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                                                    ROAD TO MABRY PARK AS A PUBLIC ROAD




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I thank everyone who called commissioner Bob Ott and complained about the way Cobb County and The Parks Department took advantage of two elderly Mabry Family members when the parks department built the road to Mabry Park. Commissioner Bob Ott called me and stated he thought he could correct the problem of the road to Mabry Park not being a public road as it was deeded and asked me to take the sign down. Bob Ott convinced the majority of the Cobb County Commissioners to request that the Cobb Department of Transportation have a drawing prepared that would make the road to Mabry Park meet the specifications of a public road. The drawings were completed, and a final vote to complete the project was scheduled to take place in an executive commissioner’s board meeting in November (in a commissioners executive board meeting the public does not know any of the discussions, or how the commissioners voted). The commissioners voted NOT TO MAKE THE ROAD TO Mabry Park a public road. I believe the Cobb County Legal Department convinced the board of commissioners to vote against making the road to Mabry Park a public road because the legal department could not justify the fact that they approved the county spending special SPLOSH parkland funds on land for a road to Mabry Park that was already deeded as a public road. I was notified by Pat Riley of the Cobb County legal department that the commissioners had voted against making the road to Mabry Park a public road.  The Cobb County Board of Commissioners decided it was OK that Cobb County had purchased land that was deeded as a public road with public park Splosh funds (which I think was illegal), they also decided that it was OK that the Cobb County Parks department took advantage of two elderly Mabry Family members (by unjustly converting land that Jim Mabry had deeded as a public road to parkland) when they built the road to Mabry Park.
Bob Ott has retired and the new district 2 commissioner is Jerica Richardson.
In September I sent this letter to the Cobb County Parks  Dept. and copied it to Bob Ott, Joann Birrell and Jimmy Gisi. Will you tell me why the parks department took advantage of 2 elderly Mabry Family members when the road to Mabry Park was built?
From the time the parkland was purchased until the park was finished, I agreed to every request from the parks department to enter the park through my pasture. At times I would have to monitor the gate to be sure it was closed. When a gathering was scheduled I would fasten the horses up so they would not bother the guests or get out. When you sent crews to do work on the parkland, I would have to monitor the gate to be sure it was closed. My pasture has only now recovered from the park traffic that entered the pasture when it was too wet, this is how you or the people who worked for you took advantage of me and my sister Betty Mabry Pettett. The road to Mabry Park was deeded as a public road. The first meeting we had with the parks dept. we stated that we would give all the permanent, construction and sewer easements to the county free of charge if the road to the park was a public road. I was given a copy of the first stamped drawing of the road to Mabry Park, the drawings had the road named Mabry Farm Road, and it had no note on it that stated the road was park land. The parks dept. prepared the documents for the permanent and construction easements they needed to construct the road; they were for easements for Mabry Farm Road. They were similar to the documents I signed for easements required for construction on Wesley Chapel Road. The drawings that were given to me and the permanent and construction easements we signed were drafted to make the roadway appear to be a public road. After the plans were revised, Mabry Farm Road no longer existed. The easement documents should have read easements for parkland. When the note PROPERTY OWNED BY COBB COUNTY PARKS AND RECREATION was added with an arrow to the roadway on the revised drawings, it should have been highlighted and the road name on the plans should have been changed to park land because Mabry Farm Road no longer existed.
After the easements were signed, the construction superintendent  gave me a file of the road plans and I had copies of the plans made. I discovered that the plans had been revised and what I thought was a public road was park land. We were disappointed because we trusted the parks department  and we did not think they would take advantage of two elderly Mabry family members.
We could sue the county, but the legal department would prolong the court proceedings until we ran out of money.
