Officials OK senior facility on Polk St.
by Rachel Miller
August 15, 2013 12:04 AM | 2098 views | 2 2 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — A plan to build a senior assisted-living center near Whitlock Avenue was the first of several controversial items the City Council authorized Wednesday night, some after months or years of debate.

The council unanimously approved rezoning the corner of Burnt Hickory Road and Polk Street to allow for a 76,000-square-foot, three-story building, which would house 90 beds in 67 units.

Elliott Hollander of Hollander Properties LLC, an Atlanta-based real estate investment firm, said construction would begin in January and take about a year to complete.

Last week, the Planning Commission ordered Hollander to meet with residents to hash out concerns before the council appearance.

Hollander and Terry Leeper, the president of the Mountain View Townhomes Association, told the council both parties have agreed on stipulations for the development, specifically moving back a chainlink fence at the eastside of the land to preserve trees that buffer the property line.

Councilman Johnny Sinclair and Mayor Steve Tumlin expressed concern over Hollander’s statements Wednesday night that the design presented was his “intent” for the property.

“(Other developers) have done the bait-and-switch on us,” Sinclair said about past projects in Marietta changing because of fluctuations in the economy or when the price of materials rose too high.

To show the plans are binding, Hollander signed the designs, which include floor-to-ceiling windows on the first floor to draw natural light into common areas of the building.

Recreation Center

After years of the Cobb County NAACP criticizing the city for ignoring a youth center in a minority neighborhood, the council authorized spending more than $800,000 to renovate the Lawrence Street Recreation Center.

The vote was 5-1-1, with Philip Goldstein abstaining and Anthony Coleman absent. Goldstein said he wanted to discuss the project further; Coleman stepped out of the council chamber to use the restroom, and claimed he did not realize a vote would be called.

Money from the city’s $25 million parks bond will be used to update the site, which is three-quarters of a mile from the Square. Improvements include a new roof, gym floor and ceiling.

The approved construction plans will entirely change the grounds outside the center by removing the existing playground at the front of the property and filling in the empty pool area in the back.

Rich Buss, director of Parks and Recreation, said it will take two to three months to start construction and the interior work could close the center for two to eight weeks.

City changes

The council also approved $26,000 to build an 80-foot by 40-foot patch for small dogs and puppies, and to fix erosion problems and add sidewalks at Lewis Park, located off Campbell Hill Street by Church Street.

The improvements will leave about $200,000 in the funds allocated to Lewis Park.

Councilwoman Annette Lewis said she hoped this round of improvements would complete the park’s “wish list,” however some residents want to see synthetic grass placed in the off-leash dog run and playground area, while local little-league coaches want about $10,000 to add a pitching mound, bases and batting cages to the baseball diamond in the park’s center.

In other business, the council authorized the purchase of 20 radar speed signs for $79,500. The signs display a driver’s speed and can be used in areas where speed humps are not an option.

In an effort to boost downtown tourism, the City Council also changed the code to allow breweries, distilleries and wineries in almost every section of the city, excluding areas zoned “neighborhood retail commercial.”

Coleman, the lone vote against the change, said he is protective of residential areas.

A special land-use permit would be needed if one of these new businesses boarders a residential property.

The previous ordinance classifies alcohol-producing businesses as food manufacturing, which limited them to industrial zones.

Comments
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Retiree1
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August 15, 2013
My question re: the senior living facility: when developers agree to "stipulations", who enforces them? Say they agree to a 50 foot buffer, but build it only 40 feet. So the neighbors there are unhappy, but what can they do? Hire a lawyer and sue? Costs too much. Complain to the City? Who in the city enforces the stips, and are they going to make the developer tear down a building? Of course not.

I can't find an answer to this question about stipulations, even when they are in writing.
little league queens
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August 15, 2013
The little league wants $10,000 of taxpayer dollars to build them a pitching mound? That does not sound so little. Why doesn't the league privatize their fields rather than mooching off the public like a welfare queen?

Even if the litter league MUST use public parks, a neighborhood park is NO place for a ball park used by leagues.

League play generates some amount car traffic but far worse is their wanton abuse of the facilites and the litter and trash they leave behind for the park's neighbors to clean up. They don't care because it's just some park somewhere. It's not a field their league is responsible for, and it's not a field in their own neighborhood.

Litter leaguers- get your own fields! Stop mooching tax money and stop your littering on our faces!
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