Mableton residents plead for park land

By Mary Lou Pickel

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Neighbors in Mableton made another plea Monday for Cobb County to buy land near their homes for a park, despite signs that it’s an uphill battle.

Area residents envision a 20-acre green space with a playground, a dog park and level walking trails at the intersection of Floyd Road and Hicks Road in south Cobb County.

Residents Jolynn Sockwell and Dave McDaniel asked the county’s Parks Bond Citizen Advisory Committee to reconsider the 20-acre parcel.

The committee has not visited the land, a county spokesman said last month, an indication that the parcel did not make the current list of sites still under consideration for purchase as part of Cobb County’s $40 million parks bond initiative.

“We feel like they have literally been brushing us aside,” said Sockwell.

A few years ago a developer leveled houses on the land and more recently a company bought the parcel in foreclosure, Sockwell said. It is zoned for townhomes and single-family homes.

A property manager placed signs on the land in the summer, asking residents whether they wanted a park on the site. That is how most neighbors learned that the land was available. The county did not make public the list of 277 parcels nominated for park purchase.

Support soon grew for the Floyd Road site and county commissioners received a flood of emails. About 1,850 county residents have signed an online petition in favor of the land. About 80 residents showed up at a previous park committee meeting to speak for it. Residents realize they lobbied for the land late in the process, but they did not know it was for sale until recently, Sockwell said.

About 40 to 50 properties are still under consideration from the original list.

The citizens committee is expected to reveal the final list of sites recommended for purchase at its Oct. 26 meeting.

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