Roswell Must Redevelop

Roswell must continue to grow and we must redevelop our blighted areas and our empty strip shopping centers.

Roswell Must Update

Roswell also needs to update, simplify and clarify it’s zoning code.  Over time any zoning code has multiple changes but ours has gotten too cumbersome and confusing. 

I have completely supported the two-year effort to overhaul the code and make it something that works for everyone.

However, somewhere along the way the effort became more than just fixing the code.  It has morphed into a major change in the way we do zoning in Roswell.

UDC As Proposed Is The Wrong Direction

The UDC as currently proposed opens the door for substantial increases in densities, creates new zoning categories with many new uses, and adds the potential for new apartments - all while not really dealing with needed infrastructure improvements or the impacts to surrounding residents and the City as a whole.

Few changes are happening in our established neighborhoods - for now.  Although higher density infill options are being created that certainly will likely be used in the not-too-far-off future.  But rezonings within our neighborhoods almost never happen anyway.  And yet THE NUMBER ONE item that brings people out to Council meetings is a rezoning.  Because people understand the impact those projects that are near them will have on their own quality of life.

I have serious concerns about how the UDC will change the Roswell we all love.  The devil is in the details and we just don’t have a handle on the details here.

The zoning classification on many properties will change because new zoning categories are being created.  Most are simply name changes that have no real impact on the actual use or density on that property.

However, a large number of properties have real or potential increases in building heights, reductions in set backs, and the removal of density limits.

Target Redevelopment Incentives

Of course we want some of these areas to redevelop and we will need to give increases in density in order to get developers to come in.  But we need to carefully target those efforts to make sure we get what we want.

The current plan gives away too much to developers in much too broad an area.  We run the risk of allowing a major increase in development that just doesn’t fit Roswell and still having the blighted areas that we all agree need to be fixed. 

If a developer can choose between tearing down and rebuilding on a near empty strip shopping center, or just going down the street and building high-density mixed-use on a property with low density or even no building at all, what do you think is cheaper and easier and most likely to be built?

This is a difficult and complicated subject that will be a key focus of my campaign.  You can find more on the UDC by clicking here.

Kent Igleheart Roswell City Council