  September 29, 2006 Sue Mabry Harris was given a deed from Mabry Estate Trust for 26 1/2 acres that included the phrase The 50 feet wide x 1364 feet long roadway is to be a public road. The phrase was highlighted and included in the legal description of Sue's property. Sue never had the deed recorded because she did not want to pay Cobb County taxes on the land.                                                                                           June 2008 THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND negotiated the sale of Sue Mabry Harris’s land to Cobb County for a park. At the closing of the sale Cobb County would not accept the deed that was given to Sue because it contained the sentence in the legal description that the roadway was to be a public road. Cobb County tried to pressure Jim Mabry into signing a deed that they had prepared that did not contain this sentence, The 50' wide x 1364' long roadway is to be a public road. He would not sign the deed until the county added a paragraph that described the roadway as a public road. Jim signed the deed and it was recorded.  Cobb County used SPLOSH parkland funds to purchase a roadway that was deeded as a public road. (I think this was illegal) COBB COUNTY TOOK ADVANTAGE OF 2 ELDERLY MABRY FAMILY MEMBERS BY CONVERTING LAND THAT WAS DEEDED AS A PUBLIC ROAD TO PARKLAND. Jim and Betty's children or grand children cannot get a building permit to build a house on the road to Mabry Park because the road is not a public road.  On 6-12-2008 property that was to become Mabry Park including the public roadway was transferred from Mabry Estate Trust to Sue Mabry Harris. The deed was prepared by Jeffery N Gaba.  On the same day 6-12-2008 Sue Mabry Harris sold the property to THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND and THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND sold the property to Cobb County for a park.  Jeffery N Gaba prepared the deed and it DID NOT contain any reference  to a public road.
The Parks Department took land that was deeded for a public road and converted it to park land. When we divided Mabry Farm, it was assumed that Sue Mabry Harris would sell her property to a developer, the developer would pay her for 23.5 acres of land and receive 3 additional acres to use to build a public road from Wesley Chapel Rd. to her property. She never had the deed recorded and when Cobb County purchased Sue’s property they wanted a new deed using their survey and omitting any reference to a public road. Jim Mabry would not sign the deed until the paragraph was added that included a 1364’ public access road from Wesley Chapel Rd. to Mabry  Park.
A meeting was held with Tom Bills on 9-28-16 and I, Jim Mabry and Charles Pettett representing Betty Mabry Pettett stated that we will give a construction easement, sewer easement and permanent easements to the county at no charge to the county if the road from Wesley Chapel Rd to Mabry Park is a public road.
The documents we signed (PE 101 exhibit A & B and PE 103 exhibit A & B) showing the location of the permanent easements that I and my sister gave at no charge, to Cobb County  (not to the parks department) to construct a public road. The documents we signed did not have a note on them showing the public roadway as park land and did not show the permanent easements with a fence around them.
The set of stamped construction drawings for the construction of the public road from Wesley Chapel Rd to Mabry Park that was given to me by the parks department had all the construction and permanent easements shown that the county needed to construct the road and did not show the roadway as park land. After the easements were signed by Jim Mabry and Betty Mabry Pettett I discovered that the drawings had been revised by adding a note that was not highlighted. The note showed the roadway as parkland. I discovered the drawings had been revised when I had a full size set of the road construction drawings made (that I would be able to read) and the drawings had been changed to show the public road as park land. There is now no public road to be named Mabry Farm Road
Had we (Jim Mabry and Betty Mabry Pettett) known on 9-28-16 what we know now, no permanent easements, sewer easements and construction  easements would have been given to the county.  The easements were given for free under the condition that the roadway to Mabry Park would be a public road. The conditions were not met by the parks department because the parks department changed the drawings (from the full size set of construction drawings that was given to me by the parks department (that showed the construction and permanent easements that the parks department needed to construct the public road) to show the public road as park land.
If our children or grand children wanted to build a house on our property they could not get a building permit because the parks department has made Mabry Park Road parkland.
WARNING If you do business with Cobb County be vigilant, do not consider the person you are dealing with to be your friend.
