Saturday, March 25, 2017

Friday, March 24, 2017

Build out work continues on the interior of the potential Whole Foods building.  Conflicting info is available as to whether or not WF will occupy the site and WF is being vague as an email shown below from them shows.

On 3/24 5-6 workers were doing light electrical work there, something that needs to be completed no matter who ends up in that store.







3/18/17

KENNESAW MARKETPLACE MALL 

The 52 acres of the Kennesaw Marketplace Mall will employ about 2,000 people in the $160,000,000 complex.  The retail space should be about 250,000 - 300,000 sq ft with 40 stores and restaurants.

The Whole Foods market, long set as a major ‘anchor’ tenant at the Fuqua mall may never open due to the restructuring of the Whole Foods company due to declining sales.  Comments from WF South are vague with ‘don’t call us - we’ll call you’ sort of replies to inquiries about their Kennesaw project.  The WF Harry’s Market in Marietta is reported to be closing. 

When the Regional mall is completed there will be a total of 19 restaurants near the Barrett and Cobb Parkway intersection, divided between the existing ones on the East side of Cobb Parkway and the new ones in the Marketplace Mall.  Far to many restaurants for those approx 65 acres in total, expect some of the new restaurants to close in 2017.

The 180 Overture at Barrett, Senior ‘Multifamily luxury apartments’ for those 55 and over are being developed and managed by Greystar and are located on the western end of the larger mall project.  

These units are 1 and 2 bedroom with either a private patio or balaony.  The buildings have elevators and amenities include a putting green, heated pool and walking trails.  Pricing is not available, but it is expected to be high.  

Some additional details are found at:  https://www.forrent.com/apartment-community-profile/1001825632

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

While a lot of the Regional Mall is now finished, not everything is up and running, still to be finished off are the 55+ senior housing on the West side of the complex, the empty shell where Whole foods was to go and several other stores.







CASTLE LAKE MHP and the BRIDGE TO NOWHERE

   You might recall that the 53 acres that the Kennesaw Marketplace Mall was build on was for many years part of the down market slum called the Castle Lake Mobile Home Park.

The larger park was owned by the Ergas family of Vancouver, BC, Canada.

23/rds of the slum/park was sold off to Fuqua Development for the mall.

   The remaining 1/3rd (23 acres) remain in operation as the CLMHP and some day will be sold for additional development, either town homes/condos or more retail space.

   In the meantime the much diminished MHP remains and it is still a slum with mostly Hispanic residents.  No money is being spent on the park, the roads are in total disarray and it is clear that no funds are being put into the maintenance of the park.

   The Bridge to Nowhere is anchored in the new Mall and spans Noonday Creek and ends abruptly, just waiting for completion with whatever is eventually put on the remaining park acreage.

   Photos of the park are taken from a distance and from a distance it looks like a nice park, it isn’t.

  Scroll back far enough on this site and you will find articles, photos and comments about the park, how 2/3rds of it  got slipped into the City of Kennesaw and how badly the 1,500 +/- low income, retirees and Hispanic residents were treated by both Ergas and Fuqua.




Thursday, March 23, 2017


Some additional details on the 55+ senior units on the west side of the Marketplace Mall are found at:  https://www.forrent.com/apartment-community-profile/1001825632

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3/18/17
OPENING A BUSINESS? Avoid Kennesaw Georgia!

City Planning and Zoning Administrator creates hostile business enviroment.

By Davey Crockett (Patch Poster) - March 17, 2017 

Want to open a Business?   Don’t do it in Kennesaw.
Want to fly the American flag?   Don’t do it in Kennesaw

Kennesaw’s hostile attitude towards a local businessman with 2 downtown restaurants has recently come in for some attention.

It seems that the owners of Pisano’s Italian Restaurant and the smaller Kennesaw Doghouse have faced intimidation and threats from the Business and Zoning Administrator Mr. Daryl Simmons.

The animus seems to go back several years with conflicts and fines for various supposed infractions, for things in existence for years before the current owners took over.

The harassment continues with the Building and Zoning Administrator’s usage of theKennesaw Police and Code Enforcement to bully the restaurant owners over the display of American flags on both establishments.

It is reported that initially both Police Officers and Code Enforcement initially refused to write citations for the flag issue but it seems that somewhere higher up the food chain the word was put out to issue them.

Pisano’s had displayed 7 US and one Italian flag on their pizza restaurant but Administrator Simmons instructed the Police to cite the restaurant for each flag ($1,250 each violation).

