The development firm headed by the brother and son of U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson sent out a release around 4:30 Monday afternoon indicating it would refile the application early next year, following heavy community opposition.
Kevin Isakson, the senator's son and firm's director of sales and marketing said the following in a statement:
“We have heard the issues the community has raised. We want to make certain they are thoughtfully addressed and the additional time will allow us to do so. Meeting the best interest of the county has always been our goal as we remained focused on making sure this project meets land use requirements, promotes regional and local economic viability, while also balancing accessibility, affordability and quality services for seniors.”
(Read the full release posted here as a PDF file)
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The land, which is under contract to Isakson Living pending rezoning approval, is currently zoned for low-density residential use. The request seeks a change to continuing care retirement community, which would be the first use under that zoning category anywhere in Cobb County.
The application was to have been heard this month but was delayed until November by Isakson Living not long after the East Cobb Civic Association and nearby neighborhoods came out against it.
They said they weren't opposed to a senior living facility but cited the density of the project -- including a five-story height with parking underneath -- as well as a proposed 10-year build-out of the project and traffic concerns.
Isakson Living has conducted a number of meetings with residents and neighborhood groups, including the influential ECCA, since initially filing the application in May.
After Isakson Living received the continuance, opponents of the proposal remained skeptical.
Resident Robert Burke, posting on the Concerned Citizens Over Isakson Living East Cobb Facebook page, predicted in late September that new Isakson Living plans "will also be incompatible with the community of East Cobb. . . .
"We have yet to see anything of their new plans, and they have asked to reschedule some presentations to only 3 or 4 weeks from the Nov 5 zoning hearing. They are basically scrambling, because they had no Plan B."
The Concerned Living group was urging those opposed to the plan to attend East Cobb Commissioner JoAnn Birrell's town hall meeting next week, wearing specially-made yellow t-shirts (see attached photo) expressing their concerns.
The message on the shirt is a question:
"Is this development right for East Cobb?"
East Cobb Patch will continue to update this story with further reaction.