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Home & Garden

East Cobbers love their homes and gardens. The EAST COBBER home and garden blog features awesome home and garden happenings, ideas, deals and tips to improve your living environment. Do you have an idea for the H&G blog? Email submissions and photos to

Free garden expo and plant sale upcoming at Jim Miller Park

The Master Gardener Volunteers of Cobb County will host a garden expo and plant sale April 25-26 at Jim Miller Park. The event will run 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Fridayand 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday. There will be plants for sun and shade, specialty plants, flowering perennials, artisan soaps, garden art and sculptures, rain barrels, herbs and children’s activities on Saturday. There will be free admission and the event will be held in the Equestrian Center, 2245 Callaway Road SW, Marietta.

The 12th annual “Through the Garden Gate” Garden Tour is set for 10 a.m-5 p.m., Saturday, May 10. Participants will enjoy exploring five private gardens and the McFarlane Nature Park. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. For more information, call 770-528-4070 or


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Earth Day Ideas you can Work With

There are many minor changes everyone can make in their lives to help out MotherEarth. Here are a few tips of things that can be done at the office…

Building Owners
Install bike racks to encourage emission-free commuting. Less cars = better air.
When negotiating leases, include sustainability provisions in the agreement. Also, if your tenant has green criteria, try to accommodate them.
Every three years, conduct reviews of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems to ensure they operate as efficient as possible.
Put into place a building wide recycling program.

Property Managers
Use green cleaners to reduce the toxins in a building.
Set schedule for checking and replacing the various filters. Make sure to follow your schedule.
Use pest control services that are friendly to the environment – and to people.


Office Managers
Set copies to print on both sides of the paper.
Place task lighting at each work station. This will allow the late workers to use this light as opposed to lighting up the entire department.
Use VOC paint and formaldehyde free furniture and carpet to ensure better air quality.
Design the office space so that workers receive as much natural light as possible.

One of the easiest things you can do is BYOM (bring your own mug), cup, plate or utensils to work. Think of how much less waste there would be if everyone stopped reduced their use of disposable kitchen supplies.
Prior to printing something, ask yourself “Does this really need to be printed?”
Reduce, reuse, recycle.

(Submitted by Peter Tennis, KW Commercial, Source:


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East Cobb Civic Association’s new president has big plans


East Cobb Civic Association President Lee O’Neal and co-first vice president Jill Flamm look out of Lower Roswell Road. The new Sterling Estates development is in the background. The ECCA is trying to bring individual home owners and other associations together to promote and maintain the community in east Cobb, including the lifestyle and camaraderie that drew residents to the area.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff


An association that has shaped east Cobb for more than 30 years says the group’s future advisory role is more about the details of small projects, not broad changes to the well-established area.

Still, critics of the East Cobb Civic Association, which formed in 1982, say the group has met with government officials and developers too much behind closed doors.

The ECCA started with representatives from 12 subdivisions, but now the association represents almost 90 subdivisions, as well as individual members, composed of about 10,000 homes.

Although a term is only one year at a time, the president of the ECCA can serve multiple years tied to votes by members after a recommendation by a nominating committee.

Both Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott and Georgia’s Attorney General Sam Olens were past presidents of the ECCA.

The ECCA’s newest president, Lee O’Neal, started his first term in January. O’Neal moved to Georgia nine years ago from the suburbs of Dallas, an area he said is similar to east Cobb, without the trees and hills.

Jill Flamm, the former president of the association who served four terms and was on the ECCA’s board of directors before taking the head position, will continue to serve as a co-first vice president.

Flamm, who calls herself a Chicago transplant, said she knew nothing about Georgia before moving to Cobb 24 years ago.

“Our real estate agent said this is where you want to live, period,” Flamm said, because of the great school system, the quality neighborhoods and the low crime, secure area.

Even though O’Neal said the quality education in east Cobb is the “anchor,” one of the newest highlights is the area’s dining scene.

“It is really becoming a vibrant place,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal said east Cobb is no longer just a place to come home to at night after a day of work or fun in Atlanta. O’Neal said there is even a growing trend of “east Cobbers,” like himself, working from home.

Of course, the most buzzed-about topic is the planned $672 million baseball stadium for the Atlanta Braves. It will be built on 60 acres of undeveloped land in an otherwise urban area at the intersection of Interstates 285 and 75 near Cumberland Mall.

O’Neal said ECCA members have the same concerns expressed by many Cobb residents about increasing traffic volumes and security.

“We will work with county officials to make sure the ballpark is an asset,” O’Neal said.

At 7 p.m. April 30, Mike Plant, executive vice president of business operations for the Braves, will discuss the organization’s move to Cobb at the East Cobb Government Center on Lower Roswell Road.

East Cobbers active in community development

The ECCA officers say the community is an area with affluent professionals and executives who can be sensitive to property values and quality-of-life issues, such as crowded schools and street congestion.

