A letter to the editor ("Roswell errs allowing anyone to 'open shop'") in the Dec. 6 edition of the Revue & News listed several concerns about two different developments within the city and changes to a business front on Canton Street. Roswell has always balanced the rights of property owners with sound development guidelines, and we would like to clarify some of the comments that were made in the letter to the editor.
The letter writer mentions the development of the Aldi and Racetrac at the corner of Highway 92 and Mansell Road. This property was zoned for this type of use almost 20 years ago so the property owner is within his/her rights to develop the property in this way. The city cannot regulate the use of property by the store's perceived target market or the perceived income of the patrons. The development was required to install the appropriate traffic improvements as determined by the Roswell Department of Transportation to help move traffic through the intersection.
The letter writer also mentions the McDonald's being built on Highway 92 in front of the Kohl's shopping center. A restaurant is permitted through the zoning at this location which was approved almost 13 years ago. While the city can regulate the use of the property (i.e., retail, residential, church, etc.), it cannot, by law, specify a particular business by name. For example, if the ordinance allows a restaurant, the city cannot say no to a McDonald's but allow a Boston Market.
The letter writer does not like the new red color a restaurant owner on Canton Street painted the store front. The city does not have the authority to enforce paint color in this instance because the state enabling legislation (State Preservation Act of 1980) does not give the city that authority.
Finally, the writer states "the Roswell Zoning Board has decided that anyone and anybody can open up shop." Roswell, like every other city across the United States, has a zoning ordinance that property owners must comply with when developing their property. Anyone can open a business as long as it complies with the zoning designated for that piece of property.