Residents of the city of Villa Rica will get a new passive recreation park following a gift of land from Tanner Health System and the Carroll City-County Hospital Authority.
The 46-acre tract is located along Tolbert Drive, across from the stretch of retail development that includes Bojangles, Moe’s and Starbucks off Georgia Highway 61.
“The City of Villa Rica is very pleased to receive this gift from Tanner," said Villa Rica mayor Gil McDougal. "It represents the partnership between the hospital system and the city that has only grown over the years. This park will be the first of its kind for this part of the city, and we hope that generations of current and future residents will enjoy it."
The property is part of a 75-acre tract that was purchased by the Carroll City-County Hospital Authority in 1985. The authority governed Tanner Memorial Hospital in Carrollton from the 1940s until 1985 when Tanner Medical Center Inc. was incorporated and Villa Rica City Hospital — now Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica — joined the system.
The land was intended to be used as a location for the new Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica before the Tanner board decided to build the new facility next to the old hospital. The new hospital opened in 2003.
In September 2021, Inline Communities — which was working with Tanner to develop the property — asked city council to rezone the land to allow the construction of 196 single-family homes. But in May 2022, after encountering topographical issues on the property, the company returned to the council and presented a new plan for 181 townhome units on the site.
At that time, plans were discussed to use the portion of the land with difficult terrain as a passive park. The city placed conditions on using the parcel as such, including a traffic study and improvements to the benefit of neighboring residents.
“We’re very glad that the people of Villa Rica will be able to get use out of this land,” said Tim Warren, a member of the Tanner Medical Center Inc. Board of Directors and chair of the Carroll City-County Hospital Authority. “It’s been in the authority’s hands long enough — it’s time that the residents of Villa Rica get to enjoy it.”
Loy Howard, president and CEO of Tanner, said he was happy the city would use the property for passive greenspace.
“Our environment impacts our health,” said Howard. “Greenspace is important to us at Tanner — it provides a safe place for people to be active and it creates an overall cleaner, healthier place for us to live. We’ve had a long working relationship with the city of Villa Rica; they’re going to do great things with this property for their residents.”