Apr 13, 2022 - News

Questions raised about Lost Mountain cityhood zoning

Lost Mountain boundaries

The boundaries for the proposed city of Lost Mountain. Map: Georgia House Budget and Research Office

With about five weeks before Lost Mountain voters decide on cityhood, some residents are fighting back against the pro-incorporation movement’s talking points.

Why it matters: Cityhood advocates in the wealthy suburban community say a new city would allow them to better control development in the area, especially such high-density housing as apartments.

  • The Lost Mountain area has about 74,600 people and a median income of $118,919, according to its feasibility study. Cobb’s median income stands at $77,932.

What they’re saying: State Rep. Ginny Ehrhart, who sponsored legislation for cityhood, tells Axios that since Lost Mountain would regulate planning and zoning, the city would have the authority to determine what gets built within its boundaries.

  • A vote against cityhood is saying that people in West Cobb should not decide what should come into their neighborhood, she said.

The other side: West Cobb resident Dora Locklear, who opposes cityhood, tells Axios that proponents are misguided because the government won't be able to dictate how developers build on their own land.

  • “We don't need another layer of government,” she said. “If you're unhappy with the leadership of the Board of Commissioners, then change it. But don't give me a whole new city.”

The bottom line: City governments can approve zoning guidelines that regulate land use in particular areas, including designating some places where higher-density housing can be constructed.

  • If Lost Mountain becomes a city, it’s unlikely their elected officials would approve those plans.
  • It’s also unlikely plans for high density housing would even be submitted for approval because a large part of the area is not easily accessible from major highways.

Catch up quick: Lost Mountain is one of four areas in Cobb County seeking cityhood. East Cobb and Vinings voters will also decide on incorporation May 24. Mableton residents will vote on cityhood on Nov. 8.

  • A lawsuit filed last week seeks to remove the Vinings question from the ballot, which could have implications for other cityhood questions.

What's next: Lost Mountain cityhood will be voted on in the May 24 primary.


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