Developer Addresses Community Needs by Reducing Development Size – Remains Committed to Meeting Seniors’ Housing Needs.
(Released November 5, 2013) Local developer Isakson Living has filed a revised application to rezone 53.7 acres in East Cobb County. Isakson Living is seeking approval to change the zoning on the Tritt property from R-20 (single-family) to CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community).
The new proposal for Isakson Living East Cobb addresses previous community concerns by reducing building heights, decreasing the number of residential units by 15 percent, increasing undisturbed nature areas by 16 percent, and increasing total green space by 26 percent.
The new plan provides significant green space between the proposed buildings, existing neighborhoods, and East Cobb Park. Buildings, driveways and parking will occupy approximately 25 percent of the 53.7 acre property, which means more than 70 percent of the development will remain green space and 43 percent of the site – or 23 acres – will remain in an undisturbed state, including preservation of almost 1,400 trees, twice as many as required.
The buildings along Upper Roswell Road have been reduced to three stories from grade level and located nearly 100 yards from the road in most areas. The buildings along the southern property line that adjoins Hidden Hollow have been reduced to two and three stories from grade level and set back at least 200 feet from the property line. Parking located below the buildings will be underground and while the tallest buildings remain four stories, they are located in the interior of the project beyond the view shed of the perimeter buildings. These changes significantly lower the development’s profile.
“We are seeking to be good stewards of both the land and the legacy of this community, so we listened to the community and responded with positive changes in our plan,” said Kevin Isakson, director of sales and marketing for Isakson Living. “We believe this new design addresses primary concerns while allowing Isakson Living to design a product for East Cobb seniors that is walkable to the community’s amenities and services with affordable monthly costs.”
When compared to a single family development, the proposed community offers numerous benefits to the East Cobb area: A single-family home development would attract families with school-age children, potentially adding hundreds to the rolls of Eastside Elementary, Dodgen Middle and Walton High School. Such large additions to already highly populated schools could further increase class sizes.
“I wanted to sell to a business entity which would preserve as much green space as possible,” said Wylene Tritt, owner of the property for the proposed community. “There will be a desperate need in East Cobb for a senior living facility specifically of the character they are proposing. Isakson Living fulfills every one of my wishes. Not only do I wholeheartedly endorse Isakson Living’s application for rezoning, I may become its first resident.”
The proposed community will be licensed to accept only residents over the age of 62. The community will be taxed as a continuing care retirement community and thus will pay more than $1,000,000 annually in school and property taxes, of which the majority will go to support Cobb County schools, while adding no additional students to schools.
Isakson Living originally filed a rezoning application in May 2013, and withdrew in October 2013 in order to address community concerns.
Since 2000, Cobb County’s 65-plus population has increased 67 percent, and currently one-third of Cobb County’s population is over the age of 50. Based on future aging population trends for the county, the housing needs of local seniors will remain an issue of critical importance. The significance of Cobb County’s aging population is even more noteworthy considering that while East Cobb has several assisted living communities, it does not currently have a CCRC and only one exists in all of Cobb County.
“Older adults are the fastest growing population in the Atlanta region and this is no more evident than in Cobb County,” notes Kathryn Lawler, manager of Aging and Health Resources at Atlanta Regional Commission. “As people age they need options. Senior housing options are among the most critical. Communities that provide an array of housing for both young and old create lifelong communities. Lifelong communities are the most successful when combined with opportunities for healthy living, including parks and outdoor spaces as well as convenient access to shopping, recreational opportunities and basic services.”
Since Isakson Living filed for rezoning in May 2013, its leaders have conducted numerous meetings with various homeowner associations, independent homeowners, civic and community groups and qualified prospective residents. Isakson Living intends to continue to solicit feedback and continue the dialogue with residents and community groups.
Isakson Living is a local company with offices in Atlanta and Stone Mountain. Partners Andy and Kevin Isakson successfully developed Park Springs in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Andy Isakson and his wife live in Roswell, Ga., where they have raised their family. Kevin Isakson grew up in East Cobb where he currently resides with his wife and three children.