This, despite many other Kennesaw businesses displaying flags, includes the Thrift Store in the same strip mall as the Italian restaurant. The smaller Doghouse restaurant had displayed 2 flags as far back as May 23, 2015 under the name 'On A Roll', with the same owners as today.

Indications are that there is some unsavory history here of the Administrator ‘having it in for' the restaurant owners, this going back years, with the latest cheap shot being the flag issue.

The restaurant owners have, for the moment, taken down the flags at the 2 restaurants and are meeting with an attorney to assist in getting the flags returned to the restaurants.

Long time Kennesaw residents may recall other issues that have been mishandled by the same Building and Zoning Administrator Mr. Simmons. These issues cost the City months of bad press and money in various settlements.

Consider the Cruchelow Pawn Shop* issue where the Administrator issued a business license for a Pawn Shop in a strip mall that had prohibitions against that class of business. This got regional bad press and the mall owner got a $14,000 monetary settlement. The Pawn Shop did depart.
More recently you might recall the International bad rap the city got over a Building and Zoning screw up involving the Suffa Dawat Mosque (2016)**, that led to demonstrations, bad feelings and another payout of $18,000 when the Mosque filed a Federal suit against the City. Mr. Simmons was Administrator for these and other problems.

This time around it seems that the Building and Zoning Administrator is using his position to settle some personal score against the restaurant owners.
Far past time for some serious oversight from the Mayor and City Council on Mr. Simmons and his department!
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* http://kennesawpawnproblems.blogspot.com/
** http://suffadawa.blogspot.com/ and http://suffadawatsuit.blogspot.com/ 
"Suffa Dawat Center, Inc v. City of Kennesaw" 1:14







Above: Flags in question
Below: Flags being removed to avoid fines of $1,250 each per day.






Below: As it looks now with flags removed







The Thrift Shop, Another shop 100 ft away in the same plaza still has its flag up with no City problems








Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Kennesaw Watch picked up on an MDJ article which relates that in Acworth the 5 crossings are now ‘silent’, no train whistles like we have in downtown Kennesaw.
Although it seems that it took years to get this to happen and a good few bucks spent, they got it done.
Is Kennesaw working on something like this in conjunction with CSX. I don’t think Kennesaw needs 5 crossings to be silent, I have in mind the one downtown right across from the Revival apartment complex.
That particular downtown crossing has always been a problem, mostly for 18 wheelers that get stuck on the tracks several times a year.
Anything going on about a redesign or at least getting the ‘silent’ part taken in hand?
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Kennesaw has both of your questions already in the plans and will rely on SPLOST funds to complete just as Acworth.
Acworth has five (5) crossings in their downtown area while Kennesaw has only one (1) ~ Cherokee Street. Acworth decided to upgrade each of the crossings to address the train whistle noise. Kennesaw has chosen a different solution to silence the whistles while addressing several other needed improvements ~ A new bridge.
Kennesaw has a railroad bridge crossing on Main Street just south of Cherokee Street. Plans call for a second bridge crossing north of Cherokee Street close to Moon Station. Once this is completed, the crossing at Cherokee Street will be closed thus eliminating the whistle noise and errant truck crossing.
Besides eliminating the train whistle and trucks, the bridge will tie into the Cherokee Street expansion. The expansion is meant to assist in moving traffic and eliminating downtown traffic as it is a much-used route for crosstown traffic.
Finally, eliminating the Cherokee Street crossing will allow for a better design and usage of the future Depot Park.
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KENNESAW DOWNTOWN PARKING -

Several weeks ago the City decided to post 30 three hour parking signs downtown.

Subsequent info from a City Councilman revealed that it would only be enforced around the Revival on Main street apartment complex and on the first floor of the parking garage which is part of that Revival complex.

Seems that the City wants to put up a lot of totally useless signs in areas that they do NOT intend to enforce that 3 hour parking limit.

You want to see useless signs you don't have to go to downtown Atlanta, you can just drive around downtown Kennesaw.  Signs and install cost about $50 each.

