East Cobb is roughly bounded by:
- Cherokee County to the north
- Willeo Creek and Roswell in Fulton County to the northeast
- the Chattahoochee River and Sandy Springs in Fulton County to the southeast
- Bell's Ferry Road, I-575, and the Marietta city limits to the west, and
- Interstate 285 and the Cumberland/Galleria edge city at the southern tip.
No part of East Cobb technically falls within incorporated city limits. East Cobb consists primarily of unincorporated areas near Marietta, and a significant portion of unincorporated area near Roswell, as defined by United States Postal Service ZIP codes (though Roswell itself was in Cobb until 1932). A small sliver of an unincorporated area near Atlanta is in the extreme southern tip near Vinings, and a portion of the northwest is in an unincorporated area near Kennesaw (30144). ZIP codes that are associated with this area are (30144), (30188), (30062), (30066), (30067), (30068), and some of (30075).
Small communities, many established early in the area's post-Cherokee history, include Mount Bethel (located in present day central East Cobb), Shallowford Falls, Sandy Plains, Noonday, Blackwells, and Westoak. The area was developed as a suburb of Atlanta beginning in the 1960s. The "city" of Chattahoochee Plantation, which never had a city government, was established along the river by the Georgia General Assembly entirely to prevent Atlanta from annexation in 1961, and was officially abolished in 1995 along with dozens of other Georgia towns with defunct governments.
Incorporation as a city
In contrast to other northern suburbs of Atlanta, East Cobb has remained unincorporated. The idea of incorporating East Cobb as a city was first suggested in 2009 by the organization "Citizens for the City of East Cobb". Yet the first serious discussion of incorporating East Cobb was initiated in 2012 by Cobb County chairman candidate Bill Byrne. Under Byrne's proposal, the city's boundary lines would be drawn by the Cobb Legislative Delegation, the county government would continue to provide water, sewer, police and fire services to the city for a nominal fee of one dollar per year, and the city would be governed by an elected mayor and five City Council members, with wards drawn by the Cobb Delegation. However, Byrne was defeated by Cobb County Chairman Incumbent Tim Lee, who dismissed the idea of incorporating East Cobb as "solution looking for a problem." If East Cobb were to incorporate as a city, it would be the largest in the county and the second largest in metro Atlanta (behind Atlanta), with around 150,000 residents.
The area known as East Cobb comprises several high school attendance districts: Pope, Sprayberry, Wheeler, Kell, Walton, and Lassiter. The western half of the Kell district lies outside of East Cobb. The extreme western portion of the Sprayberry district (the Town Center Mall area) also lies outside of East Cobb. The extreme southwestern and southern portions of the Wheeler district lie west of I-75 and south of I-285 respectively, thus excluding these small areas from being considered a part of East Cobb.
The area known as East Cobb comprises the following middle school districts: Daniell, McCleskey, Simpson, Hightower Trail, Mabry, East Cobb, Dodgen, and Dickerson (small portions of the Daniell and East Cobb Middle School districts lie outside of East Cobb; a sliver of the eastern portion of the Palmer Middle School district can be considered a part of East Cobb). 
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