After a recommendation by the Planning Commission in favor of The Farm at the Retreat, the City Council on Oct. 9 unanimously approved the new development off Burnt Hickory Road, east of Barrett Parkway.
The approval of the five proposed home sites along with the annexation of 2 acres from Cobb County into Marietta includes one existing house that will be remodeled.
Mayor Steve Tumlin said the new development will quickly blend with the area.
“There is almost no drawback,” Tumlin said.
Councilman Andy Morris, who represents Ward 4 where the neighborhood will be built, said he heard about the project two months ago.
“It was a very easy decision,” Morris said.
The Farm at the Retreat will encompass 16 acres, with lots ranging from 1.1 acres to 3.2 acres. The homes will offer 3,500 to 7,000 square feet of living space and three-car garages.
Gravis Sams, who has been a zoning attorney for 34 years and represents the developers, said the exteriors will have a mixture of brick, stacked stone and Hardiplank siding. Prices will range between $750,000 to $1.5 million.
The infrastructure in the subdivision, as well as the grading of the lots, will be completed within the year, Sams said. Construction of the homes could begin during that period.
The future homeowners, who Tumlin described as young professionals, formed the Farm at the Retreat LLC to develop the property, which is surrounded on three sides by the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.
“It is almost a friendship corporation,” Tumlin said.
The families date back in Cobb County for generations, so they know the area well, Tumlin said.
A city’s dream development
Along with the land grab from Cobb County, the council also approved a few
variances, such as an 8-foot high entry gate that will be set back from Burnt Hickory Road by 50 feet.
Others increased the maximum length of the cul-de-sac from 700 to 940 feet and removed the requirement for a sidewalk along Burnt Hickory Road.
Farm at the Retreat will sit next to an existing gated, exclusive housing subdivision, the Retreat at Kennesaw Mountain.
“Gated is probably perfect out there for the number of people who visit the park,” Tumlin said.
Marshall Dye, who served on the Marietta Board of Zoning Appeals for seven years and is running in Ward 4 against Morris, said since the community is so small, sidewalks are not necessary and that saves the homeowners more than $200,000.
The property is zoned as low density residential and does not include a club house or other amenities often placed in sprawling neighborhoods.
Westward expansion of city limits
Dye said the exclusive area will have private streets, which will not require maintenance from the city, and will increase the city’s tax digest.
“Nearby communities love it because it keeps their property values up,” Dye said.
Tumlin said the high-quality development strengthens the city and “complements our growth to the west.”
The continuous stretch of land being incorporated into the city could include annexing properties across Burnt Hickory Road.
“This is a strategic expansion of the city’s boundaries,” Sams said.