An abandoned shopping center on Powder Springs Road in South Cobb is set to be taken over by a local church that hopes to move in by the end of the year.
The Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to allow a house of worship on a site formerly designated for commercial use.
VIDEO: In other Cobb news
Critics of the project had opposed the change, saying the county should not go out of its way to accommodate a new, tax exempt organization in light of the pending $30 million budget shortfall.
But Pastor Myles Rutherford, who leads some 700 congregants of the Worship With Wonders Church, said moving his ministry to the site would eliminate a nuisance to the neighborhood and raise property values.
“We want to revitalize this blighted property,” Rutherford said.
He emphasized his church’s charity work and said establishing a house of worship would create “a moral climate that fosters respect.”
Commissioner Lisa Cupid, who represents the district, said her constituents have been complaining about the condition of the abandoned shopping center for years and wanted to see something done.
If the opposition was so concerned about the county’s finances, she asked, where were they when the board was voting on the millage rate?
“The issues that have contributed to us being in this position are numerous,” Cupid said in reference to the deficit. “I’m questioning why these voices are at a zoning gathering.”
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.