner, of the East Cobb Civic Association, pleaded with the commission to do what they can to make the “unpleasant situation” bearable.
“There will be a huge negative impact for the 20-plus-year-old subdivision to suddenly have construction traffic,” Steiner said.
The existing neighborhood complicates construction, Trombetti said.
“It won’t be easy ... but when it’s done, I think it will be a lovely asset,” Trombetti said.
Eight more lots on Roswell Road met no opposition Monday.
At Shallowford Road near Roswell, a seven-home subdivision is planned for a 2.48-acre plot. The homes will be craftsman-style and priced from the low- to mid- $400,000s. Residents there also have some privacy worries.
“I can appreciate that (the owner) has contacted the residents right behind his property, but as a member of the (homeowner’s association), I have not been contacted,” said Jennifer Cash of the homes.
Jill Flamm, of the East Cobb Civic Association, echoed Cash’s comments expressing concern about involvement.