ROSWELL, Ga. — City ordinances can be one of the last topics on anyone’s mind when buying or selling a property, but local codes can lead to unexpected disruptions.
In an effort to untangle some of the complicated rules governing property, an array of Roswell department representatives conducted a public workshop at City Hall Jan. 18 to explain some of the regulations they should know about.
Close to 30 people watched and listened to brief presentations from representatives from the Environmental/Public Works Department and the Community Development Department who covered a range of topics and common issues related to permitting, city services and utilities.
Environmental Compliance Officer Jonathan Barber spoke about some of the common nuisances and obstructions that his office deals with on residential properties.
By far, the office gets the most calls about long grass, kudzu and English ivy overgrowth, Barber said.
But, sign placement, especially real estate sign placement, can also be an issue because they can create problems when placed in the right-of-way. As a rule of thumb, Barber said signs placed behind sidewalks and power poles, away from the road, should be OK.
Several attendees asked questions about water and stormwater issues.
Although the majority of the city is on Fulton County water, about 20 percent of residents are on City of Roswell water, said Water Utility Manager Chris Boyd.
Municipal customers are generally those living near City Hall and the Historic District area, he added.
Anyone with a leak is usually given two weeks to fix it to align with conservation efforts, he said.
David Morgan, support services division manager in Environmental/Public Works, dispelled one of the common misconceptions about retention ponds on private property. Most people think that maintenance of these ponds is the city’s responsibility, but it actually falls to the property owner or the home owner’s association in the vast majority of cases, Morgan said.
That means that if a pond is part of four people’s properties, all four are responsible for it, and if any neighbors take issue with the pond’s condition, it would be a civil issue between the property managers, Morgan said. The city would not be involved.
Retention pond maintenance includes monitoring erosion and silt build up, making sure tree roots don’t intrude upon it and periodically mucking it, Morgan said.
The city offers several resources for residents and realtors dealing with property issues.
One of the newest, expected to roll out in the next few weeks, is the My Government Services map. When a person types their address into the map, they will be able to see all the utility, waste, sanitation and any other information pertinent to that property.
The Geographic Information Systems map, which is already available, provides a plethora of information, including parcel lines, stream locations, floodplain maps and UDC zoning.
The workshop is held about once a year, with the next tentatively scheduled for January 2020. The city is considering holding them more often and creating a similar workshop geared toward contractors, said Environmental Education Coordinator Vicki Culbreth.
For more information and resources, visit roswellgov.com.