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8/24/16
AJC CIRCULATI0N FIGURES
Households in Metro Atlanta 2,619,912

Home Delivery Daily Average:
Sun.  170,490
Mon.  76,914
Tue.  77,028
Wed.  76,998
Thu.  112,366
Fri.  101,891
Sat.  104,711

2 Kennesaw Zip Codes
30144 - 20,384 Households
30152 - 15,377 Households

Sun.  1,778 & 1,440
Mon.  554 & 524
Tue.  561 & 524
Wed.  561 & 524
Thu.  1,083 & 959
Fri.  994 & 886
Sat.  1,012 & 937

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8/24/16
Davey Crockett
3 mins

Kennesaw City Council considers fiscal 2017 budget

Anthony White MDJ



KENNESAW — Kennesaw city employees can expect a 3 percent raise and residents can expect the city’s 9.5 millage rate to remain the same if the Kennesaw City Council approves a proposed fiscal 2017 budget of $28.3 million.



Even though the city proposes to keep the tax rate the same as last year, the city’s tax revenue will increase by 5 percent due to an increase in the value of property in the city limits.

The proposed budget, which covers the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 and ending Sept. 30, 2017, is 2 percent or $581,196 less than the existing 2016 budget.

The 2017 millage rate of 9.5 mills is the same as the city’s 2016 millage rate.  According to city officials, this will amount to about $760 in property taxes on a house appraised at $200,000.

Although the millage rate will remain the same, there will be no cuts in city services.

Kennesaw’s proposed 2017 general fund budget is $21.1 million, a decrease of 1 percent or $247,587 less than the existing fiscal year general fund budget. The general fund covers operational expenditures for the mayor and city council, city departments such as police, fire, the city manager’s office, city clerk, parks and recreation, finance and human resources.

The general fund budget also sets aside a rainy day/reserve fund of $250,000.

The proposed budget for the Kennesaw Police Department is $5.5 million, a $60,532 decrease from last year’s budget. City officials say the 2017 budget will fund 70 authorized positions, the same as last year, and fund a new police auxiliary unit to support special events and projects at a cost of $60,000.

The number of full-time positions with the city will rise from 215 in the current year to 217 in the 2017 year, according to city officials. One full-time position will be deleted and three full-time positions will be added for a net increase of two full-time positions. The new positions include a digital communications specialist, building and facilities manager, and a horticulture technician.

Part-time positions with the city will decrease from 20 this year to 18 in the new budget, due to the elimination of two part-time jail cook positions.

The City Council is scheduled to adopt the budget at its regular council meeting on Sept. 19.
==========================

MY COMMENT:
That house valued at $200,000 with a $760 City Property Tax is misleading. The owner will still owe Cobb County Tax of about $2,000 more unless of course they have an age exemption in addition to their normal homestead exemption if they occupy the residence.
Kennesaw is the only City in Cobb to bill separately for City tax, everyone else lets Cobb Tax do the dirty work, so Kennesaw owners get 2 separate tax bills every year, everyone else just gets one tax bill.

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8/23/16
MOSQUE PROBLEMS ARE NOT UNIQUE TO KENNESAW

The Al MaaAl Maad Al Islami Mosque, Newton County is the most recent source of conflict.  Information on this is found at:  http://almaadalislami.blogspot.com/

Kennesaw may well end up with another go around on our own Mosque issue as the Suffa Dawat Mosque on Jiles Road has outgrown the 3 leased units in that strip mall.

While they own 3.6 acres of land less than a mile away, so far they have not had the funds to actually start building.  When/if they do secure the money you will probably see the same protests that we had 2 years ago in Kennesaw and similar to what is now going on in Newton County.

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8/22/16



Kennesaw Police Body Cameras

Some days ago the MDJ reported that Marietta was going to get body cameras for their PD, and cited as reasons:increasing officer safety,evidence collection,agency transparency andcommunity relations
Has the issue of individual body cameras come up for KPD?
What is the City position on expending funds for this and if it is going forward what will the cost be?
Are there ‘grants’ available from the Federal Govt to assist in their purchase?



Jim Sebastian's avatar image.

Currently we have 20 body cameras for our officers. The original purchase was in the 14/15 budget with 4 cameras funded with Court Projects funds. We received additional body cameras with car cameras in the 15/16 vehicle purchases through a vendor incentive with each car camera we purchased – there was no additional cost for the body cameras. (free).
We have a current order in place for an additional 20 cameras (including chargers and docking stations) as part of the 15/16 annual budget funded from the Court Projects fund.
With this order we will have 40 body cameras in total. Each officer is issued a cameras daily as we start each officers shift. At the end of each shift that camera is then cradled for charging and downloading.
We will continue making annual purchases as replacements and staffing needs are warranted utilizing seized funds, court services funds or court projects funds. This will allow for us to purchase the most advanced cameras as technology improves. This is the same as we have done with in-car computers and cameras.






