Isakson Living resubmits rezoning request for senior development
by Jon Gillooly
December 02, 2013 12:00 AM | 637 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Commissioner Bob Ott and developer Kevin Isakson eye the potential area for a senior center earlier this year. (File photo)
Commissioner Bob Ott and developer Kevin Isakson eye the potential area for a senior center earlier this year. (File photo)
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MARIETTA - Buckhead-based Isakson Living resubmitted its request to rezone a 54 acre east Cobb property just days before the Board of Commissioners was set to vote on a moratorium freezing the zoning category sought by the company.

The earliest the Cobb Planning Commission would consider a vote on the rezoning request is February, said Kevin Isakson, director of sales and marketing for Isakson Living.

After mounting opposition to his proposed development by such groups as the East Cobb Civic Association, Isakson Living withdrew its zoning request earlier this year.

The original plan would have built a $200 million senior residential development on property off Roswell Road adjacent to East Cobb Park. The plan submitted reduces the number of proposed housing units from 987 to 843.

Commissioner Bob Ott, who represents the area, said he was taken by surprise that Isakson Living filed a new plan. Ott hasn't taken a position on the merits of the development, but says he is not pleased by the process Isakson Living has gone about in seeking its request.

"I'm disappointed in the fact that we were told, both myself and the community, that we would have a chance to see the plan and comment on it before they ever filed, and none of that happened," Ott said.

Jill Flamm, president of the East Cobb Civic Association, which represents about 9,000 homeowners, echoed Ott's comments.

"First off, we're disappointed they didn't come to the community like they had promised before they had filed it," Flamm said. "We will take a position on the new one, but we don't have enough information to form a position at this point."

After Isakson Living withdrew its plan, Ott said he and Commissioner JoAnn Birrell began receiving letters from residents asking the requested zoning category, called Continuing Care Retirement Community, be reviewed and revised.

Ott said the committee that developed that zoning category did so when he served on the Planning Commission prior to his election to the Board of Commissioners in 2008. The plan was to bring that committee back to look at tweaking the category, Ott said.

County spokesman Robert Quigley confirmed county staff would request that the Board of Commissioners place a moratorium on the zoning category at next week's board meeting, while the committee considered revisions.

Quigley said because Isakson Living filed its rezoning request this week, any moratorium adopted next week would not impact it.

Isakson, son of U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, said he was aware the county was eyeing the existing code.

"I didn't know for a fact that there would be a moratorium, but I was aware that was going to be taken up and certainly that a part of our planning process is putting our plans out there and being certain that we're able to preserve our right under the existing code as it currently stands," Isakson said.

The original plan called for 837 independent living units and 150 health care units. The new plan calls for 749 independent living units and 94 health care units with one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes for seniors ages 62 and older.

Floor plans are projected to range from 900 square feet to 2,500.

The original plan called for buildings of four stories built on top of a parking garage.

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