My Vision

My vision for Roswell

comes from talking to residents

We must grow and redevelop but we must do it right!

We all know where our problem areas are: empty strip malls and storefronts, used car lots and run-down apartments. We must specifically target those areas for redevelopment. We can’t just open up vast areas for new development because that only encourages unchecked building and decreases the likelihood that our problem areas will be redeveloped.

It takes real strategic planning and leadership willing to listen not only to business interests and those who stand to make substantial profits from what is coming, but also the neighborhoods, families and small businesses who are the core of what makes Roswell so great.

Pinpoint - focus - target!

We should create “Canton Street” type developments in other parts of Roswell.

Canton Street is great and is often touted as one of the reasons Roswell is the place to be. Let’s turn our problem areas into one-, two- and maybe some three-story mixed-use buildings with restaurants and shops and housing and open greenspace (and parking!).

These areas must be walkable but we have to recognize people still get around by car and we need to deal with that as well.

Transform run-down apartments.

The approach under the current UDC is to give increased density to entice apartment owners to redevelop their properties. If we allow much higher densities of apartments in these locations we only set ourselves up for more problems.

We need to turn these areas into mixed-use, mixed-income villages with reasonable heights and densities.

High-rise housing projects have been torn down around the country and replaced with these types of villages - and it’s working. Let’s learn from places where this has truly changed the dynamics of concentrated apartments.

Take a phased, conservative approach.

The UDC opens the door for new development in a wide range of areas. Instead, we should start with a few select, key areas and learn what works best. We keep saying Greenville, SC is our model. A phased approach is what they used and they learned a great deal as they progressed.

Roswell has always had a conservative approach to most things and it has worked well - especially in zoning. Once you open the door you can’t get bad things out. We can ruin our future and lose Roswell’s character if we’re not very careful.

I am not against development. I’m only against bad development.  I understand how we must carefully protect against the downsides of development. Why do you think Roswell is different from our overbuilt neighbors?

Meet infrastructure needs before major new development.

We are not going to solve our traffic problems. But we can mitigate the worst parts of them. Adding too much stuff (density of housing, retail, etc) clearly causes more traffic problems. Recognizing what existing infrastructure can handle is the first step to developing appropriately.

Then we must determine what can be done to make improvements to a targeted area - not just at the driveway of a proposed project. And we have to consider schools, water and sewer, services and more.

Roswell has an abundance of waterways and we should utilize them for economic development. Roswell was created because of its creeks. Let’s make them the center of our revitalization!

Our biggest problem area of apartments is the “Northwest Quadrant” to the northwest of Holcomb Bridge and GA400. One of the largest parts of Big Creek runs right through this area, but it is largely ignored today.

Hello!?! This is waterfront property!

Let’s turn that whole area around to the water and make it a tremendous amenity. Restaurants, entertainment, housing - all facing the water. What a beautiful and inspiring place that could be.

And yes, some taller buildings could be appropriate. Not a solid wall of 10 story buildings, but a variation of heights that fit the surroundings.

(the picture above is in downtown Greenville, SC, a key part of which is built around their river)

Focus on the water!

(and not just “the river”)

Kent Igleheart Roswell City Council