                                                                      (LONG VERSION)
September 29 2006 Mabry Farm was divided between Jim, Betty and Sue. Jim's part was 23 acres, Betty's part was 23 acres Sue's part was 23 1/2 acres . Sue received more land because her part of the land  had a lower cost basis and she would have to pay more taxes when she sold it. It was assumed Sue's land would be sold to a developer. Because a public road would have to be built from Wesley Chapel Road to Sue's land, a developer would discount the price he would pay for Sue's land by the cost of the land for the road and the funds required to build the road. Because a public road would benefit Both Jim and Betty they each gave 1 1/2 acres to be added to Sue's part, 1 1/2 acres for the road and 1 1/2 acres to generate funds to build the road. September 29, 2006 Sue was given a deed from Mabry Estate Trust for 26 1/2 acres that included the phrase The 50 feet wide x 1364 feet long roadway is to be a public road. The phrase was
highlighted and included in the legal description of Sue's property Sue never had the deed recorded because she did not want to pay Cobb County taxes on the land.                                                                         
June 2008 THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND negotiated the sale of Sue’s land to Cobb County for a park. At the closing of the sale Cobb County would not accept the deed that I had given to Sue because it contained the sentence in the legal description that the roadway was to be a public road. Cobb County tried to pressure me into signing a deed that they had prepared that did not contain this sentence The 50' wide x 1364' long roadway is to be a public road. I would not sign the deed until they added a paragraph that described the roadway as a public road. I signed the deed and it was recorded. See item 1) below. Cobb County used SPLOSH parkland funds to purchase land that was deeded as a public road. COBB COUNTY TOOK ADVANTAGE OF 2 ELDERLY MABRY FAMILY MEMBERS BY CONVERTING LAND THAT WAS DEEDED A  PUBLIC ROAD TO PARKLAND. Jim and Betty's children or grand children cannot get a building permit to build a house on the road to Mabry Park because the road is not a public road.                         
1)On 6-12-2008 property that was to become Mabry Park including the public roadway (promised to be named Mabry Farm Road) was transferred from Mabry Estate Trust to Sue Mabry Harris. The deed was prepared by Jeffery N Gaba. The same day 6-12-2008 Jeffery N Gaba  prepared a quit claim deed from Betty Pettet to Sue Harris for a part of the roadway to Mabry Park and both deeds contained this paragraph:
This deed shall be subject to the following: The 50' wide by approximately 1,364' long public access road portion of the property being conveyed herein and as further depicted on that certain plat of survey dated Feburary 20 2008 prepared by Robert T. Armstrong, GA RLS # 1904, and that 10' wide added Right-of-Way as further depicted in that certain Cobb County Right-of Way Deed dated May 21, 2008 from Mabry Estate, Jim Mabry Trustee as to an undivided 1/2 interest to Cobb County (said Right-of-Way deed is being recorded simultaneously herewith) is to be a public road.
2)On the same day 6-12-2008 Sue Mabry Harris sold the property to THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND and THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND sold the property to Cobb County for a park.  Jeffery N Gaba prepared the deed and it DID NOT contain this  paragraph,
This deed shall be subject to the following: The 50' wide by approximately 1,364' long public access road portion of the property being conveyed herein and as further depicted on that certain plat of survey dated Feburary 20 2008 prepared by Robert T. Armstrong, GA RLS # 1904, and that 10' wide added Right-of-Way as further depicted in that certain Cobb County Right-of Way Deed dated May 21, 2008 from Mabry Estate, Jim Mabry Trustee as to an undivided 1/2 interest to Cobb County (said Right-of-Way deed is being recorded simultaneously herewith) is to be a public road.
The Parks Department took land that was deeded for a public road and converted it to park land.
3)Sue Harris’s part of Mabry Estate Trust was 23.5 acres. 3 acres from Jim and Betty’s part of Gladys Mabry Estate and Mabry Estate Trust was donated and included in the deed to Sue Harris. The 3 extra acres was for the public roadway (1 ½ acres) and 1 ½ acres to generate funds to build the public road. The road from Wesley Chapel RD to Mabry Park cost my sister Betty Mabry Pettett and me, Jim Mabry $585,302.00 (value of the land we gave plus the easements we gave to the county) and we will receive no benefit from it.
