The city of Mableton may spring back to life.
Legislation has been filed to recreate the former south Cobb city, a move seen by some as a way for residents to gain more control over zoning and development.
House Bill 587, which was filed March 7, would establish the city of Mableton. It did not pass the State House of Representatives by the Crossover Day deadline to be considered by the Georgia Senate. The bill's chief sponsor, State Rep. Erica Thomas, did not respond to the AJC for comment by press time. However, State Rep. David Wilkerson, a Democrat from Powder Springs who also sponsored the bill, said the legislation was introduced in 2019 so it could be revived in 2020.
“This is really to get that process moving,” he said of incorporation push, adding his sponsorship is not an endorsement of the proposal.
The South Cobb Alliance is the primary organization leading the charge for cityhood. It is working to raise about $30,000 for the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia to conduct a feasibility study to see if a new city would be financially successful.
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Tre Hutchins, who lives in unincorporated Cobb and an alliance member, said the organization has so far raised $20,000 towards its initiative.
Mableton, the home of former Gov. Roy Barnes, was briefly incorporated in 1912, but de-annexed and became part of unincorporated Cobb County in 1916. Hutchins said the movement for incorporation has been discussed for more than a decade, but it never “had any teeth” until recently.
Hutchins said the incorporation push is all about residents who are trying to “customize our landscape” to attract redevelopment and improve waste management and parks and recreation amenities.
“We’re prime for redevelopment, but we need an economic engine that’s going to get us there,” Hutchins said.
County Commissioner Lisa Cupid, who represents the Mableton area, said she is aware of efforts to mobilize a city, but thought organizers would wait until the feasibility study was complete before filing the legislation. Cupid said she’s reserving judgment until she sees the results of the study.
“That would be my next point of interest,” she said.
Cupid said it’s understandable for the community to want more control over zoning issues, but said the new city’s level of service has to be adequately applied across its geographical area.
Anyone who wants to learn more can join the South Cobb Alliance for an informational meeting at 7 p.m. March 18 at the South Cobb Library at 805 Clay Street in Mableton.
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