Before I get into the meat and potatoes of this issue, I want to highlight a quick list of three surveys you should spend a few minutes to complete and then share with your friends, colleagues, and neighbors.

*IF* you want the county to improve and move forward, this is the easiest, most convenient way to make sure your voice is heard and considered. If you have any questions about what is being asked, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments or reach out via email.

Also, at the end of this issue is an opportunity to volunteer and get free Falcons tickets.

Unified Development Code meeting

We attended the UDC meetings earlier this week and it was honestly a mixed bag.

  • Overall, this is a much-needed process. Currently, the county has multiple, outdated, sometimes-conflicting resources to manage land use, zoning, and development codes. The primary goal of this multi-year process is to update all of these resources into one consistent, easy-to-reference resource to shape zoning and development for the future.
  • Positives
    • The new Unified Development Code will be updated and include graphics, pictures, examples, and other important methods of conveying information (currently, it’s all text-only and opaque based on interpretations)
    • “Missing middle” was mentioned multiple times and “more variety of housing types” was teased.
    • Parking ordinances appear to be on the table for review!
    • Some commenters were supportive of new housing types, transportation/sidewalks for senior citizens, and affordable housing.
    • A lot of discussion about making the process more streamlined and transparent.
  • Negatives
    • Multiple times, it was mentioned that “the rural and suburban character of the county will be preserved”. If I had a drink for every time “neighborhood character” was referenced…
    • The crowd was VERY NIMBY. I’d say about 12 people showed up and of those, the vast majority are strongly against density, diversity, and anything that changes the status quo.
    • As an example, one attendee mentioned that his neighborhood had industrial near their homes and made it clear they wanted to keep it that way. Put another way, they would prefer industrial land uses instead of people living near them.

Whether you are a fan of sustainability, transit, bike lanes, equity, diversity, or anything else we’ve talked about here, EVERYTHING is tied to land use and zoning.

This was the initial kickoff meeting for the multi-year process and one thing is clear: we need more engagement at future meetings.

No meetings are on the calendar now, but here’s what you can do now:

At some point, it will be important to discuss and align on common sense, easy-to-digest suggestions that we can push for.

Board of Commissioners Meeting Preview

The next Board of Commissioners meeting (and last meeting in 2022) is Tuesday, December 13th at 9AM.

As successful as last meeting was to kick things off for a future transit referendum, this next meeting might be even more important.

As a reminder, last month the Board of Commissioners voted 5-0 to move forward with preparing for a 2024 mobility referendum utilizing HB 930.

Now comes the FUN-ding part. (I’m so sorry…)

On the agenda is Item no. 54 where Commissioners will vote to authorize $400,000 in Contingency funding to support planning, community outreach, and regional partner coordination.

Hopefully, the county continues to move forward in a unanimous, bipartisan manner. I’ll be attending the meeting and I welcome anyone who is willing and able to join me!

Other details of the Commissioners Meeting Agenda:

  • Presentations (3 items)
    • Departmental awards for Cobb County Public Safety Agency
    • Accreditation for Cobb County Public Safety Agency
    • Proclamation supporting the goals of the Creative Placemaking Committee (hmmm…first I’ve heard of this…)
  • Public comment (6 commenters, up to 5 minutes each)
  • Consent Agenda (42 items)
    • District Attorney (2 items): Grant renewals
    • Superior & State Court (8 items): Grant/contract renewals
    • Water system (2 items): Work order approvals
    • Transportation (2 items): Both of these are transit related. One is to authorize a study to review the transit service in South Cobb and the other is a contract modification to change the fuel type of 10 vehicles from CNG to gasoline. The reason for this change is due to supply chain issues.
    • Library System (3 items): 2 grant approvals and approval of allowing all library card holders one free entry to the Marietta History Museum.
    • Parks (1 item): Approval of contract to manage and operate Cobblestone Golf Course
    • Support Services (4 items): Interesting one here is approval for Clearview AI for facial recognition services…
    • Community Development (4 items): 3 annexation requests (2 denials and one approval) and one License Review appeal
    • Economic Development (1 item): Approve tax abatement for Invest Austell (where a new development is planned for downtown Austell)
    • Human Resources (3 items)
    • Finance (5 items)
    • CDBG (1 item): This is to accept federal dollars from the CARES act.
    • CobbWorks (3 items): Grant Approvals
  • Regular Agenda (13 items)
    • Transportation (9 items):
      • 6 items are work orders for drainage or other road projects
      • 1 item is referencing Lower Roswell Road Project and changes the scope to remove the proposed bike lanes and instead “widen the trail where possible”. (I’ve sent an email for clarification on this…)
      • District 2 Contingency Projects totaling $1 million dollars
        • $360,000 to Library Department for A/V equipment at East Cobb Library and interior renovations at West Village Library
        • $300,000 to Parks Department for a pocket park on Lower Roswell Road, Hyde Farm Welcome Center renovations, and Arts Triangle Signage
        • $340,000 to Transportation for bus stop improvements along Powers Ferry Rd and signage and beautification for Little Brazil
      • Transit funding for HB 930 prep as mentioned earlier
    • Parks (3 items): highlights include a couple of credits from previous contracts
    • Finance (1 item): General funding approval for FY 2023
  • Public Comment (if needed, up to 6 people, 5 minutes max)

That covers it. Of course, things might change especially considering we just finished an election.

Create Austell

For the past few weeks, I have been meeting with a very exciting, passionate group of people from Austell. This is culminating in the launch of the first city-focused forward-thinking advocacy group, Create Austell.

Create Austell is a social community and movement designed to influence the future of Austell, GA and focus on four key areas:

  • Housing/Zoning
  • Mobility
  • Sustainability
  • Culture

The launch event is on Saturday, January 14th at 4PM. There will be beer, snacks, fun, and great discussion on what can be done to make Austell great.

If you live in (or near) Austell or know anyone who does, please sign up and share the sign up form on the Create Austell website.

Upcoming Events

Did I say free Falcons tickets?!

On January 1st, 2023, the Falcons will be celebrating Sustainability and Clean Energy. On that note, there is an opportunity to volunteer at a table we plan to have on Energy Lane in the stadium.

The volunteering opportunity is in the morning, from 9AM-2PM and after that is over, you can watch the rest of the Falcons game (probably everything past the 2nd Quarter).

We can have up to 4 volunteers, so if you’re interested, contact us ASAP at or leave a comment!

News & Updates

Atlanta City Councilmember Matt Westmoreland tweeted that the city is looking at a rebate program for e-bikes.

That covers the newsletter for this week. Hope to see some of y’all next Tuesday at the Commissioners’ meeting!


P.S. if you haven’t joined our Facebook group yet, join today: A Better Cobb, y’all!