Cobb commission cancels Cupid’s land swap deal meant to protect Dobbins
Cobb County Chairwoman Lisa Cupid and the Board of Commissioners made a decision to terminate a land swap agreement they recently made with a developer, which has implications for potential condominium development in the accident potential zone of Dobbins Air Reserve Base. Commissioner JoAnn Birrell was the only commissioner to vote against terminating the land swap agreement, which passed 4-1.
This action follows the crisis that ensued after Cupid and her two votes foolishly approved the deal, with the two Republicans on the board trying desperately to stop them from putting Dobbins in danger and throwing Cobb County off the proverbial cliff.
Who can ever forget the temperamental Cupid tongue lashing anyone that disagreed with her vision, no matter how warped that vision was or the damage it could cause to Cobb’s economic stability.
Here’s a breakdown of the key events and issues.
Initial Vote in May 2021: In May 2021, Cupid and the Cobb County Commission voted 3-2 along party lines to approve a rezoning request that would allow a condominium development in the accident potential zone of Dobbins Air Reserve Base. Democrats Lisa Cupid, Jerica Richardson, and Monique Sheffield voted in favor, while critics, including the Cobb Chamber, business leaders and federal elected officials, raised concerns about the potential impact on the base during future Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) reviews. The accident zone is an area near the base’s runway where crashes are more likely to occur during takeoff and landing, and Department of Defense guidelines discourage residential development in this area.
Land Swap Agreement: In January 2022, Cupid came up with yet another flawed idea to place on top of her original flawed idea. The commission approved a land swap agreement with the developer, Venture Communities. Under this agreement, the county would acquire a parcel located in the base’s accident potential zone, which Venture Communities had planned to develop into 38 condominiums. In exchange, Venture Communities was supposed to receive a portion of county-owned property located outside of the accident zone.
Controversy Continues: Although the land swap was initially seen as a resolution to the controversy, it resurfaced when the commission voted 4-1 (with Republican Commissioner Keli Gambrill opposed) to terminate the agreement. This decision has raised concerns about the potential impact on the base’s future and its vulnerability to encroachment from nearby development.
Base’s Position: During a meeting involving Dobbins officials, county officials, and business leaders, Col. Michael Parks of the 94th Airlift Wing emphasized that the base is well-prepared for the military’s future needs. However, he highlighted that encroachment—development around the base (AKA, Cupid’s brainchild)—remains a significant threat to its viability. While there were no discussions about changing the base’s mission, issues could arise if encroachment limits the base’s ability to use its airfield, potentially becoming problematic for the Department of Defense.The termination of the land swap agreement has reignited concerns about the balance between development interests and the need to protect the integrity and operational capacity of military installations like Dobbins Air Reserve Base.
Who knows what Cupid will plan next, but as citizens wait for the next shoe to drop, many are counting down the days until the 2024 elections and wondering who will get into the Chairperson’s race. Cupid ran for Chairperson in 2020 on the premises that she could do the job, but after years of watching her fail, while hiring consultants to do her work, many are ready to put distance between themselves and her broken promises.
The mileage rate and water rate increases join the Dobbins screwup on Cupid’s long list of self-inflicted wounds that the voting public will not soon forget.