The Braves’ new ballpark out in suburban Cobb County was built with $400 million in public money, even though the public had no say in negotiations. The politician who spearheaded the deal got voted out of office this summer, but the park is still scheduled to open next spring. Cobb County may have no money for parks and the stadium will be an expensive traffic nightmare from hell, but at least residents of northern Atlanta suburbs won’t have to go as far to watch their terrible baseball team.
That is, unless they live very close to the stadium in the southern Marietta neighborhood adjacent to Rottenwood Creek. Cobb County informed 31 homeowners this week that they would be leveling their homes to construct a new road connecting. The new road has been branded the Windy Hill-Terrell Mill Connector, and the county said they’d considered the road for 20 years, but are acting now to ease traffic in and out of the new ballpark.
Local writer Sean Breslin was an enthusiastic supporter of the stadium, until the county told him he had three months to leave his house. Breslin wrote that he and his wife were elated to live three miles from the ballpark, but now they won’t get to enjoy the same access to games that they had anticipated, despite paying for the park:
So my wife and I will leave our home soon – the only home we’ve ever known, the place where we’ve lived since the summer of 2013, a year before we got married. We’ll never be able to bring our future children past the home where their parents first lived, and we definitely won’t be able to show them the place to which they were first brought home from the hospital.
We’ll find another home, probably in Cobb County, but likely a lot farther up I-75. We’ll pay the same taxes we do now, but we won’t quite feel the changes in the area we’ve anticipated since the Braves made their big announcement.
Perhaps that’s what bothered me the most. The county claims this new road plan has been in place “a decade or more,” so one might assume they were keeping my neighborhood around as long as they could to squeeze as much tax money as they could out of us. We’ve been the ones who’ve had to deal with the congestion as the county tore up every road around us to revitalize the area, and they’re not keeping us around long enough to enjoy the finished product.
The county gave a short statement to WSB-TV, saying that they’d help homeowners relocate:
“Currently, the department is in the design phase of the project, and engineering plans have not been finalized; (we) will work closely with affected homeowners in the relocation process.”
For all their supposed largesse, it’s unlikely that Cobb County will pay Breslin and the other 30 homeowners on Turnberry Lane a fair price for a home that would soon have been walking distance from the new ballpark. Even if Breslin and others helped pay for their stadium, Cobb County seems to have no apprehension about booting them