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8/21/16




Kennesaw approves downtown parking changes

The Kennesaw City Council unanimously approved imposing a three-hour time limit for certain public parking spaces in the city’s downtown at its meeting Monday.
A three-hour time limit will apply to 225 public parking spaces from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week in downtown Kennesaw on Main and Lewis streets next to the BurgerFi and Trackside Grill as well as around the Revival on Main Street development.
Mayor Derek Easterling said the plan was a “team effort” that came from an assembled group of business owners, residents, employees of local businesses and city residents.
“I want everyone to know this is more than just the city’s plan,” Easterling said in an email. “Multiple meetings were held, questions were asked and answered and concerns were addressed. The changes allow us to efficiently utilize downtown parking resources for businesses, residents, and visitors.”
An estimated $1,500 will be spent to construct 30 three-hour parking signs to be installed near the affected spots. Several parking areas downtown will remain unchanged and will not have time restrictions.
Though a time limit will be imposed, parking will still be free, and adherence to the new changes will be enforced by Kennesaw police as part of its officers’ normal patrol.
“Public parking is an expensive and scarce resource, and we don’t charge users for parking.  Our goal is to continue providing free, safe and convenient parking for everyone,” said Easterling.
Councilwoman Yvette Daniel said she thinks the changes will be good for the area and will help local business and residents.
“I think (the time limit) will actually open up the opportunity for it to be more workable for people that are there,” she said. “Most people eat a meal or go to a store during that time … and it will be something better for residents so they don’t have to keep circling and circling (while looking for a space).”
The fine for violating the three-hour limit for the first time is $25 if paid within five days and $40 after five days, according to the ordinance adopted by the City Council. If ticketed again within 180 days of the first offense, the fine increases to $50 if paid within five days and $75 if paid after that period.
A third ticket will require a fine of $100, which jumps to $150 after five days.
After 180 days of the first offense, the fine schedule starts over, according to the ordinance.
If a vehicle has accumulated five or more parking unpaid tickets, the city can tow and impound it, the ordinance states.
In addition to the new parking time limit, the City Council also approved an agreement with the City of Kennesaw and the Kennesaw Downtown Development Authority to add more public parking downtown.
A 10-year ground lease makes 24 parking spaces at 2980 Lewis St., available to the public the site of Dr. Bruce Hester’s dental practice.
An additional 23 spaces set aside for the practice’s staff and patients during business hours will be available in the evening and on weekends.
The city will commit about $18,000 from the city’s general fund to the KDDA to make improvements to the lot in exchange for the use of the spaces.
Over the next month, the city is planning to inform businesses, residents and the general public about the changes, and according to Easterling, signs are anticipated to be posted early this fall.
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NOTE:  This blog continues Click on 
"OLDER POSTS" for  many other 
Kennesaw stories
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8/18/16

DOWNTOWN PARKING REGULATIONS:




Parking Downtown

I see that now there is a time limit of three hours between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. for those parking downtown or at City Hall. Here are some questions on this topic-
1) How will this be enforced?
2) Will Kennesaw Police now be writing parking tickets? If tickets, how much will they cost?
3) Will the City now hire traffic wardens/meter maids?
4) Are parking meters next?
5) How many new signs will clutter up downtown?


Jim Sebastian's avatar image.

1) How will this be enforced?
It is planned to have on-duty officers who already patrol the area to utilize a license reader. This will allow the officers to time parking as they patrol the area the next time.
2) Will Kennesaw Police now be writing parking tickets? If tickets, how much will they cost?
There will be first time warnings then in the event any person is found to have violated the parking time limits:
~~ Such person shall be subject to a fine of $25.00, if paid within five (5) days and $40.00 if paid after five (5) days.
~~ However, if a person is found to have violated the parking time limits twice within 180 days of the first offense, such person shall be subject to a fine of $50.00 if paid within five (5) days, and $75.00 if paid after five (5) days.
~~ And the third or later citations, if received within 180 days of the first offense, such person shall be subject to $100.00 if paid within five (5) days and $150.00 if paid after (5) five days.
For any new tickets received after the 180-day period, the parking fines above shall revert to the "First Citation" status.
3) Will the City now hire traffic wardens/meter maids?
No ~ See first question.
4) Are parking meters next?
Nothing has been discussed or are in the plans for meters at this time or in the near future.
5) How many new signs will clutter up downtown?
There will be a few. The only place timed parking will be posted and enforced will be all street parking around Revival and the lower deck in the parking structure.

