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Bob Ott's code changes could increase redevelopment

It is the hoped that the changes will increase redevelopment that doesn't cost the county a dime.

The have before them Tuesday a proposal that could help redevelopment efforts in the county.

The Cobb County Development Standards code has been written through the years for new development, said Commissioner Bob Ott. He explained at last week's District 2 Town Hall Meeting that these measures were originally intended to protect undeveloped land and that when the code was being written officials hadn’t considered redevelopment. Over time he said it became more expensive for developers to redevelop an old site than it would be to construct a new one.

“So what happens is that’s really why you see a lot of green field development and we’re leaving this trail behind us of worn down, worn out shopping centers and places like that,” he said.

At various times throughout the year, the Board of Commissioners has directed the Community Development staff to prepare amendments to the Cobb County Development Standards in order to address concerns identified during the course of routine community development activities.

Staff does so through a committee composed of professional engineers, surveyors, landscape architects, developers, builders and county staff.

At last year's retreat, Ott said he asked staff to look through building codes and other community development standards to see if there were impediments to redeveloping the county’s abandoned or dilapidated shopping centers, and other developments.

The new changes to the Cobb County Development Standards will not impact new development.

Rob Hosack, Cobb's community development director, said the changes would mainly impact storm water detention, parking and tree planting, as well as information requirements and procedural issues.

It is the hope that the changes will increase redevelopment that doesn't cost the county a dime.

The commissioners meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the government building . The meeting is on the second floor in the board's meeting room.

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