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Roswell approves 15-home development: Neighbors question density, traffic



March 27, 2013
ROSWELL, Ga. — A new neighborhood meant to help bridge the commercial and residential has brought more conflict than bonding for local residents. The Roswell City Council still decided to approve it 4-2 March 26 with Councilmembers Kent Igleheart and Betty Price opposing.

Headed by Prime Interest Inc., the 15-home development with a park and small stormwater pond will be built on the 3.37-acre lot between Pine Street and Chattahoochee Street.

“It’s a matter of greed,” said Milton David Dean, who lives on Chattahoochee. “All the city wants are taxable addresses.”

The original plan called for 16 attached homes but was reduced after staff suggestions. The townhouse-styled homes will each have a two-door garage. The houses would be attached by a 10-foot fence and are drawn at about 2,500 square feet or more.

“We have a shortage of homes like this,” Councilmember Nancy Diamond said. “We need some transition. However, one person’s nestled is another person’s crammed. The difficulty is how you find that middle ground.”

There will be 4.4 units per acre with the current plans.

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Council voted to rezone the area from a single-family district to a townhouse district.

“My biggest concern is that we’re taking a zoning that’s for townhomes, but we have townhomes proposed that aren’t really townhomes,” Igleheart said. “I’d call them faux-townhomes. That concerns me when we start doing that with zoning now. I have a real problem with how that is working out.”

Staff reports indicated that the increased traffic would not be detrimental to the existing neighborhoods. The new neighborhood will connect the currently dead-end Pine Street with Chattahoochee. According to Prime Interest, this will help funnel the traffic out both ends of the development instead of a cul-de-sac design.

However, several citizens opposed the opinion and called for a 50 percent reduction in the number of houses because of the added traffic.

“It’s too many houses,” said Bonne Lege, who lives on Chattahoochee. “You don’t deal with what we deal with. It is a death trap. I’ve seen head-on collisions out there.”

Prime Interest is based in Buford, Ga. The company has been there since 1998.

The plan showed to council March 26 included two stormwater retention sites. One was the pond in the southeast corner. On the west side, they plan to put a bioswale.

“I’m all for development,” said Dean. “This is just so overbearing. It’s too much of everything. There’s a future for Roswell. It’s not as a mega-city, but as a village. That’s what most people want when they move here.”

ALSO AT THE MEETING:

Council voted unanimously to sign the contract with Motorola for Phase II of the unified radio system between Roswell, Sandy Springs, Alpharetta and Milton. Roswell’s part of the contract makes up 32 percent. The city will pay about $5 million.

Holcomb Bridge Middle School was honored at the meeting for becoming a Lighthouse School to Watch. Schools named to this list will become models for other schools around the state to follow. Of the 485 middle schools in Georgia, Holcomb Bridge joins a list of only 18 that have been named Lighthouse Schools to Watch.

Recognitions were made throughout the meeting. Roswell received for the ninth consecutive year the distinguished budget presentation award for 2013’s fiscal year budget and for the 23rd year in a row, the certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting. The latter was given for the 2011 fiscal year comprehensive annual finance report. The Government Finance Officers Association presents both awards.

Mayor Jere Wood declared April 14-20 to be National Public Safety Telecommunications Week in honor of Roswell’s 911 respondents. Recent training has nationally certified the city’s 911 dispatchers in police, fire and medical. The mayor also said April 2 will be World Autism Day.

Queen of Angels Catholic School was honored at the meeting for winning awards at Georgia’s 2012-2013 Future Cities regional competitions. Future Cities is made up of sixth- through eighth-graders who build model cities using the SimCity videogame. Then the middle school students write essays on the current topic. This year, it was stormwater. Lastly, they construct their model cities using recycled and donated material. Each team is limited to $100. Queen of Angels sent four teams. The teams won 10 awards, and one of them, Aqua Serenity, won first place in the regional competition.

Lastly, the council recognized the 75th anniversary of the March of Dimes March for Babies. It will be held April 27 at Riverside Park. Visit www.marchforbabies.org or call 404-350-9800 for more information.

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