Photo:  Burger Fi, upper deck

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8/15/16

MOSQUE INFORMATION FYI:

Something here for those interested in Mosques in the US:
1) ‘How to Start a Masjid’ (Keys to managing a Successful Masjid) 67 pages:




2) ‘Controversies Over Mosques and Islamic Centers Across the U.S.’ Sept 2012, 22 pages. Summary of 53 Mosque and Worship Center problems.


and of course info on the Kennesaw strip mall and their plans for a new and larger Mosque less than a mile away: http://suffadawa.blogspot.com/ and their suit against the City of Kennesaw (Hint: Kennesaw lost) at:http://suffadawatsuit.blogspot.com/

_____________________________


MORE MOSQUE BULL SHIT:

Just in case you didn't get enough Mosque information regarding the Kennesaw (Suffa Dawat) problem, a similar problem is developing on the other side of Atlanta, also in a rural area, go take a look at:  http://almaadalislami.blogspot.com/
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Kennesaw Residents Give City High Marks, but say traffic improvements are needed

Jon Gargis  MDJ 8/14/16

 Kennesaw survey results:

Kennesaw residents gave their own city high marks in many areas in a recent survey sent out this spring, but nearly two-thirds of those surveyed said improving traffic conditions should be one of the city’s highest priorities.

Just over 400 Kennesaw residents responded to the six-page survey, sent to random households throughout the city of more than 33,500, according to the most recent Census data. The survey was conducted on behalf of the city by ETC Institute, a Kansas-based market research firm, at a cost of about $15,000, said Pam Davis, city spokeswoman.

The survey asked respondents to rate their satisfaction with the city and many of its services, from public safety to maintenance, city communications to parks and recreation, with many of the areas measured on a five-point scale — 5 being “excellent” and 4 “good,” with 3 being “neutral.” Negative ratings were noted by a “below average” 2 or “poor” 1.

Of those who gave opinions on their feeling of safety in Kennesaw, 88 percent gave the city positive marks of “excellent” or “good” — 12 percent points higher than the national average of 76 percent. The city got similar marks on the overall quality of life in the city, with 86 percent of opinions positive.

“I think the community believes the city’s in the right direction and we’re making progress. That’s what it says to me,” said Mayor Derek Easterling of the results, which were presented to the City Council at its Aug. 1 meeting.

Easterling said he believed the positive marks in those areas could be attributed to the level of customer service provided by city operations when residents call or come in with concerns or issues.

“But I also think it’s our police department engaging the community, the community recognizing that our police are there, they make their zone patrols or they’re in their neighborhood — they live in the neighborhood,” Easterling added. “To me, that speaks volumes — when you recognize your officers when they’re not in uniform, when they live in your community, that makes you feel good.”

While most surveyed residents felt their city was safe, one organization’s data released earlier this year seemingly supports respondents’ beliefs. This past March, Kennesaw placed sixth on the list of safest cities in Georgia from backgroundchecks.org, a public safety focused organization. Kennesaw, along with second-ranked Acworth, were the only two Cobb cities to make the top 10, though placing in the top 50 were Smyrna (26) and Powder Springs (46).

The survey also saw respondents give a 90 percent favorable rating to the city’s parks and recreation facilities and programs, an 83 percent positive response to police services and a 71 percent favorable rating regarding maintenance of city streets.

But it was what happens on those streets that earned the city’s lowest marks. Just 45 percent gave positive marks in the area of management of traffic flow and congestion, with 31 percent giving dissatisfied responses. Just under a quarter of the opinions were neutral.

Easterling said traffic is an ongoing issue in the city.

“My offhanded comment when we had the presentation was, ‘Welcome to metro Atlanta,’” he said. “I don’t blame them for rating it low, I don’t like sitting in traffic, but we have to put up with a few things while everything’s under construction.”

The mayor said current road projects underway in the city include repaving on Cherokee Street and examining traffic flow off Rutledge Road.

“We’re trying to wrap our hands around it and trying to make it better,” he said. “I think something as simple as timing of lights, we’re working on it.”

The survey was a first for the city, Davis said, adding that the goal was to provide scientifically valid data that would be a more effective basis for officials’ planning than opinions or conjecture.

“We wanted to find out what our constituency actually thought about the quality and level of city services being provided and what they felt was most important to them,” Davis said. “The objective of the survey is to help in the planning process so it isn’t intended to produce immediate actions. But we were pleased that the results validated our hard work and effort in every category.”

The complete survey results can be downloaded from the city’s website, kennesaw-ga.gov.