4) When we divided Mabry Farm, it was assumed that Sue Mabry Harris would sell her property to a developer, the developer would pay her for 23.5 acres of land and receive 3 additional acres to use to build a public road from Wesley Chapel Rd. to her property. She never had the deed recorded and when Cobb County purchased Sue’s  property they wanted a new deed using their survey and omitting any reference to a public road. I would not sign the deed until the paragraph was added that included a 1364’ public access road from Wesley Chapel Rd. to the park.
5)A meeting was held with the parks department on 9-28-16 and I, Jim Mabry and Charles Pettett representing Betty Mabry Pettett  stated that we will give a construction easement and permanent easements to the county at no charge to the county if the road from Wesley Chapel Rd to Mabry Park is a public road and named Mabry Farm Road . The value of the Permanent and construction easements given to the county for the roadway and sewer by Jim Mabry and Betty Mabry Pettett is $105,302.00. Charles Pettett has since died from complications of dementia.
6)The documents we signed (PE 101 exhibit A & B and PE 103 exhibit A & B) showing the location of the permanent easements that I and my sister gave at no charge, to Cobb County  (not to the parks department) to construct a public road. The documents we signed did not have a note on them showing the public roadway as park land and did not show the permanent easements with a fence around them.
7)The set of stamped construction drawings for the construction of the public road from Wesley Chapel Rd to Mabry Park that was given to me by the parks department had all the construction and permanent easements shown that the county needed to construct the road and did not show the roadway as park land. After the easements were signed by Jim Mabry and Betty Mabry Pettett I discovered that the drawings had been revised by adding a note that was not highlighted. The note showed the roadway as parkland. I discovered the drawings had been revised when I had a full size set of the road constriction drawings made (that I would be able to read) and the drawings had been changed to show the public road as park land. There Is now no public road to be named Mabry Farm Road
8)Had we (Jim Mabry and Betty Mabry Pettett) known on 9-28-16 what we know now, no construction and permanent easements would have been given to the county.  The easements were given for free under the condition that the roadway to Mabry Park would be a public road. The conditions were not met by the parks department because the parks department changed the drawings (from the full size set of constriction drawings that was given to me by the parks department that showed the construction and permanent easements that the parks department needed to construct the public road) to show the public road as park land.
9)To save the Parks Department approximate $48,539.00 ($96,939.00 cost of curb and gutter and roadway drainage system less $48,400.00 cost of installing roadway ditches) on the road construction costs we allowed the parks department to construct a drainage ditch in our pasture along the road for drainage. This took a section of our pasture and made it unusable for pasture land because now it will not grow grass because all the topsoil was removed and we cannot mow the weeds because of the ditch. The parks department must not have appreciated our sacrifice of having a ditch constructed through our pasture because of the way they have treated us by not allowing the road to be a public road. If our children or grand children wanted to build a house on our property they could not get a building permit because the parks department has made the road parkland.
11)When we were younger it would not have been as easy to take advantage of us, but when you get older it is easy to get taken advantage of. We trusted the parks department and expected them to do what they said they would do. If we had been dealing with a developer we would have been more cautious because we would have expected a developer to try to take advantage of us. We did not expect Cobb County and the parks department to take advantage of us.
12)The easements for the roadway that runs thru a hardwood forest and pasture land contained at least 4” of topsoil and hardwood trees in the forest area and grass in the pasture land. After the grading for the road was completed the easement slopes contained no topsoil and no hardwood tree replacements in the forest area.
13) Because of no topsoil and the rough and rocky condition of the slopes in the pasture area, we will not be able to get grass that horses can eat to grow on the slopes unless we ad topsoil, remove the rocks and smooth the surface of the easement slopes.
We could sue Cobb County to make the road to Mabry Park a public road as it was deeded, but the county legal department would prolong the court proceedings until we ran out of money.
WARNING If you do business with Cobb County be vigilant, do not consider the person you are dealing with to be your friend.