Cobb moratorium set until July 2018 for student housing

A moratorium is in effect until July 31 by the Cobb County Board of Commissioners on acceptance of rezoning applications for purpose-built student housing or until county staff have completed an update to two studies.

“To provide guidance on the market conditions for these types of developments,” those studies involve the apartment density study and the analysis on purpose-built student housing, according to Dana R. Johnson, director of the Cobb County Community Development Agency in an Oct. 10 memo to County Manager Rob Hosack.

However, this moratorium will not affect a rezoning request that already has been filed for student housing next to the Kennesaw State University football stadium, Johnson told the commissioners.

The growth in student populations at KSU in the past decade have made additional housing necessary, Johnson said.

The KSU Foundation has been building dormitories and other student housing options. Also, the private sector has been trying to fill this gap with purpose-built student housing.

Given the unique nature of purpose-built student housing and the impact it can have on the surrounding community and the nearby city of Kennesaw, Johnson said, “It is important that we have a solid foundation on where this market is going and how it can be properly managed.”

“A single purpose-built student housing development that does not perform to market expectations can have a substantial impact on the city, county, university and surrounding neighborhoods,” he added.

If the two studies are not completed by the deadline, Johnson said staff will request an extension of the moratorium.