In east Cobb’s “heyday,” Flamm said the ECCA would be involved in 300 specific zoning cases a year, which required a dedicated group to keep track of the filings and look at site plans.

Now, there is not as much land to develop, so the focus is more on the redevelopment of the existing infrastructure.

“It is making that small parcel fit into the surrounding neighborhood,” Flann said.

ECCA acts as resource for residents on the zoning process and the rules of Cobb’s code enforcement.

Even though the projects may not be as numerous or as large, the ECCA still plays a role in helping neighbors with the details.

For instance, Flann points to 40-year-old subdivisions that are replacing boundary walls, even though residents may not know the permits required.

“We can act as a conduit for that situation,” Flann said.

But O’Neal said even as an intermediary, the ECCA should not mitigate squabbles by neighbors over a barbecue pit in a backyard.

“We don’t want to get involved in too many variances,” O’Neal said.

Seeking a united front

O’Neal said residents of east Cobb are astute and understand economics and “what makes sense.”

Whether it is a discussion about having enough room for fire trucks to maneuver, the type of street lights to be used or if a new development will fit in with the surrounding aesthetics, O’Neal said the ECCA does not want residents to have regrets about not speaking out.

“But the last thing anyone wants is a fight at the podium,” O’Neal said.

Flann said it is best for a developer to initiate a conversation with the ECCA board of directors before a zoning case is filed and the yellow signs go up in a yard.

If these conversations happen beforehand, the development plan and zoning request hearings are smooth with “a united front,” Flann said.

Joseph Pond, a community activist with the Backyard Chickens Alliance, said he had issues with the ECCA in the past. He said the group did too much of its work with developers and politicians in the shadows.

“And this gives them an unfair advantage over average citizens,” Pond said.

Pond said he now lives in the Canton and Sandy Plains Roads area north of Marietta, so he has not heard of any changes in the ECCA or how the new president might operate.

“From what I understand, they have backed off a lot from their lobbying efforts,” Pond said.

Pond said a change in leadership can be positive to bring the group back to its “core values.” And he applauds community groups that unite homeowners’ associations to give neighborhoods a needed voice.

“I think civic associations are wonderful things,” Pond said.

An older population with options

O’Neal said as the county is building out to other areas such as west and south Cobb, areas in Marietta and east Cobb continue to age.

“There are a lot of changing dynamics in Cobb County,” O’Neal said.

People who are part of the aging Baby Boomer generation are moving out of their large east Cobb homes that require too much maintenance, but these residents do not want to leave the area.

“There is a growing demand for various forms of senior living,” O’Neal said.

One such option is Sterling Estates, a $22.5 million senior living community on Lower Roswell Road with a 96,000-square-foot main building housing 90 suites, in addition to the site’s six cottage duplexes.

“That particular development had a rocky start,” Flann said about the Planning Commission first recommending denial almost two years ago and the developer initially withdrawing the request before the Cobb commissioners could vote.

After many meetings by the developers and ECCA members to hash out details, the issues were resolved.

“And it went through without a hitch,” said Flynn, although the approval came with a long letter of stipulations.

The Sterling Estates example represents a trend in the influx of developments aimed at seniors demographic.

The most recent example is the controversial Isakson Living development, a proposed community for seniors on 53.7 acres off Roswell Road adjacent to East Cobb Park.

The rezoning hearing to place the property under a new category, continuing-care retirement community, has been postponed for months by county staff.

The contention is over the appropriate population density. The proposal has already dropped from the original 837 independent-living units and 150 health-care units to 749 independent-living units and 94 health care units.

There is still a lack of “firmed-up plans,” Flann said, so the ECCA will not take a position on the development until more information is presented and filed with the county.

Flann said she spoke to the attorneys representing Isakson Living last month and saw an informal interim site plan, an update to the one filed in November.

“This is a big project that is one of those you need to take your time with,” Flann said.

Flann assigned case managers for the Isakson Living project who will make a recommendation to the ECCA board. But Flann said the decision about support will not be “done in a box.”

(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal. Written by Rachel Gray, April 17, 2014. Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal – East Cobb Civic Association s new president has big plans)


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Outdoor Burning Ends April 30


Until the end of April, limited yard debris including leaves, pine straw, and small limbs from growth on your property may be burned.  Burning for the purposes of land clearing using an air curtain destructor is also allowed by permit during this time period. During the burning period, fire officials may prohibit burning at times when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make burning hazardous. For information on the requirements for having an outdoor fire, go to theCobb Fire Marshal’s webpage.



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Watershed program earns honors


Cobb County Watershed Stewardship program was recently honored with the 2013 Georgia Adopt-A-Stream Watershed Award. The Cobb program’s mission is to promote respect for the environment by teaching the connection between our behavior and water quality. During the 2012-2013 reporting year, 10,761 Cobb residents participated in programs provided by the Watershed Stewardship Program. Specifically for the Adopt-A-Stream program, staff trained 244 volunteers during 45 chemical, bacterial and macroinvertebrate monitoring workshops.

