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South Cobb Redevelopment Authority Makes Progress

The newly created governing board is moving full steam ahead to help spur economic development in South Cobb.

The South Cobb Redevelopment Authority is still establishing itself, but has made quite a bit of progress since its first meeting in October.  The board has appointed officers, approved bylaws and planned allocating some of the remaining $236,000 from the original South Cobb Development Authority.

At its Monday meeting, Cobb Planning Division Manager Dana Johnson presented an overview of the South Cobb Implementation Strategy, which was presented at South Cobb Commissioner Woody Thompson’s September town hall meeting and subsequently to the full board of county commissioners.

The plan, which serves as a guide for further redevelopment of the Historic Mableton, Six Flags and River Line areas, was approved by the county BOC in January.

The River Line area, though full of higher-priced homes and new development, may still need help from SCRA, SCRA Secretary Robin Meyer said.

“You can’t just say there’s a developer in there, so it’s taken care of,” Meyer said.

Green Street Properties is building Riverview Landing, a $300 million 82-acre development on Riverview Road along the Chattahoochee River.           
The Riverview Road area alone, is receiving $4 million for new sidewalks and turning lanes from the recently passed SPLOST and is slated to receive an additional $16.5 million in improvements from the TSPLOST if passed by voters in July.

Also included in the SCIS are economic development tools, which can help further develop the three nodes.

One or more of the areas could be designated as Tax Allocation Districts. A TAD is usually a blighted area that is redeveloped with public dollars for the purpose of spurring investment in the area. Johnson said a TAD could even be used for a new ride, which would expand Six Flags Over Georgia.

To move forward with its Floyd Road improvement plan, which is being paid for with dedicated funds from the 2005 SPLOST, the county must acquire the 566.34 square feet of property owned by the SCRA. The property is located between Barnes Drive and the Mable House property. Additionally, SCRA has a 99-year lease on the adjacent Mable House property from the Ruff family, and the county is negotiating with the family to acquire the needed property,

To handle the legal matters for this issue, the board selected attorney Fred Bentley of Marietta-based Bentley, Bentley and Bentley law firm as its representative.

Bentley, who was one of the four attorneys presented to the Authority by County Attorney Deborah Dance, agreed to represent the board on this issue only at a rate of $145.

Bentley is also the lobbying attorney for Six Flags Over Georgia, said Melinda Ashcraft.

SCRA Treasurer Damon Duncan expressed concern about the selection process of the representing attorney and that the board had not yet approved a conflict of interest policy.

“In anything that we do, we want to be open and fair,” Duncan said.

 

Other Actions:

  • Ashcraft is the lead on identifying a company for Director’s and Officer’s insurance for the Authority. She is expecting bids from three companies this week, she said.
  • Board members Ashcraft, Meyer and Ed Richardson composed a Request for Qualifications selection committee to identify the best individual or firm to assist the Authority in finding Neighborhood Stabilization Plan funding sources to spur economic redevelopment in the Six Flags area. The RFQ yielded two responses, which were discussed and ranked by the committee. The firm selected would receive a salary from the $236,000 of interest on and remains from the $1 million Mableton grant fund originally awarded to the South Cobb Development Board in 2000.
AW March 22, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Great to hear that this group is making progress! Thanks for keeping us updated!
april strozier January 15, 2013 at 01:38 AM
I just moved here from clayton county six months ago. Already I miss the strick police officers, the clean environment. If you walk starting at the Q T Waffle house and going all the way on the side walk to the cobb library you will see loads and loads of trash. In my 18 years in clayton county I have never seen this. We in clayco would not even think to litter because we were afraid of the police. So clean six flags up and I believe we can see a change.
TG January 16, 2013 at 05:06 AM
I agree. I live just west of Six Flags and the neighborhood is getting worse. We are losing so much revenue in our county to other areas and surrounding counties that take more pride in their homes and businesses. Most Six Flags visitors would rather go to Douglas County during their stay for cleaner and safer hotels, restaurants, and gas stations. We need to hold the business owners accountable for keeping up their property, removing burglar bars, picking up trash and standing up to loitering.
L A Hays June 15, 2014 at 08:58 AM
About time. Six Flags Drive is West Cobb's Franklin Road. Part of this development effort should be the establishment of a police precinct in the vicinity of Six Flags Drive. Much of the cost would be defrayed by not having to continually dispatch police from other parts of the county. It would also encourage the criminal element that currently flourishes in the area to find a home somewhere else. Finally, higher police visibility would go a long way to manage traffic on the Factory Shoals Speedway, particularly in the area of Bryant Elementary School.

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