In Cobb, there are more than 50 active monitoring groups who reported more than 500 monitoring events in 2013. The Watershed Stewardship Program brings water quality awareness to the community through rain barrel workshops and storm drain marking, partnering with library departments and the Cobb County Master Gardeners and organizing Cobb’s Anuran Monitoring program and the Children’s Water Festival.

Cobb’s environmental programs specialist, Mike Kahle, was recognized as the New Trainer of the Year. He has conducted 55 workshops, certifying 471 volunteers and was praised for going above and beyond to educate and motivate volunteers.

Ina Allison was also honored with the 2013 Excellence in Data Collection award. She has been a chemical and macroinvertebrate monitoring volunteer for 10 years. She was praised for the highest quality collection methods and environmental stewardship efforts.


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Celebrate Great American Cleanup by recycling household items

Recycle Earth

Join Keep Cobb Beautiful staff in celebrating the Great American Cleanup at a Community Recycling Center event 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday, April 12. Kick off spring cleaning by dropping off reusable and recyclable items at two locations: Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre, 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton, or Lassiter High School, 2601 Shallowford Road, Marietta.

In doing so, you can reduce the clutter in your home while reducing the amount of waste that goes into landfills. Most of the recycling is free, except where noted. Activities will include:

  • Document Shredding
    • Secure, onsite shredding
    • Paper products only
  • Electronics Recycling
    • Computers, laptops, printers, accessories, etc.
    • TVs: $10 recycling fee
  • Latex Paint Recycling
    • $2 per gallon offset disposal fee
    • NOT ACCEPTED: Oil or alkyd paints
    • Cannot be mixed with anything, including other paint
  • Textiles Collection
    • Shoes, clothing
    • Area rugs, sheets, comforters, curtains
  • Battery Recycling
    • Household (AA, 9 volt, etc) – please tape over connectors
    • Car, cell phones, laptop and power tools
  • Other materials
    • Appliances: stoves, refrigerators, microwaves, washers, dryers, water heaters, mixers, ovens, blenders, freezers and toasters.
    • Metals: steel, aluminum, cast iron, car parts and wheels
    • Lawn/outdoor equipment: lawn mowers, weed eaters, chain saws, lawn edgers. **Fuels must be removed with hole in tank**

For details, view the event flyer here, call 770-528-1135 or visit


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Genealogical Society of Cobb County April meeting is 4/22

Ruthanne Warnick

Ruthanne Warnick

The Genealogical Society of Cobb County will host their next meeting on April 22, 2014, at 7pm. The meeting will feature Ruthanne Warnick discussing “Writing Your Family Story.”

Warnick holds a master’s degree in geography, is a former travel industry professional and has worked on numerous special projects to capture people’s stories. All of these were driven by a desire to learn about and learn from people’s experiences, whether they live across the street or across the world, featuring their everyday life as well as exotic adventures. Warnick’s own story is featured in the book Thin Threads: Real Life Stories of Hadassah Life Changing Moments.

The meeting will be held at First Presbyterian Church, 189 Church St, Marietta, GA 30064. For more about the Genealogical Society of Cobb County, visit


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April ECCA meeting to feature Braves VP of Operations

Atlanta Braves

The next meeting of the East Cobb Civic Association will be held on Wednesday, April 30. Bringing the program will be Mike Plant, vice president of operations for the Atlanta Braves. Plant will give some general information about the Braves operation and touch on the anticipated move to Cobb County.

The program starts at 7pm and is open to the community. The members-only, general membership meeting will follow. Both the program and the membership meeting will be held in the community meeting room of the East Cobb Government Center, 4400 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta.


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Libraries closed April 18

The Cobb County Public Library System will be closed April 18 for the Good Friday holiday.  Regular library hours will resume on Saturday, April 19.

For a list of all holiday observances, please their website.


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Learn tasty tips to grow great tomatoes at Pike this Saturday


A juicy, vine-ripened tomato can add the perfect burst of flavor to spring and summer recipes. The garden experts at Pike Nurseries know all the planting tips and tricks to harvest homegrown tomatoes that last throughout the season. Customers can take their pick from two FREE classes on Saturday, April 5, at all Pike Nurseries store locations to learn more about these delicious, nutrient-packed plants. At 10am, garden experts will host a Growing Great Tomatoes seminar. Participants will learn key planting and care tips as well as the many tomato varieties that are best suited for their garden. At 2pm, customers can join in on the Grow Your Own Salsa Garden class, where gardeners and at-home chefs alike learn not only how to grow all of the ingredients for salsa, but also how to use their harvest in a custom recipe! Whether customers prefer heirloom tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, Pike Nurseries always offers fresh advice for harvesting homegrown tomatoes – ripe for the picking!

Visit Pike Nurseries in East Cobb at 1875 Roswell Road or 2900 Johnson Ferry Road or online at

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